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Why 'Spray and Pray' Email Marketing Doesn't Work

July 21, 2010  

Your B2B email marketing program might have a good reason for sending a steady stream of one-size-fits-all messages to prospects. "The idea being that by keeping these folks exposed to your company's name and logo, you'd stay 'top of mind,'" notes Ardath Albee at Marketing Interactions. "That process is now referred to as 'spray and pray' marketing."

As you might guess, there's a problem with the "spray and pray" approach: It doesn't work to gain or maintain customer loyalty.

Why? Because awareness doesn't promote action, Albee explains. "I'm aware of Anheuser Busch. I love their Clydesdale ads. But I don't drink beer. I'm also aware of many other beers. If I had to pick one, it would probably boil down to a 'close my eyes and point' exercise because I have no expertise in selecting beer."


What's a better approach? Albee creates a scenario in which a business needs to choose an email service provider (ESP).

  • Vendor A sends the usual offers and testimonials. "They rave about how well their customers are doing by using their superior system," she says.
  • Vendor B, meanwhile, sends educational content that enables prospects to improve their email campaigns—even if they don't become a customer—and demonstrates how other customers have succeeded.

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  • by Mary H Wed Jul 21, 2010 via web

    This is also true with blogs and websites. Give them information they can use and they'll come back to you for more.

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