EMI: What is the best kind of opt-in?

Robert Consoli July 23, 2009 - 10:34 am EDT

"Collecting quality recipient data has a direct impact on your business. By sending e-mail to recipients that really want your mailing, you will increase your open rates and your sales. The problem is that most recipient data can't be validated until a first mailing has been sent.

Deliverability issues occur when an ISP throttles, blocks a mailing or sends it to the bulk folder because of too many bad addresses. A poor send will lower your IP reputation and impact your future sends
"...read on for the opt-in types, how they work and which ones to chose.
- - -
The right kind of opt-in is a hard choice because you don't want to loose people by making them do too much work to complete a subscription but then again you do need to make the people who give you the email address own that email address and spell it right.
I like the idea of entering it twice but I tend to copy and paste it the 2nd time. I prefer the double opt-in option, once they filled out the form the landing page says "cheers, one more thing to do, we've sent you an email, go and click the link in it" but of course you can be a little scared of losing people who can't be bothered to go from your web-site to their inbox. One bit of advice... people who cannot be bothered to go to their inbox, will not spend money and are not really interested, if you have not done enough to earn that level of commitment whilst getting them to the sign-up form, you've done something wrong.

I worked with a gambling company who launched a new site and were giving away free credits to play, I nagged and nagged to get them to use double opt-in, my contacts there nagged and nagged their bosses to do it but we were all over-ruled because they wanted to maximise their database.

Then they marketed to it.
Their deliverability dies within a week, Hotmail and Yahoo were just saying no. SNDS and JMRP were actually showing their transactional emails as being marked as spam!

It turns out that people who want free gambling, don't want to give their real email address!
They were just entering random ones to get into the site, so all of their follow up marketing emails were going to people who had never even visited the site.
About 3 months later, they chopped off every email address that had not clicked a link in 2 months. Their deliverability improved because they were sending less emails from the same IPs, their open rate percentages went up, their open numbers did not go down because the others were not touching them anyway, in fact they went up because the people left on the list were the main interactors so everyone who wanted the email got it and they made more money. So they invested more money in consultants, agencies and software vendors to do more of it.
So even though they sent less emails, they actually made more money for everyone!

mediapost: Some Metrics to Consider

by Ryan Deutsch, Thursday, July 23, 2009, 10:45 AM

"Like many of you, my inbox is filled with the latest research on social media and how it will soon change the world for many email marketers. Unlike some of you, I happen to be a true believer that social media will become a critical part of not only direct marketing but email marketing specifically.

Of particular interest this week was the release of a report prepared by Wetpaint and Altimeter that looked at the world's most valuable brands and:
(1) Determined which were most engaged (via social channels) with their consumers
(2) Drew a parallel to that engagement with financial results.

The report found that companies investing heavily in social media (companies deeply engaged in seven or more social channels like blogs, branded social Web sites, Facebook, Wikis, ratings and reviews, etc.) surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and performance by a significant amount.
"...read on

- - -
This is a fair point, as much as you can do to get people interacting and liking and respecting your brand the better it can be. PPC is going up in price, acquisition emailing is evening out and might even be less popular as their deliverability is rubbish because ISPs and recipients are bored of them, so what is left? Emails to people who are interested, how do you get people who are interested? Their friends have tell them about you. I've done a little work with NixonMcInnes who are absolute expert in this stuff. If you need anyone to work with for social media, they should be your first stop, then go to Pure360 for the email side (obviously).

emailadvisor: Need a little help freshening up your email benchmarking and metrics reporting?


"I think we've all been guilty of getting to "caught up" in the email process to take a step back and really focus on email metrics and benchmarking. The problem may lie with the difficulty of extracting the needed data from your email system or simply not really knowing what data that you need to be looking for.

If you consider your metrics reporting a little on the light side, take a look a these few tips to help you establish a clearer look in to your benchmarking and metrics strategy
"...read on


mediapost: What 'Free' Means For Email Marketers

by Morgan Stewart, Wednesday, July 22, 2009, 11:15 AM

"I've been following the Free Debate blow by blow for the past couple of weeks. If somehow you have missed this, then here's the rundown. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a pointed critique of Chris Anderson's latest book, "Free: The Future of a Radical Price" (which you can read for free. Seth Godin jumped in and said that Malcolm is wrong, and the online community has started lining up on different sides since.

Despite the debates that have surfaced about the viability of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube or the future of publishing, there is consensus about the digital age having ushered in an era where information and ideas are abundant. Regardless of whether these companies can develop sustainable business models, the fact remains that there is more free information available to consumers than at any prior point in history. Moreover, while some people do still choose to pay for some information (e.g., through books, newspapers, magazines, etc.) that is "superior" to the information they can get for free, there is still a lot of very good information available to them at no cost.

I dare not attempt an exhaustive list of the implications the information abundance era will have on email marketing, but here are a few of the things that I believe we are already seeing as a result
"...read on
- -

There is nothing like a new-media debate!

mediapost: Christmas Advice In July

by Chad White, Tuesday, July 21, 2009, 10:15 AM

"For many retail brands, we are quickly approaching the saturation point for email volume. My Retail Email Index currently indicates that retail email volume is running 19% above last year's. While that's slower than the 28% year-over-year increases that we were seeing in July 2008, it's alarming because we're heading into the holiday season.

Last year, retail email volume rose 43% during the holiday season -- and during its peak week was up 76%, compared to the pre-holiday baseline. If this holiday season follows the same trajectory, retailers will average 3.4 emails per week, with a peak of 4.2 emails per week.

