I'm Calling Your BS

As the year winds down, marketers seem to be doing two things: planning for next year's successes, or making excuses for not being able to do more with their email marketing programs. To the former group, kudos to you.  To the latter group, I am calling your BS. Following are the three most common excuses I get from marketers for why their email isn't more relevant:

I don't have the data I need to drive relevance in my email. Look, while data is necessary to drive relevance, it doesn't mean that you have to be able to access and leverage every piece of information you have available on your customer base.  Just leveraging one data point can increase the relevance exponentially, so don't discount the ability to improve experiences just because you can't wrap your hands around all your customer data. Sometimes a little bit can go a long way.

I don't have the content necessary to support relevant targeting. Content is a big part of relevance, but it is not the only thing. You can create relevant experiences through timing such as following a purchase or an abandoned cart.  So if you don't have enough content to address the relevance, then consider looking at events or natural trigger points that would address a specific lifecycle point that is easy to identify and message against.



I don't have enough people to do the work. Resource strain is a consistent issue for marketers across the board. Look to your email deployment tool to identify technical solutions that will streamline, automate or optimize your production and deployment processes. If all else fails, look to a contractor --many are very good.

Motivational author Napolean Hill said, "The best job goes to the person who can get it done without passing the buck or coming back with excuses."

Do the best job that you can with the resources and data available to create the most relevant experience for your email subscribers, and stop making excuses. I am calling your BS: Just do what you need to do.

3 comments about "I'm Calling Your BS".
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  1. Kurt Johansen from Johansen International, November 12, 2009 at 6:40 p.m.

    I totally agree - too many businesses I come across say, I am not ready for email marketing. The truth is they are ready they just don't know enough about it yet. This is where we need to help them. Provide people with information about your products and services and make it easy for them to move forward.

  2. Andrew Kordek from Trendline Interactive, November 12, 2009 at 10:57 p.m.


    Great article, but I am wondering if you missed something that most people on the other side of the fence often miss. Being in a real world email production environment where you are responsible for things day in and day out is extremely time consuming. I often here things from people in the industry touting things to do and "best practices" to follow, but often they don't understand that being on the dark side..the client side is much harder than people think.


  3. Kara Trivunovic from Epsilon, November 17, 2009 at 2:24 p.m.

    Andrew -

    Thanks for the comment - but I have had the unique opportunity to sit on both sides of that fence and have experienced that production black hole as well - I know what it's like. So I pose a question back to you - is moving too quickly or having too much to do a good excuse for not optimizing your email (or any) marketing program? The company is investing in the marketing budget and expects returns - is it realistic to say, "I don't have enough time to figure out the best way to spend that budget?" I guess it all depends on perspective, eh?

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