Email Marketing TipsIn a post at the Email Marketing Reports blog, Mark Brownlow examines mistaken assumptions that can seriously damage the long-term success of an email program. Our basic beliefs about how our emails work aren’t as self-evident as we’d like to believe, Brownlow notes; in some ways, we operate in the dark. “And all the while revenues are melting away silently, like sand in an egg timer.”

Brownlow offers examples of beliefs that might be holding you back. Among them:

You read more into the customer relationship than actually exists. “Unfortunately,” Brownlow says, “the word ‘relationship’ conjures up images of long-term loyalty and selflessness. It seduces us into assuming a level of devotion that simply doesn’t exist among email subscribers.” If you need proof, he argues, compare the open/response rates of the last 10 emails sent to customers with those sent to your family and friends.

You believe subscribers use email just like you do. “The email marketing ‘community’ is, in general, a high-tech community with busy email accounts,” says Brownlow. “So it’s easy to imagine our subscribers are the same. But they are not.” A study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project suggests that a third of US email users don’t check their email on a daily basis, he notes.

You forget that subscribers also receive messages from your competitors. That 20% holiday discount sounds spectacular when you compare it to your previous offers—but it won’t stand out in a subscriber’s inbox if everyone else has the same idea. “[T]he value of what you send depends on the absolute quality of your content/offer AND on its quality relative to what others might be sending,” he notes.

Step back and shine a light. Take the time to consider how unfounded assumptions can drive bad decisions in the whirlwind of ongoing email campaigns.

Source: Email Marketing Reports.