Why You Should Test Email Subscription Incentives

Recently, we discussed the value of providing incentives as a way to increase email subscription rates. In general, incentives help to persuade people to sign up for a mailing list. But all incentives are not created equally. Some incentives work extremely well. Others don’t.

Return Path took a look at some case studies which illustrated the variance of success with incentives.

“…In the first study MarketingExperiments tested a sweepstakes prize intended to drive email sign ups. The tested incentives were a wireless keyboard and mouse or an MP3 player. Given the prevalence of MP3 players as gifts all over the place – online and off – you might guess that would be the better incentive. If you thought so, you guessed wrong. The keyboard and mouse outperformed by a whopping 319%…” continue reading

Like everything else relating to email marketing, the only way to know what works best for your industry – your business – your audience – is to test different approaches. The use of incentives is no exception.

It is also important to think about who you want to subscribe to your email list. Years ago (in the days of batch and blast campaigns) the theory was that the bigger your list was, the better it was. Today, research tells us that smaller, more targeted lists are more responsive in terms of your bottom line. When creating an email subscription strategy, it is important to align your incentive with your desired audience.

It is better to persuade some people who meet your market demographics than many people who don’t.

Bigger isn’t necessarily better in email marketing. Relevance is.

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