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Apr 18, 2002
Blog Post

PDF Download Hell When Viral Works Too Well

SUMMARY: No summary available.
PDF download hell. Our sister site SherpaWeekly just launched it's first big promotion to get more opt-in subscribers.

We stole some ideas for the copy, which is unusually long for Web campaigns, from the copy for Web Position's newsletter. They have more than 400,000 opt-ins so we figured they must be doing something right on their landing page! We also included not one but four opt-in boxes because old-fashioned direct mail rules say the more you ask for the order, the more orders you'll get.

Then I wrote a little Publisher's Note to our current subscribers to tell them about the offer (I figured it's not fair to offer newbies a free offer that old-timers didn't get, plus you never know how many pass-alongs are reading an issue too).

To encourage viral pass-alongs we also rewrote our new subscriber welcome letter almost completely. The subject line now says, "Free offer for your marketing buddies" instead of "Welcome."

The body copy briefly welcomes them, but then immediately segues into a pass-along offer "Here's a free offer for your marketing
buddies: (Please pass it on)

Your friends who are marketing, advertising and PR professionals are invited to receive their own copy of our new 44-page Report:

"Top 10 Online & Email Marketing Mistakes"

It includes notes on how you can avoid the most common marketing mistakes (almost everyone makes at least one of them). Plus 40 marketers, including Seth Godin and Oracle's Mark Jarvis admit their own mistakes.

Please tell your friends to click here for their free copy:

The results? I felt like a marketer at Victoria's Secret during their live webcast runway model show. We kept slowing and crashing. Loads of emails from people saying, "Hey I got partway through but then I crashed." "Hey I tried to download 3 x but it was so slow I crashed." You get the picture. PDF Hell. So now we're negotiating with our PDF web host; how much do they want to guarantee they won't slow or stop requests when a zillion people all want the same PDF at once.

You know, in the old days, a successful marketing campaign was much more fun. The order entry department whined a bit, but I'd glance over the piles of order forms and smile with glee. The Internet? Bah humbug!
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