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Loren McDonald

Member since September 2003 Contact Loren

Meet Loren at MediaPost Events

  • Loren attended Social Media Insider Summit, August 17, 2011
    Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, NV
  • Loren attended Email Insider Summit, December 05, 2010
    St. Regis Deer Valley, Park City, UT
  • Loren attended Email Insider Summit, December 06, 2009
    The Chateaux at Silver Lake, Park City, UT

Articles by Loren All articles by Loren

  • Understanding The Email 'Frequency Math Effect' in Email Insider on 07/14/2016

    Finding the right email frequency is one of the many issues that email marketers have to figure out in order to have a successful email program. What happens when they change their email cadence, such as emailing on more days of the week or emailing more than once a day at different times of the year?

  • Are Words (In Email Marketing Messages) So Last-Century? in Email Insider on 06/30/2016

    Of course they aren't. If you're reading this column in email, you might have used the MediaPost Email Insider sender name and subject line words you saw in the inbox to decide to open the message instead of deleting it. But I'm wondering how well text-centric email designs serve today's consumers, whose attention spans have been going through a well-documented decline, and whether it's time to shift more of your email messaging from words to images.

  • 'It's IT's Fault' in Email Insider on 06/16/2016

    As marketers, we love to blame IT for all of our problems. Here's how to turn them into partners who solve problems instead.

  • Email Marketing In The Subscription Economy in Email Insider on 06/02/2016

    New business models are shifting from purchase and ownership toward sharing or subscriptions. This has and will cause dramatic change in many industries that rely on traditional purchasing scenarios. Here are key areas where email marketing can help convert and retain more subscription customers:

  • Email Marketing As Problem-Solver in Email Insider on 05/19/2016

    We've been taught to think about marketing in terms of achieving goals in the customer buying cycle: awareness, interest, trial, purchase, support, loyalty, referral/advocacy or some variation of these. Achieving these goals is like tying your shoes. You just do it, without thinking strategically about the process. We add a popover to our home page to acquire more subscribers. We test copy in subject lines and landing pages to drive higher conversion rates. But I'm talking about something different: email marketing as a companywide problem-solver.

  • Was Sending That Prince-Themed Email After His Surprise Death A Wise Move? in Email Insider on 05/05/2016

    "To celebrate Prince we've marked down a collection of items just as striking as he was." Really? The retailer that used Prince's death to promote a discounted purple handbag clearly didn't think through that approach. Or, it lacked a process to deal with such events, or both.

  • Using Email To Drive That All-Important Second Purchase in Email Insider on 04/21/2016

    Getting a customer to buy from you a second time is one of the most common challenges that online retailers and ecommerce companies face. Many first purchases are seasonal buys, gifts or one-time solutions. Your challenge is to motivate these customers to come back in a different season, to buy gifts for a different person, or find something that complements their first purchases.

  • Preference Centers: If You Build It, They Might Not Come in Email Insider on 04/08/2016

    I've advocated for the customer preference center for many years, often as one of the few voices in the wilderness bucking opinions that preference centers are a waste of time, and behavior beats preferences anyway. Marketers complain about two things: Their customers don't use their preference centers, and the data is often inaccurate or dated. So, the preference center doesn't deliver the ROI they expect or need to justify maintaining or upgrading it. As the headline says in my Email Insider column from 2012, "Preference Centers Aren't Worthless - Your Approach Can Be."

  • Key Considerations For A Global Email Regulatory Compliance Framework in Email Insider on 03/24/2016

    The Email Experience Council's new report, "The Global Email Marketing Compliance Guide," is a valuable resource to understand email regulations in 77 countries. But, more strategically, it can form the basis of a global framework for ensuring compliance throughout the world and minimizing your legal risks.

  • Your Guide To Global Email And Data Regulations in Email Insider on 03/10/2016

    Marketers have to comply with email and data regulations that vary widely from one country to the next. What's legal in the United States, for example, won't pass muster with Canada and many nations in the European Union. The DMA's Email Experience Council recently published "The Global Email Marketing Compliance Guide" to document global email and data regulations in a single source. Among the guide's 32 categories are answers to many questions that marketers ask most often. I've excerpted and simplified some below and will discuss others in a future Email Insider column.

Comments by Loren All comments by Loren

  • Understanding The Email 'Frequency Math Effect' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/14/2016)

    Pete, I did not make the argument that higher frequency is better simply if if increases total responses - that is a call I'll leave to individual brands. My point was just to explain the math behind why most brands see lower "rates" when they increase frequency. But that they need to understand that for list churn metrics like unsubscribes, for example, a lower rate isn't necessarily a good thing - as they are likely losing a lot more subscribers. Increasing frequency by itself is not a bad thing - it is about the value. In your example, the subsequent emails actually aren't of value and so therefore that increased frequency is simply bad email marketing. You can't blame that on frequency - that is the marketer's fault. The problem in email marketing of course, is that in practice, most brands don't increase value when they increase frequency - so we've given increased frequency a bad name.

