42 posts categorized "Industry News" Feed

AOL Is Looking for Input From ISPs and ESPs

Just read this on Laura's excellent Word to the Wise blog and thought I'd help spread the word:

AOL is looking for input from ISPs and ESPs to better understand how you handle data sent to you by AOL.

In regards to bounces - users unknown, specifically - could you please explain the following:

  • ESPs: When do you take action on clients because of bounces? What is your threshold for acceptable, and not? Do you have an escalating level of punishment for people who break your thresholds?
  • ISPs: What is your threshold for “acceptable” in regards to inbound mail streams and “users unknown”? What do you do when that threshold is breached?

Here's where you should submit your responses to. Do NOT answer them here because Laura won't read them here.

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UK DMA Email Marketing Council's New Look Newsletter

Phew...that's a mouthful! But it's worth checking out (I may be a tad biased as I'm the Editor). The newsletter Infobox, is now open to non DMA members as well as members. Yay!

In this first issue of the newly re-designed Infobox, the delightful Stephanie Miller from ReturnPath talks about Reputation, Simone Barratt of e-Dialog tells us how to make the most of our existing database and I interview Stefan Pollard on non responders. Read it here.

To receive it in your inbox every month, you can subscribe here: http://email.dma.org.uk/infobox

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MarketingSherpa Names Winners of 2008 Email Marketing Awards

At MarketingSherpa's 3rd Annual Email Summit award ceremony held today, Jeanne Hopkins and Exact Target's Joel Book presented Email Awards in recognition of the year's most outstanding email marketing campaigns. Logitech's campaign submitted by Direct Impact, "Logitech DiNovo Edge and Logitech MX Revolution," was named Best of Show.

The awards are rewarding campaigns that work successfully in the real world. Entries were submitted into 10 categories and further broken into B-to-B or consumer. Attendees of the Email Summit will be given the opportunity to review all the winning campaigns. 

The 2008 Email Marketing Awards include: 

