• Email Industry Disagreements: Where Do You Stand?
    After 15 years or so of marketing via email, a solid body of knowledge and best practices is evolving, based on both experience and research. However, the industry still hasn't reached consensus on a number of fundamental precepts in email marketing. In these "debates," followers of each side often make compelling, even impassioned, arguments why their view should prevail. I initially came up with a list of about eight disagreements, but narrowed it to three biggies due to space constraints. (I'm saving the biggest debate -- "permission is required" versus "CAN-SPAM doesn't require permission" or "reputation supersedes permission" -- for …
  • Email List Growth Doesn't Equal Revenue Growth
    The behavior of most email subscribers proves that the promise of email marketing is still more appealing than the actual email marketing received. Think about it. Lots of people opt in. Not many subscribers are active. The variance in those two numbers is what I call the "optimization opportunity" for your program.
  • List Generation Via Fishbowl
    Dear Email Diva: I just read your post about sending email to tradeshow attendees, and was wondering how you feel about sending to tradeshow attendee lists provided to exhibitors, in light of CAN-SPAM. Do attendee lists like those fall under "implied" permission, or should they be considered opt-ins? Seems like a gray area to me. Obviously the safe bet is to use only names you've collected directly at your booth, but then you may miss out on the opportunity to email attendees who didn't "drop a card."
  • Transactions Don't Happen In The Inbox!
    As practitioners of the art of email and eCRM, we continually try to expand how we test and evolve the channels to show this value exchange between a consumer business and email/site. One of the things I've put a lot of thought into is whether the email itself is the container of the message and content -- or is it simply the messenger, and the site is the true catalyst to the experience? Sometimes we get so drawn into our world of email, we think email is this holly grail of the message and forget about the rest of the …
  • 6 Tips For Tapping Synergies Between Product Reviews And Email
    When I spoke at the MarketLive eCommerce Summit a few months ago, the buzz was all about product reviews among the small to mid-sized online retailers in attendance -- which was an interesting contrast to all the buzz about social networks at the Email Insider Summit and other events. Speaking at the eCommerce Summit, Patti Freeman Evans, JupiterResearch's research director, said that product reviews can get you 80% of the benefits of social and user-generated content. The question among many attendees was: "How do I get product reviews -- and what do I do once I have them?" Of course, …
  • Statistics, Lies, And Mathematical Literacy
    We have all heard the maxim, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." Darrell Huff wrote "How to Lie with Statistics" in 1954. Since then, his book has sold more copies than any other text on statistics. I recently flipped through this book and remembered why it is so good. First, it's funny. Huff was a writer and editor for Better Homes and Gardens, among other publications. He used this vantage point to pick example after example of lies told in the media through the misuse of statistics. Huff uses these lies -- some of which …
  • Subscribers As Product: Delivering Transformation Via Email
    I've been listening to audiobooks during my morning commute this month; it's an inspiring way to start the day. Last week it was Joseph Pine and James H. Gilmore's "The Experience Economy: Work is Theatre & Every Business a Stage." Pine and Gilmore got through to me, particularly in chapter nine. There they argue that the highest, most evolved goal of business is to enact transformation in individuals. Customers desire self-improvement and change, and as business people, we need to provide avenues for them to enact those changes. If we aim to be transformative, then our true "product" becomes the …
  • Engaging The Unengaged
    Imagine a world without email? I just sent around the latest AOL report "Email Addiction" to my global team and some of the comments were fascinating, all coming from people that live and breathe email marketing. I had used two-year-old stats on consumer email behavior in many presentations over the years, so it was fun to see the newest statistics that recognizes that email is even more addictive than it was in the past.
  • Email Marketing Lies, Lies, Lies
    In my previous Email Insider column, I outlined three of my favorite urban legends of email marketing: misunderstandings that take on the appearance of truth through repeated retellings. This time, I want to expose three lies that email marketers either tell or have told to them by people who should know better.
  • Email As Experience: Punch Up Your Transactional Messages
    While it's still as important as ever to provide quality products and service, today's customers now look beyond quality for another value-add from your company. They're seeking that other big "E" (besides email, of course): a memorable experience. To stand out in the crowd, businesses now need to give customers something unique. Each touchpoint between customer and company contributes to this end-to-end experience, and email adds a crucial piece.
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