More than ever, the question is: How can we make each email that we send work harder? How can we minimize volume increases to avoid increased list churn and deliverability issues, while maximizing revenue?

Consider these tactics"
...read on

- - -

If you are able to properly profile your recipients, you will not have to hammer everyone and send less but more targeted and relevant content to everyone and make more money!

Mailvivo: Don't resend, re-engage

Lovin' George's work today...

July 10th, 2009 by George Burrell

"One of the more common questions I am asked by my clients is “X% of my list didn’t open or click, should I resend them the email?” Simple answer, No!
Now I understand that you are trying to get the most out of each of your contacts, but simply resending the same email isn’t going to get them engaged. More often than not it will do the opposite; it will irritate and alienate them.

The first point to consider is whether the subscriber has responded at all, to any past communications. If the answer is no, that contact is inactive. If the contact has responded (via an open, click or conversion), but has not done so for some time, they can be considered as dormant. Contacts can become dormant for a number of reasons, here are a few:

Their interests have shifted; your mailings are now irrelevant/lack value
They signed up for an initial offer/incentive that was not repeated
The messages didn’t meet the subscriber’s expectations
The address has been abandoned

So the question is what to do with these contacts? You don’t want to cull everyone who hasn’t responded to your email as they may still be interested in your mailings. Our shining knight is a Reactivation Campaign. In earnest, a reactivation campaign is a series of emails targeted to recapture those inactive or dormant contacts.
"...read on
- - -

I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to re-engage and not to stalk and pester. Permission requesting emails, check-up emails to people who do not interact often. Some people are busy and might not check your emails regularly but save a few up and do it all in one go. This is where your reporting comes in and your preferences. If you do send a lot of emails, allow people to chose how often they get one, weekly, monthly, quarterly - Clickz is great like that, they do emails daily but I'm too busy so I got for the weekly digest. With Web-shops you really need to profile people on their interactions where-ever you can and then you can send them what they want when they want.


Mailvivo: Welcome Emails

Yes another one from MailVivo and there is one more to go, I've been storing them up...

June 11th, 2009 by George Burrell
Recently, I have been scrabbling through Email Marketing metrics and reports, when a post on the Retail Email Blog struck me. Chad White detailed that only 72% of online retailers operate an introductory email campaign as part of their standard email marketing programs1. Frankly the other 28% are missing a key opportunity when their subscribers are at their most interactive.

The first time you walk into a friend’s house, often you are welcomed with a warm greeting and often a polite offer of a beverage; all of these contribute to your first impression and your overall feeling towards them. This is very much like if you were to walk into a store & receive a kind “hello” from a member of staff. Email shouldn’t be any different. A Welcome Email is our way of saying “Hi, thanks for signing up”: It is ideal platform to set a positive, ongoing relationship.

At the point of opt in the subscriber has clearly displayed an interest in the company’s product, service or offering. At that time, the brand (and the offering) is in the forefront of a subscribers psyche; this is the best time to send a targeted message to the individual. Don’t just take my word for it. Below I have included some the average performance for some of our online retail clients:
...read on

- - -
Gotta love the Welcome stuff - careful not to be too salesy and bear in mind that if you also do double-opt-in you are sending people from inbox to their browser and back a lot, you might want to consider a dynamic landing page post double-opt-in and maybe give them the option to have the landing page emailed to them if they do not want to read it there and then or re-direct them and email them so they can carry on and still have their hello from you in their inbox.

Mailvivo: the perfect newsletter structure?

Simple answer: these isn't one, but there is a basic framework that appeal more to people's convenience and subsequent inclination to engage. On May 28th 2009 Jake Holman gave us his cheat sheet on the basic structure.

"I like myth busting, and there’s many within Email Marketing. One of them is that there’s some sort of magical formula out there (probably sat next to the Holy Grail) for the perfect newsletter structure. It’s not true, sorry everyone. However, there is a Best Practise that you can follow in order to make sure you’re at least following a Structure that’s been tested, and to most degree’s, agreed upon.

Bear in mind that we’ll be referring to a “wireframe” that looks like a lot of boxes stacked on top of each other. I’m not suggesting you should have a boxed, hard edged email – it is simply the sections of your email content. The content can contain images or copy, the choice is yours. Structure is only concerned about the flow of the email.
"...read on


Mailvivo: Newsletter structure & variant layouts

Way back in April this year (April 7th, 2009) George Burrell, wrote a good article about using different structures in your emails for different people depending on their behaviour with previous emails you have sent them and their web-site activity:
"For example, a subscriber who has recorded multiple past purchases is a prime candidate for an email that contains big offers, coupled with a strong cross selling section, the return is rather significant. Your standard email may not want to include cross selling as you do not wish to dilute your original email’s goal, however with the subscriber in this example we know they are active and responsive"...read on

It is a pretty good idea but the structure that needs to be in place before hand has to be pretty well thought out. Even if you have the software to handle it everyone will need different rules and these will need to be set-up. You will then need to decide what kinds of variants you will use. Will you do the interfaces thing like you do on web-sites where everyone randomly gets a different look and feel or will it depend on their previous actions.
Of course it will be better to decide from previous actions but how will you decide that? In this example it is saying that people who always buy get an offer early and people that rarely buy get what?
So as well as the level of profiling needing to be incredibly in-depth, mixing email reports, web-analytics and purchasing history together you then need to categorise different recipients and prepare creative structure and variants for each one. Surely if you are going to go that far, you might as well also make the products and services you include focus on their person's profile too? That is a big job that takes a lot of thought and preparation. I've managed a couple of projects that are similar to that for e-commerce companies and that required a lot of database work and interaction with the CMS to get the content ready for the emails. I like getting FastStats to do much of the work then making a bit of middle ware to do the content work. After that you just set-up, press go, sit back and pray :-D

EEC: The Render Rate is Coming?

