EmailTransmit: When to Send

May 29th, 2009: Anthony Schneider

Timing is everything. When you send an email, or when a recipient receives an email, has an enormous impact on open-rates and clickthroughs. L.L. Bean, Encyclopedia Brittanica, Henry Schein are among the many marketers who have revised  delivery times and have seen an increase in open-rates of between 30% and 100%. You don’t have to do anything differently, just watch the clock… and see results.

We all know it’s not a good idea to send an email at 4 a.m., or on a Sunday. But when is the best time to send an email? Here are a few ways to time your emails better.

for: Worst Days and Times, Best Days and Best Times...read on

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I will very rarely recommend someone when to send an email campaign as a consultant, it's making your self accountable for the success of their campaign. What I tend to do is teach people how to empathise with their audience and make the right decision that way.
Most of the time they come to same conclusions as Anthony did but sometimes some people will not even help themselves.
I get so many people sending hundreds of thousands between 3 and 5pm on a Friday.

There is a chain of thought that Fridays is the best day to do surveys as people are looking for an excuse not to do work but I do like the idea of emailing it on Thursday to linger and get done on the Friday - I'd be interested on the results of a comparison!

EMR: Gmail inbox tricks and alt text traps

An article from Pure360 from one of their more talented employees coined the phrase "Trust Earning Text" which was the combination of the pre-header and the Google, Yahoo and Outlook snippet.

In his article on May 26, 2009 called Gmail inbox tricks and alt text traps the lengend of Mark Brownlow really gets his hands dirty in gmail and shows us all how to maximise the use of this extra inbox content space whilst maintaining useful content in the email pre-header.

email wars: Badges and Rewards

May 28 2009

Not sure how familar you are with the concept of badges and rewards in terms of the internet and social communities. In all the research and work we have done at eROI in social community development and social campaigns we have found that the notion of giving badges or visible rewards are a motivator that work. The concept comes from the video game indutry where people receive visual recognition that are displayed in their profile page letting people know of their accomplishments in regard to the community. There can be based on number of connections, type of account, games played, comments given, and more.


But what we have not seen, until now, is the use of profile badges into an email...read on


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This is all very good stuff, making the recipient feel more a prt of it and using imagary to help the association of trust.
We're currently working on Avatars to increase trust!

Pixelnews: Use the right metrics in email marketing

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

It is always been very important to measure the results that companies obtain with their marketing campaigns. Today, under the difficult economic situation we are living, due to more restricted marketing budgets, it is more important than ever to know the return on investment (ROI) of every action.

In the internet world in general, and the email marketing specifically, is much easier to measure precisely what results you are getting out of your email marketing efforts. I’m going to explain which are the main data you should be watching after you send the next campaign or newsletter
...read on


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email marketing journal: How Much Thought Do You Put into your Email Marketing?

Brick Marketing on Friday, May 8, 2009

Have you ever taken a step back and asked yourself just how much time and effort you put into your email marketing. Do you just aimlessly send out email campaigns without really knowing what you are sending out. Email marketing is much more effective when you have actually taken the time to think things through and put together a targeted email...read on



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mediapost: Even More Laughs! Humor In Retail Email, Once Again

by Alex Madison and Lisa Harmon, Yesterday, 1:15 PM

Back in December, we wrote about "laughs and gaffes" in retail email. While the economic times are still uncertain for many marketers (and consumers), moods are starting to swing into spring. (It's sunny in Seattle! Woo hoo!) Seems like a great time to revisit the topic of inbox humor and look at how senders have been delivering cheer...read on


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Deliverability.com: How Email Works...Part Trois

November 11, 2008

As you might recall, the plan to tackle the broad topic of “How Email Works” was to break it down into the following sections:

* How MTAs (Mail/Message Transfer Agents) Communicate
* What is a “Bounce?”
* How MTAs Handle Bounces
* How Bounces Can Affect a Subscriber’s Status

We left off in the series discussing “What is a Bounce?” Today, I wanted to talk briefly (yeah, right!) about how bounces are handled in the underbelly of the Internet...read on

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bit of an old one, someone tweeted it today or yesterday but still useful

cloudmark: Blocked Email Part 2: “Now what do I do?”

David Romerstein: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 15:51 PDT

In Part I, we talked about a few of the possible reasons that your email might be blocked. Today, we’ll talk about things that an individual end-user can do when they receive one of those dreaded bounce messages. Several of the tips here will also be relevant for small businesses.

