We all want to do more with less these days. When you compare the cost of postal mail (about $1 apiece) to that of e-mail (about a penny per message) any B-to-B marketer is going to prefer e-mail for staying in touch with current customers and inquirers. A no-brainer, right?
But here’s the rub: Most B-to-B companies have only some of their customers’ e-mail addresses. Even worse, if their clients’ privacy policies require opt-in, even fewer are e-mailable.
Consider Cicso Systems, the networking hardware firm. While 45% to 50% of its global house file contains e-mail addresses, only 29% are opted in. Doing the math, that’s a mere 14% of the list that can be contacted by e-mail.
HOW DID IT HAPPEN?
Clearly a dire situation, especially when you’re trying to cut costs. How did we get into this mess? There are a number of contributing factors, among them:
- Data decay
We all know how volatile data is, especially in B-to-B. But an e-mail address is one of the most volatile elements of all. According to Kevin Akeroyd, vice president of global sales for online business directory provider Jigsaw, 32% of business e-mail addresses change annually (compared with 29% of phone numbers and 16% of postal addresses).
- Consumer-like privacy policies
Business buyers need information to do their jobs, so they generally welcome relevant e-mail from their suppliers. But when e-mail policies were being established in the ’90s, companies