The Tie That Binds: Why Email Is the Key to Maximising Marketing ROI

This is the seventh part of the series whereby I am turning the wonderful talks into actionable takeaways you can implement in your business. Yesterday’s article was about Size Doesn’t Matter: Great Content by Teams of One. This article is looking at The Tie That Binds: Why Email is Key to Maximizing Marketing ROI by Justine Jordan and how no matter the size of your team you can still generate great content ideas.

Email marketing is a channel which I do feel a lot of business don’t put enough effort in. They do all the hard work of SEO and PPC and get people to convert or sign up to their newsletter but then fail at the final hurdle.

It’s one of the cheapest forms of marketing and it’s not like in the late 1990’s where by everyone on your mailing list would get the same email, with the data you hold about your customers all emails should be personalised to boost performance.

Emailing allows you to build brand loyalty with your customers and better still brand advocates. The problem is once you create these advocates, you have to keep the up the high standard in emails and the same messaging.


Justine gives a great example about Karma – she became a customer followed by an advocate. As well as having a great business model, they also knew how to write amazing subject lines and encourage you to work outside (but I guess they earn more money if you’re working outside as you need more data from them).

Their emails were always about you and not them. It didn’t just stop at the subject lines either, the body of the copy had great content in there too and it was all about you.

Bad Karma

But then in August of 2016 all that changed, all the good well-branded emails stop, the transactional emails kept coming, but the more light hearted, customer centric emails stopped. Nothing for 4 months – until Christmas day, when they kind of started again. But gone were the nice customer focused copy written messages and now it was all about BUY BUY BUY with a lot of shouting, calls to action and urgency.

It was if they got a brand new marketing director or was given new marketing goals and the emails went from brilliant to spammy. The problem is it might have helped the sales initially, but over the long term, a lot of happy customers will have been turned away. Customers expect consistency and are more likely to unsubscribe if you try and change, especially to more sales focused message.

Most companies think about email as it’s something we have to do, it’s on a checklist. We must send out an email on Monday to drive people to the website to buy and this is mainly because we as marketers thing that not the many people pay attention to anymore more or they don’t get opened etc.

magic spot of email marketing

Justine argues out jobs as marketers is to sit in the magic spot – right between what our subscribers need and what the business needs.

Personal Medium

Email is a personal medium and people are allowing you onto one of their most personal devices their mobile phones. You haven’t earned that trust, don’t try and ruin it by spammy your customers.


Justine then goes onto talk about a story of something which happened at Amazon, about how they shifted about how their customer goals and their business goals align at Amazon.


As you can see, even Amazon takes email seriously, upsetting just one customer can cause a spiral and usually , ost people don’t complain, less than 1% usually complain so you never get to know why, they just unsubscribe or stop buying from you.


We have said it a few times so far, but spam is when someone no longer trust your brand feels like you are spammy them – these customer could of legitimately subscribed to your email list, but no feel like you are just wanting to sell to them.

Top Reasons Consumers Report Spam
Top Reasons Consumers Report Spam


Look at your spam rates, are they high. If they are high you want to make a plan and strategy to bring this down for two reasons

  1. You don’t want people to think of you as a spammy company, they will more than likely never buy from you again or recommend you
  2. It will affect your deliverability – too many people clicking this is spam will affect your email reputation and reduce the chances of your emails being delivered.

Look at the reason above that 1,500 people surveyed gave for marking an email as spam. Can you honestly say you don’t make these mistakes.

Making it to hard to unsubscribe leads to people marking as spam. While we don’t want people to unsubscribe we definitely don’t want them to mark us as spam, so make it easy for people to unsubscribe.


While unsubscribes don’t hurt your sender reputation... Spam complaints do.


Emails can be a brilliant channel to build brand loyalty and advocates – but its like every other channel it needs a proper process and strategy and not just “its Monday time to send a mass email”. Subscribes are allowing us as marketers onto one of their most private spaces – their moviles phones, don’t ruin this.

As we saw in the video – even Amazon is willing to shut down its Email programme to not damage its brand, you too should also have this mentality.

Unsubscribes isn’t a major issue, people will drop in and out of your email campaigns, what’s an issue is spam rates. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe from your lists – you still want the rest of your emails to be delivered.



Please remember these are my takings from the conference and not those of Katie, while I have used his presentation as inspiration and quoted her a few times the words are my own.

Please check back tomorrow to see Marketing in a Conversational World: How to Get Discovered, Delight Your Customers, and Earn the Conversionby Purna Virji or check out the full series here.

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