One thing to take from Part I is the idea that you, as an individual, are probably not being blocked because anyone thinks that you’re a spammer. As a result of their efforts to get as much of their email delivered as possible, spammers have caused ISPs to tighten their restrictions on various characteristics of email they’re willing to accept, to the detriment of other senders. However, if you’re not actively trying to abuse a receiver, there are many steps you can take to help make sure that your future email gets through.

Take a close look at the bounces that you’ve received. There should be some information included in them to help point you to the reason why your mail was rejected. Some of the useful things you might see
...read on


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cloudmark: Blocked Email Part 1: “Why me?”

David Romerstein: Friday, April 10, 2009 at 16:00 PDT

Everyone’s had it happen. You forward a joke to a friend or coworker, email a possible new vendor requesting a quote, or send out your daily/weekly/monthly newsletter and, a short time later, you get back that dreaded notification: “Subject: Undelivered Mail Returned to Sender”. Your first reaction is probably indignation. “I’m not a spammer,” you think to yourself, “so how dare they block my email!” Believe it or not, the receiving ISP probably doesn’t think that you’re a spammer.

Over the course of the next few blog posts, we’re going to discuss what you can do when you find mail bouncing - who to talk to, things to say, actions to take - whether you’re an individual, or the overworked sysadmin at a small company, or the deliverability manager at an ESP. We’ll also talk about things you shouldn’t do when your mail is blocked. We’ll even look at proactive things to do to try to prevent mail blocks in the first place
...read on


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Deliverability.com: Ask my wife - She's always right...

May 26, 2009

Remember the t-shirt from this blog post? Well, the fact of the matter is my wife does rock...

I've bugged her to do a blog post for me for a few months now and recently must have come across something that finally peaked her interest. While at my last conference the most popular question seemed to be about the uses of social media and video in email marketing. I decided to pose the question to the wife, stay-at-home mom extraordinaire.

Here's her email reply to me...read on



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Email Wars: Awaken from the Hiatus

May 26 2009

It is funny sometimes that companies just stop their email newsletters cold turkey. Often times it is due to the fact that they are just not sure as to why they are doing them, what the return is, internal resources dry up, the technology platform that they use becomes more of a chore to use than is worth the time, or there is a clear need to step back - take a look - and renew their efforts in a clear manner...read on

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I must admit I have a few people who have just re-started or stop and start and move between agencies etc. most of it is due to poor infastructure especially data management.

SimpllyCast: 20 ways to avoid email spam filters

May 22, 2009

One of the major benefits of email marketing is that email is free, but obviously this is the same reason why spam has become so popular and so frustrating to us all.

With spam comes spam filters and with spam filters comes the blocking of legitimate email.

How do you avoid spam filters when sending out your latest email marketing campaign?

Here are 20 important ways to dodge those pesky spam filters...read on for the list


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mediapost: Are You Using The Right Metrics?

by Loren McDonald, Yesterday, 1:00 PM

In these days of tight marketing budgets, you must rely on relevant and accurate reporting to stay on top of your email program's performance and defend your company resources. You need to know the four basic strategies to measure performance as well as the metrics that measure correctly.

The scalpel is handy, after all, but you wouldn't use it to carve a turkey. If you choose the wrong metric, you could overlook major problems that imperil performance or email's significant contributions to your company's performance
...read on

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Also checkout the Metrics info on email marketing reports and of course for stats: the email stat center.



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mediapost: The Executive Knowledge Gap

by Chad White, Tuesday, May 19, 2009, 10:16 AM

The recession has a put a spotlight on email marketing, with executives suddenly intensely interested in what their email marketing staff are doing.

In some cases, this spotlight hasn't been entirely positive. Executives seems to have a significant knowledge gap about email marketing best practices. This gap, combined with the extreme urgency to generate as much revenue as soon as possible, has led to some surreal internal discussions and counterproductive directives
...read on


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It cannot be a surprise that there is more focus on email marketing. It is good to point out that now, in some ways, it is a company's primary marketing tool.
Also Directors and managers who have not previously given it the respect it deserves find their job relying on its success but don't understand it. Subsequently the people they have employed to do the job are not capable of the quality requried.

BtoB: How can e-mail marketers improve ROI in their e-mail campaigns?

Dave Lewis, CMO, Message Systems: May 21, 2009 - 10:44 am EDT

When looking at campaign ROI, marketers should closely examine both parts of the equation—the return and investment. The first is the return the campaign is yielding. The second is the cost associated with gaining those results. Both are important in determining if a campaign is achieving the apex of its potential.

