How to Keep Your Email Marketing Strategy from Losing Traction

Debra Ellis President, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Posted on June 13th 2013

How to Keep Your Email Marketing Strategy from Losing Traction

Why do you send emails to your customers? Are you using them to generate more sales, better loyalty, and lower costs? Or, are they a simply a vehicle for moving products or selling services? Spend a little time looking at the emails coming from a variety of industries and brands and you’ll see a cookie cutter approach reminiscent of catalogs in the 1980’s. The strategy generates revenue and short term success but it doesn’t build the relationships between customer and company required for longevity.

The opportunity to create one to one relationships with thousands of customers has eluded marketers until now. The high costs associated with personalized marketing messages prevented companies from connecting with people on a personal level. Things have changed. The combination of low cost email marketing and extensive data availability makes creating individual messages an affordable option.

Few companies are doing it because email marketing works so well now. Why should they invest resources in changing a strategy that profitably generates sales with every send? History has a way of repeating itself. The catalogs that modeled themselves after each other are gone now. Their short term vision failed to build brand loyalty. The catalogs started to look outdated and stale as competition heated up. Customers quietly disappeared over time.

The same evolution is happening with email marketing today. Competition is heating up with more business emails being sent every day. Newcomers are following the lead of their predecessors and sending template messages. Why shouldn’t they? It’s a strategy known to work well.

Before long, email marketing programs will start losing traction. Opt outs will start increasing while opens and clickthroughs decrease. The companies that change their strategy now will continue to have a successful email marketing program. Their outgoing messages will enhance customer relationships while generating sales. To get started:

  • Use behavior analytics to identify the best opportunities for marketing to your customers.
  • Create personalized email messages that speak to individuals.
  • Provide useful information that educates customers about your products and services.
  • Make it easy for people to connect with your company.
  • Use trigger emails to improve service, capture abandoned carts, and make the buying decision easier.

Moving from cookie cutter marketing to personal messages is an evolutionary process. The sooner you start, the faster you’ll start receiving the benefits.


Debra Ellis

President, Wilson & Ellis Consulting

Debra Ellis is a business consultant, author, and speaker. She specializes in showing companies how to improve customer acquisition and retention using integrated marketing and service strategies. Her latest marketing guide, 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing, is a practical resource for marketers seeking better results with minimal investment. Her engineering background provides statistical insight to finding actionable data that can be used to grow companies and reduce costs.

She is recognized as an expert in marketing from direct mail to social media, customer behavior, and strategic planning. Her expertise is often tapped by media sources including: The New York Times, CNN/’s Small Business Makeovers, Target Marketing, Multichannel Merchant, and MarketingProfs.

Her marketing guides include 31 Ways to Supercharge Your Email Marketing, Social Media 4 Direct Marketers, and Marketing to the Customer Lifecycle.

Debra loves the art and science of multichannel marketing. She is a student and teacher of the methods that transform shoppers into buyers and buyers into lifelong customers. In 1995, she founded Wilson & Ellis Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in creating strategies that make channels and departments work together to optimize the customer experience. Since then, she has worked with over a hundred distinguished clients such as Costco, Edmund Scientifics, Jacuzzi, Ross-Simons Jewelry, and The Body Shop.

Prior to founding her firm, Debra was instrumental in the record growth of Ballard Designs, Inc. while serving as Chief Operating Officer. Today, she uses her experience and expertise to show executives how to successfully navigate marketing channels and integrate activities to profitably grow their business. Her practical approach maximizes the return on investment.

She can be reached via email at [email protected]. She blogs at

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