I came across a very inspirational post by Avinash Kaushik today which got me thinking: Online Marketing Still A Faith Based Initiative. Why? What’s The Fix? I am quoting from his blog “… if you look around you on the web you’ll see that we swim in a sea of mediocrity. We still see irrelevant blinking banner ads. You’ll see astonishingly sucky websites, belonging to come of the best companies in the world. You’ll bump into advertising that is remarkable in how irrelevant it is to customer intent. You’ll see horrid landing pages. You’ll experience missing calls to action, rambling text, and water boarding through Adobe Flash. So in a channel that is so full of promise, so full of data, so empowering when it comes to relevance and creativity… why is it that we suck so much?”
True indeed! Why do we suck so much? Take the example of Email Marketing in India today. Why are marketing messages via emails so bad? Is it that hard to convert a marketing flyer received as a PDF/ huge JPEG into a simple HTML? Company stores, showrooms and offices probably have the best salesmen who patiently show us sizes, shoes, sarees, fish out numerous books, in short do a hundred other things and even help us when we ask “bhaiyya paani milega? (Can I get some water?)” Why then are the same company emails so rude to us? Reputed companies don’t bother to create a text or html format of the email and are content sending huge images in my inbox. They don’t bother to include the name of their company or identify themselves, not include an unsubscribe link. There is no thought given to email sign up form or content nor frequency. Zilch. Why? If this were a television ad or a print campaign would it have been as bad?
Why is it that the moment we search for email marketing India we are only flooded with “bulk email services” (cringe) companies? Say you have a list of 50,000 a quality list of emails that you have built in various ways. If I tell you now that those 50,000 leads are lottery tickets and one of them is sure to get you a jackpot in about 6 months time, will you throw your lottery tickets away? I don’t think so. But that is exactly what you do when you use a blast and forget tactic.
Email Marketing is a dialog you build over a period of time. Email marketing is an art and science. It requires skill, it patience, and analysis. In fact everything in life does. You can’t reap unless you sow. As Avinash says in his blog, “Our bar for accountability is less than low. It is almost non existent.” Its time we changed that.