June 30th, 2009

"One of the largest problems facing email marketers today is the lack of industry standards for email metrics. One such much maligned measurement is the open rate. To help fellow email marketers, the Measurement Accuracy Roundtable was formed by service providers and other industry members of the Email Experience Council (eec). For the past several months, we have been working on finding a way to solve this problem, working specifically with the open metric. We have developed a group of definitions and standards to develop a new, better metric, the Render Rate. Through a lot of participation and hard work, the Measurement Accuracy Roundtable come up with what we believe is a clear and consistent definition, but we need the participation of one more person - YOU - our industry colleagues"...read on
- - -

I'm still on the fence about this render rate. By definition it does make more literal sense as people opening the email do not always load the images, some people who click do not always load the images but that is still an open. what we can track is people who load the images and people who click links - the wild card for reporting is people who hit the "View in a Browser" link as they are not clicking through to the call(s) to action but they are clicking and that page that loads will have the images loaded - is that a render or a click or both but neither?

Everyone I talk to just wants to know how many people opened the email so they know how good their subject line is and how many people clicked so they know how good their content is - with or without images.

emailwars: New Study Released: Use Of Testing In Email Marketing

17th July 2009

"In our last eROI study, Use of Analytics in Email Marketing Campaigns, we showed email marketers how important metrics are in making decisions and proving campaign ROI. One major opportunity to improve metrics and strengthen brand positioning with potential customers is to optimize email campaigns through consistent, careful testing.
In this, our latest study, we reveal how 623 email marketers are currently using, or not using, testing to improve their email marketing efforts. On the heels of our last study, where we learned nearly one in five are not recording the metrics of their campaigns, it’s not too surprising that this study showed over 1/3 of marketers are not testing campaigns - but why aren’t they? And for those that are testing, what elements are being tested and what can we learn from them? With 73% of marketers planning to increase email as a priority in their future marketing plans, these are the important answers we set out to discover
"...read on + pdf download of full report


bronto: Best Practices for Running Refer-A-Friend Campaigns

Kristen Gregory on July 17, 2009

"Refer-A-Friend campaigns can be tricky territory. The basic premise of a Refer-A-Friend campaign is that a contact is signing up a friend to receive something from your company. The reality is, though, that the contact could be barking up the wrong tree and that friend will want nothing to do with your company.

Let’s be very clear: just because someone gives you the email address of their friend does not mean you have permission to email them whenever you want, as often as you like. You need permission from the friend - straight from the horse’s mouth, if you will.

Here are my suggestions for setting up the most effective (and ethical) email touches once a "friend" has been referred
"...read on
- - -

Any good ESP, will tell you that if you do have access to the friends' email addresses you cannot do anything with them. Most ESPs will most likely hide the friends' email addresses unless that already are opted in or until they opt-in, I know mine does (Pure360). Seth says that the best people to do your marketing for you are your frequent interactors - this can be people who click everything, already send to a friend, leave comments on-line, contact you, spend money etc. etc. If you can pick these people out and motivate them to be inclined to share your emails more, you will get a good class of subscribers coming in. Some times you need a 'carrot' to incentivise people to share - a prize or prize draw for sign-ups, purchases etc. It is a slightly more complex way of doing it and you do have to worry about people spamming their friends like chain-spam (emails which say 'share with 5 friend and have good luck for a year' etc. - they really annoy me, mainly cos my parents and their friends send loads around to each other I end up on all of their 'share lists' cos they just forward from their Hotmail, Aol, Yahoo and ISP accounts).
Again this comes down to profiling your contacts and the quality of reporting from your Email Platform. If you have a lot of data and really need to do something consistently good, it is often cheaper to buy something than have it made - I recommend FastStats from Apteco, it does everything, it is affordable, it is the must have thing for publishers at the moment and it also has full loop integration - lists in and reporting back - with Pure360. I've played with it and it is great!

emaildirect: Understanding Delivery in a New Way

February 06, 2009 Richard King / Steven Woods

"Steven Woods over at DigitalBodyLanguage hit this one in the proverbial inbox when it comes to explaining delivery and reputation to an individual that doesn't live and breathe it like I do. Mr. Woods broke the analogy down to what the fine women and men do at INS (Immigration Naturalization) and CBP (Country Boarder Patrol) to protect our borders from the bad guys and allow the good guys in. However as complete as his analogy is, I would like to add an additional section:

The Immigration Attorney: In the email marketing game not every client has a clean slate when signing up with an ESP. Actually it's most of the time that the client has a bad reputation and with that the Border Patrol won't allow them across the border. That's where an Immigration Lawyer comes into play. Just because you get stopped at the border and denied entry due to your past, doesn't mean you can't cross eventually. Most of the time it just means your current past isn't sound enough for INS to allow you through or they simply don't have enough information on you. So what an immigration lawyer can do to clear your name with INS an ESP can do to clear up your delivery reputation and get you into inboxes.

Below is Steven Woods original post below:

All You Never Cared to Know About Deliverability
"...read on

EMI: making email marketing more conversational

Jon Miller July 16, 2009 - 10:43 am EDT

6 top tips from Jon Miller of Marketo on moving away from "batch and blast" and onto the dialogue...