  • Best of Show: "Logitech DiNovo Edge and Logitech MX Revolution" submitted by Direct Impact (Consumer: Promotional Blast-Direct Sale or Lead Gen Offer category) 
  • Best (or most dramatic) test you learned from (B-to-B) Gold: "Southcentral Foundation Company Newsletter" submitted by Southcentral Foundation 
  • Best (or most dramatic) test you learned from (Consumer) Gold: "Key Messaging MultiVariate Test for Kolbe Corp." submitted by Mighty Interactive Silver: "Insurance.com - CYQ Urgent Email" submitted by Insurance.com 
  • Best Automated Series (Auto Responder) (B-to-B) Gold: "VMWare - Customer Cost Savings" submitted by VMWare Silver: "Dell - Customer Ratings & Reviews" submitted by T3 (The Think Tank) Honorable Mention: "CoastGuard Automated Series Upgrade 2007" submitted by Placeworld Marketing 
  • Best Automated Series (Auto Responder) (Consumer) Gold: "Intellidyn Lead Incubation" submitted by Intellidyn Corporation Silver: "Farecast Alert - Airfare Predictions" submitted by Farecast Honorable Mention: "Les Roches Autoresponder" submitted by Internet Strategy Group 
  • Best Email Opt-in Campaign (B-to-B) Gold (Information Management): "IBM - Gain Greater ROI" submitted by IBM Gold (Telecom): "Motorola WiMAX Global Relationship Marketing Campaign" submitted by Motorola Gold (Largest Entry): "Rainmaker Report - The One Piece of Advice You Can't Generate Leads Without" submitted by RainToday.com Gold (Technology): "The Sun Asian Pacific Re-Engagement Campaign" submitted by Acxiom Digital Silver: "Germanwings October Revolution" submitted by rabbit eMarketing Honorable Mention: "MomAgenda" submitted by Portent Interactive 
  • Best Email Opt-in Campaign (Consumer) Gold (Retail): "Circuit City Marketing Email" submitted by Circuit City Gold (Recreation): "AMF $50,000 Summer Free-For-All" submitted by Fishbowl Inc. Gold (Publishing): "BHG.com & Parents.com - 50 Days of Giveaways" submitted by Meredith Corporation Gold (Education): "Learning A-Z - Open House" submitted by Learning A-Z 
  • Best Non-Email Opt-in Messaging (B-to-B) Gold: "Dell - Email Registration Direct Mail" submitted by T3 (The think Tank) Silver: "Royal Caribbean Cruises - VIP CruisePass" submitted by OTOlabs 
  • Best Non-Email Opt-in Messaging (Consumer) Gold: "U.S. Army Recruiting" submitted by U.S. Army Silver (tie): "Motorcycle Insurance - In the Saddle" submitted by Ariad Marketing Communications Silver (tie): "Vail SnowMate" submitted by Recreation-OTOlabs 
  • Best Postcard-Style Campaign (B-to-B) Gold: "Internet Marketing Services - A Holiday Gift" submitted by Blue Tent Marketing 
  • Best Postcard-Style Campaign (Consumer) Gold: "Renault SIAB" submitted by White Image Silver: "Indiana University - Fiscal Year-end Thanks You Email" submitted by Indiana University Foundation 
  • Best Promotional Relaunch Blast (Consumer) Gold: "Spencer Gifts - Fart Machine - "That Ain't Hot Air - Fart-O-Nator" submitted by Spencer Gifts 
  • Best Promotional Blast-Direct Sale or Lead Gen Offer (B-to-B) Gold: "Dell - Top Rated Products" submitted by T3 (The Think Tank) Silver: "SAP PartnershipEdge Program" submitted by SAP America Honorable Mention: "Biolase Ezlase Diode Laser" submitted by Biolase Technology 
  • Best Promotional Blast-Direct Sale or Lead Gen Offer (Consumer) Gold: "Wacom: Power of Pens" submitted by eROI Silver (tie): "Kodak - "Two-fer" submitted by OgilvyOne Worldwide Silver (tie): "Windows Live Hotmail Incentivize Migration" submitted by VML Seattle Honorable Mention: "Raptors - Oh My Bosh!" submitted by Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment 
  • Best Single Welcome Letter (to New Subscribers) (B-to-B) Gold: "Priority club Meeting Rewards - Welcome Emails" submitted by Digitas 
  • Best Single Welcome Letter (to New Subscribers) (Consumer) Gold: "Maxwell House - Spruce Up Your House" submitted by OgilvyOne Worldwide 
  • Best Triggered Personalized Email (B-to-B) Gold: "Wer liefert was? (WLW) Customer Loyalty Program" submitted by rabbit eMarketing Silver: "Dell Small & Medium Business Saved Cart" submitted by T3 (The Think Tank) 
  • Best Triggered Personalized Email (Consumer) Gold: "Happy Birthday from Pepsi" submitted by Tribal DDB Silver: "Tennessee Dept. of Tourist Development - License to Ride with Elvis or Dolly" submitted by Paramore/Redd Online Marketing 
  • Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes (B-to-B) Gold: "Sun Microsystems Global Channel Partner Newsletter" submitted by Connection2 Silver: "Cars.com Dealer Advantage" submitted by Cars.com 
  • Best Email Newsletter for Marketing Purposes (Consumer) Gold: "HP Home & Home Office Store Newsletter Redesign" submitted by Yesmail Silver (tie): "My Coke Rewards Newsletter" submitted by Yesmail Silver (tie): "Sears - What's in Store for You? email program" submitted by M Marketing Inc.
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Mobile RSS Reader with Pre-Loaded Email Marketing Blogs

eROI wanted to give marketers a new mobile tool to help them stay connected to the sites and blogs that they should be reading on the go. Therefore they brought together a collection of some of the top sites in a handy mobile RSS reader app. You can even add your own content from a library of sites and blogs as well as add any RSS feeds you might find useful. Get it here!

Thanks Dylan! We love you! :-)

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Jeanniey Mullen to Leave OgilvyOne

On Monday, Jeanniey Mullen announced to us that she will be leaving OgilvyOne very soon and that she will be joining Zinio Systems and VIV Magazine to be their EVP and CMO. It sounds like a great and exciting opportunity for her and I wish her all the best! We're sad to see you go, Jeanniey :(

Update: Jeanniey is not leaving the eec! Read her comment to this post.

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The Email Marketer's Club in a Job Description

This is kinda cool:

In December Cakemail posted a job opening on their blog because they were/are looking for a Deliverability Manager. They included the following item in the job description:

Contribute to industry discussions online, such as ReputationWiki.org and the Email Marketer's Club.

This shows, once again, that the Email Marketer's Club is being acknowledged for what it is: a great resource for marketers and industry folks to share knowledge and insights. If you're not a member yet: join this fast-growing club now!

