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11 entries from December 2008

Increasing volumes in the UK

Alchemy Worx has just launched their twice-monthly newsletter Email-Worx, and once a month they will be reporting on different aspects of B2C emails received via their monitor. The information reported on will include volumes, frequency, send days, from addresses, subject line lengths, spam folder delivery and more and is aptly named the Alchemy Worx Consumer Mailbox Index, or AWCM Index for short.

One of the findings in this month's report was that email volumes in the UK have risen by 43% between August and November, 2008.

Dela Quist, CEO says "As a result of the credit crunch, retailers are under a lot of pressure to reduce their margins so it is not really surprising that they are trying to reduce their costs by switching to email – which is still by far the cheapest way of getting offers out to their customers. This huge increase in email volume is not necessarily a bad thing for consumers; most people will tolerate a full inbox if the emails they get deliver real value.

Put it this way would you as a consumer prefer more emails and lower prices or higher prices and a clever ad campaign in the press or on TV?"

Another key finding was that during this period,  Monday and Friday were tied leaders for volumes sent (25% each), followed closely by Thursday (23%), then Wednesday (20%), Tuesday (12%) and the weekend (5 and 4%).

To view this month's AWCM Index click here
To sign up for email-worx click here.

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

Call for Speakers: Email Marketing Summit in Germany, May 2009

It seems MarketingSherpa is planning an email summit in Europe in 2009. I just received the below email from them:

Over 100 European marketers will gather in Munich, Germany, May 12-13 for MarketingSherpa's inaugural Email Marketing Summit. Here's your chance to be one of the speakers.

Click here for the speaking proposal form:

We're especially looking for marketers who market in Europe or to the European market who can share their own experiences, campaign war stories and lessons learned. Submit a speaking proposal that will cover one of the following subjects:

  • Legal and compliance issues with emails in the EU
  • Consumer and privacy concerns in email marketing in the EU
  • Email data management
  • Setting up a database for success in email marketing
  • Strategies for long-term care and nurturing of email database
  • Email address recovery
  • Effective email content
  • Social media, Web 2.0 and email
  • Ways to drive your email message
  • Metrics
  • Connection of email to landing pages

Nominate yourself, a boss or a client. Again, here's the link to the speaking proposal form:
(Deadline: January 31, 2009)

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

Takeaways From The Email Insider Summit

Unfortunately I couldn't attend the Email Insider Summit this week, but those that did, used Twitter to keep us up to date on what was going on on stage and posted recaps on their blogs.

Here are my main takeaways from reading all the great stuff they wrote:

Anna Billstrom wrote:

  • Great comment by Jay of MySpace regarding email: “I laugh at people who think email is killing social media, social media needs email now more than ever.
  • video will be available in emails in the next month or so, and for Yahoo and AOL only. The perk on this is that JavaScript will also be available in email, of course only if you’re using GoodMail services.
  • Each session talked about how money is flowing from direct marketing and advertising/pr/media into email. What is the result? “It will be horrible,” says Bloxham. You’ll get more people contending for real estate on your newsletter, more demands to increase frequency, and more people just wanting to be a chef in the kitchen.
  • If it’s old, irrelevant, or uninteresting, users call it spam.
  • Make sure to read Anna's extensive recap of the keynote session about the Barack Obama campaign.

DJ Waldow wrote:

  • If you are responsible for email at your company and your job ends at the click-through, your company is in trouble.
  • Beware of the “Hippo” (HIghest Paid Opinion, aka the boss). Best response is, “Great. We’ll test that.”
  • The “Critical List”: Know the value of an email address. Measure everything. Test everything. Segmentation is the key.
  • Most email metrics mean something to us (as email marketers), but not to senior management. If you can’t put it in a context that means something to your management, your efforts will be marginalized.

Stephanie Miller wrote:

  • Stephen Geer of Obama for America reminded us all that we have to balance risk and reward when we make deliverability (and revenue opportunity) decisions every day. No question the Obama team reinvented campaigning in the US. Email was a critical component of both communicating the message as well as driving action. For Geer, frequency and complaints went hand in hand. Frequency seemed to win. His answer, "We knew that we could survive a certain amount of churn (fatigue combined with deliverability failures) because of our list growth."

