Is bigger better when you’re talking about blasts?

Here comes an old chestnut of a joke for you.

Size doesn’t matter.

When people are peddlin’ you email blasts for your shows, they’ll all trumpet the size of their lists. 100,000.  350,000.  650,000! Immediately you’ll feel that “bigger is better” pull and think, “Wow, just imagine all those impressions at a cost of only pennies per!”

The moment someone tries to sell you a list, the first question you should ask is “How many subscribers do you have?”

But don’t stop there.

The second question you should ask is, “What is your average open rate?”  (An open rate is exactly what it sounds like . . . how many people open your email after receiving it).

Then, do some 9th grade math:

# Subscribers x Open Rate (%) = Actual Impressions

My research indicates that most commercial email blasts sold in our industry have open rates ranging from approximately 10-15%.

So . . . that means . . .

350,000 subscribers x 12.5% (in between 10-15%) = 43,750 impressions.

All of a sudden, the size of that list doesn’t seem that impressive, does it?

And that doesn’t mean those 43,750 people even read your “ad.”  Preview panes, mobile devices, etc., are screwing with open rate statistics now more than ever.

The truth is, the open rate isn’t even the most important statistic.

Now we all know that the real strength of these lists is in the number of conversions you receive from the openers.  But obviously, the more individuals that open your email, the greater chance you have at converting a sale.

So how do you increase your open rate?

Tomorrow I’ll give you 5 tips on how to increase your open rate.

In the meantime, don’t be impressed by the size of something.

Because, yes, that old Catskills-like joke is true.

Size does not matter.

(And that doesn’t mean my list is small, by the way. Cuz, it’s not. I’ve got a big list.  I’m just saying that . . . you know . . . it doesn’t matter for those out there that don’t have a big list but know how to use it.  Really.  I swear.)

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s follow up.

Comments
  • amateursinner@gmail.com says:

    If you’re going to do an email blast, then do it big!

  • Rob says:

    When buying email blasts, ALWAYS make sure you pay your CPMs based on the open rate, not the # of subscribers

  • Brian Ferdman says:

    Ken, you are forgetting to ask “How often do you clean your list?” The legacy company that was long considered the industry leader in New York was notorious for never cleaning their list, giving them inflated numbers of subscribers compared to their competitors who cleaned regularly.

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