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Chad's takeaways from the Email Insider Summit

Chad White posted his takeaways from the Email Insider Summit on his excellent blog. Here are some of the highlights:

  • While sender reputation was, of course, much talked about, the newer angle was the effect of content links on deliverability. For instance, Craig Spiezle, director of online trust at Microsoft, said if you create a link to an IP address, [the email] is going to be blocked because that’s a known spammer tactic. “Just like you don’t want to look like a spammer, you don’t want your links to look like a phisher,” he said.
  • Dennis Dayman, director of deliverability, privacy and standards at StrongMail, told the story of a teen furniture and accessories retailer that was getting blocked by MSN/Hotmail because they used “teen” throughout their emails along with other key words that led Microsoft’s systems to suspect that their emails were pedophilia-related. He said it took six to eight weeks before the realized the issue and were able to get it resolved.
  • 8% of email users triage their email with handhelds, deleting spam and unimportant emails so when they get to a computer only the relevant emails remain, according to Daniels.

Continue reading here.

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Stephanie Miller's Top 5 Observations and Predictions for the Email Marketing Industry

Over on the Email Insider Summit blog Stephanie Miller (one of the industry thought leaders that I admire very much) posted her top five observations and predictions for the industry:

  1. Relevancy is key to success in email marketing.  As email marketing expands to include mobile distribution, social networking and multi-channel approaches, creating amazing subscriber experiences now includes not just pace and content but place.  We have more opportunity than ever and the technology is making it easier to tap multiple messaging channels to reach and engage with subscribers and prospects.

  2. Subscriber fatigue is real.  The bar is higher and we marketers need to step up and work harder to create compelling subscriber experiences.  Even outside of the horrible spam, our inboxes are too full of messages that do not speak to us as individuals.

  3. Sender reputation matters.  The ISPs and receivers are working harder than ever to battle the spammers, and legitimate senders still get caught in the trap.  There is still a lot of friction between marketers and ISPs/receivers, and marketers and government regulators.  We as an industry need to step up here to remove some of this friction. 

  4. Segmentation isn’t going far enough.  Stephanie was delighted to see how many more marketers are employing segmentation in 2007 than in 2006.  Bravo, bravo!  But the net effect for subscribers is still that too many programs feel generic.  We are not yet creating 1:many experiences that feel like 1:1 to our subscribers, and that is what is driving up fatigue and complaints and depressing response rates.

  5. List growth will come from well timed, short term email experiences, rather than one size fits all opt-ins.  Not every email experience has to be forever.  Instead, we marketers will be able to tap into the key moments of the customer lifecycle to create unique and powerful experiences when the customer is in market.  When the customer is not in market, we’ll send less email that focuses on relationship rather than transaction.

Thanks for sharing this wisdom with us, Stephanie! I really hope I can make it to the May edition of the Email Insider Summit.

Source: Email Insider Summit blog

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Email Insider Summit: Is Technology Good or Bad for the Industry?

On the Email Insider Summit blog, Stephanie Miller talks about a lively debate that occured at a panel in the morning.

"Moderator Matt Blumberg of Return Path asked if technology is helping or hurting email marketing - and in particular how the do not track registry would potentially restrict marketer’s ability to create relevancy. 

The panel reacted quickly with different opinions.  Jack Hogan, COO of LifeScript took a strong tack, advising marketers to match email subscriber files with web analytics.  “If your customers are not engaging online with your site or your brand, take them off your email file.”

Hal Brierley, founder of eMiles, was defending the FTC’s Do Not Track registry saying that marketers don’t need all that behavioral data to make good decisions about how to create relevant subscriber experiences.  He firmly defends the importance of self reported data.  “Being obsessed with data is not a good thing for marketers.”

David Daniels of Jupiter Research felt the opposite - and eloquently proposed that behavioral data is the single most powerful way to create relevancy.  Jack agreed.  Both felt that the benefits to consumers outweighed any privacy concerns.  If marketers use the data well, the result will be relevant experiences tied to consumer interest and behavior, making email and the web a better place. “We are helping consumers."

Continue reading here.

Matt Blumberg also talked about Facebook in another session.

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HTML email standards: the big interview

esp-logo Mark Brownlow interviewed David Greiner, the brain behind the Email Standards Project. He asked David what the project's goals are and if he thinks he can really influence the big corporate machines behind Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, Gmail and other email clients.

Here are some quotes from the interview:

"What really tipped me over the edge was the release of Outlook 2007 earlier this year. This saw one of the most popular email clients in the world go from virtually perfect web standards support to almost none. That one really caught me off guard. The web browser world was making leaps and bounds toward better standards support while the email world took a time warp back to 1998."

