One of the biggest problems with email marketing is that it's easy to be mediocre and still achieve decent results and ROI.
Over the last
decade, sophisticated email marketing technology has become affordable and easy to use for companies of all sizes, budgets and abilities. As a result, even less-than-stellar marketing efforts can
produce acceptable results.
This paradox is what keeps so many marketers on the hamster wheel of mediocrity. Why put in a lot more effort if you're achieving your
Mediocrity is incompatible with effective email strategy
When open rates, click-through rates, conversion
rates, revenue and other metrics begin to decline, marketing leaders often ask, "What can we do to improve things?" or "Why are rates declining?"
Asking why open rates
declined to an average 18% from 20% in a year is legitimate -- but also beside the point. Instead, ask, "How can we achieve 50%, 75% or 100% increases in our goals in the next 12 to 18
To take a quantum leap in your email marketing performance, you must be able to do what it takes to change processes and your existing paradigm. If you're
satisfied with average performance, then read no further. Maybe email marketing is not that critical to your business or your career.
But, as I've said before, "average"
is the new bottom. If email marketing is a strategic element of your marketing program, mediocrity must be unacceptable.
10 questions to ask yourself and your
Sure, you should figure out why your open rate is falling, but don't obsess over a one- or two-percentage-point decline. You, your marketing team
and your management should address more significant strategic and fundamental issues through these questions:
- What are our company's critical strategic business goals?
- How and where are we falling short?
- Do we have a strategy to kick our competition's butts and blow our customers' minds? If not, why not?
- Do we have the right people with the
necessary skills and mindset to move us to the next level?
- Do we have the right marketing technologies and integrations?
- Can we capture and use the necessary customer data
(implicit and explicit) to deliver the right messages at the right time?
- Do we have the content we need to engage our customers, stand out in the inbox and differentiate our communications
from our competitors?
- Do we have the right internal and external partnerships?
- What will we do in the coming year to turn our IT department into a true partner and hero -- instead
of blaming it for holding us back?
- How will we change what we measure and report to management so we can make our case for more resources and budget for email marketing?
Some of these are tough, and even self-reflective questions, but addressing the issues they raise is your first step toward jumping off the hamster wheel. Take that step today.
Until next time, take it up a notch.