With an increasing amount of marketing utilizing email rather than postal mailing, we are asked more and more for as many email addresses in a sector as possible – after all, many companies think there is only a small cost penalty for adding a few more hundred names to an email and sending it out to the maximum number of people, compared to the print, post and fulfilment costs of a direct mail piece.
Loss of credibility
There may be little cost penalty, however there is a credibility and time penalty. Large amounts of bounces do not impress email delivery services and clog up in-boxes, plus poorly targeted emails will ensure your domain is registered on spam lists before you have even got through to the real person you need to get to.
No anonymous emails
Email marketing should be just as tightly targeted as direct mail – an [email protected] or [email protected] email is even less likely to hit any sort of target than a “For the attention of the Sales Director” titled postal letter – whilst we are not recommending a non-named direct mail piece, at least it will arrive in the building!
Out of date more quickly
In turn, the speed of change with email addresses is frightening. Add to that the accelerating level of change of personnel within businesses (right now, who feels safe from redundancy/downsizing??), and the quality and accuracy of an email list is tough to keep on top of.
Follow up: you need to be selling, not data cleansing…
Even the most attractive message in an email is very unlikely these days to get someone replying straight off with a “I’ve not used you before, but here’s an order for your fine product, please ship it immediately”.
Life is more complicated than that, so follow-up is essential. And what is the point of laboriously following up on the emails you sent out if up to 50% of them result in a call all about data cleansing rather than the chance to make a sales pitch – “No, he/she isn’t here anymore, you need to amend your records [and stop wasting my time…]”
Do the maths
Ensuring that an email address is up-to-date, accurate and relevant to the marketing objective requires more time and care than just supplying any old list with thousands of names, so, yes, it’s likely to cost a bit more…
However in terms of VALUE across the whole process, including the likely conversion rate, it is a worthwhile investment if done correctly – after all, quality outperforms quantity every time…