Insights

Insights from Thousands of Email List Rental Campaigns

July 13, 2012

Perhaps due to its somewhat checkered past, email list rental has not been talked about much in recent years in the media, at conferences, or among direct marketers. But some data companies have been hard at work to dramatically evolve email list rental and it has become a well-kept secret weapon for thousands of B2C…

Perhaps due to its somewhat checkered past, email list rental has not been talked about much in recent years in the media, at conferences, or among direct marketers. But some data companies have been hard at work to dramatically evolve email list rental and it has become a well-kept secret weapon for thousands of B2C and B2B direct marketers and media buyers. They rely on targeted email advertising as a reputable way to get messages in front of precisely targeted audiences who have opted-in to receive highly relevant content. Our recent study of over 3,000 enriched email list rental campaigns revealed some interesting insights:

1) Delivering timely messages to a very specific audience that is hard to cost-effectively reach through other tactics is the top reason that marketers use enriched email list rental. As such, email list rental is a strong complement to the entire traditional marketing mix.

2) Top performers run many separate campaigns: over 90% of companies run more than 3 campaigns a year and the top performers run dozens or hundreds of list rental email campaigns each year to test different offers and market segments.

3) Most industries successfully use email list rental. Both B2B and B2C marketers are heavy users of targeted email advertising. Top industries, as measured by their share of the total number of campaigns run annually, include:  real estate (16%), travel and tourism (14%), retail (14%), financial services (10%), entertainment (8%), telco (7%), consumer packaged goods (7%), automotive (6%), and healthcare and wellness (6%). Other top sectors include: education, nonprofit, publishing, restaurants, government, and political.

4) A top quality email rental list yields double the results. List renters need to beware: the difference between conventional email list rental and enriched email list rental is significant: opt-in permission integrity, list freshness, guaranteed email delivery, and comprehensive consumer data that enables precise targeting are the key elements that separate high-integrity lists from spammy email address lists.

5) Email marketing best practices yield another doubling of results. Marketers that test and optimize all aspects of their campaigns have compelling and focused offers, great creative, and effective landing pages. The results speak for themselves: best-in-class marketers enjoy 20-25% open rates, 3-5% click rates, and solid conversion metrics for a greater return on investment.

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5 Reasons Your Campaigns Are Missing the Mark

June 29, 2012

You think you have a great email address list, either your own subscribers or a high quality email list rental. Maybe you even have a pretty good open rate, but that isn’t enough. People just aren’t clicking through. Why don’t recipients find your targeted email advertising campaign compelling? Here are a few possibilities: 1) It’s…

You think you have a great email address list, either your own subscribers or a high quality email list rental. Maybe you even have a pretty good open rate, but that isn’t enough. People just aren’t clicking through. Why don’t recipients find your targeted email advertising campaign compelling? Here are a few possibilities:

1) It’s too complicated. If reading your email takes work, most recipients simply won’t bother. People have incredibly short attention spans and better things on which to spend their energy than reading your long, convoluted email. To avoid this problem, have one clear goal in each email and present it in a straightforward manner. Don’t overload the reader with information and details. You don’t need to provide all the information at once. In fact, you’ll get more click-throughs if you keep it simple and create some curiosity.

2) Your content isn’t meaningful to your audience. If you want your emails to be compelling, provide content that is highly relevant to a precisely-targeted audience. Start by segmenting your list into specific demographic, psychographic, and behavioral groups. Targeted email advertising lists can be very helpful because they have the detailed data on recipient profiles that lets you segment by hundreds of different attributes. Then do a little research to determine what content they might find compelling. Try talking to your target readership or take a look at the other sources of information they’re reading to get some ideas.

3) It’s forgettable. If someone is intrigued by your offer but puts aside the email for later, chances are they will never return to it. According to Marketing Profs, 70% of customer action takes place on the day the email is sent. Therefore, it’s rewarding to create a sense of immediacy in your offer, by putting a deadline on it for example.

4) You have no personality. A strong brand-identity is what makes you stand out from your competitors. Put some thought into the tone of your email and to things like colour schemes and images. A strong brand identity will help customers feel a connection to your company.

5) You’re going off of guesswork. Targeted email advertising is a science. Instead of speculating about why your campaign is getting a greater or lesser response and what you should change, do a few simple tests, like A/B split testing, to optimize your campaigns. Research shows that email marketers who do regular testing have higher conversion rates than those who don’t.

