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Last month at the Email Evolution Conference in Scottsdale, Ariz., Engauge Chairman Stan Rapp gave a keynote that got a lot of people in the crowd pumped up — myself included. His punch line: “Email is the tightest link ever forged between buyer and seller. Email is the heartbeat of the Internet. Emailers, you don’t know how good you are!”
I agree, but not only because of those awkward moments where we avoid a direct answer about our profession at social functions — those times when saying “I am an email marketer” feels like we may as well tell people we sell used cars. The bigger problem is the voice, or lack thereof, that email marketers have within larger marketing organizations.
It’s not only that we don’t know how good we are, but also that our peers don’t understand the value of what we do. Rapp drilled this point home when he compared the amount spent on TV ads during the Super Bowl to what is spent on email marketing in an entire year. It wasn’t pretty. There is a huge disconnect when email marketing earns 1/185th of what traditional advertising does in a year, yet we have the highest average ROI in town. According to Rapp, “it’s criminal!”
So, why don’t we get it? Why don’t we know how good we are? Why don’t our peers have a better appreciation for what we do? Let me suggest the following reasons:
1) Deliverability. Spam is the Achilles heel of the email channel. There is no hiding it. It is a big, highly visible issue. Yet, every time we bring up deliverability in conversations about email marketing, we highlight our weakness. A couple weeks ago I made a statement in an interview that we focus too much on deliverability. As you might imagine, it triggered quite a debate. My point has nothing to do with the importance of deliverability. My point was about correcting the perception of email as a valuable marketing tool.
Originally From “‘Emailers, You Don’t Know How Good You Are!'”| Published March 4, 2009