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George Bilbrey

Member since June 2005 Contact George

  • VP & GM Return Path, Inc.
  • 100 Superior Plaza way
  • Superior Colorado
  • 80026 USA

Articles by George All articles by George

  • Email Becoming Tougher Game For Marketers Of Ill Repute in Email Insider on 11/12/2014

    Reputation matters more than ever. That's the clearest takeaway from our most recent research into sender reputation and inbox placement. Looking at the entire mailstream segmented by IP reputation shows that messages from the top-ranked senders reach the inbox, while everyone else struggles or outright fails. Compared to past years, the reputation bar is far, far higher now.

  • Beneath Steadily Weak Inbox Placement, Frantic Struggle To Keep Pace  in Email Insider on 09/30/2014

    It's tempting to view the most recent statistics on global inbox placement -- which show 17% of legitimate messages failing to reach the inbox -- as a sign that marketers are complacent about deliverability, or that they aren't doing much to fix it. That view is wrong. A better-informed interpretation is that most marketers understand the challenge perfectly well and respond with sophisticated, data-driven actions to get their messages to the inbox -- but as mailbox providers adjust to a constantly shifting landscape of spam tactics and email abuse, even the successful senders are struggling to keep pace with adjustments.

  • Three Simple Questions For A Complex Deliverability World in Email Insider on 08/06/2014

    For all the talk about how email deliverability is evolving, I don't hear enough specificity about what, exactly, has changed. If you've noticed this too, here's a quick explanation of what's different about inbox placement and how you can stay ahead of the shift by asking the right questions.

  • All Senders Get Blacklisted, But Smart Ones Manage Risk in Email Insider on 06/25/2014

    There are relatively few things that all marketers seem to agree on, but blacklisting is clearly one. Even industry veterans find them shadowy, secretive, and often frustrating. Last month we conducted a study -- initially to help marketers understand blacklisting -- but the findings also offered practical insight into managing risk while maintaining growth.

  • Why Yahoo's DMARC Policy Matters to Marketers  in Email Insider on 05/12/2014

    When Yahoo became the first major mailbox provider to publish a DMARC reject policy last month, most of the discussion about it focused on immediate implications. Clearly there are a few, but the big picture is far more interesting: As a direct result, the entire email ecosystem will become a little safer in the near term, and potentially a lot safer in the foreseeable future -- and that's great news for marketers.

  • Reengagement Campaigns: When Should You Drop Inactives?  in Email Insider on 04/02/2014

    If you don't have a reengagement strategy to keep inactive subscribers from falling out of your email program, you should. But if you're not prepared to do it right, you'll probably do more harm than good. Reengagement campaigns help you retain relationships with qualified subscribers: well-targeted people you've paid to acquire. The cost of finding them is typically many times higher than the cost of keeping them. Reengagement campaigns also help you identify deadweight in your lists -- relationships that can't be saved -- so inactive names don't drag down your inbox placement rates (IPR) for your active subscribers. It turns out, though, that senders who try to do the right thing by removing inactives, frequently cut the wrong people from their files, something we saw with surprising frequency in recent research.

  • Avoid A Reputation As A Phishing Magnet in Email Insider on 02/19/2014

    As DMARC celebrates its second birthday as the most prominent anti-phishing breakthrough to date, it may be on the verge of creating an uncomfortable situation for email marketers. More than 80% of typical U.S. email users can be protected by DMARC. Some of the world's biggest email senders, including Facebook, Twitter, eBay and PayPal -- and scores of others -- are reporting impressive strides toward protecting consumers from scams conducted in their names. But there's mounting evidence that as these senders make it more difficult to use their brands to dupe consumers, phishers are concentrating their efforts on brands that aren't using DMARC.

  • Trade Secret: The Right Response To Engagement-based Filtering in Email Insider on 01/22/2014

    Getting your email to the inbox isn't getting easier. Today, engagement-based inbox placement decisions are making it harder to reach email subscribers -- at least the unengaged. And the secret to getting past individual-level filters isn't as simple as "mail less."

  • The Transactional Inbox's Promise and Peril In 2014 in Email Insider on 12/18/2013

    I'm predicting nothing for 2014. Most of the next big things, trends to watch, and emerging threats we all predict in December -- like the transactional inbox -- are already happening, so they're more observations than predictions. That said, it's my observation the transactional inbox is on the verge of becoming important. It could represent the biggest opportunity email marketers have seen in a long time, even as inbox evolution introduces major challenges for 2014.

  • Smart Marketers Value More Than Orders From Holiday Season Openers  in Email Insider on 11/20/2013

    The Black Friday/Cyber Monday holiday shopping kickoff focuses attention on sales, but this annual surge in retail volume also creates an intelligence windfall that, for data-driven email marketers, can actually represent a more important revenue opportunity.

Comments by George All comments by George

  • Gmail Tabs: Don't Panic Or Cheat, Just Focus On Engaged User Base by George Bilbrey (Email Insider on 08/28/2013)

    I think the jury is still out. There are a few paths one could go down: 1) I think we'll see a lot more focus on "winback" campaigns to move more of the "middle of the curve" to the right hand side of the distriubtion. We've seen some success with this. Best approach is to copy the approaches that are already working in your subscriber base. 2) It *might* be the the counter-intuitive strategy - simply sending more to the less engaged - might make sense. I think this probably depends on your business model. There is a lot of data that would indicate that > 50% of the value from email comes from purchase that occur through other channels. Simply having someone read the email drives value (e.g., customer reads their newsletter and passing by your store, remembers the special you just sent in the newsletters, and stops in to make a purchase). Read rates tend to decrease with frequency. However in most cases sending more mail drives more reads. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone - it depends a lot on how close they are to the line from a deliverability perspective (e.g. are they hitting spam traps, close to the thresholds on trusted complaint metrics, etc.) 3) Potentially the answer is don't worry about the unengaged. It's sad that most people don't interact with your stellar email content - however, focus your efforts on driving conversion from those that interact with your content will drive an economic return. I think that like (2) is dependent on your business model.

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