Just back from Loral Langemeier’s Alumni conference in San Diego. While not specifically focused on internet marketing, there were several internet marketing sessions there, including a panel that included Geoff Zimpfer from Infusionsoft. Infusionsoft if you are not aware of it, is the uber online customer management system. It’s a CRM (customer relationship management), EMail Marketing and eCommerce system all in one. It’s pricey, but a quite a nice system and surprisingly intuitive.
Geoff said something interesting that I wrote down. I think we all can agree that with email marketing it needs to be a balance between providing value and selling. But what’s that balance? Geoff proposes a point system. For each email you send out that delivers value to your audience you get a point. An email that is a sales pitch, you deduct 7 points. So he’s recommending you strike a 7 to 1 balance here.
I think he is right that a balance needs to be struck, however I’m not sure I agree with the math. Why would 5 to 1 be less effective? If you deliver great value and it in general is more frequent than the sales pitches, does the 7 to 1 ratio need to be rigorously adhered to? My suspicion is that he based the comment on statistics that Infusionsoft has available to it, so I don’t think we can dismiss the comment lightly.
However like with everything, I think there are some nuances at play here. Consider the following factors:
- How frequently do you email your list?
- How “engaged” is your list? What’s the conversion rate when you do send out a sales pitch?
- What sort of niche are you? Are you a small business with a loyal following or an internet marketer that put out an interesting video with an opt in?
- What’s the price point of your products?
If email marketing to you is a monthly newsletter, then I don’t think you need to wait seven months to send out an email inviting your clients to come shop your sale. But in this scenario I would think several “sales pitch” emails a month might be too much. If you are an internet marketer that sells make money online products, I would think that a higher sales to value communications might be tolerated. It would be interesting to know whether internet marketers make up a significant portion of Infusionsoft’s database.
What do you think the ratio should be?