Your problem of course is based on the quality of the list you are
using. You describe an 'opt-in' list of people who are 1) interested
and 2) can legally purchase your product. If these are true a 10-20%
return is not unheard of, and I've personally seen much better from
well planned email campaigns. If your list is just a bunch of
harvested names, then with such a specific interest (betting) I doubt
you will see the normal return from such a small list (I'm reading
your number as 1000 up there in the question). The audience size is
the currency of advertising media.
One thing you might consider for your own benefit and future decision
making knowledge is using track back codes on the website that you are
sending the prospective buyers to, from the email, for purchase. A
link can contain an ad tracking code, an affiliate code, or a number
that identifies your customer record in the e-mail sender's database.
These often use a number or code that follows a question mark in the
URL, such as:
By using these (and the web program behind them) you will gain
information as to: response time, and amount of click responses to
your page, as compared to the number of people who purchased your
product. There are a number of reasons for prospective clients not to
buy, as you pointed out the email and website can have a great deal to
do with this. If the website is never seen however, then you can
narrow your field down to the email and or the prospective client
receiving the email. The PHP program to make use of these is very
By using HTML type email you can use code and/or image calls back to
your web server to record if the email was ever opened. This is very
useful information as well, as you can then see if your email is
structured in a way that spam filters are deleting them before they
are read. Having this happen will of course limit your return
percentage, and give a false reading on the effectiveness of your
message or the list itself. As stated before, audience size is the
currency of advertising media.
Many companies approach first run direct marketing with little
planning and very little tracking systems in place. They just send out
the list and wait for the outcome to decide if the idea was worth it
or not. This is much like doing no research or statistic reading,
placing my bets on 5 football games and waiting for the outcome to
tell me if betting on sports was a sensible effort.
It would be a good idea to ask for, and check references on the
company you are getting your list from. It really shocks me how many
people don't do this for list companies. Without a good list the
effort is in vain.
Let's do numbers :
"Average open rates for house lists are running in the mid-30s (34.3
percent, according to DoubleClick). The range I'm seeing, based on
public sources and my clients' performances, is the mid-20s to just
over 50 percent.
Average click-throughs for house lists (calculated as a percentage of
messages delivered, not the percentage opened) are running in the high
single digits (DoubleClick reports 8.2 percent); the range I'm seeing
is just over 1 percent to just under 20 percent."
There are several great articles on email marketing at this location
University of Washington Marketing Resources
ClickZ Experts on Email Marketing Strateges
Request for Answer Clarification by
09 Nov 2005 03:43 PST
Not so much clarification but asking to go a little further!
Firstly, thanks for a pretty comprehensive response on a subject
littered with imponderables.
Clearly, each promotion develops its own metrics. Part of my reason
for being so detailed in what I am planning to do was that I am
interested in validation of the marketing approach: giving away things
that have a value (and which are being made available online for free
or for c$10++) as a lead to sale of the E-Book. This is an area of
opinion, rather than fact but I'd be grateful if you'd hazard a
guess/comment as to the potential impact of such an approach on
Clarification of Answer by
09 Nov 2005 08:32 PST
I'm a little confused, but I'm sure we can clear it up. Are you asking
about the effectiveness of Free Give-aways (IE: Buy this book now and
we'll give you a free $10.00 gold watch and a set of knives that can
cut through a can of tomatoes!)
Are you asking about the effectiveness of giving something away, as a
way of gaining new buyers for the book after they have the amazing
tomato can dicing knife set? As in
"Here, you can have these free amazing knives."
"Wow... thanks.. oops I just cut my thumb off.."
"Yes they are sharp ... By the way, I have this book for sale, are you interested?"
"Is it a first aid book?"
"No but it will help you once you stop bleeding."
Both have been used in the past, mostly however the second idea is in
the form of swag [ http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=swag
] which is used to promote a product.
Request for Answer Clarification by
09 Nov 2005 09:58 PST
Sorry for being so opaque, Webadept.
The 2 sentences in the middle of my opening paragraph describe the
situation. In this case, the freebies are relevant to the area of
activity and so are part of the package on sale but are merely working
shells, without support or operating instructions. The E-Book carries
the full versions and instructions. I am trying to sell the E-Book
and the add ons are part of the planned attractors since they have
value and use in their own right.
Does this help? Really, what I am after is comment on the marketing
approach outlined in paras 1 and 2.
Clarification of Answer by
09 Nov 2005 10:38 PST
Lately I've been doing quite a bit of market writing (sell sheets,
brochures and web content for example). I have learned that just about
every idea out there; good, bad, profitable or not, really depends on
the way that the product or idea is presented to the customer. By
presentation in this case I am talking about the words and page
layouts used to present the idea and the product.
You are asking if the idea you have to market this product is sound.
The answer is always yes, with conditions. If you look at the history
of marketing and the methods that have been used, you will find that
just about anything will work if the timing, the audience and the
approach are all valid with each other.
For example, depending on how the email is written and displayed you
could present the idea that the book is fantastic and the spread
sheets save so much time in implementation of the ideas within the
book, they are sold separately for 10.00 each. This is a valid way of
selling the book as well, the underlying message is "Hey, this book is
so good I'm not going to bribe you into learning how to make money
with reasonable betting methods".
Your method is also just as sound, and works well in focusing the
attention on a more interactive learning experience. Mike Wallace
recently published a book called Between You and Me which has a DVD
included. This type of multi-media publishing and combining files and
work-sheets with written material has been very effective with
O'Rielly as well. They publish on their website the source code
written in all of their books (Perl, PHP etc) which can be downloaded
from their website, whether you bought the book or not. This has been
very effective for them in book sales.
So, the mechanics of the idea is sound. It has been done, successfully
and not so successfully. What separates the two of these is always the
presentation of the product.
If I were you, and starting out on this type of marketing, I would
start with 4 or 5 emails and create 4 or 5 landing pages (the page the
customer comes to from the email), directed at different ways of
presenting the book and the files. I would then track the responses
from each of the purchases using the id code method I described above.
It sounds like you have a good product and that you have put a great
deal of extra work into the idea. This type of test marketing would
now tell you what your client base really is, and who to focus on.