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Email Marketing. The Good, The Bad, and The Effective.

Just send an email. It seems so simple, right? As a marketing channel, email has obvious and multiple “up sides.”

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Affordable? You bet. Easily executed? Sure thing. Quickly implemented? Well yes, when the stars align.

Effective? Well. Hmm. That depends. You see, for every reason to choose email marketing, your own inbox abounds with reasons not to choose email marketing — emails you never opened, emails delivered directly to your spam folder, emails that couldn’t be read on your mobile device, emails that just didn’t get the job done.

I think we all have numerous examples of poorly executed emails, less so of well-executed ones. In fact, perhaps because the channel is so affordable and easily implemented, email marketing often goes unexpectedly wrong — in oh so many ways.

To name a few:

  • The List. Often known by marketers as “What List?” and by recipients, as “Why Did I Get This?”
  • The Message. On the upside, there’s no limit to the message length. On the downside, there’s no limit to the message length.
  • The Timing. Got a legal department? Then you know all-too-well how often, “It needs to go out tomorrow,” becomes “Legal needs two weeks to review.”
  • The Rush. How many times have you hurried to hit “Send,” only to realize your email was inaccurate, or contained critical errors. The tremble in the finger right before hitting “send” is a hard one to conquer.
  • The Objective. Look. You can accomplish a lot with email marketing. But here’s what you can’t do: Make a million dollar sale. Have a conversation. Make a personal connection. Identify additional sales opportunities.
  • The Details. Even with technological advances, executing a personalized email campaign is complicated. Once you’ve nailed the list, the message, the timing and objective, the devil itself is in the details. Can you be certain you’re delivering the right message at the right time to the right audience?

Don’t expect email as a delivery tool to do something it isn’t intended to do. Some messages, some audiences, some objectives are appropriate for email. Others are not. As I noted in a recent post, “The Value of Conversation In Today’s High-Tech Marketing Environment,” …email is useful and affordable, but like any marketing channel, it has specific and limited uses.

Email marketing remains, however, essential and irreplaceable. In the right hands — and with the appropriate list, message and timing — here’s what email marketing can do:

  • Pique interest
  • Maintain frequency
  • Open doors
  • Keep doors open
  • Promote your brand
  • Prompt response
  • Educate customers and prospects
  • Create demand

Ready to get your email efforts into the right hands? Give Technekes a call. Or just shoot us an email. We’ve been incorporating email into our clients’ multi-channel marketing efforts for nearly two decades, and we’d love to harness its effectiveness for you.

Winn Maddrey

Winn Maddrey, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at TKXS

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