From stand-alone promotions to
electronic newsletters, from customer acquisition to customer retention, email is perhaps
the most powerful tool direct marketers have ever had. Even if you're not using it to grow
your own business, your competitors are using it grow theirs. At this Morino Institute
Netpreneur Program Coffee & DoughNets meeting held September 23, 1999, Rosalind
Resnick, a pioneer in email marketing, helped Internet entrepreneurs understand what email
can do, how to use it effectively and where email marketing is heading tomorrow.
Complementing her presentation are real-life case studies from three netpreneurs. The
session was produced by the Morino Institute (http://morino.org).
made at Netpreneur events and recorded here reflect solely the views
of the speakers and have not been reviewed or researched for
accuracy or truthfulness. These statements in no way reflect the
opinions or beliefs of the Morino Institute, Netpreneur.org or any
of their affiliates, agents, officers or directors. The transcript
is provided "as is" and your use is at your own risk.
1999 Morino Institute. All rights reserved. Edited for length and
mitch arnowitz: introductions
(Reading from the envelope of a direct mail
advertisement) "To the Arnowitz family or current resident. Look inside for
savings you want, quality you deserve."
(Opens the envelope and reads from the enclosed letter)
"Dear Mitch: Check it out. Here are the latest releases in the music categories you
told us interest you. There's some great music here. We know you'll find something you
(Holding the letter raised in his right hand) Traditional
(Raising a printed sheet of paper in his left hand) Email.
Email marketing includes newsletters like this, as well as product
announcements, updates, contests, lists, advertising and stand-alone mailings. Building an
email marketing program is quickly becoming a critical part of any business-to-business or
consumer marketer's game plan.
Eighty-four percent of Internet users use email. Forty-five percent
of Internet users are frustrated by unwanted email. A recent Jupiter Communications (http://www.jup.com) study estimated that by
2002, opt-in email would be a $3 billion market, including some 250 billion emails that
Forester Research (http://www.forrester.com)
believes will be outsourced by that same year.
Is email marketing the silver bullet? Will we continue to see double
digit response rates and conversion figures, and who will we send all this mail to?
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We've come here this morning to learn and share what you can do
today to use email marketing in your plans. You will shortly hear from Rosalind Resnick
about the current email marketing landscape. After Rosalind speaks, we'll hear from you as
we open it up to your questions. Interspersed throughout today's Q&A session will be
three case studies from the marketing folks at Motley Fool (http://www.fool.com), CareerBuilder.com (http://www.careerbuilder.com) and
National Geographic Interactive (http://www.nationalgeographic.com). For this session, we also
solicited questions in advance through the Netpreneur Exchange Web site (http:/netpreneur.org) and its
Ad/Marketing discussion group (http://netpreneur.org/connect/am).
I'll also be asking a few questions as we move along.
Rosalind Resnick is a true pioneer and trailblazer.
She began her career in the newspaper industry, spending five years as a business writer
at the Miami Herald (http://www.herald.com).
She is also the co-author of the Internet Business Guide, and former editor and publisher
of Interactive Publishing Alert which was eventually merged into Phillips' Interactive PR
& Marketing newsletter (http://www.phillips.com/cgi/catalog/info?IMN). Rosalind also created
America Online's (AOL) (http://www.aol.com)
NetGirl forum and she spent some time in this area attending Johns Hopkins University (http://www.jhu.edu) in Baltimore. Rosalind's
company, NetCreations (http://www.netcreations.com),
is the Internet's leading provider of opt-in email marketing services. NetCreations'
Postmaster Direct service acts as a list manager and broker for over 3.5 million email
addresses in more than 3,000 topical categories. NetCreations has a network of more than
175 partner sites and has conducted opt-in email marketing campaigns for more than 2000
customers, including Dell, Compaq and J. Crew. For more on NetCreations and how opt-in
email works, see http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1004-200-334939.html. The company, which
just filed for an IPO, is headquartered in New York City and was founded in 1995 by
Rosalind and her partner, Ryan Scott.
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rosalind resnick: the force is with you
Mitch, thank you very much. I want to say thank you
so much for coming out this morning. It is gratifying to see a roomful of people who not
only know what email marketing is, but actually want to use it.
