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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 5 September 2017. In this issue:

How did EUP's one hour flash sale email do? Naomi Farmer tells us

One sunny Friday in July Edinburgh University Press decided to experiment with a ‘1 hour flash sale’ email offering a cool 50% off all books on its website. The email was very short and the offer very simple, and sandwiched between two call to action links. I was intrigued by how well this might have worked, and EUP’s Naomi Farmer was happy to share with both me, and with other eBulletin subscribers. Here’s the story:

“Our website dashboard shows our aggregate sales revenue since launch. We had less than £500 to go to get to a nice round number, so we decided on the Friday to take a punt and see if a one-hour sale would get us over before the weekend. We know from previous email stats that Friday afternoons can be a surprisingly good time to email – personally, I think it’s because people are winding down for the weekend, so they want to do lighter tasks rather than starting any new projects.

We set up the discount on our website and sent the email to around 4,000 contacts across subjects. This was within our monthly Dotmailer email send allowance so we didn’t have to spend anything extra to run the campaign.

Email results:

  • Delivered emails: 3,850 (99.18% of sent emails)
  • Open rate: 1,534 (39.84%)
  • Unique clicks: 479 (12.44%)
Sales results:
  • Revenue goal: £480
  • Actual revenue: £1708.60 (42 orders for 88 books)
So definitely a successful campaign because we exceeded our sales goal by more than 300%. The email stats were also nae bad. There wasn’t a lot of planning or time went into it, but we now know that we can run agile campaigns and see great results.

Reflections for next time:
  • We probably shouldn’t time the flash sale for when we’re having a prosecco party in the boardroom, because it meant that no one was reachable by phone – customer services fail! We got back to everyone quite quickly, though, and have the technology to issue 50% off single-use codes to anyone who missed out because they were waiting to hear from us.
  • We were delayed by our website being a bit slow and buggy when we were trying to set up the code, so we should leave ourselves at least half an hour for this part.
  • We’ll warn our website providers in advance to expect extra traffic.
  • We’ve now trialled a one-day flash sale and a one-hour flash sale – we’ll experiment with a few different time periods in future – e.g. an afternoon, a weekend. A longer sale period allows us to send more emails and A/B split test the emails, which is good if we want to bring in more revenue and have more time to dedicate to the campaign. The one-hour sale was successful within our goals and available time, so we’ll definitely keep that one up our sleeve.”
See Naomi’s email campaign for yourself.

I love this campaign and how it shows that simple tactics can prove to give the best ROI.

Our Email Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more examples from across publishing. So if you’d welcome an injection of fresh ideas and inspiration, why not register your interest in the next one now?


What are your copywriting rituals?

To write effectively (or do anything else that requires concentration) it pays to be aware of the environment that is conducive for you personally. Copyblogger recently asked some of its online writers to share their rituals, specifically in relation to:

  1. Setting
  2. Time of day
  3. Beverage
  4. Tools
  5. Music or silence?
For the record, here are my answers:
  1. Setting – my desk, because I’m lucky enough to be in my own quiet office. But I have to pick up all the disorganised piles of stuff and put them somewhere where I can’t see them. Email is turned off and I let voicemail take any calls.
  2. Time of day – early morning! Between 7 and 11. I find it a real struggle to write copy in the afternoons and try to discipline myself to avoid having to.
  3. Beverage – strong coffee. I have to be buzzy to write with conviction. But coffee in the afternoon doesn’t help as copy needs the clarity and organisation I can best bring to it in the clear light of morning.
  4. Tools – my ACER pc as it has the best mouse and keyboard, so my typing can keep up with my ideas. I write in Word and shuffle early drafts down the page as I warm to my theme. I also still make physical notes of key words and phrases, or highlight bits of author questionnaires, proposals or author introductions. It helps keep key points at the front of my mind so my writing then draws on them naturally.
  5. Music or silence? BBC Radio 4 as a background hum, too low to be audible.
What about you? And I wonder what you’ll find if you share this with your colleagues? It’s surprising how important the right setting is to productivity, so do respect what works for you!

Read more on the Copyblogger website.

Effective copywriting is so much more than ‘just’ coming up with the right words, everything about the context is crucial too. Which is why our Copywriting Workshops cover both. 


Ancient (1992) piece of science humour, thanks to The Scholarly Kitchen

This cheered me up on my return from holiday last week. It’s a parody of the table of contents from Nature (here Denatured) from 1992. Authors unknown, students suspected, there are definitely observations here to make any academic publisher chuckle.

Read for yourself on The Scholarly Kitchen.

Our Academic Marketing Workshop is the place to be for more like this.


Tip of the week: Surviving the silly season

Regrettably the holiday season is now officially over and you may be facing the busiest months of the year before the next break. If it all feels a bit intimidating I’d recommend taking a step away from it for a few hours to write ‘to do’ lists for the next few weeks, trying to prioritise the tasks (and the books) that will give the best ROI for your efforts. Spending a little time now on reviewing and planning will make the tasks ahead instantly seem more achievable. Good luck!

Or if you’d like a bit more of a helping hand, our Impressive Marketing Plans on a Small Budget Workshop takes a very pragmatic approach, and next runs in London on Tuesday 17 October.




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