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13 entries from June 2005

How Does Image Blocking Affect HTML Email Design?

AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail, Outlook 2003, and Thunderbird are blocking HTML images from loading because of increased focus on security and privacy. This impacts the way your message appears in your recipient's mailboxes and therefore also impacts your open and click-through rates.

On top of this, these systems don't work exactly the same. Most leave a blank space where an image would be. In Yahoo!, the space is gray; Gmail displays a broken image icon. Some, such as Gmail and Thunderbird, will also display alternate text if it's provided. Others don't. AOL not only blocks image loading but also disables hypertext links.

In his article "When E-Mail Images Don't Load" on the Clickz website, Derek Harding explains how you can optimize your recipient's viewing experience despite all this variability:

  • Examine and optimize how your message appears with no images, so that it still conveys your message and brand in the correct way (eg. through the sender address and/or subject line.
  • Make sure to use a descriptive text in the alt-tags for all images - even if not all email clients will show it, at least the ones that do will give your readers an idea of what the image is about.
  • Remind your readers to add your email address to their address book to ensure proper displaying of your images.
  • Provide a link to an online version of your email.

Source: Clickz

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

Email Marketing Rules in the European Union

In an article called "New Email Marketing Rules in the European Union: One Year Later", Mattias Durnik explores  the state of email marketing in the EU a year after the last European Union member states implemented Article 13 of the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications -- the so-called "Opt-In Directive."

The first paragraph of this Article 13 states that sending commercial email messages is only allowed if recipients have given their prior consent, but in reality it's a very soft approach to opt-in because of the many exemptions that make it possible to send marketing messages via email without having to first ask for permission. However, because of the exemptions that are supposed to make it easier for companies to conduct traditional, unsolicited direct marketing via email, in reality email marketers are now forced to adopt a stricter opt-in policy than ever before.

In this article, Mattias Durnik takes a close look at the directive and what it says about email marketing in Article 13 and explains why it has made email marketing more complicated in Europe.

He concludes by saying that "the only alternative that will guarantee that a marketer will not violate any of the exemptions of Article 13 is to go full opt-in, regardless of whether we are talking marketing to consumers or businesses" and he explains: "sending email marketing messages only to those who give permission to receive them is not about being nice or overly afraid of breaking any laws; it is about being a savvy marketer with a goal to generate the best possible results. But the nice side effect of opt-in only email marketing is that apart from helping marketers achieve their marketing objectives effectively and giving customers what they are interested in, it minimizes the risk of breaking any national opt-in laws within the EU".

Read the full article here.

Source: MarketingProfs

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

Low Budget Email Marketing [Case Study]

You don't always need a big budget, a large list or a three-digit average order to make e-mail marketing work for your organization: in an article called "The Little E-Mail Marketing Budget That Could", Jeanne Jennings explains how a small company on a small budget yields big returns from their email marketing efforts. Definitely worth reading!

Source: Clickz

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

Email Marketing: How To Improve ROI [teleseminar]

Here's the first thing I'd like to draw your attention to: Tomorrow (June 28th from 1-2 pm EDT) Silverpop and eMarketer are hosting a teleseminar called "Email Marketing: How To Improve ROI". Presented by: David Hallerman, Senior Analyst, eMarketer and Bill Nussey, CEO, Silverpop. Based on findings from eMarketer's new research report of the same name, you'll get:

  • Real-life data collected from leading market researchers including Forrester Research, JupiterResearch,, MarketingSherpa, Millward Brown, Pew, Roper ASW, Silverpop and many others.
  • eMarketer and Silverpop analysis and insight--giving you the information you need to make your email marketing programs effective and profitable.

And on top of that, all registrants, receive a 25-percent discount on the eMarketer report "Email Marketing: How To Improve ROI". To register go to:

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

Hotmail Now Requires Sender ID

Microsoft deployed Sender ID e-mail authentication alerts via a new "safety bar" in the Hotmail user interface to further protect e-mail users from malicious spam and scams. Emails sent to MSN and Hotmail addresses without authentication by Sender ID will now show a message warning recipients that the email could not be authenticated.

The warning message is the first step in a two-stage process to manage junk email. For the next few months, unauthenticated email messages will simply bear the warning. However, Microsoft warned that beginning around November 2005, MSN and Hotmail will begin to ship emails without Sender ID authentication directly to users' junk folders.

