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Ken Magill

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Stupid Marketer Watch: Really? Opens? Still?

By Ken Magill
Three years ago I characterized email as “the one channel where its pundits talk incessantly about shit its practitioners never do.”
I thought I was joking. Though there is an old saying that jokes are funny because they’re usually 75 percent true.
Make that 74.4 percent true in this case.
According to a recent survey by marketing translation and localization services provider Lionbridge, 74.4 percent of marketers still rely heavily on open rates to gauge their email marketing’s success.
Please tell me Lionbridge’s survey sample is so skewed it can’t possibly be an accurate representation of the email marketing industry as a whole.
It’s not that open rates are useless as a metric. As was established in a debate in this newsletter two years ago, they have their place, but not as the main measure of an email program’s success.
Also, according to Lionbridge, just 49.1 percent of respondents said they tie their email campaigns to sales.
Again, please tell me this can’t be true. Even a local pizza parlor owner should want to know if their email efforts are paying off, shouldn’t they? And it’s not that hard: “Mention this email and get a free two liter soda on orders of $10 or more.”
Even sadder, according to Lionbridge, just 13.2 percent of respondents use performance metrics to secure budgets for future programs.
Hell, forget budgets for future programs. How about salary and bonuses? How can anyone expect to make the case for a raise if they can’t point to performance metrics and revenue?
Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. A lot of email managers’ compensation packages are tied to list growth—or so I have been told.
If Lionbridge’s survey results are remotely representative of what’s happening in the real world, most email marketing managers have no idea of the true effectiveness of their efforts. 
On one hand, it’s extremely difficult to imagine the results are accurate. On the other, it wouldn’t be all that surprising if they were.
Anyone out there got any ideas?

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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: James O'Brien
Date: 2014-08-19 18:04:33
Subject: Tellin' It Like It Is

You must have a poster of Dela Quist in your office. He points out almost as much "stupid" email BS as you.