Tag Archives: budget

Who Cares if Email Marketing Pays for Itself?

Let me suggest a modest proposal: run your email marketing program at a loss.  As in, if you’re a retailer, stop worrying how much each email nets in incremental sales.  As in, if you’re a B2B marketer, stop worrying about how many leads each email generates.  As in, if you’re some other kind of marketer, double your email marketing budget and hang the cost.

After 10 years of articles about email marketing’s superior ROI, throwing fiscal caution to the wind seems like the worst idea since rolling coal.  Naturally, I don’t suggest taking this step for its own sake.  Rather, I suggest adjusting the way we evaluate email marketing to serve a purpose that serves the broader enterprise: research.


Go ahead. Rip it up.

OK, I’ve exaggerated my point of view in a shameless attempt to get your attention.  However, I strongly endorse using email as an inexpensive, flexible and fast research tool.  Let’s look at what you could achieve by integrating research into your email marketing.

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Overcoming “We Don’t Do That Here”

You see it coming a mile away: the solution to your client’s problem.  The answer seems to simple that you imagine yourself yanking a Whitman’s Sampler from a newborn.  After listening to your client completely, you lay out your solution with clarity, specificity and proof of past success.

And then…


OK, now what?  What do you do when your client says “that’s not how things work around here?”

For years, I had a standard answer for this problem.  The answer involved probing for weaknesses looking for opportunities to nudge in whatever idea I thought would solve their problem.  Surely, my sterling logic would prevail sooner or later!  Thing is, it didn’t work.

After multiple attempts at bashing down the figurative door, I realized that a client saying “that’s not how things work around here” is really telling you two things:

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