"the short-term [goal is] trying to kick-start a conversation with key individuals from Microsoft, Google, IBM and Apple and working with them in any capacity possible to make progress. Once that happens, we'll focus on keeping the design community in the loop and encouraging them to move towards completely standards based HTML emails."

"The web site has been live for less than a day and we've already had more than 100,000 page views and some fantastic plugs all over the web."

"we've already had some contact with a major player in the email client world expressing their interest in the project"

"If those responsible for designing HTML emails could build them knowing they'll display consistently across all major email clients, they can dramatically reduce the development and QA time required."

"Of course, making recommendations is a whole lot easier than implementing them, but we're patient and in this for the long haul."

"We're also looking to enlist the help from anyone who might have a contact within Gmail, The Windows Live Hotmail team, and any other email client currently sitting in our "Improvement Recommended" category."

"Starting a dialog with the right person is the real priority right now, so if that's you, please get in touch."

Read the entire interview here.

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The Email Standards Project Launched!

If we could have the major email clients all supporting at least a subset of web standards, we would be in a much better situation than we are now. 

The Email Standards Project is an attempt to help move standards in HTML email forward, towards more consistent, reliable support.

The idea is that some time in the future web designers will be able to rely on a solid, consistent level of web standards support when designing and building HTML emails.

To get to that point, the folks behind the Email Standards Project are taking a two pronged approach, modeled on the Web Standards Project:

  1. Education: Help web designers understand why web standards matter for email, so that they are willing to get involved in making it happen.
  2. Provide as much assistance and feedback to the email client developers as possible. They have a lot of competing pressures, and The Email Standards Project wants to be as constructive as possible in making their case, and helping them to see where changes need to be made. You can see the beginnings of this with the email acid test results.

Visit the Email Standards Project's blog here.

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Best Email Advertising of 2008 to Be Named by Web Marketing Association

The Web Marketing Association judges will select the best email advertising of 2008 in 86 industries as part of their sixth annual Internet Advertising Competition (IAC) Awards.

The IAC Awards are the first and only industry-based advertising award competition dedicated exclusively to online advertising. Companies or agencies wishing to nominate their work for consideration may do so at IACAward.org before the deadline of January 31, 2008.

Read the press release here.

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Email Experience Council Launches Email Performance Award

The Email Experience Council (eec), the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) email marketing arm, today announced its call for entries for the eec’s first award competition recognizing email marketing excellence. Chosen directly by eec members, the Email Performance Award will be presented to an individual or organization that has created an email marketing campaign that demonstrates the full power of the channel.

Entries will be evaluated for their marketing strategy, creative components, and, most importantly, results. Permission-based email marketing campaigns from any industry vertical — including B-to-B, B-to-C, nonprofit, education, etc.— are eligible for entry into the award competition as long as results described have been achieved within the last 12 months.

Nominations close on Monday, December 10, 2007. For more details about submission guidelines and entry forms, click here.

The members of the eec will select the winner from among the Email Performance Award finalists, which will be determined by the eec’s leadership and announced in mid-January. The winner will receive free admission to the Email Evolution Conference at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina in San Diego, where the Email Performance Award will be officially presented on February 13, 2008.

The winner of the Email Performance Award will also be placed into the semi-finals of the Direct Marketing Association’s International ECHO Awards. Since 1929, the ECHO Awards, which are presented each October, have recognized the world’s outstanding multichannel direct marketing campaigns based on excellence in strategy, creativity, and results.

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How Do Your Emails Render on a Mobile Phone?

Return Path has launched the first ever email rendering solution for mobile devices. Their Sender Score Campaign Preview tool will now allow marketers to see exactly what their email campaigns will look like on Windows Mobile 5 and 6 and Blackberry devices.

"As more and more consumers read their email on mobile devices, marketers need the tools to preview their messages on mobile platforms," said George Bilbrey, GM of Delivery Assurance, Return Path. "Return Path recognized this growing need and worked hard to build the first-ever technology to render emails across multiple mobile platforms. We've launched with rendering for three popular devices, and we're already hard at work on expanding our rendering capabilities for other mobile platforms."

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Email Service Providers: AOTA needs your help!

In and effort to help brands and interactive marketers protect their brands from phishing while aiding in the deliverability of their legitimate email and enhancing user trust, the Authentication and Online Trust Alliance (www.aotalliance.org) will be publishing a summary of email service providers and agencies whose solutions include key email authentication protocols.   

