Marketers are in the business of selling things, so meeting a quota of ‘open rates’ is not sufficient

While I regularly have a gut feeling on things, I try to resist acting on that feeling and instead, if I have the luxury of time, test my hypothesis first. So I decided to put my critical opinions about the methods of some email marketers to the test. 

Secret Marketer

I am inundated every day with random emails and LinkedIn messages with no supporting reason why I should connect. My assumption is that the originators of these communications are ‘blanket bombing’ me, having done little targeting and caring little if I respond.

So, two weeks ago I decided to respond to the 15 approaches I received that day, which varied from offers of datalists to sponsorship opportunities and new creative services. To each of them I responded positively that I would like to know more about what they were offering.

Ten days on, eight of the 15 have yet to get back to me.

It gets worse – three of the replies were chasers asking whether I had had the chance to read their initial email. This just goes to show that people assume a negligible response rate and so build an automated process to follow-up, failing to recognise that some people might just have taken the hook in the first place.

Perhaps worse still, for two of them the emails I sent bounced back, so getting a reply from them is out of the question. What a complete waste of a campaign if you have not tested the response mechanism.

That leaves just the two who did respond to my request for more information, and while I have not done business with either of them, I am much more disposed to doing so, should the need arise, than any of the other 13 jokers.

And this is why marketers have to be really clear in what we measure. It is not good enough simply to launch a clever and creatively appealing campaign. Nor is it sufficient to meet the required quota of open rates. We are in business of selling things, and while most marketers are reliant on someone else in the chain to complete a sale, we must take responsibility for the end-to-end process and take an interest in the final outcome.

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