I needed a new washing machine. Whilst this might not seem relevant to email marketing, stick with me for a while. Conforming to male stereotyping, I attacked the internet, becoming confused by the multiplicity of offerings in the various ’10 best . . . ’.
I caught myself considering a machine that only had a dozen or so programmes that I would never use plus the much hyped benefit of a liquid crystal display that showed what actual function the machine was performing at any time.
Many commentators suggest that we have just a few seconds before a subscriber decides to delete an email so suggest that a single offering per marketing email gives best returns. A plethora of choices might confuse and frustrate, making completion less likely. My inbox tends to suggest this is accepted by most email marketing companies.
I recently received an email from a successful software company which contained a choice of three similar products. Accepted wisdom is that choice is easier where items are significantly different. If there is little to choose between them, a purchaser might well opt for none or defer the decision.
In this specific offer, there was a basic product, the subject of the ‘From £xx’ Subject Line, which would have been barely adequate for my needs. For about 10% extra I could have additional features, my preferred option, and for an additional 15% (actually more than the 25% over the price of the basic item) one could have what amounted to a digital display of the washing cycle.
I have a reputation for being a bit careful when it comes to buying software, one I try and deserve, yet I bought the top spec item. Not only that, I did it knowing that the company’s email marketing software would have indicated that I probably would.
We all believe that offering choice in a marketing email reduces completions because that is what we are told. Another bit of accepted wisdom is that you should accept nothing as true without experiment. The latter over-rides the former.
This was a clever little bit of inspired email marketing. The company didn’t take much of a risk but still had a 15% increase in income.