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50 entries from January 2007

E-Dialog and Return Path get friendly with European ISPs

As its British office grows, email marketing services firm e-Dialog has extended its partnership with Return Path Inc. to provide Internet service provider relations and deliverability services to clients in Europe, the Middle East and African countries.

E-Dialog will work with Return Path to help marketers navigate the increasing complexity of e-mail delivery assurance in the fragmented Pan-European market. The partnership means the development of ISP relations with local ISPs in Britain, France and Germany. Read the story here.

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Segmentation And Personalization - webinar

With the growth of your email lists comes the need to create more manageable sub-lists of targeted recipients. By discovering some common themes amongst your contacts, you will be able to make your messaging more relevant and you will attain higher quality leads.

Join eROI sales manager Alex Williams as he explores five techniques for segmenting email lists, and five examples of using dynamic content to deliver targeted messaging based on your recipients' profile settings.

When: Tuesday, January 23, 2007 11 am PST (8pm CET)

Register for this webinar here.

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The 2007 Email Rendering Report

The eec's just released their 2007 Rendering Report. The report includes creative examples from Sears, Disney, Citibank and more, as well as trends, statistics and secrets to rendering success.

Executive summary:

Today's current email landscape is tricky. Images and links in emails are often stripped out due to email reader restrictions, reputation scores, or coding errors. The Email Experience Council recently conducted a review of 1,000 emails from both B2C and B2B marketers to assess the renderability of the messages. Email content reviewed included product sales, multiple product offers, newsletters, and event invitations. 21% of the emails reviewed appeared completely blank when images were turned off, or stripped inside a variety of email clients. An additional 28% showed relevant copy, but had no working links.

Continue reading "The 2007 Email Rendering Report" »

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B2B Email Marketing Tactics

In this article, Denise Zimmerman explains how B2B marketers can apply B2C email marketing techniques for success.

According to Forrester's Q2 2006 Business-to-Business Marketing Effectiveness Survey, email ranks third as a marketing tactic used by B2B marketers-- right behind public relations and ahead of direct mail. There is clearly a strong move from B2B marketers to embrace interactive more fully and explore a host of different online tactics.

From a features and functionality perspective as it relates to email marketing software there is not much of a difference between B2B and B2C email marketing-- on the front end. There are some companies that may speak to B2B in their marketing, their press releases and even in their strategic relationships but the supporting systems are really not that much different. It appears that B2B marketers are raising their level of sophistication in how they might use these solutions, borrowing to some extent from their B2C brethren marketers yet in consideration of their own unique needs. The great divide between B2C and B2B actually reveals new opportunities for B2B marketers.

Continue reading "B2B Email Marketing Tactics" »

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Comparing Spam Tactics To Email Marketing Best Practices

Spammers have grown more sophisticated, just like permission email marketers, and have incorporated many new tricks into their dark bag of tricks. Spam has also taken on new appearances and ambitions. 

In this article, Simms Jenkins analyzes a week's worth of spam to see what spammers are up to, and compare their tactics to best practices.

Read more here: Dissecting a Week's Worth of Spam (iMedia Connection)


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Your Email Program May Be Costing You More Than You Think

by Justin Foster, WhatCounts' VP of Professional Services

We all know there are costs associated with doing business. Yet, have you considered the costs associated with doing business ineffectively? If you think email marketing is inexpensive, take a look at the following five costs and consider the potential impact on the bottom line when you fail to communicate effectively with your subscribers.

Opportunity Cost - Opportunity cost is the loss of potential revenue by NOT sending the RIGHT email to the RIGHT person at the RIGHT time. If a well-timed message sent to your subscriber accelerates them to the next conversion, the marketer has succeeded in improving that customer's RFM score. Many of our customers have seen an increase in conversion rates by measuring campaigns in terms of recency and frequency instead of open and click-through rates alone.

Continue reading "Your Email Program May Be Costing You More Than You Think" »

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Your 10-point Email Check-Up Plan

How do your email program perform according to these essential diagnostics?

1. Test your opt-in process to make sure it works and to see how it functions from the user's reference point.
2. Have a human monitor all incoming mailboxes.
3. Review message content, design and performance across platforms and email clients.
4. Optimize both ends of the email relationship.
5. Review all co-registration sources, and monitor by source to see how they perform.
6. Test all links in all email messages, transactional as well as commercial, especially your unsubscribe link.
7. Review your message templates to check codes, CAN-SPAM compliance, usability, potential spam content and working links.
8. Evaluate message design for blocked images and preview panes.
9. Review message frequency and sending schedule.
10. Keep your list clean with periodic removal of inactive addresses.

