The Danger in Mailing Too Often
The offline sales due to these emails were significant, but the problem is that no one knows how significant. The reason these sales don’t show up on the chart is because these retailers didn’t maintain customer marketing databases that showed sales from all channels. Creating such a marketing database costs more than $1 million per year. That kind of expenditure just doesn’t fit into the business model of the heavily discounting mass emailer. If they had calculated their off-email multiplier, they'd have realized that the emails were generating up to $40 million in total sales rather than the $10 million they thought. With numbers like these, which they didn't have, spending $1 million for a database would have made sense.
So, what should you do with your email program? Here are some ideas to consider:
- put coupons in your emails that are good in-store as well as on your e-commerce site;
- feature products in your emails that aren't advertised elsewhere;
- set up a loyalty program so that customers will let you know when they're buying, no matter which channel;
- use surveys to get feedback from your email subscribers; and
- give unsubscribers the choice to change the frquency with which they receive email from you — it's better than losing them completely.
Arthur Middleton Hughes is vice president of The Database Marketing Institute. This article is taken from his new book, "Strategic Database Marketing, 4th Edition." Arthur can be reached at Arthur.firstname.lastname@example.org.