It can be hard for most email marketers to step back from the never-ending campaign production cycle to see what else is going on besides their own deployments. Given this column and my own business, I always want to know what other email professionals are focusing on and concerned about. So when my company and this gets its own fair share of email water cooler talk. I expect deliverability related issues will get more mind share as change resistant marketers see their campaigns trend downward and are compelled to finally address the issues.
According to a recent Forrester Research study, email has reached almost universal penetration, with 97 percent of consumers and 94 percent of marketers using the channel. With this staggering number, how many marketers could be left on the fence deciding if they should dive into the email space?
The big takeaway from the interest in this type of research and related metrics is hopefully that CMOs and CFOs finally begin to invest in email accordingly. Most email teams are stretched thin as it is and as this channel becomes near ubiquitous, marketers should use this to their advantage as they fight for more marketing resources and dollars.
Twenty years from now, I suspect this will be a top five email conversation piece as well. However, it amazes me that as much noise that surrounds the number of emails sent by a company, there is little action or change to correlate with this key topic. First and foremost, try asking your subscribers how often they want to get messages from you. Also, test segmenting your non responders with a roll up of your messages that lightens the frequency of emails they receive. Just like three calls a week to mom might be too much, try pulling back on your list, too.
My guess is this area is misunderstood and well trafficked as marketers seek information on what authentication really means, who should be utilizing it and how. This could be positive news for those offering services in this area as there is at least a curiosity in this relatively new niche of email marketing deliverability services.
What's not on email marketers' minds?
Just as telling from my research was the least viewed category: spam. I would like to think this is because all marketers are fully compliant with CAN-SPAM but with 81 percent of marketers unaware of CAN-SPAM (WebSurveyor Corp.) I am afraid this is not the case. Let's hope we see a trend in CAN-SPAM compliance for all email marketers.
When you are assembling a campaign scorecard and meeting with your team discussing key takeaways and insights gathered (you do this, right?), I hope reviewing these heavily trafficked areas to see what to make of them in the overall context of the email marketing industry progress in 2007 should help move your own program forward.
G. Simms Jenkins is founder and principal of BrightWave Marketing, an Atlanta-based Email Marketing and Customer Relationship Services firm. .