Converting Nibbles Into Bites

You think you’ve followed all the steps necessary to create a successful email marketing campaign. You’ve come up with the offer, created the mailing, designed a landing page, and found your target audience.

But something’s not working. It’s time for a makeover.

That’s the situation Idea Club Gold found itself in. Idea Club Gold is a subscription service used by staffing companies, such as temporary agencies and recruiting firms, to help boost their performance.

Idea Club Gold sells tools, delivered via email, that help members improve their businesses. A “toolkit” might be designed to illustrate how to generate new business. It likely would contain an action plan, downloadable scripts and forms, and a step-by-step implementation plan.

The program is offered by Haley Marketing Group. Haley Marketing started its email marketing efforts about a year and a half ago with “Idea Club,” a free monthly email newsletter. Presented in a fairly traditional newsletter format, it provides sales and marketing tips, advice, and articles.

Idea Club Gold was launched last September. A series of four monthly direct response email offers was designed to sell the product, a series of productivity toolkits. Each offer features a different toolkit. Most toolkits are intended to improve the market or increase sales for staffing services. A few of them help to manage a business. The mailings are sent to an opt-in database of about 7,000 users.

Initial results were encouraging. The Idea Club Gold offers were garnering a solid click-through rate — the average was about 22 percent — but the sales conversion rate was disappointing. It averaged only about 0.09 percent overall.

“We designed our site, and we liked it, but it wasn’t selling for us,” says Richard Searns, founder of Haley Marketing.

So the company recently signed on for a makeover. It worked with Creative-Mail, an email-marketing services company, to increase the sales conversion rate. The team focused on two items: the email message itself and the landing page.

The “old” version of the email was a short message of the “check out our free sample” type. I’ve excerpted a bit here:

Hi, Heidi.

Who knows more about “hidden” job orders than anyone else in your company?

Your temps!

Your temporary employees can be an invaluable source of sales leads — if you know what to do. Today, I would like to share an idea that will show you how to turn your employee’s knowledge into sales opportunities.

Click the link below for your free Idea Club Gold sample, and receive everything you’ll need to put this idea into action.

The new offer was spruced up a bit. It contains a testimonial and is available in HTML and text versions. The idea is to give the reader just enough incentive to click through to the landing page. See samples of the new offer here.

The old version of the landing page didn’t include much sales information. It was more like a link to the company’s home page than a focused, sales-oriented page. After hitting it, readers had to wander a bit through the site to complete the transaction. Here’s the original landing page.

The new version of the landing page is focused on the sale. It was created in sales-letter style, features numerous testimonials, contains copy that focuses on the benefits, and has an improved look and feel. Check it out here.

The new campaign saw a similar click-through rate, but the sales rate was much higher. The overall conversion rate jumped from 0.09 to 0.72 percent — an eightfold increase. While the four previous campaigns resulted in only 10 sales, this single campaign has generated 49 sales to date, with an average sale of $181.

If you think you’ve followed all the steps to a successful campaign but your results are falling short, it might be time for another long, hard, and very objective look at your efforts.

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