For instance, someone recently told me that trimming inactives from email lists was a pretty standard hygiene practice. I took a quick look at some data I've been collecting over the past 2+ years on the topic, and I can say with certainty that it's not a common practice at all, despite tons of the articles and industry conversations on the topic this year. Many people, including myself, would like to see be a common practice, but it just isn't yet, and likely won't be for at least another couple of years.
The same overly inflated perceptions exist around the adoption of share-with-your-network (SWYN) functionality, which allows subscribers to share the content of an email with their friends and family on various social networks like Facebook and Twitter. I was talking with a reporter recently who said casually that most marketers now use SWYN. Despite being a huge proponent of SWYN, I wasn't so sure. Last year I would have sworn that SWYN adoption was at 25%+ among major retailers. But when I compiled data on it, the adoption rate was just 12%.
I've now completed a follow-up to that forward-to-a-friend (FTAF) vs. SWYN report, which we'll be publishing in a few days. That report will reveal that SWYN adoption among retailers is at 26% as of August, probably a far cry from what most email marketers think it is.
Even though the adoption of SWYN has more than doubled over the past year or so, it still trails the adoption rate of FTAF, which some industry insiders have already declared "dead." FTAF usage stands at 44%, down from 48% last year. At the current rate, it will be another 12 to 18 months before SWYN adoption overtakes FTAF.
As we approach the holiday season, it's a little shocking that major retailers aren't doing more to empower their subscribers to extend the reach of their email campaigns through SWYN and FTAF. It's free marketing that's going used and money that's being left on the table. But change can be deceptively slow.
Are there other practices or trends that have the appearance of being widespread -- but you suspect that those perceptions are just overinflated?