I was talking with a potential new customer who contacted us to review their deliverability and to see if we could help them with getting more of their emails to the inbox.
With any call, we start out asking a TON of questions. We need to understand exactly what they are doing today and what sort of results they are getting.
While they’re using an expensive marketing automation solution, integrated with their Salesforce CRM, they might as well be using Constant Contact or Mailchimp and saving a LOT of money… because they’re not using the marketing automation platform to help them really at all.
They have 20k leads on their list. Half of them have already opted out! Of the 10k left that are receiving emails, only a very small number are opening their emails, let alone clicking through.
They are getting complaints that some of their “regular” emails are going into the spam folder… which is embarrassing if it’s an email coming from a sales person.
Then we reviewed what kind of emails they send out — so on a weekly basis, they send out emails in this pattern:
- Sales promotional emails -at least once a week to leads and prospects.
- Webinar invitations – twice a week to the entire database, including customers
- Rewards emails – 2 times a week to customers
- Newsletter – once a month (heavily sales oriented)
- Event announcements – as needed based on location
Yes, if you add that up, you’ll see most of their contacts get at least 10-12 emails per month, and some could get as many as twenty emails every single month.
Their CEO is apparently mandating the number of sales emails that go out and that they must be sales promotions. “We should always have an active promotion in market.” This is super unfortunate – because the interpretation of “sales email” is very specific here… and is likely why they are burning their list today. It’s crazy! Let me ask you a question… if I ask you to buy today, and you say “No thanks” or take no action at all, will it make any difference if I ask you every single week? If I just keep giving you coupons, or offers? Likely not. (Are you ready yet? How about now? How about now? 🙂 See what I mean?)
If they could take action – and they need to – we could help them. But it would take revamping their approach to sending emails, and changing the way they format their “sales” messages. It’s really an email content strategy – a messaging strategy that will better resonate with their target audience.
Turns out what they “really” wanted wasn’t to change their habits, but to FIX their deliverability issue – to continue sending what they were sending, and somehow improve their deliverability — as if the two questions separate and distinct. They had an idea that improving deliverability wouldn’t require any changes in their current sending practices or messaging.
It reminds me of a story about people who need to change their habits, but would rather get surgery to remove a problem than change their lifestyle one iota. Interesting — and I’m reminded of what my dad used to say: “You either have everything you want in life…. or all the reasons why you don’t.” Exactly!