video in email - nearly there?

We appear to be having some progress to actually getting video in emails... literally 'some'!

After my little rant about the over hype of video in email but start getting ready anyway, David Greiner for Campaign Monitor (HTML5 and video in email: October 14, 2009), has done some tests using the <video> tag for HTML5 conventions in various email clients. It didn't play in many but at least the fall back image worked - this could be an animated gif.

I am not sure that Gmail will buy into it so quickly as they are actively pushing their YouTube rendering in the inbox but you never know, we could have another fixoutlook type campaign to get everyone to adopt this new standard or maybe everyone will just go for it - yeah right.

This is definitely a step forward, especially with the fall back image being displayed if the movie cannot be rendered.

econsultancy: Defining trigger, remarketing and behavioural emails

It is important, I think, to define what is going on and what is out there in the market regarding trigger email marketing, behavioural email and remarketing, phrases thrown around and often confused but which have key differences.

I want to hazard some definitions of these terms, and of course I am open to having these challenged...

All businesses pinch vogue terms and use them to describe what they do. The bigger the issue and phrase, the more companies try to ride the bandwagon.

‘CRM’ was the classic example. I wonder how many people out there thought they understood what it meant until before seemingly every supplier in the market place twisted it and applied it to describe what they did! on
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This is a great surface level article about how to do things that are not always at the the top of our list (below, send one message to everyone we have) and how to do it right.
To implement any of this, your ESP should have all of the tools in their tool box, give them a shout, give me a shout or give Pure360 a shout.

Clickconsult: Email marketing: make your campaign attractive

When a visitor to your website, or a customer, opts in to receive your email newsletter you then have to work on keeping them interested. If your periodical emails fail to deliver anything of value, the subscriber may well decide to opt out.

To avoid this happening, work very carefully on creating a captivating email marketing campaign. Only provide information that the subscriber will find useful and relevant to them. Receiving emails that are not interesting to the reader are going to be deleted and not even opened. Therefore, the subject heading has to be attention grabbing. Keep it real though, as making an unbelievable claim is likely to be regarded as junk or spam and be deleted on

Dan, Thursday, October 22nd
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Some good advice from Dan there, keeps it concise and to the point while being understandable and relevant. Many of us might already know all of this but as we know it is easy to get dragged in and articles like this help us keep perspective.

Pure360: A 3 Step Guide to Improving Deliverability

Are you getting good deliverability rates? The chances are you could be doing more to improve them.
Internet Service Providers (ISP's), such as Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo filter emails suspected of being spam. An increasing amount of opt in email is mistakenly being caught by filters, which could be losing your revenue.
Read on for three key factors to focus on, plus our top tips on how to address them.

By Marc Munier, Commercial Director, Pure360 25/09/2009
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The hardest thing is to revive your reputation when it is gone bad. Subsequently, avoid it at all costs. Do your home work early and don't make mistakes, eg: don't buy lists, make sure your unsubscribes and hard bounces are suppressed from all future campaigns. Even you are towing the DMA guidelines and the law, you can't say that to Spamhaus or spam cop, they don't care because their users don't - they have the power, they have given you their trust along with their email address, don't abuse it!

Experian: Retailers Get Ready for Social Shopping Experience

Online shopping is more than just transactional
People have long shared product opinions with friends and family through word-of-mouth. Today, social media tools enable consumers to extend their connections and conduct commerce in powerful new ways on

October 26, 2009

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Social Media IS digital word of mouth!
If you start treating it that way, you may see the success of it.

The whole time you try to control it the more you are going to bang your head against a wall and your 'followers' will turn their backs.

Social media is the child of the new way to market, people who try to use social media in the way they used to market and still want to market - 'pay and spray' are the people who won't make it work.

Scott Write Everything: Wall Street Journal Says Email is Dead?

Wall Street Journal Says Email is Dead; In Other News, Dewey Defeats Truman

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over.”

