August 14, 2016

Answer to the Email Question

Here's the question:

August 8 Question:  You used to send three email campaigns per week, generating $0.20 each. You increased your contact strategy to five campaigns per week, generating $0.13 each. 40% of sales flow through to profit. Was the decision to go from three campaigns per week to five campaigns per week a good decision?

There are many things I'm looking for when the candidate responds to this question.
  • 3 Campaigns Per Week = $0.20*3*0.40 = $0.24 profit.
  • 5 Campaigns Per Week = $0.13*5*0.40 = $0.26 profit.
I want to see if the candidate can calculate profit.

I want to see if the candidate notices that ad cost is missing.

I seriously hope that the candidate avoids nonsense about open rates, opt-out rates and all that stuff. Those are "strategic" terms that tell me that the candidate does not understand key issues and is therefore trying to bluff by using industry lingo.

I want to see if the candidate asks for mail/holdout test results ... results that prove whether either strategy works or not.

I want to see if the candidate asks for results across channels or trusts the data presented in the question. In other words, does the candidate know that paid search demand increases when more emails are sent?

The "right" answer is less important than the "right" thought process ... or a new/unique/creative thought process.

Thought process is a big deal. I've interviewed a lot of people ... a significant minority of folks I've interviewed find ways to bluff their way through key questions. They will quote a Woodside Research report they've never read. They will quote something a vendor told them. They will quote something they heard at a conference. They will say something about having to compete with Amazon. Bluffing. All of it. That's what I am looking for. When the candidate starts bluffing, we establish the baseline of knowledge. The knowledge baseline might well be acceptable for the job we're trying to fill ... but we need to know what the baseline is, right?

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