Email Lives to Get Response Another Day

Posted by Matt Blumberg 

Here we go again: another obituary for email marketing.

This time it comes from, of all people, speakers at the Email Insider Summit. According to a MediaPost article, several executives feel that email marketing is on the decline, mainly because of the spam issue. Consumers and businesspeople are fed up with so much spam and marketers can’t get to their inboxes anyway. Woe is email.

I’m sure this won’t surprise you, but I beg to differ.

To insinuate that consumers and business executives are no longer interested in receiving offers for relevant services and products simply isn’t consistent with actual data. Through our networks alone we see tens of thousands of email sign ups every day. Not put too fine a point on it: every single day thousands of people – consumers, business people, IT folks – check a box to get email offers then confirm that desire by checking a link to opt-in. If the average user were sick of email we’d see these numbers on the decline and that is most assuredly not the case.

And you certainly don’t have to take our word for it. The DMA recently released data that proved the on-going strength of email. One of our top-brand retailer clients recently told us that her email subscribers spend at a much higher rate than non-subscribers. And a recent Marketing Experiments study showed that email list rental significantly outperformed search and on-site conversion in driving sales.

Lots of bad email doesn’t mean the end of email marketing, just like click fraud doesn’t spell the end of search. It does mean that being better than average isn’t even good enough. Your email needs to be among the very best in order to keep your reputation and response levels high.

The key for marketers is to reach out to highly targeted consumers who want to receive their offer. Whether retention or acquisition, if consumers find a marketer’s offer compelling and relevant they are less likely to report the message as spam or delete it and are more likely to respond. Creating great subscriber experiences will ensure that the marketer’s maintains a good sender reputation keeping their messages in the inbox across the largest number of receivers.

The really good news is that email marketers with sterling reputations are going to have the most freedom to test content and to use response-driving language. Marketers with poor reputations will need to waste time and resources managing deliverability issues. Worst of all they will be operating from a weak position in the marketplace.

So don’t write off email marketing as a channel for business. Instead, work even harder to delight your subscribers by presenting them with valuable and interesting content that is relevant to them. This alone will ensure high response, high deliverability and overall high yield from your email efforts.

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About Matt Blumberg

Matt Blumberg founded Return Path in 1999 because he believed the world needed email to work better. Matt is passionate about enhancing the online relationship between email subscribers and marketers so that both sides of the equation benefit. It is with great pride that he has watched this initial creation grow to a company of more than 400 employees with the market leading brand, innovative products, and the email industry’s most renowned experts. Before Return Path, Matt ran marketing, product management, and the internet group for MovieFone, Inc. (later acquired by AOL). Prior to that he served as an associate with private equity firm General Atlantic Partners and was a consultant with Mercer Management Consulting. He holds a B.A. from Princeton University. You can learn much more about Matt by reading his email marketing and entrepreneurship blog Only Once – one of the first CEO blogs on the Internet. Last year he wrote a book, Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business.

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