Famous Last Words: Making Sense Out of New Media
When I cut my teeth in this business, the benchmark average response for direct mail was 2 percent and for space ads, one order per thousand. Today e-mail is so cheap that marketers can make money on one, two or three orders per 100,000.
What are the marketing rules for the Internet age? If I were to posit one rule—or secret—from 25 years of collecting and analyzing junk mail, it is this:
All the communications techniques invented and tested by the great junk mail marketers of the 19th and 20th centuries—lists, offer, content and design—are absolutely relevant to e-commerce in the 21st century.
Variations of thought on this dictum include:
- There are two rules. Rule No. 1: Test everything. Rule No. 2: See Rule No. 1.
- Testing is cheap.
- Unlike traditional media, Internet test results can be charted and evaluated within seconds. Changes can be made within minutes. You can have a control within an hour.
- That control should work not only online, but also in direct mail, space and broadcast.
- Spend time—a lot of it—on the subject line.
- As with direct mail, if your e-mail effort is not opened you lose the order.
- The lion's share of purchase decisions is based on emotion.
- You are a mouse click away from oblivion.
Denny Hatch is a freelance direct marketing consultant and copywriter, and author of the e-mail newsletter, Denny Hatch's Business Common Sense. Visit him at www.businesscommonsense.com or www.dennyhatch.com, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.