email Stat Center Stat Share - 11/06/2008

If all marketers optimized their emails for image blocking, email's ROI would jump to $52.69 (from $48.29). - The Email Experience Council (2008)
65% of the demographic between the ages of 18 to 34, the age demographic most comfortable with IM, SMS and emerging communications methods, will favor email to communicate with businesses in five years. - Habeas (2008)
75% of those that collected more than email address at sign-up failed to use it to personalize or customize their email messaging. - Return Path (2008)
66% of those surveyed said they had made a purchase because of a marketing message received through email. - ExactTarget, "2008 Channel Preference Survey" (2008)
As many as one in four respondents lose some degree of faith in an organization that is unable to deliver email reliably. - Habeas (2008)

Email Stat Center Stat Share - 31/07/2008

Subject lines under 60 or more than 70 characters generate the highest response.
- Alchemy Worx (2008)
Shopping cart abandonment programs that merge email, Web analytics, and e-commerce data can result in conversion increases of more that 100%. - Forrester Research (2008)
Merging online and offline databases in order to target email offers to customers based on recent online and phone purchase history, resulted in 10% increase in order size and an increase up to $900,000 in sales for each email campaign. - case study by Responsys (2007)
Email presently generates 21.6% of total revenue from campaigns.
- "The Integrated Marketing Media Mix" Direct Marketing Association (2008)
More stats....

Email Marketing Reports April 2008

Change a winning formula

Special edition this issue, because there are some articles and insights that you must, must read. They will change the way you do email marketing. So this issue is split into the "must reads" (for everyone) and "the rest" (for email marketing junkies like me).

I'm actually excited. And I went to the kind of school where your excitement gland was surgically removed in biology lessons.

Email Marketing Reports | Forward this to colleagues

Must reads...

Move the unsubscribe link
An old idea whose time has come. It's time to move the unsubscribe link to the very top of your emails. Here's why (and read the comments below the article). I'm convinced, and will be doing this as of next issue.

Report spam buttons: time to panic?
It seems email users regularly report legitimate permission-based emails as spam, potentially condemning them to blacklisting. Should you be worried? Find out here.

Tremendous test insights
Don't yawn at yet another piece about the value of testing. This one will make you spill your coffee in excitement. Probably.

I wrote two blog posts collating some incredible email test results from around the web. Covering everything from frequency to format, best subject lines to best day to send. Catch the summaries here and here.

The rest...

Finding the right words
Technology gets the message in front of the recipient, but it's the words and packaging (design) that do the influencing and persuading. Here some links to articles that address the latter.

Permission is dead
Long live permission. In all the excitement about relevancy, reputation etc., here's a quick reminder why gaining explicit consent to send emails is still critical to your success.

Go forth and integrate
Integration is one of those buzzwords in email marketing. But what exactly does it mean? A simple approach is to think of it as a change in perspective. And that opens up a whole host of practical possibilities. Continue reading.

Going international?
They're different over there. When your email campaigns go international, what do you need to watch for? This post has some nice links, plus practical tips from an expatriate in the business (that's me).

That's it for this issue - see you again April 21st...

Copyright Mark Brownlow 2008
Email Marketing Reports | Paschinggasse 8/28 | 1170 | Vienna | Austria

Press Release: Do you clean your database regularly? - Only 57% of UK email marketers do, which directly affects confidence and ROI

Do you clean your database regularly? - Only 57% of UK email marketers do, which directly affects confidence and ROI

Release Date: 31 March 2008

Just over half of emarketers in the UK (57%) admit to cleansing their databases regularly – finds the largest survey ever undertaken of email marketers from Adestra and E-consultancy.* Small wonder most companies have problems with email effectiveness and deliverability.

Maximizing the 5 key elements of e-mail design

1) Consistency is key. B-to-b recipients expect instant recognition;

2) Optimize and test content in the preview pane.

3) Design for common e-mail clients.

4) Include just enough of a tease.

Karen J. Bannan: March 27, 2008 - 10:40 am EDT on

Deliverability is costing you money

The E-consultancy/Adestra Email Marketing Industry Census of over 600 email marketers highlights the real cost of deliverability for the first time - marketers are wasting around 11% of their budget.

This entry investigates what they can do about it.

Deliverability problems are most commonly the failure of emails to be delivered to the inbox, and when received distortion of messages when received because of image blocking and more.

Charges of scare mongering have been levelled at the DMA, ESPs and deliverability firms such as Return Path, Goodmail and Habeas.

