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Ken Magill

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Some Wonderful Coins Makes a Very Not Wonderful Decision

4/22/14
 
By Ken Magill
 
What is it about email marketing that addles so many people’s brains?
 
Austin, TX-based coin dealer Some Wonderful Coins announced yesterday it is abandoning email marketing other than transactional messages and responses to questions.
 
“The reason for this change is two-fold,” the company said in a release touting the decision. “First, after reviewing how many ‘newsletters’, spam, and marketing emails SWCoins.com gets in their inbox each day, it occurred to the owners that they may be annoying their own customers with unnecessary emails, too. Second, SWCoins.com has noted that customers often overlook legitimate business correspondence because of their frequent email newsletters. Therefore, in an effort to reduce email clutter and to promote a better relationship with its customers, SWCoins.com has deleted its email list.”
 
Excuse me for a moment while I retrieve my jaw from the floor.
 
Some thoughts:
 
It’s difficult to imagine that the folks at Some Wonderful Coins had attributed any real revenue to their email program and decided to kill it.
 
If their email program wasn’t driving any revenue, they were doing it seriously wrong.
 
What is more likely is Some Wonderful Coins’ email program was driving sales and not getting credit for them.
 
After publicly swearing off the channel that by far drives more return on investment than any other, they’re about to find out just how much revenue email drove.
 
And now they can’t go back without going back on their word.
 
So what is Some Wonderful Coins going to do in the meantime? 
 
“SWCoins.com discovered that its Facebook Page (TheCoinDude) and Twitter Feed (@TheCoinDude) were less obtrusive, more personal, and overall better at conveying generic information to its customers,” the release said.
 
At the risk of stating the obvious, Facebook and Twitter are in no way capable of replacing email in terms of direct sales, brand awareness and influence with customers.
 
Some Wonderful Coins ended its press release with a wish that other companies be compelled to follow it off the Cliff of Really Bad Ideas.
 
“SWCoins.com hopes to start a trend amongst e-commerce retailers, both large and small, to ditch the overused, generic email blasts and move to an ‘email-less existence,’” the release said.
 
With the exception of outbound telemarketing, email is the only channel where a company would make such a cockamamie decision, tout it and recommend it to others.
 
“We decided to kill the channel that has become the backbone of most marketing programs. Yay for us! You should do it, too!”
 
Um, no we shouldn’t.
 
Some Wonderful Coins’ email program is a fatality of the politically correct self flagellation that has infected permission-based email marketing for more than a decade.
 
However, Some Wonderful Coins took self flagellation a step further and self mutilated.
 
Permission-based email marketing is the most guilt-ridden profession in direct sales and there’s no reason for it.
 
Moreover, the folks who try their hardest to implement best practices beat themselves up the most. Maybe their propensity for self-flagellation is what drives them to exercise care.
 
But taken to extremes, email marketers’ propensity for self flagellation can lead to some seriously stupid decisions, such as mailing with less frequency when mailing more has proven to drive more sales—or in Some Wonderful Coins’ case, stopping sending outbound marketing email completely.
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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: Steve Mintz
Date: 2014-04-23 22:45:19
Subject: Amen

Amen! 'nuf said.

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