According to Forrester Research's January First Look Report- Market Intelligence:
"Four out of five online US consumers have unsubscribed from e mails companies send them, citing irrelevant content as the top reason"
Here is our take on what is happening to the message and the medium.
- The medium is in effect our Inbox and even after careful "double opt in" consideration, we are getting too many messages into our inbox on a daily basis. This actually factors down into an average of 4 hours per day of time spent by business people glued to their computer's inbox. Productivity gains can be upped dramatically by reducing this to 1 hour.
- PDA and Blackberry use is up dramatically and newsletter type html pages do not bode well for attention over text based e mails. Coupled with low content value, they are sent to the trash can.
- Content that is packaged by e Marketing Gurus that told marketers to use "Long Copy" ads to pitch their wares. If the message is pure sales push AND uses the dreaded "Long Copy" - it's gone.
- Intelligent SPAM filtering that is now using many of the key words and phrases that were previously successful are now implemented within the ISP level and then by firewalls, and finally Outlook type filters and rules.
If we look purely at why the content is of no value, we need to frame the discussion in terms of Social Media best practices. One other report from a survey done by Anderson Analytics for the Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) cited that Marketing Executives are "Sick of Web 2.0" in terms of buzzwords, but had no idea of how it works, why it works or how to go about implementation.
So you can see that there is a wide gap between what WAS working in on line marketing and what isn't in a short period of time. Marketing executives have to determine what content is relevant and why.
Looking at the success of Blogging/ communities as a benchmark (those that lead the success stories) content is relevant because those who read the Blog can also comment on the topic. E mail marketing is usually a one way "shout out" relying on calls to action that translate into CPC / sales. Unless you are marketing a price sensitive commodity to existing consumers, this model is doomed- especially if you are trying this method a a first time trial in 2009. Those touting Constant Contact as the way to go for e marketing are missing the point of this Blog post- 80% of consumers are opting out!
Marketing Executives who are "sick of Web 2.0" are also missing the point. If they want to concentrate on CUSAT and Customer retention as a strategy to "survive the economic downturn" they are missing the opportunity to engage with not only their existing customers, but thousands on potentially net new customers. Fear of the unknown has left Marketing Exec's in "Do Nothing" mode, because it feels safe to the veterans who either have to ask for budget, wait until someone else justifies it or perhaps it just "goes away".
Well, we are betting that Social Media Marketing is here to stay. Maybe we can help your company turn the corner and embrace the opportunity rather than wait for push marketing successes to grind to an even lower ROI benchmark.