Chapell & Associates

Monday, August 08, 2005

Can't Spam

Chief Marketing Officer Magazine August, 2005
Fossil, the hip fashion accessory maker, is all about individual style and personal taste. That ethos was nowhere in evidence when the company took its first shot at e-mail marketing six years ago: All 1 million customers on Fossil's e-mail list received a generic message. Every month or so, it repeated the mass mailing for a different product, hoping the message was relevant enough for some section of the full customer base to respond to the offer. The strategy worked fine, initially. But in 2003, the message began to lose steam. Between 2003 and 2004, average open rates on the e-mails dipped by 28 percent, and conversion rates declined by 36 percent. And more customers began opting out of the e-mail list. "One-size-fits-all is really the death knell for e-mail marketing," acknowledges John DeCaprio, Fossil's vice president of e-commerce. "If you hope to fight people clicking the 'this is spam' button every time you send a message, it has to be relevant for that particular audience."

The Chapell View
A well written article focusing on the recent trend towards personalization and relevance in email marketing. It's absolutely a positive sign that dynamic personalization has reached CMO magazine.


I remember talking about this when I was at DoubleClick over four years ago. Although most of the email service providers (Cheetah, Dartmail, Yesmail, Etc) were evalgelizing personalization back then, only a few companies (HP was always a leader in this area) were actually USING personalization tools in their campaigns. The concept of personalizing a message would seem to be straight out of marketing 101. It's amazing to me that it's taken so long for this message to filter out to the rest of the email world.

I recognize that some organizations had legacy database and other techological hurdles to overcome. But for too many, the real issue was cultural - where senior management often paid little attention to the email marketing programs. (i.e., "they're making money anyway, so I'm going to focus my attention elsewhere."

So if your organization is STILL not embracing relevance accross your email program - it's time!
posted by Alan on Monday, August 08, 2005

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