Previous month:
February 2009
Next month:
April 2009

27 entries from March 2009

links for 2009-03-31

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

Creating an Opt-Down Strategy

In this article, Stefan Pollard explains why you should offer an opt-down option on your unsubscribe page and offers some advice on how to do this:

  • Use topic choice rather than cadence to reduce e-mail frequency.
  • Define your message streams clearly.
  • Start with a short survey.
  • Encourage subscribers to update their preferences regularly.
  • Act on what subscribers are telling you.

Read the article here.

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

links for 2009-03-27

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

links for 2009-03-25

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

links for 2009-03-24

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

Most popular email clients in February 2009

Campaign Monitor analyzed 6 months of data covering more than 250 million opens. The result - a birds eye view of email client popularity and usage trends over time. Check it out here.

What I found most interesting to see is the total market share held by the 5 most popular email email client over the last 6 months. Seems like the adoption of Outlook 2007 is growing slowly but steadily...


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

Embracing multiple marketing mediums

For me, Matt Blumberg started the 'email is not dead' cry with his brief but elegant post - but in actuality, the 'email is dead' train started back a couple of years ago - and surprise, surprise - not only is email not dead, but it is going stronger than ever.

Recently a couple of friends also took up the baton of defending email and why is email being picked on so much?  - this time around the threat isn't RSS but social media.

I fully support the notion that email is not dead - as Jeanniey Mullen of EEC has said time and time again, email is the backbone of digital marketing and it certainly isn't going away. As I briefly referred to in this post recently; as new technologies come along they cause a bit of excitement - but eventually they all settle down to play their roles in what we know as the 'marketing mix'...RSS is a perfect historical example of this.

The real question I think is not which medium is best - but as marketers, how do we incorporate and take advantage all of these new marketing mediums in order to reach our customers? - not as a replacement to email, but in conjunction with email, so that we reach our clients/subscribers using their currently preferred medium.

One of the main changes in the past couple of years with the internet is the attitude of the digital marketing recipient. Their expectations have changed over the years as they have become very user savvy and so are now accustomed to receiving only relevant, targeted information to be delivered to them - whether it be via search engines, banner ads, email marketing, RSS etc. 

Google has recognised this change with their users and so has implemented the adjustable promote/delete options within their search results according to the users preferences. Another example of a digital company taking customer's preferences into account is Facebook's latest redesign - you can now hide the wall posts of people which  aren't of interest to you - again the keyword here is preferences.

In email marketing we also understand this and marketing via email has now (or should now) be a matter of thinking of what value can I supply  to my client/subscriber rather than what message/product do I want to market. The focus should now be on the client's requirements rather than your own requirements as a marketer.

Assuming customers preferences are taking centre stage in our marketing plans, we now need to look at whether incorporating social media tools such as Facebook, Linked in, Twitter etc into the marketing mix is applicable to our businesses.  

The main aim is to be able to provide your client/subscriber base with a valuable offer (whether it be a service, a product, information etc) via the mediums of their choice. It's not about which medium is best, about whether email is dead, or whether social media is the latest and greatest - it is about which mix of mediums are appropriate for your business and client /subscriber base.

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

Does Email Marketing Have a Future?

Yesterday someone asked me if a message that is sent from a Facebook fan page owner to his/her fans could be considered to be email marketing. Today someone asked me if I thought that social networks would mean the end of email marketing. My answer to the first question was yes and my answer to the second question was no. Let me explain.

I consider any message that is sent to a digital mailbox to be a form of email marketing, or to use a better term: digital direct marketing. A digital mailbox can take many different forms: it could be an email inbox, it could be your Facebook inbox, your RSS reader, your mobile inbox or even your Twitter inbox.

Which form it takes, doesn't really matter: basic email marketing best practices apply to all of them: you need to have permission and you need to provide value, otherwise you won't be successful.

I think it's very likely that the term "email marketing" will cease to exist in the near future. Not because we won't be doing email marketing anymore, but because we won't only be targeting email inboxes anymore.

I see a future where technology will allow us to prepare a message that can be delivered to all these digital mailboxes with just a push of a button. One person will receive it as an email, another will get a direct message on Twitter, a third one will see it in his/her RSS reader, a fourth one will read it on his/her Blackberry, a fifth will get a text message and someone else will read it on Facebook.

So what should we start calling this type of marketing? Digital Direct Marketing? Digital Dialogue Marketing? Inbox Marketing? What do you think?

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

links for 2009-03-17

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

Four New Marketing Segments You Need to Know About

In her latest ClickZ column, Jeanniey Mullen says we have to be smarter about our segments and find ways to make e-mail work harder for us in this digital world.

These are the four new e-mail marketing segments that she says we need to know about:

The Social Influencer

These are people who signed up for your e-mails, but only respond to them occasionally. It's not that they don't love your brand -- they do. They're just too busy on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and 75 other networks to click on your e-mail.

Send them an e-mail that impresses them, though, and watch what happens. Nope, they still won't click through and buy, but they will post it to their groups and drive up to 412 percent more response to your campaign than you would have had with your entire list alone.

Why? These people are influencers. You know, the cool kids. Get these guys to love your message and your campaign will be bigger than you had ever dreamed.

