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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

  • Deliverability: The More Things Change, More They Stay the Same in Email Insider on 08/10/2016

    I've been working in email marketing for over 16 years now, with a heavy focus on deliverability for the last 13 of these. Over this time, I've seen the anti-spam techniques used by mailbox providers change dramatically -- along with the tools available to email marketers. However, getting mail in the inbox is still a problem. Why is that?

  • Are Email Marketers Ready To Share Data? in Email Insider on 07/18/2016

    For years, catalogers and other "traditional" direct marketers have shared customer-level information to drive better ROI from their marketing investments. This sharing has largely been performed through several large cooperatives. Most major postal-direct marketers are a part of these cooperatives, because the gains from joining a cooperative are so large. There are similar gains available to email marketers if they share subscriber-level data with other marketers. Marketers have a wealth of data that-if shared-can drive better email programs for consumers.

  • Realizing The Promise Of Contextual Customer Journeys in Email Insider on 06/21/2016

    When you review the Web sites of email service providers, the most promoted email feature is frequently the ability to orchestrate customer journeys specific to the context of the subscriber. But do marketers actually invest in building customer journeys and other types of contextual marketing? In most cases, the answer is a resounding "no."

  • Can I Send Less Email And Drive More Revenue? in Email Insider on 05/31/2016

    There's a lot of pressure on email marketers to send more email. More email drives more site visits and more revenue. More is better, right? Of course, it's not that simple.

  • Five Common Myths About Email Deliverability in Email Insider on 04/24/2016

    With more than one in five commercial email message being blocked or placed into the junk mail folder, problems with deliverability are common and can be problematic. Unfortunately, mailbox providers do not provide a detailed roadmap for what exactly is causing a marketer's delivery issue - nor do they provide detailed instructions on how to fix the problem. To make matters worse, the rules for obtaining great inbox placement change frequently. Because of this lack of information and frequent changes to deliverability rules, several common myths about deliverability have sprung up to fill the information void:

  • Three Missing Metrics For Email Marketing in Email Insider on 03/23/2016

    A long-time colleague posted a question to an email marketing list a few weeks ago: "Which email metrics do you wish existed in email marketing benchmark reports that don't exist today?" The question got me thinking about the state of email measurement and the kinds of metrics that should be available but aren't yet in common use. Here is my short list:

  • Please Build This: My Email Marketing Technology Wish List in Email Insider on 03/11/2016

    We're beginning to see some sophisticated uses of machine learning to address email marketing problems. Marketing clouds and email service providers (ESPs) have released some interesting and useful features. Still, there are still many opportunities for new capabilities that could help email marketers drive more from their current email marketing investment. I've compiled a list of things that clients frequently ask about ("Can your firm do this for me?") that don't exist in the market yet (as far as I know).

  • Deliverability: Are Marketers Applying Yesterday's Approach to Today's Problem? in Email Insider on 11/17/2015

    Inbox placement rates fell in 2015 from 2014. Why? Maybe because marketers haven't kept up with inbox placement's recent evolution. The rules of deliverability have changed over the last few years.

  • Nine Ways Inbox Data Can Help Marketers -- Beyond Email  in Email Insider on 09/21/2015

    The email channel is unique in many ways, but the data it captures on consumer preferences, behaviors, and purchase trends can and should be applied across the marketing department. Today the most common use of this sort of data is gathering competitive intelligence -- checking out how the campaigns from other brands perform, and which messages and offers engage subscribers. Let me suggest a few alternative uses of this "email panel" data:

  • Want to Get Frequency Right? Find Out Which Account You're Emailing in Email Insider on 07/14/2015

    While conducting a recent study of frequency's impact on email marketing performance, we found again and again that one key factor played a critical role in how volume affected response: mailbox type. When it comes to finding the right sending frequency to maximize subscriber engagement without generating excessive complaints, marketers can gain a real advantage by knowing whether subscribers are reading commercial mail in their primary accounts.

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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