In January, I wrote about my decision to try e-mail marketing with Adbase, which bills itself as “North America’s largest and most advanced database of creative buyers.” In this post, I thought I would share how my first e-mails performed.
After I built my mailing lists (as described in my last post), my next step was to create e-mails that were targeted for my lists. It’s a fairly straightforward process; you can design them from scratch in text or HTML, or use one of the provided e-mail templates. I chose the latter option.
Regional and National Campaigns
I simply inserted my logo and two images into a template, along with a line of copy directing people to my Web site. After proofing the content and sending several tests to myself, I distributed two different e-mails — one for contacts in my geographic region (North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.) and the other to contacts across the rest of the country.
In my regional e-mail (view it here), I showcased two specialities — food and lifestyle photography. In my national e-mail (view it here), I focused on one speciality, food. I sent my regional e-mail to 280 contacts and my national e-mail to 1,069 contacts.
Before I move on to the performance of my e-mails, I should define two important terms: e-mail open rate, and click-through rate.
E-mail open rate is determined by the number of people who opened your e-mail as a percentage of total e-mails received. Click-through rate is the percentage of people who opened your e-mail and then clicked on the link to browse your Web site.
OK, so how did I do — and what have I learned?
My regional e-mail performed better than my national e-mail. The former achieved a 24 percent open rate and a 6 percent click-through rate, compared to a 17 percent open rate and 3 percent click-through rate for the latter.
I attribute this difference to a combination of the different list sizes and content. I think more recipients opened the regional e-mail because the content — covering two specialities rather than one — appealed to a broader range of contacts. And I think the regional e-mail had a higher click-through rate because, once they opened the e-mail, they could see I was a local photographer.
Thus far, no one has contacted me as a result of these initial e-mails. While it would have been nice for my Adbase campaign to pay off with the first distribution, I wasn’t expecting this after just one round of e-mails. I anticipate it will take a combination of e-mails, cold calls, print mailers and other promotion to begin converting contacts into clients.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress.