E-Mail Myths and Realities
By David Bancroft Avrick
Bulk unsolicited e-mail is dead. When you rent a list (even a double-opt-in-list) and send your offer—that's unsolicited e-mail. And it's dead.
This article doesn't concern e-mails to your customers. Customer relationship management (CRM) is the most logical and viable use of the Internet. It's highly successful, misunderstood and greatly underutilized.
Similarly, unsolicited e-mails to highly targeted professionals are successful. These are lists of hundreds of names of individuals with a refined business specialty. If you're sending them exciting, current information about their specialty, e-mail can be effective.
This article pertains to the mass amount of e-mails companies are sending out. This includes list brokers who offer huge lists of individuals who have registered their areas of interest in return for something—a bribe (e.g., sweepstakes, free lottery, coupons or samples, redeemable points).
When I signed up on one of these sites, indicated my areas of interest and agreed to receive e-mails, I never understood that I was opening my in-box to an onslaught of e-mail messages, most of which I didn't care about.
In this article I'll list some e-mail myths and their 21st century realities. Dot-com disasters are well known, but most disasterous e-mail campaigns are not front-page news. Why? Because dot-coms are public companies and their health, or illness, is public information. The failure of e-mail campaigns, on the other hand, is hush-hush. The reality is that e-mail is in exactly the same condition as the dot-coms.
You must accept the negative reality of this amazing marketing media—but also understand the enormous profit potential.
Myth: E-mail is the greatest advertising media.
Reality: There's overwhelming evidence that e-mail as the perfect marketing medium is one of the biggest myths of the last decade—a farce perpetrated by those with a vested interest. E-mail is effective for customer retention and the delivery of product information. Your customers love the ability to instantly learn what's hot, on sale, new and different.