Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian Economist, commented on the unequal distribution of wealth in his country by claiming that only 20% of the population owned 80% of the wealth. Over the years, this principle has been applied to just about everything imaginable. It has been determined that 20% of the work that you do will take 80% of the energy you put forth, 20% of your company’s sales staff will drive 80% of your incoming sales, 20% of health patients will utilize 80% of healthcare resources, 20% of criminals cause 80% of crimes committed, and so on.
I can go on and on about the limitless number of applications of Pareto’s principle to everyday life in contemporary society. However, as a marketing enthusiast, my interest lies only in its application to the marketing efforts involved in generating exposure and driving traffic to company websites. While Pareto’s principle is not to be taken literally, Pareto’s point that he meant to drive home is that not everything is distributed evenly. It might be that 90% of your blood, sweat, and tears is rewarded by only 10% of your customer base. Regardless of the distribution of effort versus reward, we can all agree that life is not fair. Only a minority of your customers are going to drive the majority of your sales. Period.
Does this mean you should ignore the majority of your leads? Absolutely not. However, your goal should be to concentrate your efforts to that which will prove most fruitful for you and your business. Otherwise, you can bet that you will be working yourself to the bone and not reaping the benefits if you continue to market to, spend money on, and cater to every request of those who could care less about your products or services in the end.
What this means for email marketing is that not 100% of the people you send to are going to be interested in your offers. If this was the case for your business, I can guarantee that you are the first in history to achieve this kind of universal appeal. If you make the decision to move forward with an email marketing campaign, your main purpose is to weed out the vital few from the trivial many. The leads generated from a campaign to either a mass B2B database or a mass B2C database will be those who have indicated an interest in your offerings and who are actively seeking further information about your company. These are the people that have received your email in their inbox, opened, read, and clicked on a link embedded in the email for additional insight into your business’ operations. Once you begin to build credibility online and begin to draw in more sign ups, focus your attention on the demands of these potential customers. Although it’s been overstated and perhaps overused, quality trumps quantity.
20% of interested consumers trump 80% of those who are indifferent.
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