  • a panel of moms reminded us that time is the greatest currency for subscribers, and especially this audience. "The computer is a time sucker," one mother said. All the panelists reported that they use the delete button heavily. "First thing I do when I open my email is just delete a bunch of stuff." One mother said, "I enjoy requesting offers, but then I don't know what I'm asking for. When I get it every day or every other day. I just deleted them." Another panelist compared the barrage of messages to her children. "It's like my inbox is another kid, calling Mom, Mom, Mom. All this noise, it just blends in. I can't keep up, I don't even try."

  • We talked a lot about segmentation and data management throughout the marketer panel and the roundtables. Many marketers are still not segmenting their files, although everyone seems to acknowledge the value of doing this. Why not? Time, resources and expertise. One marketers said to me, " Hey this channel was supposed to be free, and now you are talking about data management and higher fees to profile subscribers!" My response: We are talking about higher revenue, loyalty and lifetime value, too!

Dylan Boyd wrote:

The Obama team uses the 3 M’s: Messaging, Mobilization and Money

Messaging: Strict Messaging Discipline - We followed everything that was said in the press, long term and short term messaging themes. Using email as the vehicle to drive home the points made that day, week or based on an event connected people more to the campaign than any other method.

"Early on we learned that email could not only be a useful tool but a powerful vehicle to drive action." 

Mobilization: By using forms, surveys and behavior we were able to find evangelists, friends and people that could help us get to more people faster via word of mouth than ever before. People heard the calls to action for fund raising, voting, and helping which in turn allowed us to organize geographically faster and in a more efficient manner.

Money: Online donations for a political campaign set records using email. Although we did not feel as if we were always asking for money, we did always include a donate button. This drove micro donations for the campaign which added up fast. Using our database system to track individual donors we were able to match up their top out levels so that people cold maximize their donations over a period of time in support of the campaign and the candidate.

Continue reading here.

Last but not least: this is what I took away from the 19 pages of tweets about the Email Insider Summit:

  • djwaldow: Single biggest day of fundraising in the history of politics was day after Gov Palin's acceptance speech according to Stephen Geer
  • samrpath: Stephen Geer of Obama campaign on email frequency: It's a trade off of unsubs & churn with fundraising. Easy math - fundraising wins.
  • mikeferguson: keynote from Obama campaign: segmentation and personal relevance were key to creating and empowering [brand] advocates
  • jkrohrs: Big part of Obama campaign's email success was that email team wrote emails, not speechwriters. Closer to subscribers. VERY smart.
  • mikeferguson: What taught me about "moms and email": put blackberries and iPhones on their holiday wishlists. They're time-strapped yet savvy
  • jaffejuice: panel with moms: frequency of e-mails is like kids going, "Mom, mom, mom, mom, MOM, MOM!!!, Mom, Mom!!!!!!"
  • LorenMcDonald: Moms are all very different, but what they do have in common is the need for usability, transparency, trust of referrals & convenience
  • mikeferguson: Use email as a leading indicator: test offers via email, before deploying via other traditional channels. Jim Sterne
  • gpalatine: Big take away from Social Media session - Companies must be willing to "lose control of their messaging" when using social media
  • banane: #eis couldn't agree more, Mike Foley from NYT: "You should be giving your readers as many ways as possible to read your content."
  • RetailEmailBlog: Attribution choices: 1. Spread evenly, 2. Last click is king, 3. First click is king, 4. Weighted by time, 5. Weighted by budget
  • LorenMcDonald: Jack Hogan says Lifescript pulls back on sending to subscribers who are "inactives" for a period as little as 30 days

And finally: here are the pictures! :-)

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

Strategies Without Metrics Are Only Wishes

Stephanie Miller wrote a great post over on the Mediapost Raw blog during this week's Email Insider Summit. Here are some clippings:

...Jim Sterne, the keynote speaker here at the Email Insider Summit today reminds us that strategies without metrics are only wishes. He quoted the oft heard quip, “Do not use stats as a drunkard uses a lamp post – for support rather than illumination.” ...

