• No One Got Rich By Giving Things Away Oct 10, 2019
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    You can’t argue against it. It’s obvious that selling products at a loss does nothing for your ROI, at least not directly. Yet email marketing companies do it. Not only that, the most successful seem to do it more than the others. Therefore, they must have their reasons.

    For research purposes I subscribed to a company pushing weekends away in rather up-market hotels. We all like a bit of luxury, but few of us like paying an extra percentage to allow such places to pamper us. The difference in cost between four and five star hotels is often significant, and I’ll only use the swimming pool for a couple of hours.

    The first email offered a quality hotel at the price of a four star one. After a quick check with the calendar, I’d booked a three-night stay. They must have made little profit from it.

    Each new subscriber to your email marketing lists costs you. In fact, you should know precisely how much for each one. The problem with someone new to your lists is that you know very little about them. Data is what we need to be successful, not only in sales, but to keep subscribers. The more we know, the more we can predict.

    The first thing you want your subscriber to do is provide you with data that you can work with. When they sign up you might well get the basic demographics, such as gender and location, but that gives you little to work on. We need to segment our email marketing lists, and for that to be effective we need precise information.

    You could ask, of course, but if you’re looking for something to scare potential subscribers, a long form will do it every time. A much subtler way is to make them give you data by their actions. Make them choose.

    The first marketing email from the holiday company I subscribed to started with an effusive welcome, promises of lots of offers, and some bumf about them visiting every hotel on their lists. It was disappointingly bland. Then came the offer, or offers rather.

    There was a selection of six hotels in various parts of the country. I clicked through to three in all, showing my preferences. Each hotel offered various times and standards of room. I clicked on the prices for ‘outside of school holidays’, again giving data to the company. And so it went on.

    The prices were remarkable, so I wasn’t going to rush. My selection, and my tortuous route, would give indicators as to which group I should be placed the next time the company segmented its email marketing list.

    The requirement for an email marketer is to choose offers that will indicate preferences, via click throughs as well as choices. Ensure there’s a range to pick from, and the data you receive will be what will help you make your choices.

    The weekend was rather pleasant. The service and facilities as described. Despite me joining the list for research, I’m staying for other reasons.

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