• Email Address Updates: Make It Easy, Or Lose
    You can expect to lose at least one third to one half of your email database every year due to list churn. For many marketers, a significant percentage of this churn results from a poorly implemented email-address-change procedure. Or worse yet, they have none at all. When you don't help subscribers change addresses, not only will you lose more of them than you need to, but you also throw away the money you spent to acquire them, as well as significant potential revenue.
  • Marketing Sherpa -- And the Un-Unsubscribe
    I've been to so many conferences and trade shows over the last few weeks that I can hardly tell what time zone I'm in anymore. This week I'm at the Marketing Sherpa Email Summit in Miami. Each show I've attended has its own strengths and weaknesses, and Marketing Sherpa is certainly no different. On the positive side, Marketing Sherpa has positioned itself as the "nuts and bolts" conference, and the sessions bear that out with all-day "basecamp" training sessions...
  • Leverage Your Unsubscribes
    A recent In-Box Insiders discussion was whether a click on the unsubscribe link in an email should be included in the response rate calculation, as would a click on a product link. While most agreed that this negative action should not be counted as a positive, Stephanie Miller, vice president of strategic services for Return Path, made this excellent point: "I don't think unsubscribes are negative. They are simply feedback -- and as such, are positive in that they are actionable for marketers who care about creating solid subscriber experiences. There are lots of reasons why someone wants off the …
  • Perspective After Time Off
    After two weeks out of the loop, listening to very little about email marketing, I thought the best way to get back into the swing of things was to reflect on the important elements of email programs, those that I feel are somewhat trivial -- and then those that are just open for discussion.
  • Takeaways From The Email Evolution Conference
    Last week the Email Experience Council held its first annual Email Evolution Conference in San Diego, attracting over 500 attendees. It was a great first event for us, in large part thanks to our fantastic line-up of more than 100 speakers. This week I'd like to share what I thought were some of the most interesting takeaways from the sessions that I attended.
  • Get Your Pizza
    We've been working on a study of the pizza industry and how it is using the Web and email to take the neighborhood pizza parlor into the world of cyberspace. We are seeing some interesting findings. The first thing that stands out is that the companies that are hawking pizza are very savvy Internet marketers.
  • Customer Service: The New Black
    Many of the valuable sessions at the Email Evolution Conference cited integration as a key to email success. Creating a cohesive brand experience for customers, whether they connect with you via traditional, first generation or Web 2.0 media certainly makes sense. But fresh from 10 hours on the phone with Dell and Microsoft, I felt that consideration for a crucial element was missing: customer service. What imparts the most lasting brand impression: the direct mail and email I receive from Dell, or the hours I spent watching an inexperienced support rep wander around my computer by remote access, only to …
  • Tracking Email Campaigns Using Google Analytics
    Google Analytics is a free Web analytics tool that can be integrated with your email marketing campaigns to gain valuable information about the subscriber activity on your site. This data can be used to increase the effectiveness of future campaigns, and thus boost sales conversions, subscribers, or other campaign goals. In fact, according to a 2005 JupiterResearch report, using Web analytics to target email campaigns can produce nine times the revenues and 18 times the profits compared to regular mass email campaigns.
  • Email's Future: Marketers Who Adapt Will Rule
    Should email marketers be worried about statistics claiming that young people don't use email anymore? That the most pervasive and utilized electronic communication method is in peril because kids would rather text or IM or message each other via their social-media networks? Time for a reality check, folks. Yes, the MySpace Generation is more oriented to their cell phones than their desktop or laptop computers. But, guess what? These kids will grow up, and their lives and their technology needs will change.
  • The DMA Gets It Right
    I'm in San Diego attending the first Email Experience Council's Email Evolution conference. This conference represents the DMA's ongoing efforts to be a thought leader in the interactive space, and certainly a step in the right direction to make up for some past missteps in its approach to interactive. Certainly email, with its direct marketing emphasis, is a channel or (as Dr. Ramesh Lakshimi-Ratan put it in the morning's keynote) a platform that the DMA should own as a trade organization.
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