Is sending something less relevant, better than sending nothing?

There in lies the conundrum for marketers, especially email marketers. If you send nothing, you get nothing back. If you send something that isn’t relevant, you get some sales but you also get unsubscribes, which are worse than nothing. Is sending something less relevant, usually discounts, better than sending nothing? That depends.

I have heard plenty of marketers saying you should send more because you will weed out those who aren’t interested, and in the end, end up with more. And if you have a customer who is motivated by discounts that probably works well. So sending more is what determines the type of customers you end up with.

I have also heard plenty of marketers say that sending only relevant, branded things is slower but it builds a stronger tribe. So sending more relevant, branded things, creates a smaller ecosystem of customers who care about what you offer, and not what that costs. That’s a good plan if your customer isn’t just looking for discounts.

Interestingly I don’t hear a lot of marketers talk about sending enough. It’s like the hose is on, or off. This week I received over 158 emails offering me discounts. There are so many that I simply don’t have time to go through them. Rather than making me excited to shop, they feel like work, something I have to get through. If all a company sends me is discounts they get sent to my discounts folder which I only check when I am shopping and, it’s free money so sure, I’m in.

The new “trick” to get around that is to change the “from” email address. I almost feel bad for mentioning it, because if everyone does it, and then just sends more of the same emails, the ones that banished them to the discounts folder in the first place, it’s just more work for me. But if you change your ways, you stand a chance at staying in the main stream. Behave and do something worthy.

If you want to stand out in a crowded field, start asking yourself “What do I love about my customer?” I bet it isn’t that they use coupons. Just sayin’.

All the best,

Sarah Fletcher

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