If anyone ever tells you that successful email marketing is a numbers game, that person is probably not as good a marketer as he or she thinks. Sure, that tactic might deliver some results, but I guarantee it is far from hitting maximum efficiency.
The “numbers game” email marketer risks:
- List Fatigue: As lists are hit time and time again with less-than-optimized campaigns, potential clients become blind to your offers (or they simply unsubscribe).
- Creative Blocks: The pressure to continuously dream up new and creative campaign ideas can have a detrimental effect on the quality of your sends.
- Lack of Focus: In an effort to maintain list size and continue to play the numbers game, the marketer targets new subscribers at any cost and fails to focus on quality over quantity.
- Personal Burnout: The numbers game marketer is a busy fool. As list quality declines and campaigns fail to resonate with subscribers, the marketer needs to work harder to maintain any level of success.
Fact: The marketing numbers game is destined to fail because the more people you hit with a campaign, the less targeted it will become.
Stop Thinking Numbers, Start Thinking Targeting
Before I send a campaign, I never really worry about how many people it will hit. I think instead about how relevant it is to my audience.
I would rather send a highly targeted campaign to a tiny subset of my list than risk future engagement with my subscribers.
Note: The more targeted your campaigns, the more emails you can send to the various subsets of your list. This might sound a little contradictory, but it is the only smart way to play the numbers game.
Of course, the proof is in the pudding.
I recently oversaw the sending of two campaigns for a client. The first was a highly targeted send to a small group of people (less than 50) who had recently attended a seminar organized by the client. The second was a more general campaign sent to a larger subset of the list (approx. 250 names).
The results were staggering.
The targeted send resulted in an open rate of 47.2% and a click-through rate (CTR) of 22%, generating four business leads and (to date) $1,800 in confirmed business.
The more general send was much less successful, with a 23% open rate (I know some people would kill for this), a 3.9% CTR and (to date) zero revenue.
While email marketing remains the most cost-effective and efficient form of marketing available to businesses of all sizes, if you are not taking the time to segment your lists and send highly targeted campaigns, you will never reach your full potential.
Are you still playing the numbers game? How has limiting your sends driven success? Share your comments below:
This post first appeared on the iContact Email Marketing Blog.