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Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

One Problem with Email Marketing

One of the economic realities of paper-based direct marketing is that the cost of production and postage provide an incentive for the marketer/merchant to optimize certain aspects of the marketing effort, such as:

  • duplicate address elimination
  • householding multiple names at the same address
  • analysis to eliminate unlikely responders or select likely responders
Unfortunately, the cost of email marketing is so low — and it gets to almost nothing when the the volume of messages gets very large — that the cost of the processing to clean lists or optimize responsiveness costs more than just including all the dupes and poor responder names.
I don’t really have a solution to propose for this, since economics are what they are.
But I do believe that, in the long run, failure to minimize unnecessary emails will lead to continuing issues to marketers — just as it did for paper-based direct marketing.
Any ideas?
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Filed under: Direct Commerce, Opinion,

One Response

  1. Ted Grigg says:

    I agree David.

    The lack of discipline you describe in email efforts further weakens a medium that is getting hammered by spam.

    The low cost of email combined by ongoing abuse degrades the power of email and enhances the responsiveness of more expensive channels such as direct mail.

    I think direct mail, for example, yields better quality communications in the eyes of customers.

    I have several clients who send large volumes far too often doing so as long as they make a little money. And the response rates are dropping across the board.

    In addition, the more costly media are becoming more effective. This is particularly true with customer acquisition when the prospect may not readily recognize the advertiser or the sender.

    Ted

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