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April 2010

23 entries from March 2010

Developing a social media marketing strategy

Social-email-guide  The folks over at Social Email Marketing created a 14-page guide on how to develop a social media marketing strategy which I think you'll find interesting.

The guide looks at some of the main strategic social media marketing considerations and provides you with a list of questions to ask yourself before implementing a social media strategy or to improve your existing strategy. 

Topics that are covered: key success factors, creating value and relationships, the role of social media, the importance of listening, letting go of your brand, social media hubs and so-called 'conversation rooms'. The guide also sums up some strategic considerations regarding social media marketing.

You can download it here.

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

5 common reasons why readers aren’t turning into buyers

1. They don’t want what you’ve got.

If this is your problem, you have essentially two choices. 

  1. offer something that more people want
  2. think about how you can build a bridge between something they want and something you offer. 

2. They’re confused

You may have too many different options for them to choose from. If they have to make a choice that’s more complex than “Silver, Gold, Platinum,” you run the very real risk of losing them.

3. Your message is not clear. 

Your sales copy should contain at least these three things:
  • This is what I’ve got. 
  • This is what it will do for you. 
  • This is what you should do next. 

4. You didn’t ask

If you explicitly ask your reader to click the link, dial the number, or whatever other means you use to get that sale, she’s much more likely to do it.

5. They don’t believe you

Build up that trust by creating great business relationships with killer content.

This is just a (short) summary of a (long) article on Copyblogger. Go read the entire story here.

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

What do you want to learn more about?

I am looking for some inspiration for content for this blog, so I figured I'd just ask you what you would like to read about:) 

What are the main questions that you struggle with when it comes to email marketing? What do you want to learn more about?

I will use your answers to create content for this blog, so every question that you ask in the below form will get answered. That's a promise!

(if you read this post in your RSS reader or in my newsletter: you need to go to my blog to view the form and enter your questions).

Thanks a lot for your help!

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

Upcoming Webinar: Why Good Email Gets Blocked As Bad

StephsmOn April 13th, the Email Marketer's Club is organizing another webinar. This time the topic is deliverability and we have invited the amazing Stephanie Miller as a guest presenter: 

Stephanie is one of the smartest people in the email marketing industry and she's an absolutely amazing speaker. It continues to amaze me how much energy she has! 

I am very excited about doing this webinar together with her and I hope you are too!

Why good email marketing gets blocked as bad
April 13, 2010

I was talking to Stephanie on Skype today and she agreed to record a little soundbite in which she talks about what she is going to share with us in the webinar. You can listen to it here.

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

The "Three Layers Of So What" Test

From a very interesting blog post on web metrics by Avinash Kaushik: 

A very simple test can allow you to figure out if the metric you are dutifully reporting (or absolutely in love with) is gold or mud.

It is called the Three Layers of So What test. 

Ask every web metric you report the question "so what" three times.

Each question provides an answer that in turn raises another question (a "so what" again). If at the third "so what" you don't get a recommendation for an action you should take, you have the wrong metric. Kill it.

This brutal recommendation is to force you to confront this reality: If you can't take action, some action (any action!), based on your analysis, why are you reporting data?

The purpose of the "so what" test is to undo the clutter in your life and allow you to focus on only the metrics that will help you take action. 

All other metrics, those that fall into the nice to know or the highly recommended or the I don't know why I am reporting this but it sounds important camp need to be sent to the farm to live our the rest of their lives!


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Stuff you should read

Check out Bronto's 3-part blog post series on optimizing your sign-up process:

Steve Atkins answers the question: Which is better UTF-8 or ISO-? over on the Word to the Wise blog.

Mark Brownlow talks about the interesting stuff you can learn by looking at your stats.

Looking for a job in deliverability or compliance? Check out the job posts on Al's blog

StreamSend has a nice overview of the CAN-SPAM requirements on their blog. Just keep in mind: complying with the law is just the bare minimum of what you need to do - so make sure you're compliant. However, complying with what ISPs ask you to do is what really matters.

Eric Farson discusses the new Spamhaus’ Domain Block List

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

Why do subscribers stop responding?

In this post, Stefan Pollard talks about why subscribers go inactive and how to respond to that. 

He lists 8 main reasons why subscribers stop responding:

  1. List age. As e-mail ages as a marketing channel, mailing lists themselves get older. If addresses on your list are five to 10 years old, they could be abandoned but not invalid yet.
  2. No welcome program to engage new subscribers immediately.
  3. Messages that don't meet subscriber expectations or match preferences.
  4. Weak inbox presence (unbranded sender line and/or generic or boilerplate subject line).
  5. Unsubscribe process that's hard to find, complicated, or untrustworthy.
  6. Large percentage of Web e-mail clients, like Yahoo or Gmail, with high mailbox storage capacity, allowing unopened e-mails to pile up.
  7. Mailing frequency - either too frequently for subscriber comfort and expectations or too seldom.
  8. Offer repetition, where you rotate through the same offers every week. Subscribers catch on and simply ignore your messages, waiting until they are finally in the mood to purchase.