  • Understanding The Email 'Frequency Math Effect' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/14/2016)

    Neil, frequency isn't really the problem, it it the lack of value in the emails that is the problem. 

  • Are Words (In Email Marketing Messages) So Last-Century? by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 06/30/2016)

    Emoji of man jumping for joy! Bell ringing! Thanks Neil, but what took you so long? :-) I bet someone how long it would take to post a comment about the irony of not a single emoji or visual in this email. I think I won the bet. I agree of course, but as an outside contributor to Media Post I have no say or involvement in the production side of the Media Post columns. The columns editor has to review and edit a bunch of columns each day, so I think fundamentally it is a process/resource issue. That said, I plan to bring it up with the editor about a simple process for including images in the emails and emojis in the subject lines in the future.Cheers and watch out for those bad billboards when you drive this holiday!

  • 'It's IT's Fault' by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 06/16/2016)

    Pete, wow, I clearly failed at many levels. The column was neither meant to be funny or offend anyone - in fact it was written to provide a few ideas to help marketers work more closely with their brethren in IT, and to stop blaming IT for so many projects not getting done. (Maybe that offended some marketing readers.) Getting to know co-workers - by whatever means - was that one point, so you have a better working relationship. Perhaps I should have said tea or beer instead of coffee. The "us and them" issue is common in large companies, the point was merely to get to know each other better. Sorry that was deemed funny. I'm not sure who you are referring to that I insulted? I was relaying what my start-up CEO (who was an engineer) relayed to me more than a decade ago about the difference between how engineers think and how marketers tend to think. While changing, a lot of marketers tend to be right-brain centric and do often think differently than their peers in IT. This is not an insult to anyone, just that people think differently, and if you understand how each other thinks, you might be successful in your communications. But clearly I failed in my communications approach with this article. I'll buy you a beer on my next trip to the UK.

  • Love Ain't Cheap: Email & V-Day by David Baker (Email Insider on 02/01/2016)

    Great post David, love the research and specifics on how to turn Valentine's Day from just a February version of Cyber Monday into an engaging customer experience!

  • Cheeky Predictions For 2016 by David Baker (Email Insider on 01/04/2016)

    Nice post Mr. Baker! I know you were generally having some fun with this, but there are some cool ideas in there ... I think I'll start building the autonomous shopping app ...

  • 4 Ways To Think About Halloween And Email Marketing by David Baker (Email Insider on 10/26/2015)

    Hmm, I'm thinking it is time for a Trick or Treat mobile app ... check-in at my house and I gift you something healthy ... and a portion goes to a charity ...

  • Time To Do An Email User Experience Audit by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 08/20/2015)

    Grant, good points ... you could call it a usability audit as well ... I was just trying to raise the conversation and concept up to a slightly higher level ... and covering all aspects of the email experience.

  • How To Become An Email-Marketing Rock Star by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 08/06/2015)

    Paula, this isn't nor should it be a goal for everyone in any indsutry. My first 2 points were Desire and Commitment - you really have to want it and to be prepared to put in those extra hours. And I laos mentioned Support from your boss - which means supporting you in that extra time you need to some of these things. What I left out was support from your family. If you don't do the aboe actitivies, it doesn't mean you've limited your career advancment opportunities or that you aren't a rock star - your awesomeness just won't be as widely known. That's just fine. But a lot of people (in all industries) want to be known and recognized in their industry. If that is important to you, then it can bake a lot of work. Nietgher approach is right or wrong ... I just meet a lot of people who think flying around the world speaking at events is pretty cool. But want they don't always know is the years of work that went into getting to that point; the wear and tear on your body, family - the longer hours, etc ... 

  • Finding Value In Email Benchmark Studies by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 07/23/2015)

    I don't disagree Derek, that's why in my intro to the report and when I present the findings in Webinars, I always spend some time on all the caveats and suggest how people shoudl use these reports. They are starting points for comparison - but I always stress that the most important benchmarks are those against your business and marketing goals; and your own past like-kind campaigns/message types. A company with a 22% open rate on their transactional messages doesn't mean their messages are failing, but it coudl mean they have room for improvement and are leaving money on the table. if you don't at least know what's possible for a particular message type - then it makes it more difficult to establish stretch goals and gain impetus for improvement.Industry slices are also far from perfect - but they can provide some context if your particular vertical is an outlier (above or below) the overall averages.

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