Feb 16, 2006

E-newsletter Tip: Send kooky gifts

We sent our first MonkeyWrench newsletter yesterday, and besides my screwing up a mail-merge tag, things went pretty well (those who subscribe to my newsletters know that I always manage to screw at least one thing up pretty bad in each issue). If you aren’t subscribed, here’s a link to its archive. We included some interesting stats from our customer database in the email…

  • 12.2% – the average bounceback rate (all types) across all campaigns (over 100 recipients) over the last 6 months
  • 0.56% – Average unsubscribe rate across all campaigns (over 100 recipients) over the last 6 months

If you’re a MailChimp user, you might log in and look at your stats to see how you compare.

Free Gifts Don’t Need to be Fancy
We really enjoy sending gifts to people. So in each newsletter, we pick one subscriber, then send something kooky and monkey related. This issue, the folks at quintandquint won a 30lb box of banana candy. Interestingly, that was one of the highest-clicked links in the newsletter.

On the subject of gifts, prizes, and giveaways, we recently ran a big MailChimp survey, where one lucky respondent would win an iPod Nano (I know, 110% of the population already owns one). We started out using a stock product photo of the iPod (the kind you see on every website that’s giving one away). But when we replaced it with a photo of a monkey puppet holding the actual iPod box, participation in the survey spiked. I guess the photo made the prize look "real."

What’s weird is we got more emails and live chats about "where can I get a monkey puppet?" than the iPod.

If you run a regular email newsletter, you might consider giving away a free prize, or gift. And the "gift" doesn’t have to be gigantic and expensive. It can be a sample of your product. Hmm, unless you’re selling private jets. Even then, you could give away aviator sunglasses, or maybe some, "I have a private jet and you don’t" bumper stickers. As long as it’s relevant in some way to your subscribers, and to your company. Sometimes, it’s the tiny, offbeat gifts that work best.