Marketers' Roundtable: Brands Need to Send Fewer Emails, So Why Aren't They?

Email practices aren't evolving as fast as they should

Forest Bronzan
Executive Vice President of CRM, Email and Creative Services
Elite SEM
Jason Conley
Senior Director, Sales and Solution Consulting
Kyle Henderick
Senior Director, Client Services
Yesmail Lifecycle Marketing
Amy Kilpatrick
Director of Marketing Operations
Matt McGowan
April Mullen
Director of Consumer-First Marketing Adoption
Selligent Marketing Cloud
Allen Nance
Justin Orgel
Senior Director of Marketing Consulting
Cheetah Digital

Marketers love email—it’s an overperforming channel with great return on investment (ROI) that's often inexpensive to execute. For years, marketers have become accustomed to sending one message to their entire mailing list. But those days are coming to an end.

eMarketer’s Jillian Ryan spoke with eight experts from email service providers (ESPs) and email marketing agencies about why less is more for email marketing, and why brands are struggling to change their high-volume approach.


Are the marketers you work with still sending blast email messages to their audience?

Forest Bronzan:

When a consumer gives a brand the privilege of getting in their inbox, marketers shouldn’t abuse that. Unfortunately, too many brands do exploit the email addresses they have acquired.

They see email as an inexpensive channel to deploy where they can send the same single thing to their entire list. The goal is to just get as many emails out as possible. This is the wrong approach and marketers need to recognize the responsibility of having that access to a person’s inbox and send their subscribers more relevant messages.

Jason Conley:

The push for more revenue from leadership often leads the marketers we work with to just email, email, email. A lot of our clients' leadership believe there is a positive correlation between gross revenue numbers to emails sent, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

Allen Nance:

Marketers still believe that the more emails they send, the more revenue they make. But part of the problem is that it is just plain easier to rest on what has worked in the past and say ‘Wednesday is 20% off coupon day and we are sending to the whole list.’

The conundrum is that doing personalized, data-driven email is hard and frankly, more expensive. Marketers run the risk of investing more time, resources and budget and potentially not seeing the same return they get from their weekly blasted promotional code.

Interview conducted on July 19, 2018

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