Washington, DC will always have a special place in the history of
email marketing. In June of 1997, I came here with my daughter to testify before the
Federal Trade Commission (http://www.ftc.gov)
at their consumer online privacy hearings. I was there to speak about opt-in email
marketing. Sanford Wallace, who you may remember from his career as the world's biggest
spammer at Cyber Promotions, sat across the desk from me. I talked about the virtues of
opt-in (the practice of asking consumers' permission before emailing them with commercial
materials), and Sanford extolled the virtues of spam (the practice of sending unrequested
commercial emails in bulk). Well, my view is that it's better to reach consensus and
partner with people who disagree with you than to completely shut them out, so, after the
session was over, I gave him my business card and said, "Sanford, please email me, so
we can continue the discussion, and please consider opt-in."
Now, interestingly enough, Sanford and I carried on an email
conversation over a period of about two years. Even though most people write to me at
NetCreations, I still had my old AOL address, and I would check that account once in a
while, sometimes finding an email from Sanford-it was either Sanford or someone doing a
really good job of pretending to be Sanford Wallace.
Anyway, he would email me from time to time, and would write
something like: Well, Rosalind, maybe you're right about this. Maybe I should give up
spamming. Maybe I should go opt-in.
And I wrote: That's great. We'd love you to come over to our side of
the force. Better late than never.
Then I would get another email from him, saying: A couple of my
friends and I are going to put up a backbone, and we're going to spam people. I'd write:
This conversation continued for a couple of years, then I didn't
hear from him for a while. Just about a month ago-the afternoon we filed for our IPO and
the news popped up on the Web-I received a phone call from him. I thought maybe he had
seen our filing and that's why he called. No, the reason he called was to tell me that he
had just joined our affiliate program to build opt-in lists on the Web. We chatted and I
asked him what he was doing. He said that having been sued by AOL and Earthlink and every
ISP out there, he's not the big spammer that he used to be. He and his wife are now
running a little company out of their basement. They now want to go the opt-in route and
have seen the light. He said to me: I only wish I had listened to you two years ago when
you were trying to tell me to go opt-in because I could have been a rich man today. I
said, "Sanford, it is never too late to come over to the opt-in side of the
Three-and-a-half years ago, when we started doing this, there were
people who thought opt-in email marketing was going to be outlawed. There were direct
marketers from the postal side of the business who said to me, "Nobody is going to
come to your site to sign up to get junk mail. We said, "You guys are wrong. If
people really want to get this mail, if they're really interested in these topics, they're
going to come and sign up." I'm proud to say that today we have a network of over 175
partner sites on the Internet and more than 2,000 clients. Over 4 million list members
have signed up at our Web site and our partner sites. Seeing all of you here in this room
tells me that opt-in email marketing has hit the mainstream. It's become the big success
that we always knew it would be. So, I want to say thank you for believing in opt-in email
marketing. The future is yet to come, and we're going to do great things with this
business. Not just our company, but all of you and the many other companies entering this
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Growing Up With The Internet
One of the things Mitch wanted me to do this morning was to tell you
not just about opt-in email marketing-I have a sense that you are pretty well aware of
it-but also to tell you a little bit about our business and of how we've evolved as
NetCreations started four-and-a-half years ago, in March of 1995. We
never intended for it to be a public company. Quite the opposite. I was a journalist who
worked five years at the Miami Herald. I quit the Herald ten years ago when I had a baby
and my editor basically said come back full time or quit. Not wanting to leave my baby at
a day care center, I decided to quit and work from home as a freelance writer.
Originally, I wrote business stories from home, then I became
intrigued by computers and the Internet. I was one of the first journalists to write
articles about the Internet and online services for computer magazines. I joined AOL,
Prodigy, CompuServe, Genie, Delphi, all kinds of bulletin boards, then started writing
computer books. I was one of the first journalists to recognize the potential of going
online, and the reason was because of my own experience. There I was, a journalist needing
to do online research, and a freelance mom working from home, lonely for some adult
conversation. I was going to the Net to meet other freelance moms, talking to other people
who were doing interesting things. Going online was a way for me to communicate, to reach
out from my house in Hollywood, Florida, and to connect with the world.
So, in 1994 I wrote a book entitled The Internet Business Guide
with Dave Taylor, a programmer. I don't know if you remember it. The funny thing about it
was that the publisher, Prentice-Hall (http://www.prenticehall.com), wanted the book to be at least 300
pages. I think that I put a screen shot of every commercial site on the Net in that book,
and I still had to pad it. I think we had something like five shots of the H-P site just
to make sure we got up to 300 pages. That was our challenge in 1994.
