Email Marketing Needs to Get Back to Basics

I2mblog_roomstore Yesterday I came across this box banner ad for the Room Store on the Washington Post homepage.  As a consumer, I went to the Room Store 2 weeks ago, and fell in love with a two piece brown leather sofa set.  Since the list price is more than $2000, I figured I would wait for a sale.  So along comes this banner ad, which I click on hoping to find the sale I was waiting for.  But the imagery on the landing page suggests that this particular sale is just for mattresses.  So I continue to the website hoping to find an email form where I might opt-in to receive marketing messages about future sales.  Here I am, a consumer – knowing what I want, that I want to buy it from Room Store, that it is (presumably) a high margin item for the store, and wanting to placed on their marketing list … and I came away from the site anonymously.  They don’t know who I am, or anything about my purchase intent.

As far as squandered opportunities go, this would seem fairly huge … but certainly not common, right?  Wrong, according to a new article from Marketing Sherpa (article has free access until 10/23).  In their coverage of a survey released by SilverPop today, they state that 29% of the top 360 companies (as listed by Dun & Bradsteet rankings) don’t offer an email opt-in form anywhere on their Web sites!  With all the backlash against spam and making opt-outs easy, are marketers forgetting about the opt-ins?  Right now the prevailing "glass half empty" view of email marketing makes it a risky proposition where companies often have more legal reviews that content reviews of outbound marketing messages.  The lesson here is that successful email marketing campaigns need to focus on getting back to the basics … a customer gives us their email address, and we send him/her relevant messages that they will care about.  It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

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