Over the past year, I’ve noticed hundreds of emails come to my inbox and hundreds sent from my company to senior executives across the country. There’s a clear tactic of sending to get something out the door, but I’m not noticing any real strategy; it all ends the same way – “come to our webinar,” “come get our white paper.”

Clearly “content” is king right now, but I’m wondering if we concentrate on the content so much we forget about really trying to help the person we are contacting educate themselves? I’m not noticing a stream of conciousness or path with these emails that might show me what was developed was a campaign that truly helps me solve a need or problem. I see quick hits as if someone is trying to get my attention but not sure how.

I’d suggest a different tactic – why not email an invite to run the webinar. Let your audience member(s) choose the topic and all you do is facilitate the webinar or conference call. It would be interesting to see what happens then – by listening you may actually learn more and be able to develop a strategy around what you’ve learned. Or by all means just keep emailing me and I’ll keep deleting them.

4 thoughts on “Is email marketing making us dumber?

    • So let’s get into that detail. My current experience is that you can lead an executive buyer down a particular buying path. We’ve seen it on our website with Omniture reports that show us how the majority of people work through certain pages gathering certain information. Yet, when it comes to email I’ve noticed a preponderance of “batch and blast.”

      Marketers send, send, send without trying to get to know me better by asking questions that could give them more clues to what my be relevant to me. All this can be thought out before implementation. Like a website path, we should have multiple paths that we think people will go down if they respond certain ways.

      But we tend to be too linear in our thinking and only want to take the person to a specific point (i.e. the webinar) and then we dump them. John Drachman mentions some of the things his firm does in this same blog. I’m sure there are people out there doing it, but it’s very few.

      I just don’t see many well layed out plans. Even if all we did was create more than one path after someone attended a webinar, that would be success to some degree – a baby step forward.

      One path might be to send a follow up survey, and based on answering just one specific question – “What pain are you experiencing now that you would like to see as future topics,” (answered via drop-down menu) you develop a path for each. A series of specific offers that align to a buy-cycle. People looking for education get an e-book or white paper, then they have the option to attend a more detailed webinar, finally a case study or self-service tool that helps their decisioning.

      The path could be the same elements, but they’d have different content. This isn’t easy work. It’s harder than creating the email and webinar, etc., but I’ve noticed most marketers while exclaiming that they are strategists really prefer the tactical, and thus I get a lot of disjointed email offers.

      What are you doing or would like to do?

  1. We’re finding that email campaigns with invitations to webinars work best in a targeted way. An RIA combined efforts with an estate attorney in a Center of Influence strategy that brought together two, qualified mailings lists for cross-selling purposes. The result of the email campaign, webinars and some targeted third-party blogging led to increased AUM over an eight-week period. It was a nice little success story — http://tiny.cc/nZkGq –for the dog days of summer.

    • Once you get the attendees to a webinar what kind of follow up do you do? Do you do something specific to the attendees that you don’t do for non-attendees to treat them differently?

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