Marketing Sherpa's Chart of the Week shows the results of asking marketers to rate the effectiveness of email tactics. I was happy to see that the delivery of relevant content came in at #1:
This said, the drop in the effectiveness of email sent to house lists for B2B tells me that delivering relevant content to segments is more of a concept than a reality.
In the summary write up, Sergio Belegno, states:
"In this chart we see that "delivering content relevant to a segment" ranks highest in terms of tactical effectiveness, but it also requires a great deal of effort -- a barrier to adopting this tactic. "Email campaigns to house lists" offers the greatest value because the high level of effectiveness comes with a much smaller price tag in terms of effort required."
I have a lot of respect for Marketing Sherpa, I really do. I've found their research and advice to be valuable for years. But, this statement about assigning the greatest value to emailing house lists because the tactic requires less effort than delivering relevant content makes me a bit peeved. (Okay - a lot, actually)
Relevance applies to every communication a marketer ever exchanges with a prospect. Period.
This idea that marketers should give up on relevance in favor of expediency is why so many marketing programs aren't successful. More emphasis is placed on tactics than on strategy.
What marketers need to do is make learning how to efficiently design content that's relevant to their prospects' needs a priority. Not give it up in favor of blasting out email because it's easier to hit the send button than to write good content.
I'm sure I'm pushing this beyond what Sergio intended, but I'm trying to make a point.
Just as a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup wouldn't work without both peanut butter and chocolate, an email sent to your house list that lacks relevance for your audience won't work, either. Hence the drop in effectiveness.