The High-value Customer

Sometimes the people in this segment are mistaken as the most important on your list. In the new world of e-mail, these are called the short-term revenue drivers.

These people buy from you. But they love you so much, they want you to be their best kept secret. So there's very little exposure of your e-mail to their friends and family.

Think of these people as your revenue rock. They provide the base of money, while social influencers blow out your ROI.

The Wannabes

This is 80 percent of your list -- people who like your brand, but who need your help. They love the offers and the deals.

What are they looking for? For you to tell them how to best work with you. E-mail people in this segment with ways to leverage your Web site, access deals, and just plain be more engaged. They want to be high value or social -- they just need your help.

The "This is Spam" Clickers or Unsubscribers

These are people who felt your message wasn't relevant to them. Some were so uninspired they couldn't even find the time to look for the unsubscribe link -- they just clicked, "this is spam" to get you out of their inbox.

Beware! These people are really social influencers in disguise. One unsubscribe or "this is spam" click can equate to 10 people hearing about how bad your e-mail is.

In the new world of e-mail, these people should be targeted in different ways. Woo them back before they cause brand damage.

Read the full article here.

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

Use Your Post-Conversion Page To Grow Email Subscribers

Once a visitor has converted on your site, you know a few things about them:

  1. They sit nicely in your target market (they've just bought from you, after all).
  2. They trust you enough to purchase from you, or at least to give you some of their personal info.
  3. They have just completed the one action that was in the forefront of their mind & are looking for the next thing to do.

At that point, you have a nice opportunity to ask them to recommend you to a friend. Here are 4 ideas to get you started. Drop us a note in the comments with anything you've done along these lines.

1. The Free Gift

"Hi, John, we're trying to spread the word about and to do that we'd like to offer you the opportunity to send a Free Gift to a friend! Just fill in your friend's email address below and we'll drop them a note telling them you'd like to send a gift to them and asking for their address. Don't worry, we won't store their email address and we won't bombard them with emails!"

2. The Competition

"Hi, Diane, thanks for your order! We have a competition running right now. For your chance to win a free Nintendo Wii, just enter a friend's email address below. We'll give you one entry AND we'll email your friend with a free entry to the competition! Don't worry, we won't store their email address..."

3. The Special Offer Today

"Hi, Rohit, thanks for your order! Right now you're paying $3.95 delivery, but we'd like to give you a little special offer. Enter a friend's email address below and we'll drop them an email asking them to sign up for our newsletter. If they sign up in the next 24 hours, we'll totally refund your delivery charge! Don't worry, we won't bombard them with emails..."

4. The Special Offer Next Time

"Hey, Susie, thanks for your order - we're ecstatic you felt happy enough to buy with us today & we'd love to have your custom again. In fact, we'll happily give you 10% off your next order if you'll help us spread the word about Just enter a friend's email address below & we'll drop them a note asking them to visit our site. If they visit, we'll automatically send you a voucher for 10% off your next order..."

These are just 4 quick ideas. Let us know if you love them, hate them, or if you've done anything along these lines.       

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

How to Reduce Your Spam Complaints by 75%

The guys over at StreamSend posted a couple of tips on How To Reduce Your Spam Complaints by 75%. Here's a summary:

If you find that you are getting 1 complaint out of 1,000 emails sent or more, you risk getting your IP address blocked by one or more ISPs.

We have found that customers who place the unsubscribe link at the top of the email often reduces their complaints by about 75%. This can easily make the difference between getting blocked and not getting blocked.

Move the unsubscribe link to the top and make it very visible and very easy to find. You might even want to make the text bigger. Some senders might be concerned that a very easy-to-find unsubscribe link will reduce their list size. The fact is, people who want to get off your list are going to do so either by using the very easy-to-find spam complaint button (which can hurt your delivery) or they will click your very easy-to-find unsubscribe link.

By making your unsubscribe link highly visible, you keep your emails from being blocked from those who really want to receive them.

It might even be a good idea to put the unsubscribe link at the top regardless of your complaint levels. The ISPs have made it extremely easy to complain with a click of a button so you might as well make it easy to unsubscribe.

For some people, the "mark as spam" is the standard way they unsubscribe from lists rather than taking the time to scroll down to the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email. If you have low complaint levels now, you could make them even lower.

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

links for 2009-03-15

  • The welcome email is probably the single greatest opportunity that email marketers have to engage subscribers and drive action. They generate superior open rates, arriving ideally at a time of maximum receptivity. And done well, they create a halo effect that boosts subscribers’ engagement with subsequent promotional and trigger emails.
    (tags: study)
  • if you send a lot of volume and use an advanced email service provider, you might find them not only a bit more flexible on price, but also more accommodating in offering additional features and services.
    (tags: esp)
  • Listen to what the supposed experts have to say. Observe what your peers and competitors are doing. Apply the practice that makes the most sense to your business. Test it and measure ROI over the long term to determine what the right practice is for your company.
  • If you want to keep your revenue at a lackluster level this quarter, try some of these "sales prevention" strategies – all examples taken from real live messages in our inboxes this week.
    (tags: tactics)
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Live Coverage from MarketingSherpa's Email Summit

No, I am not in Miami, but a lot of folks are covering the event via Twitter and you can follow what they are talking about here:

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

links for 2009-03-13

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