The ultimate goal is to minimize costs while maximizing return
..read to find out how


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retailemailblog: Boost the sharing of your emails

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nordstrom, 5/20 — Half-Yearly Sale for Women & Kids: Save 33% or More! Twice the Rewards Points (Details Inside)
When looking at share-with-your-network (SWYN) functionality, there’s much to be learned from our experiences with forward-to-a-friend (FTAF). For instance, if you stick a FTAF link in the footer of your email, you’ll see forward rates of well under 1%. However, if you integrate a FTAF link into your message—as AbeBooks has done before (see July 21 AM Inbox)—then your forward rate grows multifold. Nordstrom applies this wisdom to their use of SWYN in this email, putting an appeal to share the news of this sale via Facebook and Twitter. They are the first major online retailer that I’ve seen do this
...read on for the stats


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It is not really a thinker, it's just viral. Give stuff away.

The next step is track who shared the monst and reward them!
As Seth Godin rightly said the people who interact with you the most are the people who will do the marekting for you, find them and incentivise & reward them.

What good are FBLs if your email is in the bulk folder? (rt: @emailexperts)

March 18, 2009

I woke up this morning and noticed one of our clients had a delivery issue. I notified them of the problem and told them what we need to do to fix it. They were shocked. They came back complaining that all their reputation numbers looked good and wanted to know how this happened. They had less then a 0.02% complaint rate, their bounce and remove rate's were well under the bar and yet they weren't hitting the inbox. It was easy for us to know what the cause was, but not so easy for the client. The client got so hung up on reputation and feedback loop stats that he forgot about the very foundation of delivery, and that's content!...read on

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Most good ESPs will have a spam checker which will put your email through SpamAssassin at the very least.
You will then be told the reaction of the spam filter so you can fix it before you send it.

This is always the first check for deliverability!

mediapost: Where to Place Your Precious Email Investments

by Stephanie Miller 20/05/2009

Someone once said that with great power comes great responsibility. That certainly applies to email marketing. In the current recession, the high ROI and low cost of email make us the "rock star" of the marketing team. Of course, along with that comes increased pressure to deliver higher results -- executives are demanding more and more.

Time to turn that demand to our benefit. Take advantage of your rock star status to make the case for increased budget to go with that increased revenue forecast. Econsultancy recently reported that nearly half (48%) of marketers plan to increase email marketing spending this year. The best place to put those dollars now is into access to the kind of data you need to make good business decisions, and the space and talent to do even simple analysis.

It's time we all stopped pretending that "investing in email" is the same as "doubling the frequency." Investing means using data to make intelligent decisions about how to improve results. Without that knowledge, we are all just groping in the dark to understand the true drivers of response and revenue
...read on


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@Clickz Carnival

Monday - May 11, 2009




» 
E-Mail Marketing

The Life of an E-Mail

Written by Jeanniey Mullen

What your e-mail is saying to recipients -- beyond what the text says.

»  Full story 

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

B2B E-Mail Marketing

How to Win Friends and Influence People by E-mail

Written by Karen Gedney

Tips for getting more out of in-person networking events.

»  Full story

Thursday - May 14, 2009
E-Mail Marketing Optimization

Dissecting a Major Flaw in CAN-SPAM

Written by Derek Harding

Canada's proposed anti-spam legislation affords a lesson for the United
States: unsolicited B2B e-mail is still spam.

»  Full story


econsultancy: Email marketing specialist Pure is 18th fastest growing new media company

19th May 2009

Brighton-based email marketing specialist Pure is the 18th fastest growing new media company in the UK, according to Media Momentum’s Top 50 awards announced in central London last Thursday night.

Pure is the only email marketing service provider in the league table. The company recorded a compound annual growth rate of 100.5% over two years...read on


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I'm a big fan of PureResponse and you all should be too!

Also, the awards were actually for the whole of Europe and not just the UK, I have no idea why they would write the UK?


nten: 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study Released

By Holly on Fri, 05/15/2009 - 7:15am.

just released the 2009 eNonprofit Benchmarks Study with our fantastic friends at M+R Strategic Services. The report is chock full of amazing and interesting information you can use to make better decisions about your online campaigns.

To help folks get started, we hosted a release party. Get the recording to see how Children's Defense Fund and HRC use benchmarks to increase the performance of their online campaigns.

