The Danger in Mailing Too Often
How to keep your best customers
You know two facts at this point: frequent emails increase sales, but they turn some people off. You can live with losing nonbuyers; you can’t live as comfortably if you lose frequent buyers, especially if it’s because you send them too many emails. One solution is to treat your buyers better than your nonbuyers.
This solution wasn’t easy for either company to adopt. Both had a large brick-and-mortar presence and considered their email program as a sideline. They fell into a trap because all they collected from subscribers in the opt-in process was their email address and first name. Using that name, they could personalize the greeting in the content, but that was it. Going forward, their buyers got exactly the same emails as nonbuyers. The retailers could have appended data and created personalized emails just for buyers. Why didn’t they take advantage of the situation?
For both companies the answer is a common one among email marketers: they were so busy creating new emails that they had little or no staff resources available to create differentiated communications for buyers. Such mass emailers typically live hand-to-mouth. Each email offered deep discounts as inducements for their subscribers. Their management was seeking the least costly way of delivering emails.
Any marketer who proposes creating different emails for buyers versus nonbuyers will have a tough time convincing management that the extra expense is justified. But numbers don’t lie. According to JupiterResearch, “Engaging in relevant communications increases net profits by an average of 18 times more than broadcast mailings.” What can you do to get management’s attention on this situation?
Frequent emailing and the effect on offline sales
Not shown in the above chart are the offline sales attributed to these subscribers. Typically, 75 percent of offline purchases made by customers who are active on the web are made after research. Unquestionably, subscribers who received emails were prompted to go to the brand's local retail store to try on the clothing before they bought it.