From the E-mail Campaign Archive: E-Newsletters the Leading Category in September
The category "newsletters-general" was the most popular type of e-mail sent last September, according to an analysis of more than 7,000 mailings sent from almost 1,000 companies in the E-mail Campaign Archive, a Target Marketing Group service that collects thousands of promotional e-mails each month.
During September, an average of 25.2 of these types of e-mails were sent, compared to the 7.1 average for the entire archive. The next most popular categories included the following:
* cable/television/radio: 21.4
* magazines-regional: 19.2
* individual titles-books: 16.0
The industries with the lowest frequency included the following:
* hotels/resorts: 2.1
* automotive: 1.4
* gambling: 1.0
Industry averages can be deceiving, however. Some companies in one industry mail more, while others in the same category mail less. In addition, companies deploying more than five times the frequency of the category average were removed from the averages, as were categories with fewer than three companies in them. So it’s wise to use these numbers as one of several data points in your decision-making process.
The deal-of-the-day tactic
The analysis also found that some e-mailers deploy sales e-mails far above the average — as much as five to 10 times more, blasting 30 to 40 e-mails a month. Most of them share the same strategy: a formal “Deal of the Day” program. Here, companies frequently change prices, incentives, products or terms on a different product or category every day or two, thus creating excitement, urgency and traffic.
The subtler version
Other e-mailers used a similar frequency and timely offer rotation, but with a less explicit or urgent positioning approach. Two examples here include Carabella (32 e-mails) and Wine Legacy (14). These companies didn’t use formal “Deal of the Day” positioning for their programs, but used most if not all of the tactics mentioned above.
What this means for you
For a 90-day period, consider running an A/B split test of this strategy against your current one. Test promoting a different single product or category with a one-day-only offer. Use that item as a traffic builder and then cross-sell or upsell other products. But announce your plans to your customer list first. This way your customers won’t be surprised by the higher frequency.
Bill Baird is founder of Baird Direct Marketing, a Norwalk, Conn.-based content and subscription marketing consultancy that focuses on Web publishers.