Or, for those of you who can't be bothered to open another link -- that's how I roll, so I feel you -- here are some highlights from this year's report...read on


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Aweber: The First of 3 Critical Opportunities to Create The Right Subscriber Expectations

by Justin Premick (15/05/2009)

One of the first posts on this blog talks about the importance of expectations in your email marketing campaigns and presents consistency as the key to expectations.

Consistency matters - but before you can consistently meet expectations, you have to set them! If subscribers don’t know what’s coming, it doesn’t matter how consistent the formatting and frequency are - those emails will still feel inconsistent with whatever preconceived notions subscribers had about them.

So how do you create expectations that you can then meet?

As I see it, you get 3 critical opportunities to do so... read on



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I find giving the user the truth and all of the relevant information is one of the easiest ways to earn trust.

Media post: It's Time to Ignore The Law

by Jordan Ayan , Wednesday, May 13, 2009

More about the new Canadian Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA).

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A bill was introduced in the Canadian Parliament at the end of April titled the Electronic Commerce Protection Act (ECPA). This new legislation is the Canadian government's attempt at stemming the tide of unsolicited messages. If you typically send true opt-in messages, you are in good shape. However, if you read the bill in its entirety, it casts light on a shade of gray that many in the email world have used to opt someone into their list who -- from the perspective of the recipient -- did not want to be included. The ECPA raises the question of what a pre-existing relationship is, and when is it okay to communicate with an individual with whom you have a pre-existing relationship?...read on
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IT Wales: Use words to transform your email marketing response

Posted: Wed, May 13, 2009 by Andrew Seal

Believe it or not, your customers aren't really that interested in your company or what you are up to - not when they're reading email newsletters or surfing the web, anyway. Online they generally only want to know if you've got what they're looking for.

This might sound harsh but it's a reality on the web - and your email marketing content should take account of this or it's not going to be as successful as you'd like...read on



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Never a truer word said!

ESPs: Implementing The Render Rate

The email marketing industry has never had a consensus around
metrics, something that contributes to its reputation as an immature
marketing channel. When I heard about the Measurement and Accuracy
Roundtable at the eec I was excited to join the metrics conversation
and help contribute to solidifying some table-stakes metrics.



Less than a year later we've come up with a proposal
- one that represents a large step forward for email marketers.
However, it also means a good bit of work. Many email marketing service
providers (ESPs), email marketing vendors and individual marketers now
have to start considering some new numbers...read on



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What party games and landing pages have in common (RT: @MktgExperiments)

May 13th, 2009

"Remember the intensity of focus you had at that second-grade birthday party where you had five seconds to memorize the location of the piƱata, or the donkey’s tail-less rump, before the blindfold descended?

Don’t you wish you could get that kind of focus from prospects now?

Unfortunately, the grown-ups perusing your pages are subject to endless distractions. But try applying a variation on the pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey technique to your landing pages, just to see how easy it is for the adults you’re courting to find the targets you want them to find when they’re looking at your pages.

Inspired by a new tool that provides free five-second usability testing, I decided to apply the same technique to a landing page submitted for optimization by a recent attendee of a MarketingExperiments web clinic."

How the five-second usability test works...read on

Permission and the holes in CAN-SPAM (RT: @clickz)

Derek Harding, ClickZ, May 14, 2009

More about permission here as Derek Harding discusses a previous article from Bill McCloske and their differeing views on the permission aspects missing from CAN-SPAM and how B2B senders will still exploit this to spam people...read on

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It will always be a fine line between permission and explicit permission.

Exisiting as a business means that people who have services which/could would suit you must be able to inform you of their services. Publishing an email addres in the internet is still seen as permision.
Subsequently list owners and brokers exist with lists of email addresses to sell for this purpose.
The problem with some list owners is that they do not allow you to opt-out from them. You can only opt-out from the brand using the list.
The good ones will allow you to but they tend to have a 'carrot' to try and motivate you stay on. They will allow you to give tem more information about your self to esnure you only get marketing that applies to you and might give you an incentive like a competition entry etc.

Explicit permission is where the own of the email address has said yes marketing to me and the company sending the email has the date, time, web-site and IP address of sign up OR from telemarketing they should have all of the details of the campaign, the comapny who made the call and lots of detail about the person who gave the permission.

