Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Email Diva? hmm, stick with email

I was just handed an article written by the Email Diva (it was hard copy, otherwise I would have the link). Summarizing, the author stated that since there was no standardization in email metrics (citing EEC Whitepaper), one should seek out benchmarks from their Email Service Provider, or Marketing Sherpa, which is close to apples to apples. However, because of non-standardization and other issues, “Comparing your results to industry standards will never tell you whether the effort is worthwhile for your company….The only standard is: did I make money/was I able to acquire new customers at an acceptable cost?”

Well, in regard to the standardization issue, I whole-heartedly agree that currently there is a problem. Going to your provider is a great option. Indices such as The Bulldog Index ensure everything is calculated and treated the same. However, I do not agree that the Marketing Sherpa Guide is close to apples to apples. I think it is a good guide, and important, but by its very nature, it is a survey, and therefore wrought with non-standardization. Again, another reason for the indexes like the Bulldog Index!

The main concern I have is the statement of no reason to use Industry standards (even when standardized). The only standard is money? What IS an acceptable cost? An Industry benchmark helps you decide what your standard SHOULD be and helps you compare yourself to competitors. If your CPL is $35.00 one month and $33.00 the next, great, you improved, but if your industry average is $25.00 you have a lot of work to do, and your standard needs to be improved, otherwise you are losing out to your competitors. The landscape changes dramatically if your industry CPL standard is $45.00. They you can make a decision of, continual improvement on what you are currently doing, or taking resources and going after something else.

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