Specifically they will be publishing a score card of sorts that will include the support of the following:

  • Sender ID/SPF
  • DomainKeys
  • DomainKeys Identified Email
  • TLS

To be included in this report, they need your company name, domain (with link to any page reference to email authentication) and support of the above mentioned solutions available as of December 1, 2007.  In addition, please provide your contact information so they can follow up.

Please send your submissions to staff [at] aotalliance [dot] org.

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Email Best Practices Are Just a Means to an End

In this article, Al DiGuido makes the point that email isn't about best practices, it's about making money.

And you know what? I think he's right. Best practices are just a means to an end. And that end goal for businesses (whether you like it or not) is acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, and building profitable lifetime customer relationships or putting it bluntly: "making more money".

That's why he announces the formation of the EROI Council. Because: "Most of the "direct marketers" I encounter are more concerned about driving incremental sales and profits for their companies. They continue to watch the interactive channel's explosive growth and are in desperate need of real insight, case studies, and organizations that can provide them hands-on assistance to transform strategies and executions into winning efforts".

Al figures that most DMA members are struggling to figure out how to craft strategies that provide them with a competitive edge in acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, and building profitable lifetime customer relationships. "What we really need are workshops where professionals who are knowledgeable and have track records of leveraging new media can examine marketers' specific issues and provide specific, tactical advice and direction about how to improve."

In his former position, Al met client after client who was brimming with excitement over the incredible ROI they generated and he wonders: "Shouldn't the DMA and its member committees be focused on sharing success stories and the specific tactics used to generate such a results?".

Read the full article here.

Al has a point, I think there is definitely some work to be done here and I for one would be very interested this kind of information. However, let's not forget that there is still a HUGE  amount of "basic email marketing eduction" that needs to be done around the topics such as rendering, email list growth, deliverability, targeting & segmentation, relevancy...

I'm sure there is room for Al's EROI council in the market, like there is room for a "beginners" Email Marketing Summit and an "advanced" Email Insider Summit.

What's your opinion on this? Post your comments on the Email Marketer's Club forum!

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DMA and Email Experience Council Join Forces

The Direct Marketing Association hasn't always been considered a beacon of best email practices by everyone, but the influential organization is working to change that. Its decision to join forces with the Email Experience Council, expected to be announced today, is one indication.

According to DMA COO Ramesh Lakshmi-Ratan, the DMA will assume legal ownership of the EEC, a global professional organization focused on developing email and digital marketing best practices. The plan is for the DMA's current marketing related email group, the EMail Marketing Council to be folded into the EEC's operation, and take on the EEC name. Read more here.

Source: ClickZ

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Email Marketing is Shifting Position in a Web 2.0 World

Dax Hamman posted an interesting article on the e-consultancy blog in which he talks about how email marketing fits in a Web 2.0 world. This is what he concludes:

"Email was crucial in the Web 1.0 value chain. For example, the marketer would decide what product was "on offer" that week and push out email offers to the opt-in email list. Or, the marketer would use the website navigation hierarchy to drive purchase (e.g. promotions on the home page). Product relevance to the target email list was not necessarily high, it was simply what was being promoted that week.

In the Web 2.0 value chain, the consumer decides which products are most interesting to them through keyword searches or blog recommendations. The purchase is then initiated from deep inside a website - where the search navigation drops the user - and hierarchical web site navigation (i.e. starting on the home page) is ignored. If the shopping process is abandoned, remarketing emails can push a consumer over the finish line. Therefore email closes the "search loop." Other places a marketer can use email is to encourage a customer to retrieve forgotten shopping bags, or share wish lists with family and friends.

So it's not that email is no longer relevant in a Web 2.0 world, quite the contrary. It's simply shifted position… which might be interpreted by some as a demotion. However, the better way to look at it is that email now completes the conversation, or prolongs the marketer/consumer dialogue, rather than starting it."

Read the full article here.

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Is Email Marketing Dead? Matt Blumberg doesn't think so

By Matt Blumberg

Here we go again: another obituary for email marketing.

This time it comes from, of all people, speakers at the Email Insider Summit. According to a MediaPost article, several executives feel that email marketing is on the decline, mainly because of the spam issue. Consumers and businesspeople are fed up with so much spam and marketers can't get to their inboxes anyway. Woe is email.

I'm sure this won't surprise you, but I beg to differ.

Continue reading "Is Email Marketing Dead? Matt Blumberg doesn't think so" »

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