Like the apple in the Garden of Eden, marketers want to take a bite out of cross-channel marketing opportunities. While it is clear that marketers understand there is opportunity in cross-channel marketing, what is equally clear is that the scope of the opportunity is, at times, eluding the most sophisticated marketers. With that in mind, let's review some of the basic stats that underpin the cross-channel opportunity.
In 2006, ISPs started to rethink how they evaluated inbound email. AOL, Gmail, Microsoft and Yahoo! began to realize the old approach of counting complaints and hard bounces was a poor way to identify spammers. The truth was spammers found "work-arounds" that allowed them to avoid ISP thresholds. How did a seemingly unrelated event, like changes to email filters, force marketers to rethink application of email marketing best practices?
Marketers must rethink their approach to email marketing. First, simply sending more emails in the same period actually drives down overall engagement rates, forcing marketers to carefully consider the critical "what" and "to whom" when it comes to email marketing. Second, because ISPs started looking at engagement rates, marketers must consider how far back into their database to go to identify prospects for a campaign. Mailing more "inactive" customers drives down engagement rates, while simply cutting off "X-month" inactives significantly reduces the targetable audience.