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Oct 23, 2002
Blog Post

Can Transactive Offers Double Your Email Sales Results?

SUMMARY: According to early tests conducted by Kim MacPherson over at Inbox
Interactive, adding transactive offers (i.e. buy now forms that
people can fill out in email instead of having to click to your
site can double your sales).

Which is a pretty powerful reason to consider testing it yourself.
By MarketingSherpa President Anne Holland

I've known Kim MacPherson since we both worked at the same big
publishing company, wore suits every day, and sat around in
formal meetings trying to convince offline executives that "e"
was worth investing in.

Kim went on to write the bestselling book 'Permission-Based Email
Marketing That Works' and to found email-focused agency Inbox
Interactive. I went on to found MarketingSherpa. Both of us now
wear jeans to work on a regular basis. :-)

Sometimes it seems like all I ever hear, think, or write about
these days is email deliverability - s*pam filters, bounces, etc.
I needed a mental break. Yesterday afternoon I called Kim up
to ask: What's new in email marketing that can help response
rates besides improving deliverability?

She said, "Transactive offers embedded in the landing page."

In other words, sending your order form complete with credit card
input form in the body of an email so that recipients can order
straight from email; without having to click through to a
landing page on your Web site at all.

Kim says, "We're just testing it now with clients. We did a
side-by-side with We sent identical emails only
one had the form built in and the other required a click. It
looks like the form can double conversion."


"You're really capitalizing on that impulse buyer. The less
clicks you make a prospect go through the better."

The bad news is: Just like everything else that isn't plain
text-only, this will not work for all email clients. I don't
have an exact list of what it will and will not work for yet, but
you'd better assume that wireless/PDA, Lotus Notes, Eudora, and
most AOL users are not worth mailing this to.

Plus, it doesn't work if your recipient isn't plugged into the
Net at the time they decide to respond to it. Lots of email
users at home still download their mail, turn off the connection
and then read it.

Kim isn't sure what they'll see when it doesn't work - probably
an error message. I'll bet you can customize that techie-written
error message to be more user-friendly and get some saved sales
that way.

Kim adds, "You definitely have to plug the fact that this is a
Secure Email." Enough users have been conditioned to believe
their credit card info can be stolen in mid-send otherwise.

(BTW: Alexis says this is a big myth, yeah it can happen but
thieves don't bother with onesy-twosy email catches when they can
crack an entire e-store database to get zillions of numbers at
once. I say, myth or not, as a marketer you have to reassure
people or that sale is gone.)

If you've tested putting transactions within an email send us
your notes on how it worked out (and if possible a campaign
sample) so we can talk about it in the future. Contact our editorial director Tad Clarke at tadc(at)marketingsherpa(dot)com

Useful links related to this article

1. Sample of a FlowersUSA transactional campaign

2. Kim's book and company

3. The technology behind Kim's transactional tests
See Also:

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