That book put me on the map as one of the early Internet business
viewers and consultants. I began to do some consulting work as well as my journalism. I
had eight online accounts and spent most of my day just checking my email. Even though I
loved the graphical interfaces on AOL, Prodigy and CompuServe, I thought that there had to
be a better way. When the Internet came along, I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to
have a system people could use to communicate with anybody they wanted to, anywhere."
The Internet was an open system which you could use to share files, share email and surf
the Web. It just seemed logical to me that it was the way everything was going to go. When
I saw Mosaic and Netscape's Navigator, I saw that it was the graphical interface that
would allow mainstream consumers and small business owners like myself to reach out and
use this thing.
So, I became a big believer in the Net. I started pointing people to
the Internet as opposed to putting up forums on the proprietary online services. My only
problem was that I wasn't a technical person. I knew how to use a computer and how to get
onto the Internet, but I wasn't the person writing the code or putting up the Web site. I
called our local Internet service provider (ISP) and they put me in touch with a young
programmer named Ryan Scott who was doing some Web design work for them. Ryan became my
partner, both personally and professionally, and, in early 1995, we went around south
Florida where we still lived at the time. Even though we were two people working from our
spare bedroom, we became one of the leading Web design firms there. We put up Web sites
for some major companies and law firms, won some awards and did pretty well with it, but
then we thought to ourselves, "We don't want to scale up and become a huge
agency." Instead, we wanted to create cool software and services on the Web.
We created a tool to help us market our clients' Web sites that we
called Postmaster. It was kind of coincidental that we became a direct marketing company
because, back then, we didn't have a clue what direct marketing was even about. The idea
behind Postmaster was, if you remember way back then, the only way to get traffic to your
site was to go to Yahoo!, Lycos and the other search sites, fill out their submission
forms and get your site posted. That was a manual, time consuming process. Being a
programmer, my partner thought, "Why not automate it? After all, it's just one
computer talking to another." Let people come to our site, fill out one form, then,
within half an hour, get your site listed with 400 different search engines, directories,
What's New and What's Cool lists. Back then, there were very few Internet marketing tools,
so without spending a dime to advertise or promote or do PR, the world started coming to
us. Pretty soon, we got good reviews in BoardWatch, Internet World and
the other trade publications, and realized that we had a business on our hands.
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To Move To Online Marketing
Because of my experience as a freelance writer, I
realized that when you're a small company you should not have other small companies or
consumers as customers. As a freelance writer, my customers were the major newspapers and
magazines that I sold stories to. I realized it would be a lot easier to sell a $1000
product to a handful of major corporations than to sell a $1 product to a million people.
It was one of the things that we did differently from some of our competitors at the time.
Postmaster was a more robust program than some of the others out there, so we weren't
giving it away for free. We were charging $500 for it, and, as a result we were able to
sell it to Fortune 500 companies, ad agencies, PR firms, etc.
Postmaster was a big hit for us, but, then in
mid-1996, we realized that it had a problem. Actually it had two problems. One problem,
from a business point of view, was that we had developed a piece of software which we knew
could and would be duplicated and ultimately the price would go down to zero. That's
exactly what happened.
But the bigger problem, from our clients' point of
view, was that they began to complain that Postmaster was just not working anymore. It
wasn't that the technology wasn't working, but now, just because got you listed in Yahoo!
under gifts, nobody was going to find your link if you were number 647 on the list.
Basically, our customers were asking for a more direct way to get people to their Web
sites. At that time, there weren't very many off-the-shelf Web marketing tools, so we had
to develop our own. One that we developed was called Web List, one of the early email
distribution programs that allowed you to send broadcast email from a Web page.
At first, we tried selling it as software; however,
we realized that we weren't Microsoft and decided, "Why not just use this for
ourselves?" We began to build our own little customer list or "house
file"even though we didn't know what a house file was since we hadn't
discovered direct marketing yet.
Our Postmaster service continued to be popular and
we had a free trial email service that people could use before they bought, so a lot of
webmasters began coming to our site to check it out. While they were there, we gave them
an opportunity to check a box offering to send information about the Internet, Web
software, ISPs, hosting and various Internet-related topics. We had 15,000 webmasters opt
in and tell us, "Yes, send me your mail." We began using that list ourselves to
get more people to come back to use our Postmaster service, but, in addition, we started
renting that list to other Internet companies.
