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email newsletters

 6:59 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

We offer very specialised model railway goods, and invite people to subscribe to our occasional (every 3 months) e-newsletter.

We have around 900 subscribers, but at best only 5-7% of these have ever been customers over the years. It seems that people sign up for almost anything, regardless of whether or not it really interests them. After each newsletter is sent out around 10-20 unsubscribe, suggesting that their original subscription was just a whim.

Any comments? Obviously it costs as much or as little to send out to 900 as to 50, but this leaves me wondering whether there is any value at all in the sort of obsessive traffic analysis sometimes recommended. As I see it many of the people visiting the site are just the equivalent of persons who walk past the shop front in the street and glance in the window.

In short, do others find that newsletters attract the timewasters?



 7:21 am on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

suggesting that their original subscription was just a whim.

Perhaps every 3 months is too long a gap to keep those newly interested people "really" interested, or to warm up their interest -- especially if they began by being "just a little curious". By the time your next newsletter shows up, they've lost touch with whatever it was that attracted them in the first place.

I've seen some benchmark testing that indicated for a "cool" list, the ideal frequency to "warm up" those names to take some further action or involvement was twice a month. I've been testing this over several newsletter lists for several years, and it seems to hold out pretty well. If the publisher puts too big a gap between issues (especially more than 4 weeks), opt-outs do increase. Also if they hit the list too often, opt-outs also increase.

But if they ask people to take another action in the newsletter (make a purchase, get more frequent updates... whatever action it may be) the twice a month frequency seems to be close to optimal, at least for these organizations.

The idea of a cool list and a warm list is one that seems to work pretty darn well.


 4:27 pm on Aug 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

As I see it many of the people visiting the site are just the equivalent of persons who walk past the shop front in the street and glance in the window.

In short, do others find that newsletters attract the timewasters?

We've paid a fortune in mall rents to get people to walk past our stores and glance in our windows. We put a lot of effort into a MONTHLY newsletter that for 6 years has attracted a ton of "timewasters" AND customers. Your newsletter stats seem about right. People do unsubscribe. (maybe they simply changed email addresses)

What do you expect, for everyone to buy model trains every year from birth till death? I've spent a fortune of train stuff often on a whim when my kids were little. Now they are grown and I would unsubscribe to such a newsletter.

For your sort of niche business a MONTHLY newsletter is the best possible way to advertise


 6:26 pm on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Philip, when you say "timewasters", are you talking about people who actively waste your time (emailing and calling with questions and the like), or are they simply on your email mailing list?

I Will Make It

 6:57 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)


I'm having the same problem. I'm in the wedding business. I own the ONLY webshop offering these types of wedding goods in my country.

These things sells really good in the US and the UK.

I'm OK with not selling to much, after all, this types of products are very "new" in my country. But some people are open to this, and they buy... but not as many as I want.
I want to pull in buyers from my newsletters, but I've never had any success on this.

I'm getting lots and lots of newsletters subscribers though, in less than a year I have built a DB with over 1000 subscribers. With an avg of 58 unique visitors/day to my site.

BUT I hardly ever send out any emails anymore.. People never responded to my newsletters in any kind of way.

I would be thrilled if someone could give me a little tip on how to monetize my 1000 subscribers newsletter. Or is it to few?

How can I KICKSTART things with my list, to get people to my site and then to BUY my products?


 11:15 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I personally don't sign up to newsletter unless there's something in it for me or I have to do it.

To get more buyers -
Maybe try and offer exclusive discounts for newsletter members. Every month or so send out a newsletter featuring a few of your products and a special offer.

If you have a special offer on every week then people will keep returning to your site.

To get more subscribers-
Encourage more people to signup to your newsletter by incorperating it as part of the shopping cart process.

I Will Make It

 11:30 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)


Thank you for the reply.

I do incorporate the newsletter sign up in the shopping cart process.
though most of my buyers have already subscribed before they purchase any products.

I wish I had the oportunity to give subscribers a discount now and then, but unfortenately, this is not something I can do, as the software I use don't have this option.

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