The Sender ID Framework is an email authentication technology protocol that helps address the problem of spoofing and phishing by verifying the domain name from which email is sent. Sender ID validates the origin of email by verifying the IP address of the sender against the purported owner of the sending domain.

Read what Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path, thinks what it will (and won't) do in his blog post titled: "Why We Love Email Authentication, But Why It Won't Stop Spam".

In a quick FAQ - with open access until July 2nd - MarketingSherpa explains how this affects email marketers:

  • What happens if your email doesn't have Sender ID?
  • Why you can't count on your email vendor to handle everything for you?
  • How Sender ID will affect deliverability?
  • Why most junk mail won't be stopped by Sender ID?

Plus, they've included a PDF of the most useful instructional booklet they've found on handling Sender ID.

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

eMarketing Excellence summits

The Business Marketing Association and e-mail software provider ExactTarget announced will be hosting an educational series called eMarketing Excellence summits, which will be held in 18 cities throughout the U.S. Aimed at educating consumer and b-to-b marketers on how to use permission-based e-mail, the summits will be offered in cities including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Indianapolis and New York. Sponsors include FirstReef, Hot Banana, and WebTrends.

What You'll Learn:

Success Stories:

  • How B-to-C marketers use permission email to drive sales, build customer relationships, and create brand advocates.
  • How B-to-B marketers use permission email to convert leads faster, generate repeat purchases and support their direct sales force.
  • How agencies help clients maximize marketing ROI by using permission email to continue the ?customer conversation? begun by brand marketing communications.

Best Practices:

  • What you absolutely must know about email deliverability to make certain your email gets delivered, plus key metrics you need to monitor email deliverability.
  • How to integrate email with other customer facing applications such as call center and web site to execute event-triggered email communications that quickly respond to customer needs.
  • How companies use Dynamic Personalization to create customized email with content tailored to the needs, preferences and profile of individual recipients.

Innovative Solutions.

  • See how companies that sell through multiple business units and channels use ExactTarget's 'Enterprise Solution' to deliver relevant offers and information to customers on behalf of local agents and dealers.
  • How to use ExactTarget in partnership with for dramatically improved sales force productivity and customer relationship management.
  • How to automate event triggered email communication by integrating ExactTarget with content management, offer optimization and customer analytics applications.
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Data Is The Main Factor Holding Back B2B And B2C Email Marketers

Adestra, the UK based email marketing agency, have been holding an email marketing clinic at today’s Online Marketing Show in London. Many marketers from both B2B and B2C companies have had their email marketing program reviewed by an Adestra expert which revealed a surprising common thread of issues:

Data Management:
Many marketers are only capturing email address and failing to use follow-up communications to capture further information. From demographics to coherent reporting lines to feed back recipient behaviour, marketers’ databases are limited to contain only the information from the first contact.

Reporting: Drowning in simple metrics such as clicks and opens, many marketers are unable to use the results of their campaigns in strategic decision making or for calculating return on investment (ROI). Many marketers are finding that their senior management perceive email as a cheap channel and not a traditional, measurable direct marketing channel. Only being able to provide limited reporting feeds this view.

Tracking technology:
Many marketers do not use robust tracking systems, finding them technologically complicated. Costly web analytics packages are being deployed in some cases, but on the whole, many marketers are ignoring simple tactics such as duplicating a product marketing page and tracking orders through it.

Steve Denner, Director of Adestra commented "After a long day and many conversations with many email marketers, almost everyone I’ve met uses email marketing intelligently. However, it is really refreshing that these marketers recognise there are ways in which they can improve their marketing further and I’m glad that Adestra have been able to provide some practical and helpful advice to help them do this."

Source: ClickPress

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

Inbox/Outbox 2005 event - London, 22-23 June, 2005

I thought you might be interested to know about an event called "Inbox/Outbox 2005" which takes place in London on June 22-23, 2005: It's a new event about every aspect of inbound and outbound email.

It will feature an education-rich format comprising Keynote Sessions from industry experts, focused seminar streams on key themes, central exhibition / networking Area, an industry debate on 'Legitimate Email Marketing' on Day One and a special workshop from BlackBerry & O2 on Day Two.

