How did email become so effective? Hint: control.

Here’s another study showing the value of email. This one breaks it down by the size of the company:

email-marketing-return-on-investment

What’s nice about the article is it hits on a weird phenomenon:

“In fact, email is so much part of our everyday life now that we insist that marketers personalize the messages that hit our inbox; if they don’t, we consider that message as spam. Compare that to how we feel about personalization in other forms of marketing, such as location-based triggers, or retargeting campaigns on social platforms.

“For a number of reasons, we’ve been trained to be sold to via email,” Cifuentes said.”

I’m not sure if we’ve been exactly “trained”. I believe it is about having control.

Here’s a relevant article talking about the expectation factor: “People come into situations expecting to receive something specific. Expectation factors apply to all aspects of life. You go to a job interview and expect the hiring manager to ask certain questions. You go to a birthday party and expect to eat certain foods and have a certain level of fun.

It’s important for businesses to understand that, when customers visit their websites, the expectation factor is also very much at play. If you present your visitors with an experience that strays too much from what they anticipate, they will end up feeling a loss of control and will perform actions – clicking pause on a video, perhaps, or in the more extreme, exiting the page entirely – in order to return the feeling of control to their hands.”

When we have control over a medium (in the case of email it is the ability to opt-out/unsubscribe) it leads us to be more prone to listening to the medium. We give email a chance to sell us on something versus a banner ad or auto-playing video because we can’t control the latter. In fact, we give it more than a chance, we want it to talk to us in a personalized manner.

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How did email become so effective? Hint: control.

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