(Part 2 of "Best Practices For Advertiser Driven Email Blasts")
First, I would advise that when you acquire an email address, you add them to 2 lists, one for editorial and one for sales. You can do this by stating this clearly when the user signs up. For example, "By subscribing to the above e-Newsletter, the publisher may periodically send you offers that are related to the topics covered in our magazine. Your email will be protected by our observance of a dual list sending system allowing you to remove yourself from sales offers at any time and still receive our editorial e-Newsletter."
There have been several things I have observed from my publishing clients that have caused subscriber revolt from advertising driven e-Newsletters.
1. The offer being sent is not in line with the topic of your publication. Many times the sales team will make a leap from what is acceptable to a reader. For example, I had a B2B client that was in the business news space. The ad based email sent was for personal medial insurance. While this does "apply" to business owners, it is too far from the core topic of the publication so the removal rate was almost 7%.
2. The subject line states the offer and looks like spam. As I said earlier in this thread be careful to be clever, but do not include words like "special offer" or "free".
3. Charge more for stand-alone emails knowing you will lose people.
4. Use your ESP technology to offer the e-News readers the ability to be removed from sales email and not editorial.
5. Keep all offers to text. Graphical emails have a higher unsubscribe in almost all offers I have seen. Try a logo and text or a picture and text rather than a large image.
6. Start off the email with a clear statement that declares why they are getting the offer and state how often you will or will not send these types of offers. Also state, that by unsubscribing they are unsubscribing from your main list. You can also see if your ESP has a re-direct page that says: "Are you sure you want to unsub? If you do, you will be removed form our main eNews...(etc.)" BUT, be aware of CAN-SPAM laws at this point.
BIG POINT...if the offer is in line with the core topics you deliver in editorial, you will be ok. You will get un-subs, but I think you can minimize the effect on your total list.