I subscribe to the Magill Report and try to read every article Ken Magill puts together as he writes in a perfect balance of entertainment, sarcasm and education. I can’t recommend subscribing more. This past week’s newsletter had an article that really rustled my jimmies, however. It was a recap of Dela Quist’s presentation to the Direct Marketing Club of New York.
First, I know this is a standard spiel from Dela regarding send more to make more, but there were some key phrases in the recap that really bothered me, primarily this one:
…he said. “You get the idiots who shouldn’t be on the list off the list because they unsubscribe. I love unsubscribes. Get off my list. You have free will and the opportunity to do so. Get off my list.”
Why did that bother me so much? Well, if we are talking about the legitimate email marketing universe, ie. those that obtain permission prior to sending, the people that subscribe are not “idiots” and we should not treat them as such.
If we work hard to gain their permission to send in the first place (which is difficult due to spammers and marketers that do exactly what Quist is suggesting to the frustration of recipients) we should not be so cavalier about irritating them to the point of unsubscribing, much less call them names that imply we think they’re all a bunch of simpletons who don’t get the genius that shouts at them from our email campaigns.
The world has changed. The way we can communicate and sell to consumers has changed. The facts are the facts regarding sending too frequently (see the chart in this post) and it’s time Quist gets on board with that and decide not to be controversial just for the sake.
Reasons people unsubscribe. Source: Hubspot
We in the industry are not cowards for advising people not to send more and more push marketing content no matter how many times Quist insists we are.
The goal should not be to send more, but to send smart.
Because we work so hard to get into the inbox in the first place, we should not abuse that fragile trust by blasting our subscribers away with email.
What Quist does not include in the numbers calculation presented in the article is the cost to acquire new subscribers and the opportunity cost of each lost subscriber. These numbers can, and likely will, be greater than the gains from sending one more email.
He does clarify in the comments stating that he’s not recommending just sending untargeted blast emails, however, it does sound like he’s trying to oversimplify something that is much more complex than “more emails = more money”.
Fact is I have run tests with clients ramping up the frequency of sendings and what usually happens is the quality suffers and the quantifiable increases in ROI (Return on Investment) becomes almost negligible compared to lost potential gains.
Bottom line? It seems we are all in agreement that sending more valuable content to subscribers is a good idea and will result in short-term, as well as long-term, gains. BUT – where we differ is in how we approach the sending frequency. As marketers have so little time during their day to spend on email, I would much prefer they send less frequent, more valuable messages that gives their subscribers a brilliant impression if I have to choose an option.
What are your thoughts on the topic? Have any of you run tests for frequency and seen an impact either way? Share your findings below.