...Jim reminds us that the only three business metrics that count are increased revenue, lower expenses and increased customer satisfaction...

...The only way to improve response and revenue from email marketing is to create great subscriber experiences. It’s pretty simple - give your subscribers what they want (relevance, power, control, insight, fame) and they will give you what you want (revenue, response, engagement)...

...Email is a wonderful tool, and a great way to establish my reputation and build relationships. But it’s also the fastest way to destroy my reputation by looking like a spammer...

...The experiences we create must be important to the subscriber, not by what we as corporate messengers think is important. Everything we measure has to be about the customer not about the company...

Read the full post here.

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

My Last Days as an Employee...

You may have noticed the reduced frequency of postings on this blog. There's a reason for that: I've been VERY busy setting up my own business. That's right: I'm leaving Ogilvy end of this week to start my own business as an independent email and social marketing consultant :-)

It was not an easy decision to make and those that know me a bit better, know that it's something that has been on my mind for quite a while now.

As an independent consultant I will help my clients to figure out how to make the best use of social media and email marketing. The services that I will be offering as from January include giving advice, coaching and conducting in-house workshops, brainstorming and training sessions on topics such as:

  • Getting started with email marketing
  • Getting smarter about email marketing
  • Choosing the right email marketing platform
  • Creating effective email marketing strategies
  • Designing email templates
  • Email coding best practices
  • Growing your email list
  • Making sure your emails arrive in the inbox
  • Integrating email into the marketing mix
  • How to use/engage with social media and social networking in a business environment
  • and lots more...

What does this mean for this blog? Nothing really. I will continue to read email marketing articles and I will continue to post the best and most interesting bits and pieces on my blog, like I have been doing for nearly 4 years now. Wish me luck! And if you want to hire me, let me know :-)

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

Want To Beta-Test a New Email Alert Service?

My good friend Bill McCloskey is offering 60-day-free trial accounts for their new Alerts offering because they’d like to get as many beta testers as possible. You can pre-register here. But hurry, because pre-registration closes in a couple of days!

This alerts service allows you to set up email alerts for emails that come from a particular IP address, come from a particular sender, contain a keyword or phrase, drive traffic to a particular web site and more.

Check it out!

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

links for 2008-12-4

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Survey: E-mail Remains Top Internet Activity

E-mail is the most popular online activity, according to a survey from Mediamark Research and Intelligence, with almost three-quarters (74.2%) of all U.S. adults using e-mail, up 5.2% compared with the fall of 2007.

In addition, according to MRI’s “Fall 2008 Survey of the American Consumer”: 46.0% of respondents obtain news online; 37.2% made a purchase for personal use; 11.4% made a purchase for business use; and 28.3% obtained financial information.

While each of these activities grew modestly over the same period in 2007, some other activities grew rapidly. Those include downloading a TV program, done by just 3.2% of those polled but representing a 141.4% growth over the same period last year. MRI’s in-person survey was conducted in September 2008.

Source: btobonline

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Time Of Day: Some Insights

After reading this article my colleague Skip Fidura posted a great piece on time of day testing in email marketing:

The interesting thing is that we have come full circle. In the early days of email it was a free for all but people quickly realised that email was all about getting the right message to the right people at the right time. It was the last part that caused all of the worry.

How would we as marketers know when somebody was likely to be receptive to our message? So, we assumed that all consumers care about is the weekend and applied some "logic" about their behaviour as it related to the weekend and decided Wednesday would be the best day to send.

Some of the more clever email marketers realised that if every body was sending on a Wednesday it would be too hard to achieve cut-through so they overlaid this thought with the previous thinking on the importance of the weekend and said Tuesday was better (although some argued for Thursday).

Throughout the Great Day of the Week Debate, individually we struggled to answer the question, "I have changed to the 'optimal' day and my results have gone down." Luckily as marketers we had a ready made answer to this dilemma. "Maybe our customers are different. We should test it." These individual conversations eventually lead to a groundswell until most everybody was in agreement that we should rigorously test for the optimal day of the week and hey, let's throw in time of day as well.

Continue reading here.

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