Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Entertain, Enlighten or Sell

As an experiment, a friend of mine subscribed to ten different opt-in email marketing lists to see which ones were the most effective. Many web sites and on-line businesses have resorted to sending promotional materials to people who have subscribed to them in an effort to boost their sales or traffic. Opt-in web sites marketers send newsletters, catalogs updates and other promotional materials to web site visitors who have agreed to be updated.

Any Internet user who is on the list will receive updates through emailed articles amd promotions. If a email or promotional material piques their interest they will go to the site to learn more or to purchase the product. For the web site operators or owners, this is a chance to remind their readers of the operator’s existence and to showcase their wares. Since numerous sites on the Internet offer the same products or services in one way or the other, the competition can get pretty rough and it is easy to be forgotten.

Back to my experimenting friend, he tried to find out which opt-in marketing strategies caused the reader to beg for more. Email ranged from the very simple to the extremely outlandish. The quality differences were easy to notice. Only a few have captured the concepts inherent in an effective opt-in marketing strategy. He dubbed them effective because he felt like he just couldn't wait to go their site and learn more. The most persuasive ones even got him reaching for his credit card before he realized he was only researching.

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