• It's Not The Client, It's The Context (And More)
    With Google's recent launch of its Inbox email client (still invite-only at this writing), everyone is rushing to declare what this means for subscribers and marketers. Excuse me if I yawn. Who knows whether Inbox will get more traction than other client configurations trying to change how we use email? Sure, you need to know how new email client iterations affect performance. But it's not the whole story. The inbox itself, how subscribers use it and the impact it has, is changing. It's no longer just the device, app or client that defines the inbox. You must also understand the ...
  • Email Becoming Tougher Game For Marketers Of Ill Repute
    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.
  • What Do You Mean, 'Email Marketers Need Not Apply'?
    It seems as if the marketing world has a new slogan. Once upon a time it was "email is dead," but most have come around to believe that email definitely has a place within the marketing construct. But the new slogan seems to indicate that email marketers are a dying breed -- at least when it comes to a marketing organization's need for them. Instead of damning the channel, marketers are now rallying against the specialists that build and execute email programs themselves.
  • Geeks, Rejoice! The Email Renaissance Has Arrived
    Pop quiz, marketers! How do you feel about the new Inbox by Gmail? A) Annoyed. This is probably worse than Gmail tabs. B) Intrigued. What a fascinating opportunity. C) Confused. What's Inbox? If you answered B, you're in the right line of work.
  • Blowing Up the Paid-Owned-Earned Media Model
    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.
  • Four-Square Selling
    I believe the reason more budget isn't allocated to email is that industry members struggle to sell it effectively to their organizations. Have you ever been sold a car? Dealerships use a four-square selling method. They help you find the car and establish a Sales Price. They negotiate your Trade-In (if applicable). They discuss Cash Down and Payment. And finally, they discuss the Monthly Payment. To sell email's value, you need a strategy. Here's the four-square approach for email marketers.
  • Can You See The Email Forest -- Or Are You Distracted By The Trees?
    Google has done it again. Inbox, the newest iteration of Gmail (still in invite-only stage at this writing), promises to revolutionize the inbox (again) and has email marketers worrying about how to respond (again). And, here I am (again), asking email marketers not to get sidetracked by day-to-day distractions like Gmail Inbox, Priority Inbox, Unroll.me, symbols in subject lines and the best time or day to send email. Yes, they might affect inbox or email activity at some point. It's important to understand how the inbox has been evolving since email became a major conversion channel in the 1990s. But ...
  • 'Do You Want Fries With That?' -- The Power Of Context
    What makes an email successful? Delivering the right message to the right person at the right time on the right device. As a communicator, I like to think of these attributes as context. Here are some ways to get the context right and improve your program.
  • In 2015, Automation Technologies Will Ease Path To Contextual
    Ready or not, here it comes. A wave of marketing that has been growing for years -- contextual marketing -- will reach new heights in 2015. If your organization does not have the ability to capture and leverage a significant amount of data for personalizing and "right-timing" your customer communications -- including data relevant to the current state of the customer (location, device, environment, past behaviors, etc.) -- you risk fatiguing your customers with non-relevant messaging and falling behind competitors who are doing it right.
  • Mobile Messages: Email, Text Or In-App?
    With the rise of mobile communications, we are in the midst of yet another sea change in the process of sending electronic messages. But the change is more than just style; even the nature of electronic messaging is expanding for mobile users. Besides traditional email and its format of recipient, sender, subject, and message body, we now have text messaging and in-app communications as vehicles for electronic communications, each with its own strengths. For companies communicating with their customers, the new challenge is determining which of these forms is best suited for their marketing communication tasks.
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