In mid-1996, we began renting this list to Web
posting companies, software companies and companies doing Internet marketing for
infrastructure. We started doing pretty well with it, but our big break came in October of
that year when a circulation manager from Ziff-Davis (ZD) (http://www.zdnet.com), one of the leading computer magazine publishers, surfed by our
site, signed up for our webmaster list, then called me a month later and asked to rent the
list to promote their new magazine, ZDInternet. We said, "Sure."
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The amazing thing about it was, even though all we had at the time
was a list of email addresses and the knowledge that they wanted to get targeted
mailwe didn't have names, zip codes or demographicsthis ZD circulation manager
got a response that blew away anything he had ever gotten from postal, direct mail or
telemarketing. Needless to say, we were golden at ZD, and it is one of our biggest
We realized that the market was not in renting lists
to a handful of little Internet marketing companies; it was over here, with the $50
billion direct marketing industry. All of a sudden, we realized that we ere in the direct
marketing business. As a former journalist, I decided to find out as much as I could about
it. We subscribed to Direct Marketing News (http://www.dmnews.com), the Bible of the industry. We joined the Direct Marketing Association (http://www.thedma.org). We started going to trade shows. I called that ZD circulation
manager every day, asking question after question until he kicked me off the phone.
Eventually, we began to realize what we were doing. The more we learned and the more we
rented these lists to other mailers, we began to realize that we had invented a better
wheel. We'd invented something that was better, faster and cheaper than traditional
telemarketing or direct mail. Coincidentally, while we were looking for a bigger market
for our product, unbeknownst to us, the direct marketing industry had been looking for a
solution to their problem, the rising cost and decreasing response rate to traditional
I guess it was inevitable that the two markets would find each
other. We did so in the fall of 1996. From then on, over the last three years, we've faced
two challenges. One is convincing the market that email is not spamthat people could
opt in at a Web site by checking a box and selecting the topics they were interested in.
That way, the consumer calls the shots, and email can be something good and valuable as
opposed to something that should be outlawed out of existence.
The bigger problem we faced, once we convinced everyone that this
was something that really worked, was getting enough names. As a small site, we got about
10,000 people a day. That was good as far as it went, but for a major mailer like ZD,
15,000 email addresses was a drop in the bucket. We knew that we needed to create a large
database with millions or tens of millions of people. Once we found out about the direct
marketing industry and how it worked, we realized that instead of becoming a list owner,
which would require all kinds of traffic and money to acquire customers, we decided to be
a list manager. As a small company, we've always taken a business-to-business approach
that's allowed us to grow profitably without taking in any outside money.
We decided to reach out to what is now our network of partners,
which includes such companies as Internet.com, Alta Vista, CMPnet, Link Exchange and
Morebusiness.com. We now have a network of over 175 sites where Internet users can go,
check a box and request mail on a topic that interests them. They supply their email
address, as well as other demographic information if they want to. Today, our database has
over four million email addresses of Internet users who said, "I want to opt in. I
want to get mail."
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Making Email Marketing Work Today
We realized early on, however, that just because you
signed up and said, "I want to get mail from Postmaster Direct," it didn't mean
that you'd want anything else from us. If you signed up for our gardening list, you didn't
necessarily want to get information about multi-level marketing schemes.
We also realized that just because you opted in today, it didn't
mean that you would want to be on our list forever. If you sign up for our Caribbean
cruise list because you're about to go on vacation, you don't necessarily want to get
offers when you get back. We realized that it's important not only to get people to opt
in, but also to give them a chance to opt out every time they got a message from us.
How many of you are Postmaster Direct list members? That makes me
feel good. If you sign up for Postmaster Direct or any of the other services out there,
you'll see a header at the top identifying who the messages comes from and telling you how
to opt out. A lot of traditional direct marketers told us that this wouldn't work. First
of all, they didn't think consumers would voluntarily allow their names to be rented.
They'd compare it to cows walking up to Burger King and allowing themselves to be made
into hamburgersaying, "Go ahead, make money off my name." Our view, as
Internet consumers and shoppers ourselves, was that we would willingly trade permission to
rent our name in return for targeted offers and discounts and new products that we were
interested in. But we realized that we needed to let people opt in, and we needed to let
them opt out.