These organisations stand to gain the most from investments in deliverability, but the research finally shows how much marketers may gain too on

08:23 28 Mar 2008 by Henry Hyder-Smith

email Stat Center Snippet

  • Emails with shorter subject lines significantly outperformed emails with longer subject lines. - MailerMailer (2008)... read on
  • Email produced the highest response rates (4.09%) for those companies whose primary objective was to generate leads. - Direct Marketing Association, "2007 Response Rate Trends Report" (2007) on
  • Email is currently driving an average of 16 cents in transactions per message delivered. - Epsilon "Q1 2008 U.S. Email Trends and Benchmark Results" (2008) on

Right here, right now: Event-triggered marketing

Event triggers 24-Mar-2008 Richard Higginbotham is head of marketing at CDMS.

These 'event triggers' – which might be a customer service call, a type of transaction, going through a spending level in a particular period, customer's birthday, etc – instruct the database marketing system to send a targeted offer to the customer in question anywhere from the same week to the same day, depending on time-sensitivity and marketing medium used. Indeed, the demand for transactional data which provides a proxy where a company does not have triggers in their own data is an indicator of the growing importance of communicating with customers at the 'right' or appropriate time on

JupiterResearch Sends a Message to Email Service Providers

A new survey unveils what buyers want -- and what vendors need to deliver: Deliverability and cost supplant vendor reputation as the number-one priority... read on

Send. Analyze. Target. Resend.

Dan Robbins, director of marketing, ClickTracks March 25, 2008

There's a lot more to be learned from your e-mail campaigns than open and clickthrough rates will tell you. By using a Web analytics tool to analyze the behavior of respondents, you can gain valuable insight to just how effective your e-mail campaign is — or isn't.

+ The DMNews Essential Guide to E-mail Marketing is now available as a PDF.

Silverpop's "Web 2.0 Email Marketing" white paper

Discover the power of Web 2.0 email marketing.
Take the 5 steps that lead to customer-centric campaigns delivering unrivaled results. Silverpop's "Web 2.0 Email Marketing" will show you how to fully utilize rich recipient data for strong customer engagement.

Download the white paper here.

Exact Target Releases email Design Whitepaper

Whether you’re looking for tips on how email marketing design can improve your ROI, or are just frustrated trying to get your HTML code to render properly in Lotus Notes, we’ve given you actionable
strategies to optimize your email design.

You’ll learn how to:
• Create brand synergy across your emails, landing pages, and
• Design with intelligent visual organization in mind
• Overcome common rendering obstacles in major ISPs
• Optimize your HTML code effectively for different email clients

Request Whitepaper

Email Marketing Manual August 2008

Another useful collection from the Email Marketing Manual

in their August 2008 newsletter in association with Pure360

RS Components


Adding clear focus to advertising emails

When you're selling a huge range of products to a widespread audience, it can be difficult to create clear and focused email marketing campaigns.

Andrew Seel, Managing Director of integrated web marketing agency Qube, takes a look at RS Components' advertising emails, how to streamline content effectively and find out more about the recipients in the process.

Read More


Advanced email marketing analytics

So you've got your analytics package installed and you're starting to get a better picture of your audience - where do you go from there?

Using advanced email reporting solutions, you can turn that picture into a detailed profile of your most valuable readers and visitors, maximising their engagement and the potential of your email marketing campaigns.

Read More

Pure breaks language barriers

Thanks to an increase in their international client base, Pure has rolled out its email advertising software in a multi-lingual platform, with more languages set to become available later this year.

Managing Director Stuart Hobbs explains how the flexibility offered by multi-lingual email software is benefiting Pure and its clients.

Read More

Email Marketing Reports March 2008

Another classic from Mark...


Return of the email newsletter
If you look at the latest trends and use them to define the successful email of the future, you build a strangely familiar picture.
Is it time to rediscover the email newsletter approach that was so popular in the late 90s? This post says yes and points to a range of resources to help you relearn the basics of a winning e-newsletter.


Subject lines: a fresh look
Linda Bustos has a fascinating read on how your subject line could (or should) tie in with different buyer personas (personi?)
Should you segment recipients in terms of the decision-making approach they use?

Is small always beautiful?
Cynthia Edwards invites us to reject the notion that short is always better. She suggests some situations where long copy might work better in emails.