Wow. Should I alert my email marketing friends? Obviously I need to jump ship before I get too far down this road into this dying medium.

Now I know I shouldn’t get too worked up about this article, because folks have been trying to declare that email is dead for years. First, it was blogs. Then it was RSS feeds. Now it’s Twitter and Facebook. What do all of these communication venues have in common? Two things:

1. They’re wrong! (Hence the “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline)

2. You need an email address to use them!
(okay, maybe not RSS, but still, the argument is valid) on

Posted on October 13, 2009 by Scott Cohen

nonprofitmarketingguide: E-Newsletter Makeovers: 5 Easy Design Fixes

Here are five easy design fixes that all revolve around making your e-newsletter as easy to read, as quickly as possible. Most people skim through email quickly, so you want to make it easy on the eyes and easy on the brain. I’m still surprised at how many e-newsletters I see that are really tough to read, simply because someone got a little carried away with the on

Posted by Kivi Leroux Miller on Oct 13, 2009

Email Transmit: The Art of the Email Letter

You wouldn’t create a print newsletter just to send your friend a thank you note.

In email, as in snail mail, a letter is different from a newsletter. It’s shorter, more personal, probably from someone you know, and is most likely about something fairly specific like a personal message, an announcement, a request, or a specific or surprising piece of news.

Here are some tips for creating email letters, as opposed to other types of email communications on
by Anthony Schneider October 13th, 2009

Bronto: Straight Talk on Subject Lines

I’m from New York, so I’m going to give it to you straight. There are some schools of thought that I just don’t buy into when it comes to subject lines.

For example, I don’t believe that your subject line should be less than 55 characters or more than 67 or whatever the studies say. At the end of the day, you can write a long ineffective subject line or you can write a short ineffective subject line. It’s not the number of characters you use that matter, but what you say and how you say it.

Here are the only 4 subject line rules I truly follow on

by Kristen Gregory on October 12, 2009
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I like it, it's the straight talking that gets the trust.

One thing I have noticed about subject lines is a consistent convention can help people find your email more easily. So once you have found the one that works, keep it consistent for the frequent interactors. The people who rarely or never interact, mix it up a lot, what have you got to loose?

BlueSkyFactory: Top five 'Fails' in email

Where there are fails with email marketing practices, Elena Hekimian is here to help!

Guiding email marketers to creative effective, efficient, and lawful email marketing initiatives is my job and I am ALWAYS happy to help. But day after day, I still get pretty shocked at some of the basic email marketing best practices that are misconstrued or completely unknown.

I want to share with you the most common fails that I have been hearing over the past couple of months. So here it goes, my very blunt countdown of The Top 5 Most Common FAILS of Email Marketin on

September 17th, 2009 by Elena Hekimian

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I'm liking pretty much everything these guys have to say at the moment, really relevant, clear and re-usable stuff.

I haven't had a chance to see what the software itself looks like, but I'd love to have a play with it - hint hint.

New look Get in the Inbox

"Yes I know the site colours keep changing. To be honest, I spent ages making it just right and then realised I'd inadvertently copied Email Marketing Reports, so I tried again and it looked like dotmailer so I did one last one and it is a bit like Pure360's but that'll do"

Econsultancy & Pure360: Why integrate your email marketing software?

A month ago, Pure360's Marc Munier wrote another useful blog post for Econsultancy about integration of your email marketing software.

It is an insightful article from someone who has obviously experienced and solved these problems on more than one occasion.

I my self am often queried about integration and many marketers will either have a panic attack over it because it sounds so technical and intimidating or will be incredibly inconvenienced that they can't just click their fingers. Fortunately this is not the majority.
All it takes is the inclination to really find out what they want at the end of it all not how to actually do it, just the end result. That will bring with it a clarity that will enable other experts, like myself and Marc make sure you get what you need.

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“Marc have you got a minute?” It always starts that way, I take my headphones out of my ears slowly to try and emphasise my disdain at being interrupted from whatever I am doing...