About a year later, we realized that these were public Web sites we
were dealing with. Just because somebody came, checked a few boxes and put in an email
address, didn't mean that that was actually the person who was signing up. As you know,
even though the Internet today is much more commercial than it used to be, people still
love to play pranks on each other. People would come and sign up their boss for 100 lists.
They would sign up their best friend or their enemy. Because we were so visible in coming
out against spam, spammers would come to our site and sign up anti-spammers. Then the
anti-spammers would think we were spamming them, so the anti-spammers would sign up the
spammers. It turned into a mess, and, all of a sudden, we were topic number one on the
NetAbuse newsgroup one day.
We realized that it's not enough to let people opt in and opt out,
we needed to require them to confirm their subscriptions. That's what we call our
"double opt-in" process. Today, if you sign up for a Postmaster Direct list,
we're not just going to put your name in our database. We're going to send you an
automated confirmation request, and, unless you click on the link, come back to our site
and confirm, you're not going to be in our database. As a result, we lose about 25-30% of
the people who sign up, but that's a decision we made. We realized when we made it that
our database would grow more slowly, but we also realized that no one could accuse us of
being spammers because we would have a record of everybody who signed up.
It also meant that our list would be a lot more responsive. When was
the last time you clicked on a banner ad? When was the last time anybody clicked on
a banner ad? That's why banner response rates have fallen to below 1%, while clickthroughs
on opt-in email lists are still in the 5-15% range, and even higher for some of our lists.
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Follow The Market
We have a manifesto on our site (http://www.netcreations.com:80/manifesto.html), feel
free to check it out. Point number four of that manifesto, before our investment bankers
made us change it, was "If you don't know where you're going, it's impossible to get
lost." We also said, "Business plans are worthless." I think that was the
part that our bankers didn't like much.
The fact is, when we were starting out in the Internet business,
four-and-half years ago, nobody knew what this industry was going to be. If we had taken
venture capital back when, I honestly don't know whether our VCs would have been patient
enough to wait before email marketing hit the mainstream.
My advice to you netpreneurs is to follow the market; it won't steer
you wrong. Even though, today, we do have a business plan, a CFO and projectionsall
that stuffat the same time, the way I navigate this business is still by my
instincts and by my gut feel. One of the reasons I was so happy to come down to talk you
to is not to hear myself, I've heard myself millions of times, but because I want to hear
from you. I want to know what you're doing, what businesses you're creating, and how we
can help you make your business a success. Thank you.
the audience &
guests: questions, answers & case studies
Mr. Arnowitz: Thanks, Rosalind.
We're now going to open it up for questions. I'd like to begin by asking Rosalind, how can
these folks get started? Are there easy steps you would suggest?
Ms. Resnick: It's really very easy and very
cheap. First of all, there is a wide range of options when it comes to email marketing. At
the most basic level, if you are using an email program like Eudora or Pegasus or
Microsoft Outlook Express, you can begin creating your own house file or customer list of
email addresses pretty much for free. If you have a Web site, you can do something as
simple as putting up a "mailto" HTML tag which people can click on: something
like "firstname.lastname@example.org. Then you can manually take those addresses, put them into an
email program and you've got your own little list. That's the most basic level. Another
thing can you do is to offer an opportunity to enter a contest or sign up for a
newsletter. If you surf the Web all the time like I do, you know it's almost impossible to
find a major site these days that doesn't offer one. They're doing this because they want
to capture your name. They want to put you in their house file so they can email you over
and over again with special offers and promotions. You don't need to spend a lot of money
on technology or software or a service bureau to build your own email list. It's enough to
put a form on your site inviting people to join your newsletter or enter your contest.
Within a few days, you'll probably have a couple of hundred people signed up.
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Now, if you want to go beyond a small house file of
a few hundred or a thousand people, that's the point at which you should consider some
kind of software or service bureau. You may have heard of companies like Message Media (http://www.messagemedia.com), Digital Impact (http://www.digital-impact.com) or Exactus.com (http://www.exactis.com). All of these are companies that we call "email letter shops." If
you're doing a large volume of mailing for your newsletter or special promotions, that's
the point where it really doesn't pay to do it yourself. The problem with email is that
sending one message is easy, sending 100,000 messages is another story. There are
technical challenges involved. Traditional SendMail programs queue messages one at a time,
so it takes forever to send out a lot of messages. Companies like the ones I just
mentioned offer large, scalable email delivery systems and usually have fast T1 or T3
lines that can send out 100,000 email messages in an hour.
