• What's Your Delivery Rate?
    I spend a great deal of my time visiting clients and other organizations in the e-mail industry and in any discussions that I've had recently, deliverability is a red-hot topic. But there is a lot of confusion around what this term means, and some of this confusion is attributable to e-mail service providers. For example, ask any e-mail service provider to describe their delivery rates and you will get as many definitions as the number of vendors that you ask. The truth about e-mail deliverability is that no vendor can truly measure it. That is, no vendor can provide …
  • The Never Ending ROI Story, Part I
    You might be saying to yourself, "Not another return on investment (ROI) article." But if you answer yes to the next question, then you should file this away for another day: Are you generating excitement and interest when you present your e-mail ROI stories within your company? Calculating an ROI is not as straightforward as it seems. ROI is a frequently misunderstood process that typically leads to a lot of discussion and one, seldom believable, report. As we have all been taught, it is usually about generating numbers and making them add up to justify your efforts.
  • Lessons From the Top
    Last night I bought an unintentionally hilarious book: "Lessons from the Top: The 50 Most Successful Business Leaders in America and What you Can Learn from Them." Always ready to learn something new I jumped on the Path train and plunged in... I should have looked at the date of publication. Here they were, America's top business leaders: Bernie Ebbers, Ken Lay, Hank Greenberg, Dennis Kozlowski, and their companies Enron, AIG, and Tyco International. All ripped from today's headlines or should I say Court TV. Doing a quick Google search on these titans of industry revealed common …
  • Program Perception vs. Reality
    I have this quote that pops into my head quite often: "My goal in life is to try to become the person my dog thinks I am." It's not profound, but it reinforces what we strive to be as e-mail marketers. I have visions for how I want a program to run, but clients also have an idea and the client's partners have ideas as well; and they don't always match up. The chasm between the expectations of what you want to be and what you can truly accomplish may be a product of how you are supporting your partners …
  • Less Is More
    I've written in the past about just how powerful e-mail can be for driving traffic to catalog companies such as L.L. Bean, Land's End, and Eddie Bauer. Week after week, we track spikes in Web site traffic that correspond with the regular weekly e-mails that these companies send out.
  • The Customer Experience Dream
    I often wonder if managing a truly effective customer experience - from start to end, at every point of contact - is a pipe dream. Can it be done? I think we at least owe it to ourselves to try, because in a world of low attention spans and constant communication, it is the captivating customer experiences that create this elusive branding and loyalty effect. So what is a great customer experience, what does it mean to you as the marketer, and what does it mean to you as the consumer?
  • The Elephant In The Room
    On Monday I moderated an email panel at MediaPost's OMMA West event in San Francisco. Each of the panelists presented positive case studies and take aways on e-mail marketing which I'll summarize in a future column. The fact is that e-mail marketing has taken a tremendous PR hit in the last year or so. The media, like The New York Times, has trashed e-mail marketing. Agencies have steered their clients away from e-mail in favor of banner ads and search marketing. Vigilantes have taken over arbitrating who can send e-mail and who can't. And no one raises their voice in …
  • Changing With the Times
    At last week's Campaign Digital Conference in London, I started thinking about the current global market and e-mail challenges. It got me thinking about an article I had read on global warming and the changes it's creating for animal populations; seeing a parallel I wondered "Is a similar thing happening in our space? Is e-mail being affected too?"
  • Addressing E-mail
    Today is moving day at my company. We have new offices in lower Manhattan and as I write, I'm surrounded by boxes and technicians running around getting phones up and running and Internet installed. Mail won't start arriving for weeks because no one knows we are here yet. However, I was able to log on to someone's wireless network near the office and get my e-mail and a nice offer from American Express's Small Business Group.
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