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28 entries from March 2006

81% Of Email Marketers Not Aware Of CAN-SPAM

More than two years after the CAN-Spam Act took effect, email marketers still show a “shockingly low level” of understanding about the requirements and penalties of the law, according to a new report from WebSurveyor Corp.

Of the 1,082 organizations responding to a WebSurveyor poll, 81% said they are unaware of the CAN-Spam Act and its requirements. Almost 84% said they received no training or information from their organization about the law, and only 19% could correctly identify the act as the legislation governing the broadcast of commercial email, according to the survey.

Nearly 75% responding to the survey said they broadcast emails to customers at least once a month. Of that number, 26% do weekly email broadcasts and 7% used daily mailings, WebSurveyor said.

Customer email broadcasts made up 38% of all mailings, while mailings to prospective customers accounted for 25% of all mass emailings.

“This combination of high reliance on email broadcasts and low level of knowledge of legal requirements is putting organizations at risk for civil and criminal penalties, as well as at significant risk of blacklisting by major ISPs and bandwidth providers,” WebSurveyor said.

CAN-Spam provides penalties for up to $250 per email spam, with a cap of $2 million that can be tripled for aggravated violations.

Source: Internet Retailer

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

Email Best Practices Known But Not Followed?

I just read this on

A study just completed by Direct and Multichannel Merchant magazines found that 39% of B2B marketers have no formal permission practices in place for collecting e-mail addresses, compared with only 7% of consumer marketers who say they have no formal permission practices in place.

Read the full article here.

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

Effective E-mail Registration Tactics for Retailers

Only 17 percent of online shoppers said search drove their most recent purchases, indicating many consumers use search without immediately purchasing.

In this JupiterResearch report these key questions are answered by David Daniels:

  • How well do retail sites capitalize on their search engine placement to drive e-mail address acquisition?
  • How can retail sites improve their e-mail newsletter registration efforts?
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Email Marketing Benchmark Survey: An Analysis of What Works (and What Doesn't)

Keeping up-to-date about email best practices drives strong improvement over the status quo. As in all marketing, however, the devil is in the implementation details.

Based on a MarketingProfs Benchmark Survey, this overview of email marketing serves up an industry baseline for measuring your own 2006 email program.

Dig into the data directly to benchmark your success against other marketers, and learn (or steal!) some great ideas for what works and what doesn't.

Want to work with the data directly? Click here to view and filter the Email Marketing Benchmark Survey Results.

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

Email Marketing & the Importance of Your IP Address

In this article Neil Anuskiewicz explains why the IP address that you use for sending email campaigns is so important.

Here's an excerpt:

You play by the rules. Your list is confirmed opt-in. You have spent time writing a compelling message and an inspiring call to action. Your graphic designers have designed a stunning custom email.

You then send the email to your list but find that deliverability rates are lower than you planned. This is mostly because none of your recipients at a major Internet Service Provider (ISP) received your email. This is a disappointing outcome to say the least, and you decide to look into the matter further in order to avoid low email delivery rates in the future.

Why did this ISP block your emails? You learn that the ISP has blacklisted the IP address that you share with numerous other customers of your Email Service Provider (ESP). Another email marketing customer sharing your IP address sent out an email blast and got too many spam complaints. As a result the ISP blacklisted the IP from which the email blast came. The problem is that this IP address is yours also.

Your email delivery rates were lower than normal because of the actions of someone else. This problem was caused by factors completely out of your control.

You may be surprised to learn that most ESP's have a very small pool of IP addresses that nearly all of their customers share. Their large customers, however, do get a private IP address. Small businesses and non-profits typically have to share an IP or pay extra for a private one. Consider requesting a private IP address from your current ESP or even switching to an ESP that offers a private IP as a standard feature.

Alternatively, if your deliverability numbers are consistently high, it probably means that your ESP is already offering private IP addresses or they are doing a good job of managing relationships with the major ISP's. If they offer mostly shared IP addresses, good delivery rates mean they are doing a good job of insuring CAN SPAM compliance in their customers and-when your shared IP address blacklisting happens-they are able to get it removed relatively quickly. This is where good relationships with the ISP's is important.

Read the full article here.

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

Improving Your Email Relevance and Deliverability (webinar)

Bluestreak is hosting a webinar on the latest email best practices and testing strategies to improve the relevance and deliverability of your email communication. Shar VanBoskirk of Forrester Consulting will be the featured presenter.

You will learn how your marketing programs can evolve with the adoption of the new email certification services and with the emerging opportunities to extend your email messaging with SMS and RSS.

When? April 4, 2006 11am EST/4pm GMT/5pm CET

Shar VanBoskirk, Consulting Analyst, Forrester Consulting
Brian Cavoli, Senior Director, Bluestreak

Who should attend?
B2C & B2B Marketers
Online Marketers, Marketing Directors
Acquisition & Retention Marketers
Sales Professionals, Mangers and Executives

Sign up here.