"As the buyer takes control of the purchase process, marketing's job becomes one of synchronizing its activities with the buyer's process to: (a) Stay top of mind; (b) build propensity for the brand; and (c) accelerate the buying cycle, if possible. Traditional “batch and blast” e-mail marketing strategies no longer cut it. Today, marketers need to think “outside the inbox” and have conversations with prospects—watching specific behaviors and reacting with the appropriate responses. Here are six tips how to accomplish that"...read on
- - -

We are seeing more and more dialogue based advice now, with Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook etc. all playing a very prominent part in our digital relationship with our customers & prospects. One thing to keep in mind is yes built that rapport but don't forget why you are there - normally to make money, it is just how you want to get people to spend money that makes the difference. Seth is still leading the way by saying that throwing interruptions and buy now call to actions is starting to annoy people, they will buy when they want to buy. But you still have to ensure that the opportunity to spend money with consistently convenient for everyone you interact with, just not in the way of why you have that rapport. There is no point having an amazing blog, information and interaction channel but when they go to spend some money they have to work hard to do so.
And finally don't forget not to pester people, there is a difference between building & maintaining dialogue and stalking & pestering - the key is to profile people so you know when to contact people, how often and what with.


theEMM: New look and a white paper

The guys at Pure360 are sending their latest edition of the Email Marketing Manual today. Those of you who already get it might be a little surprised at the colour change - it is now red instead of blue!
As most of us know Pure360 is red and white but the email marketing manual was blue, they have decided to bring the two together in glorious harmony. And it is very pretty!

With their newly appointed Marketing Manager Abi Clowes and Pure's Co-founder and Brand & Interface specialist Ash Richards teaming up with former Agency Specialist Adam Bambrough to form the new Product and Experience team Pure is going from strength to strength.

Abi's first event as Marketing Manager was to take the company to the On-line Marketing Show where one of their Business Development Managers, Duncan Birch, delivered a great talk on dialogue in email as 'the way forward' - I cannot disagree.
This latest EMM also includes their white paper: "
Death of the announcement, birth of the dialogue" from the the show, which is a great read and gives a great impression of Pure going forward.

Here is a message from the editor:

Hello to all you readers and welcome to the latest installment of the EMM.

You may have noticed that we've made some changes to the email marketing manual this month. This is because at Pure we want to make your lives easier and providing you with some juicy email marketing news is our way of doing so.

The team have trawled through their favourite blogs, rifled through their Twitter accounts and purged their proudest product features to bring you what we think is a nice little offering this month.

We hope you enjoy the new sections and if you have any questions or feedback (good or bad), please let us know at contact@pure360.co.uk.

Until next month,

Your Editor"

Check out the email then sign-up if you're not there already.

Also, don't miss them at Ad:tech where the legend of Robin Kennedy will be presenting a seminar entitled 'Email - to Blast, to Broadcast, or enter into Dialogue?'

EmailDirect: The Joy of Authentication

Richard Ryan King:
Part 1: What is email authentication and how does it help me? February 14, 2009
I was asked by some of my less technical co-workers to write something up on email authentication that wasn't technically intimidating. So I sat down and laughed for a while thinking their off their rocker because there is no way I can write anything that doesn't reference an RFC of some type. Then I remembered the first thing that intimidated me while living on my own that wasn't my roommate "Bucket"; cooking. Thirty-five dollars later I bought the famous book "Joy of Cooking" which simplifies all my favorite dishes in an easy to understand way, hence the title of this 3 part blog "The Joy of Authentication"...read on

Part 2: SPF and SenderID, what the heck are they? February 18 2009
Remember when you were a kid and you and your friends had a "secret" club that even the CIA didn't know about, most importantly your mother didn't know about? And in order to gain access to your top-secret base you had a secret knock and passphrase so that sloppy kid with the constant running nose down the street couldn't raid on your cool parade. Well that's basically how e-mail authentication works. It provides the recipient with knowledge that the sender is the actual sender. Well, in Part 2, I will discuss exactly what Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and SenderID are, and how they relate to authentication so even that sloppy kid with the constant running nose down the street named "Bucket" will understand...read on

Part 3: DomainKey and DKIM, what the heck are they? February 27, 2009
In Part 2 of this 3 part series I talked about Sender-ID and SPF and compared it to the secret club you had with your friends. To gain access you had to know the secret password to keep "Bucket" out (the sloppy kid down the street) which is kind of how email authentication works. Well with DomainKey's and DKIM you no longer have that simple authentication approach. Instead of passwords you now have biometric iris scans...read on


EmailDirect: Is your domain hurting your delivery?

July 10, 2009

Lately I've been bringing "domain-awareness" to the attention of some of our clients and they were Domain-awareness surprised to know how much a domain can help or hurt delivery rates. Believe it or not, simply registering your domain at the wrong register can hinder results. The age of your domain is also a qualifying condition for a block list. So although there are many other factors that can bring bad results so can a poorly managed and created domain(s). I have listed some of the things you want to stay away from or think about when using or purchasing a domain name for email marketing...read on
- - -
Very rarely does this affect senders, as you cannot / should not send email from your main web-domain you are likely to use either a whole new domain or a sub-domain of your web-domain. If you have a sub-domain, who ever sets it up might need to know this, if they don;t they'll find out quickly. If it is a new domain, normally it is a cheapo one just to send emails from. ESPs will normally give you some nameservers to delegate to or some DNS records to use.

MediaPost: YOU Control Your Deliverability - Not Your ESP

by George Bilbrey, Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 10:15 AM

From time to time we run into marketers who think that they have deliverability covered because they have signed up with an Email Service Provider (ESP). You've probably even seen some ESPs that are promoting their very high delivery rates. This is confusing and misleading, because the ESP fully controls only one of the five major drivers of deliverability failures.

