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Week before last I posted a blog venting some frustrations about our industry titled, “Your opinion is not ‘Best Practice’! (and mine isn’t either).” Admittedly, I had some reservations declaring my exasperation publically, but the positive feedback I have received tells me I am not alone.
I have found that email marketers have a tendency toward black-and-white beliefs where there is a lot of grey. The classic example is “What is the best day to send email?” But the list goes on. Should you use double opt-in or single opt-in? Should you segment by demographics, psychographics, or behavioral data? Should those extra fields on your registration page be required or not? What is the best way to build your list?
Or there is the hot topic over on the EEC blog around the introduction of the render rate. Some suggest we should just fix the open rate by standardizing it — which was discussed extensively within the roundtable before we agreed on the proposed metrics. The problem is that depending on the industry and the company looking at open rates, everyone wants to look at these numbers different ways. There is no “best practice.”
The term “best practice” asserts that a particular technique, method or process has proven itself to be superior to alternative techniques, methods, or processes for delivering the intended outcome time and time again. They are proven. The results are consistent. 99 times out of 100; if you follow the best practice you will be in better shape than if you hadn’t.
Originally from “Questions Matter More Than The Answers”| Published February 4, 2009