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Are You Annoying Your Email Prospects?

By: Elaine Fogel


Are You Annoying Your Email Prospects

Even though email marketing has higher conversion rates than social media and search engine marketing combined (Wordstream), it isn’t a panacea marketing channel. It has pros and cons like any other tactic.

Email Marketing Pros

  • It’s relatively inexpensive.
    Some email service providers (ESPs) offer free services if you have fewer than their maximum limit. And, if you have thousands of subscribers or prospects, competition is fierce, and pricing reflects that.
  • You can create and send out emails quickly.
    Emails have a quick turnaround. Most ESPs offer immediate or delayed sending options.
  • You don’t need to be a graphic designer.
    With the plethora of templates available, you easily use email marketing.
  • Email marketing is easy to measure.
    Using an ESPs analytics, it’s simple to discover your email metrics.
  • You can easily drive people to your online real estate.
    Email hyperlinks can drive subscribers to your website, blog, or social media pages.

Email Marketing Cons

  • Average open rates are low.
    According to Constant Contact, the average open rate for all categories in June 2019was less than 15%.
  • You must communicate regularly.
    You must be consistent with your email marketing schedule. If you’re a solopreneur or small organization, you’ll need the resources to ensure regular communication
  • Your emails can easily be marked as spam.
    If you send “cold” emails to unsubscribed prospects, many spam filters will kick in affecting delivery rates. This can also occur if you use well-known spammy keywords in the subject line or body content.
  • There are legal email marketing restrictions.
    According to the CAN-SPAM Act, you can only send commercial emails to subscribers and those who have previously inquired about your products or services.

Then, there’s the issue of frequency:

How many emails should you send to prospects before giving up or after they reject your offer?

Look at these statistics from the European automation SaaS provider, Woodpecker:

The first follow-up email is naturally the most effective. It brings the highest reply rate — even about 40% higher comparing to the initial email. A single follow-up may increase the total average reply rate to 8.5%.

Wouldn’t sending more emails increase the chances of getting a reply?

The data shows that flooding your prospects’ inboxes with messages is not the answer. The 5th, 6th or 7th follow-up email brings you merely a fraction of the total percentage, so the people who go for quantity don’t seem to have a better reply rate.

Here’s a good example of a supplier’s attempts to convert to their website service from the one I’m already using. You decide if these exchanges are annoying. (I removed any references to the vendor.)

Touchpoint 1

Hey Elaine,

I tried calling, but didn’t get an answer. I thought I would try e-mailing.

Just wanted to say that after looking through your website & looking at what (& who) you represent, I think you would be a great fit for [website service name]. Is this week a good time to chat? We have a July special that should have been e-mailed to you yesterday & I would love for you to take advantage of that opportunity.

Here is my calendar for you to schedule a time to chat!
Mary (not her real name)

My reply:

Hi, Mary. I have all my online property at [supplier name] and I don’t manage client sites.
Good luck!

Touchpoint 2

Hey Elaine,

Thanks for the info! Are you currently developing websites for clients & then handing them off to manage? If you wouldn’t mind chatting briefly on the phone, I would really appreciate the opportunity to learn more about what you do for clients & gain clarification.

My calendar is here. Can you please block off a time that works best for you?


Touchpoint 3


Save $50 (or more!) on any new annual plan
The sale ends Monday!

More copy here…

Touchpoint 4

Hey Elaine

I left a message, but promised to follow-up with an e-mail. It is the last business day of our July special & our VP of sales just extended the 50% off promo to 6 months of a monthly subscription or 3 months free of an annual subscription. That is a total savings of $xxx in your first year on a freelance plan.

Can we make some magic happen today?  Book a time on my calendar, give me a call or reply back for the discount coupon!


My reply:

No thanks, Mary.

Touchpoint 5

Hey Elaine,

Do you mind letting me know what might be holding you back? I want to make sure I am leaving no stone unturned here.


Touchpoint 6


Don’t miss out on [campaign name] July!
Get 3 free months of service name] when you purchase a new annual plan before 11:59 CST tonight

I have nothing against Mary, BUT, is this frequency annoying, especially after I said no twice?

Published: August 9, 2019

Source: Elaine Fogel

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