Ignoring email “bombardment”

By  •  Updated: 05/24/23 •  3 min read

Marketing is a battleground of opinions.

Despite all the data we have available, email marketing strategies are more opinion-led rather than data-led.

We guard our inboxes like our homes and when we feel our homes are threatened we lash out.

On one side are a bunch of email marketers, mostly copywriters, pushing the mantra of daily emails.

On the other are a ramshackle crowd of consultants using words like “bombardment” to describe sending anything more commercial than a monthly newsletter.

Take a look at this thread. It’s taken from a generalist business group that I’m in…

Now, this looks like pretty overwhelming evidence to chill with the email frequency, until you consider:

  1. Noone knows what the content is about yet
  2. Noone knows if the content is good
  3. Not one of these people, as far as I can see if in the market for what’s being sold.

They don’t have data to fall back on so they get defensive, and in the process, they’ve talked the original poster out of helping her market at speed.

Like most battlefields, whether they’re right or wrong depends on which side you’re standing on, and the worst place of all to stand, is in the middle.

The daily disciples have some merit. They certainly go all-in on showing their knowledge, and for sure, sending more emails makes more sales, in the short term at least.

But it will turn off all but the hungriest of prospects, and you’ll burn through the more luke-warm prospects.

On the other side, our weekly and monthly mailers risk losing their hotter prospects to the competition before they get their point across, but they’ll still be around if and when the rest of their audience needs them.

Whichever side you’re on though, you’re only aiming at one target, and you’re missing dozens more.

Any competitive market falls into 2 camps:

Desperate, or just “interested”.

It looks like this:

Market size vs motivation

On our left are a small number of highly motivated buyers. These are 5-10% of the market.

These are the ones who will buy from your first email. Even the more cautious ones won’t dither for more than a few days before making a decision to buy from either you or someone else.

They have a problem and they want it solved now.

The rest of the curve knows they have a problem, but it’s not top of their list of things to give their attention to right now.

The rest of the curve are “in the market”, but just like the farmer’s market that only rolls round once a month, they’re mostly browsing and looking for entertainment as much as anything right now.

At some point they’ll get hungry enough to buy, but not for a while. If you push them right now, they’ll just feel threatened and move on to another part of the market.

Both sides are missing a huge slice of the market, but how has this happened?

It has to do with how we’ve been told to think about segmentation.

I’ll explain in the next email, but if you want to read ahead, you can do it right now.

Reply to this email saying “Tell me now” and I’ll send the next email with the answer right away.

Stephen Pratley

I build email lists, that grow into one-man businesses.