• War and Peace
    There are basic ways of approaching any problem: détente and scorched earth. In the first method one tries to build trust, the other is a full out assault. In the fight against spam, we saw two different announcements which underscore the difference between these two approaches. On the one side, the détente side, TRUSTe announced their TRUSTe Email Privacy Seal. The basic idea is to grow legitimate e-mail marketing lists by providing a trusted third-party seal of approval on e-mail registration pages.
  • The Never Ending ROI Story, Part IV
    In the last few weeks I've discussed how ROI stories must include a financial component, infused with a customer story and the value it brings to the business. But there is still a piece missing - in order to pull this story together, you have to highlight your campaign efficiencies, what you learn from each campaign and how the organization is developing into a "marketing machine." One of the hottest discussions now is about learning organizations - organizations that can be adaptive to market changes, competitive changes, and organization changes. According to Jack Trout, strategy is the process of moving …
  • E-mail Authentication
    By now every marketer has learned that Internet service providers (ISPs) take e-mail authentication quite seriously - with Microsoft leading the charge with Sender ID. Microsoft is using a stick, not a carrot, to make e-mail senders get on the authentication band wagon. E-mailers who do not publish a proper sender ID record are now going to find themselves in the bulk mail folder at Hotmail and MSN, as well as have a big fat disclaimer thrown on top of their e-mails from Microsoft warning users that the source of the e-mail can't be authenticated.
  • The Never Ending ROI Story, Part III
    Last week, I talked about Financial Returns and their place in the ROI story. The remaining keys to your ROI story lie in customer value, internal efficiencies and learning and progression. This week I'm focusing on customer value. Every ROI story must have a customer angle. This doesn't mean including a customer quote or an insightful market impact study to justify your e-mail marketing program. It means wrapping your ROI story around a value statement for your customers. There isn't a marketing program out there that tells success stories solely with statistics, so your ROI story shouldn't …
  • The Information Highway
    I'm reading a book right now called "Amarillo Slim: Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived." It is a fascinating book for what we can learn about how Amarillo Slim's form of gambling applies to the world of marketing. Slim never made a bet, as he says, unless he had already won. In other words, he never bet on anything unless he had information that the other guy didn't that gave him an edge. And he only bet on things where having that information made a difference.
  • The Never Ending ROI Story, Part II
    In last week's article, I discussed the importance of taking a broader view on return on investment (ROI). To give your e-mail ROI story more significance, you should include four key areas: financial returns, customer value, internal efficiencies, and learning and progression. These will strengthen and add punch to your ROI story. This week I'll discuss the one component that is probably most familiar to all of us who run or sell programs: financial returns. You can't live without them, but you also can't survive on numbers alone.
  • A State of Mind
    This week we have a new nominee in the Dumb Things People Do To Stop Spam awards. It is actually a tie for first place between Michigan and Utah who have both launched ill-conceived anti-spam laws, which like most nominees in this category, hurt legitimate white-hat e-mailers and reward the black hats. Anti-spam legislation is great on the surface - it makes the lawmakers seem like they are tackling a big problem (who doesn't hate spam?). What usually happens, however, is that because they don't have enough expertise in the field, they end up making the problem much worse …
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