Design suggestions
Discussions of email design often focus on rendering issues, but we'd do well to remember that design is about impressions and emotional connections, too. A point emphasized by Suzie Travers in this brief article on successful email design.
Those looking for more specific design advice might enjoy Vdot Media's 9 best practices or browse through Jon Aizlewood's series of ten posts with design tips (Feb 26th to March 10th in his blog's design category).
Finally, if ideas are proving elusive, try MarketingSherpa's 2008 Email Awards Gallery, full of details and screenshots from this year's winners.


Reputation and deliverability: where to begin
We're told deliverability is in our hands. But that doesn't make it any easier working out exactly how to get your emails through to recipient inboxes. This post tells you what you need to know to start off on the right path.

Tactics & strategy...

Adapt to the mobile email revolution
What should you be doing about the growth of mobile email? If you've no answer, try this outline of ways to cope. And take our poll: does mobile email worry you?

Email recognition: avoid the paper bag
All the benefits of email marketing amount to a big fat nothing if your email isn't recognised. This post covers the different factors that ensure this recognition, with links to detailed practical recommendations.

Email death by association
You build a reputation with your marketing emails. But other people inside and outside your business are building your email reputation, too. Who are they and why should you care? Find out here.

Building a list...

Can email love survive a 3-year gap?
What are the risks when you send an email out three years after the last one? Is there anything you can do to reduce those risks? This post and reader comments have some answers.

Stats, trends, surveys...

Open rate patterns: so what?
It matters whether someone opens your email. But it also matters when they do so. Why should such things interest us? Here are a few reasons.

Metrics from around the world
Big picture industry overviews and benchmarking statistics have long been the domain of the MarketingSherpa report. But the UK now has its own alternative.
The UK's e-consultancy just published their 2008 Email Marketing Industry Census. Its 50 pages cover marketer attitudes and practices, revealing budgetary, strategic and tactical priorities and deficits.
More campaign-oriented data comes from the newly-released MailerMailer Metrics Report covering the second half of 2007.
And those in Australia have their own benchmark metrics, courtesy of Vision 6, who also just released the numbers from H2, 2007.

Case studies...

A successful hunting trip
Fresh results from the big bag of case studies:
The ever-reliable Anna Billstrom subjects the travel industry to scrutiny. How do emails from Orbitz and Hotwire shape up when images are suppressed? Anna has the answers here, as well as suggestions on ensuring branding survives a loss of graphics.
Josh at SendLabs points out all the good things about a one-off campaign by Dunkin' Donuts to promote their "lattes and cappuccinos" day.
Melanie of Blue Sky Factory highlights the value of the subscriber preference center used by Sam's Wines and Spirits to ensure relevancy in the emails they send out.
(My only question is why the sign-up thank you page at the website doesn't take people straight to the preference center, rather than obliging them to click on a link in the welcome email?)
A couple of ESPs ran interviews with famous customers. I'm listing them because they're less self-serving and more insightful than your typical corporate case study:
MailChimp talk with Mozilla on emailing to techies, the role of their newsletter and the relationship to RSS feeds. And Campaign Monitor looks at how 37signals use email (with sample screenshots).

Eight Quick Ways to Get Your Site Blacklisted

Effective online communication relies on your ability to reach customers. If your e-mail or newsletters are listed on a spam blacklist, the messages won't get through. Here are several common mistakes that put business communication at risk.

By Esther Schindler August 14, 2008CIO

We can't live without e-mail. Even though the Internet standards warn us not to depend on any given e-mail message ever arriving at its destination, every business executive knows how important it is for the mail to get there. But if your mail server's IP address is stuck in a blacklist—a list of addresses or domains identifying known spammers—your e-mail newsletters and individual e-mail messages will be blocked long before they get to their recipients.

Blacklists are distributed in a format which can be easily queried by Internet applications, particularly e-mail servers. Many (if not most) e-mail administrators use blacklists ... read on

AOL's fourth annual email addiction survey results are in.

August 13, 2008

Seriously, I'm not addicted...well...maybe...

AOL's fourth annual email addiction survey results are in. It's USA based, however, it reveals some very interesting results, including 69% of users read their emails in bed, 25% on a date and 15% in church. Some other results on

Marketing in a downturn: 12 tips

In tough economic times, businesses would be wise to remember the classic advice from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: DON’T PANIC. But what should you do? Experian Integrated Marketing offers 12 tips in a white paper titled “Marketing success in a slowdown”:

1) Plan proactively. “The key point is to create compelling business cases for each investment,” writes Marie Myles, director of marketing consulting. ”Marketers need to plan (and plan again) for change in advance and stay one step ahead and be armed and ready with marketing plans for every eventuality.”

