• A Little Holiday Cheer Goes A Long Way
    I love holiday cards. I really do. I love sending them and I love receiving them. I love walking down to my mailbox and seeing it full of cards. Before email and Facebook, the once-a-year holiday card was how people stayed in touch with each other across the miles and years. And that's why I want to give a simple shout-out to the retailers who sent me holiday e-wishes. You were few and far between, which is why I almost missed your holiday cheer amidst the screaming SHOP NOW subject lines. If I had a virtual fridge, you'd be on …
  • The Twelve Days Of Email
    Since there has been much talk of new messaging channels "killing" email during the past decade, I thought it would be appropriate to consider for a moment just how critical email is to each of us and the brands we interact with over the holiday season. Enjoy!
  • Kris Kringle, Marketing Guru
    It's common for words like "expert" and "guru" to get tossed around in marketing circles, typically reserved for only the brightest of thought leaders. But we should all know by now that even the most successful marketers are forced to bow at the altar of the world's ultimate marketing guru -- Santa Claus. Now, granted, being Santa Claus does offer some inherent advantages -- such as flying reindeer access -- that your average marketer can't compete with. But the key to Santa's success (with all due respect to Mrs. Claus) is an adherence to best practices any successful email marketer …
  • Retail Email Highlights of 2009
    It's been another amazing year in retail email marketing. No one can say our industry is boring. There were plenty of challenges and plenty of creative and inspiring solutions from marketers. Here are some of the highlights.
  • Using Pay-For-Performance To Retain Customers
    Why can't we apply the same principles of performance marketing to retention marketing? Why is it that you spend so much to acquire a customer, but you still have half of your customer file of non-buying customers, dormant customers or non-responsive customers?
  • Benchmarking: 'Average' Is The New Bottom
    The most frequently asked question from email marketers is some variation of this: "What is the average (blank) rate?" Ugh. I understand why marketers ask this and similar questions, but I have to ask: What are you going to do with the answer? If I told you that the average email open rate was 24%, how would you act on this data? Don't get me wrong. I love benchmark studies as much as the next person, and I am finalizing one as I write this column. Benchmark studies and data have value, but I find that many marketers use the …
  • Metrics, And When to Ignore Them
    With that title I either have everybody's attention, or nobody's. "Ignore" and "metrics" rarely figure into the same sentence for email marketers. Even "honey-soy salmon fillets" shows up in conversation with email marketers alongside "metrics" more often than "ignore" does. Yet there are circumstances under which email marketers should ignore -- or at least evaluate with the utmost skepticism -- the very metrics on which they base their craft.
  • Take It Personally
    "You are not my friends and I don't want you to be my friends."That's what a recent college grad proclaimed about using personalization in subject lines at the Email Insider Summit. How can a bombshell like that not make you stop and think before you add someone's name to a subject line or email? Without a doubt, personalization has become a tricky business.
  • Summit: Maybe Less Focus On Social Topics? More Case Studies?
    We had a blast on the mountain in Deer Valley last week at the Email Insider Summit, aside from a bit of altitude sickness. I was really impressed with the output from many of the speakers, the roundtables and networking events, yet I left with a few nuggets to improve the content for the next summit.
  • Have You Heard About The 'Sh*t' Folder?
    We talk a lot about whether our email programs are making it to the inbox or to the bulk folder -- but have you ever stopped to think about what the recipient does with the email if it lands in the inbox? Sure, we contemplate, "did (s)he open it, delete it or mark it as SPAM?" But the options don't end there. Here are two situations I want you to consider...
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