Many list owners wil advertise that they obey DMA guidelines and digital communication laws. While these are better than nothing, these have not been good enough for a long time and ISPs, spam filtering and blocking organisations and companies offer a much harder line and worse consequences. This is giving the recipients a lot of power over our deliverability and email marketeters.

Confirmed optin (COI) which is the prefered route of ISPs and is a way of getting and email address and then getting confirmation from the owner, like double opt-in. This way you can be sure that person who submitted the email owns the address.

I also like that fact that everyone who talks about this mentions that politicians appear to be excused from most of this. But that is whole-nother discussion!

How effective is your Call-To-Action? (RT: @simplycast)

May 13, 2009

In our last blog posted titled Break up your email marketing routine, we shared a few tips on how to evaluate and improve your campaigns just by changing a few aspects of your email.

One area that we did not mention was the Call-To-Action (CTA).

The Call-to-Action is arguably one of the most important elements of your email and needs to be evaluated and tweaked just like every other part of a campaign.

Your CTA must stand out to be successful. It needs to be inviting, not intimidating, and ultimately encourage readers to click from the email onto your website or landing page. As an email marketer it should be your overall goal to include design elements with well written copy to achieve a CTA that is distinctive and drives clicks...read on


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Some times you can spend so much time and energy on the look and feel of the email you forget why you are actually sending it... To get people to click through - the call to action is the most important thing in your content.
Obviously you have to ensure deliverability and subject line, from name pre-headers to get the open too.

when Microsoft brought out Outlook 2007 and used MS Word to render the html, for security reasons, many people were outraged as so much less could be done. But actually it's done email marketing a favour as we now have to concentrate on the click through and do all of the flashy stuff on the web-sites.
Mind you I don't think it even occurred to Microsoft at the time, I think they were just trying to find a way to keep people using Outlook without them having to worry about the massive holes in IE and the many different versions that were being used with previous Outlooks.

A must read from the Brownlow: CTA and article distribution (@MarkatEMR)

By Mark Brownlow on May 12, 2009.


Get your thinking caps on for another cracker from the Brownlow! Very few people actually take the time and make the effort to go into this much detail, we should all pay attention,


The last post demonstrated how past campaign reports might hide a whole host of useful information on optimizing your emails.
We used my own informational newsletter (featuring article headlines and teaser summaries) to explore how link number and spacing might impact click rates.
Let's use those same campaign reports to look at call to action and the order of content...read on


Email Marketing Reports logo

bizreport: subject line tips

by Helen Leggatt: BizReport : Email Marketing : May 11, 2009

6 easy tips for subject lines...read on


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One thing we do is ask around the office for subject lines. I know it sounds silly, how could someone not involved in marketing have a good subject line? I'm Gald you asked!
when one person creates all of the subject lines, it generally ends up being a list of very similar subject lines but with the words in a different order. Getting someone from a very different perspective to pitch in can really help you take a step back.

Also, from experience, I find Pure360's subject line selector quite nifty as it'll choose the best subject line for me from the list I put in during the delivery, to maximise my open rates.

For newsletters I tend to try and stick with a consistent structure, brand name first as recuipients might see the sbject line to the left of the from name, then the title of the email, eg: 'news letter may 09' then a few trigger words to get interest eg: special content, new spam rules, free food, etc etc.
I find regular news emails need consistency as people's eyes will look for thwe same pattern each time.
Of course if your open rates are low, you need to make a change!

EMM & Pure360 May Carnival, @pure360 @theEMM

Another cracking newsletter from the Guys at Pure360 with the latest Email Marketing Manual.
Here are the links to the articles, I recommend them all!
Also I have tried the Graze box and it was very nice and convenient.
email marketing manual


Competition: Win Lunch For A Week Courtesy Of Graze



Email Marketing Manual, in association with sponsors pure360 and the fantastic team at graze.com is launching its first ever competition.


For your chance to win this fantastic prize, post the funniest or most bizarre subject line on the EMM.

Read this article


Managing Deliverability & Driving Online Sales



How has email played a key role in driving direct and indirect sales for bar and club chain Eclectic?


Ben Bendall, Online Marketing Specialist, for Eclectic bars, talks to us about how email is core to thier online marketing strategy.

Read this article


The Email Carnival



See a review of our top sites for anyone who is working with html based email, it doesn't matter whether you are a market research analyst, campaign advisor, coder, or designer there is something here for everyone.

Read this article


The Most Accountable Marketing Going?


Accountable marketing is essential in a slowing economy because advertisers require ROI for every pound spent.

