Mistakes happen. On a daily basis, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes mistakes cause frustration, as work has to be redone. Other times, mistakes can be painfully embarrassing, as they may expose shortcomings or a momentary lapse in judgment. The redeeming factor about mistakes is that we generally learn from them. We learn what to avoid and new things to consider; we learn about ourselves and we can do better next time.
What happens when we don’t learn from a mistake we’ve made?
Ian Fleming, in his novel “Goldfinger,” wrote, “Once is happenstance. Twice is a coincidence. Three times is an enemy action.” By that logic, many email marketers are sabotaging their own programs.
The biggest blunders email marketers make often aren’t the most visible. We’ve all sent a campaign with the wrong item featured, an expired offer or broken link. And most of us have sent an “Oops” campaign to correct a goof. While the short-term effect seems huge (mostly on our egos), those mistakes are “happenstance,” and ultimately have minimal impact on your business. The biggest blunders are the persistent missteps that gnaw away at program performance while email marketers turn a blind eye.
Once In, Never Out
Many retailers mistakenly believe that a one-time expressed interest or single purchase is enough to indicate that a customer will forever want to receive email promotions from them. This view leads to an overwhelmingly large percentage of inactive subscribers, deliverability difficulties, and depressed performance metrics. Common factors leading to this scenario include:
Treating All Subscribers the Same
Dynamic content and personalized data points have led many retailers to lean on creative elements to simulate a one-to-one contact strategy, rather than applying business rules and automation that truly deliver an optimized experience. This misguided approach can strain deployment teams and give a false sense of efficacy, while response rates remain flat and list attrition persists. Contributing factors often include:
Incoherent Strategies Across Channels
Larger retailers often have separate teams that manage each segment of the business. While this provides appropriate focus for the individual needs of the online and offline channels, the difference in leadership can result in distinctly different experiences for the customer, driving an erosion of brand equity and reduced performance. Typical elements associated with this scenario include:
Do any of these blunders sound familiar? Are you supporting “enemy action” by accepting one or more of these situations as “the way things are” with your brand’s email program? Take the first step and acknowledge your mistake, then evaluate the situation and determine how you can take new steps toward doing things differently. The importance of mistakes is not in the embarrassment of the moment, but in the lesson learned and being able to apply a more informed approach next time.
This post originally appeared on Total Retail.