Let's Put The Marketing Back Into Email Marketing

  • by , Op-Ed Contributor, October 17, 2014
Over the years I’ve discovered that many email marketers perform email marketing as their job, yet they don't use many of the basic principles of marketing that other channels, both online and offline, use. It seems many email marketers are not actually focused on marketing at all, but instead simply emphasize creating and sending.

Now don't get me wrong, there are many justifications for this. Since email is often seen as a cheap channel, it can be hard to gain the budget and resources needed. I have yet to hear of a direct-mail campaign that has not identified its objective, created a strategy to enable this objective to be met, and identified what metrics would be measured to identify whether it was successful or not. Yet the lack of these marketing essentials is a common scenario for many email marketers.

Also, email is often seen as being technology-driven, not necessarily a marketing channel. Yes, we have some of the most advanced marketing technology out there to help us to create, target and send our messages --- but that doesn't mean we should depend upon the technology to designate the strategy of our programme.

We tend to be so focused on what can be done using email’s feature-rich technology that we often work backwards and create programmes based upon these features, rather than starting at the beginning and identifying our objective and strategy first.

My purpose here is to get back to basics and identify what marketing principles we can and should be using within our email marketing programmes. It is such a wonderful push channel that delivers amazing ROI, even with (dare I say) the majority of email marketers not leveraging the strengths of this channel. Can you imagine if we all started to do so, how much more valuable as a channel it would become? Actually, forget about the channel; just think of how much more revenue you can bring in for your company by really leveraging email’s strengths.  

By applying the principles of persuasion and psychology within our email programmes, we begin to harness the strengths of this very personal push channel and to deliver emails that resonate with our consumers and trigger the desired responses. We need to embrace the concept that we’re in charge of the customer journey experience, we’re in charge of creating the persuasive architecture that enables our subscribers to easily convert.

We need to start somewhere to make these changes, so let's start here. Let's become conversion-driven email marketers who use marketing principles not only to deliver results for our business, but also to deliver engaging email programmes to our consumers.

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