Email marketing tip of the week: always build your contact list, but please… don’t wait two years to send the first communication!
During January of 2007, about 20 of my sorority sisters and I visited Washington, D.C. for a weekend of celebrating the installation of a new chapter of Pi Beta Phi at GWU. During this time, we chose to stay at the D.C. Hampton Inn (which is not my preferred choice of hotels, but the D.C. HI was nonetheless very nice, well-equipped, centrally-located and very well-priced).
I made my reservation online, received the confirmation emails, etc. and went along my merrily. A great time was had by all and the weekend was a great success.
Point of the story? Here I am in November of 2008, nearly two years later, checking my email when what should appear in my inbox other than a promotional message from “my friends at the Hampton Inn – D.C.” – the first promotional message at that.
The most ironic part is that I was actually just in D.C. last weekend. Luckily, I stayed with friends and didn’t need a hotel, but wouldn’t it have made better sense for the Hampton Inn to occasionally contact me every few months or so after my stay instead of two years later? Just imagine how many times I could’ve realistically visited D.C. since.
Long story short: building an email list is great. Waiting two years to put it to good use? Slack.
PS – Since making my January 2007 reservation, my email address has changed as I’ve migrated away from my ISP-specific email address (here’s hoping I’ll one day be able to get away from the mini-monopoly that is Time Warner Cable). Luckily for the sender, I have it forward to my Gmail address, but MANY emailers aren’t that tech-savvy… I wonder what their bounce rates were like!