I think that since I've been working in this business (more than 15 years), emailing has a bad reputation but we (advertisers and industry professionals) clearly turn a blind eye to it. Why? Because in spite of everything, the campaigns generate clicks and above all, they always generate conversions. So as long as it works, we continue.
When I talk about my job, whether with family or friends, I am always equated with the one who sends spam. No matter how hard I try to explain these stories of consent, commercial pressure and targeting, my friends and family have trouble seeing the difference, and I understand them. I myself, when I look at my email inbox, am saturated.
The students that I supervise (the famous generation Z) say out loud what everyone else is thinking. And here's what they came up with: the frequency of sending is too high (they call it "bullshit") and the content of the emails is boring (obviously they used another adjective).
This is, in my opinion, the whole problem!
Why is most content so boring?
The content is mainly a relay of promotional offers and product presentations. The content lacks soul, authenticity, convictions, arguments and sincerity.
The problem is that in reality, promotions make people click, promotions make people convert. And when you ask the same people and students what makes them open an email, they answer: the promotion! So what do we do? At the same time, readers have been fed on promotions, that's all they've been offered for years.
It's a fact: the click-through rate of promotional emails is lower than that of editorial newsletters. The dissatisfaction rateThe conversion rate is much higher. And so is the conversion rate. So, satisfaction or conversion?
As an emailing consultant, we advise to insert more editorial content in the strategy. Brands in general do this, motivated by the potential risks of deliverability. But, often the content of the editorial newsletter is the relay of web page content whose writing was motivated by SEO. These contents therefore continue to lack soul. We come back to the same point.
Some brands stand out.
Often these are young companies. The content is written by the founders of the brand, the first ones who believe in their products/services, who have the brand in their guts. Or the content is written by a collaborator close to the founder, with whom he regularly exchanges.
These emailings are read. They tell where their ideas come from, how they were implemented, the problems they experienced, the solutions they found, what goes on behind the scenes... These companies rely heavily on their soft power, their reputation, their uniqueness, to stay in the minds of their readers and last over time.
Meanwhile, "other brands" will invest time and money in personalizing their emails through scoring systems, or even AI, to try to improve their performance. They will think about setting up a communication preference center to prevent their contacts from unsubscribing completely. They will put tracking tags in all directions to try to bounce on a contact who has stayed a few seconds on a product page.
my family, friends and students express their weariness with over-tracking, their annoyance when they receive retargeting and cart abandonment emails.
Sure, if you send a promo to thousands of contacts, you'll generate some revenue. Of course your cart abandonment email will generate some money. But how many of your contacts are annoyed by these emails?
I'm not saying you shouldn't target or personalize your emails. But I think personalization and targeting have their limits. There will always be emails to write. And if your content is bland, the result will be disappointing.
Why not just focus on content?
Why not invest in an editorial charter? Companies have no problem investing in a great tool or in a web graphic charter. Why don't they hire copywriters? Why do employees have so much trouble defining the purpose of their company and its values? Why can't they find something to say other than promotion? Does this mean that when you reach a certain number of employees, the soul is lost, the sincerity is diluted? Is it a question of taking risks?
However, there are editorial agencies (such as Wearethewords or The direction of the hair) ready to help companies to speak out according to the news, the context, to define the types of speaking out where your readers expect you, where you are legitimate, where you are useful, where you have an added value.
Plus, it would be a big help to the campaign managers who have to write the emails. Imagine if they had a reference document with a stabilized editorial charter, a list of words and a tone of voice that resembled your brand, examples of written emails, copywriting training. It would make a big difference.
I invite you to listen or re-listen to the live session on writing an email with Muriel from the agency Wearethewords.
In any case, we are coming to the end of a cycle. It's a fact. If we want to optimize our emailing strategy, we'll have to seriously think about our content strategy (and my little finger tells me that we'll also have to question ourselves at Badsender ;-))
Happy Holidays to all of you!