Read the full article here.

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Redesign Your Email Templates For Shorter And Narrower Preview Panes

EmailLabs says it's time for B2C marketers to throw out their old templates and replace them with longer, narrower versions.

The betas of both Yahoo's and Microsoft's online e-mail clients enable the preview pane by default but these spaces are much smaller than what consumers were hitherto used to. Hence, e-mailers are advised to put calls-to-action and other critical information at the top of messages.

Continue reading "Redesign Your Email Templates For Shorter And Narrower Preview Panes" »

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Lousy Support For HTML And CSS In Outlook 2007

Microsoft had published a pair of articles describing the support for HTML and CSS in Outlook 2007, and the news wasn’t good:

"Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 uses the HTML parsing and rendering engine from Microsoft Office Word 2007 to display HTML message bodies. The same HTML and cascading style sheets (CSS) support available in Word 2007 is available in Outlook 2007. "

The limitations imposed by Word 2007 are described in detail in the article, but here are a few highlights:

  • no support for background images (HTML or CSS)
  • no support for forms
  • no support for Flash, or other plugins
  • no support for CSS floats
  • no support for replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
  • no support for CSS positioning
  • no support for animated GIFs

Continue reading "Lousy Support For HTML And CSS In Outlook 2007" »

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Marketing Wisdom for 2007

MarketingSherpa's fifth annual edition of their "Wisdom" report features stories and lessons learned from 110 marketers and agencies.

You'll find:

  • Email campaign segmentation tests and results
  • Blogging, podcasting and mobile marketing tips
  • Search marketing tactics and offline advertising
  • Web site design and social networking done right

Download it here.


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Email Predictions for 2007

According to Return Path's Matt Blumberg these will be the top 5 trends to watch in 2007:

More spam is on its way: The huge increase in the amount of spam being sent has had some serious implications for ISPs and other receivers as they grapple with the increased traffic on their networks. So far, email users have not been overly bothered by this, but that could change depending on how spam filtering technology evolves. The sharp increase in criminal activity by email (phishing, stock scams and so on) could erode consumer confidence if not curtailed. Look for increased activity around this problem by government, industry associations and businesses.

Continue reading "Email Predictions for 2007" »

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Which Email Tests Work Best?

In November MarketingSherpa's research team conducted the largest-ever survey of email marketers in the world. One of their critical questions was: Which creative email tests give the best ROI (return on investment)?

Chart: Email Tests – B-to-C Marketers Evaluate ROI

Source: MarketingSherpa, Email Marketing Benchmark Survey, November 2006

They chose the six most-common creative tests to ask about. The biggest result: testing in and of itself increases ROI. In every case more than 50% of marketers improved ROI (even if only moderately) by testing.

The top three best ROI tests were more to do with words (copy, offer, subject line) than they were with design or graphics.

They also found out that the landing page is critical. The email department has to have a heavy hand in the Web design team's ongoing tests and decisions. Email can't be an isolated department down the hall anymore and your email analytics are not complete at just open and click, you have to include Web data after the click.

Read more about this in MarketingSherpa's Email Marketing Benchmark Survey.

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Merge Web Analytics With Email Marketing Metrics (podcast)

Email marketing is about information. The more you know about your customers and prospects, the more you can improve response rates, lifetime loyalty and revenue from your email programs. Click-stream data and Web analytics can provide marketers with detailed, actionable information to dramatically improve ROI.

If you want to generate 9 times more revenue and up to 32 times better net profit, you should listen to this podcast (RSS | MP3 | 59 minutes | 23.7 MB).

You'll learn how to:

  • Develop triggered emails that remind customers what they left in shopping carts and offer them incentives to finalize the transaction.
  • Send customers messages based on what pages, categories or products they browse on your site.
  • Renew and refresh relationships with customers who have returned to your site after an extended absence by sending automated email messages welcoming them back.
  • Set up correct tracking
  • Decipher and interpret the data using dashboards
  • Compare and contrast Web analytics and shopping carts vs. Web analytics and site experience (do you optimize experience or revenue?)
  • Get insight into Business Intelligence with real-time email triggers. Learn from the school of hard knocks (what we've learned, what not to do and how to present the value in an organization)

Source: iMediaConnection

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1 in 3 UK Companies Are Breaking Email Privacy Laws

A study carried out by data and marketing company CDMS has revealed that 31% of UK companies are not complying with the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications, more than two years after it became UK law in December 2003.

