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3.3.2 DISADVANTAGES OF EMAIL MARKETING Equally, there are disadvantages of email marketing, such as getting through all the spam (see below, Ethical Insights).

Another challenge with email is producing relevant and regular content. Trying to think of captivating headlines and finding words that trigger responses is nearly a full-time role in some organisations.

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Another factor is that email is often perceived as being ‘free of charge’ as there are no immediate costs, as there would be if placing an advertisement. But this is not the case. There are many resources required to deliver successful email, both direct costs and indirect costs – such as people’s salaries to manage the process:

 

 

THE DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLBOX 57

• Copywriters to create the headlines and content in the right style.

• Imagery may need to be commissioned or purchased online.

• An email software system, which might be free for smaller volumes of emails but as soon as you send more than 2,000 emails a month, it can be chargeable.

• There is work needed to upload the content, add the correct list and schedule the email delivery.

• Data controllers are needed – someone responsible for managing the data and ensuring no rules are broken.

• Emails often send the reader to a specific web page or landing page. This means some technical web help is needed to create these pages.

Another factor is numbers of email addresses. How many email addresses do you have? The average person has at least two email addresses; one for work and one for home. Students often have at least three email addresses; the one you set up years ago with a funny name (but it’s now too embarrassing to share), your latest email address as well as your student email address. Students are not alone in this, and as consumers have multiple email addresses, the challenge is getting into the best inbox – that’s the one that’s opened and checked most frequently.

Another critical challenge is the issue with safeguarding data, such as your email address, name, address, purchasing history and possibly credit card data. Companies have accidentally released personal information, resulting in big fines (see Key Term – General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Chapter 1).

3.3.3 EMAIL TYPES Email can include planned emails and triggered emails.

Planned emails Planned emails typically include daily or weekly updates to drive the recipient to take action, such as reading a blog, booking a ticket or other conversion activity. Many planned emails are prepared in advance and organised on a specific schedule.

Triggered emails Triggered emails occur when an event or activity has taken place. This can include:

• Visiting a website, adding items to the shopping basket but failing to complete the sale

• Filling in an online form to request a download

• Completing a sale

• Making a donation

Triggered emails can be dynamic or automated and built into customer relationship management systems. For example, when a customer makes an enquiry a specific

 

 

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email is sent. If they respond within three days, they receive the next email in the sequence and if they fail to respond within 10 days a different email is despatched.

3.3.4 WHY AND HOW EMAIL WORKS Having considered the purpose of email, its advantages and disadvantages, it is useful to know why email works. In 2013, researchers María-José Miquel-Romero and Consolacion Adame-Sánchez held focus groups to look at why email works and they created a theoretical model, shown in Figure 3.3. Their model was divided into three sections: antecedents (what happened before); action (what happened); and consequence (what happened afterwards). Within antecedents they considered that if you know who is sending the email (H1); have positive associations of the sender (H2); believe there is some benefit in the email (H3); are feeling good when the email arrives (H4); and are in a location where you can easily open the email (H5); you are more likely to open the email! Phew! There’s a lot to consider.

ANTECEDENTS ACTION CONSEQUENCE

Knowledge of the source

Appropriate environmental

conditions at the time of forwarding email

Perceived content value for others

The need for interpersonaI

communication

Positive associations to the source

Perceived content value for the receiver

Positiveness of feelings when receiving the email

Appropriate environmental conditions at the time of

email opening

H1

H2

H3

H4

H5

H6

H7

H8

H9

FORWARDOPENING

Figure 3.3 Why email works model

Source: Miquel-Romero and Adame-Sánchez, 2013

In the third part of the model, Miquel-Romero and Adame-Sánchez explored how likely you might be to share or forward the email, which was based on three addi- tional conditions: again, if you are in a location where you can easily open the email (H7); if you think a friend or colleague might benefit from the email (H8); and if it is perhaps a while since you have been in contact or just want to say hello, sending the email may be useful (H9).

Logically the model makes sense. If you know the sender, it is less likely to be spam and if it is from a favourite online store, you might be keen to open the email. And whilst we think about the way we can reach people at any place at any time with

 

 

THE DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLBOX 59

email, if you are on the train and it is a complicated message, you might ignore, save until later (and perhaps forget) or simply delete; this is why the idea of ‘appropriate environmental conditions at the time’ is relevant.

The theoretical model from Miquel-Romero and Adame-Sánchez acts as a useful checklist before starting a campaign.

Smartphone Sixty Seconds® – Opening Your Email • On your mobile phone open your emails. • Find an email that you opened that was sent to you from an organisation, perhaps where you

have bought something or made contact. • Why did you open the email? • Consider the why email works model shown in Figure 3.3. How many of these conditions were met?

3.3.5 PLANNING AN EMAIL CAMPAIGN The main steps in planning an email campaign are:

• Capture data with consent

• Add into email system

• Segment lists into relevant groups or personas

• Create winning subject lines

• Build in instructions – calls to action

• Create content

• Test to see which subject lines or images work best

• Measure the results

• Update the database

Examples of popular email software systems, which start with free options when smaller numbers are used, or offer a free trial, include: campaignmonitor.com, dotmailer.com, emailit.co, and mailchimp.com. These email management sys- tems usually work via a wizard, with a step-by-step approach to creating an email campaign.

Here is a list of steps involved in creating an email campaign using an online soft- ware system:

1. Create a name for your campaign. Pick something you will be able to understand later.

 

 

DIGITAL MARKETING60

Ethical Insights Spam Legend tells us that the use of the word spam to mean rubbish email came from the UK comedy TV show Monty Python’s Flying Circus. In the programme there is a scene where a group of Vikings drown out conversation by singing the word ‘spam’ over and over again, louder and louder. This is an example of noisy and irritating behaviour.

The Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford Dictionary, 2017b) defines spam as ‘irrelevant or unsolic- ited messages sent over the internet, typically to large numbers of users, for advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.’

Joe Alder, who works in a social media agency in Australia, researched spam in more detail when he was a student at the University of Derby. Joe identified the five types of spam that were defined in 2006 by internet researchers in the UK and the USA (Moustakas et al., 2006):

1. Junk email – bulk sending of unwanted commercial emailing. 2. Non-commercial spam – bulk sending of unsolicited emailing without commercial interest, such

as chain letters. 3. Offensive spam – bulk sending of mailings with ‘adult’-oriented or pornographic content. 4. Spam scams – bulk sending of fraudulent mailings with the intention to invade the privacy of

the recipient. 5. Malicious spam – mass mailings that contain malicious programming code such as viruses and

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