Continue reading here

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

HTML Email Templates

Html-email-templates-for-sale I recently discovered a website that sells HTML email templates for newsletters and promotional emails at very reasonable prices. So if you're in need of a new template, you might want to check it out

It seems they are adding new templates very regularly and you can even have some of the templates customized by the designer.

Disclaimer: the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I make a few bucks if you decide to buy a template from them. If affiliate links bug you, feel free to go directly to their site, my feelings won’t be hurt ;-) They're at

PS. Don't forget to take my short survey to help me understand what you think about this blog and how I could improve it.

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

What do you do when you don't have enough data to personalize?

One question that often comes up when marketers are creating a campaign based on customer data is "what do we send if we don't have any data on a customer?" 

Some might default to a generic message, or not include those consumers in the mailing at all. Sephora takes a different approach. 

In this campaign, Sephora is promoting personalized product recommendations based on skin type, coloring and fragrance preferences. 

Continue reading here, I promise you you'll be amazed at how simple but clever they solved the issue of not having data for some people to personalize the message with.

Hat tip to Chat White for finding this.

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

How to get the attention of inactive subscribers

One of the most cost-effective email marketing programs is outreach targeted to recapture the interest of disengaged subscribers. 

These are customers who subscribed to your email list but lost interest, and stopped opening or clicking your emails. They're still on your list and receive email, but they're no longer purchasing from you. 

It's not uncommon for 40 percent or more of a brand's list to be inactive. 

Recapture programs have the best return when they're made a permanent part of your email marketing mix. 

A persistent, ongoing recapture program has these ingredients: 

  1. Define "inactive subscribers" 
  2. Establish baseline statistics of their email (email service provider) and site (web analytics) behavior: click and open rates, conversion rate, revenue per mailing 
  3. Generate an email list of inactive customers 
  4. Send recapture offer email 
  5. Measure response 
  6. Feed results back, repeat

 Continue reading here.

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

Rendering challenge for Hotmail in Firefox

If emails are not coded properly, a border is added to every image when the email is viewed with Hotmail in Firefox. An examination of emails from 102 major online retailers revealed that 55% of them had not properly coded their emails to circumvent this problem.

This new 5-page report discusses this issue in more detail, shares examples, and provides the fix to avoid the issue.

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

Email & Social Media: a couple of stats

In her post "Making Social & Email Work Together" on the MarketingSherpa blog, Jeanne Jennings shares some interesting stats on email & social:

The strategic link between social and email is supported by “View from the Social Inbox 2010”, released by Merkle last month. It builds on the findings published by MarketingSherpa earlier this year, and by Silverpop in their “Emails Gone Viral: Measuring ‘Share to Social’ Performance” late last year.

Merkle found that people who use social media actually check their email more frequently than those that do not: 42% of social media users check their email four times a day or more, compared to just 27% of those that don’t use social media.

Even better news for marketers: 63% of those surveyed said that they use the same email account for social media messages as they do to opt-in to permission based email.

A recent MarketingSherpa study found that 75% of daily social media users said that email is the best way for companies to communicate with them, compared to 65% of all email users. And 49% of Twitter users said they made an online purchase because of an email, compared to 33% of all email users

The Silverpop study found that social media share links included in email messages were receiving clickthrough rates of 0.5%. It may not sound like much, but it is significantly higher than the clickthrough rates on the “forward this email to a friend” links that marketers have been using for years.
Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Myth: Sender reputation is irrelevant for B2B marketers.

According to George Bilbrey and Stephanie Miller: 

It's actually more important. Many corporate system administrators use the same types of data as Yahoo, Hotmail and other leading ISPs do -- and in many cases, their standards are even tougher.

The reality is that B2B marketers have to work twice as hard as B2C marketers because smaller files make each email address that much more valuable.

Layer in the fact that B2B files are comprised of people's work email addresses, which change frequently (unlike in the consumer world, where people keep their email accounts for 5+ years).

Finally, B2B email is about persuading the subscriber to engage with your content over a long period of time in hopes of building a relationship that will lead to a large sale. There is no unquenchable revenue number to mask poor performance in B2B.

Source: Seven Myths And Two Truths About Inbox Placement

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25 easy-to-digest email tips

Kara Trivunovic posted a list of 25 Things Email Marketers Don't Seem to Know -- But Should

These are my favorites:

  • Best time of day to send email is like the chupacabra: it doesn't really exist, but people keep looking for it. 
  • If you don't know the value of an email address to your organization, you cannot effectively communicate your program's impact. 
  • Your CMO doesn't care that you have a 98% delivery rate, (s)he wants to know what it means to the business. 
  • Setting proper and honest expectations at the point of subscription builds better email relationships. 
  • The "one message for all" approach is not relevant for "all." Really, seriously, it isn't. 
Read the remaining 20 tips here.

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