Major consumer mailbox providers and business filtering applications look at five key data points to evaluate the trustworthiness of incoming messaging streams. They are
...read on
- -
From personal experience, I know my lot - Pure360 - can and do all of this.

Mastering the Welcome Message

Original Article EmailTransit: Adam Holden-Bache July 15th, 2009

The welcome message is an easily overlooked component of the email marketing experience. In reality, it may be the most important email you deliver. The person receiving the message has just told you they are interested in receiving your messages, and you are contacting them immediately after they have expressed interest.

By taking advantage of the engaged nature of the recipient, you can likely create additional value by provoking further action.

Here are some things to consider adding to your welcome message
...read on
- - -
Don't get me wrong, Welcome Messages are good but sometimes this has to replace the double opt-in message, so the recipient is automatically opted in, which can cause trouble at B2C levels.
I have also seen situations where both have been attempted; in the same message, you have a fully branded welcome message with the double-opt-in link in it, which is the call to action but if that one link is not clicked they are not double opted in, so it can be risky, subsequently it is rarely a good idea. Some times I have seen a dedicated double opt-in email and then once clicked they get sent the welcome message. This means that the recipient has to move from double-opt-in email(inbox) to the thank you page (browser) then back to inbox (welcome message) and then back to the browser to follow links, then back to the inbox to click more links and then they go back and forth.
On considering that, I believe the best way would be to have the double-opt-in email and then that landing page also consisting of the welcome message content including links to see the latest newsletter for example or have it emailed to you. After all the idea of email is to drive traffic to the web-site.

benchmarkemail: Easy Signup Form Tips

Jul 07 2009, 10:30 AM

Effective email marketing is similar to being a detective on a case. You have a mission: bring in subscribers, a game plan: get people to sign up, and clues: tips that lead to you solving the case, i.e., accomplishing your goal, if followed correctly.

It is quite obvious that to expand your email list, you need more people to sign up. Clearly, the key to a successful mission lies in the sign up form; here are some clues to create an intelligent form
...read on


dealermarketing.com: How To Create A Successful Conquest Email Campaign

Wednesday, 15 July 2009 10:58

As traditional direct marketing continues to increase in price, the value proposition has decreased. Consequently, many businesses are looking to email marketing to supplement or replace traditional marketing. Businesses frequently have difficulty developing a successful conquest email campaign because the approach is relatively new to their organization. As a result, more money continues to be put towards non-performing mediums, rather than towards the change that email marketing represents.

There are five critical factors that a business must think through and apply to maximize a conquest email campaign’s effectiveness
...read on


MediaPost: B2B Email Marketing Comes Of Age

Loren McDonald, Yesterday, 9:45 AM

Many of us who write about email marketing best practices, trends and the state of the industry tend to focus on B2C companies such as retail, travel and other ecommerce-oriented companies.

Maybe, in part, it's because we are all consumers. Everyone can relate to a case study or welcome email program from a sporting goods retailer, for example.

Consumer marketers have traditionally led in marketing innovation with their larger budgets and resources, use of agencies and direct sales models.

However, B2B marketers are catching up to their B2C colleagues and, in many cases, surpassing them with the breadth and depth of their email marketing programs. They're finding ways to deliver greater utility and value without risking channel burnout, as we've seen on the consumer side.

These examples show how some B2B companies use email to build better client and prospect relationships and generate greater ROI from their marketing efforts:
...read on

Media Post: YOU Control Your Deliverability - Not Your ESP

George Bilbrey, Wednesday, July 15, 2009, 10:15 AM

From time to time we run into marketers who think that they have deliverability covered because they have signed up with an Email Service Provider (ESP). You've probably even seen some ESPs that are promoting their very high delivery rates. This is confusing and misleading, because the ESP fully controls only one of the five major drivers of deliverability failures.

Major consumer mailbox providers and business filtering applications look at five key data points to evaluate the trustworthiness of incoming messaging streams. They are...read on


ulitzer.com: Quit Using Email to Train Your Leads to Ignore You

Ardath Albee, July 13, 2009 04:45 AM EDT

When you were building your website, of course you asked yourself these questions:
Who's going to read it?, What will they get from what they read?, What do they do after that?, What do you do in response?

So how does all that play into your interactive marketing campaigns?...read on


The Inquisitr: Tagged.com sued over email marketing practices

Author : Duncan Riley Posted: July 9, 2009

Social networking site
Tagged.com is being sued by the State of New York for "deceptive e-mail marketing practices and invasion of privacy"...read on


Mediapost: socializing your email

by Kara Trivunovic, Thursday, July 9, 2009, 10:18 AM

There is a lot of conversation happening around social media and socializing email -- so much so that it almost feels redundant focusing this article on the topic. But hey, it is what it is -- the latest industry "drug," and I am not afraid to beat a dead horse (figuratively, of course!). But really, just like any other "new" trend to hit email, the goal is to make "it" relevant and make "it" work for you.

Effectively socializing your email has more to do with the value of the content and less about the functionality available to share it. Sticking a "share this" link in your email brings no value unless the content you've provided is actually something interesting that people want to share.

Following are the top five ways to socialize your email efforts:...read on


Mediapost: Are You Making Your Subscribers Feel Welcome?

by Aaron Smith , Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The welcome email is one of the most important messages in any email program. Welcomes come at a time when subscribers are most receptive to receiving messages, generating outsize open and click-through rates. So why do so many email marketers pass up this once-in-a-business-relationship opportunity by delivering subpar welcome emails -- or worse yet, none at all?

