Thursday, June 25, 2009

Email and Snail Mail

I’ll admit it. I’ve willingly given out my email address in order to subscribe to an electronic newsletter and found myself the victim of the rapid gun-fire spray of one-sided product pitching emails, similar to all that direct mail that I religiously pull from my mail box.

I know that used effectively email marketing can be cost-efficient especially when compared to its senior counterpart, direct mail. (Look Mom, no paper, no printing, no stamps!). But just like direct mail, it is also a great way to lose our shirts when it doesn’t get delivered or fails to elicit a response.

Another factor I keep in mind is in the implementation. Email marketing while an effective business channel, is still maturing. Technology, audience expectations and legislation governing commercial email communication (CAN-SPAM) are constantly changing the rules of engagement. Direct mail is more mature with fewer surprises.

But irregardless of whether it’s paper or electronic, the reasons for failure are the same - poor audience definition, bad mailing lists, dull content or an unclear call to action and also don’t forget, the lack of a customer relationship. So keep these areas in mind, and remember that the secret to success is test, test, test.

Cartoon from

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