So how does email marketing offer a solution to limited budgets and the need for accountability? Marc Munier, MD at Pure, gives us the 'Pure View'

Read this article


The Devil's is in the Detail



Can going that extra mile provide you with more clientel?


This month Exhausto checks into the email clinic. Ash Richards, Creative Manager at Pure, uncovers some of the finer details that can make real improvements to the effectiveness of a message.

Read this article


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online

VR: Partner With Another Business - Get More Customers

April 30, 2009
"Could you partner with another business around any given holiday and ask them for a special discount for your customers only?"...read on


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Interesting one here, I know the Pure360 & Email marketing Manual have teamed up with Graze.com for something similar, should be a worth a look?

In some ways this goes on to more co-reg stuff, where you could sell some ppc adverts down the right hand side of your optin newsletter?

Boomerang: The Shelf Life of Emails

Email Marketing Expert Notes Research Indicating that Marketing-related Emails Have a Shelf Life in the Minds of Recipients

05.02.2009 – (Palo Alto, Calif. - April 30, 2009 - Boomerang.com):

"Research has indicated that individual messages from email campaigns remain in many recipients' inboxes long after being sent, to be revisited later. Email marketing expert David Kearney, CEO of the award-winning email marketing firm Boomerang.com, noted that the implications for a return on investment on email marketing campaigns are clear and added that the right email hosting tool and supporting consultants can help email marketers to capitalize on these scenarios." ...read on

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I do this all of the time, I have filters in Gmail for social stuff, shopping stuff etc. they move it out of my inbox into folders and I'll get round to it and do it all in one go when I chose to make the time.

It is like: I'm curious but not dedicated and can become a bit of an interuption.
Clickz for instance givee me the option of having a single weekly email with links to all of the articles that week so I have it all in one email rather than queuing many up. Facebook does not seem to have that option and Linkedin groups give me a daily update but also appears to get my on other mailing lists which I find integuingly spammy.
One newsletter which I really wanted to stay in touch with was advancedmp3players.co.uk, great site lots of products and I was interested but not that interested. So I got the newsletters but found I could not make enough time compared to the frequency of emails - it was very regular, monthly I think, but I could have done with a quartley option. Anyway I opted out eventually but I do have the site bookmarked.

Pennlive.com: Trying something different in managing an email marketing list

Posted by John Caddell May 01, 2009 11:10AM Marketing

" it's no longer enough for people not to object to your emailing them--they need to want to receive your messages"

"My first reaction was, "But my list is different! They all want to get my quarterly newsletters." (Don't we all feel that way?) But I started thinking about my practice of automatically subscribing any new contact I got to my list. And then, someone I exchanged business cards with put me on his weekly list and I immediately got a communication that I didn't want (and another and another and so on). I was really annoyed with him and with the emails. I finally made a connection--I didn't want my subscribers feeling that way when they saw my emails in the inbox." ...read on

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It's all about permission!
One thing to remember is that double-optin is a form of getting Confirmed Opt-in (COI) and COI is permission.

emailInsider: Best Send Time? When Recipients Are In The Inbox

by Loren McDonald, Yesterday, 10:15 AM

Just about every email expert, consultant or workshop speaker has fielded this question: "What's the best time to send emails so my recipients are most likely to read them?"

This is one of those "It depends" questions, because no single mailing list is like another. In addition, your recipients aren't all in their inboxes at the same time, unlike the mass audiences that tune in to the Super Bowl every year at the exact same time across the continent...read on

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also check out Pure360's Intelligent Time Sending which will do half of it for you!


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@ClickZ: ClickZ carnival

I got three usful articles from Clickz last week:

E-mail Privacy and Trust By by Jeanniey Mullen, ClickZ, ...

There's a very important aspect of e-mail that cannot ever be overlooked: e-mail trust and privacy.

When you think about it, giving someone your e-mail address is like giving them your digital Social Security number. As humans, we use our e-mail addresses to register for almost everything we do online: Web site passwords, social networks, purchases, online billing, mobile phone messaging, and more. In some cases, you can get more information by using someone's e-mail address to find out what sites they frequent, register for, and buy from.

This makes the value of getting access to someone's e-mail address close to priceless ...read on

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Synch Your E-Mail Calendar By Karen Gedney, ClickZ,

Did you send out an e-mail blast the week of April 13 and get a lower response than usual?

