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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

  • Using Big Data To Find 'Perfect' Subject Line Length in Email Insider on 06/08/2015

    The optimum length of a subject line has been debated as long as companies have been sending email. Marketers, consultants, and agencies have labored over distilling pitches to a handful of words or characters, aiming for the Goldilocks "just right" length. We recently sifted through more than eighteen million subject lines sent to more than two million subscribers to find out whether subscribers' actual read rates pointed to an optimal length.

  • Subject-Line Optimization: Don't Test Your Way To Mediocrity in Email Insider on 05/05/2015

    The good news: Many marketers test their subject lines. According to the Direct Marketing Association (U.K.), 80% of marketers use some form of subject line testing. The bad news: Many of the most commonly used subject-line tactics actually decrease results. In some cases, marketers are testing suboptimal approaches.

  • Don't Let Village Wisdom Make You The Village Idiot in Email Insider on 04/08/2015

    Email marketing blogs and mailing lists are full of best practices born of many years of experience by many smart, hard-working email marketing practitioners. While these best practices can be extremely useful, in some cases advice is given without a lot of serious analysis. By looking at actual data, we've found that one thing becomes clear: Best practices aren't always right. Let me give you two examples.

  • Responses To Three Key Trends Already Dividing Winners From Losers In 2015 in Email Insider on 02/24/2015

    Virtually our entire industry took stock of what we learned in 2014 and resolved to do something different this year. We're eight weeks into 2015, and the leaders are dealing with sweeping trends that pose important challenges to email marketers. Others are falling behind, but it's not too late to make up ground.

  • Email Marketers Are Disrupting Fraud With DMARC in Email Insider on 01/26/2015

    Cybercriminals are being forced to rapidly evolve their approaches to email fraud thanks to marketers' increasingly sophisticated response to phishing and spoofing. Most notably, the growing adoption of the DMARC standard (domain-based messaging authentication, reporting, and conformance), launched three years ago this month, is making a real difference.

  • 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.

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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