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Chad White

Member since August 2006 Contact Chad

Chad White is the Lead Research Analyst at the Salesforce Marketing Cloud and the author of "Email Marketing Rules" and thousands of articles and posts about email marketing. His research and commentary have appeared in more than 100 publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Advertising Age, Adweek, Fortune, and MarketWatch.

Meet Chad at MediaPost Events

  • Chad is attending Email Insider Summit, December 06, 2009
    The Chateaux at Silver Lake, Park City, UT

Articles by Chad All articles by Chad

  • Is Email Marketing Cheap -- Or Does It Have A High ROI? in Email Insider on 03/24/2015

    How you -- and, more importantly, your boss -- answer that question easily predicts the future success of your email program. Here's why.

  • Opens, Clicks, And Blocks In The Third Age Of Email Deliverability in Email Insider on 02/22/2015

    In the First Age of Email Deliverability, there were no rules and few if any consequences for bad behavior. In the Second Age, ISPs armed their users with the "report spam" button -- and senders that received too many complaints saw their emails junked or blocked. In the Third Age, which we're in now, ISPs factor engagement metrics into their filtering decisions, with those decisions made on the individual as well as global level. These changes mean that email subscribers not only have to tolerate marketers' emails, but have to at least occasionally engage with them -- which in turn means that marketers can't bloat their email lists with inactive subscribers to lower their spam complaint rates. In the Third Age of Email Marketing, the need for list quality keeps list-size ambitions in check.

  • The New Litmus Test For A Great Email Marketing Program in Email Insider on 01/27/2015

    I used to say the hallmark of a great email marketing program was a robust A/B testing program. It's not just because I consider A/B testing a key optimization tool and a vital part of "listening" to subscribers, but because if a brand is taking the time to follow a rigorous A/B testing calendar and methodically building on lessons learned, then chances are very high it's doing lots of other things right. While I still believe in the power of testing and what it signifies about an email program, I now have a new litmus test for email marketing greatness for B2C companies: Does the majority of your email marketing revenue and engagement come from triggered emails?

  • Quick Wins For Email Marketers In 2015 in Email Insider on 12/29/2014

    Going into the new year, instead of focusing on the new, let's focus on the easy. Here are my picks for low-effort/high-return initiatives for email marketers in 2015:

  • Black Friday Week Trends In Email Marketing  in Email Insider on 12/02/2014

    The holiday season is always in motion, as consumer behavior changes and retailers jockey to adjust to those changes and stand out. Retailers' email marketing strategies also continue to shift, as an important part of their holiday strategy. Here are a couple of trends from Black Friday Week this year:

  • Blowing Up the Paid-Owned-Earned Media Model  in Email Insider on 11/05/2014

    The paid-owned-earned media model has become dated. Social media, SMS/MMS, and email marketing have been awkwardly forced into the owned media slot, where they don't really belong. It's time to expand the model and acknowledge the uniqueness of these newer channels as well as our far from absolute control over them.

  • This Year's Email Marketing Twists: Holiday Predictions in Email Insider on 10/07/2014

    Behind the sounds of witches cackling and batwings flapping, I can already hear the faint jingling of Christmas bells. Honestly, it's not all that faint. The holiday season is already showing up in aisles at stores like Costco and in inboxes from brands like Toys "R" Us, Ikea, Sony, Hanna Andersson, Sephora, and The Shopping Channel. Every holiday season is a little different. Here are my thoughts on how the email marketing holiday season will be different this year.

  • Don't Use The Wrong Metrics To Measure Success in Email Insider on 09/09/2014

    In the new second edition of my book, "Email Marketing Rules,"I focus more on measuring success than on anything else except permission. That's because too often email marketers are using the wrong yardstick to measure the effectiveness of their programs. Here are three examples of how success is often measured incorrectly, leading to underperformance:

  • Four Keys To Improved Subscriber Journey With Progressive Profiling  in Email Insider on 08/12/2014

    Subscribers change over time. Their needs change. Their interests change. And change can be very dramatic from year to year and season to season. So even if your email program has a great onboarding program where you learn about subscribers' preferences, it's not enough. Analyzing subscriber behavior can give you valuable insights into their current needs and wants, but you should also be doing progressive profiling on a regular basis: that is, directly asking subscribers questions about their interests and preferences so you can serve them better.