Sometimes the technology limitations of an organization's infrastructure come into play. It also may be a result of organizational dynamics, where the group responsible for email marketing may not be in a position to change the underlying technology infrastructure used to send welcome messages. Often it's simply the result of the email team being over-tasked, unable to add yet another project to an already overflowing queue.

Let's take a look at some of the most common missed opportunities in welcome messages
...read on


practicalecommerce: The Landing Page as a Multipurpose Tool

July 06, 2009 · by Jeff Muendel

Landing pages are always worth a review because their use is often misunderstood. A landing page is any web page to which users are sent for a particular presentation, result, and/or measurement. Landing pages, in short, have uses beyond simply presenting information.

People sometimes talk about landing pages in one capacity only, paid search advertising. Certainly, landing pages are extremely important with regard to pay-per-click advertising because the search engines include the quality of the pages to which paid search ads point in their overall evaluation of when and where ads are displayed. In theory, the better a landing pages is with regard to focus and keywords, the better the placement of an ad will be.

But landing pages can be used for much more. Not only can they affect conversion, they also allow for traffic measurement via website analytics
...read on
- -
this one's pretty good, covers quite a wide range and while it may state the obvious it is a good reminder that the too obvious is often over looked!


travelagentcentral: Improve E-mail Marketing, Or Else

July 06, 2009, By: George Dooley, TravelAgentCentral

The rules of e-mail marketing are changing and challenging travel agents to adopt best practices or face loss of business and credibility. In fact, effective e-mail marketing is increasingly seen as one of the core skills for agents to deploy to build their businesses and solidify client relationships.

This was underscored by Vacation.com, which offered seminars on effective use of e-mail marketing during the consortia’s recent Las Vegas conference, including a new 55-page handbook, "Undeliverable = Unprofitable."
...read on
- -

this is quite a long article and might not be useful for everyone, so have a speed read and see if there is anything that helps before going "woah - too much blurb"


Clickz Carnival

E-Mail Case Study: Video Landing Pages, Jun 29, 2009
Jeanne Jennings analyses the second send from her video landing pages analysis.
Anything from Jeanne is always useful.
- - -
Delivery Reports: What They Mean, How to Read Them, Jul 1, 2009
Stefan Pollard covers and elaborates on the basics of Email Marketing Reporting.
In fact even though it is easy to read it is very in depth. My ESP Pure360 can cover this for me nicely - can yours?
- - -
Time to Invest in E-mail, By Bill McCloskey, Jul 2, 2009
Bill Starts off talking about why we all need to invest in Email Marketing but then really gets into the two main priorities of actually doing it: Content and Deliverability, then goes on to cover social sharing etc. etc. This is quite long but is a one stop page to get your priorities right.
Bill really does look like Dick Van Dyke, in Diagnosis Murder not Scrubs as he shaved his tash off for Scrubs. Now I can't get the theme tune of Diagnosis Murder out of my head!
- - -
Why I Read Spam, Jul 6, 2009
Jeanniey Mullen delves into her junk folder and exposes all! In some ways it helps us know what not to do and it can also help us empathise with the content filters, which helps when you are creating your messages.
- - -
Buff Enough for a Tough Economy? Ten E-mail Exercises, Jul 8, 2009
Karen Gedney give her top 10 tips for optimising your email messages.
- - -
E-Mail List Purchase: A Shortcut to Success? Jul 9, 2009
Derek Harding discusses purchasing email lists.. I say don't do it, no-one likes it, today's lower tolerance and deliverability from the larger ISPs is down to people sending masses of email to bought lists with good content. People mark it as spam and the content filters learn false positives. If they haven't asked for it, don't interrupt them with it. The best way to get new business is referrals. Use your email and web analytics, find your frequent interactors and incentivise them to do the acquisition marketing for you.
- - -
Case Study: An Amusement Park E-mail Misses the Mark, Jul 13, 2009
Jeanne Jennings takes an email from her inbox and walks us through the pros and cons of the whole recipient experience.
- - -
Rehab for Your Sender Reputation, Part 1, Jul 15, 2009
In part one, Stefan Pollard tells how and why our deliverability can be pony, next time I'm hoping to find the 'secret IP reputation sauce' that apparently does not exist.
- - -

DirectMag: Three Metrics that Make Your E-mail Reputation

Jun 12, 2007 1:09 PM , By Ken Magill

Everyone in e-mail marketing seemingly knows they need a good reputation to get their messages delivered, but do most know what factors go into creating one?

Nope, according to Pivotal Veracity’s chief executive Deirdre Baird.

“The misconception around reputation is that for some reason people think they can buy it, or that paying someone will change it,” she said. “And that’s not the case.”

Reputation boils down to three primary metrics, she added. “This doesn’t mean other metrics are not in play, but there are three primary metrics most large ISPs use in establishing what your reputation is
...read on


iMediaCon: How to turn your email program into a dialogue

Wendy S. Roth, July 07, 2009

Too many email messages resemble the stereotypical used-car salesman. He is the slick guy who blusters past objections, ignores questions, and directs shoppers to the cars he wants to push instead of the ones they came to check out.

The successful car salespeople have refined their techniques over the years, spending less time talking and more time listening, answering questions, and using information instead of patter to overcome objections. They've learned what many email marketers are just now beginning to realize: The sales experience has to be a two-way dialogue in order to deliver the best results for both sellers and buyers.

Talking is one end of that street, and listening is the other. You've probably got the talking part down just fine, but what are you doing to listen to your readers?
...read on

- - -

My mate Duncan from Pure360 did a pretty good talk at Marketing Week Live a few weeks ago, Kate Middleton was there and there was a poem too!
I believe a white paper on Dunc's talk is on the way!


