Blog banter and industry experts paint a picture that the toughest email-marketing challenge is something terribly complicated, like inbox deliverability or rendering. The truth? A well-informed marketer, designer, or programmer could solve either of those issues, and most others, between a morning bagel and a lunch-break burger.
Here's the real issue. Most companies are uninformed about email-marketing best practices and suffer from a lack of in-house, expert resources. Very few companies recognize this, however, because even poorly done email still tends to perform fairly well. No harm, no foul, right?
Wrong. On a flight to a recent email marketing conference, I sat next to a woman who runs email marketing programs for a multibillion-dollar consumer products company renowned for its marketing prowess.
For a long time, she had shouldered responsibility for both Web site content and email marketing—until she finally convinced management that each area demanded dedicated staff. Coming from a direct-marketing background, she opted to manage email marketing.
This otherwise savvy marketer knew surprisingly little about some of today's widely published email-marketing best practices—things like how to improve deliverability, how to design emails that render properly, optimum frequency strategies, and how to optimize opt-in pages.
Even her company, which is known for championing marketing and executing brilliant TV campaigns, did not allocate the right amount of resources to the high-ROI email channel. The company could not count on a core group of email gurus knowledgeable and skilled enough to implement commonly accepted best practices.
Such "resource-to-ROI imbalance," as I like to call it, affects the bottom line and brand perception in ways we can no longer afford to ignore.
Why It Pays to Care About the Resource-to-ROI Imbalance