The Purpose of Email Campaigns

December 13, 2005

We've seen a flurry of activity recently from customers who want to send out sophisticated email campaigns. We often find it tedious to educate our customers regarding the notion that the purpose of an email campaign is not to sell. That's right; email campaigns are not for selling. Used properly, the value of email campaigns lies in their use as a tool for building relationships. Why not sell? Simply put, the connection you have to those who have agreed to accept your email marketing messages from you is fragile. Assuming you are conducting your campaigns lawfully, customers are generally only a click away from removing themselves from your list. Once this happens, you've lost this connection—probably forever. Keep trying to sell your customers using email and you are certain to risk losing their trust and their willingness to continue to receive your messages. Resist the temptation to try to sell customers with shameless advertising, marketing-speak, and coupons. Instead, provide them with something that they can use or that has other inherent value. Entertainment might do the trick, or intrigue, through a puzzle or mathematical challenge. Ideally, your messages will deliver valuable content that also demonstrates your position as a leader in your market. The best email campaigns build trust, educate your clientele, and position your business in their minds as a go-to provider of a particular product or service. This is where you want to be.