Aweber: Want More Opens or Clicks? Reward Subscribers!

Justin Premick (09/07-2009?)

How do you keep subscribers reading your email marketing campaigns and/or clicking to your website, especially as they “age” (as more time passes since they signed up) and you compete for their attention with an increasing number of other senders?

Obviously providing valuable content plays a big part here (as we’ve discussed on several occasions), but sometimes a little extra incentive can help, too.

Recently Tracey, our Director of Customer Solutions, passed me an email with a helpful example of how to provide an incentive for subscribers to keep reading and clicking on your emails.
...read on

- - -
If you treat your most frequent interactors right, they will do the marketing for you - I heard this first from Seth.


EMI: Deliverability Carnival

Wednesday, August 13, 2008 11:03 AM

Here are some useful links for deliverability from the guys at EMI.

Monday, November 26, 2007 12:50 PM

The guys at Email Marketing Insight have found some useful links to deliverability blurb, check the article for the links...read on

Chips Deliverability Tips
Short snippets about Chip's email delivery adventures.

Email Deliverability for Beginners
A good place to start if you are new to the field.

Boosting Email Deliverability
A nice article explaining DNS and IPs clearly.

- - -

Monday, November 12, 2007 8:45 PM

Hotmail. Hotmail. Hotmail. By the time your mail reaches the users inbox it feels like ColdMail. Delivery into Hotmail is a constant concern for legitimate email marketers and email service providers. Here is a step by step guide on how to deliver to Hotmail...read on

- - -
This sounds far too easy! Also it does not say how long to wait between stage 4 and 5, which is probably the important bit!


RedPillEmail: Stop Selling and Take the order already

July 8, 2009

Once upon another time in a world before Graphic User Interface (GUI) I used to sell things. I won’t bore you with my progress from nightclub DJ to retail high-end home HiFi, to car stereos (sold enough to buy a house), to outside sales, but let’s just say that for all intents and purposes, sales is sales….

One of the key things that separates a good sales person from a not-so-good sales person is that the good sales person is never afraid to ask for the order – and the money!

So what does that have to do with email marketing? I’m glad you asked….

First we need to get on the same page on a couple of things.

1. Marketing is everything that you do to that brings qualified customers to your door
2. Sales is collecting the money in exchange for a product or service

Next we need to understand some basic functions of an email marketing message.

1. After sender recognition, the Subject Line causes a message to be opened (Note: sender recognition alone is not enough to cause a message to be opened)
2. A Value Proposition gives the recipient a reason to want to purchase
3. The Call To Action drives clicks
4. Conversions happen at the landing page

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on….

One of the more common situations that I hear is, “We get great open rates and lots of clicks, but not very many conversions…. Why?"
...read on


UK mobile phone directory

I got this email last week...

"Maybe you have heard about this but early next week all UK mobiles will be on a directory which will mean that anyone will be able to access the numbers.
It is easy to unsubscribe but it must be done before the beginning of next week to make sure that you are ex directory. I have unsubscribed and you may want to suggest it to all your friends and family who have UK mobiles or they could be swamped by unsolicited messages and calls. Removal is recommended by the BBC - see link below.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/working _lunch/8091621.stm
The Directory of Mobile Phone numbers goes live next week. All numbers will be open to cold calling and the general abuse that less scrupulous telesales people subject us too.
To remove your number go here. (you need your mobile phone with you to do this, they text you a code)
When on the site, click "Home" then "Ex-directory" this will remove you from the directory.
You can remove your number from this list, and tell all your friends - especially those with children who have mobile phones. I personally believe my mobile number is private and I should be able to chose who I give it to - none of us agreed to this when we signed our mobile phone contracts.

I am not sure if they is any differentiation between children and adults on this or exactly how they are acquiring the numbers.
I would like to presume that buying them off mobile network companies would not be legal so they are just buying every number they can from list owners.
Either way this has caused quite a panic as people's kids have mobiles.
I'm mildly intrigued about the opt-out policy of anyone receiving SMSs from this service as 118 might be sending it themselves or they might just sell the numbers on. Either way, correct me if I am wrong but I think you need to opt-out from the list owner and the sending brand and unless I'm mistaken, with SMS they can't ask you to pay to opt-out unless you have agreed to it when you opted in - which you could not have explicitly done, so it will need to have a free to text shortcode.

I have tried to remove my self but the service appears to have been down for at least 4 days now, hopefully they'll get it working again before they start the service.

I have not researched this deeply so some of this could be inaccurate.

Silverpop: Email Working With Social Networks Adma July 9 09

Silverpop's slide show on Social

ScrappyEmailMarketer: Too Much Preheader

14/05/2009 19:37 Andrew Kordek
Is there such a thing as too much preheader text? Dunno know if you agree with me on this, but the latest JcPenny email is crammed full of pre-header text and appears as if they are trying to do too much?

...read on

Mark @ EMR also did an interesting one on pre-headers too.

I like preheaders - there was a good article from one of my favourite experts in the Email Marketing Manual who called the whole thing Trust Earning Text.


EmailWarts: Tell people when your email sending changes

Dylan Boyd at 9:30 AM, Jul 08 2009

I love it when I see a company do a good job with keeping their subscriber base in the loop proactively to changes in their email services. When you decide to make a change to your IP, your sending domain, your ESP (Email Service Provider) or anything else about your programs that might make an impact on your delivery you need to make sure that you are clearly communicating these changes to all...read on

- - -
I like this article, the FHM example is really good too.


