ACME Inc VS EMCA Inc – Which kind of email marketer are you?

ACME Inc VS EMCA Inc is a metaphor that describes two archetypes of companies that do email marketing.

The first archetype, ACME Inc (the larger segment) describes the majority of companies that rely on email to drive traffic, engagement and conversions.

The other archetype is EMCA Inc, which accounts for a much smaller segment of companies. It describes companies that use email to communicate highly relevant messages at the right moment.

This difference might seem purely sophistic but is actually quite sophisticated 🙂

What really matters is what is their focus: while the first tries to use email to bring benefits for themselves, the other one uses it to bring to the user.

The hard truth is that today almost no one has time to sit for 3 months thoroughly planning their email marketing strategy. As businesses grow and develop, there’s often an immediate KPI that needs to be met, e.g. a need for immediate revenue, traffic or engagement. This need urges them to start sending a lot of emails, often to inactive users that aren’t expecting to hear from them.

And ISPs don’t like that. Because nobody is looking forward to an email from ACME, the engagement rates are low and what happens is that more and more emails start getting filtered into Spam.

KPI’s go down and managers start panicking.

A usual reaction to this is sending even more in an attempt to bring back the falling KPI’s.

This situation soon escalates to a serious cyclical problem as the list churn increases and the email engagement falls, while relative costs go up.

Here’s a brief about the differences between these two. You might recognize yourself, and if you do, see what an EMCA company would do instead.



What they do:

  • Looking to leverage the email channel and drive traffic/sales/engagements.
  • Looks at immediate KPIs and ROIs of the email channel.
  • Gets easy on the affiliate bandwagon and tries to further monetize the list.
  • Has a short subscriber life cycle and a high churn rate.
  • Looks for an excuse to email a subscriber.
  • Looks at open rates, CTRs and sales.
  • Relies on “shiny” new systems and methods.
  • Employs juniors and mid-levels for email.
  • Product-centered.

What an EMCA does:

  • Looking to use email to communicate highly relevant messages that will benefit their users.
  • Looks at the LTV and satisfaction rates of the entire list.
  • Takes great care about what they send to their subscribers.
  • Looks to grow the number of subscribers and keeps the churn low.
  • Pursues to send LESS emails.
  • Looks at open rates, CTOs and the inbox placement rate.
  • Relies on stable systems and smart automation.
  • Employs mid-levels and seniors for email.
  • Customer-centered.