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

The Email Marketing Success Forecast

Jeanniey Mullen suggests to review your email efforts and ask yourself the following questions:

Opt-in environment:

  • How simple is it to access your opt-in environment? Is your subscription link buried on your Web site?
  • How well does the opt-in process explain all the communication types available and establish relevance?
  • Does your opt-in process decrease attrition by providing examples of the content people will receive if they sign up?
  • Is there a place where potential subscribers can see samples or access live versions of prior e-mail content (old newsletter versions, etc.)?
  • Is the registration process labor intensive? (If e-mail isn't one of the first four requested fields, you run the risk of losing up to 50 percent of interested parties.)


Continue reading "The Email Marketing Success Forecast" »

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

Boost Email Lists During Opt-Out

Online retailers that let e-mail subscribers change their preferences when they opt out of emails can keep some of those customers on their lists, according to a new study.

Providing a "preference center," which offers other email lists and asks for customer feedback, gives consumers a chance to rethink opting out, explain to marketers why they opted out or subscribe to one of the retailer's other lists.

Read the full article here.

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

Testing Redefined (Virtual Seminar)

The number one sin committed by direct marketers is the lack of testing. The best way to beat your competition in the mailbox and on the desktop is to test smarter and more aggressively.

This virtual seminar demonstrates how to test any size mailing and what to test; it reveals testing traps and how to avoid them; and it details what isn't worth testing.

When you leave this seminar, you'll know how to create, manage and measure a testing process that will greatly improve performance.

To register or for more information, click here.

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

The Importance Of Feedback Loops

In this post ReturnPath's George Bilbrey explains why feedback loops are so important.

What's a feedback loop? Well, it's a system by which the ISP provides the sender a copy of a message that a subscriber has reported as spam - usually by hitting a "report spam" button.

Why are they important? The #1 reason that commercial emailers run into delivery problems is that their complaint rates are too high. This data, when analyzed appropriately, can allow you to figure out where there are pockets of complaints inside of your email program.

The following ISPs have announced or are testing feedback loops:

  • AOL: Currently have feedback loop. Testing Abuse Reporting Format (ARF)
  • Earthlink: Currently beta testing feedback loop in ARF format
  • Excite: Provides periodic list of email addresses of complainters
  • Hotmail: Beta testing ARF feedback loop
  • Outblaze: Currently beta testing feedback loop in ARF format
  • Yahoo: Announced intentions to provide feedback loop this year in ARF

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

The Email Deliverability Chain

Another great article by Kirill Popov and Loren McDonald: this time they talk about the different hurdles your email messages have to take to reach the recipient's inbox:

  • The sender
  • E-mail service provider (ESP) or e-mail software
  • Mail transfer agent (MTA)
  • Outbound ISP
  • Edge networks
  • Receiving ISP:
    • ISP reputation system.
    • Authentication codes
    • Internal/external blacklists
    • Internal/external whitelists
    • ISP filters
    • Third-party filters
    • Challenge/response
    • Corporate firewalls and third-party filters
    • Corporate e-mail servers
  • Recipients:
    • E-mail client default settings and filters
    • User settings and filters
    • Third-party anti-spam filter programs
    • Challenge/response
    • "Report spam" button
    • Bulk/spam folders
Read the full article here.

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

Email Marketing: 10 Quick Wins

According to Barry Stamos, there's no need to reinvent the wheel -- simply adhere to the below Top 10 list to take your email marketing programs to the next level in 2006:

  • Relevance
  • Makeovers
  • Subscriptions
  • Automation
  • Integration
  • Segmentation
  • Testing
  • Experiences
  • Reporting & Analysis
  • Delivery Audits
Engage in a healthy discussion with your in-house team, agency and email service provider to prioritize which of the aforementioned quick wins are right for you.

Read the article here.

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

RSS and Email Marketing webcast

Curious about RSS? Join Bronto for a webcast called "RSS and Email Marketing" on Thursday, March 30, at 2PM EST (8pm CET).

The presentation will focus on the relationship between email marketing and RSS - a technology that provides an alternative means to communicate content to your online audience. The webcast will address questions such as:

  • How does RSS work?
  • How does it fit within an online marketing strategy?
  • What are the similarities and differences between email marketing and RSS?
  • Why should you care?
Register here.

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

Incorporating Web Analytics Into E-mail Marketing

How to begin incorporating Web analytics into your e-mail campaigns?

Elaine O'Gorman suggests you take it one simple step at a time. Consider approaching your e-mail/Web analytics integration by reviewing "The Five Ws" (Who, What, When, Where and Why) to gain a more complete understanding of customer behavior.

Using Web analytics data to answer these questions about your e-mail customers can help you better understand their needs and more effectively market to them.

