Monday, February 28, 2011

The High Cost of Email

A countless number of people all share the tiresome computer ritual of checking email. Personally, I waste time every day deleting at least 20 useless and unnecessary emails, despite leaving what I consider to be a small footprint of Internet usage. I unsubscribe to things I never really explicitly subscribed to, yet the emails still pile up. This leads me to wonder how us marketers might react if email worked like snail mail and cost 44 cents (or some other nominal amount) to send.

Ideally, this would create a more efficient system for all. Marketers would focus their email communication on the community of people they serve most. A small 44-cent investment requires marketers to make a big commitment to understanding the recipient and perfecting the message. Consequently, success rates will increase because the message is more personal, relevant, and effective. On the other hand, with less email to check, consumers can give the precious few more of their attention.

Sure, charging for email is a far-out hypothetical scenario, but marketers must realize that flooding anonymous inboxes comes at a price (even if the accountants cannot see it). I just wonder if they could see a financial cost (along with the corresponding income generated), if more marketers would put in more effort to transform email into a legitimate marketing tactic.

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