Data security is not something that can be glossed over and ignored. Most of the cases I am aware of have actually been inside jobs. Data has been stolen either by employees or by subcontractors that had access to it and then sold to spammers. There are steps that companies can take to prevent leaks and identify the source when or if they do happen.
32 entries from January 2010
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Kristeen Hudson provides these 10 tips for successful preheader text on the Exact Target blog:
- Use a call-to-action
- Use positive wording
- Make your preheader text support you subject line
- Keep in mind the length of the preheader text that will be displayed in the inbox
- The marketing preheader text (aka the call to action) should be in the top left of the email
- If you make the pre-header text too long it defeats the purpose.
- Don't repeat the subject line as the preheader text
- Preheader text is generally smaller then body copy, but it should still be readable
- Write attention-grabbing preheader text
- Try an A/B split with different pre-headers and test to see which emails get the most opens and conversions.
Read the full post here: The ExactTarget Blog - 10 Tips for Successful Email Preheader Text .
In late 2008, MailChimp Labs began Project Omnivore. Our goal was to build a massively scalable tool for our abuse team that could predict bad behavior -- pretty impressive stuff!!
We're seeing reports at OtherInbox of spam emails sent to email lists that are hosted at iContact. Our users give each website a different email address so it's easy to see when they get abused. I received an email with the subject "Pharmacy Best Product Vicodin.Viagra!!!!!" to an email address that was only given to Shoeboxed.com (a great service that I love).
All too often companies make their selection of an email marketing agency or consultant based on the wrong criteria, which causes heartache, inefficiency, and a significant amount of lost productivity and dollars. In this article Scott Hardigree, provides some useful tips on how to select the best person for the job:
Things You Shouldn’t Do
- Don’t limit your search geographically.
- Don’t screen out professionals based on size.
- Don’t make industry experience a must-have.
- Don’t ask for (or entertain) speculative work.
- Don’t avoid questions about your budget.
So how should you select an email marketing partner?
- Do determine what you need.
- Spend a few minutes on the phone together to get a sense of chemistry and interest. Ask them about their history, who their current clients are, what their core capabilities are.
- Ask them about their process, what it is, how it works, and how it might fit your company and culture.
Read the full article here: The 8 Guiding Principles to Hiring an Email Marketing Agency « The Email Marketing Chronicles.
On February 23, 2010 at 8am PT (11am ET, 5pm CET, 4pm GMT) the Email Marketer's Club is hosting it's second online Email Strategy & Tactics Roundtable.
During this highly interactive, 60-minute session, 2-3 email marketers are invited to present one email marketing issue they are facing in a 10-minute presentation. Tamara Gielen will review the material in real-time and provide feedback on the matters at hand. All attendees are able to join in on the conversations via a live chat. Only 20 attendees allowed so sign up quickly!
Can't make it on February 23rd? Check out the other dates.
Too often, when marketers start focusing on growth, they're not asking, "How can I polish up my acquisition practices so my list attracts more qualified, engaged subscribers?" They're really saying, "How can I grow my list 50 percent this year?"
That second focus can lead to tactics like one retailer's recent e-mail, which greeted prospective customers with this message: "Check it out! We think you'll have a lot in common, so we added you to (our) e-mail list." This practice is so wrong!
You don't build a good mailing list by assuming your recipients will be interested, and you can't cover your actions by including an opt-out link. As with recovery or reactivation programs, you need an explicit opt-in. "No response" does not equal consent.
Prechecked boxes on opt-in forms with fuzzy language and rented lists with dicey permission are other ways marketers build lists fast but open themselves to spam complaints, unsubscribes, and inactivity in the bargain.
Continue reading here: How to Improve Your Process for Acquiring E-mail Subscribers - ClickZ.
Takeaway #1. So-called email killers aren’t that deadly
One of the most significant themes of the event was the symbiotic -- not antagonistic -- relationship between email and social media (more on this below).
Takeaway #2. Think like an integrated marketer, not just an email marketer
Email marketers must integrate their strategies with those of other departments, and make sure the email channel is connected to others, such as social media.
Takeaway #3. Customer service is the new differentiator
Customer retention should be the new focus of marketing, and that satisfying customers, rewarding them for their loyalty, and empowering them to share their positive brand experience will help companies grow.
Takeaway #4. Think value, not just relevance
Just because something is relevant, it’s not necessarily going to inspire us to act.
Takeaway #5. Test assumptions and best practices
Look at each of your email messages and ask yourself:
What am I asking the recipient to do? Why should they do it?
What is my objective? What is the best way to achieve it?
Takeaway #6. Promote your opt-in offer like a product
Market your email newsletters and alerts as a product with valueP and promote your email programs on all your social sites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn...).
Takeaway #7. Better engagement will help deliverability
The industry is moving beyond reputation and authentication and toward the sum total of all positive and negative impressions of your company based on email practices.
So while a subscriber hitting the spam button will still work against you, the improvements in opens, clicks and other engagement metrics that you achieve through testing, optimization, social integration and the like will help outweigh the occasional disgruntled recipient.
