February 28, 2005
Blog Entry

Three Tips to Maximize Your Email Newsletter Ad Clicks

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By Anne Holland, President

"We never pay for a non-top position ad in an email newsletter," Marty Brandwin, Marketing Director at Jinfonet Software told me the other day.

Why? He says, "Our past numbers show us there's at least a 50% drop off in clicks from lower positions." So, unless the newsletter's reach is extraordinarily on target and the lower position is a heck of a lot cheaper than the top, it's not worth his time.

Here are three more tips Marty shared with me:

Tip #1. Text-only gets best results

I've heard for ages that text-only ads (versus ads that look like banners and include graphics or colors) work best in newsletters of any kind. Marty added that these days text-only newsletters are the best to run ads in to reach B-to-B audiences.

Turns out so many corporations are filtering out anything with even a hint of HTML, that many newsletter publishers he knows are switching to text-only just to get through. IT staffers are among the most likely to add personal filters onto their email box, so if you want to reach them, it's critical to be text-only.

Tip #2. Customize your copy to each newsletter title

"There isn't a generic sponsorship," notes Marty. "We're really careful to customize the message to the audience. If you send the same ad to everyone, it just doesn't work well."

That's a rock-solid rule I've heard for more than five years now. Yet hardly any marketers obey it. Tweak your ad copy for each newsletter you run in.

Tip #3. Be flexible in media buy dates

Your offer calendar and the newsletter publisher's open slots may not always match up. Some popular newsletters are sold out months in advance these days.

Instead, let the account rep know what your goal is as far out as possible. "We'd like to test being in your top position in third quarter if you think we can get a .75% click rate with the right offer."

The rep needs to move lower-slot inventory now, so they may promise you better slots later in the year in exchange for taking something else now. And, since you're helping out, you get everything at a discount. "We'll negotiate great deals on being in there sooner," says Marty.

Note: Do you have any newsletter ads that are doing really well? I'd love to hear about them.

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