Search by name, company, title, location, etc.

George Bilbrey

Member since June 2005Contact George

  • VP & GM Return Path, Inc.
  • 100 Superior Plaza way
  • Superior Colorado
  • 80026 USA

Articles by George All articles by George

  • Gmail Deliverability Is Weirder Than You Think in Email Insider on 04/28/2017

    Getting into the inbox has become more challenging than ever at Gmail. Many email marketers have seen their inbox placement rates fall over the last few quarters at this important mailbox provider. The general consensus about how Gmail makes inbox placement decisions is "engagement," in addition to more traditional reputation.

  • Three 'Missing' Email Metrics That Could Change Your Priorities in Email Insider on 03/31/2017

    Common email metrics drive focus on creative optimization and program strategy. The metrics commonly provided metrics by email service providers (ESPs) focus on campaign-level (and sometime program-level) open, click, and other performance data. This invariably leads to a focus on improving open and click rates by changes to subject lines, offers, calls to action, etc. Let me present three alternative metrics that could (and in many cases would) drive focus on different "levers" for performance:

  • What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do? in Email Insider on 03/02/2017

    One of the tools that has become more popular with product management teams over the last few years is the Jobs to be Done framework (JTBD). Leading companies ask themselves what job the client is hiring their product or service to do. For example, I am hiring Google Docs as a platform on which to write this column, while my younger son hires a skateboard to get him to school in the mornings. By mapping the JTBD into a series of discrete steps (called "job mapping"), a company can determine opportunities to improve on current products or services used by clients to get their jobs done.

  • Five Ways Email Marketing Will Change In 2017, 2018 in Email Insider on 02/03/2017

    I spend a lot of time looking at new marketing technologies. Over the last 16 years, I've seen new technologies reach rapid adoption because they work within the real-world constraints of email marketing teams. In other cases, I've seen email marketing teams change to take advantage of the potential of new technologies. I would expect the following trends that I'm seeing in a few email marketing platforms to become more widespread over the next year or two:

  • My Wish List For Email Analytics In 2017 in Email Insider on 01/04/2017

    Email marketers spend a lot of time on email analytics. Various studies put the amount of time spent on analyzing the results of their email marketing activities between 15% and 25%. However, the kinds of reporting provided by email platforms don't make it easy to answer the key questions that email marketers are being asked.

  • Four Unexpected Investment Areas For 2017 in Email Insider on 11/21/2016

    When I talk to email marketers about their plans for 2017, it's what I don't hear that's interesting. They discuss adding new email program types, incorporating open-time personalization, using predictive algorithms to put the right offers and calls-to-action in front of the client, optimizing subject lines, and other investments. No doubt, many of these investments will drive improved performance in 2017. However, there are four fundamental areas where major investment doesn't appear to be planned for 2017:

  • Can Artificial Intelligence Replace Email Marketers? in Email Insider on 10/31/2016

    We all see the early signs of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning-powered solutions in email marketing. A variety of tools can write (or choose) an optimal subject line for you, or determine the correct product or article to feature in order to optimize clicks for a given subscriber. So what does the future hold for email marketing? Will smart machines supplant humans?

  • The Surprising Cost Of Unsubscribes in Email Insider on 09/16/2016

    A few years ago, I decided to take a close look at my personal finances. I found a lot of ways to reduce costs but the thing that really surprised me was the amount of money I was spending on my morning latte habit. Every day I spent just a little bit on the way to work. Over time, that expense really added up. It is the same with unsubscribes and spam complaints. In any given campaign, you will remove only a very small number of subscribers from your list because they have either unsubscribed or complained about your message through the "report spam" button in their inbox. For an individual campaign this doesn't seem like a lot. Yet over time, losing subscribers really starts to add up.

  • 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.

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.

About Edit

You haven't told us anything about yourself! Surely you've got something to say. Tell us a little something.