61 posts categorized "List Management" Feed

Harvesting Email Addresses? BAD IDEA!

Email address harvesting is the practice of obtaining email addresses without permission. The most sinister form of harvesting is done by computer programs that search public areas of the Internet to compile and capture lists of email addresses from Web pages, newsgroups, chat rooms and elsewhere online.

However, you also are engaging in address harvesting when you put a fishbowl in your trade show booth and then add all those addresses to your email list.

Often marketers that are just starting an email program will harvest email addresses in order to build their list. This is not a good idea for a number of reasons:

1. Harvested addresses are not permission-based, and therefore are considered spam. Always remember that spam is in the eye of the receiver. Just because people put their business cards in a fishbowl doesn’t mean they will recognize your email, which will result in spam complaints and possibly being blacklisted by ISPs. In the worst-case scenario, you run the risk of being fined for violating the CAN-SPAM law, even if your email is legitimate.

2. You are likely to get caught. When harvesting addresses from the Web, it’s likely you will harvest “honeypot addresses.” These addresses are hidden on Web pages. When email is sent to a honeypot address, your IP address is captured and placed on a blackhole list. ISPs and corporate email administrators use these lists to block email messages.

3. Federal CAN-SPAM law imposes stiff penalties on spammers who use harvested lists. Federal law authorizes fines of $100 for every attempted transmission of a spam message containing false or misleading transmission information. Damages increase threefold per incident if a victim’s email address was harvested from a public Web site.

Bottom line, marketers should stick to what works and what they are good at: building great opt-in lists. Leave harvesting to those who are good at it: farmers.

Source: btobonline.com

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Double or Single Opt-in?

by Kath Pay

In the USA, Double opt-in has been regarded now as Best Practice for many a year. However, many of you may be surprised to know that double opt-in is not a CAN-SPAM requirement, nor is it a requirement of countries which have the tightest legislations.

So why then double opt-in? What are the benefits of double opt-in and why haven't other countries embraced it as Best Practice as heartily as the USA?

In a nutshell, I believe that it is to do with the amount of spamming a country produces. Whilst there are some other benefits of double opt-in, the main benefit is that you have foolproof evidence that a subscriber has signed up.

This is beneficial within the USA for 2 reasons:
1: The USA in general has an Opt out legislation.
2: The USA has the 2nd highest amount of spammers worldwide.

The results of the above is that generally speaking, recipients in the USA tend to hit the 'this is spam' button rather than the 'unsubscribe' link, due to the more lax legislation, which requires recipients to unsubscribe rather than subscribe . Therefore, if you use double opt-in and are accused with spamming, you can, armed with your irrefutable double opt-in information for the complainant, approach the ISP when you're blacklisted and refute the charge.

However, this is not the case with countries which have 'opt-in' legislation such as UK, Australia, France, Italy, Germany and the likes….As their legislation is based on opt-in, rather than opt-out, the practice of reporting as spam instead of unsubscribing has not been as big an issue, which in turn generally reduces the chances of being blacklisted.

Continue reading "Double or Single Opt-in?" »

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Tips for Lowering Your Opt-Out Rate

It's not uncommon to receive opt-outs every time you send out a marketing message -the industry average hovers around 2.1%- but there are things you can do to bring your opt-out rate down. In this article Stefan Pollard and Janine Popick address some common marketer mistakes that result in subscribers opting-out.

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Bounce Management Best Practices

In part four of his "how-to" series, Spencer Kollas takes a look at bounce management best practices.

Bounce management is the process of taking the correct action on the error/failure codes that you receive from ISPs and other domains after sending out your email.

Why should you care?

First of all proper bounce management provides you with invaluable data on your use of email and the ROI that comes from it. By keeping track of this information and applying it back to your conversion numbers, you can leverage the data to improve your ROI.

Secondly, bounce management data enables you to keep your lists clean and to maintain or restore contact with customers. With proper bounce management, you are able to remove bad addresses and take action to restore communications.

And last but not least, a good bounce management system will provide you with tons of information for diagnosing issues with your marketing practices (data capture, targeting, etc.) and for taking the corrective action that will ensure both a good reputation and better deliverability. Make sure to review your data regularly, as this will allow you to identify issues quickly, such as if certain receivers are blocking your email.

Continue reading here to find out what makes a good bounce management system.

