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September 2008

36 entries from August 2008

Email Marketing Stats for UK and EMEA

From a press release I received today:

Epsilon’s DREAMmail Trends and Benchmarks report found that while recorded open rates for the UK fell by 14.8% for the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same period in 2007, click-through rates actually showed a dramatic improvement, up from 7.9% a year ago to 8.8% for Q1 2008, an increase of 11.4%.

Other findings in the report include:

  • UK penetration of BlackBerry mobile means delivery rates for text-only emails are far higher in this country compared with France and Germany. This demonstrates how the dominance of one particular device can skew results.
  • Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), open rates for emails are down by 15.0% for the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same period a year earlier.
  • EMEA delivery rates have improved slightly, with bounce rates dropping from 6.5% to 4.6% for Q1 2008 compared with Q1 2007, but click-through rates for the EMEA region as a whole are down by 1.1% year-on-year to 8.7%.
  • Across the EMEA region, the media industry and the services industry both appear to have adopted targeting and segmentation to ensure their emails are more relevant to recipients, and have seen click-through rates improve by 11.6% and 8.2% respectively. But FMCG companies have seen click-throughs fall 9.4%, suggesting they have yet to learn that relevance drives action.

The PR person forgot to include a link to the report, so as soon as I find the link, I'll post it here :-)

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links for 2008-08-28

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How To Collect More Information From Your Email Subscribers

In this article, Stefan Pollard lists a couple of ways to collect more information from your email subscribers that can be used to create segments and relevant messages:

  1. Invite readers to fill out or update their profiles
  2. Use the search engine optimization terms that drive the most traffic to your site
  3. Target messages based on subscribers' past behavior
  4. Interview the people who talk directly with your customers
  5. See where people click in your email messages
  6. Choice vs. behavior: which yields stronger segments?

Read this excellent article here.

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links for 2008-08-27

  • The new definition of spam                
    recipients "define spam by the quality of the email itself -- not by the overall reputation of the company emailing them." So what are you to do? Spencer Kollas share some tips. 
  • Really Simple E-mail Segmentation: Getting Openers to Click - ClickZ
    "The good news about those who open but don't click is that they're able to see your images. The bad news is you don't know whether they're fully reviewing your e-mail and not finding anything engaging enough to click on, or whether your e-mail was opened in the preview pane a for a second as they scrolled past it, without looking, to get to another message."
    (tags: segmentation)
  • "This isn't to say e-mail creative is unimportant, but e-mailers really do need to assess how much energy they're spending on creative relative to crafting the offer and hitting the right target. I'd bet an evening's worth of cigars and vodka martinis that most are spending 80% of their time focused on the part of their effort that affects 20% of their chances of success."
  • This guide includes benchmarks and advice on when to begin your campaign, how much to increase your email volume, which days to send on, and how to stand out in the inbox during the holidays.
    (tags: study)
  • Combined with their portability (the email address isn't zapped when you move jobs), it's no surprise to find business folk using them to get commercial email from informational websites and vendors.
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links for 2008-08-26

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links for 2008-08-23

  • Spam is any communication that purports to offer a benefit but is unwanted. Of course that means come-ons for cheap prescription pills, penis enlargment and miracle fat-burner supplements, and mortgage refinancing, but it also includes too-frequent updates from companies you’ve done business with, useless “updates” from newsletters you’ve subscribed to, meaningless self-linking on social media, and so on.
    (tags: spam)
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links for 2008-08-22

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links for 2008-08-21

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links for 2008-08-20

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Spam Definition Grows

Just because US consumers opt in to e-mail lists does not give marketers license to send endless irrelevant material.

That is the main finding of recently released data from a MarketingSherpa/Q Interactive study fielded last fall. While the top reason that respondents reported e-mail as spam was because they had not opted in to mailings, the second was that the material sent did not interest them. More than four out of 10 e-mail users who hit the "spam" button said they had categorized uninteresting mail as junk.

Reasons that US E-Mail Users Hit

The researchers noted that inbox overload was creating greater competition among legitimate e-mailers: As filters improved, users would focus less on traditional spam and more on which opt-in material interested them most.

In general, e-mail users have perceived a rise in spam for years. About one-half of adult e-mail users surveyed by Merkle and Harris Interactive during the past four years said they received "somewhat" or "a lot" more spam every year.

