Why don't Web site and email newsletter subscription marketers ever offer a premium (free gift) with order?
One or two of them must do, but in all my trollings across the Web, I've never seen one that I can recall. It drives me crazy because subscription premium offers are proven to be so incredibly effective offline. Why not at least test them on? After all people don't want to buy a subscription (trust me, almost nobody wants to buy a "subscription") they want to buy a solution to a problem they are having right now at this moment or they want some fun instant gratification. A premium offers that - - that special report on how to improve sales now, or that free Tupperware (tm) with the Ginsu Knife.
So when my friend Kim MacPherson, President Inbox Interactive, [http://www.inboxinteractive.com] called me this morning to chat, I asked her about this. She said she'd never noticed an online subscription premium offer either, but added, "I think they definitely need to do this."
Kim's company does email marketing campaigns for USA Today to sell print subscriptions to the paper and it's print newsletter, Baseball Weekly. Her campaigns almost invariably focus on premium offers. She told me, "If you're targeting baseball fans, for instance, there has to be some kind of perk, some kind of carrot to get them to respond." For example, a gift subscription offer emailed in December featuring a free ballparks calendar with order sold thousands. She notes, "These were all paid subscriptions, there were no bill-mes."
I'll do a Case Study on USA Today's online circulation marketing later in the year, and you can check DMNews for a story they're running in a week or two. In the meantime, here are three creative samples of email campaigns featuring premiums that worked to sell USA Today print subscriptions:
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