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5 Ways to Improve Your Email Newsletter Content

June 15, 2012

Email newsletters are a great way to nurture leads. However, for this method to work, you have to actually offer information that is of value to your subscribers, otherwise you are bothering them rather than fostering a relationship. Coming up with the right newsletter content can be a challenge. Here are a few tips on…


Email newsletters are a great way to nurture leads. However, for this method to work, you have to actually offer information that is of value to your subscribers, otherwise you are bothering them rather than fostering a relationship. Coming up with the right newsletter content can be a challenge. Here are a few tips on how to customize your newsletters for successful relationship marketing.

1) Profile your target readership. Consider the demographics of your existing readership, or define your theoretical target reader in as much detail as possible, including factors like their industry, job role, location, etc. Based on these parameters, what are their likely needs, problems and interests that you can address with your content? Don’t limit yourself to content that bears directly on your business. Instead, think of the needs, problems, and interests that come up in your broader context. Don’t just speculate; talk to the service and sales staff who deal with customer and prospect questions, problems, and complaints for insights into the issues and concerns shared by your readership.

2) Ask your audience directly about what kind of content they’d like to read. As well as formal quantitative or qualitative market research, make the most of your existing readership and solicit feedback through your newsletter through a formal online survey or a request for feedback to an email address. Invite specific feedback on a specific issue, as requests for general feedback tend to go unheeded. Offer incentive for participation.

3) Review other sources of information. Monitor the newsletters, magazines, newspapers, websites, and TV and radio programs followed by your target readers. What are the hot topics and features? What information might you add? What advice and opinion might you offer? What’s not being covered? Is there a new angle or content niche you can pursue? Offering valuable content is good, but offering valuable content that is unique is even better.

4) Invite readers to provide content themselves. They can be an excellent source of articles, tips, ideas, questions (for you to answer), and so on. Interviews with customers or prospects on topics of interest to the readership make excellent content. It gives you the chance to market in a more credible context (“so how do you use the new Brownlow ZXT?”), encourages a sense of community, and boosts a few customer egos.

5) Track everything. By tracking click through rates and ROI, you can determine which newsletter topics and formats work, and which ones to scrap. According to a study on newsletter optimization done by GetResponse, only 39% of e-newsletter senders split test their messages on any feature (title, FROM field, content, CTA, etc). Likewise, only 61% of senders check and analyze stats on the newsletters they send. These two tactics don’t take much effort and offer a big return when it comes to engaging your readership. You have the technology at your disposable, so use it.

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How a New Welcome Campaign Boosted CTR by 450%

May 22, 2012

This MarketingSherpa case study underscores how a successful campaign to build subscribers doesn’t end with the initial click-through and conversion. It illustrates how attention to details post-conversion can pay huge dividends. In this case, a well-designed, multi-step subscriber welcome campaign dramatically boosted the resulting level of reader engagement. SavvyMom, a Canadian digital publisher, replaced a…

How a New Welcome Campaign Boosted CTR by 450%This MarketingSherpa case study underscores how a successful campaign to build subscribers doesn’t end with the initial click-through and conversion. It illustrates how attention to details post-conversion can pay huge dividends. In this case, a well-designed, multi-step subscriber welcome campaign dramatically boosted the resulting level of reader engagement. SavvyMom, a Canadian digital publisher, replaced a single subscriber welcome note with a new series of 3 emails that used focused messages and graphics to engage and guide readers through the offerings. The update approach boosted newsletter click-through rate by a whopping 450%. Read the full case study here >

5 Ways to Grow Your Email Address List

May 15, 2012

You probably lose 25% of your email address list every year due to opt-outs and people changing jobs or giving up old email addresses. With that level of attrition, you have to work hard just to maintain your list—and even harder to actually grow it. No wonder that the #1 priority for email marketers is…

5 ways to grow your email address listYou probably lose 25% of your email address list every year due to opt-outs and people changing jobs or giving up old email addresses. With that level of attrition, you have to work hard just to maintain your list—and even harder to actually grow it. No wonder that the #1 priority for email marketers is growing their subscriber base, according to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report. Sounding familiar? Fear not. Here are five simple and creative ways to grow your email list for effective targeted email advertising:

1) Make full use of social media. You probably have Google+, Linked In, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, so put them to work. Your social network followers are already fans; they’re the most likely to be interested in an email newsletter. Have an obvious newsletter signup link on your social network pages. Offer incentives for joining like exclusive offers and content. Include calls-to-action and links to sign up forms at the end of videos on your YouTube channel. Use Pinterest to promote special offers; for example, pin an e-book cover image and link it to a landing page where visitors can sign-up to access that content.

