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Email marketing has been a revolution. Not only can it be timed and targeted to perfection, it is cheaper than most other forms of direct marketing, making it accessible to many more companies.
However, from regularly speaking to people in the industry, and looking at my own inbox, many companies are not taking the same care with their email direct marketing as they would offline. This is causing problems for the industry and the companies themselves.
A recent report by SoftScan announced that 90% of the emails they scanned in July were spam, the average throughout the year being 85%.
This is a lot of spam. However a survey from Return Path found that more than a third of people labelled emails as junk or spam, even though they had actually signed up for it.
Do companies not realise that if they are wrongly labelled as spammers, they may be blacklisted by ISPs?
Why is it that many companies still seem to think that if they send out millions of untargeted emails - instead of thousands of targeted ones - they will get a better response rate?
This may be true for some industries in the short term, but such an approach can do irreparable damage to a company's brand in the long term, with consumers learning to ignore emails they recognise as irrelevant.
We try to encourage companies to always put their customers first and ensure that what they send is timely and relevant. This may mean that we make less money because we are encouraging them to send lower volume of emails, but not spamming your customers can only be good for your long term relationship with them.
Just because email is cheaper than most other marketing vehicles, it needs to be treated with as much care and attention to detail as you would give to your other methods of direct marketing.