While last year the retail email holiday season began on Sept. 6 with a holiday reference in a Sam's Club email, this year's holiday email season has already begun. Hallmark kicked things off with a reference to holiday ornaments in an Aug. 14 email and KB Toys followed up last week with emails about the "Season's Hottest Pre-orders."
No, not those killer bees. These Killer Bs are a nasty swarm of words used by marketers who haven't caught on that marketing by email has evolved from its earliest days. Whenever I hear someone toss a Killer B around in conversation, I know I'm talking to someone who still sees email marketing as a one-way channel, pushing a single message out to as many people as possible. Permission, segmentation, targeting and relevance don't matter to them. We can't completely change marketing until we change the words we use to describe it, raising some to prominence and mothballing others.
f you're like me, you may have been confused by the recently published article,"The Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say in Email Subject Lines (Plus 100 Others You Shouldn't Use, Either)." Not being a deliverability expert, I put out the bat signal to my discussion group, the Inbox Insiders "Since your spam score is a composite of many factors," I asked, "a word in your subject line, while contributing to your score, isn't enough to affect your deliverability. Or is it?"The experts weighed in.
You never have a second chance to make a first impression. This holds true in our personal lives as well as our professional lives. And as marketers it definitely holds true with our relationship with our customers. So how does this idea of making a good first impression and molding and managing customer experiences and opinions translate into the email space? Two words -- welcome email.
Last week SubscriberMail released "The Seven Dirty Words you can't say in subject lines; plus 100 others you shouldn't use either, " a list of words you "should avoid" using in your subject lines because they are likely to get you blocked by spam filters. Looking at this list, I knew that major online retailers used at least some of these words -- and some of them quite frequently.
Last week at this time, I was relaxing poolside with a prickly pear margarita at our timeshare resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. All the time I was sitting there working on my Email Insider column, I kept seeing how my resort experience underlined some key email lessons.
Dear Email Diva: The agency I'm currently using seems to be finding it difficult (or lacks the desire?) to implement a contact strategy. We are left to using spreadsheets, plotting when emails are going out -- and to whom -- and estimating how many times we could be contacting one person on our database. Shouldn't it be straightforward to review email addresses and calculate the number of times that a person has been contacted -- and, from that information, delve deeper into their behavior?
We are driven by customers, we react to feedback, and we build organizations to interpret this feedback into market-driven solutions and products. In a perfect world, right? We have different motivations to gather customer information, depending on the part of the business you speak to. What does customer measurement mean to your organization, and how do you use it to improve what you do today? Do you manage a customer scorecard on different variables important to your business?
Marketers need to be guardians of permission -- and that includes keeping subscribers' email addresses out of the hands of partners and even sister brands.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I have been enjoying the discussion about email and its future ignited by recent debates among some of the titans in our industry. But now it's time to ask what more we can do to spread the word to people who are still using email marketing like it's 1999.