Not Just a Shot in the Dark
Unlike catalogs or print direct mail, which must rely on response codes to determine their success, e-mails can be tracked for their opens, clicks and even purchases. The two are as different as a rifle with a scope in broad daylight and a shotgun in the dark.
The Right List Puts You on Target
The problem with e-mail lists is targeting—or lack thereof.
An e-mail list that you rent, without results, is that proverbial shotgun in the dark. You don't know who or what you are buying.
On the other hand, a seasoned e-mail list can be segmented into categories such as "openers," "repeat openers," "clickers," "repeat clickers," "buyers" and "repeat buyers."
This capability, unique to e-mail marketing, is very valuable. Key information can be captured at the time of the e-mailing event and easily stored in a database for later retrieving and targeting.
By measuring the opens, clicks and purchases that your e-mail campaigns generate you can learn who is interested in your e-mail and who isn't. This is valuable for determining whom to send follow-up messages to, who doesn't care, and who absolutely doesn't want to hear from you ever again.
Applying this information correctly, you then can establish a true picture of your list for a prospective rental customer or sponsor.
You also can determine which products, articles or links they respond to and click on, providing you with a rough gauge of their interest categories, even if you didn't ask them when they signed up.
But performance is only part of it. Real targeting comes when you match this behavioral data with demographics that you collect at sign up. This is a simple process that yields great results.
Imagine your home-page form, but add one thing: a drop-down list for preferences, such as "music type" if yours is a music retail site. Your drop-down list could be populated with, say, rock, jazz, classical and blues.
As president of LiveIntent, Dave Hendricks devises corporate strategies and tries to simplify marketing language. Before growing LiveIntent, Dave was executive vice president (EVP) of operations at PulsePoint (then known as Datran Media), where he worked alongside LiveIntent chief executive (CEO) Matt Keiser and ran Datran's ESP StormPost (nka PostUp). A member of the founding executive team at ExperianCheetahMail, Dave began his email adventure at Pioneering ESP MessageMedia. Dave was named one of Business Insider's "Top 100 Technologists" in 2011 and Alley Watch claimed he was one of 15 people "changing advertising" in 2014. He plays electric guitar and you should follow him on Twitter @davehendricks.