Is Broadcast E-mail DOA? –Farquharson/Tedesco

Is broadcast e-mail for prospect lead generation purposes “dead?” Not really, although it’s true that this channel has been badly beaten up. We’ll tell you what you can do about it—in a moment. First, let’s journey inside the numbers.

When evaluating broadcast e-mail campaign performance, start by looking at read rates (also called open rates). Typical B2B read rates hover around eight percent to 15 percent. That means even your best campaigns aren’t seen by six of seven recipients.

It gets worse.

Most marketers consider the click-through rate as the most important e-mail campaign metric. In the B2B space, these average below five percent. That doesn’t mean five percent of your list, but five percent of the one in seven people who even saw your e-mail.

In other words, you’ll be lucky if .5 to one percent of your broadcast e-mails generate end user interaction of any kind.

Now let’s dive for rock bottom.

Intended customer response—i.e., what most finance-types care about—for broadcast e-mail is about three percent of that 12 to one percent who click through.

Put it all together, and that means 0.02 percent of promotional e-mails to prospects—or one in 5,000—will on average result in buying activity.

Owww! Now you see why your e-mail campaigns seem less effective than a 5˝ fan trying to cool a whole baseball stadium in August. What if you’re like most printers, and have an opt-in list smaller than 5,000? You’ll be lucky to snag a new client from e-mail…ever!

We know what you’re thinking: Thank you T.J. and Bill, for confirming our decision to stop marketing!

Now, just wait a moment. We’ve only told you part of the story. Your printing company must explore different ways to reach and influence your customers and prospects, while making the most of a declining, but still viable, communication channel. Time’s a wastin’—let’s get started!

As a 30 year sales veteran, Bill has the perspective of a been-there, done-that sales rep in the commercial print arena. Following sales fundamentals and giving unapologetically "old school" advice, he writes and speaks in an entertaining fashion to make his points to sales people and owners who sell. "Bill Farquharson will drive your sales momentum."
T.J. Tedesco is a sales growth, business strategy, marketing and PR consultant operating at the intersection of clear vision, compelling content and effective outreach practices. For nearly two decades, T.J. has been an independent consultant and sales growth team leader. Previously, he sold commercial printing, graphic arts machinery and supplies, and finishing and bindery services. T.J. helps North American companies with content development, Web and print design leadership, nurture marketing programs, sales coaching, sales team alignment and business strategy. Since 1996, T.J. has worked with more than 100 clients on retainer, 80 percent in the graphic arts industry. T.J. is author of "Win Top-of-Mind Positioning," "Playbook for Selling Success in the Graphic Arts Industry," "Fire! How Marketing Got Hot," "Direct Mail Pal" and four more books published by PIA. He can be reached at (301) 404-2244 or
Related Content