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The Changing Face of Email Marketing

In the United States of America we are guided by a Constitution that protects our right to be individuals in thought, deed, and beliefs as long as we don’t step on our fellowman.  We thrive because we’re all different, and our differences are the threads from which our flag is woven.  Lumping people and companies into groups; giving them a number, and dealing with them in a generalized mass handling method may not bode well with a nation where people value their right to be an individual.

The evolution of email marketing  In 1978 Gary Thuerk, Marketing Manager for Digital Equipment Corp sent out the first mass emailing, earning him the title of “Father of Spam.”  It didn’t take long for others to see his approach as a potential gold mine.  In theory, it was. When the public protested, action was taken. In 2003 Spam laws were put in place, so the processors of mass emailing had to learn how to adhere to guidelines, and mailings went on.  The afore mentioned article does make it look like mass mailing is the be all to end all – but there is a danger when you fail to keep your finger on the pulse of consumer attitude.

Mass Emails: The Seller’s Point of View

  • Emails save money.  Direct Mail is expensive.
  • You save time.  You can put your energies elsewhere.
  • Emailing is efficient.  Click the mouse and you’re done.  No heavy bundles to drag to the Post Office.
  • You reach an unlimited number of prospects.
  • More people will know your company’s name and product.
  • You can repeat the process over and over again.

If every ten emails nets you one chance to make a sale; it stands to reason that you’ll get ten chances if you send out 100 emails, and so forth.  Do those statistics pan out in real practice or are consumers beginning to see the process as one that shows no respect for the hard work a business owner has put into making their business unique?

Mass Emails: The Prospect’s Point of View

Too many emails

  • Who I am, what my company stands for doesn’t matter.  I’m seen as nothing more than a random target.
  • I’d rather have a meaningful conversation than a bulk sales pitch.
  • Tons of time is spent cleaning out my online mailbox, when I have more important things to do.
  • Opening emails from an online sender that I don’t know, puts me at risk for computer viruses.
  • If I open your email and choose to discard it, I’m annoyed when you just come back at me wearing a variation of your original email address.
  • I will remember your name – which may not serve you well.

The Future: Mass Conversations

The bottom line is mass marketing via emails might make a seller’s life easier, but you might be shooting yourself in the foot by forgetting that making a sale depends on you being able to make your prospect’s life easier. To do that you have to learn to adapt and stay current with changing attitudes.  It might serve purpose to take Marketo’s fresh viewpoint under consideration in their article  Conversations, Not Campaigns. In this whitepaper, Marketo outlines an approach that uses engaging emails that are sent based on the buyer’s interest and behavior. Since these emails are triggered by behaviors such as viewing pages on a website, clicking links in an email, and filling out forms, the content is delivered at exactly the right point in the buying process. These “conversations” become much more targeted and allow for a wide variety of content to be generated but only the relevant information is delivered to the prospect, when it is needed.

At a certain point, companies need to pick up the phone and have a meaningful conversation with a prospect.  Incite2, the Salesforce add-on that is offered by ShadeTree Technology makes it easy. Paired with a Marketing Automation program like Marketo, Incite2 can help sales people pick up the marketing “conversations” without missing a step.

 

 

Deborah Elliott, a transplant from Northern California now calls Texas home. While she is currently part of the team at ShadeTree Technology, she holds a Masters in Special Education, and has to her credit a stint as editor of her city paper in the mid-1980’s. She built her writing career writing feature stories and a newspaper column entitled, “Matter of Opinion” that ran in both California and Mississippi. In 1987 she was recognized by the California Teachers Association for her contribution to education through journalism. Authoring the company newsletter for Raymus Land Development, a prestigious home builder in California’s Central Valley allowed her to take her writing endeavors down a new path. Elliott is also the author of multiple works of fiction that are currently available as electronic downloads on Amazon.
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