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Ken Magill

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'Tis the Season to Mail More

By Ken Magill
In a promotional email sent out by The Magill Report on behalf of email intelligence firm eDataSource last week concerning Walmart’s 2013 Black Friday campaigns, there was one observation that should stick in the mind of everyone in email marketing this Christmas shopping season:
“Walmart in the last three days leading up to Black Friday mailed 2 times per day, sending a total of almost 200 million emails in 72 hours,” eDataSource said. “We didn't see significant falloff with higher-frequency mailing and read rates in the final 72-hour push.”
Got that?
Walmart in the three days leading up to Black Friday cranked open the email marketing spigots and there was no significant falloff.
This is just one more piece of evidence that sending more email is not harmful to a commercial sender’s email program.
Walmart sent two emails per day leading up to Black Friday and suffered no outwardly discernable negative consequences.
Email marketing experts for years have been cautioning against sending too much email, claiming doing so would damage the sender’s email reputation and harm its deliverability as a result.
Yet, I have yet to see any quantifiable evidence that their claims are true. That doesn’t mean such evidence doesn’t exist. If anyone has any to share, I’ll be happy to report it here. I’ll even keep the sender’s name out of it if need be.
I have over the years repeatedly been shown examples of how sending more email results in more revenue.
Dela Quist. CEO of email marketing agency Alchemy Worx, is one of the industry’s most vocal advocates of sending more email to make more money.
What is more, unless he’s lying and I don’t believe he is, he’s got the numbers to back his claims up.
Theoretically, of course, there is a point at which a marketer can send too much email. I, however, would contend that most marketers aren’t even close to a frequency where they’ve crossed that point.
And if a marketer can simply hit “send” more frequently and bring in more revenue, why the heck wouldn’t they?
In all the years I have been covering email marketing, when a commercial sender has had deliverability problems—the ones I have learned of, anyway—the problems have stemmed from data-quality issues.
What is more, near as I can tell, data-quality issues that affect deliverability can invariably be traced to the sender’s sloppy email-address collection practices.
The lesson: Buy a rubber-band gun. Load it. Shoot the first person in your organization with it who advocates sending fewer Christmas-shopping emails.

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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: Ken Magill
Date: 2014-11-19 13:44:34
Subject: What's good for the goose

Phil, thanks for the comment. If you have any quantifiable evidence that sending more email hurts deliverability, I would be happy to present it here. I have, however, been presented with numerous examples from multiple experts showing that hitting "send" more frequently results in more revenue. I am open to examples illustrating the contrary, though.
Posted by: Phil Schott
Date: 2014-11-19 10:32:08
Subject: What's good for the goose...

The only thing this is evidence of is that sending more mail was not harmful to Wal-Mart's email program last year. I see daily that not all receivers treat all mail from all brands the same. So, it's not inconceivable that what worked for Wal-Mart last year may not work for all senders this year. Several things come to mind after reading this piece: "Results not typical." "Your mileage may vary." "If all your friends jump off of a bridge, are you going to do the same thing?"