• Email Marketing: Totally Rockin' the '80s Hair
    As many of you know, I often use my average, everyday life as inspiration for my continued and ongoing muses about the email space, and today is no different. My five-year-old daughter is participating in Spirit Week at school; we've got Pajama Day and Beach Day under our belts, and we're faced with tackling '80s Day today. Last night we spent a good amount of time online looking at pictures for inspiration, which concluded with my daughter looking at me, nose crinkled, saying, "um, mom, is it ok if I just go to school as 'me' tomorrow?" In the end …
  • Is Email Marketing Really A Conversation?
    The answer to this question depends on how literally you define the word "conversation Is donating money to the Red Cross a conversation? Is registering to vote? Is moving from one state to another? To me, all of these actions have the potential to be part of a conversation. However, to achieve a conversation someone has to (1) be listening and (2) respond in a way that demonstrates they were listening. The same is true with email. Whether a subscriber opens an email, what they click on, if they unsubscribe -- all these actions are part of a conversation -- …
  • New Email Era: Beginning Of The End Of Batch-And-Blast?
    In order to have a successful email program today -- but more importantly, in the years ahead -- marketers need to understand how much the world in which email messages are created, distributed and read is changing. These changes won't make email any less powerful and relevant. In fact, one of email's great attributes is its flexibility, its ability to evolve as the communications world evolves. I believe, however, these changes are bringing email to a critical stage as a marketing and communications vehicle, where a converging set of trends and realities will force email to deliver on its promise …
  • Marketing In The Mobile Season
    The winds kicked up out of the south last week, bringing spring temperatures to most of the United States. The earth started its annual rebirth as flowers started peeking through the ground and people once again ventured outside. Marketing seems to be going through a rebirth of its own, and the season is called mobile. The mobile season has marketers donning bonnets of marketing ideas and gathering baskets of cell phone numbers.
  • Maximizing Results When Email Isn't About Sales
    Email is very well known as a direct-response tool, and there is plenty of free advice available to help sellers maximize their results and measure them effectively. But what about tips for editorial emails designed with content instead of sales as the primary driver? Here are the top five things you should do to get the best results from your email content:
  • Email Marketing And The Rise Of Flash Sales And Daily Deal Sites
    Being from Chicago, it is almost impossible to open the business section of the newspaper without reading something about Groupon. Almost singlehandedly, the brand has elevated the mass of technology entrepreneurs in this city towards the euphoric heights of Silicon Valley. Now, some may say I am just a bitter, 12-year email marketing veteran, living in Chicago and yet somehow missing out on the opportunity to be part of the Groupon gravy train. However, I think it is time we all stepped back and asked ourselves about the future of the group buying and flash sales trend and what it …
  • Will Amazon SES Change Everything?
    Amazon Simple Email Service (universally known as SES) is the new email server platform recently announced by Amazon. It's an obvious (and really smart) direction for Amazon to go. There has been a lot of excitement about Amazon SES among our client base -- and in certain dark corners where email technologists like to hang out. So how important is this? After a bunch of conversations with my colleagues at Return Path, our investors and some super-smart email technologists, here's my take:
  • Getting (More?) Personal: Taking Things To The Next Level Without Creeping People Out
    We've been long-time proponents of the idea that one of the greatest powers of email is forging positive, personal connections with subscribers. We've pushed an array of strategies to make this happen, including targeted messaging, putting human faces on brands (by highlighting designers, managers or other employees), incorporating subscriber-generated content, and improving segmentation and dynamic personalization. After all this talk about putting personalized touches on email, is it time to take it to the next level?
  • Promotion Or Lifecycle? The Dilemma Of Scale
    Email has become a critical component of the revenue-generating world. There is clear evidence of its impact on online revenue, in-store revenue and indirect revenue through partners and affiliates. We've been preaching "relevance" as a strategy for communications and incorporating personalization and testing into the equation. Add to this the fact that we want to automate everything based on some static or evolving business rule/circumstance. Add in the view of iifecycle and you now have a dimension that is really hard to manage and optimize.
  • When Best Practices Are Not Good Enough
    A couple of weeks ago, I got an email from a division of one of the country's best known direct marketing agencies, informing me that I'd been identified from within their database as a technology buyer and influencer, and that certain criteria led them to conclude that their clients would also like to contact me directly about technology purchases. That is, they were about to start selling my name to their clients.
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