I was just paid $16.56 for my email address. You read that right: CVS, the drug and pharmacy chain, paid upwards of $15 to acquire my email address. There I was in my local store buying about $40 worth of health and personal care items when they offered me an instant 20% savings on my purchase in exchange for my email address. So I gave it to the clerk, resulting in a discount of $8.28, which somehow (likely by mistake) was applied twice for a total savings to me (and cost to CVS) of $16.56.
At two recent business events (which did not provide exhibitors and sponsors with attendee lists) I noticed exhibitors actually paying attendees cold hard cash in exchange for their email addresses. Yes, they were handing out the green stuff in a blatant, unmasked trade for data. One business coach offered passers-by $1 for a name and email address and $5 for a completed lead qualification questionnaire. At another event, an exhibiting sponsor held a stack of crisp, fresh dollar bills and asked each visitor if she would like $1 in exchange for her email address. Most attendees cruising the exhibits at these events happily gave up their email addresses and took the money!
Compared to a dollar, $16.56 might seem like a pretty hefty price to pay for an email address, but we would do well to reserve judgment by remembering that the value of an email (or any marketing list) subscriber is entirely [click to continue…]
This faithful servant deserves to be treated like royalty instead. Here’s why . . .
After over a decade in successful use there is abundant proof that email is not only the connective tissue of all data-driven marketing but also the revenue-producing juggernaut of digital efforts. Yet despite claiming the highest ROI of all direct marketing channels at 28.5%1, the highest driver of online conversions2 and the number two spot (second only to search) in new customer acquisition3 email marketing is still too often swept out of sight, called upon only when we need miracles worked. In over a decade of experience with the channel, I am too frequently surprised and dismayed that email is not receiving nearly the attention and investment it economically deserves.
Like Cinderella in the classic fairy tale, email dutifully goes about its business quietly completing a wide variety of marketing tasks without complaint – from prospect qualification to lead nurturing to direct sales. It also does plenty of less attractive, more menial labor in the transactional messaging realm such as conveying confirmations, notifications, reminders and alerts and just like Cinderella, is frequently under-resourced and kept out of sight until needed.
But when it’s needed, batten down the hatches, for email will be heavily (if not impossibly) leaned upon to achieve quarterly or annual revenue goals, save jobs and launch new products. Also like Cinderella, email marketing professionals will be expected to work nearly twenty-four hours a day with barely enough energy to stumble into bed long after midnight only to wake before sunrise to do it all over again.
I recently led a training workshop for mid-sized businesses on integrating inbound marketing channels, a lynchpin of which was email. In showing the many campaign examples I included in my teaching materials, I was surprised at [click to continue…]