2) Manage the managers. “Protecting marketing budgets means that marketers need to hone their skills to convince Finance that their plans will deliver a profit,” Myles continues. “To do this, it is all about clearly defining how return on investment is being measured and agree on this with management and finance in advance.”

3) Concentrate on existing customers. For one thing, retaining a customer is more effective than acquiring one. For another, when times are tough buyers are even more likely to stick with companies that provided them with positive experiences in the past. That doesn’t mean you can rest on your laurels, but rather that you need to ensure that your existing customer relationships are in fine mettle.

4) Adapt your products and services to the economic conditions. Businesses “that fail to engage with customers during a slowdown will fall prey to the next business

that can offer a cheaper product or service at the same quality,” writes Myles. “The better the service provided to customers, the harder it will be for competitors to lure them away.” Which brings us to…

5) Understand customers and their needs. Review your online and offline analytics and buyer-behaviour data, and even invest in some proactive customer research to determine what your audience truly wants and needs.

6) Analyse and segment. Segmenting your customers by RFM, demographic profiling, clustering or other models can help you fine-tune your offers and messages for each significant group. It can also reveal hidden pockets of opportunity, such as new market sectors to exploit or new merchandise areas to expand into.

7) Exploit digital channels. Search engine marketing, affiliate marketing and email marketing are, like traditional direct mail marketing, highly trackable. And as mentioned earlier, when times are tough it’s especially important to be able to quantify your results.

8) Invest in targeted and relevant email marketing. “Companies should look at creating customer management programmes that include automated trigger and event-based activities to ensure speed to market and relevance,” Myles advises.

9) Enhance customer data collection.

10) Integrate channels to increase customer engagement. “Companies need to use their marketing platforms to create new fields in their databases to add relevance. This could mean using email as an alert for a catalogue, new product launch or forthcoming event. Follow-ups can also be used, for example, as reminders for nonresponders or satisfaction surveys after an event.”

11) Test, learn and evaluate.

12) Get the word out using social media and word-of-mouth marketing.

Related articles:

Published: 5th August 2008

Consumer confidence 'can be affected by irrelevant email marketing'

Tuesday 5th August 2008

Businesses have been warned by an expert that irrelevant email marketing communications can affect consumer confidence. David Daniels, vice-president, research director and lead analyst of a new report for JupiterResearch, has claimed that a high frequency of messages can also "channel scepticism". He added that due to these issues, growing businesses need to take care when using the promotional format to reach existing and potential consumers ... read on

'Few firms succeed' at email marketing

Wednesday, 06 Aug 2008 10:16
Few companies are able to conduct effective email marketing, it is suggested.

Proclivity Systems, a consumer insight firm, warns many companies fail to make the most of the medium as they are not targeting potential customers in an appropriate and relevant on...

Johnson Box a useful email marketing tactic

The Johnson Box may be a relic of the good old days of direct mail, but it’s just as effective today for use in email marketing campaigns.

by Helen Leggatt

As most direct marketers know, a Johnson Box, popularized by copywriter Frank H Johnson in the 1950’s, is a technique used to highlight a USP, brand or offer and entice the recipient to continue reading.

Placed “above the fold”, highlighted and contained within a box, it was the first message a direct mail recipient would encounter.

Email marketers can also benefit from the exact same practice... read on

The Truth About Email Marketing: It Is Not Easier to Ask for Forgiveness

Sending unsolicited emails to people who don’t want to receive them might get you a random conversion here and there, but it will land you in hot water with the Internet service providers (ISP)s, ruin long-term brand-loyal relationships, and damage your reputation... read on...13/08/2008

Preview panes 'emphasise importance of email marketing first lines'

According to Helen Leggatt of advice website BizReport, as many people now use preview panes in their email inboxes, the first sentence of a message needs to be good enough to stop potential consumers from deleting it... read on...

Avoiding Analysis Paralysis: Are Most Marketers Ready for Therapy?

Apr 14, 2008 2:13 PM , By Allison Cripps

At parties, people sometimes start to tell me their personal problems when I say I'm an analyst. No, I'm not that kind of analyst, I explain. My "patients" are businesses with critical questions regarding their loyalty strategy and performance.

