All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

In to win?

Smart companies are constantly looking to increase their databases. You have to, just to compete with organic database fatigue and wastage. These factors reduce most lists by around 7% per year.

Any database growth will, by the very nature of its initiative, lead to a higher wastage level initially - usually because joining the database is incentivised - a good portion of those who sign up for your incentive do so because they want to win the prize - not because they want your newsletter.

But it is still a valid way of increasing database numbers.

However, and it is a big however, I recently spotted a flaw in this - I investigated further and found that at least 50% of email based competitions which were aimed at database growth contained this flaw.

The email in question offered a great prize, and I signed up immediately. But the only contact detail it requested was my email address. Three weeks later, I was routinely clearing my junk folder of the 700 odd emails offering me the way to sexual nirvana, when I happened upon one saying I had won the prize being offered.

I immediately rang the organisers only to be told that I was too late, and the prize had been given to someone else. I explained that their email (Subject line YOU ARE A BIG WINNER) had been filtered. Why hadn't they called me, I asked? They didn't have my phone number, they replied - because they had not asked for it.

And there lies the flaw. Any email making noise about being a winner in the subject line (especially all in caps) is likely to be considered spam and get junked. If, however, the subject line looks mundane, then it may not get read - especially if the sender is not on your "must read emails from" list.

So get a phone number as well - if you are running a competition, and all people need to do is enter, then it is your responsibility to ensure winners are properly notified - and become good members of your email database.