DM News' Essential Guide to E-Mail Marketing: Frequency: The Missing Ingredient

Share this content:
We all know that the right audience and relevant messages are critical to an e-mail campaign, but even then many have failed. Why? We found that there's a third critical variable: frequency. And for most considered purchases, frequency plays a paramount role in determining success.

One successful client in implementing multiple-frequency e-mail campaigns is Gateway. Since 2003, Gateway has relied on this strategy to sell big-ticket items ranging from $5,000-plus plasma televisions to computers with $699 price tags.

Our most recent work for Gateway was to influence consumers who expressed intentions to buy laptop computers.

Prospect identification. To develop a prospecting list of laptop intenders, we reviewed purchase-intent data captured at our many online survey mechanisms. On sites such as, the location for the electronics online magazine we publish, we received information from consumers on products they are in the market to buy, such as laptops, home theater equipment and other high-ticket electronics. This self-reported information is maintained in Thomas, Townsend & Kent's Affluent Americans database.

Contact strategy. Next we worked with Gateway to develop the optimal contact strategy for the M320 and M680X lines. Buying a computer is a considered purchase, so the sales cycle may take days or even weeks. But most intenders eventually will buy. Therefore, keeping Gateway's name in front of them is critical.

We launched this e-mail campaign with a two-pronged approach: solo e-mails to the prospect list and ads in Home Electronics Journal, followed weeks later by additional e-mails with different creative.

Response tracking. Tracking for Gateway is tricky with the long sales cycle and multiple distribution channels via Internet, telephone or retail, so our solution was to match Gateway's buyers file to our mailing files.

Though match-back isn't 100 percent, it's much better than any other method. The match-back for recent Gateway promotions generated a 3.27 times return on investment and revealed that the multiple-frequency e-mails continue to be one of Gateway's most effective programs. A review showed that many consumers purchase 30 days after receiving the first e-mail. And for every online sale, 2.3 sales were generated by phone or at retail.

The lessons from Gateway's successes are that purchase intenders will open and read multiple messages if they are relevant, and giving prospects more than one chance to hear from you during their decision-making window increases response dramatically.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Brightcove is the world's leading video platform. The most innovative and respected brands confidently rely on Brightcove to solve their most demanding communication challenges because of the unmatched performance and flexibility of our platform, our global scale and reliability, and our award-winning service. With thousands of customers and an industry-leading suite of cloud video products, Brightcove enables customers to drive compelling business results.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above