If you’re looking to connect with hard-to-reach prospects or gain visibility in new markets, it’s time to include e-newsletter advertising in your marketing mix. E-newsletter advertisements are a great complement to your in-house e-mail marketing efforts or a way to get started with e-mail marketing if you don’t have a house list.

Placing ads in online media such as e-newsletters can motivate your audience to take action. According to the results of the GlobalSpec 2007 Engineering Trends Survey, 81% of respondents reported having visited the advertiser’s Web site after seeing an online ad and 59% have e-mailed the advertiser.

With e-newsletter advertising, you can save costs and resources: you don’t have to manage the list, produce the content, or distribute and track the e-newsletter. You simply provide an ad to the publisher. In most cases, you’ll also set up a landing page on your own Web site for respondents who click on your ad.

Do Your Due Diligence
Before implementing an e-newsletter program — and with any marketing program — you need to perform due diligence:

  • Establish your marketing objectives
  • Evaluate the publisher and its e-newsletters; analyze the audience list the e-newsletter reaches
  • Seek flexible advertising options including size, placement and frequency

  1. Define your marketing objectives. Know the audience you want to reach, the purpose of your advertising campaign and how you will measure success. As far as audience goes, if you’re in the industrial sector, your target audience is likely engineering, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals. Therefore, seek out e-newsletters directed to this audience, or even more specifically to an audience interested in products and services like those you offer.

    Your purpose might be to raise the visibility of your brand, announce your company’s attendance at a trade show, launch a new product, or generate leads with a compelling offer. All of these purposes can be achieved through e-newsletters. Purpose will drive your content. For example, if you are promoting a new product, you’ll want a photo of your product; if you are offering a white paper, you’ll need a short, compelling pitch.

    Measurements of success could be the number of people who click on your ad or the number who accept an offer (such as a white paper download) after clicking on your ad.

    Have all of your marketing objectives in hand when you discuss advertising with an e-newsletter publisher.

  2. Evaluate potential e-newsletters. Seek out an e-newsletter publisher with experience and expertise in communicating with the target audience you want to reach. Find out what e-newsletters they offer and to what audience. Ask the publisher for both the number of subscribers and a subscriber profile, preferably by industry and job function. A quick glance at the subscriber profile and you’ll know if you’re targeting the right audience.

    Also, be sure to ask the publisher how they build their list. Renting or buying or adding names through affiliate programs could be a red flag. The best lists are opt-in only, where the recipient has specifically requested to receive the e-newsletter and won’t be blocking it with spam filters or deleting it unopened. Your advertisement is much more likely to show up in the recipient’s inbox and be noticed and read.

    Finally, evaluate the ad placement opportunities available.  You may want to consider avoiding e-newsletters that only offer logo placement – including copy with your ad ties it to the rest of the editorial. Text-based ads are typically well-received – the more the ad space and copy are integrated in the e-newsletter, the more likely it is to be read.

  3. Seek flexible advertising options. Look for e-newsletter advertisements that provide flexibility in the price/value equation. For example, you might be willing to pay a premium for higher placement in the e-newsletter, more or bigger images, more lines of copy, animated ads, or additional links to your Web site. On the other hand, you might want to start with a smaller ad if you’re on a tight budget.

    Marketers know that doing something once is not much better than doing nothing; frequency is what works in marketing. Find an e-newsletter publisher that is willing to work with you to create an appropriate package of advertisements matched to your objectives. Some of your ads might be premium placements and others standard. You don’t have to be in every e-newsletter, but you want to maintain some consistency and frequency to be sure you get your message out.

Consider a Landing Page
Typically, an e-newsletter ad will include links back to your Web site. The link should point to a specific page that is related to the ad itself; this is usually not your home page.  For example, if you are announcing a new product, link readers to a page with detailed information about the product: including specifications, data sheets, photographs, white papers — plus a form, e-mail address, and phone number for lead capture.

Track Results
Your e-newsletter publisher should be able to provide statistics about the performance of your ad, including the number of clicks on your ad and the click-through rate. If your ad points to a landing page on your own Web site that’s specifically tied to your campaign, you can track conversions by the number of forms filled out. Throughout your campaign, you can experiment with different ad formats and landing pages to find out what works best.

GlobalSpec’s e-Newsletters
GlobalSpec is at the forefront of e-newsletter publishing in the industrial sector. Our flagship weekly e-newsletter, Specs & Techs, reaches over 1.2 millions subscribers — the largest circulation of any industrial, technical and engineering-based e-newsletter. Additionally, GlobalSpec publishes 57 product and topic focused e-newsletters for distinct target audiences — including your customers and the prospects you want to reach. We offer many flexible, cost-effective programs for advertising in our e-newsletters. Learn more about GlobalSpec e-newsletter advertising.

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