The European legislation which governs emails with private individuals, demands that companies only send unsolicited sales messages via email to non-customers if they have actively opted-in to receiving them.

Companies across industry sectors were tested to see whether they consistently offered non-customers the opportunity to opt-in to further marketing emails when their details were recorded as the result of a promotion or enquiry. These promotions appeared either on the company's own web site, through a partner company's website, in a third party e-newsletter, or as part of an advertising or direct mail campaign.

Continue reading "1 in 3 UK Companies Are Breaking Email Privacy Laws" »

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Unleash the Potential of Transactional Email Messages

A lot of companies are still missing out on important opportunities for additional sales and relationship building through transactional email messages. Some are even undermining well-executed email marketing strategies by allowing these highly anticipated and widely read messages to come out of separate corporate IT or e-commerce systems.

So how can you avoid missing out on these key touch points in a budding customer relationship? Find the right partner to integrate transactional messaging into the marketing platform, use the right tools, and focus on applying the following best practices to customize, track, and optimize transactional messages:

Continue reading "Unleash the Potential of Transactional Email Messages" »

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Three Easy Resolutions for Email Marketers

Here's another great blog post by Return Path's Stephanie Miller. This time she tells us which three resolutions email marketers can make and easily keep. These resolutions will help you reach more subscribers more effectively, drive higher response and earn new revenue:

  1. Sign up for your own program. It makes it easier to evaluate how your customers experience it if you sign up for it like they do.
  2. Test subject lines regularly. See which ones get the best response.
  3. Segment in segments & make segmentation easy to manage. Tailor your offers to your audience and recognize that your audience is composed of different groups with different interests.

Read more here.

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Christmas 2006: Email Related Seasonal Trends

In a post titled "Season Finale: Christmas", Chad White offers a look back on seasonal trends, email activity and standout B2C marketing during the Christmas season in the US.

Chad's blog is dedicated to tracking the email marketing campaigns of the largest US etailers. As the strategic retail partner of Email Experience Council, his blog tracks retailers’ activities to reveal best practices and trends that are helpful to others in the industry who are looking for ideas, insight and guidance in executing their own campaigns. Check it out here!

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Tips & Tricks to Increase Your Email Marketing ROI in 2007 - Webinar

On January 17th Lyris and Direct Magazine are hosting a webinar called "Email Marketing Playbook: Tips and Tricks to Increase Your Email Marketing ROI in '07".

In this one-hour webinar, Dave Dabbah and Ken Magill will discuss the tactics and strategies you should be sure to start including in your 2007 email campaigns -- and some of the rookie mistakes that you should avoid--including:

  • Ways to increase your opt-in email list: best practices (and a few of the worst)
  • Different approaches for B2B and B2C companies for list-building
  • Three ways to keep your customers and prospects continually engaged
  • How to increase your marketing program's ROI through email
  • Top three ways to improve your email's deliverability

This presentation is designed for experienced email marketers looking for new ideas for improving their email marketing programs.

Register here.

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

Content From Your Readers' Perspective

A strong approach to forging any relationship is to put yourself in the other person's shoes, and consider things from their perspective. Let's break down your subscribers' experience into their two main choices, and then provide the best practices on guiding them toward the best decisions:

1. Should I read this email, delete it, or add it to junk-mail filter?

  • Write a subject line that clearly spells out a benefit to them relevant to their current needs based on any information you have about them. Keep it short - 50 characters or less. Lean toward active voice and action verbs like "Save." Finally, remember to avoid the use of words and punctuation that will label your email as spam by filters - "!!" or "Free" are common examples.
  • The top 800 pixels or so of any email are considered "above the fold," a term from the newspaper industry describing the top half of the front page. This is typically the area that appears in the "preview pane" that readers use to glance at an email while deciding if they should read it. Grab them with a strong visual expressing the benefit your campaign offers: if you sell a popular item at a great price, show a beautiful graphic of the item with the price above it. If you're a publisher of recipes and food newsletters, feature a scrumptious looking meal, Remember that some email clients hide graphics by default, so always include the same information in text.
  • Include your brand name prominently in the campaign. If you've done your homework and stick to a regular schedule, they'll know your messages are valuable, timely, and take their purchasing behaviors into account when segmenting markets, so they're incented to check out what you have to offer.

Continue reading "Content From Your Readers' Perspective" »

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