Stephanie Miller's Engagement Matters: The Myth (and Potential Pitfall) of Email Revenue
What’s wrong with email marketing revenue? Nothing, except when it’s not optimized and could easily be 20 percent to 100 percent higher! Plus, how can a business sustain itself when it acts like “that sales guy” who sells you something but leaves you with such a bad taste in your mouth that you regret it and never engage or buy again?
This is what subscribers feel when they faithfully sign up for email marketing and instead get a lousy experience. Face it: All those people on your file who haven’t responded in a long time are likely thinking you're “that sales guy.”
Email works really well. It’s the reason everyone internally wants to send email messages to every subscriber for each announcement and promotion. Email teams set up these messages despite your nagging fears. You know that too many messages — especially when untargeted and self-promotional — turn off subscribers, churn the file and risk high complaints (i.e., clicks on the "Report Spam" button), which depress inbox placement and response. You see the proof in your data: Some portion, perhaps even a majority, of the file hasn't opened or clicked in a really long time.
Despite that empirical evidence, it sometimes seems like the magic fountain of email marketing revenue never abates. It’s difficult to make a case for doing the hard work of segmentation and creative testing if the channel still “works” without it.
The truth is, most email marketing programs leave significant revenue on the table. In my experience, even simple segmentation can boost campaign results by up to 150 percent. In 2009, Marketing Sherpa found that segmentation increased overall email campaign results an average of 22 percent.
It’s a clear choice: Either have churn, subscriber fatigue, missed results, lower lifetime values, or earn more sales and revenue, higher short-term and long-term response and value, stronger subscriber satisfaction, and improved word-of-mouth. Why not segment to create better experiences for subscribers?