The top 3 email marketing myths

Email marketing has had to deal with its fair share of industry rumours (a.k.a. myths) during its many (largely successful) years of existence. Thankfully most of them never actually materialize, and those that do are promptly dealt with, which is how we end up with an increasing set of ‘best practices and standards’. Standards that are constantly evolving and refining themselves alongside the technology and client specs they feed off.

Then there are those rumours that just don’t seem to go away. Everybody has their two cents’ worth, which just seems to fuel the fire, and before you know it there’s widespread panic over something that should have been laid to rest long ago. We take a look at a few of the worst culprits, let’s hope that next time they don’t come back to haunt us.

1. More Subscribers = Higher Conversion Rates
You’ve got an email database of 30 million ‘subscribers’? Wow, that’s great! You’re going to make a fortune! Not likely. Unfortunately the size of your email database does not directly correlate with your conversion rate. In order for you to have a chance of reaching the conversion rate you so desire, it’s vital that each and every subscriber on your database has opted in to receive your email newsletters. This ensures your list remains targeted, with subscribers who are actually interested in what you’re offering.

A massive database, unless grown organically, will almost certainly be scraped together with random email addresses of people with different interests, demographics, requirements etc. Generally, this translates as more unsubscribes than conversions, so rather save your pennies for those who are more likely to purchase from you. There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to building up a valuable email database, slow, steady and organically wins the race every time.

2. Social Media’s Going to Kill Email
Yawn. Here we go again! Show me something online that you don’t actually need an email address to register or sign up for. We can all breathe out now; social media is not replacing email. In fact, social email and email marketing work rather well together. True, informal messages are increasingly found across social media platforms, which makes sense because responses are usually immediate. However a 2010 study by Merkle found that 42% of social media users check their email four or more times per day, compared to 27% that don’t use social media. In a similar line, MarketingSherpa reported that 75% of social media users said email was the best way for companies to communicate with them. The motivation and opportunity are right there, we just have to work harder to make sure we stand out (for all the right reasons) in our subscribers’ inbox.

3. Continuing to Send to Inactive Subscribers Will Eventually Make Them Change Their Minds
It’s difficult to let go of a subscriber and their valuable details when they start ignoring your email campaigns. Surely, this will be the email that will get them interested again, I hear you ask yourself. Sadly, this is rarely the case. Take comfort though in the fact that people lose interest for a number of reasons, some of which are out of your control. They simply might not be interested in what you’re selling any more, their circumstances might have changed, they’ve moved on, or they might only have subscribed to take advantage of a once-off offer and then didn’t bother unsubscribing. The right thing to do would be to send a special email that clearly asks (in the subject line and body of the message) if they would prefer to opt out or change their preference settings. And if they do, that’s fine. Rather end the ‘relationship’ gracefully, life goes on. Move inactive and unsubscribed email addresses to your suppression file and focus on those customers who are still interested. Not only will it save you money, but it will also keep your database highly relevant.



Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights. sign up

Welcome to Memeburn

Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest in digital insights.