Email Advertising - How Ad Tracking Helped Create a Killer Ad
I recently undertook an email advertising promotion, using a number of advertising media. The exercise involved a program of mine called the Magical Marketing system.
As an email advertising Internet marketing exercise, I decided that I wanted to approach the members of some of the affiliate programs that are featured in Magical Marketing, and offer their members the chance to join this system, and reap the benefit of the multiple promotion methods that it employs.
And. as an email advertising marketing exercise, this has worked very well, and whilst an interesting exercise in Joint Venture Marketing in itself, it has produced a result so remarkable in my eyes, that I felt it worthy of a report.
With one particular featured program, I did a multiple ad test, to see what the comparison between three ads. It was the results of this that struck me, and prompted me to put this article together.
The three ads, which were very similar. This is good of course, because it means that any variance in the results can be explained in relatively few ways. So there are two points that need to be made about these ads, which may affect your thinking about how you write your own ads.
1. Use Of Variables in Headlines
I don't know about you, but I am always hearing that using someone's name in an advert can make a significant difference to the effect of that advert. Not all programs have this kind of facility though. It just happens the program that I ran the adverts with does, so I made use of it in the headlines for 2 of the 3 adverts, but not for one of them. I have used the variable in the body of all three ads, so some personalisation took place in all cases.
2. Bulleted Benefits
Again, all the books and articles that I have ever read tell you to spell out the benefits, and a lot of them tell you to bullet them to add emphasis. So, I have done this with all three adverts, but with a difference between ads 1,and 2 and 3. In the first advert, I just made single word references to the benefits, in the other two, I elaborated in order to explain the benefit better.
The results are so striking, that they are worthy of comment.
The ads were placed from 12th December 2004 to 18h January 2005. So, the time span is about a month, but, I use the program in question to send other ads out too. About every 3rd day, I will send one of these three ads, in rotation. So, each of the ads would have been sent about every 6 days or so.
Advert 1 pulled in 70 unique hits, with 19 action hits. The latter is where prospects followed through to the sign up page.
Advert 2 pulled 5 unique hits and 1 action hit.
Advert 3 pulled 4 unique hits and no action hits.
HeadlinesI have always advocated trying to keep headlines short, especially where email adverts are concerned. You only have the width of the email pane to enter your message, so you must tell your story within a few words.
I don't consider any of the Headlines that I have used to be excessively long. However, the first advert is very short, and perhaps that accounts in part for the huge number of additional clicks for the first advert?
In part, I believe that this is true.
However, I am now thinking that perhaps email prospects have become wary of seeing their name in emails from people that they don't really know. Think about how you react when you see such an email?
Do you open it immediately, or do you become suspicious?
Trust your gut feeling.
I have used the personalised approach in the body of the email, and maybe the psychology here is that once someone has opened an email, they have 'let you in' and are more amenable to your being personal.
I am more convinced than ever that email headlines should be short - as short as possible. I also recommend that if you personalise the Headline, you stop, and test your ads without it.
You can see that advert 1 has produced a massive amount of additional click thru's over the other two ads. Bearing in mind that each ad went out, probably every six days, the first two ads are not far removed from the norm with the program that I used. This makes the results achieved by Advert 1 even more staggering.
The change in headline may go some way to explain this, but the huge number of clicks tells me that something much more significant has occurred.
Thankfully, the body of the three ads are very similar in all aspects, except one; the bulleted benefits. In the first ad, I have given one word answers. In the other two, I have elaborated.
Bulleted benefits conclusion
One cannot escape the fact that keeping the benefits so short has had an impact. And not only in click thru's either. If you look at the graphic under 'Actions' column, you will see that I have tracked the prospect through to the signup page. You might expect that the 20% conversion rate be the same, but it isn't, it has increased to around 28%. So the shorter bullet points have also pre-sold more effectively, so the prospects likelihood of signing up has increased as well.
As a final note, please remember that all of this is courtesy of tracking my ads. If you don't do it, then you will struggle to make an impact in the marketing world.