The Eminem Digital Marketing Philosophy: You Only Get One Shot

Late one night recently I was browsing the web thinking about how digital behaviors have evolved as technology has matured. As a heavy Gmail user, I wondered if the advancements Google has made with spam detection and email management might have impacted the efficacy of email marketing.

Specifically, besides the advancement in spam detection Google has made, in the latest Gmail interface, users can easily press the ‘Report Spam’ button if they become annoyed by an email interaction. Doing so relegates all future email from the offending brand to email purgatory: the Spam folder.





The question matters to Online Marketers because now, as recent Conductor research shows, 6 out of 10 online users use Gmail as their primary email:

Thinking about this more, we recognize that oftentimes user behaviors impact the arc of technology.  I went to sleep that night wondering if, in this case, advancements in technology (Gmail Spam interface updates) has impacted user behaviors (easy to drop offending brand into Spam folder purgatory), which in turn likely impacts the strategy and tactics of email marketers.

An Answer Appears

As sometimes happens, the stars aligned and an answer dropped into my lap the very next day. An email from Marketing Charts with the headline 1 out of 7 e-mails don’t reach inboxes showed up:

A close read of the article showed email marketers had greater difficulty reaching Gmail inboxes than AOL or Yahoo! Inboxes. While the article did not go into greater detail about why that might be, it’s reasonable to conclude that Gmail’s spam detection and ‘mark as spam forever’ button has something to do with it.
(Knowing Google’s propensity for mining insight across an entire platform, imagine too, if your ‘pressing mark as spam’ on an email from ‘Acme Co.’ impacts its dropping into my Spam folder versus Inbox).

Email Marketing Delivery to Gmail Users Reminds Online Marketers to Always Be On Their Game

The insight that Marketers have a more difficult time reaching Gmail users than those of other email platforms, presumably due in part to the ease with which users can relegate all future emails from the brand to email purgatory, is relevant to more than just those readers who are responsible for email marketing.

The insight is a concrete reminder to online marketers that we’ve got to be on our game all of the time—the first time and every time—when it comes to both catchiness and relevancy across all channels in which we operate.

Unlike in Gmail, there’s no ‘Spam’ button on Twitter, Facebook, or in the search results, so we are not likely to come across concrete data that shows a measurable impact of blowing it in those channels. Instead, readers just ignore whatever we are hoping to have them click on.

The takeaway, therefore, is no matter the digital channel you are operating in, make sure you are putting your best foot forward the first time. Because it’s easy to click on another search result, scroll to the next tweet, or click the ‘Spam’ button.

In the immortal words of the poet Eminem:

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime you better…

2 Responses to The Eminem Digital Marketing Philosophy: You Only Get One Shot

  1. Dana says:

    Interesting article, especially considering Gmail’s new tabbed system segments lots of marketing emails.

    It doesn’t look like that Marketing Charts graph takes into account the ‘promotions’ tab–I’m assuming for the 60% of email users who user gmail, this means even less than 78% of marketing emails make it to the ‘primary’ tab.