  • The Common Thread  in Email Insider on 07/15/2014

    Three of the most important trends in email marketing right now are personalization, triggered messaging, and rendering techniques. These were the trends that we led off with in our annual Best of the Email Swipe File report this year, and reader reaction has confirmed that we were on the right track. However, when we looked at the individual selections that were trending the most with readers, there was a clear pattern. See if you can figure out what the common thread is among our four most popular selections, each of which was in a different category:

Comments by Chad All comments by Chad

  • Is Email Marketing Cheap -- Or Does It Have A High ROI? by Chad White (Email Insider on 03/24/2015)

    Pete, you're totally right. When you've reached the far side of the sophistication curve, your returns will start to diminish because you're fully optimized. But pretty much no one is in that situation yet. Most brands have lots of opportunities to increase incremental returns through smart investments in sophistication, like doing the things you suggested. But, yes, I'd love to see brands drive their ROI back down to $40...after driving it to over $80 first.

  • Quick Wins For Email Marketers In 2015 by Chad White (Email Insider on 12/29/2014)

    Hi, Andrew. Happy New Year! Yes, admittedly, implementing predictive intelligence can be challenging for some companies. I worked with some of our consultants on compiling this list and a few did take issue with calling PI a quick win, although I do believe it fits the "low-effort/high-return" billing. One argued: "The ease of implementation depends on the complexity of the retailer. It makes such a dramatic difference in revenue, it’s probably worth keeping in." So I did. But your point, Andrew, is well taken.

  • Quick Wins For Email Marketers In 2015 by Chad White (Email Insider on 12/29/2014)

    Bill, I appreciate the changes that FreshAddress has made to its ECOA service over the years in response to pressure from privacy and permission advocates, but I still believe that it fundamentally violates privacy and permission. Perhaps I'll write a future column on why I think it's an unwise business practice and has a dim future in a subscriber-centric world (vs. a marketer-centric one). For the time being, let's agree to disagree.

  • Quick Wins For Email Marketers In 2015 by Chad White (Email Insider on 12/29/2014)

    Like I said, 25 months is the outer limit and that you should work back from there to the shorter time frame that's appropriate for your brand's audience and practices. Respectfully, I never recommend ECOA. I consider it a violation of privacy and of permission. Never doing ECOA is one of the 11 never-break rules in my book.

  • Two Uber Trends From Cyber Week by Loren McDonald (Email Insider on 12/11/2014)

    The smartphone traffic vs. sales figures just demonstrate that there's a big uncaptured opportunity for retailers to be much more mobile-friendly. The smartphone traffic:sales numbers should look like the desktop numbers, which are pretty much equal to each other. The disparity on smartphones shows how much friction there is in the mobile user experience. A LOT.

  • What Do You Mean, 'Email Marketers Need Not Apply'? by Kara Trivunovic (Email Insider on 11/10/2014)

    Omni-channel skills are important, but so are deep channel skills. While consumers are increasingly cross-channel and have high expectations for a seamless experience with a brand, digital marketing channels are simultaneously becoming more complex. A team composed solely of generalists is doomed to struggle.

  • Blowing Up the Paid-Owned-Earned Media Model by Chad White (Email Insider on 11/05/2014)

    Thanks, Matt.

  • Best Practice: Confirm Every Opt-In Via COI Or COIL by Chad White (Email Insider on 06/17/2014)

    Yes, tools like BriteVerify can help with typos. I'm not a deliverability expert, but it's my understanding that Spamhaus and others punish repeat offenders, senders that endlessly mail spam traps. So putting in a Confirmed Opt-In Lite process would provide protection, plus would give you something to point to should you get in trouble with a blacklist. COIL demonstrates that you're trying to do the right thing. But I'm also suggesting COIL to protect brands from sending to marginal subscribers who really aren't that interested in their emails and who are more likely to complain than opt-out. So COIL is meant to address both issues.

  • The Most Inspiring Subject Lines by Chad White (Email Insider on 04/22/2014)

    Just noticed that the checkmark characters aren't displaying in the Vera Bradley subject line I referenced above. Please use your imagination or click through to the collection.

  • Five Ways To Improve Your Cart Abandonment Emails by Chad White (Email Insider on 02/25/2014)

    Hi, Andrew. I generally advise against offering incentives in cart abandonment emails because over time they train subscribers to abandon carts and delay purchases--and, at least in many of the cases I've seen, don't improve conversions much. However, some brands say they are very effective for them. Testing certainly not a bad idea, but I would lean toward a default of no incentive.

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