“Snooze Alarm” Email Tactic

Amy Griswold and I just attended the sixth annual SilverPOP conference at Stone Mountain last week (05/13/2008). Like most vendor-customer conferences, I’m often somewhat skeptical about what I’m going to learn about email marketing in general. Most of the time, I attend these conferences to better understand new features that are being released, and to gauge their product road map so we can align the agency to take advantage of the tool in the future.

As we listened to the Keynote speaker, Terry Jones (Founder of Travelocity.com and chairman of Kayak.com), I was pleased to hear his insights on his management style and trends he see’s in marketing in general. What I wasn’t expecting was a very simple tactic he mentioned that I’d never really considered, but made a lot of sense.

Terry termed this “Snooze Alarm” for your email campaigns. Essentially, we all use some level of frequency control on campaigns, as well as behavioral triggers to determine when we market to customers via email.

In Terry’s case, a travel email campaign might be sent based on a monthly communications, seasonal events, etc. His “snooze alarm” tactic basically stated that if someone JUST bought from your brand (i.e. a flight ticket), then remove them from your normal marketing email communications, as the likelihood of them buying another flight ticket is extremely low. In other words, give them a break before marketing the same type of product.

Of course, it’s still OK to upsell the client on other products if it makes sense. But the general idea of this tactic is to reduce unneeded email communications. The net effect of this tactic should result in higher open rates and click-through-rates (CTR), and ultimately higher conversion rates. Additionally, you’ll also reduce media cost associated with an Email Service Provider (ESP), as your overall email volume will reduce.

It’s so simple, I can’t think of a good reason not to implement this tactic, apart from possible business intelligence issues coming from your CRM, ecommerce and ESP systems. But if you’re able to get the data and your systems to allow this level of list segmentation, then your golden!

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