A recent research survey by Epsilon confirms data that we continue to see in our national studies of radio's email clubs - a majority of consumers (57%) have a positive impression of companies when they receive email from them. They're also more likely to buy products from companies that send them emails.
That confirms our Tech Survey info. In the past five national studies, our data mirrors Epsilon's - about six in ten of your email club listeners say that membership creates a stronger relationship between listeners and the station.
That's an incredible statistic when you consider that so many other media outlets are actually behind radio when it comes to aggregating email databases. (You'd be shocked to learn how few cable TV networks, for example, have even bothered to collect email addresses from their loyal viewers.)
But are we utilizing our club members strategically and in ways that are win-wins for listeners and the station? Too often, email blasts are poorly thought out, cluttered, and contain embarrassing typos. When you're contacting thousands of your best customers, your P1s, your platinum card holders, shouldn't they get your best effort?
At a time when radio budgets are devoid of outside marketing, this army of loyal listeners is your secret weapon, your X Factor. They can provide you with viral energy, they can spread your good news, and they can do some of your heavy lifting. Seth Godin's Permission Marketing may seem like ancient history these days, but it is still the gold standard of how to best utilize this valuable resource.
As for sales, DOS's and GSMs are uniformly missing the boat. Too often, they're locked into selling :30s and :60s, and planning the same old NTR events. They could potentially unlock sales results and that mystical notion of ROI if they stopped reforecasting, and started rethinking how to best use these legions of station fans.
Find out about their opinions and purchasing habits, and determine their willingness to receive offers from you. What kind of deals are they looking for? Find listeners looking for bargains, and marry them with advertisers that are trying to regenerate store traffic and sales. Paul has sent out so many advisories about the real benefits of couponing, and yet, very little is being done.
And online coupons are hot. While they only make up 1% of all coupons created, their redemption rate is 13 times better than coupons that are in circulars, newspapers, the backs of sales receipts, and other traditional sources. Inmar, Inc., the coupon processing company that aggregates coupon research, notes consumers are especially focused on saving money wherever they can in this increasingly volatile economic environment.
In another piece of this year's Tech Poll, we asked about listener receptively to online coupons. In this lousy economy, they're looking for deals, whether you email them the coupons or they access them from your website:
(Hey, Jacobs clients, we would be more than happy to strategize solutions with you because there's money on the table, and results waiting to happen.)
This is another example of determining W.T.D.A. - "What's the digital application?" Most stations have the tools and resources - and the costs are miniscule.
You want to see improved numbers? Break down the silos at your station, bring programming, sales, digital, and promotion together and start reformulating strategies that will lead to solutions. It starts with the thousands and thousands of your loyal listeners who still love to hear from you, and are inclined to act on your suggestions. Provide value to them, and you can create new revenue, stronger client relationships, and maybe a success story or two the next time your CEO calls or flies you somewhere for a group beat-up session.
Selling spots in clusters that go 7 or 8 minutes long has become a much tougher putt. Marketing direct results through your engaged database makes so much more sense in this environment. And it will work.
It's time to start thinking - and acting - differently.