All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Incentivised database growth

Using competitions and incentives to get people to sign up to receive your email information is a tried and tested formula - inasmuch as it does generate response.

But how valid is it in the modern marketplace?

Sign up competitions are two a penny - to stand out, organisers are increasingly forced to offer expensive prizes - and I wonder how often they really show a worthwhile ROI?

For starters, people who sign up are doing so primarily to win the prize, not because they specifically want to receive your marketing emails or newsletters. Expect a heavy initial unsubscribe rate, however well you do in engaging them with your first send out. It's not a reflection on your email or it's content, simply on how the recipients were gathered. But it is a reality. If 40% unsubscribe initially, and another 30% in the first few weeks, was it worthwhile?

Then there's the issue of how quickly you get in touch with them. Many companies, especially those who choose to gather their emails on bits of paper, often wait months before actually using their newly found database. They might as well have not bothered, as most will have forgotten signing up, why they signed up, and why they might want to continue receiving your information.

Don't get me wrong. I am not suggesting abandoning competitions and incentives as way to grow your database.

But I do think it should only be a small part of your strategy for database growth, and if you do do it, make sure you follow up quickly, and effectively.

Want to talk more about this?