Still, the laments I regularly hear from marketing professionals often carry the same tone as those therapy-seeking party guests. As I've traversed industries ranging from cable television to financial services to luxury hospitality, I've developed a set of almost universally applicable diagnoses and treatments for traumatized marketers. Here are two of the most common laments. Have you experienced these symptoms? If so, you're not alone.

Symptom: We can't access our data.
Frustrated marketers in companies of every size and sophistication know that they're sitting on a mountain of potentially useful customer data, but technological and organizational roadblocks prevent them from accessing it. This lack of access results in limited visibility into the results of their customer loyalty efforts. What do we recommend?

  • Treatment #1: Create a central data repository. Yes, it's true. Even in 2008, many big companies still lack a data warehouse. If your only source of customer data is the proverbial extract from the POS system, then you'll be fortunate to get a quarterly crosstab report—and even more fortunate if it contains actionable data. Kiss up to the CEO, hold a bake sale, or do whatever it takes get a warehouse.
  • Treatment #2:
Read on...

Show Me The Data: What Are You Teaching Your Customers?

Show Me The Data: What Are You Teaching Your Customers?
Jun 2, 2008 4:32 PM , By Bill Singleton

Want to boost your quarterly sales and help your margin? Give your customers a special offer. But wait until you’ve tested their reaction.

You might be teaching them not to buy from you instead of motivating them to buy more.

Consider two marketing programs, one offering a one-time great deal on items in your catalog, the second a series of offers in a succession of books. I have seen topline test results for one category of consumer merchandise that suggest that the outcomes of these campaigns can be significantly different.

For the first program, if you have not previously made a special offer to your customers, they can receive your offer with a sense of being rewarded. You are recognizing their loyalty or high purchase rate with a discount on what they already like to buy. They are likely to not only buy in response to your promotion, but also to have a higher average order size and buying frequency for some time as a result of the impression you have given them.

For the second program the first promotional offer might well generate a feeling of being rewarded. However, receiving another promotional offer the next month will demonstrate that your program is not a reward for loyalty but the start of a series of percent-off or dollars-off offers just like those of many other direct mailers. The special impression communicated by a single offer will have been erased.

The evidence I saw showed that.... read on

Data Analysis is No Game For Amateurs

Jul 21, 2008 2:35 PM , By Jim Wheaton

What sorts of hands-on data investigation should marketers do themselves, and what should they leave to trained data miners?

Today’s database access tools provide marketers with the hands-on ability to access, manipulate and draw conclusions from their own data. Unfortunately, these access tools also have great potential for misuse when they fall into the hands of individuals with sub-par analytical training.

False “insight” is worse than no insight at all. Therefore, wise marketers know the difference between data investigation they can do themselves versus data investigation they should do.

One rule of thumb is that marketers should think twice before tackling data investigation that requires the definition, creation, manipulation and comparison of multiple past-point-in-time views.

The following two analytical questions posed by a hypothetical office products retailer provide some clarity:

· How many customers on my database have purchased laser printer cartridges over the past twelve months?
· What is the rate of cartridge consumption subsequent to the purchase of a laser printer, how has the rate changed over the years, and is this rate affected by key variables such as printer price point and model, and customer type (e.g., B2C versus B2B)?

The first analytical question is a straightforward database query that has nothing to do with multiple past-point-in-time views. The grist for the query is the current marketing database “view;” that is, how each customer “looks” as of the most recent database update.

The second question involves multiple past-point-in-time views. Over-time cohorts must be defined, created, manipulated and compared. Any number of marketing database content issues must be controlled for, such as differences in the rate of data capture, both over time and by merchandise type. For example, perhaps the capture rate of cartridge purchases has increased over time compared with printer purchases.

Retailers know all-too-well the many ways that this sort of anomaly can creep into a marketing database. The following is a cautionary tale of the perils of powerful access tools in the hands of analytically under-trained marketers:

Several years ago, a direct agency employed a leading database access tool to perform extensive analysis for one of its clients.

Unfortunately, the analysis was deeply flawed. One client highlighted “crisis” was a dramatic decline in the percentage of customers who were ordering a second time.

But this was an artifact of failing to control for time-on-file. The rate of second-purchase is always lower for customers who are relatively new-to-file because they have had less time to reorder.

In other words, the agency had failed its client because it had failed to properly handle multiple past-point-in-time views.

Jim Wheaton is a co-founder of Daystar Wheaton Group.

