• 'Inactive?' You Talkin' to Me?
    One of the hottest topics in email marketing today is inactive, or non-responding, subscribers. The dialogue, which often turns into a heated debate, usually revolves around how to define inactives and then how to treat them. I find four important aspects of this conversation often get overlooked:
  • Never Can Say Good-bye: Unsubscribe Best Practices
    A marketer's unsubscribe process represents a key stage in the email subscriber's lifecycle. A smart approach can encourage email subscribers to interact with the brand through other channels, such as social media, even if email is no longer an option. A smarter approach will remind the subscriber of what they'll miss out on by unsubscribing and provide options for updating their preferences or decreasing their frequency instead of leaving the file. Regardless of the approach, it's always a best practice to make the process simple, straightforward and stress-free for subscribers.
  • There is Always Room for Respect in a Full Inbox
    By acting like a decent member of a society, email marketers can achieve a competitive advantage. Respect also speaks to relevance, as it shows an unwillingness to waste a subscriber's time.
  • Email According To 'Good Housekeeping'
    I was on a flight the other day and was thumbing through a stack of magazines from the last month or so (airplane time is mindless, magazine reading time for me), and I got to the August issue of Good Housekeeping. Right there on the cover: "Protect your email account. Simple ways to stop a hacker." Not surprisingly, I was compelled to check out the article. It isn't everyday that my profession is highlighted on the cover of Good Housekeeping!
  • Planning For The Holidays: A 12-Point Checklist
    Three percent of top retailers have already begun their holiday email marketing campaigns, a number that will tick up several more points before July is over. Whether you believe such early starts are effective or not, July is definitely the time to start planning your holiday campaigns.
  • What's The Value Of An Email Address Today?
    I figure if you have a database of customers that represent more than 30% of your entire database, you're more than likely to have thought about this topic. You have an asset: an email address! How do you account for this asset? Is it a cost-saving proxy? Do you see it only as a channel proxy? But what does each individual email address mean to the value of a customer record?
  • 'So Where Do We Start?'
    That's what a client asked a colleague and me during a recent meeting, where we had discussed several different kinds of email messages they could add to their existing program to generate additional revenue and engagement. As with so many marketing questions, the answer varies for each company. To help provide a better answer than "It depends," I'll outline a potential framework you can use to decide which of the really sweet email programs you should start with.
  • Beating The Horse
    You know you're in trouble when the client tells you that they don't like their control creative, but haven't been able to beat it in testing yet. They're looking to you with hope in their eyes. You're looking at their creative, which features a cartoon horse* ostensibly using the product. The cartoon horse creative is proof that in a contest between direct-response emails, ugly doesn't matter if you are following the rules of demand generation. Here are four rules to help you guide your creative partners, so that you can beat your own horse (or your most annoying winning …
  • Does Your Email List Need A Vacation?
    he old joke is, you know you need a vacation when you dial "9" for an outside line from home. I reached that point recently, so I planned a vacation to Hawaii. After a week of hiking Maui's remote shores, visiting dormant mountaintop volcanoes and staring at ocean sunsets, I was rejuvenated and ready to return to work. There are parallels between the human need to be refreshed and email marketing. One of the most evident is the tendency over time for email lists to become tired and lose their productivity. This happens to most lists at some time.
  • For Mom & Pops To Big Brands Alike, Keep Targeting Right
    Most marketers do not like talking to consultants and strategists about their programs, because inevitably the answers are always the same:it depends. There are so many factors that go into deciding the correct approach for marketing programs that they don't really lend themselves well to cookie-cutter advice and industry benchmarks ---which makes it even more difficult for experts to provide usable and applicable advice to the masses. However, no matter how you slice it, regardless of the size of your program, your audience, your team, your industry , there is still a fundamental mishap occurring in the space today that …
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