Test Will See Which E-Mails Age Best

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Longevity Labs Inc., a provider of health products, is expected to introduce a series of e-mail marketing tests next week in its first online marketing campaign to generate sales of its anti-aging product.

Longevity, Portland, OR, will begin the first of four phases by sending 20,000 e-mails to women older than 40 with annual household incomes of $100,000 or more. The company, which rented opt-in e-mail lists from a number of list vendors, targeted this demographic because the product is an anti-aging solution and is relatively pricey at $124.99.

"The product will probably be used on a monthly basis," said Ron Runyan, general manager at Sanda Communications, Portland, the marketing agency managing the campaign. "And we just didn't want price to be an issue."

The company will test shorter vs. longer copy by delivering 10,000 of each kind. The longer copy will include more information about the product, which is called the Liquid Longevity 2000 GH Complex, an oral dietary supplement that Longevity claims helps slow down the process of aging through growth hormone supplementation.

The subject lines of the e-mails will be the same. Longevity expects to get a 5 percent click-through rate and a 1 percent conversion rate.

The second phase of the campaign will be delivered to a new set of 30,000. Runyan said the length of the copy for the second e-mail will depend on which length produces more buys in the first round.

The second phase is expected to begin in May.

"We'll take about a week to get the response back and about another week to redo the creative based on the results of the first round of testing, and then out it goes again," Runyan said.

The second round of e-mails will be broken into three sets to test different subject lines, he said. The first headline will read, "Younger Skin in 90 Days"; the second will read, "Health and Beauty Secrets of the Rich and Famous"; and the third will read, "How a Dr. Discovered He Could Reverse the Effects of Aging."

Longevity also will follow up with e-mail respondents who did not make a purchase in the first round but requested more information on the product, Runyan said.

The third phase of the campaign will target the same demographic; the number of recipients, however, has not been determined, he said.

The company first will evaluate copy length and subject lines, Runyan said. The third round is expected to launch two weeks after the second phase, he said.

The fourth phase of the campaign will shift to banner advertising and traditional media, Runyan said.

"Opt-in e-mail is really just one element of the whole marketing mix," Runyan said. "And the reason we're using it first is because of the very fast feedback cycle that will allow us to very quickly tailor our message and find out what's our most receptive demographic, what headline works the best and what benefits are most important.

"That gives us the information we can use to intelligently expand to different media with things that we know will generate a good response," he added.

Longevity, www.longevitylabs.net, plans to place targeted banner ads within a network of e-mail newsletters through Advertising.com, Runyan said. He said the Advertising.com software allows Longevity to track response rates and "funnel the impressions into the vehicles that get the highest response rates.

"We pay per click instead of paying per impressions, which we like better because the leads you get through a banner ad are less qualified than an e-mail click through," Runyan said, "so you'd expect a lower cost per click."

Finally, Longevity intends to advertise via print publications, such as women's, seniors' and health magazines, Runyan said.

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