Speed is one reason why you might want to outsource
your email delivery; the other is that, as I mentioned before, when you're building your
own house file you need to give people the chance to opt out. Unless you want to hire a
few people to manually process all those opt-out and unsubscribe requests, it's much
better to outsource it to a service bureau that has the technology to handle it
automatically, as well as to deal with the "bounces"the invalid email
addresses that can't be delivered to. You need to take them out of your file and do list
hygiene. For all those reasons, I would say that if you have a house file of over 1,000
email addresses and you're sending at least once a week, you should probably consider
outsourcing. The good news about outsourcing is that it's pretty cheap. For between five
cents and a tenth of a cent per message, depending on volume, you can outsource your email
delivery to one of these companies and not have to worry about it. There are also software
solutions you can buy, but then the problem is that you need to install it on your server,
so you need a system administrator or technical person to set it up and administer it. My
view is, if you're marketers or E-commerce companies, not technology companies, you should
consider using the service bureau as opposed to installing your own software.
Mr. Odio: I'm Daniel Odio with
VIPclubbing.com (http://vipclubbing.com). I have found
through personal experience that doing a weekly newsletter and getting advertisers
involved is much more effective than almost any other way to charge for advertising. Can
you tell us about response rates or other metrics related to that?
Ms. Resnick: First, let me differentiate a couple of things.
When I talked about the 5-15% response rates, I was talking about click-through rates.
When it comes to conversion, the number of people who actually buy the product, that's a
lot lower. We sell our lists on a "cost-per-thousand viewers" (CPM) basis,
typically between 10 and 30 cents a name, or a $100-$300 CPM. The way direct marketers do
the math, they will test 5,000-10,000 names, add the CPM price, then figure out the cost
per acquisition. Depending upon the mailer and the marketer, different levels of cost per
acquisitions are acceptable. For an online brokerage company which typically spends
$300-$400 to get one customer to open an account, a cost per acquisition of $300 after a
mailing to our list might be considered acceptable. However, when we work with a book club
like Doubleday, they're looking for a cost per acquisition of $30 or $40, or else it
doesn't make sense to them. Even when you factor in things like lifetime value, the
numbers have to work out right for the direct marketer renting the lists, or it's not
The other issue you raise that's important is that, when I talk
about opt-in email lists like those we have in our database, I'm talking about lists of
people who have said, "Sign me up to receive advertising." Our mail
consists of offers straight from the advertiser, not a newsletter. There's no content
wrapped around it, simply the advertisement. For example, we'll send out an ad from J.
Crew saying, "Come to our site and get $20 off an $80 order," or an offer from
Dell saying, "Click to our site and get a discount on this computer." For those
kinds of offers, we're charging typically $200 to $250 CPM or 20 to 25 cents per message.
Now, those CPMs are very high compared to something like banner advertising. You can run a
banner ad on Alta Vista for something like $2 CPM. In between are the email newsletters
you talk about, with rates typically anywhere from $30-$50 CPM. How much are you charging
on your newsletter?
Mr. Odio: It had a scalable rate depending on the audiences
the advertiser wanted access to. We were able to segment the audience in several different
ways. It was anything from $500-$2,000 for one email insertion, and that was pretty
attractive to the advertisers. I wasn't calculating CPM; it was a flat fee.
Ms. Resnick: I can tell you that a lot of email newsletters
charge $30-$50 CPM, which is a lot lower than what we charge. From what I've heard,
however, clickthrough rates on email newsletters tend to be lower than the 5-15% we are
getting. That's because you're not just sending out the one ad, you're sending it out with
a lot of content. What have you found in your experience?
Mr. Odio: The response rate is probably down around 5%.
Ms. Resnick: Okay. Our mailers tell us that it varies from
newsletter to newsletter. Yours sounds highly targeted, but with a lot of newsletters,
even though the CPM is lower, the click-through is lower as well. When direct marketers do
the math, it could be that it's more cost-effective for them to pay a higher CPM and send
out only their own ad than to advertise in a newsletter. Sometimes it's about equivalent.
I would encourage all of you, as direct marketers, to test both opt-in email lists and
opt-in email newsletters because I really think there is value from both of them. The
great thing about newsletters is the content that puts the ad in the proper context. Even
though sheer response rates might be lower, you're definitely building your brand, so
there are advantages to both.
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