The seminar programme (repeated on both days) will include valuable information on:

  • Compliance, Legal & Business Issues
  • Security & Privacy
  • Storage & Infrastructure Issues
  • Wireless eMail & Remote Working
  • eMarketing & Customer Management

Seminar sessions will present all of the key issues in non-technical language, explaining the high level of crossover between the different areas of email management and the inevitable 'knock-on' effect of decisions in each area.

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

Webinar: How Email Marketing Can Impact Networking

On June 16th at 2:00 pm ET, Exact Target is hosting a web seminar called "How Email Marketing Can Impact Networking". Here's what it's about:

Looking for an effective and efficient way to stay connected with your clients, prospects, friends and fans? Join Diane Darling, author of The Networking Survival Guide and Networking for Career Success – both published by McGraw-Hill, for an informative webinar to learn how to optimize email marketing to grow your business.

Best Practices that Diane will cover include:

  • Advantages of Email Newsletters
  • How to stay connected without stalking
  • Ways to make your emails a "must open"
  • How to grow your list
  • And much more!

Sign up here

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

B2B and B2C email marketing. Survey shows different uses, same challenges

A survey by UK digital marketing agency Adestra highlights that B2B and B2C marketers recognise that they can improve their existing email marketing efforts. 

Both B2B and B2C participants wanted to learn more about deliverability and SPAM and recognised that their management of their email contact databases could be improved.  Interestingly, they use email marketing in different ways yet both intend to increase their use of email marketing in 2006.

Adestra have conducted a detailed survey of 65 UK based marketers to investigate what they believe are the main challenges facing them within their email marketing.  Both B2B and B2C companies participated including companies such as Ford Motor Company, Coors Brewers, Prudential, Investec Asset Management, RAC, Future Publishing Ltd, Cotton Traders and Reed Business Information.

Main Findings:

  • 34% of B2B and 29% of B2C marketers in the sample agree that the growing, cleaning and management of their email contact database is the aspect of their email marketing program that they could improve most
  • When considering what ‘hot topics’ marketers wanted to learn more about to improve their email marketing, both B2B and B2C marketers voted for the same aspects:
    • Deliverability: ensuring messages get to inboxes
    • Message design: optimised design and lay-out of messages
    • The future for email: new emerging technologies within email marketing e.g. rich media
  • B2B marketers want to learn more about best practice lead generation email programs whereas B2C marketers prefer to discover more about eZine newsletters.
  • 4 out of 5 respondents in the sample plan to use email marketing more in 2006.

Reviewing the survey results, Paul Crabtree Marketing Director of Adestra, commented: “Interestingly, both B2B and B2C marketers are facing similar challenges despite using email marketing in different ways.  They want to learn more about issues such as deliverability and spam and most recognise that there are faults within their existing programs, especially in the way they manage their email contact database”

He continued “With 80% of the UK marketers in the sample planning to use email marketing more in 2006, and the willingness of the sample to accept that there are numerous ways in which they could improve their email marketing program, I urge marketers to consider working with email marketing specialists such as Adestra to use their expertise when developing their email programs”

Source: Adestra

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

How Old Are Your Mailing Lists?

Have you been emailing the same list for months and months, or even years, without performing data updates? If you email invalid email addresses frequently, you will be blacklisted.

Email addresses go stale much quicker than telephone numbers or postal/physical addresses
. If you have this type of customer information, make use of it. Relevant incentives are always a good way to motivate customers to update their details.

Best practice would be to use a web form to allow your customers to update personal information and preferences 24X7. Even if you have web forms where customers can update their details, you will still be receiving incorrect email addresses if you do not have data validation on the web form.

Source: iMedia Connection: Time to go Back to Basics

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

Beat the Spam Filters By Using E-Zine Checker

Here's a great free resource: Paste the text of your email messages into the online form and the application offers up what to fix.

The E-zine Checker helps your e-zine avoid the spam traps
by checking for commonly used spam words, words in all capital letters and excessive use of words with symbols in them. Every time an email has a word or phrase that triggers a spam-filtering flag, it adds a penalty point. If your score ranks high, your e-zine is likely to get caught in the spam filters. If your score is low or zero, your e-zine is likely to get delivered into your subscribers' inboxes. The goal is to get a spam score of one or zero.

Source: MarketingProfs - Case Study: How to Beat the Spam Filters

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