.me domain names go up for grabs

— filed under:
Jul 21, 2008

Registrations for the “.Me” domain name have gone on sale to the general public, giving users a new way of getting a personalised web address.

The .me domain name was previously assigned to Montenegro after the country gained independence in June 2006. However, owing to the widespread potential appeal of the name, it is now available for general use.

The new domain follows the recent vote by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to allow users to register whatever domain suffix they want for their site.
Jonathan Robinson, chief operating officer at domain name specialist, Netnames, said: “Everyone can and should have their own personalised domain name and the release of suffix is an exciting and immediately available opportunity for consumers to stake their claim in cyberspace.

“Even before ICANN’s grand plans take root, every country already has its own suffix and the number of names registered is growing strongly. The latest addition from .me looks perfect for the social networking generation. However, personal domain name endings such as .name and have been somewhat slow to take off in the past.

“The true demand for the .me suffix is yet to be seen but the launch highlights quite how important it is for marketers, brand owners and trademark professionals to keep on top of this rapidly changing area”.

How & Why You Need to Be Added to Your Recipient's Address Book.

United did something great, for once. Just kidding. But seriously, theyUnited.jpg sent out a clever email marketing campaign. Simply put, it was an email asking the recipients to add United's From Address to their address books. Why? Because if they do add you, your recipients will not only get your email in their inboxes (avoiding the junk folder), but all of your images will appear and not be stripped out of your email. Some might say "Well Janine, if the email IS going into the junk folder then how would my recipients know"?

Find out the answer and how to do your own mailing using VerticalResponse...

July 29, 2008

Dealing with inactive addresses

Abandoned, dormant, unresponsive or inactive email addresses hurt your numbers and can play havoc with your deliverability. These articles have advice on how to identify them and how to get them working again for your email marketing program.

From Email Marketing Reports

Popular articles

Mailing to old lists

Reactivation campaigns

Opt-in renewal campaigns

Deliverability insights from Yahoo! Mail

Latest posts | Feed | By Mark Brownlow on August 05, 2008

A recent post floated a few ideas on the criteria that might be used to define spam in the future. Criteria that consider how people interact with your emails.

If you rejected those concepts as the mad ramblings of a man who left his bag of reality on the bus...think again.

1. Marking email in the junk folder as "not spam" ...

2. Adding the sender's email to their address book ...

3. Not paying attention to your email ...

Yahoo update
Published by laura 31Jul in Industry. , .

It has been quite a while since I have had the opportunity to share information about Yahoo here on the blog, but there is new information to share.

Yesterday, Mark Risher from Yahoo spent some time talking with people about all things spam over at Yahoo. Matt from EmailKarma posted the transcripts as well as some excerpts from the talk. The really interesting bit, for me, was confirmation that Yahoo will be bringing back their FBL in the next few weeks. I have been hearing rumors about the return of the FBL for a while now, and it seems the general timeline (fall-ish) is accurate.

Speaking of the feedback loop, there have also been rumors that Yahoo is not accepting any changes to existing feedback loops. This does not seem to be the case. According to an internal person, companies who are currently in the beta FBL program can make changes to the program by contacting the postmaster team.

Engaging recipients critical for delivery

One of the issues I have touched on repeatedly is the changing face of blocking and filtering at ISPs. Over the last 12 - 18 months, large, end-user ISPs have started rolling out more and more sophisticated filters. These filters look at a lot of things about an email, not just the content or the sending IP reputation or URLs in the message but also the recipient profile. Yes, ISPs really are measuring how engaged recipients are with a sender and, they are using that information to help them make blocking decisions.

There were two separate posts on Friday related to this.

Mark Brownlow has a great blog post speculating about a number of things ISPs might be looking at when making decisions about what to do with an incoming email. He lists a number of potential measurements, some of which I can definitively confirm are being measured by ISPs.

  • recipients never click on a link in the email
  • emails are never moved to a folder or archived (”trash” or “junk” folders don’t count)
  • recipients delete the email
  • the emails are never rescued or opened when delivered to the junk folder
  • recipients never scroll down the email
  • recipients don’t forward the email
  • recipients don’t use the interface’s print facility
  • recipients over-use unsubscribe links
  • recipients never unblock images or add sender to address list

Successful email marketing is no longer simply about permission. Senders must send engaging, wanted email. Not only does this improve recipient response and ROI, but engaging users is vital for getting delivery in the first place. As an aside, a buddy of mine who works at an ISP was very, very pleased with Mark’s post.

