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Email Newsletter Subscribers Click More Ads

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of September 2006 Miscellaneous Blog Tips 0 Comments

Here’s a quick observation that I’ve made (by no means is this what I consider to be conclusive research – but it’s interesting anecdotal observation).

I run a number of newsletters on my blogs. On two of them I’ve noticed that on the day that my newsletters go out that my AdSense CTR (click through rate) goes up significantly.

While I’ve written previously about how regular readers tend to become blind to ads because they see them so regularly – I am finding that with newsletter subscribers (that come to the site each week) that the blindness doesn’t seem to come into play.

I also noticed this trend when another site’s newsletter linked to my site and sent a lot of readers across. When I saw it happen I expected CTR to decrease (as it usually does when another site links to me) but in actual fact CTR (and overall earnings) went up. Once again the link came from a newsletter and not the actual website.

I wonder what it is about the type of people who subscribe to email newsletters that makes them more likely to click advertising?

Any theories?

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • The only thing that comes to mind is the possibility that email subscribers are generally less internet savvy and therefore more click happy. Nowadays, I would assume, most internet savvy people who want to subscribe to content will do so via RSS instead of email.

  • Actually, Darren, I think it’s related to what I call the “second chance” effect of sending out a newsletter: suddenly people are reminded of you and what’s on your site and pop back to check things out. By definition, they’re your most devoted readers, right?

  • I agree with Jordan’s theory.

    I have only 50+ email subscribers and less than 10 RSS feed subscribers but I’ve monitored that from my e-mail subscribers alone, I’m getting some decent CTR.

  • Jon

    Perry Marshall calls the inbox the “most valuable piece of real estate in America” for this very reason. His point is that it is more intimate than a web site…more personal. I’d guess your readers respond to that more personal touch and see your site in a new way, overcoming that blindness.

  • Email readers I believe are more focused on what is in the email. Of course you have to get them reading and not just deleting.

  • My thinking is that persons subscribing to email are not that internet savvy when compared to normal searchers for info. They get easily drifted to find the related info, and text ads tends to be an easy target.

  • I have to agree that most people who subscribe to an e-mail newsletter are probably not as computer savvy as many people and don’t have ad blindness yet.

    Computer savvy people do subscribe to newsletters though. I am an IT pro and consider my self very computer savvy. I subscribe to newsletters from time to time. The newsletters I subscribe to are from sites I am VERY interested in. If I were to click and ad it would be from a trusted site I am VERY interested in.

    This is the reason I push subscribing to my newsletter just as much as subscribing to my RSS feed.

  • Hmmm. I’ll have to test this out and see what happens. Darren, do you have a comment feed?

  • Agree to with Jordan’s theory. Most email readers are less internet savvy. Sometimes they never know about adsense

  • It’s probably the fact that when people subscribe to your newsletter they want specific information. If they click on the link they are taken to the site with that desired information. The ad’s that are served by adsense are a very tight fit (due to the content on the page) for what the email reader is interested in. Hence the higher CTR. That’s my theory.

  • Perhaps email subscribers are just more “participatory” — they participate with websites enough to fill in subscription boxes, maybe that openness to participate with the website they’re viewing extends to being open to participate in other aspects (ads, for example) on your site.

  • I agree with Brent and Donovan. I think the higher click rate is because the readers of your newsletter are people who are already interested in what you offer to them (they most likely had to pass a proccess of double opt-in to get your mails) and so they are more likely to click on ads than people who got to your website via Google, for example. I don’t have numbers, but that’s my take. :)

  • I think it has nothing to do with the users being less internet savvy and more to do with the fact that they are the relevant audience.

  • I agree with Donovan. I also think that if newsletter readers click through to your site they are more likely to convert on whatever parameter. Be it ads for products they are seeking or the products themselves.

    Also, the folks reading your newsletter and feed, probably don’t come to your site everyday. So they are not so blind on your site. They may actually be tuning in to find out what more you have to offer on that page that they consciously selected.

  • Ed

    I do not have any email subscribers option on my site. But I sure would want to implement one and test out the results. Thanks for the information.

  • I would have to agree that targetted traffic is the cause of the increased ctr. They are looking for some info or product/service and that’s probably what caused them to click on the links to visit the page in the first place. Chances are, they’ll click on anything relevant as well.