email marketing ROI

In the Email World, Good Is the Enemy of Great…and ROI

If you’re familiar with Jim Collins’ groundbreaking business book, “Good to Great”, you’re probably familiar with the phrase, “good is the enemy of great.”

Collins argues that we have plenty of good businesses because they are good enough. Good enough is something you settle for, and it’s definitely not great. Ditto for schools, marriages, and on and on. When something is good, it’s really good enough, and we settle for that rather than strive for great.

What is the difference between good enough and great when it comes to email marketing? Well, what would it mean to your email marketing ROI to have just a 1% improvement in your email deliverability rate? Depending on the size of your in-house list, great could mean a serious bump in your email marketing ROI.

If you have 20,000 names on your list, and only 85% of your emails are delivered, that’s 3,000 people who never get your email in your inbox, so never click on your call to action and buy or register. Say you’re selling registrations to an event at a cost of $250 per person, and you’re typical conversion rate is 10%. Those 3,000 people who never get your email are equivalent to $7,500.

Now, you probably won’t ever have a 100% deliverability rate, but if good enough is 85%, what does great look like? What would it take to get you there? What would great translate to in email marketing ROI and real life dollars?

Is it enough ROI to make the jump from good to great worth the effort? Most definitely!

Need help making the jump? Turn to the email consultants at ClickMail.

Hear Collins talk about good as the enemy of great in this audio clip.

Published On: April 25th, 2012Categories: Miscellaneous email marketing topics

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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