Source: eMarketer

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links for 2008-08-19

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Readers Prefer Email To Share Interesting Information

The folks over at ShareThis posted a very interesting chart detailing the "sharing activities" of their users.

sharechart.jpg

While it may come to a shock to some, e-mail is still king and is used by 35% of ShareThis users when they want to pass along an interesting online article or post.  In fact, e-mail is used the same as the top 6 major Social Media sites combined (Facebook, MySpace, digg, del.icio.us, StumbleUpon & Reddit).

Source: socialmediatoday

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links for 2008-08-18

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

12 Content Ideas for Your Email Campaigns

If you’re just getting started with email marketing, if it’s been awhile since you sent an email because you aren’t sure what to send, or if you’re looking for new content ideas to help you move beyond an email newsletter, this list is the perfect starting point:

  1. Interview an executive.
  2. Create a series about your product/service.
  3. Write educational, how-to tips and articles.
  4. Interview a customer (or member, or fan).
  5. Write about an event you’re attending, from the event.
  6. Share some behind-the-scenes information about your company or product.
  7. Promote thought leadership articles.
  8. Share company successes and awards.
  9. Repurpose content from a seminar.
  10. Showcase a partner company or service.
  11. Interview an employee.
  12. Broadcast news from your industry.

Source: the Emma blog

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Seven Ways to Leverage Email as a Real Time Marketing Tool

In a presentation he gave at the eTail East 2008 conference, Morgan Stewart offered a number of pointers on how to make e-mail work in real time as a marketing tool.

Here are the seven most noteworthy take-away tips:

1. Use e-mail to turn a potentially negative out-of-stock experience into a positive. Have a call out on your site that lets customers know that if you're out of stock of a particular product, they can be notified via e-mail when the item is back in stock. This helps to accomplish two things, Stewart said: to stave off the competition and to build your master e-mail file.

2. Use e-mail coupons as a way to track cross-channel sales. Coupons are viewed by many marketers as either a danger or an opportunity. Stewart emphasized the increased exposure as a viral opportunity for your brand, citing an ideal example of enabling consumers to print out a coupon included in an e-mail and using the coupon in a retail store. Then, if you can determine the person using the coupon isn't the person who received the e-mail, you gain an opportunity to get that person to sign up for your e-mail program as well.

3. Maintain the mind-set that there's no optimal time or day to send an e-mail. "It's absolutely impossible to find the best day to send an e-mail … because there is none," Stewart said in a response to a question from the audience. "It varies all over the board."

4. Use a sliding scale for contact frequency with e-mail. For customers who have been unengaged (not clicking through) for more than three months, Stewart suggested sending them e-mails to confirm that they're still interested in hearing from you. This can work in the other direction, as well, he added. If you've reduced the contact frequency for some customers but notice their increased activity, look for the opportunity to bump up your frequency.

5. Create "subscriber rules." These should include serving the individual through timely and relevant content, as well as honoring requests for communication, contact frequency and contact channel, Stewart advised.

6. Send a "second hit" e-mail before any limited-time offer is set to expire. This technique will help boost response, Stewart said. He recommended sending this e-mail 24 hours prior to expiration.

7. Address engagement problems. This can be done in three ways, Stewart advised:

  • stop mailing them;
  • conduct a re-opt-in campaign and continue to send to responders;
  • reduce the contact frequency.

Many online marketers are unwilling stop mailing people, because they feel e-mail addresses are too valuable, and find the second and third options to be the most desireable, Stewart said. But he cautioned that a re-opt-in campaign is terminal. "If they don't want to re-opt-in, they're no longer mailed," he said. At the same time, a reduced frequency can yield comparable cost savings.

Source: eM+C

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Blog Olympics - Passing On the Stick

image This blog was recently selected by a Belgian blog called "Communicatiemannen" as one of their favorite blogs. I feel very honored and want to pass on the "stick" by naming 7 blogs that I enjoy reading most.

It wasn't easy to select only 7 blogs. I really did my best to cut down the list but couldn't get it down to less than 12 :-)  So here's the list of my 12 favorite blogs:

So how does this work? The blogs that I listed are now expected to pass on the stick and list their 7 favorite blogs (they don't have to be email marketing blogs).

The rules are that you have to link back to the blog that passed on the stick to you but you can't add it to the list of your 7 favorite blogs.

Update: the blogs are listed in random order!

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links for 2008-08-15

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!