Five E-mail Marketing Tips for Publishers
The publishing sector, it’s safe to say, is still largely driven by direct mail communication. But many publishing companies are testing into the e-mail channel to take advantage of its cost efficiencies and timeliness. At the DM Days New York Conference and Expo last month, several publishing experts took part in a session on offline and online marketing strategies that was moderated by Pegg Nadler, president of Pegg Nadler Associates. These panelists included Michelle Rutkowski, interactive marketing director at Taunton Press, a publisher of magazines, books and videos; Ann Wixon, executive marketing director of Healthy Directions, a newsletter publisher and provider of physician-branded supplements; and Tara Wexler, director of interactive marketing for List Services Corp., a full-service list firm.
On the subject of e-mail marketing, the panelists offered the following insights:
1. Taunton Press does internal appending between its postal database and e-mail database by collecting e-mail addresses at every point of contact with customers, including acquisition, renewals, change-of-address requests, etc. The publisher only asks for the customer’s name and e-mail address to make it a fast and easy process, which improves its collection rate. Rutkowski noted that this is a good way to help keep Taunton Press’ e-mail file up-to-date, since it’s easy to lose this information when customers switch their Internet service from broadband to high-speed—which usually is accompanied by a change in their e-mail address as they start using the e-mail service offered by their new ISP.
2. Wexler reports that A/B split tests conducted for her publishing clients resulted in depressed response for postal mailings that requested customers’ e-mail addresses. Another e-mail address acquisition option is to use an e-mail append service that only charges you for matches that convert; be sure the append file only contains people who opted in to receive third-party marketing messages.