Deliverability: Stop sending email???

July 08, 2009, By Andrew Kordek

Effective immediately.......
Please stop sending email if any of the following conditions exist...read on

- -
This one is blunt but a little controversial.
It's uber permission!

I think a few successful web-shops would disagree with a few of these as their recipients only want one email a month or week and they don't need it focussed on their personal preferences as most web-shops are quite focussed anyway.
For instance, how could advancedmp3players.co.uk segment?


DMA Blog: Metrics and their meaning - Part 2

July 01, 2009 Jonathan Burston, CACI & Legal and Best Practice Hub

Here's the second instalment of the Legal & Best Practice Hub on Metrics and their meaning. What we're hoping is to gain your feedback and comments.
This week we're looking at Internal Monitoring and the metrics that feature in this area:

1. Average Soft Bounce Rate
2. Average Total Click-through Rate
3. Average Unique Click-through Rate
4. Average Unique Open Rate
5. Click to Conversion Rate
6. Click to Open Rate
7. Click to Purchase
8. Click-through Metrics
9. Click-through Tracking

...read on


smangela: E-mail Design & Development Guidelines pt 1 & 2

part 1: June 18, 2009

Unified standards, specifications, and best practices have made it possible for web designers to increase the accessibility and usability of the sites they’re designing while ensuring that the sites look the same no matter what browser is used. Unfortunately, no such standards presently exist for email design which is why emails face a number of rendering issues that differ among ISPs...read on
part 2: June 23, 2009
No CSS...read on
- - -
Part 2 only has three lines and is only one sentence. I am also not sure if it even correct seeing as you can use CSS in your email but it must be 'in-line' and not in a style tag or a linked external style sheet using classes and id.
 td {font-family:arial;font-size:12px;}
 .style1 {font-size:14px;}
<td><span class="style1">hello</span>world</td>

is wrong, it should be:
<td style="font-family:arial;font-size:12px;"><span style="font-family:arial;">hello</span>world</td>

This is rather inconvenient for web 2.0 people as you have to add the style attribute to every single tag rather than just referencing it from the top directly or through it's class but that is the only way that works. Also not all stylings are rendered, eg: bakground images are not popular and often ignored, margin, border, float - also not consistently rendered in all inboxes, check the email standards project for the full details - Outlook 2007, using Word to render is the worst and even after a giant campaign from the ESP blog to FixOutlook, Microsoft do not seem to be in a rush to fix word's html rendering or writing.


Email Direct: Creative Optimization

http://blog.emaildirect.com 16/10/2008 - 25/12/2008

A beautifully designed email with crap content won’t keep your readers attention…just as informative dynamic content in a poorly designed email will cause your email program to be less lucrative than possible. There are 5 basic guidelines for creative design.  These guidelines all serve different purposes but each contributes to the overall success of your email marketing program.


emarketer: Why E-Mail Subscribers Unsubscribe

JUNE 17, 2009

Early this year comScore found that e-mail had a 4.4% sales conversion rate in the US.

In a survey by MarketingSherpa and ADTECH, 44% of marketers said that e-mails to house lists had “great ROI.”

CMOs told Epsilon researchers that e-mail was the marketing tactic that they would cut last—but that doesn’t mean subscribers don’t cut e-mail newsletters
...read on


DMA blog: 5 automated campaigns designed to deliver revenue

by Kath Pay on June 30, 2009 at 01:24 PM

I am constantly surprised that in the search for revenue, some marketers often overlook the impact of implementing automated campaigns. Other tactics often steel the lime light (and resource), for example segmentation, for me does not deliver the revenue as quickly or as easily as a well executed automated email program.

Remember a well crafted automated email program will be helping you hit your targets while you sleep!

Here are five of my favourite automated email programs that will help you deliver revenue:-
...read on

Automated emails are a very good idea as they begin from a truly transactional state and ease into marketing and sales. It is vitally important that you know where the transaction ends and the marketing begins and put an opt-out link in, ie: the first email or the second email after the purchase receipt. If the email is not legally required, like a purchase receipt or double opt-in email you must give people the chance to opt-out.
In addition, be careful not to over do it if you end up sending people a double opt-in email when they sign-up to your site, then a 3 welcome messages over the next month, then they go to buy something but don't complete so they get an abandoned cart email, then they buy something, get the receipt, then a review email to get feedback and then they get on to the further post purchase program or any sort - it could get a bit busy. You still have to remember that people have other things to do than read all of your emails and trying to take too much of that time could be detrimental to what you are trying to achieve.

I have managed many a strategy of the best way to do this and the balance of getting in front of them and not bombarding them and there a fair few tight judgement calls to make.


B2B Deliverability: Different?

Exact Target: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 by Al Iverson

...On the spam filtering hosted service or appliance side, you've got companies like Postini, Barracuda, MessageLabs, Cloudmark, Frontbridge (Microsoft), Brightmail and many others. Probably Postini has the broadest reach, though it's not always easy to tell from the outside how big any of these providers really are. They probably all claim to host a bajillion mailboxes, but what really matters is, what percentage of subscribers on *your* list are hosted behind these various filters. That's the kind of thing we can tell with our domain intelligence data, helping you to understand that if you have a delivery issue at a Postini, it's likely to impact X% of your list...read on


Lyris: Email-Deliverability Trouble Spots

David Fowler, Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Spam traps and spam complaints are two of the most glaring indicators that an email marketer may not be legitimate, and they can quickly convince ISPs to evict you from the inbox. Learn how to sidestep these email-deliverability trouble spots and protect your sender reputation...read on