Email Marketing Expectations

phone-and-email-logo-pngThere is one question I am asked almost every day; What return can I expect from my email marketing investment?

Usually I will decline to answer, that is not to say it is not a valid question. A huge part of my job is to manage expectations but 90% of the factors affecting the result are usually out of my control!

I provide lists, profiled, clean, opted in, ready to use. B2B or more often B2C. They are the meat in the marketing sandwich. Lets face it, the best conceived email marketing campaign in the world is going no where if you don’t have anyone to send it to so lets be realistic, whatever the popular email blast platform people tell you, when you are launching a product you need exposure, you need a list.

Not sure a list is for you? Think about it; If you made 30 second TV or radio commercials no one would blink when you pay to have it delivered to a million living rooms all over the country but when you design a great email and rent a list to send it to, people start complaining. I should say, this is a very English [British] problem. Most of the rest of the world accept your email marketing message with an inquiring, consumerist, optimism.


Before we can deal with expectations we have to talk about objective. You need to decide what you want to achieve with your email. For example, are you trying to drive people to your web site, a specially designed landing page that continues the story you started in your email? Are you trying to sell something? Are you trying to reinforce a brand? Do you want recipients to pick up the phone or fill in an inquiry form?

There are many ways you could use your email but the most effective type of message is the one that pitches a product or service. Let’s concentrate on that for now.


Why? Why is anyone going to click through to your order page? If you are lucky you have exactly the right product at exactly the right price on exactly the right day pitched to exactly the right customer.

The reality is, your product is OK, its about the right price, you have lots of competition and small margins. It’s the run up to Christmas and people are guarded about spending their money.

While you build your message think about the flow from enticing subject line to opening to comprehension of the message and action. There is a lot you can do to influence the action, the most effective is to offer and incentive, consider offering something appropriate in return for the click through to your site. If you are selling something offer a lottery; 1 in 500 get their money back, or buy today and get 30% off.


You are not marketing because you like sending email, you are sending these messages to drive clicks to your buy now page and so make sales and profit!

The results of sending an email campaign are usually instant, literally. With our blast platform you can see the opens as they happen. You can see the landing on your web site in real time as your suspects click through from the email and there is nothing more satisfying that watching the order confirmations coming in before the platform has even finished sending the job.

Over the first 24 hours you can expect the majority of the opens and click throughs to have happened. Its as rapid as that. Over the following week you will see more opens and people re reading your message. If your web site has deployed persistent cookies when they clicked through you will be able to track people who return to your site after the initial action.

All this is great fun and incredibly satisfying and if you got your pitch right it brings immediate results in the form of orders.

Amazingly, its almost impossible to fail at email marketing, it doesnt matter how badly framed your message is or how bad a deal it is as long as you send out enough! This is much the same a phishing, send enough and you will get what you want.

It does however cost money to send email so getting the message right, sending it to the right people and doing it at the right moment will ensure you get the best return for your investment.

So, what can you expect?

Ah yes, the question I didn’t want to answer so lets put this answer in context; You will send at least 10,000 emails, you are trying to sell a consumer product, you have invested in a good message, creative and landing page. You have a well crafted subject line and finally, you use a professional blast platform to send the message.

All that said, we have seen open rates from a minimum of 5% to over 80% although you will probably see about 30% and click through should be about 1 in 10 of those opened.

What next?

Do you need to launch a product or sell more of what you already have? Call me, the entire consultancy process is free so there is nothing to loose. The worst that can happen is you learn something.

Stephen Spencer, BDM and Marketing Consultant
UK Datahouse. +44(0) 7522 395 666

Pedophiles And The Growth Of Isis

isis in iraq5Mr Cameron today constructed a sentence with references to both pedophiles and the growth of Isis and used it to justify the implementation of laws that are intended to replace an EU directives that was considered to infringe human rights. And he did it for your protection?

The European Court struck down an EU directive in April requiring phone and internet companies to retain communications data on the grounds that it infringed human rights.

On July 10th 2014 the government argued Emergency legislation was needed, because service providers were being threatened with legal action by campaigners if they did not start destroying data [in compliance with the European Court ruling] , some of which could prove vital to criminal investigations and court cases according to the government.

Accordingly Mr Cameron said: “We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of pedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa.

“I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it.”

He added: “I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities – that is not for this Parliament.

“This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.” [The very ones the European Court struck down in April]

In return for agreeing to back the legislation, Labour and the Lib Dems highlighted new moves to “increase transparency and oversight”, including:

  • The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to scrutinise the impact of the law on privacy and civil liberties
  • Annual government transparency reports on how these powers are used
  • The appointment of a senior former diplomat to lead discussions with the US government and internet firms to establish a new international agreement for sharing data between legal jurisdictions
  • A restriction on the number of public bodies, including Royal Mail, able to ask for communications data under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)
  • Termination clause ensuring these powers expire at the end of 2016
  • A wider review of the powers needed by government during the next parliament

Mr Cameron stressed that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed.

But the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill would also “clarify” the law on bugging of suspects’ phones by the police and security services, when the home secretary issues a warrant, after concerns service providers were turning down requests.

“Some companies are already saying they can no longer work with us unless UK law is clarified immediately,” said Mr Cameron.

“Sometimes in the dangerous world in which we live we need our security services to listen to someone’s phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot.”

Well hang on Mr Cameron, did not you just stress that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls – just when and who the companies’ customers called, texted and emailed? Which is it Mr Cameron?

My Love Hate Relationship with Flipboard

photoMy name is Stephen Spencer and I am an addict. My drug of choice was created by a guy called Mike McCue, it is an app on my iPad and it is called Flipboard.

Since it was first aired on an Apple iPad commercial I have been using it and with Flipboard v2 I have created my own magazines.

Some say this app and the beautiful way it displays content was single handedly responsible for selling a million [or probably more] iPads. I would not doubt it for a moment.

I have created a magazine to keep my Reading List. Another to support my website at And another to follow the troubles in Ukraine. I will almost certainly make more but I feel jaded.

Something is missing.

I need to know who is reading my magazines, where they are, how they found it and what did they click. This is not just my ego crying out to be massaged, this is my reason for investing my time in creating the magazine. If I dont know the KPI’s I can not justify the time I spend curating my magazines.

The implications are simple, if the situation does not change I will redirect my marketing effort at something I can quantify and Flipboard will never mature beyond being a portal to second hand Facebook feeds. [And my original content]

So what can be done?

  1. Provide analytics.
  2. Connect us to our subscribers.
  3. Give me a job at Flipboard.