• A Few Pointers For Improving Survey Response
    It seems that the customer insights planets have aligned for me over the past fortnight, as I have received five different survey invitations in my inbox from various marketers. After looking at each, it quickly became apparent that marketers have a ways to go to create great surveys and drive responses to them via email. Here are three particular areas that should be addressed....
  • The Red Phone
    I'm sure all your email messages are important. But some -- conveying a deadline, a member benefit, urgent news or an important announcement that impacts your customers' relationship with you -- are more important than others. If you don't yet have a strategy for escalating your most important missives, it's time to build a Red Phone of your own. The original "Red Phone" connecting Washington and Moscow was built following the Cuban Missile Crisis, to avoid the delays in communication that had slowed U.S-Soviet negotiations.
  • If Someone Says 'Buy' A List One More Time...
    Time to update the list of "Killer Bs" I first wrote about here in 2007. We'll save the upcoming "ban the blast" initiative for another time, so the next "B" word I would like to excise from the email marketing lexicon is "buy," as in "Where can I buy a list of a million dentists/Democrats/dog owners?" Sorry if I sound like an email snob, but I cringe when I hear someone, usually (but not always) an email newbie, talking about buying lists.
  • Are You Ready For The 18 Phases Of Christmas?
    If you haven't begun planning your holiday campaigns, then you're already behind. The first salvo of holiday email marketing has already been fired, with 8% of major online retailers having already mentioned the holidays in their email campaigns. August is traditionally a non-event for holiday marketing, but September will mark the beginning of a continued effort to win holiday sales that will continue into January. As discussed in the recently released Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season, holiday messaging goes through 18 phases....
  • When Testing Doesn't Work
    There are probably thousands of articles on the Web about how to test marketing campaigns effectively. You have a hypothesis, you have test variables, you have test segments, and you have some view of statistical probabilities associated with the outcome. That's a perfect world. Let's first assume you actually have the time to build a proper test and the resources to create the many versions -- and you can actually deliver on the test program and keep the program sterile. What do you do when the tests don't tell you what you want to hear?
  • Can You Walk And Chew Gum?
    As email marketers, we look at many aspects of our customers to best identify the most relevant email experience we can deliver -- but do we ever take life into consideration? As we look to get more relevant, here are five considerations that influence email interaction that have little to do with email and more to do with life....
  • The 12 Steps For Wayward Email Programs
    As an Email Insider regular, you've probably got a long list of things you "should" do, but simply can't accomplish. The reason may be resources, internal politics, or technical limitations. These hurdles can be incredibly frustrating. If this is you, consider the following, liberally modified from traditional 12-step programs, for reinvigorating your email program and taking it to the next level.
  • More On The Video Boom: Choosing The Best Content For Video In Email
    While evolutions in video capabilities are certainly exciting, it's the video content that makes the developments engaging and worthwhile. After deciding how you'll deliver video to your subscriber inboxes, the next step is picking the content that both makes sense as video and adds value to the experiences of your particular subscribers. Dynamic approaches to email creative always make emails stand out in crowded inboxes, and a stellar video offers something fresh. We've been keeping our eye on the sorts of content that top brands have been delivering through video messages.
  • Ambiguity in Marketing
    I live in the agency world. Our jobs are to inspire and drive business marketing results for them. Easy enough mission statement, right? It's so easy, when we don't speak the same language. Buzz words lke CRM mean different things to different people.
  • Relevance: What Is It, Anyway?
    Ask any of my fellow Email Insider columnists (or other industry pundits) what is the No.1 key to email marketing success. I bet they'll reply with some variation of "relevance." But what does "relevance" mean? What makes one email more relevant than another?
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