The gap between expectation and experience

The gap between expectation and experience can make the difference between success and failure. Large gaps often result in lower conversion and higher unsubscribe rates. You've probably heard people say "don't make promises you can't keep". Likewise, you shouldn't build expectations you can't meet.

The three phases identified in the diagram (shown here on the right) are crucial to managing expectation experience gaps in your email marketing. These three phases are explained in greater detail below.

Manage the expectation
Make it very clear what your readers should expect. This should run right through your email strategy from campaign timing to email content. Take time to think about how your email campaigns will affect the expectations of your readers. Aim to create realistic and attractive expectations that promote long term loyalty.

Monitor the experience
It's very important that you monitor what happens during the experience. If you have a high opt out rate, abandonment rate after click through or low conversion rate you may have an issue with expectation experience gaps.

Feedback the experience
Encourage your readers to feedback their comments. Simply asking if you met their expectations can help avoid any unnecessary marketing blunders. Ideally you should ask what they expected and how this compared to their experience. If you failed to meet or exceeded their expectation you have an expectation experience gap. You may be under selling your business or over promising. Adjusting this will help you maximise the success of your marketing efforts.