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Marketability eBulletin

Welcome to our latest fortnightly eBulletin, posted here on 13 April 2021. In this issue:

Excellent free Email Marketing Benchmarks report from Campaign Monitor

I’ve been conducting Email Marketing Workshops with a schools publisher and an academic publisher over the last few weeks, and one question both asked was ‘How do our response rates compare to industry averages?’

It’s difficult to find an answer. I’ve never found any truly publishing-specific reports, and most metrics are kept as a well-guarded secret by companies. There are patterns, one of which is that the more specialist your email marketing, the better the engagement.

In the absence of a perfect answer, this new free report is a great start. Campaign Monitor analysed 1bn emails sent for its clients January-December 2020 and the resulting Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks for 2021 is available free to download.

‘Average’ metrics per sector are especially useful. Unfortunately for us, publishing is bundled in with media and entertainment, and there’s no way of knowing the split between them or if their emails and subscriber types bear any relation to ours. But the findings are broadly consistent with other reports that I’ve read for well over a decade. And we can definitely compare our own metrics with averages for email marketing as a whole. There’s plenty to explore here, so if you’ve also asked ‘How do we compare?’, give it a try.

Looking at the relationship between open, click and click to open rates for individual emails can reveal real insights into how and why your subscribers are engaging (or not). It’s something you may not find enough time to do as often as you’d like, but which we can definitely explore in in-company tailored email marketing training.

Read more about Campaign Monitor’s Benchmarking Report

Find out more about our Email Marketing Workshop


Copywriting, Marketing Planning and Academic Marketing online training – who’s in?

In-company training has been keeping me busy this year so far, delaying my earlier plan to schedule open courses for March-April.

We now have requests to run all three of these courses on an open (public) basis, so dates will be scheduled for May-June. Would you or a colleague like to join us? Here’s a quick reminder of how these full day courses have been adapted to run online on Zoom:

  1. Copywriting – a half day (3 hour) course running between 2pm-5pm UK time. If you’re in North America, we’d love you to join us! This is a crash course in copywriting principles which will definitely get you thinking. (Full day in-company tailored courses are available too.) £175 per place.
  2. Marketing Planning – a full day course run as 2 x 3hour afternoon sessions, on Tuesday and Thursday. The emphasis is firmly on devising marketing plans that are achievable with very limited resources (time and budget). This is marketing in the real world, not the classroom. £350 per place.
  3. Academic Marketing – another full day course run as 2 x 3hour afternoon sessions. For many years one of our most popular courses, designed to provide plenty of context about higher education and the lives of academics and librarians, before showing how this informs best practice with guidance and examples. £350 per place.

If you’re interested in booking one or more of these, email me at and I’ll keep you informed as we schedule dates.


OUP share their latest report Education: The Journey Towards a Digital Revolution

Oxford University Press have always been generous at making research freely available, and this is a great example.

This report brings together insights from 47 OUP experts based in the UK, Turkey, Spain, South Africa, Brazil, India and Pakistan. Their qualitative input was combined with several other sources to produce an international picture of digital learning over the last year, as schools and universities closed their doors and teachers and lecturers found themselves fast-tracking their online teaching skills.

If you’re in ELT publishing this report is (in my view) unmissable. But although that’s where its main focus lies, there are rich pickings here if you’re in schools or academic publishing too.

Can we help you with your own research, or with progressing big projects that are proving tough to fit in to the working week? This is what we’re doing when we’re not conducting training. Just email to find out if we could help.

Read more on the OUP website


On The Marketability Grapevine on Facebook

  • 50 very bad book covers for literary classics, procrastination for creative writers, and the fantastic ‘what happens when bookstore employees get bored’ post. If you’ve missed these, head over to be cheered up.
  • Read something that hit the spot in this eBulletin? Click through and like the item or add a comment on Facebook
  • Watch the wall for postings of new jobs, or feel free to add to them.

Visit The Marketability Grapevine.


Tip of the week: Your customers might find your new name and logo tedious

This is prompted by a client excited to promote their new logo, and by a name change which has happened to the utterly wonderful VirtualTrips.

VirtualTrips says what it does. Guided tours in real time with real guides currently unable to work. Tours are intimate and unhurried, seen through the webcam of the guide who answers questions via chat, and stops so you can take ‘postcards’. Tours are free but tip-supported. It’s simple to tip the guide, and honestly, why wouldn’t you? They’re fabulous.

VirtualTrips has just changed its name to HeyGo. (Why?) Gushing emails explained how excited they were. The response from customers has been lukewarm. We liked the lovely intuitive model as it was.

The tip: the only people excited by new names, new liveries, and new logos are the company’s employees. Customers are unlikely to share your enthusiasm, so go easy on the marketing.  

But DO explore VirtualTrips, or HeyGo as I guess I must get used to calling them.





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