When it comes to e-mail lists, more marketing is better

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Robert Vanselow, VP of sales and marketing, Newsmax Media
Robert Vanselow, VP of sales and marketing, Newsmax Media

E-mail marketers are faced with many challenges — chief among them is list performance. The easy answer among experts is simply to use the lists less, in the hope that, somehow, they will keep their customer value. However, this well-intentioned strategy may actually result in “decelerating” both your marketing efforts and your bottom line revenues. When it comes to marketing proprietary in-house lists, adver­tisers and company promotions obtain phenomenal results, even when e-mailed often. Here are some ingredients for success­ful e-mail list marketing:

Content is king. Many com­mercial firms create and build an e-mail list to generate rev­enues, but they don't “feed” the list with good content. Imagine a farmer offering his ground no water or fertilizer. Although we e-mail as many as four or five times a day to these lists, we always offer our readers unique content. We believe they will not only open the e-mails but buy our products, as well as our advertisers' products.

Size matters. The size of a list is very important. When it comes to value, many marketers will argue against large files. We constantly hear that “Quality, not quantity, counts.” What is wrong with having both? It is true you can have a small list that really works, but unless the list has critical mass, it may not be worth the time of your marketing team to prepare and imple­ment the campaigns. The key is to use larger lists. If you have your own list, put money and resources into expanding it. If you market to lists, look for larger list files. As a rule, we will never market to any third-party e-mail lists unless they have more than 200,000 names. Your own proprietary list is another matter. If you own the list and market your own products to it, you can see significant results even with a much smaller list.

Replenish. The key to keeping your list big and growing is your relentless drive to add new e-mail names to it. Remember, you are on a treadmill in the e-mail business. Industry numbers suggest you lose 3%-5% of your house file each month. We keep building our lists through offers of free reports and surveys. People are increasingly wary of giving up their e-mail address, so you have to offer them a benefit.

Repeat. Many marketers often space out their e-mail campaigns, again clinging to this notion of not bothering the customer too much. Consider if TV campaigns were placed with such an approach. We encourage our advertisers to place their campaigns consecutively and close together. Some follow-up cam­paigns can even be sent within 24 hours of the last one. When it comes to e-mail campaigns, push the pedal to the metal.

Robert Vanselow is VP of sales and marketing, Newsmax Media. Reach him at robert.vanselow@newsmax.com.

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