Think like an email recipient

Don’t think like an email sender, think like an email recipient.

A few days ago I went on a crusade to clear my personal email inbox. I’ve been inundated lately.

“One day sale – 30% off jeans”. I don’t need another pair of jeans. And I definitely do not want to hear about them every day. Unsubscribe.

“Last minute weekend: Air & Hotel from $429″ Yeah that would be nice but it’s not going to happen. In fact, if I ever took a last minute vacation, it wouldn’t be due to an email from a travel website. Unsubscribe.


Not relevant to me at all. Unsubscribe.

“Have you tried our pumpkin cappacino?”  Nope. But I will continue to buy my morning coffee. My order has not once changed and it probably never will. Unsubscribe.

Am I alone here or can other people relate to where I’m going with this? As marketers we love email campaigns because we can track their progress and demonstrate very tangible results. Someone will buy that pair of skinny jeans. Someone will book the weekend trip to St Louis. And someone will even become hooked on pumpkin cappuccinos. The ROI on these types of emails is assured to be positive, right? Minimal effort for guaranteed sales.

Not really. Marketers fail to look beyond the scope of a single campaign. Far too often, the bigger picture is not considered. Is it not inevitable that people will eventually unsubscribe if they are never opening your emails? What is the acceptable threshold a consumer will tolerate when it comes to marketing emails in their inbox? Will email marketing become over saturated to the point that telemarketing reached in the 1990s? What degree of attrition is acceptable? These are all questions we need to be asking ourselves as marketers. We need to look at things not just from the perspective of managing outbound campaigns, but also from the perspective of consumers receiving multiple emails per day.

Next time you are planning a campaign, stop for a minute and consider the following: 1) How will this affect our brand in the long term? 2) what lessons can I apply from my personal inbox that might be relevant to the campaign I’m about to schedule?

Zurmo allows recipients of email marketing the option of unsubscribing globally or from specific lists.

marketing lists

I was pretty shocked to find that none of the major companies from which I recently unsubscribed gave me the option of receiving emails on a less frequent basis. What if that clothing company had given me a last ditch option to receive emails only on a monthly basis for styles and sizes that are completely personalized to my preferences?

We all need to be prepared to add many more options to our customers who receive emails from us. does a great job of narrowing down search results based on pretty detailed filters. What if the same kind of filtering could be used by customers to subscribe to lists? I know I would like that.

I do not know  what the future will look like, but I am positive the market will demand more options. In the meantime, all I ask is to be spared from pumpkin cappuccino. Is that too much to ask?

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