Batch-and-Blast Emails Won’t Get You Out of a Sales Slump

People who aren’t ready to buy aren’t going to buy because you want them to buy, on your schedule, in your timeframe. Your customers don’t know (and likely would not care) if you are desperate for revenue, not meeting quotas, or missing your forecasts. Only you and your team care about that.

So why on earth do so many marketers spend their time crafting back-and-blast emails that they send to their entire lists with “this is on sale” or “here’s a special deal” or “sign up now” or “new arrivals” messaging?

After talking with thousands of marketers over the years, and seeing tens of thousands of marketing emails, I have come to a very obvious conclusion: it’s what they know how to do.

We have learned that most of our competitors, particularly the ones that only do email (think Constant Contact and Mailchimp here) are 100% engaged in getting people to use their products, and are not so engaged in teaching people how to do email marketing well. In fact, we saw recently that 4 of 5 marketers who actually HAVE great marketing automation platforms only use their platforms for blasting emails to their entire list.

FOUR OUT OF FIVE. OMG. We cried a little bit when we saw that; I gotta be honest with you. These are people who are paying thousands of dollars every month for full-boat marketing automation platforms, and they might as well be using one of the cheap platforms that do pretty much nothing except batch and blast emailing.

Hold on, I got a teardrop on my monitor somehow.

So we started asking ourselves – why? Why would people do this?

Here’s what we came up with:

Organizations are always after revenue (as they should be), which means one thing – MORE SALES NEEDED. Yup, we get that. So how can you use your email marketing to get people to buy? The obvious answer is to create a special offer – a discount, an extra service, a BOGO, whatever – and email it to the masses. After all, if they’re interested in your product or service, a good deal will push them right over the edge to becoming a customer, right?

No. That’s actually wrong – at least it’s wrong for about 94% of the people on your email list. A strategy designed to harvest the low-hanging fruit with every email is a strategy that is doomed to fail. 

Here’s the BIG MISTAKE marketers make: “If they’re not ready to buy, they just won’t open the email. That’s okay.”

It isn’t okay. 

If you constantly contact people with emails that aren’t relevant to them, they will opt-out from your list. They might actually click your unsubscribe link, or worse, they’ll just delete your emails when they see them – and you wont’ even know they’re doing it. Eventually your emails won’t even get to their inboxes, because your leads aren’t engaging with them. You are killing your list while you’re rejoicing in the 6% or so who actually became your customer.

This is bad.

Basically it’s cashing out the future for a relatively small short-term win.

When you sign up for an email platform, you get taught how to use that platform. Right? Whether you get in-person training or you get access to training videos, the training is all about how to use the product. That should be enough, right?

No. Learning a product is relatively easy, no matter what product it is. The biggest issue is that much training comes with examples that show how to create emails that “this is on sale” and “that’s on special.” So people who go through the training for whatever product that is end up thinking those are the kinds of emails to send.

Those aren’t the kind of emails to send. In fact, according to the Direct Marketing Association, over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all [batch and blast] campaigns. Triggered campaigns means “listening” to your leads and sending them emails that are specific to their interests. You don’t find much in a “how to use this product” that tells you how to do that effectively. In fact, many email marketing platforms are really just teaching you how to do email advertising. 

Here’s one more stat: relevant emails drive 18 times more traffic than broadcast emails, according to a study by Campaign Monitor. 

So, if emails need to be relevant, and you need to listen to your leads and respond to them, how do you learn how to do that? Well, first off, you want to recognize that you can’t do everything you want to do with many of the email platforms that are out there.

If you don’t know already, ask your email marketing service provider if they let you track and automatically respond to things like website page visits, downloads, form-fills, and if you can set up rules to send specific triggered emails according to what you’re learning from your leads. Ask them if there’s a way to see the entire history of a lead in one place, including every page visit, every form-fill, every download, every email opened, every email clicked, every email sent, etc. Ask them if they have rules that you can configure to cause actions based on triggers that you define. I’ll tell you, if you’re using a simple email marketing platform, you likely CAN’T do any of those things, whereas if you’re using a true marketing automation platform, like Genoo, WPMktgEngine, Hubspot, or Marketo, you likely CAN.

Even with all that,  how do you learn how to do email marketing in a way that will speak to the leads you get who aren’t ready to drop to the bottom of your sales funnel? We’ve found that our Email Expert Academy is one of the few, and perhaps the only training out there that teaches people how to listen to leads and respond to their interests.

You can email your way out of a sales slump, but only if you follow these three steps:

  1. Stop the batch-and-blast approach to emailing. Learn to listen to your leads, and guide them down THEIR journey, not your funnel. Trust me, when you guide your leads down their journey, they WILL follow your funnel – but in their time, not yours.
  2. Focus on getting relevant with your leads, and make sure your email marketing solution supports what you need to do.
  3. If you don’t know how to do anything other than “this is on sale” or “latest arrivals” emails, find a training program that will get you out of that rut. It will pay off for you big time.

There’s an art – and a bit of science – do doing email marketing in a way that will truly impact your sales results, in the short term and over the long haul. It doesn’t have to take any longer than the time you spend crafting “this is on sale” emails – and your results will speak for themselves. You just need to give it a chance.

About Margaret Johnson

Margaret is a business and technology veteran who started marketing accidentally nearly three decades ago - when she was five and a true marketing prodigy (ahem). When not coming up with awesome ideas, presenting webinars, or teaching about marketing, she's living with two cats, a crotchety fellow, and a house full of antiques and collectibles. She does not use Pinterest.

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