Why your email campaign didn’t work

Having been in the email marketing business for many years, I am used to hearing people complain that their email marketing campaign wasn’t successful.  Hearing things like “I sent out 50,000 emails and I didn’t even make one sale” or “The mail must have not gone out, because if I had even gotten 1% I would have made thousands of dollars”.  As I have been telling people for years, email marketing is not magic; it follows the same rules as every other type of media out there.  People get misled that emailing to 50,000, 100,000 or even one million is a huge number and they start doing the math in their head, and start looking at country club estates, sports cars and islands for sale in the Caribbean.   Unfortunately like most things in the business world, it’s not quite as simple as we’d all like.

Consider this; when is the last time you watched your favorite prime time T.V. show and only saw one commercial?  Allow me to answer for you:  Never.  Instead you saw the same commercial five times over that hour, and even more likely if you were to watch that same channel for the length of the prime time lineup that evening you would see that same commercial several times each hour throughout the night and it would continue tomorrow and the day after and so on. Why do you suppose that is?  The answer is simple, because one shot advertising doesn’t work, it’s rarely successful, and any marketing professional that is telling you differently is simply just trying to create a payday for themselves at your expense.

Marketing requires consistency, you have to hit people over and over, you have to plan and execute a marketing strategy that is putting your brand out there to be viewed over and over.  It’s what we call consistency marketing, and you might think to yourself, “oh I don’t need that, I have a great product and a low cost, and if I advertise to a large group of people all at once I only need a small percentage to respond for me to make a decent return on my investment”. WRONG.  If this was true, do you think that major advertisers would be pushing their products and services so persistently across so many different media’s?  Of course not.

Email marketing is not any different, it requires consistently, not once or twice, but over and over and whether that is in a short period of time or over a longer period time depends on the product, target, and your specific goals.  Successful email marketing requires a strategy, and marketing strategies generally require an investment, but better to spend more to get an ROI worth talking about then to spend less and not get an ROI at all.  Despite the bad reputation it has gotten over the last few years, email marketing is one of the best methods of marketing with one of the highest ROI’s in any media, if done right.  Find a marketing professional that understands the algorithms of email marketing and let them create an email marketing strategy for you that will be successful.

Customer Empathy Goes a Long Way

I think at one point or another that everyone has experienced bad customer service, calling into your phone company, credit card company, or any type of company where a product or service was purchased and finding the person on the other end of the phone that you were expecting to help you, to be uncaring, unsympathetic to your particular woes, even rude.   Having years of experience on the customer service and sales side of the call center I find this to be troublesome to say the least.  The purpose of an in-bound call center agent is to help the person on the other end of the line, this is the customer and they are calling for assistance.  Granted many times the person on the other end is not happy, frustrated, irate, even rude; it is the job of the call center agent to get through that, to show empathy towards that person and try to cut through the frustration and to find out why they’re frustrated, why they’re mad, and not take what their saying personally.  They don’t know the person on the other end of the line, their frustration is not personal, it is not directed at the agent personally.  They are upset about a product or service they received or didn’t receive and it is the agent’s job to find out what the problem is, to address it to the best of their ability; whether that is finding a solution themselves or directing them to the person or department that can resolve their issue.

It’s important to remember, however the agent ends that call, that’s the impression that person is going to have of the organization; if the agent is stern, unsympathetic, uncaring, or rude, this is going to be the impression they now have of the organization.  From a managers point of view it is important to train agents to be sympathetic, to show empathy, to not be thin skinned, to be able to take a frustrated, irate person and calm them down, let them vent. Because at the end of the day regardless of how you may feel about that customer their money is what pays the agents paycheck, the managers paycheck, the board of directors paycheck, and has a very direct impact on the bottom line every quarter.   So it’s very important that we are training agents to show empathy, to understand the frustration that someone may feel, and to help them find a resolution.

In my experience by showing empathy, letting them vent, not taking it personal, letting them know you feel their frustration and that you are going to do everything in your power to help them, at the end even if the agent is unable to resolve their problem due to company policy, expired warranty, whatever the case may be, at least that person will walk away feeling good about the treatment that they received.  Again, it’s extremely important that we treat customers with respect and we don’t turn around and disrespect or be stern with them or show them the same frustration they are having, give them the empathy that they need and let them know that you care.