2) Promote online sign-up everywhere. Have a form on every webpage, your blog, and search marketing landing pages. Send a welcome email to those who sign up for other things on your website suggesting they sign up for your newsletter. Run promotions on the websites of your affiliates or partners to access fresh sources of visitors.

3) Boost your sign-up conversion rate. Show them what they’ll get. Have a bullet point list of the benefits to signing up for your newsletter. Provide links to sample emails and your privacy policy. One key to targeted email advertising is to make sure your newsletter actually contains information that is valuable to its subscribers.

4) Don’t forget about offline opportunities to gain subscribers. Use paper forms or a smartphone/tablet app to gather subscribers at trade shows or in-store.

5) Consider email list rental from a reputable agency like Future Flow Media. Email list rental may have a bad reputation in some circles, but if used properly it can be your most effective tool. It’s the fastest way to grow your email address list and target a very specific audience, so that the information you’re sending is actually relevant to its receivers. Make sure the email list provider you select guarantees absolute subscriber permission integrity and 100% email delivery. Contact Future Flow for a free email list rental assessment for your next campaign.

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5 Questions to Ask When Renting an Email Address List

May 8, 2012

For targeted email advertising, email list rental can be one of the most cost-effective ways to get your message in front of a precise, hard to reach audience at just the right time. However, because many list owners, brokers, and campaign service providers follow less-than-best practices, you need to know how to weed out the…

5 questions to ask when renting an email address listFor targeted email advertising, email list rental can be one of the most cost-effective ways to get your message in front of a precise, hard to reach audience at just the right time. However, because many list owners, brokers, and campaign service providers follow less-than-best practices, you need to know how to weed out the revenue-builders from the spammers. Look for these five critical elements when renting your next email address list:

1) Is the list refreshed every 30-90 days? Most email address lists are stale, especially if your provider uses third generation lists (purchased from the email list of a now out of business company). Email addresses churn faster than postal addresses and become undeliverable. A reputable list provider will cleanse and validate their entire database at least once every 90 days.

2) Were subscribers gathered using strict, permission-based practices? A reputable email address rental list will contain only subscribers that are gathered by reputable companies, such as major publishing brands, using the strictest permission-based practices that are fully compliant with anti-SPAM laws. Avoid any provider that has questionable email gathering and scraping practices, such as gathering from disreputable sources. Ideally your recipients will have been through a double opt-in process, where the user didn’t just sign up on a whim, but confirmed that they wanted to receive targeted email advertising from companies such as yours.

3) Do contact records contain enough data to support precise targeting? The #1 factor affecting email campaign performance is your ability to segment your list and precisely target your audience with relevant messages. Unfortunately, most marketers say this is their top challenge: according to MarketingSherpa’s 2012 Email Marketing Benchmark Report only 28% of email marketers are successfully sending relevant communications to segmented audiences. Most rental lists have little useful data beyond the email address itself, or the contact profiles are categorized too generally (i.e., a client opted in to get information on “technology” as opposed to “email marketing software”). A useful email address list will contain detailed contact profiles with as many as 150 demographic psychographic, and behavioural data fields gathered from many reliable sources.

4) Is 100% email delivery guaranteed? If the email list rental price seems too good to be true, it probably is. It’s better to spend your precious marketing budget on a legitimate email list rental provider who can give you a 100% delivery guarantee than to throw it away on a list that might have a less than 70% delivery rate and a dismal open rate due to poor targeting.

5) Does the list service provider have the necessary expertise and a proven methodology? You don’t have direct access to email rental lists so you must rely on a reputable campaign delivery partner. Look for someone who is responsive, takes the time upfront to understand your requirements, and has a proven methodology and the expertise to guide, manage, test, and optimize all aspects of your targeted email advertising campaign. You’re busy enough already; you need a partner that will make your life easy, not someone you’ll have to chase down.

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Healthcare and Wellness Spotlight: Reaching Decision-Making Consumers

May 1, 2012

When it comes to health and wellness products and services, more consumers are making their own purchase decisions. How are you going to reach them before your competition? Health is a personal issue. You need a personalized marketing approach, because mass advertising is not targeted to specific ailments or healthcare needs. You need to stand…

Health and Wellness SpotlightWhen it comes to health and wellness products and services, more consumers are making their own purchase decisions. How are you going to reach them before your competition? Health is a personal issue. You need a personalized marketing approach, because mass advertising is not targeted to specific ailments or healthcare needs. You need to stand out in an industry that is largely referral-based and intensely competitive. How will you get the right people to view your message?