Plucky Account Manager: “So I’ve got this big client and integration is high on their priorities...”
Me: “And?”
PAM “They want a meeting to find out what we can do for them...”
Me: “Right.”
PAM: “Can you come? They have their technical lead there and I don’t want to be out-teched.”
Me: “Why?”
PAM: “Why what?"
Me: “Why do they want to integrate their email marketing software?”
PAM “?” (this indicates bemusement)

And herein lies the problem, people want to integrate their email marketing software with their customer database, but a lot of the time they don’t know why. What are they going to do when all of this data is at their fingertips?

Now I am not saying that people shouldn’t get all their data in one place because your database marketing effects will be far more effective if you do, but I believe that you need to have the following in mind before you start the (potentially painful let’s be realistic) process. on

Twitter replacing email marketing?? that's crazy talk

I've seen quite a few posts and articles over the last year about twitter replacing email. The latest one I have seen was a comment from IT Wales on another article "Twitter may replace email marketing, according to report": September 14, 2009
I suppose I can understand why it could be thought of as newsworthy but quite frankly I'm bored of it all.
Twitter will not and cannot replace email, anyone who really thinks it will is delusional or just so hysterical over twitter it has made them temporarily delusional.
Your inbox is your centre of the digital word, it is the one stop shop where everyone you need to communicate with can if you let them.
Can you see your bank Tweeting you your statement or Amazon tweeting you your receipt - no? good me neither!

I can understand why some overexcite-able individuals might think that the marketing side of things could become dominant but it won't. You don't have the control in Twitter to label, store and prioritise the tweets you receive. It is more of an instant messenger meets mass SMS broadcast on a device. You can tell everyone who wants to hear from you in a click and they can publicly or privately reply but you only get 160 chars. And that's a good thing, no-one's got the attention span for anymore. If you can't get my attention from that 145 chars for me to click the link, you're rubbish and I'm not interested.
if you tweet something about your brand and someone is not look at twitter at the time by the time they get to it, there would have been bags of other tweets and the recipient will still have to sift through them all and decide what warrants a click or a retweet except they can't filter, label and search.

So in conclusion, until we find a replacement technology to give people almost or more complete control over their central point of the internet, email will rule on!
Of course use twitter, every new blog post - tweet it, every new newsletter or marketing email - tweet the on-line view but don't pick one cos its the best and only use that.

iPost: Email subscriber list management: Don’t forget your middle child

"The middle child on your email subscriber list needs some attention.

Those high-achieving oldest children—email subscribers who are active, engaged and likely to purchase—garner a lot of praise and interest. And a good amount of time is spent worrying about those rebellious younger children—those subscribers who have officially opted out.

But what about those who are technically subscribed to your emails, but are inactive and uninterested? These subscribers quickly delete your emails without reading them, but haven’t taken the effort to opt-out. It’s time to think about those middle children, or the “emotionally unsubscribed” as marketing blogger Joanna Lawson Matthew calls them
" on
Posted by Bart Schaefer - September 10th, 2009

Captain Inbox says:
Never a truer word spoken, it is very easy to leave these guys to it and focus on the big clickers.
Also if you are already that white noise in their inbox you may have to come from a very different angle to get their attention. For instance a different from domain or address, a new style of subject-line and new creative etc. etc. ask for feedback and start a new dialogue. benchmark report have done their first pretty large scale report.
It's quite a good read with some very interesting stats.

The fact that the government emails have the best stats cannot really be a surprise and from some angles they might as well be dismissed as many of their emails are so necessary they are almost transactional!

Publishing is one to look out for as primarily that market has been more print related and the digital boom has caused some problems for them. With all of today's free on-line content they have all been trying to find ways to keep the advertisers happy while trying to keep the readers paying too. Some papers have gone completely free - and some of them are now giant adverts with some articles, some have found ways to get paid for content on-line and there is more of that to come. I know Robin Kennedy is up to his eye in paid for content strategy for publishers and it is a great concept but a sensitive one.

emailInsider: The Red Phone

How do you reach your customers when it really matters?

