Desperate Times Don’t Call for Desperate Measures

 Bonnie Malone 

Industry news provider, Marketing Vox, recently published an article featuring the results of the newly released “View From the Inbox 2009” study conducted by Merkle. A number of interesting engagement factors were highlighted and the report serves as an important reminder for the marketer to maintain their diligence during these difficult revenue-generating times.

In the current economic environment, many companies are focusing their marketing efforts more heavily in online avenues due to the agility and low cost of the channel. Email, being one of the highest ROI generators, is often an easy communication medium for companies to leverage. And for executives looking to cut costs and drive more revenue, the temptation is high to send more email, in bulk, more frequently.

According to the Merkle report, 2009 has realized a 10% increase in consumer engagement with email, as subscribers voluntarily chose to receive email from 10 marketers versus 9 the year prior. This is good news for email marketers everywhere – and, unfortunately, more ammunition for the “send-happy” executives anxious to exploit the channel. But before temptation gets the best of you, consider these additional (and all-too-familiar) statistics from the Merkle study:

When asked why a subscriber chose to opt-out:
75% Lack of relevance
73% Sending too frequently

The bottom line: Yes, email is a highly effective channel – by both cost and response measurements. Yes, consumers are more engaged with the inbox and more open to marketing messages from the channel. And, yes, your subscribers are savvy, and will unsubscribe if you fail to deliver relevant, timely messages. So don’t give in to the temptation to relax your subscriber experience standards: the potential short term revenue gains won’t be worth the long term list size, brand engagement, and lifetime revenue risks.

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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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