Ajay Row had this to say in a LinkedIn post about the cost of inattention:
You are a smart marketer with a 10% open rate on your emails and a 20% click-through rate, so effectively 2% (10% x 20%) of your audience respond to you in our (overly-simplistic) example.
Let’s understand this.
First, your 10% open rate means you have a 90% non-open rate — which means 90% of your database ignored you. For these folks, nothing bad happened. Life did not dramatically change for the worse. So they have been taught that ignoring you has no downside. So they will continue to ignore you, and keep getting reassured afresh with every email they ignore, till your emails no longer even register in their brains, become a blind spot and with that, eventually, your brand in the Inbox. Until of course an ever-helpful inbox prompts the customer to unsubscribe, and they do, never to feel the loss.
Now to the 10% who do open your emails. Lovely people. Bless them. Let’s say your CTA is really cool and 20% (!) click on it and the remaining 80% delete your email without clicking. Which means 80% of 10% (8%, we are now at 98% of your customer base and counting) have been educated that to open your email is a mistake. Some, optimists, will open more emails, others have learned to ignore you. Optimism is a rapidly degenerating function in the email world though.
The worst part, last. The 20% of the 10% (2% in all) who clicked on your link, all eager to move ahead. Let’s say you have not figured out your landing page strategy (I know we said you are smart but even the smartest don’t think through the post CTA journey sometimes) and 80% of these folks are unable to do whatever it is that you want them to do and they want to do. Ouch! They rapidly join the ranks of the “let’s ignore this smart marketers’ brand”; except, with a vengeance.
This cost is not measured on a P&L and hence does not total into a balance sheet. But to my mind it is a real cost of incompetent and uncaring marketing that impacts a brand and its ability to communicate with its customers.
And think: what if a significant portion of a brand’s more valuable customers are ignoring it? This is revenue loss that brands don’t even factor in.
Attention must become the new Acquisition. Without attention, there is no engagement. Without engagement, there is no transaction. In the trees of continuous new customer acquisition, brands and marketers have lost the joy of the forest of customer attention, delight, and engagement. It is time to go back to the basics. It is time to simplify marketing. But to do that, we have to first understand the big idea that marketing has largely missed.