From the Trenches: Enough is Enough, Unless it's Not
In last month’s From the Trenches, I recalled a disagreement I had with a colleague who insisted that a person's content is new — no matter how many times that person uses it — if it's the first time someone else is hearing it.
We took that to heart at Zinio and tested sending a few e-mail campaigns three times to the same group of people, placing copy and art elements in different areas of the messages so they weren't completely repetitive. We wanted to see if we could increase results with this technique.
And guess what? It worked.
Repeat and repeat again
I wish I could share some long, intelligent-sounding strategy about how this takes so long to figure out and what all the resources are that you need, but I can’t. It’s a pretty simple thing. Here's how we did it:
- We created our standard offer for a new title — which is usually a stand-alone e-mail announcing that a new magazine is launching on Zinio.com. We sent this offer to a targeted list of people who had either asked for us to tell them when that magazine became available or those who had bought similar types of items.
- For those who didn’t make purchases, we sent a cross-sell e-mail a week later. It read something like this: "You're already reading and enjoying X’s digital magazine, why not consider adding Y’s title to your library?" Keep in mind that these people all received and may or may not have opened the prior e-mail announcement.
- A week after that, we sent a general offer e-mail, which included the new magazine's title in the readers’ picks.
In all three cases, each e-mail drove sales for the same title with no complaints.
A straightforward strategy
When you sit back and think about it, this strategy seems kind of basic, right? Well, I started checking around to see who else is doing this. I took an informal survey of marketers and came away with the following results: 55 percent said they only offer messaging one time; 30 percent said they send two messages — an initial e-mail and a nonresponder e-mail. This means 85 percent of e-mail marketers are probably losing sales because they assume once their content is out there, everyone's seen it.