Umm, What Year is This?
By Ken Magill
Is there anyone who doesn’t love the movie Groundhog Day?
I found Andie MacDowell’s character Rita Hanson to be insufferably pretentious.
But I still love that movie—almost as much as Galaxy Quest.
Apparently, not only do email marketers love the movie Groundhog Day, they’re living it.
In a study of 400 companies, Experian’s Data Quality division found that 60 percent had experienced deliverability issues in the last 12 months.
Put another way, they’re still emailing like it’s 1999.
Experian’s study is the kind of news that makes me feel like I’ve been yelling into an empty 55-gallon drum for 15 years.
Every major issue that can cause email deliverability issues is under the list owner’s control: Drawing too many spam complaints, attempting to email too many bad addresses, and hitting too many spam traps.
And it’s not like this information is secret. A Google search on “email deliverability” in quotes yesterday brought back 2 million results.
That’s 2 million pieces of free professional advice that 60 percent of marketers using email have apparently failed to take.
It’s a safe bet that this isn’t the first time the companies who admitted to experiencing delivery issues have experienced them. They have probably experienced them over and over and over again.
If it weren’t for email marketers engaging in stupid activities, the entire deliverability industry would not exist.
No offense email deliverability folks. You know I love you. I’ll buy you a beer next time I see you.
It’s also a safe bet that blame for email marketers’ serial deliverability stupidity can be placed squarely at the feet of upper management.
Over the years, I have heard dozens of stories to bolster this theory. I’ve spoken with email managers who have been given wildly unrealistic list-growth demands. Just recently I learned of a retailer who demanded a 90 percent email-address capture rate from sales associates. These two scenarios beg for sloppy email address acquisition practices resulting in deliverability issues.
Then there are the rampant stories of executives in upper management forcing email managers to add purchased email lists to their files.
Every time I do a webinar on email marketing someone invariably asks: “Where can I buy email lists?”
The answer is: All over the friggin’ place, but nowhere safely. Purchased lists often contain bad addresses and spam traps.
Then there is the all-too-common story of email marketers who switch email service providers and add all the email addresses to their file their previous ESP deemed too dangerous to mail.
Come to think of it, if it weren’t for email marketers doing stupid things, a lot of people—me included—would have to find new careers.
Let’s hear it for email marketing’s version of Groundhog Day. May it never end.