Blown away by the new ad format on Google AdWords - for email newsletter marketers
I'm not blown away very often, but when I am, I usually feel compelled to sit down and write. I like to share amazing things that I discover or experience or hear about. Somehow that makes them all the more exciting.
I've done internet marketing for about 15 years, everything from low-budget guerilla marketing like link exchanges in the mid-90s, to spending millions of dollars on large scale search engine campaigns and affiliate channels. I discovered the original white paper published by the Google founders ("Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertext Search Engine") back in 2002 and become somewhat of an expert in SEO, even starting an agency (10x Marketing, sold in 2005) to help companies develop all their internet marketing channels.
In the past few years I've experienced first hand the power and virality of social media networks. Occasionally an app or viral video can reach millions of people at a very low cost. But I would say this is extremely rare. Not something you can count on reproducing over and over again.
While the traditional forms of online marketing seem quaint or even antiquated, they really aren't. Professional marketers know that the highest ROI still comes from email marketing, paid search, and search engine optimization. Social and mobile marketing are still in their infancy, with ROI often ranging from "hard-to-measure" to "not-very-good." (See links below).
Email marketing to a house list is usually rated by marketers as producing the highest ROI of all. In fact, last year the DMA said the ROI on email marketing was $40.56 for every $1 invested. That's pretty amazing. Social media is getting all the excitement and attention, but still generates relatively little revenue for marketers. The click through on Facebook ads averages about 1 in 2,000 impressions. Here's a recent quote from Venturebeat:Facebook does not publish its average click-through rate (CTR), but independent analysis from Webtrends on more than 11,000 Facebook campaigns showed that the average CTR for Facebook ads in 2010 was 0.051 percent, which is about half the industry standard CTR of 0.1 percent. The rate, according to the Webtrends report, dropped from 0.063 percent in 2009, which points to a downward trend.
With social ads and sponsored stories and ads in news feeds (web and mobile), Facebook has the potential to improve these click through rates. But, compare these numbers to email, with nearly average open rates of 22-23% and click-through rates of 5.5%. So instead of 1 click per 2,000 impressions, you could expect to generate 110 clicks per 2,000 emails sent. Pretty impressive. And pretty low-cost given that these emails are going to your inhouse list.
I'm preparing for a 3-hour lecture tomorrow night at Weber State University on search engine marketing, email marketing and affiliate marketing. Yeah right, I can fit all that in 3 hours. This is a great course taught by +Alex Lawrence
with guest lecturers nearly every week.
In the lecture, I want to share with the students some of the best options for email marketing services, so I did a bunch of research on TopTenReviews.com, FindTheBest.com, and on Google to find reviews of services like iContact, Constant Contact, Aweber, MailChimp, and GetResponse.
And then, I remembered hearing that Aweber has had a good auto-responder capability for years; a very talented entrepreneur that I know relied on it to build a nice business. So I searched Google for "aweber reviews auto responder".
And wow. Look at the resulting screen shot: A inline newsletter signup form right in the Sponsored Ad, pre-populated with my gmail address, ready for me to sign up with a single click.
This is the new ad format that I've read about a couple of times recently, but haven't seen until today. This ad format is incredible. I'm not sure how Google charges newsletter marketers for this new ad format -- I haven't investigated that yet. Perhaps it is a cost-per-signup.
If I were running a marketing department today, I would be all over this. The revenue potential from growing your house email list is staggering, considering the DMA's ROI numbers. Once the cost of acquisition is recovered, the profit potential is enormous.
What do you think? Have you started using this already, or do you know anyone who has?
Here are a few links:
Social media exciting but not yet key to revenue: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/social-media-excites-marketers-but-doesnt-yet-generate-revenue-21101/
Nov. 2011 survey showing ROI by marketing channel: http://www.brandnewway.com/web-marketing-blog/article-804/seo-and-email-marketing-lead-the-way-for-internet-marketing-roi
MarketingSherpa survey of online marketing channel ROI in 2008: http://insight.eyetraffic.com/survey-reveals-which-online-marketing-tactics-produced-the-highest-roi-in-2008/