Marketers are always trying to make a good impression, but even the most successful email campaigns hover around a 96% failure rate. I’m probably being generous. A quick search on Quora finds EmailStatsCenter data from 2006 showing the very best conversion rates (on “click-stream based campaigns) at around 4%. 98% failure is quite acceptable in this arena, depending on various factors. A 2% conversion rate is actually pretty good, in most cases. Yay #Fail?!?!
Attention-grabbing headline? Check. Provocative opening? Ok, sure. My response rate on this post? Hard to measure. Probably worse than 4%, but against a much larger potential reach, but also a much less targeted reach. That’s one area where email marketing has an edge. Today, email marketing it’s measurable from click to revenue contribution.
The benefit of my 4% success rate in Email Marketing is that I know exactly who I was targeting, that they should be relatively interested in what I’m saying, and that I can measure my success all the way through to a sale (big assumption: your company has given you the proper email marketing and automation tools with integration to SFA/CRM to make this happen).
I’m all for Social Media as a key channel for today’s marketer, but the most important thing to remember is the C word: Content! Marketers need content for every stage of the buying cycle and in multiple formats for consumption.
Like it or not, 96% failure rate and all, email remains an important and measurable channel for delivering your messages, teasing your content, and pointing the wayward prospect in the right direction, down the funnel towards a purchase of your solution. Of course, every email marketer must try to improve response rates: Test Subject lines and offers, optimize … do all of that gory MASH unit surgery on your email campaigns to improve them. Don’t settle for 98% or 96% failure by any means, but do understand that the numbers don’t lie. In the end, email marketing remains a frustrating, necessary evil for many marketers, but a glorious and ever-changing challenge for others.
I’m always amazed when I find the people whose eyes sparkle when recounting countless A/B optimizations on their way to a .25% increase in response rates leading to, for example, 1 additional deal.
When you find those folks, find a way to lure them in, lock them in their cube with the marketing system, and throw away the key. There really is magic in squeezing that extra tiny bit of performance from a well-targeted email campaign, and that 96% failure drives lots of revenue.