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MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2015 - SAVE $700 - VIP PRICING ENDS THURSDAY
Aug 11, 2000
Case Study

How YesMail Tripled Sales in a Single Year

SUMMARY: No summary available.
CHALLENGE

In early 1999, WebPromote, an opt-in email list creator and broker, needed to stand out and grab marketers’ accounts in a marketplace that was growing more crowded daily. Instead of immediately spending lots of marketing dollars on glitzy campaigns and aggressive sales reps, they stepped back back and hired the strategy experts at agency closerlook to help them position themselves to win. closerlook CEO Dave Ormesher shared the details with us.

CAMPAIGN

closerlook began with intensive marketplace research, “We wrestled at the beginning with who is really our ultimate customer here?” Ormesher says, “with whom do we have fiduciary responsibility: the advertiser or the consumer? The short-term approach pointed to the advertisers, but it became clear that our real asset here is the relationship with the consumer. Once we focus on that asset, there are different ways to monetize it.”

Ormesher says this may seem obvious in mid-2000, but 18 months ago, “it was radical in that period. Most people were spamming. Even some of the competitors who weren’t spamming were still spam-like. It was not targeted. It was not easy to opt-out completely or change your profile.” So, WebPromote decided to position themselves to the consumer marketplace as the best, spam-free, opt-in site by building a consumer-friendly system and changing their name to YesMail.

The next step in the campaign was to convince marketers these were the best names to rent. YesMail decided to distinguish themselves from the competition by creating expensive, glossy, die-cut, art-directed-out-the-wazoo promotional materials. Ormesher explains, “The competitors at that time were essentially mom and pop list owners. They kind of worked on a shoestring, their Web sites’ design was poor, their brand was clunky. They kind of all looked like mom and pop garage operations, you never knew what was going on behind the scenes. That’s a scary thought for a Madison Avenue account exec who’s managing five million dollar accounts. They thought, ‘I’ve known all my other vendors -- TV, radio, magazines-- for years, we go to the same parties, etc. And then here’s this mom and pop and we’re planning to spend a million or two with them? I don’t think so.’ So the strategy behind YesMail’s marketing material’s high production values was to say, ‘This is for real. We’ve got the technology, we are a serious place to put your ad dollars and you’re not going to get a mimeographed hand-out from us.’”


RESULTS

To this day an average of million new consumers opt-in to the YesMail system every month. The company’s 1999 revenues more than tripled from the year before. YesMail.com was acquired by CMGI in March 2000.They kind of all looked like mom and pop garage operations, you never knew what was going on behind the scenes. that’s a scary thought for a Madison Avenue account exec who’s managing five million dollar accounts. They thought, ‘I’ve known all my other vendors -- TV, radio, magazines-- for years, we go to the same parties, etc. And then here’s this mom and pop and we’re planning to spend a million or two with them? I don’t think so.’ So the strategy behind YesMail’s marketing material’s high production values was to say, ‘This is for real. We’ve got the technology, we are a serious place to put your ad dollars and you’re not going to get a mimeographed hand-out from us.’”


RESULTS

To this day an average of million new consumers opt-in to the YesMail system every month. The company’s 1999 revenues more than tripled from the year before. YesMail.com was acquired by CMGI in March 2000.

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