DJ over at Bronto blog posted Friday about a re-engagement campaign done by This was a 2 email campaign specifically designed to engage recipients. The takeaway: was so so close to a perfect execution of an email re-engagement campaign. Timing, subject line, copy, creative, calls-to-action, welcome message - all were brilliant. But…the initial dead links may have lost many. It’s hard to tell if this was a temporary issue or one that was going on for some time. How many potential reactivations did they lose? Overall, I’d consider’s reactivation campaign a raving success. Well done!

Engagement is no longer simply about getting a recipient to respond. Campaigns with engaged recipients are campaigns that have good delivery. Senders who ignore recipient preferences more and more see their mail trapped in a maze of delivery problems. Send good mail that recipients want and delivery problems melt away.

Confirmation emails trigger spam traps: some remedies

Latest posts | Feed | By Mark Brownlow on August 04, 2008

One of the messages to come out of Return Path's recent Reputation Benchmark Report is that sending email to spam traps is bad news:

"We found a 20 point difference in delivery rates for IPs with just one spam trap hit."

That spam trap hit might be an indicator of other poor practices that are dragging delivery down. But we certainly know that emailing spam trap addresses is one criteria that ISPs use when deciding if your mail should be given harsh treatment.

No problem, I thought. Email addresses only get added to my list if the owner clicks on a confirmation link in an email sent out after they sign-up (i.e. closed-loop or double opt-in).

Spam traps can't click on links. spam trap address goes on my list.


But wait...

If I send a confirmation email to a spam trap address, doesn't that count as a spam trap hit, too? ...find out

If you were Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo! Mail...

Latest posts | Feed | By Mark Brownlow on August 01, 2008 would you define unwanted email...?

What would you consider a potential indicator of a "bad" sender? Not a traditional spammer, but a sender who simply isn't producing email that people want to receive?

How about:
  • recipients never click on a link in the email
  • emails are never moved to a folder or archived ("trash" or "junk" folders don't count)
  • recipients delete the email
  • the emails are never rescued or opened when delivered to the junk folder
  • recipients never scroll down the email
  • recipients don't forward the email
  • recipients don't use the interface's print facility
  • recipients over-use unsubscribe links
  • recipients never unblock images or add sender to address list
Even if it remains theory, what would YOU put on that list? And how would you minimize your "spam" score? find out more ...

HTML for better emails - hot tips

src: 04/08/2008 smart Focus

HTML for better emails - hot tips

Different web browsers render HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) differently. What is often overlooked is that email client software such as Microsoft Outlook and Mozilla Thunderbird, and webmail such as Hotmail, Gmail and others, also render content differently. And just to complete the picture, sometimes web and mail software from the same supplier will render things differently.

So here's how to ensure that your mail looks smart and professional no matter what software lies in wait...

  1. Keep it simple. Use well-written content and perhaps one attractive image. Don't throw in javascript, animations, Flash, forms and the kitchen sink. These are best saved for a microsite page linked from the email.

  2. Use CSS cautiously if at all and only if you're super-confident that the email client used by your readers will support them. Support for CSS varies wildly: linking to external CSS files is largely unsupported in any software; embedded CSS won't work in Google's Gmail; inline CSS is limited in Microsoft Outlook 2007.

  3. Be image-conscious. Almost all mail software will handle pictures without too many problems, but remember that putting all of your content into one beautifully-designed, large image will likely get your email flagged as spam. It is also wise to avoid tricksy pictures like animated gifs.

  4. Be aware that your readers may not see images automatically if they have their client software set to block images by default (Windows Live Mail automatically blocks images unless you have been whitelisted). So make sure your mail looks good without the image, and that all images have alt_text tags defined.

  5. Although a lot of 'best practice' for the web cannot be applied to email because of the lack of support for CSS, you should still take care to ensure that code is properly nested and tags correctly closed.

  6. Always use a 'show in browser' link at the top of your email. Provide whitelisting instructions in your emails; whitelisting not only helps your email to render correctly but ensures that your readers receive it in the first place.

  7. Test, test, test. Since the majority of mail clients are free, and the paid-for software is downright cheap in the context of your overall marketing budgets, you have no excuse for failing here. You must test-mail to every client you believe your readers might be using.

  8. Remember, too, that readers may switch between email clients. Those one the move may use webmail clients rather than desktop software; a business audience will include a number of Blackberry users; an increasing number may be reading email on iPhones.