The original "Red Phone" on the President's desk was built following the Cuban Missile Crisis. It took U.S. decoders 12 hours to decipher Khrushchev's initial settlement message, during which time Moscow grew impatient at the perceived rebuff and issued even more stern demands. Some thought the entire ordeal could have been parried through clear and immediate communication, so the Red Phone connecting the U.S. and Soviet heads of state was conceived and built.

I'm sure all your email messages are important, and you'd like them attended to in less than 12 hours as well. But some -- conveying a deadline, a member benefit, urgent news or an important announcement that impacts your customers' relationship with you -- are more important than others. If you don't yet have a strategy for escalating your most important missives, it's time to build a Red Phone of your own.

Metaphors aside, here are some elements that should be part of your Red Phone strategy on
by Mike May, Friday, August 28, 2009, 3:30 PM

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Captain Inbox says:
Quite a funny article but covers some things that are often dismissed but can make so much difference. Those little things that readers do not really know that they are noticing and relying on but would really miss if they were not there.

BtoB: How RSS can complement e-mail marketing

"A few years ago RSS (really simple syndication) was being touted as a replacement for e-mail. The technology, the theory went, would let marketers create frequent Web content updates that would then be “pulled” from a subscribed user's RSS reader. Marketers could have people subscribe to RSS news feeds like they did e-mail lists but not have to worry about bounces or deliverability issues. Clearly, though, that didn't happen—and never will.

Instead, RSS has emerged as a strong complementary tool for e-mail marketers, especially as more and more Web content is repurposed in e-mail newsletters. Want to offer an RSS feed to your own subscriber list? Here are four tips courtesy of Derek Harding, CEO of Omnicom Group's Innovyx, an e-mail marketing solutions provider, to help you get started
" on

Karen J. Bannan
Story posted: September 3, 2009 - 11:26 am EDT

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Captain Inbox says:
I think RSS is great, most people don't really get it as they only see it as a defunct syndication tool that has been replaced by email and twitter. That's Madness!
So much of the content we see is derived from an RSS feed but we just don't know about it. There are so many places we need to get the same bit of content - facebook, twitter, blog, delicious, the list is endless. It all uses RSS. Twitterfeed is the prime example, it will take the feed from your blog and tweet it for you, it can throw it to Ping.FM which will then updated dozens of other sites all using RSS.

The best thing of all is the ability to use the RSS feed to automate your email marketing!
Nowadays most of our content is a bit bloggy which means that there will be and RSS feed. YOu can just make a parser to rip out the top 3 or 4 posts from your RSS feed and drop it in your email template. You can even do this automatically. Pure360 has a cool tool that allows me to point a message at a url and whenever a delivery is scheduled using that message, Pure360 goes and gets the content from the end of that url. And, if it is the same as the last time it will pause the delivery and tell me - now that is cool!

Email Advisor: A few pointers to help your call-to-action stand out.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "one click wonder" when it comes to email marketing. Today your important call-to-action within any email message needs all the help it can get. A visually well balanced message may combine supporting images, no more than a few different font faces and a layout that compliments your brand. Be mindful, it is easy to let your call-to-action get lost in the creative mix. Choose your visual elements wisely and consider these suggestions to help your recipients quickly identify what you want them to do with your on

Spotting spam, can you do it, should you make the effort?

Back on the 15 of September Patricio Roblesm for Econsultancy listed out 10 ways to avoid spam in all of it's forms. Were about email.

One of those 6 was "Be careful about unsubscribing" - I believe that this needs some elaboration. The last thing the industry needs is people not trusting the optout link on legitimate emails.
"Surely if the email is legit the recipient will know the sender, be expecting their email and know to trust the optout link" - I hear you cry (faintly in the distance).

