Spamming vs. cadence – why email marketers should know the difference

Spamming vs. cadence – why email marketers should know the difference
An experienced digital marketer who has owned and run agencies for almost 15 years, Adam is the head of cross-channel marketing automation specialist Force24. Combining his love for cutting-edge tech with a passion for lead nurturing best practice, Adam has developed a platform that is built by marketers, for marketers. An outspoken advocate of the ‘less is more’ approach, Adam is a regular commentator on industry topics including intelligent multichannel marketing, holistic eCRM strategies, optimising customer journeys, personalisation, digital marketing and retargeting.

With more than 300 billion marketing emails delivered every day, savvy brands across the globe are upping the ante in order to achieve the desired cut-through they require from their digital comms.

And while it’s becoming increasingly difficult for marketing departments to land that conversion-led piece of content – against an overwhelming backdrop of online ‘noise’ – the statistics evidence just how important a piece in the jigsaw that email marketing is.

There’s no doubt that this form of communication takes pride of place in a modern-day marketer’s toolkit. After all, a carefully crafted and highly engaging email can enable savvy professionals to strike up an initial, and often all-important, conversation with a customer or prospect.

However, when a recipient requires an average of six touchpoints before a purchase is made, content that’s sent out blindly – and without relevance – can be a complete waste of time for both the marketer and the consumer who wasn’t interested in receiving the message in the first place.

As customers’ needs evolve in a digital-first world, their demands have shone a light on how marketers have to be more sophisticated with their campaigns – and that means getting rid of the bland ‘batch and blast’ emails being sent to a large audience that doesn’t feel listened to or understood by the brand.

Knowing what recipients want from their email comms

Instead, today’s marketers have to be more inclined to invest in what their customers want – and nurture them all the way from an initial introduction to a conversion. And this is where industry professionals must understand the difference between email spamming and email cadence.

In its simplest form, spamming concerns the sending of unsolicited emails to individuals. It’s not about recipients receiving solicited emails that are sent at an unexpected time, which is a common misconception. As an example, if a brand delivers digital comms on a day when a prospect wants to buy a product or service – that’s likely to be welcomed over unwarranted, and therefore isn’t classed as spam.

In contrast, cadence concerns the order and timing of emails which are strategically sent to reflect an individual’s engagement level and where they are positioned in the buying funnel. As another example, if a travel brand sends an email to a customer every day in the run-up to their holiday, that’s not spamming – it’s optimum cadence.

Therefore, the difference comes down to how engaged any individual is. And for consumers that are highly interested, it’s up to a marketer to leverage these opportunities and nurture each recipient accordingly. Striking the right balance can be tricky, and that’s where marketing automation can prove pivotal.

As businesses continue to send billions of emails every day, a marketing strategy shouldn’t be based on the notion of sending an email out on a Thursday because ‘that’s what they’ve always done’. It has to be more sophisticated than that – and driven by critical ROI data that is gleaned from intuitive tools.

Why email marketing relies on the power of marketing automation

Automation enables marketers to pull together vital metrics streams, in real-time, as well as take away any mundane tasks so they can focus on those all-important customer comms – and how to engage recipients on a deeper level. Plugging in a platform capable of providing a greater understanding of a recipient’s of-the-moment interests – which can segment individuals on a more granular level – helps organisations to deliver email marketing content that readers want to consume.

And with automation, marketers can tap into the powers of lead scoring. To put it simply, this is the measurement of every individual’s engagement with a brand. Such vital information provides both the marketing and sales teams with detail on the hottest and coldest leads at any given time – and underlines who should be contacted, when and via which preferred channels.

Brands should utilise marketing automation data to understand when to increase cadence

With such intelligence at a marketing department’s fingertips, this creates a stronger idea of the optimum email cadence, per person, per category. When this is established, such data provides mail servers with additional detail as to whether previous emails have been received by the recipient – therefore helping a brand’s messages to avoid the Spam folder, in the process.

The easiest way to understand this further is to think of mail servers as allocating a ‘credibility score’ to brands. And, similar to lead scoring, the higher the number – in other words the more engaged the recipient is – the greater the company’s email marketing integrity.

However, marketers who fail to deliver email cadence in line with audience engagement, not only risk damaging server credibility, but customer loyalty and brand reputation too. And now is not the time for businesses to get left behind by other organisations that embrace marketing automation and understand their customer on a more granular level.

Interested in hearing leading global brands discuss subjects like this in person?

Find out more about Digital Marketing World Forum (#DMWF) Europe, London, North America, and Singapore.  

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