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10 Tactics To Increase Your Email Marketing Effectiveness

How do you grow your in-house list and deliver messages that prompt sales? In this article, Ken Burke offers these 10 tactics to increase your email marketing effectiveness:

1. Give email sign-ups pride of place.
2. Integrate email sign-ups into the purchase process.
3. If you’re a multichannel merchant, use offline opportunities to drive online sign-ups.
4. Seal the deal with incentives and reassurance.
5. Promote a bonus incentive, such as a discount on the next purchase, to enlist new subscribers.
6. Offer prize contests and incentivized refer-a-friend campaigns.
7. Reassure shoppers that they won’t get more than they bargained for.
8. Provoke continuing interest with tailored, timely offers.
9. Segment your list by asking customers to select their interests and frequency.
10. Track email list subscribers who create wish lists, save items for later or abandon shopping carts, and contact them with offers.

You don’t need to parse reams of demographic data or manage dozens of custom campaigns to use your email list effectively. Using these simple but nuanced tactics, you’ll soon attract new subscribers—and more revenue.

Read the full article here.

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Six Ways To Improve Your Email List

Email deliverability begins and ends with the quality of your list. ISPs are on the lookout for signs that your list is not so good-- namely, too many bounces from outdated addresses and spam complaints from wary recipients. Both of these red flags are avoidable-- if you follow permission-marketing best practices.

The first tenet of permission-based marketing is that permission is not optional, negotiable or something you can kinda, sorta pretend that you have. People either want to hear from you or they don’t.


Continue reading "Six Ways To Improve Your Email List" »

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Email List Prices Continue To Slide

Email list pricing for both b-to-b and consumer lists continue to decrease, according to list manager Worldata in its Worldata List Price Index.

B-to-b permission-based email lists commanded an average price of $273/M this month, a 1.4% decrease compared with January 2006.

Worldata said the decreased pricing in the b-to-b email category reflects growth in the number of lists available.

B-to-b e-mail lists were the highest-priced category among all lists, including business catalogs, business magazines, databases and attendee/membership lists, with newsletter lists a distant second. Newsletter lists commanded an average $172/M, a decrease of 3.4% from last year.

Source: BtoBonline.com

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Eight Tips for Enhancing Email Opt-In

In this article on MarketingProfs.com, Linda Schumacher offers these 8 tips to enhance your onsite registration process:

1. Include an abbreviated registration form or prominent sign up graphic on every page of your Web site to increase newsletter visibility.
2. Communicate what you're going to do with the user's personal information.
3. Explain the benefits of becoming an email subscriber.
4. Provide monetary value to encourage registration.
5. Allow subscribers to choose the frequency of email delivery.
6. Require users to type their email address a second time and validate the match.
7. Use double-opt-in to verify new subscribers and build a cleaner list.
8. Thank your customers for their registration.

Read the full article here.

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EU/US Marketers Differ On List-Growth Tactics

E-mail list-growth tactics that work well in the US don't necessarily succeed in Europe, according to a recent study by e-mail service provider Silverpop. While the most favored tactic for growing e-mail lists cited by marketers in Canada and the US was offline advertising and direct marketing, the top tactic cited by European marketers was online marketing and search, according to Silverpop's "2006 List Growth Survey". Read the full story.

Click here to register to receive the full report.

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The Benefit of Managing Unsubscribes

Marketers should not just view the unsubscribe as a CAN-SPAM mandate, but rather see it as an opportunity to improve marketing campaigns and let go of those recipients that just don't want to be a client. No marketer wants to lose a potential client for any reason, but when a recipient is deleting emails without taking action, or worse yet, marking messages as spam, accept that these recipients are not the best potential clients anymore.

Processing an unsubscribe correctly and quickly builds brand reputation and improves email delivery. From a branding standpoint, if you continue to send emails to customers that no longer wish to receive them they will, at the very least, view your brand poorly. From a delivery point-of-view, processing an unsubscribe helps you ensure that you do not get blocked by various ISPs.

In this article, Spencer Kollas explains how to properly manage the unsubscribe process to improve your marketing campaigns.

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5 Quick Tips on How to Grow Your Email List

Janine Popick posted an article on her blog that contains these 5 tips to grow your email list:

1. Include a registration form on your site
2. Got an offline business? Ask for the email!
3. Do you sell online? After your customer has purchased from you, direct them to a page that hosts your sign-up form.
4. Pop-up windows
5. Leverage other websites

Read the article here.

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Boost Email Lists During Opt-Out

Online retailers that let e-mail subscribers change their preferences when they opt out of emails can keep some of those customers on their lists, according to a new study.

Providing a "preference center," which offers other email lists and asks for customer feedback, gives consumers a chance to rethink opting out, explain to marketers why they opted out or subscribe to one of the retailer's other lists.

Read the full article here.

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Email List Building Basics

In this week's issue of MediaPost's EmailInsider, Melinda Krueger provides a list of basic steps to take when building your email lists:

  1. Make sign-up ubiquitous.
  2. Make sign-up easy.
  3. Include a request at check-out.
  4. Include a request in transactional e-mails.
  5. Invite customers in traditional media.
  6. Promote your e-mail in others' e-mails.
  7. Promote your e-mail via search.
  8. Try co-registration.
  9. Enlist your friends.
  10. Build an e-mail program customers value.