Read the full article here:MarketingSherpa: Summit Wrap-Up Report: 7 Takeaways to Improve your Email Marketing in 2010.
"The days that emails were filtered based on content only are long gone. In the war against growing volumes of spam and fraudulent email such as phishing, ISPs and incoming spam filters are continuously using more and more techniques to filter the bad guys from the good guys. Since email is critical for most businesses, getting email into the inbox is valuable. Deliverability is not only an issue for bulk email, such as newsletters and smart campaigns, but also (and maybe even more important) for transactional email like order confirmations. In fact, it is an issue for all outbound emails"
Read the full post here: Email marketing and deliverability: an interview with Reputy.
This week Facebook will begin giving marketers the ability to collect email address from users of our Facebook applications. Currently, applications communicate with users through Facebook notifications - a constrained inbox with few opportunities for meaningful direct communications and limited opportunities for monetization.
After Wednesday, marketers will have the ability to make email permission optional, or a mandatory requirement of an application, and may no longer post notifications from applications. This development opens up an exciting new way for Facebook marketers to interact with and ultimately monetize social audiences.
Continue reading here
AOL's Sr. Account Manager AntiSpam Operations Annalivia Ford, posted some good advice for email senders on her blog:
...reputation systems don't care about business models, protestations of opt-in, legitimacy, or urgency. They care about the response generated by a given stream of bulk mail. Whitelisting no longer provides bullet-proof protection from blocks; whitelisting is mostly dynamic and dependent on reputation.
Spam-foldering is also now largely driven by reputation. It's a much more fluid environment, wherein how mail is treated can change by the moment, and in which is it much, much easier to drive reputation down than it is to bring it back up.
Don't worry about what to tell the ISPs. If your mail isn't being treated the way you want it to be, look at the mail! Figure out what is causing the issue, and fix it.
Read the full post here: Polly wants a cracker!.
I found this tip on Kevin Joseph Smith's blog:
For emails, if split images, are not rendering properly (i.e. breaking) in Hotmail when using Firefox, Chrome, or Safari. Add “display: block” to the style tag in the images’ code.
Next week I will be on an expert panel at the Email Evolution Conference in Miami together with email industry thought leaders Loren McDonald, DJ Waldow and Stefan Pollard. We will be dissecting the attendees' email campaigns,
. Save $100 off the registration fee when you enter: CL100.
I stumbled on this great presentation by DJ Waldow in which he explains the anatomy of an email.
This very well documented article by Campaign Monitor's Mathew Patterson gives you the information you need to plan, design and build an HTML newsletter that renders well and is actually useful to recipients.
Definitely worth reading!
Check it out here: Design and Build Email Newsletters Without Losing Your Mind (and Soul).
The kick-off of this year's MarketingSherpa Email summit started with a pre-workshop hosted by MarketingExperiments. Keynote speaker was Dr. Flint McGlaughlin.
Here are five important reasons why a content strategy needs to be considered before integrating social media into your marketing plans.
Social media = I hear you + I'm listening to you + I understand. Now replace "social media" with "publishing" or "content strategy". Works, right?
Now try this...content strategy = I hear you + I'm listening to you + I understand + successful marketing goal and content measurement. This cements the fact that you are producing this content, not only to be shared by your customers and prospects, but to accomplish a significant marketing objective.
Read the full article here: Five Reasons why Content Strategy comes before Social Media.
"Big companies with large lists should focus on devising strong segmentation strategies. List hygiene is incredibly important: make sure to not only regularly remove bounced email addresses, but also look at who is engaged. If you have subscribers that never open, click or buy your offerings, it may not be worth keeping them on your list? You want a healthy, active file. Check in with your subscribers. Ask them what they like and don’t like and remember to focus on three key factors - permission, engagement and frequency"
Read the entire interview here: Email deliverability: an interview with Return Path’s Mario Marlisa
How to segment & target prospects to deliver great results if you have a small Email Marketing budget
To do the basics well, you don’t need to be an email marketing or CRM expert, and you don’t need a big budget. To really increase performance, you just need a pinch of patience and some common sense.
Philip Storey explains how to do this with an example case study here: How to segment & target prospects to deliver great results if you have a small Email Marketing budget.
If you find brand & consistency obstacles in your path when testing calls to action, remember that your job is to try and interrupt someone that is reading through their inbox. Your job is more difficult than that of the website because of this, so try to positively challenge any resistance, ask for a small-scale test segment that will still give you a significant result and let the results speak for themselves.
Read the full post here: Change your calls to action & see your click-through rates soar.
Here are a few ways to integrate Twitter in your email strategy:
- automatically post your email as a tweet to your company’s Twitter account.
- include buttons in your email message which easily allows your subscribers to share your message.
- Start a #hashtag
- Post content on your company Twitter account: consider posting links, re-tweeting useful content and speaking with your followers.
- Put a link to your Twitter account on the footer of your email messages; could be a button or simple link.
Read the full article here: Email Design Tip of the Week: Integrating Twitter to Your Email Strategy.