• Where's The Lettuce?
    We spend a lot of time talking about the beef of email marketing: perfectly clean copy, clear calls-to-action, highly scannable designs, solid coding, and the right offer. But there's more to a great burger than a great patty. A recent Crate & Barrel email provides the answer to the missing ingredient. The May 1 email promoted knives with a minimalistic design -- but what makes it exceptional is the ribbon of lettuce used as the bottom border of the primary message block. Smith-Harmon designer Ellen Bolotin, who brought the email to our attention, says that "the lettuce on the bottom …
  • How Many Ways Can You Mess Up An Email Program?
    Sounds like a negative topic, but I'm really upbeat about this. If it weren't for marketing people making the same mistakes, half the agencies and service organizations wouldn't have jobs. While I'm enthusiastic about the email and CRM space, it's a bit numbing to watch organizations do the same thing over and over again. That's why my theme is five ways you can mess up your email program -- so you can learn from others' mistakes.
  • Four Ways To Find Email Marketing Gems And Avoid Fool's Gold
    Kids, I have to say, are equal parts pure exhilaration and complete exhaustion. I just finished a five-day trip with my extended family (six adults and five kids under eight), and trust me when I say I was ready for another looong vacation by the third day. On the fourth day, the kids were "Panning for Gold" in a Wild West-themed amusement park in Glenview Springs, Colo. When I say panning for gold, let me explain how this really worked....
  • What Would Chef Ramsay Say?
    It has been said that only two people will tell you the complete truth, a close friend and a mortal enemy. Chef Ramsay, star of "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares," been called rude, brash, abusive, obscene, sexist, and now even his own mother has called him a liar. Commercials mock his obnoxious childhood. So why should I care what Chef Ramsay has to say about anything? Because regardless of how he says it, you can always count on him to provide an honest assessment. Whether friend or enemy, Ramsay doesn't sugar-coat anything -- and I like that.We (email marketers) need …
  • Changing Roles Within Direct Marketing
    Recently, Borrell Associates predicted that advertising revenue from direct mail is expected to plunge 39% by 2013. Email was singled out as the key beneficiary of direct mail's decline. We've seen this shift already playing out among some of our clients. Catalog and direct mail departments are getting smaller, while email marketing teams are growing. In some cases, direct mail folks are being moved over to the email marketing side. In at least one case I've heard, catalog folks were shockingly being put in charge of the email team because of their seniority at the company, which strikes me as …
  • The Cost of Data
    There are going to be some spectacular things happening in the Consumer Research/Data CRM space over the next 10 years that will freak out consumers, completely disrupt businesses and cause you to rethink how you scale marketing efforts.
  • Strategies to Meet 5 Macro Trends Altering Email
    Trend forecasts, like mine in my last Email Insider column, "5 Macro Trends That Are Altering Email," also need strategies to help you meet the challenges these trends bring. Here's how you can retool your email program to keep it fresh, relevant and productive in an evolving market.
  • 'Delivered' Does Not Mean 'In The Inbox'
    It's rather amazing how much confusion there is between the bounce rate and the inbox deliverability rate. I've been on the road much of May and June speaking at online marketing conferences -- and while every marketer understands that if they don't reach the inbox, they don't earn a response, there is a sense of complacency around inbox deliverability that is not grounded in the right data. Marketers think they know their inbox deliverability rate, but in fact are either misinformed or just do not have access to that information.
  • Optimizing The First And Last Miles Of Email Design
    I''ve been growing increasingly impatient with emails that waste my time for no good reason. I think that's because over the past few weeks I've been working on the next edition of the Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season and have been getting flashbacks of the hectic, high-volume email days of the 2008 Christmas season. If marketers don't button up their email designs better before November, they'll be sorry when it comes time to tally up email marketing's contribution to holiday sales. Here's more on two of the biggest problem areas: preview panes and landing pages.<
  • 140 Characters In Search Of Your Email Content
    It's not a Pirandello play -- but Twitter, with its 140-character tweets, could be the latest play for maximizing the impact of your email program. And not only Twitter, but Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, blogs -- in fact all the newest channels -- provide a wonderful opportunity to migrate from siloed email marketing to true eCRM.
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