Read the full article here.

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Ten Tips for Growing Your E-mail File

This article offers some tips for making the practice of growing your opt-in list simpler. In short, you should:

  1. Position the database as a critical asset.
  2. Capture data everywhere.
  3. Track and analyze data by source.
  4. Promote the benefits.
  5. Let the customers tell you what they want.
  6. Provide examples.
  7. Have a conspicuous privacy policy.
  8. Send thank-you e-mails.
  9. Leverage highly opened transactional messages.
  10. Gather and enhance profile data.
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Best practices For Confirming Opt-Ins

Customers or prospects who sign up to receive e-mail messages from you deserve something in return: a confirmation. It should come in the form of a triggered e-mail, a message that goes out automatically and immediately.

By following a few simple rules, you can ensure that you not only keep that customer, but keep him or her happy, too. Michael Haggerty, managing partner of political consulting firm Trellon, and David Herscott, managing director of interactive agency MEA Digital, provide these tips to help you do just that.

Source: BtoB Online

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How Old Are Your Mailing Lists?

Have you been emailing the same list for months and months, or even years, without performing data updates? If you email invalid email addresses frequently, you will be blacklisted.

Email addresses go stale much quicker than telephone numbers or postal/physical addresses
. If you have this type of customer information, make use of it. Relevant incentives are always a good way to motivate customers to update their details.

Best practice would be to use a web form to allow your customers to update personal information and preferences 24X7. Even if you have web forms where customers can update their details, you will still be receiving incorrect email addresses if you do not have data validation on the web form.

Source: iMedia Connection: Time to go Back to Basics

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Email Append? Get An Explicit Opt-In!

In an article on Clickz about building an opt-in email list, Jeanne Jennings states that if you must append, get an explicit opt-in. A negative option opt-out may be enticing, but if you want results, this isn't the shortcut it may seem.

Email appending is the process of taking your existing customer list and "matching" email addresses to it from a larger (third party) database.  In this article Jeanne states that there are two flavors of permission-based append:

  • Negative option opt-out. This is the more common approach. The vendor handling the match sends an e-mail to the matched e-mail addresses, asking recipients to respond if they don't want to receive e-mail from your organization. Good news: opt-outs are usually very low. Bad news: these e-mail addresses are often non-responsive. So you get the e-mail addresses (great if you're compensated on growth) but not necessarily the response (bad if you're compensated on results).

  • Explicit opt-in. Either the match vendor or your organization sends one or more e-mail messages asking recipients to respond if they want to receive e-mail from you. This is true opt-in. Good news: these e-mail addresses have shown to respond on par with other opt-in names. Bad news: I usually estimate a 25 percent response rate, max. You'll have a smaller list, but a more engaged readership will read and respond to your e-mail.

Read the full article "Building an Opt-In E-Mail List" here.

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Finding Out More About Your E-Mail Subscribers

At the initial signup, you don't want to scare people off, so you only request the information you really need. But after the relationship's established, it's smart to go back and request more information from your email subscribers:

  • Get or confirm opt-in status
  • Gather information for more granular database segmentation
  • Collect additional data for personalization
  • Request additional contact information for other channels

This week Clickz is featuring an article called "Know More About Your E-Mail Subscribers" in which Jeanne Jennings gives a few very good tips for getting more information from your e-mail list members.

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Does Your Opt-In Process Scare People Away?

The March issue of SubscriberMail featured an article about opt-in techniques. In this article they ask the question "Does your opt-in process scare people away?"

Think about it: how much information do you really need to know NOW to move forward? In their opinion, the less data you need to initiate a response, the better. So be economical.

Ask yourself the question: do you really need a physical address and postal code? This can usually be relegated to a second page, after sign-up has been accomplished up front, via email submission.

When you do create questions, make them relevant to both your audience and your offerings. One of the most common mistakes they see is organizations making their opt-in pages marketing research projects. Only ask questions you have a use for in your segmentation strategy.

They also mention that the "tiered" opt-in process - that is, setting it up over multiple pages, or multiple emails-makes so much sense.

For example...

1. Lead with just an email address solicitation on the home page
2. That leads the user to the next page...for basic information
3. Further segmentation as necessary

The benefit: you gain your reader's trust, and you reduce his or her anxiety and fear

Another tip they give is this one: make sure your opt-in page showcases high-quality graphics and clean design. Doing so adds credibility, elevates reader comfort level, and smoothes the way for continued communication

Source: SubscriberMail - March Issue

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