The Case for Sending More Emails

This email originally appeared in the November 22nd edition of The Scribble, KYC's weekly marketing newsletter. You can subscribe to The Scribble at the top of this page.

I read an article last week in the October 2017 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine that talked about the frequency that companies send out emails and argued that more emails may be beneficial to your bottom line. It really got me thinking and had me looking at my inbox differently.

Email marketing continues to be a strong player in the digital marketing game. Sure social media is bringing home lots of engagement, but email still puts the most revenue in your pocket. That is probably why people are so concerned with click through rates and unsubscribes. But what if those metrics were really holding us back? What would happen if we weren’t afraid to click the send button more often?

In the article, Dela Quist, a CEO of a marketing firm, argued that companies should be sending more emails instead of less and not worry about bothering their customers. This concept makes a majority of digital marketers break out into a cold sweat. But if you shift your perception of email as he has, it starts to make sense. He argues that we naturally associate email with physical mail because of the evolution from pieces of mailings to their electronic counterpart. Even though a large portion of mailings were replaced with an electronic facsimile, the stigma of ‘junk mail’ remained. However, if you think of emails as a broadcast medium (television, radio or streaming), then it makes sense to shift the goal towards getting your email campaign in front of as many people as possible more frequently and away from worrying about annoying them.

Seeing your brand’s name in the ‘From’ column in your inbox can still make an impact regardless of whether the email is opened or not. Any branding expert will tell you that keeping your company’s name in front of your customers is key. My ‘a-ha’ moment for this article was when I realized last week that I got an email from L.L.Bean and remembered that I wanted to order some Bean Boots since I was forced to admit that winter was actually going to show up this year. Now, I only subscribe to a select few retailer emails. That being said, I’ve only shopped at L.L.Bean maybe once or twice in the last three years. But I don’t click unsubscribe because it’s a brand I love and they throw out some good sales occasionally. So just seeing the email pop up reminded me that there was something I wanted to buy, so I headed to the website to scoop up a new pair of boots.

But because I didn’t go to through a link in the email, the money I spent can’t be directly credited to the email campaign (sorry guys!). This was another point that Quist brought up. Emails can drive revenue from emails in other ways than clicks such as direct website visits or trips to a retail store. Just as it’s a challenge to know how much revenue a company gained from a certain commercial, it’s the same for emails. True, email campaigns give us more direct metrics than anything else, but you can’t always put an exact dollar amount on it. Your emails are probably making you more money than the metrics are telling you.

Quist also challenged the idea of segmentation. He suggests it may be more beneficial to spend less time on making different messages for each segment and more time on a better message to your whole list. Of course, campaigns will always result in unsubscribes, low open rates and low click throughs. But, if you go with Quist’s thinking, you should spend less time worrying about that and more time building up your email list.

By no means do I think you should rev up your email marketing campaign to a crazy amount of emails every day. But I do think the data that Quist presented should encourage you to take more chances instead of being chained to the fear of metrics or nuisance. You may find that more… actually more.