The days surrounding the U.S.'s April 15 tax day -- when a lot of small businesses empty their accounts to pay the IRS and stash away tax-deferred money into SEP and Keogh accounts -- might not be your best day to broadcast. I'm no economist, but I'm guessing the reverberations of tax day in this bad economy can't be good news to anyone trying to sell to small businesses ...read on

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Creating a Good E-Mail Marketing Strategy by Ed Henrich, ClickZ,

More than 200 years ago, Voltaire said, "The perfect is the enemy of the good." It's a concept that still holds true today.

A recent Jupiter Research executive survey asked e-mail marketers what their greatest challenge was for improving their e-mail programs. The answer: "Knowing where to begin." My response to these confused marketers: Start somewhere; start anywhere. Even the smallest change you make today will start you down the path to the right strategy.

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clickz are really good and have some very good writers Jeanne Jennings and Jeanniey Mullen appear to be the most consistent in usefulness oin keeping up with email marketing

thestreet.com: Build Your List, Grow Your Business

from By Gail Goodman of Entrepreneur.com 04/30/09 - 04:01 PM EDT
Nice little how to advice about building a list the right way - with permission!

More and more businesspeople tell me they've gotten religious about building their permission-based mail lists. They've been doing email marketing for years, and they've come to realize that if they get serious about building their lists, they can bring in more business. It really works!

Building your list is even more important in a tough economic environment. Your list is your pre-qualified target audience. They know you and your products and services, and they've bought from you in the past.

They're an easier sell and a source of referrals. That's why email marketing is still the most effective tool in your marketing mix. For fractions of a penny per person, you can stay in touch with your best customers. So when they're ready to buy -- even in a down economy -- they'll think of your business first.

for the top 3 List-Building Essentials and the top 5 Ways to Find New Subscribers
...read on



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A Shared IP Address Isn't Always So Bad (RT: @allwebemail:)

Initial article by Karen Scharf on May 6, 2009 at 12:09am...got this from a tweet from @allwebmail.

Karen Scharf tells us more about IP reputation and breaks it down very well for all readers on her article for Smaller India.

Why Shared IP
The idea of a shared sending IP is not a new one for ESPs but this whole IP reputation is relatively new to many marketers.
Additionally most marketers do not wat to hav to care about it, after all that is what an ESP is for.
Some ESPs will give you a dedicated IP address from the start and call it a selling point, which is not always a good thing as you do not know how 'green' it is!
Yes green, it is a little term in IP reputation, an IP can be green(good deliverability), red(more junk that inbox) or black(blocked).

IP Credit Rating
IP reputation is like a credit rating, having bad a credit history is better than having no credit history at all as at least the creditters know what kind of risk you are. The same thing applies to IP addresses with ISPs.

A brand new IP which has never sent email would get an almost immediate credit rating, after the first few sends, just to kick off and as we all know many early sends are full of bounces which will the give the IP an immediate bad rating. Also it is far easier to take an IP from good to bad than it is to go from bad to good. Also really spammers will buy a domain spam from it until it is blocked then run away and do it again, so ISPs react quickly in assigning reputation.

Green IPs
Any decent ESP will know all about this and be able to sell you a green IP (pure360), which they have warmed up and green already, and give you responsibility over your own IP reputation but this is not always the best thing for campaigns as one wrong move and you're out.
Most ESPs could put you a shared range with other senders and they would then monitor the complaint rates of everyone and the reputations of the IPs and move your sends around to consistently get in the inbox. That way the marketer has not got to care about it.

Transactional
If you have some transactional emails like double-optin emails, welcome messages, triggered emails, whitepapers, on-line receipted etc. this will benefit from a dedicated IP as this can be whitelisted more than marketing IPs as receipt in some levels is legally required, has guaranteed permission and ISPs will gladly whitelist it for you, if you know who to ask.

Lead Generation
If you are doing lead generation emailing, as a list owner or broker, the rules change and as you are a high risk sender and will have more complaints. Most ESPs will not put a lean gen on the same range as a double-optin media publisher as the lead gen would negatively affect the deliverability of all IP addresses. One thing that lead gens have asked to me is why can't they just keep buying new IPs when their IP rep goes bad, my reply is always email is about permission, if people mark you as spam so much that you can't send an email you may well be a spammer and ESPs will not just throw IPs at you as it is wrong. Anyway, lead gen is something I could prattle on about for a while, I won't do it today as I want you to read Karen's article after this so you'll need to be awake!

