Archive for July, 2008

Mailers that make the most money

July 24, 2008

I’ve talked about this before, and research keeps confirming what I’ve said. “The State of Retailing Online 2007,” published by Forrester Research, Inc., cites a report from Shop.org on the most cost-effective ways to market on-line. Here are the results:

Marketing method/Dollar cost per order

E-mail/$ 6.53

Affiliate programs/$17.47

Paid search/$26.75

Banner ads/$71.89

Of course, e-mail shouldn’t be a generic sales pitch if you want to maximize your return. You need a message targeted to the sender, based on analytics: where he’s located, how he got to your site, what information/service/freebee he asked for. It’s not necessary to write a personalized response to each lead, but buyers fall into categories, and the more accurately you can describe your potential client, the better you can rifle your message to him.

The letter is only partly about “selling;” it’s mostly about providing your product/service to someone who already wants it – remember, he came to you.

Not every prospect who comes to your Web site, landing page, or opt-in will proceed to the purchase. But the text of your message will help him see all of the reasons he should go to the next step. How do you know what his reasons are? Analytics will show most of them. Your targeted e-mail response to his request will help you close the deal at a lower cost than other on-line marketing methods.

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Why is this post so short?

July 1, 2008

I’ve tried to make my posts informative and interesting, not just short blurbs. However, according to an article in the June The Atlantic, I’m swimming upstream. You can’t deliver both quality and length any longer, not in most media. People won’t read them. According to the article Is Google Making Us Stoopid?, the Internet is retraining our minds how to read. A century ago, people were accustomed to read long books and articles, often spanning tens of thousands of words, to explain a single concept.

That’s all over now. Text messaging, blogs, Web articles, Web sites divided into discrete pages and sales points, etc., all retrain the mind to think in a different way. And we’re all being retrained whether we like it or not. If you’re reading this, your mind no longer absorbs concepts the way your parents’ minds did.

In a related article in the same issue, Rupert Murdoch, the new owner of the Wall Street Journal, wants to cut down the long articles on page one. Those are the articles that have set the Journal apart. Murdoch goes to war to change the paper to what he feels is the current market demand for brevity (as well as in a number of other areas).

How long is this post? It’s about 240 words. Blog pundits advise us to limit posts to 250 words. Otherwise, no one will read them. If you read this far, I’ve achieved my goal.