theformulaHave you seen the campaign by Hubspot named "The death by marketing automation" which was created in 2011? It states that through bad B2B email marketing your reach shrinks by approximately 15-20% per year. How can Hubspot make such a provocative statement?

Let’s just take a look at our own email inbox. There are usually only three types of advertising emails:

1 Emails that are clearly for advertising purposes and that at this moment just do not concern or wake any interest will automatically be deleted - unread.

2. Emails that are sent so frequently, that they basically clog my mailbox. Such emails are often marked as spam and get intercepted by a filter, before they can reach the reader. If it could be arranged to choose in which frequency readers want these mails to be sent, they would perhaps be inclined to adjust the frequency automatically.

3. And then there are still some emails which are considered that they might someday still be of interest or useful. Most people move them to a specific folder and save them there. However, in general they just stay there forever, without being read, with maybe around 10% seeing the light of day again.

I hardly ever bother to unsubscribe from a mailing list. Rather, I mark the email as spam and it then will be filtered out. The big question is, however, why is it still the case that in 2014 I am bombarded, literally drowned, in uninteresting email advertising? Do they still hope to strike me down and finally beat me, winning the battle?

Between us, even then, I will refuse to buy anything! As a consumer I only buy when I feel the need or demand - or perhaps have a glimpse of a feeling that I might need it.

In companies, purchase decisions are normally made by a group of decision makers, making relevance not frequency key in B2B marketing and the only way to delight customers and prospects. The formula "frequency = relevance" simply doesn't add up. To be relevant, you need information about your receiver, which goes beyond the mere email address.

Another tip: With marketing automation, you can give the recipient more choice through an intelligent "subscription center” in regards to which kind of offers they would like to get, at what frequency, and even what time of day they prefer to receive emails.

Some people prefer to read their emails in the evening after work, others during the lunch break and I, for example, prefer to read them while having my breakfast. As our personalities and profiles are so different, the emails should reflect this and adjust to our needs. Try to do whatever it takes not to get deleted, ignored, or pushed into the farthest corner of an ominous little mailbox that will never be read.

By Roger Stadler