I just had a great conversation with a friend that covered, among many things, email marketing and how broken it really is. Then I come home and open up my email, finding this.
Email marketing is so fundamentally broken that it defies the imagination. Single digit response rates are considered a great success and not pissing off your market is a good day. Companies in all market segments turn to email marketing knowing full well it is not an optimal solution, meanwhile email service providers and software companies actively develop solutions that defeat email marketing. Users have been conditioned to avoid “unsubscribe” links because they serve primarily to validate email addresses purchased from lists, while legitimate unsubscribe links often do not work or take up to 30 days to remove you from a list that took a nanosecond to add you to.
Obviously the biggest problem with email marketing is the lack of effective targeting technology. Current generation solutions use blunt force instruments for targeting and the result is that prospects are rarely matched with information and offers that appeal to them. This also explains why the takeup rate is so low.
There simply has to be a better way to do this, whether it be tapping into activity streams and feeds, affiliate arrangements, or location based services. Something… anything has to be better than what we have today.