Tell us if this sounds familiar.
You send out an email to members and prospects in the morning, and then check your open rate and click-through numbers in the afternoon. As usual, your numbers are stellar!
You’ve got an open rate of 70% and a click-through rate of 60%. You notice that your numbers seem to keep getting better and better.
If you haven’t realized it by now, your numbers aren’t accurate. Over the past few years, it’s become increasingly common for security bots to be responsible for the great majority of B2B email engagement—as much as 80% by some estimates.
These bots don’t mean to screw up your marketing plans. In fact, they’re in place to scan for links to malware and phishing attempts.
They derive from security software associated with various B2B email programs. Their job is to scan the email intended for your recipient. And in fact, if they just scanned it, it would be no problem. But the bots also open the email and click the links to check the redirects and make sure they aren’t malware.
The problem is, bot engagement gets recorded just like actual engagement. According to HubSpot, these security filters are more common in certain industries, like finance or healthcare. Ultimately, you don’t really know if your emails are getting opened or not.
And while some marketing automation programs have tried to create fixes, it’s a cat-and-mouse game. Every time the bad actors increase their phishing efforts, security must get more sophisticated, too.
The bottom line is: The bots are going to win.
But that doesn’t mean you need to lose.
Let’s Stop Talking About Your Emails
During our regular client meetings, one topic consistently dominates the conversation: emails. The focus revolves around the emails we sent last week and planning the next set for the upcoming week.
We get it. We monitor our own email performance, hoping for high open rates and click-throughs. We recognize the value of email as a form of communication.
However, we also know that email shouldn’t be the sole communication platform. Relying excessively on it carries the risk of failing to reach the intended audience.
Therefore, our primary message to you is this: It’s crucial to significantly reduce the number of emails you send.
It’s scary to think about slashing the number of emails in the queue. But it’s even scarier to rely on a false narrative of engagement, created by security bots.
Instead of your entire marketing strategy being tied to sending email after email, you need to create a more holistic strategy. There are lots of names for this. Integrated. Omni-channel. Multi-channel. Cross-channel. Unified.
We’re agnostic as to the terminology, but for our purposes in working with associations, the key idea is Not just email.
Not just email can look like utilizing the social media platforms where your members and prospects hang out. It can look like texting, calling, and messaging. And it can look like thoughtful content strategy that hasn’t just been rinsed and repeated from the previous year.
We know it’s uncomfortable to let go of the main tactic you’ve always cleaved to. To untether from what seems like a sure thing. And it’s overwhelming to think about learning platforms you’re not yet familiar with or perhaps haven’t even been invented yet.
Marketers in industries across the spectrum are feeling the pain, but we know the particular stress that membership- and subscription-based organizations are feeling. We also know that it will only get worse—and not “worse before it gets better,” but “worse before it gets even worse.”
Rottman Creative can help free you from email dependence. Have questions? Let’s chat.
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