Certified Sender
Another need for dedicated IPs are to get Sender Certification, like SenderID and Goodmail. All require good sending history on dedicated IP(s) before they will consider you.
So if your sending is good and confirmed opt-in but your volumes are very high and Hotmail and Yahoo, for instance, are not liking it, you can buy your way in. As Hotmail and Yahoo are putting up more of a fight lately over volumes, SenderID is more preferred to Goodmail, as Hotmail and Yahoo are liked with Return Path for things like their feedback loops where last time I checked Goodmail was more AOL related - feel to correct me if I am wrong there I have not looked into Goodmail for about a year but I have done some stuff with SenderID and it does work ion Hotmail and Yahoo.

Check out Karen's article and see what you think...read on

wordtothewise: The Weekend Effect (RT: @wise_laura & @allwebemail)

by laura 04 May in Delivery Improvement

Something juicy about IP reputation. Most of us know by now that someone marking your emails as spam in their inbox negatively affects the reputation of the sending IP, that is why most people us ESPs.
Most of us also know that we can only send at certain volumes and speeds to ISPs before they get put out by our volumes and the volume tolerance levels depend on the reputation of the IP address.
We do not know enough about how any of this is actually calculated as the ISPs keep it pretty close to their chest to stop spammers finding way in.

Laura's article is a lovely logical lesson about how the frequency of complaints within a given time might also be being used by the ISPs to measure and assign reputation. It may not be something that is fully actionable but the whole thing fascinates me and always makes me sound like I know a lot when I consult on deliverability! ...have a read

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@deliverability .com: How your email may be blocked

I mentioned Allspammedup's Anti-spam post earlier and deliverability.com has also just mentioned it.

They also wanted more detail on the latest "behavioral filtering technologies", that's a lot of syllables!


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ginasprenkle.com: Autoresponder Email Deliverability Tips

Posted on April 12th, 2009 Email Deliverability Tips, Posted by Tom Kulzer (AWeber CEO)

Ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to subscriber inboxes is an increasingly difficult battle in the age of spam filtering. Open and click thru response rates can be dramatically affected by as much as 20-30% due to incorrect spam filter classification.

The article covers:
Permission, Subscriber Addresses, List Maintenance, Message Format, Content, Website URL, Words/phrases, Images, Attachments, CAN-SPAM Compliance, Reputation, Relationships & Whitelisting...read on


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Are Anti-Spam Products More Than the Sum of Their Parts?

A while back the Email Marketing Manual wrote Spammers v the spam filter where they reverse engineered today's content filters to help us understand why filters are so fussy and to help us know how to make emails that don't get blocked.

Paul Cunningham from capslockassassin.com, on April 24, 2009, wrote Anti-Spam Products Are More Than the Sum of Their Parts which was published on allspammedup.com.

This is another very good overview of receiving systems' reaction to our emails.

My office, like many offices, uses spamassassin as its primary filter as it is free and open source and is plugged into most of the big useful black lists.

I recently got an email that apparently was from me and too me (to avoid safelist filters), with this content:
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This holiday season, shop online at our luxury watch store.

We carry the largest selection of:
- Rolex
- Breitling
- Cartier
- Panerai

and dozens of other famous brands.

With prices staring from just $99 - they will make the perfect and most affordable gift!

Browse our shop (was a link to some weird url)

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And here is what spam assassin said:



Now I do understand that but it is my job and I am a bit of an email geek but hey, that's where the money is!

At the top it says what the spam score is (the higher number the more spammy) and it says that my office, like most, has a threshold of 5 before it will recommend to send it to junk.
Most of the spam warnings are telling us the 'mime' has urls that are black listed, this could be in the content, plain and/or html or it could be the from domain.
This is spam assassin aggragating it's own content database and multiple spam listings for you one place.

This is not the only filtering on the office system though, we do have a manual IP black list as do most mail servers.
Some hosted solutions will do more and some gateways will also employ filtering before it even gets to your mail server.

Don't forget that your own inbox will also have a self learning filter which changes its rules every time you mark an email as spam or unmark an email as spam. If you are lazy with the spam button and don't use the optout link on emails that you have asked for and hit spam instead, you could be mis-training your inbox filter and it could cause false positives and send good email to your junk filter. This is why senders, especially for transactional emails, will always ask you to add their from address to your address book and/or safelist.

To summerise, Anti-spam products are more than the sum of their parts because they take information from many other sources and make decisions for you but there is always more the one at work at the same time!