At the 2009 Audience Development Show, Watt Publishing’s audience development director, Jim Wessel, shared some tactics for dealing with co-workers who insist on pummeling e-mail lists.

“We call him the ‘Repeat Blaster’ at work,” Wessel joked. “No one in the office knows what his real name is. He likes sending the same message every two days and you can’t change his mind.”

Wessel wanted a way to deliver the target audience without running the risk of fatiguing the list. So, he sent out a client-driven e-mail promoting their products as a test to 10,000 addresses from the promotions channel.

Out of the e-mails sent, 2,000 were opened and 1,000 bounced. Instead of blasting the entire list again, he removed the opens and the bounces for a second round—and continued that pattern for three more rounds.

Even though the response rate went down after each round, so did the amount of complaints. “You could also see another pattern,” Wessel said. “Out of those that did respond, the number of people who responded positively was about the same. After we got down to the fourth round, the advertiser was ready to buy four more rounds because the results were good all the way through.”

Wessel found success with using the same type of test for the “guy that sells open rate percentages.” For this test, he sent out a company e-newsletter to 20,000 subscribers, and 35 percent opened the e-mail. Wessel removed the e-mail addresses for those who did not open the message over a three-month period. For the second round, he sent out the e-mail to 12,000 addresses and got a 58 percent open rate.

“Our philosophy is that if you didn’t open it, you’re not interested,” he said. “So we take you out of the mix. Not only did we save money but we also boosted traffic. Our IP ratings went up because open rates went up. This is great for newsletters and monthly promotions.”

Magazine Media and TV: Perfect Brand Extensions
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