Don’t Get Fooled by Advertising Salespeople!

The people who sell advertising for a living are SALES people. They are trained to SELL the particular product or service that they offer. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that as long as they are not using incorrect, untrue, misleading, etc. tactics to convince you to make a purchase. One specific example to be aware of is e-mail marketing.

Let’s use an example to illustrate this. I want to sell you advertising in a newsletter that I publish. I have a list of 20,000 people who have signed up to receive my newsletter every week. It will cost you $200 to be included for one month (one a week for 4 weeks). I then tell you that equates to only $50 per week to have your message seen 80,0000 times. That’s less than a penny per view! What a great offer, right?

Well, maybe it is. You need to consider several things. First, is the newsletter targeted to your audience? Are the people on the list the kind of people you want to attract? If you sell dog treats, you’d want to know what percentage of people have a dog. So, let’s assume it’s very targeted for you and that 70% of the people have a dog.

Next, and this is critical….what is the open rate of the newsletter? The open rate is defined as the number of people who actually open the e-mail divided by the total people on the list. So if the email was sent to 20,000 people and 4,000 people opened it, then the open rate would be 20%. It is extremely rare, if not impossible, to have a 100% open rate, especially for any sustained period of time. A good open rate is typically in the 30-35% range, and it’s not uncommon to be in the 20-30% range. Anything below that is considered poor and anything above it I would be suspicious about. For our example, let’s say the open rate is 25%.

Let’s see where we are….

20,000 emails X 25% open rate = 5,000 opens.

5,000 opens and assuming 70% of them have a dog = 3500 potential leads.

So in reality, you have 16,500 FEWER prospects than what I said was on my list; and over 4 weeks, the total exposure is 14,000 not 80,000. Finally, this equates to 1.4 cents per view, which is still a good number. The most important thing to understand is that you need to ask the right questions in order to know whether spending your money on a particular marketing/advertising product or service is worthwhile.

These are just a few of the things you need to consider and understand to ensure you are investing your money wisely to get the highest possible return.

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