• What's In Your Inbox Today?
    Happy Cyber Monday, folks! It's that day of the year online retailers look forward to, especially given 2008's miserable numbers. This year, the National Retail Federation is projecting a nice growth over 2008. Black Friday is usually a precursor to Cyber Monday and if that is any indication, then we should expect more people hitting the sites and buying less. That's right: average order value will be down, but more people buying in a tight economy should = more sales revenue.
  • Monetizing Social Media Is About Targeting First, Everything Else Second
    Case study: Tweaking its targeting techniques, an online retailer improves its loyalty program, Results far surpass previous email campaigns, with a targeting impact that's "off the charts."
  • An Unconventional Approach Can Make A Lot Of Sense
    Watching football on Thanksgiving has become part of the American tradition, but you might notice something nontraditional during the games this year that you can relate to your email program. Over the past couple of seasons, an unconventional offensive formation known as "the Wildcat" has spread throughout the NFL. Taking a conventional approach to your email marketing might seem a safer bet than trying new things, but an "unconventional" approach might not seem so risky if it's born of the same sound reasoning as the Wildcat formation.
  • Email Marketing Powers Cyber Monday
    Are you ready for the biggest retail email day of the year? I'm speaking, of course, of Cyber Monday, which is this upcoming Monday, Nov. 30. I expect it to easily be the biggest retail email day of the year -- and probably the biggest ever.
  • Next-Generation Email Marketers
    Given the short tenure of an email marketing manager (two to three years), it's not surprising that this role is hard to staff and hard to retain. I've always considered it to be a burn-out job in some ways, with rapid turnarounds, the constant pressure of deadlines, and no forgiveness for mistakes. So how you can support the growth of this role so it's not a burn-out? Marketing organizations, write this down: Develop a career path for your email group, even if it's only made up of two people.
  • Five Lessons Email Marketers Can Learn From @Sh*tMyDadSays
    If you track the Twitterverse, you've probably read about Justin Halpern, who converted his father's crusty, cranky and curse-laden commentary from a hot Twitter account into book and CBS sitcom deals. His success has energized millions of basement bloggers, but marketers and other communicators can also pick up pointers about creating highly focused, in-demand content, whether they occupy cubicles or spacious corner offices.
  • It's Holiday Season. What If Your Emails Don't Care?
    If you thought inboxes were already cluttered, just wait until this year's holiday season ramps up to full speed. Retail business are struggling to recover, while at the same time cutting ad and direct mail spending, and focusing more resources on ROI-heavy programs like email. But what if you're not in retail? What if the emails you need to send in November and December don't care that it's a holiday? You've got newsletters to distribute, conference seats to fill, annual memberships to renew, software upgrades to announce.... How can you compete with the tsunami of "Free Shipping, today only!" and …
  • Button Up Your Email
    Have you ever found yourself standing in front of an automatic towel dispenser, waving your hands frantically over the hands-free scanner, praying for a towel to come out? Yeah, me too. A week ago, I found myself working up a sweat in front of a towel dispenser when a waitress finally came in and said, "Oh, you have to actually touch the button." To which I said, "But the button says hands-free." Her response? "Oh, it's wrong. You actually have to touch it." Interesting. This little interaction got me thinking about the importance of directions, or as we call them …
  • Customer Segmentation
    This is a subject we often talk about in apologetic terms when it comes to email marketing: segmentation. It's a really time- consuming commitment for an organization to do great segmentation. While traditional monetary-based segmentation (Recency Frequency Monetary-RFM) and demographic segmentation drive most programs, what is the value of behavioral segmentation -- or better yet, attitudinal segmentation? There's obviously value in all forms, yet I find the challenge is balancing the right segmentation methodology with an organization's ability to work within these guides
  • I'm Calling Your BS
    As the year winds down, marketers seem to be doing two things: planning for next year's successes, or making excuses for not being able to do more with their email marketing programs. To the former group, kudos to you. To the latter group, I am calling your BS. Following are the three most common excuses I get from marketers for why their email isn't more relevant.
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