How much email marketing is enough?

How is your marketing program surviving during this recession? Are you seeing different results? Have you changed the volume of campaigns you execute—either fewer or more?

Some businesses yank in the reins on their marketing in order to save money, which has never made sense to me. You want more sales but expect to achieve that with less investment. The math doesn’t add up.

Others go crazy with excessive emailing, to the point I unsubscribe.

How much marketing is enough? How far should you go, and when can you pull back a bit? There is a point of diminishing return.

I know a reseller who is heavily invested in email marketing, which delivers among the best return on investment (ROI). Some industry experts estimate $40-$45 return on each dollar spent on email marketing. But you still have to use this medium wisely and find the right messaging and frequency to keep your end-users interested but not annoyed—or your ROI will fall way below this enticing number.

Initially, this particular reseller’s campaigns were bringing in about 10-15 new prospects each time. They were responding to product and service updates and special offers. Then he got greedy. This particular reseller was repackaging emails, changing the subject line and altering the content a bit, just to keep his name in front of his list. He assumed that he would keep getting the same (or more) opt-ins, but the reverse happened. His reports started to show a couple of unsubscribe requests per campaign, but he was still getting new leads, so he ignored the sign and kept hammering away at his email list. Before long, the unsubscribers were significantly outnumbering opt-ins. He had officially become a pest instead of a solutions provider.

Just because email marketing is cost-effective doesn’t make it an automatic and frequent choice. Weigh your message. Ensure you have enough new material to share with your readers before clogging up their inbox with another email. Rule of thumb: No more than one email campaign to the same list per week. Consider shortening up your emails and taking those messages, offers, and updates and breaking them into separate emails. Short and sweet will win the race—and the interest of your end-users!


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