The thread of life (in marketing terms)

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What does email marketing have in common with a Greek myth?

Email Marketing - The thread of life

Do you know the myth of the Moirai?

Sometimes called the Fates, the Moirai are described and often portrayed as 3 ugly old women. As far as Greek mythology goes, they are supposed to appear three nights after a child’s birth in order to determine the course of his/her life.

Most likely you will think of them as spinning, measuring and cutting the thread of life, and, if you’ve seen Hercules, with one eye to share between themselves!

But it is that thread of life that is most symbolic and perhaps most memorable of all.

The thread of life in real life

To put this into context or at least into marketing terms, you need to consider every email address you receive from a customer, client or lead as equivalent to that thread of life. Email addresses are gold. They represent that fine thread that connects your company to someone you may have met and done business with 5 years ago. If you’ve thrown out that email address, you’ve begun cutting at the thread.

Now you’re asking, ‘why are email addresses that important? Seriously, you’ve put them on the playing field of the gods!’

Hear me out.

Email addresses are the most direct form of communication you will get with someone, apart from seeing or speaking with them. They get delivered to the innermost circle of online communication – the inbox. And yes, that too is sacred. After all, junk is no good and nor is spam.

I am putting email marketing on the high ground but that’s because it’s one of those channels that still offers the highest return on investment. If you’re not doing email marketing yet, take my advice and keep that list of addresses. If you do it later, even if that’s only in 2 or 3 years time, you’ll be grateful.

The case for keeping email addresses

According to Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Industry Census for 2012, no other channel is more effective, except perhaps SEO. Clients were given the option to rate the effectiveness of various channels in terms of ROI. 23% rated email marketing as excellent, 47% as good, 24% as average and only 6% as poor. Email marketing ranked second to SEO (organic search marketing) which was most highly rated. PPC, affiliate marketing, social media, mobile marketing, offline direct marking and online display advertising came after.

When marketing agencies were given the same chance to rate ROI by channel, email marketing got the highest percentage of ‘excellents’ – 37%. Agency respondents that rated email marketing ‘good’ came to 44%, average at 15% and poor at 4%. Once again, SEO was high, but perhaps on a level playing ground with email marketing.

The point is – email addresses are valuable. They allow you to reach out directly to people you’ve spoken to, done business with or simply been referred to. Checking emails doesn’t require you to check a specific Facebook page, login to Twitter or LinkedIn or, hit a news feed at the right time of day so that specific people hopefully see it.

Remember that if you can get people to subscribe to your emails, they will appear in an inbox right alongside important information like bills, family correspondence and business emails. This is the gold I’m talking about – the ground of the gods – the place you want to be.

So, my advice: collect email addresses and look after them as though they were your business’s thread of life.

Got any questions, get in touch!