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Dec 22, 2006
Blog Post

Great Email Newsletter Test Idea to Increase Reader Response

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Anne Holland, President

Great marketing so very often is *not* about big new ideas. It's about great, everyday execution, plus testing small ideas that can add up to a lot. Added up over time, that incremental stuff can move mountains.

The small marketing idea I'm most excited about this week is from a new Case Study we've just done on a B-to-B podcasting campaign by marketers at IFS North America (see link to article below).

Podcasting is fairly neat stuff, but the aspect that really got my attention was the creative sample of an email newsletter IFS sent to clients and prospects. Their newsletter template includes a clever addition I don't remember seeing before:

Besides a "Read More" link under each story or podcast summary, they included a separate "Send me more information on this topic" link. If you click, it opens a new email message in your in-box complete with a subject line that specifically references the story or podcast you want to know more about.

So, all you have to do is click "send" in email, and a few minutes later the service department at IFS gets back to you.

Why would anyone click on a "send me more info" link instead of just getting the info themselves from your site? Many reasons, I guess. Perhaps they are too busy to go to your site right now and want the info in their in-box instead. Maybe they want something they can more easily flip in its entirety to colleagues.

Or maybe your newsletter reminded them that they had a different question they need answered, and the email link is the easiest way to start a note to your service department.

I contacted the IFS team -- including Chuck Rathmann, Marketing Communications Analyst; Paul Bundy, Newsletter Guru; and Elaine Wimberly, Online Marketing Maven -- to find out what kind of response rate they get to these info links.

They were very polite, but I think a bit surprised to hear this small thing was a cool new marketing idea that might be thrilling enough to write about.

After consulting with his colleagues, Chuck told me, "I guess email response from those links is pretty spotty, and what we do get is mostly from customers -- but something so easy and intuitive would be silly NOT to include."

Well, maybe intuitive for IFS, but not for anyone else I've met. So, my idea of the week is, why not test adding an "email for info" response hotlink on your email offers, ads or newsletter article summaries.

The fact is, anything that encourages your customers and prospects to engage with you is a very, very big idea in the long run.

P.S. Regarding your participation in our annual Wisdom Report: Every January, we publish a new book packed with 100+ contributed 'lessons learned' from MarketingSherpa readers.

This Wednesday, Dec. 20, I'll email you a link to a form where you can submit your own 'lesson learned' for potential inclusion in the 2007 edition. You'll have 11 days ... but many of those are holidays for a lot of people. So, you may want to start thinking about the quote you'll contribute now.

Yes, as always, we'll distribute the final Wisdom Report to all readers on a complimentary basis. Plus, we'll credit and hotlink to everyone whose quote is published.

Want some ideas? Check out the last Wisdom Report to see last year's reader contributions:

Useful links related to this article

Case Study: How an Enterprise Software Company Created a Podcast Program -- 15 Useful Tips

See Also:

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