Imagine being able to precisely deliver targeted email advertising to consumers who live in a given region with narrow demographic profiles like new families shopping for insurance and specific pre-existing health conditions like obesity or diabetes.

With such a detailed view of your prospects, you could:

  • segment and model your market,
  • target the customers of your competitors,
  • deliver your relevant offer to people with specific health ailments and needs,
  • target consumers living in specific areas,
  • test market.

To learn more about targeted email marketing, read the full Enriched Email List Rental Health and Wellness Spotlight >

Nonprofit Spotlight: Cost-effectively Attracting New Members and Donors

April 24, 2012

As a nonprofit marketer or agency partner, you’re under more pressure than ever to reach and engage new members, program participants, volunteers, and donors. You need to fill the gaps caused by a perennially poor economy, shrinking government support, and stiff competition from other causes and organizations. You’re also experiencing unprecedented demands to be more…

Non Profit SpotlightAs a nonprofit marketer or agency partner, you’re under more pressure than ever to reach and engage new members, program participants, volunteers, and donors. You need to fill the gaps caused by a perennially poor economy, shrinking government support, and stiff competition from other causes and organizations. You’re also experiencing unprecedented demands to be more cost-effective and accountable for your results. These challenges ring true for all nonprofit verticals from performing arts to food banks.

Targeted email advertising through services like Future Flow Media’s Enriched Email List Rental has proven to be one of the most cost-effective tactics to reach and engage constituents. An email address list that is continuously compiled, enriched, and verified for freshness and accuracy provides targeted email advertising based on characteristics like:

  • charitable giving and donations history,
  • location down to zip code,
  • age, gender, education, occupation, income,
  • arts and cultural interests,
  • and much more.

To learn more about targeted email advertising for nonprofits, read the full Enriched Email List Rental Nonprofit Spotlight >

Financial Services Spotlight: Reaching Consumers at the Right Time in Their Financial Planning Cycle

April 17, 2012

Banks, credit unions, investment firms, mortgage providers, insurance companies, and other financial services providers are competing intensely to remain profitable during the current economic cycle. Like most financial services marketers, you need to improve your ability to deliver targeted email advertising to reach consumers just as they are: in-market to purchase a new home, planning…

Financial ServicesBanks, credit unions, investment firms, mortgage providers, insurance companies, and other financial services providers are competing intensely to remain profitable during the current economic cycle. Like most financial services marketers, you need to improve your ability to deliver targeted email advertising to reach consumers just as they are:

  • in-market to purchase a new home,
  • planning for imminent retirement,
  • entering the workforce from college,
  • actively shopping for insurance or other financial services, and
  • much more.

Enriched Email List Rental is continuously compiled, enriched, and verified email address list that gives you the ability to target financial services consumers by hundreds of characteristics, including income, credit rating, home ownership, marital and family status, and much more.

To learn more about targeted email marketing for financial services, read the full Enriched Email List Rental Financial Services Spotlight >

Retail Spotlight: Reaching More Consumers with Relevant Messages

April 10, 2012

From high-margin luxury fashion and jewellery to budget household goods and pet products, today’s online and bricks and mortar retailers are being squeezed like never before to remain profitable. When looking to cost-effectively grow your base of loyal, valuable customers in such a crowded, competitive market, you need to quickly and efficiently home in on…

Retail SpotlightFrom high-margin luxury fashion and jewellery to budget household goods and pet products, today’s online and bricks and mortar retailers are being squeezed like never before to remain profitable. When looking to cost-effectively grow your base of loyal, valuable customers in such a crowded, competitive market, you need to quickly and efficiently home in on the right people and deliver relevant messages at the right time. Like most retailers, your current media investments may be falling short because they lack accountability and are not sufficiently targeted.

Enriched Email List Rental helps retailers and their media agencies cost-effectively create targeted email advertising. A continuously compiled, enriched, and verified email address list gives you the ability to target consumers of retail goods by hundreds of characteristics, including:

  • location, age, gender, income, occupation,
  • marital and family status,
  • home ownership, decorating, and renovation interests,
  • leisure activities, travel interests, hobbies, health choices,
  • pet ownership,
  • consumer electronics ownership and interests,
  • online shopping behaviour, and
  • many more

To learn more about targeted email marketing for retail products, read the full Enriched Email List Rental Retail Spotlight >

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