Think about it. A majority of people receiving an e-mail newsletter do not open it. How can you sell ads on such media?
Some media reps just skip the question of open rates and talk enthusiastically about how many issues are blasted out claiming ignorance when asked about the open rate. But more sophisticated media buyers want to know what it is.
If you can’t tell them what your open rate is and document it they might assume the worst and drop you from the buy.
The solution is to sell your newsletter circulation twice. You heard me, twice. First sell the readers who open your newsletter. No problem here. These are clearly engaged readers who prove their involvement through measurable action.
But to get full credit for the media buy you need to also sell your “unopened” circulation as well. Assuming your organization adheres to the CAN-SPAM Act it should be easy for a subscriber to opt out of your newsletter’s circulation. Now ask, if it’s so easy to opt out why haven’t the “non openers” done so?
People stay subscribed to a newsletter but not open it when other things are more important to them at the time the newsletter arrives. Aside from travel, and vacations they may be engaged in projects and activities outside of the subject area of the newsletter. But when they return to that subject area--and since they remain subscribers we can assume they will--they will be engaged in your subject area and be potential buyers for your advertisers once again.
On a call
Sell your “unopened” newsletters as “latent readers and latent buyers.” Ask some questions and get your client to talk about the buying cycle for their product(s). Professional marketers do not assume every one of their customers is buying their product every day. For B to B products there may be buying cycles based on a annual fiscal. Consumer products go through cycles as well. Right after a product buy you might be out of the market for a while. A reader not in the buying cycle may not be an email opener, but will become one again when their interest and buying intention return.
Now ask your client if they would be interested in advertising to a list of latent buyers who have a proven interest in the product area and will return to an active reading and buying state. If they say “yes,” sell them on your unopened newsletter circulation.