The Pitfalls of Email Marketing

The Pitfalls of Email Marketing

Posted on 29 July 2016 by Brandon

Email Marketing is an incredibly useful tool for getting your brand recognised on a large scale but it is with this ambitious grandeur, many companies can cause more harm than good to the relationship with their customers. When “creative lightning” doesn’t strike it would be safe to keep these tips in mind so that the good name of your company won’t be tarnished.

1. Avoid giving customers small financial “thank yous”

To reward goodwill between the company and the consumer, the company will try to show appreciation for their customer’s loyalty to the brand. This usually goes down two paths, either they are given a well worded Thank You letter or a small financial reward such as a 10% coupon or buy one get one free, that kind of thing. The problem with this, however, is the company/consumer relationship is one of give and take, if a consumer pays money for a product, they expect an equal return of service on their investment. In the scenario of giving the customer a coupon for years of their patronage, we have to ask ourselves “is this a fair reward?” If Netflix decided to give you 1 free month of their service after 5 years of loyalty, would you be happy or even care about it? Unless a company is willing to commit a big financial gesture to your loyal customers,  a simple letter of appreciation will suffice.

2. Don’t send your consumers too many emails

Now I know this sounds like a no-brainer but it’s surprising how many companies (when under financial strain) resort to sending out as much marketing clutter as possible. For example in 2012; the Spanish division of Audi increased the volume of emails they sent by 17%. 2 years later they lost 18% of their email base. Now they had legitimate reasons for making this decision as email was their only form of marketing they had available but customers were only concerned about the bombardment of emails they were receiving from the company. The only way the company got out of this pitfall was coming up with a creative campaign involving changing visuals based on the weather and time of day.

3. Don’t treat your customers like “Robots”

We (humans) tend to notice patterns in everything we see and Email marketing is no exception to rule. We have all received a bit of spam at some point in our lives. It’s always accidentally signing up for a newsletter to get free wifi from your local coffee shop or when IKEA sneakily got you to agree to “updates on special offers”  while purchasing one of their snazzy pieces of furniture. That is probably just me, though. They say when sending physical newsletters out to people that if you seal it in a logo-free envelope, the chances of people actually reading it becomes a lot higher. 

Why? Because we take things a bit more seriously if they are personalised. “Dear Sir/Maddam” doesn’t have the same impact as having your real name.
Emails are no different. The more personalised an email is, the more we take it seriously. Your mailing list is already accustomed to “BIG OFFER - ENDS SATURDAY” so striving to be better than just the 520th advert they’ve ignored that day wouldn’t hurt the goals of your business.

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