Posted by RAMA MELOW | 9:36 AM | | 0 comments »

E-mail advertising really can work. E-mail advertising is getting a good reputation these days, as
people realize that it can be affordable and effective, but not all e-mail advertising is such a great
idea. There are four main problems to watch out for:

1. Classified Ad E-Mails Don’t Work
Some newsletters sell classified ads. You buy a few lines and your ad runs along with scores of others.
These ads almost never work. Few people read these ads—in fact many of these newsletters probably
aren’t read at all, having been subscribed to in order to enter a drawing. Even if they are read, people
tend to quickly scroll past the classifieds.
If you can find a newsletter with cheap classified ads, go ahead and try it. Create a doorway page to
track incoming visits and see how many people hit that page. Probably very few. Remember, the best
way to place an ad in a newsletter is in the editorial content, separated from any other ads the
newsletter may be carrying. The better the content and the fewer ads in the newsletter, the better
your ad is likely to work.
2. Ads Sent Solo to Opt-In Lists Don’t Work
E-mail message ads sent by themselves to opt-in lists probably won’t work well. If the message carries
nothing but an ad, people will read the subject line, and unless it’s a really good subject line, just
delete the message. Remember, people are flooded with e-mail, so they’re using the Delete key a lot.
3. E-Mail Advertising Isn’t Always Cheap
Some opt-in lists are way too expensive. We looked at a number of opt-in lists recently and found
that prices seem to be from as little as eight cents up to as much as thirty cents a name. Eight cents
per name is a CPM of $80, which is toward the high end for banner advertising. Thirty cents a name
represents a CPM of $300!
Can you make money at those rates? In many cases the answer is clearly no! It may be possible if
you’re selling a high-cost item. For instance, if you are selling Web-hosting services and expect each
customer to bring you $300 in the first year, you may find it effective. If you’re selling a book that
costs $19.95, however, the chance of you making money with this sort of advertising is slim to none.
It’s quite possible to find advertising in newsletters at much lower rates. The CPM for targeted
newsletters is often around $35, but rates can be much lower, around a dollar or two.
4. The “Real Numbers” Issue
The numbers problem is tricky, and right now, there’s no easy answer. If you buy advertising in a
newsletter, how do you know you’re getting what you paid for? If you pay for 50,000 subscribers,
how do you really know that you’re getting 50,000, and not 40,000—or 10,000? We can tell you
that some newsletter editors are inflating their numbers … at least, that’s the rumor among
newsletter editors, and after all, it makes sense that some would be doing so. It’s too easy to get away
Right now most newsletter-advertising money is being spent on faith; people are simply taking the
seller’s word. In a lot of cases numbers are inflated. Many list owners probably don’t clean their lists
often, for instance, and a large list can quickly build up thousands of bad addresses.


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