Is Advertising in E-mail Publications Better Than Banners?

These notes look at the value of advertising in another businesses email publication e.g. newsletters.  B2B advertising is an incredibly powerful means of reaching your target consumer.

I hate being controversial but sometimes I just despair as to why the truth is as plain as day yet the marketing “experts” insist on telling us otherwise.

The online advertising industry is very youthful – the industry is really only 10-15 years old and many who work within it grew up in the print world whereas this is the electronic age.  How each reach their target consumer is entirely different and worse, it is changing fast.  Just as some marketers have got their heads around Web 1.0, here we are in the world of Web 2.0 and that has huge implications for advertising.  

But I digress - I am glad that the online marketing industry has finally started to see what I thought was obvious all along:

1. Banners on websites are simply horrible money wasters

2. Banners in HTML formatted email newsletters are marginally better but still a great money waster

3. Plain text advertising inside of an email publication – now we are talking possibility!
A well placed, plain text advertisement in an email publication – with a link through to your site is better than a banner ad and here is why (and some guidelines on how to get it right):

4. Banner ads are usually just one of many graphic elements on a web page.  Consumers have simply trained themselves to look past them as though they weren’t there.  That is, unless it is flashing or jumping around the place.  How irritating (or smart) is that?  Would you do business with someone who irritated you?  How often do you click on such ads?

5. More savvy web consumers turn off their “auto load” images.  Many use ad-blocking software so that they don’t have to look at banner advertising.

6. Most people have email but not everyone has the web or broadband web.

7. People opt in to email lists – they have already made the positive decision that they want to read the email they receive.  Think how superior your advertising dollar is invested in this way rather than traditional print “junk mail” or general news papers.  You can find a “listening ear” for your advertising immediately.

8. Text advertising in publications which require active opting-in have many times the click-through rates of website banner ads.  

Guidelines on Advertising within an Email Publication:

9. Do not spam – do not be party to spam – do not think, for one minute, that such advertising is anything other than the behaviour of gutter rats.  

10. Choose to advertise with businesses that function within your market place.  Examples: a real estate newsletter might contain advertising for mortgage brokers, Trademe newsletters have targeted advertising, a medical suppliers newsletter might have advertising for an upcoming conference or training.

11. Choose to advertise in email publications that do not over-do the advertising.  Too much advertising negates the value and ultimately starts to turn the readers off in droves.   

12. Choose businesses who do not ever sell their email lists and who have strong anti-spamming policies.

13. Choose businesses who have mature opt-in (and opt-out) policies for their readers.

14. Where possible have a link to your site in both the email publication and the website.

15. You get more space in a text email – talk directly to the readers.  Lose the corporate
speak and give them more detail.

16. Make sure you have the means to track the effectiveness of the advertising.

17. If you are involved in any sort of sponsorship then use this to your advantage.  Sponsorship builds trust. Ensure that you advertise in any newsletter or publication being sent out.

18. Use headlines that grab the attention of the reader

19. Use content that has context.  Here we are talking click-friendly.  Make sure that your writing speaks to both your normal audience and the subscriber’s audience.  Think about tone and style that resonates.

20. Most email publications give you around 8 lines of copy.  Be straightforward and succinct.  

21. Make sure your content builds trust and has a call to action.  You don’t need to say much – just enough to prompt a click.  You aren’t there to sell so much as get your prospects attention.  Language like “for details” at the end is great because it promises the reader a reward once you click through or email.

22. Offering more than one contact method is advisable.  

23. Think about the landing page – it must be relevant, in context, directed.  Same voice, same message but heaps more information.  Do not forget the call to action !  Tell them what you have to offer and why they should deal with you and gentle, but firmly, convert the browser into buyers.

Wendy Page is an authorised netMaestro Agent.

You can contact Wendy at the following details:
Cellphone: 0274 490 960