More cost-effective emails. Or just more emails?

I recently bought a tyre from one of the leading online suppliers. A few days later I received a follow-up email from the MD asking me to rate the experience for their website. No problem.

This morning I received another email from him; now he’d like me to rate my experience on Trustpilot, an independent review site. No I shan’t. I bought a tyre as a distress purchase, don’t keep reminding me of my distress.

Marketing wasn’t always so cavalier with its messages. Communicating with prospects and customers required careful planning, segmentation and targeting. It had to; mailing packs cost a fortune. But an email costs a tiny fraction of its traditional predecessor. So have we re-entered the age of scattergun marketing? If emails are cheap then send them to everyone on the list. Twice.

As an agency we should be delighted as more revenue will head our way with dramatically reduced fulfilment costs. Yet strangely this hasn’t happened in many cases. The reduction in delivery costs means that other areas such as data planning are now proportionally higher. If it is more expensive to choose who to email than select all, so why not just send it to everyone?

The other area that starts looking pricey is creative, it is tempting to save money with a generic email being sent to everyone. But now the people who should be interested aren’t because they receive a somewhat random series of unfocussed proposition and don’t act. If they do anything it may well be to unsubscribe. Sales can actually go down when you communicate with more people more often.

The answer is to bring back your DM sensibilities – select the relevant target audience and create a proposition they can’t refuse. Here at AHK, we’ve repeatedly seen the commercial difference an email campaign specifically designed for a target group can make for our clients. Isn’t it time you became a little bit more selective?

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