The sale to wake the dead

Well the attempt to get 80,004 “pruned” email subscribers to reactivate their subscriptions did a whole lotta nothing.

What about if we offered them an absolutely killer deal?

This effort to reengage the disengaged segment of our list happened to coincide with Black Friday.

So we put together a firesale to wake the dead:

6 online courses with a real-world, customers-actually-paid-it value of $1,100—for $99.

Black Friday/Cyber Monday was always a huge sales period for this list.

And this was far and away the best deal that we’d ever offered.

If anything would wake up these snoozing subscribers, this should be it.

The sales promotion consisted of 6 emails over Black Friday weekend—including 3 messages on the final day.

The total number of individual emails sent in this campaign was over 456,000.

Here’s what happened:

The open rates across the 6 emails averaged just over 1%, or around 900 opens.

And the average click rate was a dismal 0.1%, roughly 90 clicks per email.

Pretty horrible, no?

These figures are consistent with other experiments I’ve done with disengaged subscribers.

What about sales though?

As I recall we finished with 12 sales.

That’s a conversion rate for the list of 0.01%.

But wait—that’s not all.

When I looked at the accounts of each of the buyers, I discovered that at least 5 of the sales were from people who were still active on the main list.

They had simply been subscribed multiple times with different addresses, and the address I’d pruned was just one they didn’t check as often.

(Several other sales went to addresses that we had no previous record of, and I suspect at least a couple of those were multi-subscribes as well.)

So the revenue from the truly inactive subscribers came to $693, before PayPal and Stripe fees.

Not too impressive.

However, we also spent $550 with MailChimp to send out the emails.

Near as I can calculate, the profit for this little experiment came in at a whopping $122.21.

There are a couple of key takeaways from this that I’ll share tomorrow.