Why there’s so much Email in your Inbox that you DON’T READ.

Depositphotos 4354507 m 2015

Today, eROI released a study on a survey they did to over 200 email marketers. I personally think the results are disappointing – almost alarming. eROI asked email marketers what they thought was most important. Here are the results:

eROI Results

IMHO, I’m in total agreement with the top 2 items. Relevance and Deliverability are key… getting the right message to the inbox should be your key factors. Email design and content is your issue, Deliverability can be improved by working with a superior email service provider.

The bottom 3 show some terrible traits and point to key issues with Email Marketers today. Email Marketing should be ‘the right message’ to ‘the right people’ at ‘the right time’. It’s great if you’re focusing all your time on content, but are you also targeting that content to the right people through proper segmentation or dynamically generating content within an email based on your readers? Are you putting that email in their inbox when it’s going to have the most impact?

Triggered Emails

Advanced email marketers are noticing that transactional or triggered sends are a fantastic opportunity for marketing. There’s a few reasons for this:

  1. The subscriber initiated the communication. (the right person)
  2. The subscriber is expecting the response. Not only are they expecting it, they’re demanding it! (the right time)
  3. The message is targeted to a specific event or piece of content. (the right message)
  4. As long as the primary means of the communication is to respond to your subscriber, upsell opportunities can be included in that message without a requirement for an opt-out link (transactional messages are an exception with CAN-SPAM.

Right Message, Right Time, Right Person

Here’s an example: I purchased a wireless router. In the confirmation email, I should be getting a message that confirms my sale, inserts my shopping information AND offers me Free Shipping if I would like to add a new wireless card for my computer with a call to action that the offer expires in 10 days. Perhaps there’s an offer to add it to the current shipment if I order it within an hour!

The problem, of course, is often that the system defines the action rather than vice-versa. We have a system that pushes email marketers to deadlines to get the newsletter out instead of deadlines for reaching a certain volume of opens, clicks and conversions. So email marketers do what they are told… they smash some content that blandly tries to apply to their entire list and they get the email out by deadline.

The consequences are even worse, as we continue to fill the inbox, subscribers pay less attention overall to email messaging. I would encourage all Email Marketers to read Chris Baggott and Ali Sales’ book – Email Marketing by the Numbers to learn more.


  1. 1

    Amazon is pretty good at this “Right Message, Right Time, Right Person” concept. They use things you’ve already purchased to target you with email ads that are relevant to those purchases when there is a sale/promotion.

    That being said, the system isn’t perfect. I recently purchased an air compressor, and rather than targeting me with accessories, they keep trying to sell me another air compressor!

    • 2

      I agree Slap, although the email design they are using is terrible – their online recommendations are quite nice. I like how I can purchase a book and they come up with ‘what other people who read that book are reading’. One exception is when I purchase a gift for someone else – then I consistently get recommendations on that gift! I wish they would filter gifts out of the algorithms.

      Thanks for commenting!

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