1. Who hasn't completed a transaction?
2. What pages do they visit?
3. When do they visit?
4. Where are they coming from?
5. Why do they do what they do?

Read the full article here.

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

B2B Companies and Small Email Lists Have Highest Open Rates and CTRs

Press release: List size is one of the strongest predictors of email response rates, including both open and click-through responses, according to a new study by ExactTarget.

There appears to be an inverse relationship between list size and email responsiveness. According to the study, open and click-through rates both decrease steadily as list size increases.

"This phenomenon is one of the strongest cases for audience segmentation," according to Morgan Stewart, director of strategic services at ExactTarget and author of the study. "The smaller the targeted audience, the better organizations can aim their message directly to their subscribers in their email communications. This is a sure way to increase response to email communications."

The study also shows that organizations with a B2B focus experienced higher open and click-through rates than their B2C counterparts. This is partially explained by the average size of lists to which these organizations send email. Fifty-two percent of B2B email campaigns were sent to lists of less than 1,000 subscribers, and only 5.6 percent of B2B campaigns were sent to lists of more than 10,000 subscribers. Compare that with 41 percent of B2C campaigns sent to lists of more than 10,000 subscribers.

The downward trend in open rates by list size stabilizes at between 15 to 20 percent average open rate when reaching 400,000 to 500,000 subscribers. At this point, the audience appears to be of significant size so that adding incremental names to the list does not have an increased negative affect on open rates.

The study shows that the downward trend in click-through rates is less predictable than open rates. While this trend still exists, there is more variability in average click-through rates at higher volumes. Estimation models based solely on email volume are not particularly accurate, indicating that email creative and content play a crucial role.

"The larger the list, the more important it is to have compelling creative and offers in order to generate click-through rates in your campaign," said Stewart. "With larger lists, it is much more difficult to drive significantly higher open rates than normal. This is due to both list fatigue inherent in larger lists and the reality that it is difficult to convey compelling and relevant messages to a large audience through the subject line."

The ExactTarget 2005 Response Rate Study summarizes overall open, click-through and unsubscribe rates and provides additional analyses based on day of week for sending email while examining list size and target audience.

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

Goodmail Rejecting Three Quarters of Applicants

Goodmail has rejected more than three quarters of the companies that have applied for its Certified Email program, according to the company's chief executive, Richard Gingras.

Gingras said most of the rejections are because the applicants' spam-complaint rates are too high. He declined to specify what constitutes too high a complaint rate.

"Our criteria are very rigorous and the fact of the matter is that a lot of folks out there just don't qualify," he said. "Most senders say they're on AOL's enhanced whitelist and they're not." Gingras said that as a result of the national controversy over AOL's adoption of Goodmail's service, the number of applicants has been as much as 10 times as high as he anticipated.

"There's no question that this level of awareness has drawn a tremendous amount of interest," he said. "Given the strict standards that we have for qualification, most [Certified Email applicants] won't qualify. A lot of these are prospect marketers and we don't support prospect marketing."

John Rizzi, the chief executive of e-mail service provider e-Dialog, said one reason for Goodmail's high rejection rate may be that emailers with the most questionable marketing practices are lining up first.

To read the full article, go here.

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

Virtual Marketing Conference 2006 (webcast)

On April 20-21, ShoutStream is hosting a "Virtual Marketing Conference". From what I understand, it's a series of webcasts on the following topics:

  • Interactive Marketing Trends of 2006
  • Email Marketing
  • Creating Effective & Interactive Websites
  • Web Conferencing & Online Events
  • Leveraging Online Behaviors to Improve Marketing
  • Creating Integrated Marketing Programs
  • Using Web Analytics to Improve Site Performance
You can choose to view as many sessions as you wish.

The Email Marketing session takes place on April 20th at 1pm EST (7pm CET).

Check out the website where you can sign up for the event and/or download some white papers.

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

Integrated Direct Marketing Best Practices (webcast)

On March 15th, BtoB is hosting a webcast called "Integrated Direct Marketing Best Practices".

Here's the description:

"With e-mail response rates continuing to fall, B2B marketers are searching for new cost-effective channels and approaches for reaching their target market. E-mail is still critical to generating awareness, but it's more effective when used as a component of an integrated strategy.

This webcast will take you through the basics--from e-mail best practices to laying out an integrated campaign across your entire business plan.

Panelists for this event include:

  • Tyler Riddell, Product Manager, Harte-Hanks
  • Regina Brady, President, Reggie Brady Marketing Solutions
  • Chris Yeh, Director of Marketing, Symphoniq Corporation
Moderated by BtoB Magazine's editor, Ellis Booker, Integrated Direct Marketing Best Practices will examine the ways in which integrated direct marketing can generate higher response rates and find more customers.

Date: March 15, 2006
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET / 10:00 a.m. PT / 7:00 p.m. CET
Duration: 60 Minutes
Sign up here

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