Well, there is a lot of email marketing going on and some people don't know it as well as others and as new fads and conventions come about some users just on certain band wagons. For instance on company sends a B2B email once a quarter to a few thousand people, one day they read an article about re-targeting so they get their old list of people and try to bring them back on board. Half of these people might not remember this brand, yes it is not the best practice but it still happens.
If the creative is rubbish you might not even trust to load the images but it still happens.

You need to know what to look for in an email which you do not recognise but has an unsubscribe link. You need to know that when you hit that opt-out link you are actually opting out and not telling a spammer that your address exists.

But what is the point, why care? If you don't recognise it, just hit spam!
Fair point, if the sender gets it wrong, they have abused the trust you have given them so mark it as spam.
If they use an ESP, marking as spam in at least Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL should also get you optout because the EPS should be on their feedback loop. Strangely I can't see Gmail with one, they seem to be about those List Headers!
If not you just tell your email client to not put it in the inbox any more and tell your ISP that this lot or spammers. The ISP then knocks a load of point of the IP reputation of the sender and gets on with it.

Is there a way? Nothing consistent to be honest. The old way was to take the domain out of the email address and paste it into the address bar and see if you get to a web-site that resembles the company sending it.
But nowadays from sending domain is often a dedicated sending domain for email and night not always got back to the home page, often this is a bi-product of using an ESP. This also counts for the links. Mark at Email Marketing Reports wrote a cool one about tracked links - and also said that Pure360 was one of the best too!
So that kicks that idea into touch.

One thing to always check is the link text and the link destination. If the link text you can read on the page says something like but when you hover over the link and look at the bottom of the browser, where it says where the link is actually going, if it says you can be fairly sure that it is a phishing email. Most email clients will spot this for you and either junk it or a least flag but it is still the first thing to look out for.

A recent load of spam that I have seen is to me and from me. This is quite cheeky as it get past a lot of the filters because my domain is white listed on my email server.

One thing you can always do if you are worried about the optout link but you want to try and optout is to forward the email to abuse@ the domain sending the email and the domain in the reply address if it is different. If there is an ESP that should get you optout out too if it is an agency they'll jump on it and optout you out and if it is a business their postmaster should taker action. IF it is a proper spammer, you'll probably get a hard bounce back!

ecademy: Quick Tips: Content Ideas for Email Marketing Campaigns

"One of the most common questions from companies engaged in Email Marketing is "Help! What do I write about in my email campaigns?"

While they are the subject experts on their products and services, the secret is to 'package' the 'story' in a way that their customers want to hear, and follow some simple time tried and tested techniques such as being relevant and targeting your 'story' to the appropriate audience. This is guaranteed to make that empty space in your copy less intimidating, and create campaign messages that really resonate with customers.

The first thing to remember is that unlike a regular print newsletter that typically runs four or more pages, you don't need a lot of news to send out an email newsletter or campaign. Effective campaigns can be successful based around just one or two items (and these can be short - only a couple of paragraphs long).

Remember, too, that your customers want to hear from you and want to hear your 'story'. So there are many topics that would be of interest to them, that showcases your expertise and knowledge. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help you generate content ideas:
" on
Jim WebsterPowerNetworker on 22-Aug-09

at the very bottom they are pushing Constant Contact, I say try Pure360 first and I'm as biased as they are.

MediaPost: How Good Do You Want to Be? Taking Bold Steps

by Alex Madison and Lisa Harmon, Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is a very good article, a bit long, sounds a bit Seth too, which is never bad!

"These are exciting days! With so many developments happening in the email inbox, from technologies like SWYN and video GIFs to "grid-breaking" design innovations, it's fair to feel a little apprehensive about incorporating new ideas into your campaigns. What if the new approaches don't work? What if subscribers are turned off by the unfamiliar? What if we end up trying new things for the sake of novelty at the expense of results?" on