28 March 2014

The Generic Email Newsletter Needs to Die

What did this world-changing message say? We may never know because it’s recipient cannot recall. Tomlinson is on record as saying. “They were entirely forgettable and I therefore deleted them.”
I’m choking in the irony. While email is still a valuable tool, its abuse by me-too marketers has poisoned the pool for the rest of us.
There was a time when a blast email worked relatively well. If you earned a 25 percent open rate, you could have taken rest of the day off. This marketing stuff was easy.
Fast forward to today. This “spray and pray” method of marketing -- that is, blasting an electronic newsletter out to your entire audience of peers, referral partners, customers, prospects and suspects -- just doesn’t work as well as it used to.
It’s not hard to understand why. Each of our contacts has different motivations, problems and challenges. Yet we pile them all together, send them one message and pray that we said something magical that causes them to reply. Your contacts have become smarter than to fall for such amateur moves.
That 25 percent open rate has eroded over the years and we now see rates as low as 5 percent. Even worse, you could be labeled a spammer. All of this is hardly worth your effort.
So are e-newsletters dead? Not at all. They can still be effective, but you must change how you release information.
There is significant blue sky ahead for adopters who recognize the next evolution in business communication: “marketing automation.” Instead of blasting out the same information to your entire database, give readers the opportunity to tell you which information they want to learn. The more relevant information you can put in front of your digital reader, the more likely you are able to develop a meaningful online relationship.


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