February 19, 2002 Volume 1 Issue 37
How much opt-In?
Some of you may be gone already. If you know Ken and his outspoken views on opt-in/opt-out. And disagree.
Ken is the editor for iMarketing News. He is an excellent writer - not afraid to say what he feels in his weekly columns. Not only do I agree with many of his views, I like the guy. Ken is fun. He "talks", too. Had him on my radio WebCast Marketing with Ray program - it was a good time.
So, what's with E-mail marketing and direct mail marketing? How are they similar ... how are they different? And why? Let's look at what's happening in the marketplace early in this year 2002. Let's set the stage for another point of view.
Direct mail as a marketing tool has been around for at least 250 years. Since Ben Franklin produced his first "catalogue" in the 1750's. In the USA it became formalized early in the last century ... the Direct Marketing Association is 85 years old. It's early association name included the phrase 'direct mail' - because that was what the business was all about.
Of course the business is different. Yet, direct mail is not so different. You still need the right list to mail too. An audience who can buy what you sell. Direct mail lists are built many ways. There are house lists, those of your customers. There are prospect lists ... those who you'd like to be your customers. Some are compiled from directories or other 'public' sources. B-2-B and consumer lists are available in many mix and match combinations. Direct mail lists are built many, many ways.
Rather than edit and select from Ken's editorial - since this is the web and there is room, here is his report - in total;
"There's been much hand-wringing lately about market pressures on e-mail list owners possibly bringing about the demise of double opt in, or fully verified opt in. Double opt in is the e-mail list-building process where the list owner sends confirmation e-mails to new registrants to which the registrants must respond to verify that it was, indeed, they who supplied their e-mail address, and that, yes, they really do want to hear from the list owner and possibly marketers that rent names from the list owner. If they don't respond, their e-mail address doesn't get added to the list.
"Double opt in is a perfectly fine way to build a list. We use it for our e-mail newsletters.
"But it results in lists that grow 40 percent to 60 percent more slowly than single opt in, where the list owner sends a confirmation e-mail, but registrants need respond only if they don't want to remain on the list.
"Double opt in's proponents say reconfirmation is such a small step, but that 40/60 number belies that. Anti-spammers also point out that the process eliminates the possibility of people forge subscribing one another into getting unwanted e-mail. True, but it's hard to believe that forge subscriptions are the epidemic that anti-spammers would have us believe.
"Finally, they say, "Shouldn't marketers want to reach only those who want to hear from them?" Well, no, not if they understand how direct marketing works.
"It is certainly in marketers' interest to keep the Internet as spam-free as possible. And the argument that spam shifts costs from the marketer to the recipient is unassailable. "But whenever proponents of double opt in argue that it's the only acceptable form of permission and that direct marketers should strive to talk to only those who "really want to hear from them," they display a profound ignorance of the craft.
"Direct marketing is a game of nickels. DMers eke a fraction of a percent higher response out of a mailing and they're happy. Catalogers endlessly fiddle with product density on their pages trying to get each page to generate as much revenue per square inch as possible.
"And by necessity, one of the more important manifestations of this tweak-here-and-there mentality is a constant, multifaceted effort to get people to spend money they didn't intend to part with.
"Teleservices reps offer quantity breaks to get customers to buy one or two more widgets than they called for. There's the ever-present cross sell. "Would you like a nice lighter to go with that box of cigars, sir?" An increase in customers' average order frequency from 5.1 times per year to 5.2 times per year is considered a win.
"Successful direct marketing isn't about being welcomed with open arms. More often, it's about not being shown the door. Ask any consumer how many catalogs he wants per year, and he'll say one, maybe two. Follow his advice and you're out of business.
"Real-life case in point: I'm on the Humor Network's Joke-of-the-Day e-mail list. Having been a bartender for five years or so in a previous life, there's hardly a joke on this often-corny list that I haven't heard.
"If the folks at the Humor Network ever e-mailed me and asked whether I wanted to remain on their list, I'd more than likely opt out. If they ever e-mailed me and told me I had to respond to stay on their list, I'd certainly not respond and that would be the end of my name on their file.
"Do I love hearing from Joke-of-the-Day? No. I simply haven't expended the energy to kick them out of my inbox yet.
"As a result of this apathy, two weeks ago I received an offer through the Humor Network from RealBeer.com and subsequently joined RealBeer.com's monthly brew pub club. For $29.95 per month automatically billed to my credit card, I get a 12-pack of a different featured brew pub's beer delivered to my door each month until I cancel.
"Think of how many people are on various e-mail lists and getting regular e-mail offers simply because they opted in once and haven't spent the energy to get removed. A resulting impulse sale here and there on a list of millions, and pretty soon we're talking real money, not to mention the repeat list-rental revenue for the list owner.
"Understanding how important unintended buying behavior is for businesses of all sorts makes it clear why anti-spammers' occasional demands that an e-mail list owner re-opt in an entire list elicits incredulous outrage from the owner and belly laughs from everyone else in marketing.
"Fortunately, the market is providing answers to this debate quite efficiently."
Agree with Ken? Disagree? Want to "talk" about this more? If so, send an E-mail to me @ Ray@RayJutkins.com - I promise to respond. And share with Ken, too.
Some things we should not take for granted. A postage meter being one.
Just over 100 years ago Arthur Pitney filed a patent for the first postage meter.
Today Pitney-Bowes holds 3400+ parents worldwide. For mail and document management that covers shipping, printing, encryption, funds management and security. Still, today, they are in the top 200 USA companies with new patents every year.
For example, in the late 1980's, pre-WWW days, Pitney-Bowes received patents to download postage through the Internet. Through the '90's the concept took hold, and today many mailers use their personal computers to print and mail.
The postage meter began as a mechanical device, evolved to electronic and now digital. What will the next generation bring? For more visit http://www.pb.com.
The Baker's Dozen
In the real world selling is an art.
For me the real business of selling began with The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a light - a guiding light. He left many things for those of us who followed.
For example, Franklin chose 13 subjects he felt he needed to master. His learning plan was simple; each of the 13 points would be given strict attention for a single week. And then he'd move to the next. And the next. This way he worked through his entire list of 13 points 4 times a year.
This is exactly how I learned to become a professional salesman. The concept of Franklin was translated to a book by Frank Bettger, titled How I Raised Myself From Failure to Success in Selling. Frank had 13 points, too. Some came directly from Franklin. Others came from his experiences.
For the rest of the story "Click" 13 Platinum Sales Success Ideas - www.rayjutkins.com/baker/baker05.htm . . . and EnJoy.
It's about this time every year when New Year's resolutions fall by the side of the road of life.
For the first 30-45 days we are strong on the path. By mid-February it's much easier to go back to the way it was. Thus, this weeks words from Anonymous are
"Saying 'I must do something' will always solve more problems
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!
Ray Speaks ... and thus has audio & video tapes.
Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. FREE. No strings attached.
The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories, some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hour's worth of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!
If you'd like your very own copy, send an E-mail to ...
Oh, when you have a need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape could be valuable to you, just ask for a copy. Not much use for video these days - with the Web - still, we'll be happy to forward one to you. Just ask.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.