E-commerce Link: Bypass the Inbox
E-mail marketing may not be in a state of crisis, but it certainly is not as productive as it once was. Every marketer knows that it’s getting more difficult to get a message into the inbox of suitable customers, and harder still to make the recipients act on it. To supplement e-mail marketing efforts, aggressive online marketers are tapping into new tools and technologies that consumers now are finding valuable. These new approaches provide marketers with a great opportunity for highly targeted marketing communications with individual consumers.
The Problem With E-mail
Traditional e-mail marketing messages increasingly are more difficult to deliver to the consumer. Every Internet service provider (ISP) seems to have different requirements that change daily, and failure to comply can mean non-delivery and far worse—blacklisting. Even if you can identify and follow the ever-evolving best practices for e-mail creation, your best-crafted message could meet an undeserved fate in a spam filter. In a recent Jupiter Research study, 60 percent of marketers polled said spam filters reduce the effectiveness of their e-mail marketing campaigns.
If that isn’t enough trouble, diligent marketers who work to stay on ISP whitelists still may face what amounts to an e-mail tax. AOL recently announced it would require marketers to pay for Goodmail’s e-mail certification if they want to remain on AOL’s whitelist. E-mails from marketers who don’t pay will be subjected to the tender mercies of AOL’s spam filters, and this could mean blocked messages and lost sales. Many in the industry expect other ISPs to follow AOL’s lead, increasing the cost of e-mail marketing for everyone.
Another major hurdle is the unpredictability of a human audience. E-mail addresses change regularly, making long-term contact tenuous. There also is no guarantee that any given e-mail will be compelling enough to make someone open it.