Buying lists

If you are familiar with buying lists for direct marketing, what are the similarities and differences for buying e-mail lists? How can you tell whether a list meets your needs? What are the questions to ask list brokers or list owners when purchasing lists?

E-mail marketing also provides new challenges for marketers. Managing lists, producing a new form of creative, response rates and privacy issues all need to be considered as they do for conventional direct marketing.

Buying lists is covered in more detail in Chapter 4. Developing creative

The response rates for e-mail campaigns can be impressive, but what is the best design practice to achieve these? What are your different alternatives for the subject line? Why is the 'From' address important? How should a promotional e-mail be structured? How do you write compelling copy? Where and how should the call-to-action link to the web site?

Developing creative is covered in Chapter 6. Testing and measurement

E-mail marketing gives the marketer a much clearer view of how their campaigns are performing, but the detail may obscure the critical points. We describe approaches to testing and ask: which are the measures that matter? What options should reporting systems contain?

Testing and measurement are covered in Chapters 2 and 7. List fulfilment and e-mail management

For your initial forays into e-mail marketing, you may decide to use a specialist e-mail fulfilment house. However, those companies that dispatch e-mails from in-house can achieve big cost savings.

There are many pitfalls for the unwary when dispatching e-mails. List fulfilment and e-mail management are measured in Chapter 6.


We end this chapter by summarising the benefits of e-mail marketing and we find that the e-mail marketing is not so different from direct mail. This is unsurprising given that they are both forms of direct marketing. The trick is either to use them together or to use them selectively where one is better. E-mail marketing builds on many of the benefits of direct mail. E-mail marketing is:

• accountable: unlike advertising or PR we can readily calculate the cost of customer acquisition and return on investment for each campaign; a tool for calculating this is examined in Chapter 5

• precisely targeted: although targeting using segmentation such as age and gender is still possible using e-mail marketing, opt-in offers more

• cheap: costs of acquisition and retention are often cheaper than for direct mail. Table 1.3 summarises the benefits of e-mail discussed in this section.

Table 1.3 E-mail benefits

Characteristic E-mail benefits

Targeting Possible to target smaller niches since cost is lower

Cost Cost is lower owing to lower printing and distribution costs

Campaign creation Faster

Campaign response Faster

Response rate Higher

Accountability Greater: can measure the open rate of messages. Easy to track the response from different parts of the campaign

Total e-mail marketing aims to equip you with the background knowledge to make a flying start to exploiting these opportunities for e-mail. The case study below illustrates how a powerful offer and high-impact creative can achieve a successful acquisition campaign. A successful viral element was also included. Finally, it illustrates how e-mail marketing can integrate different forms of offline and online media. Figure 1.5 shows one of the e-mails used in the campaign.

Advertising With Circulars

Advertising With Circulars

Co-op Mailing means that two or more businesses share in the cost and distribution of a direct mail campaign. It's kind of like having you and another non-competing business split the cost of printing, assembling and mailing an advertising flyer to a shared same market base.

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