Bonnie Malone

Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and Total Retail.

Email Sender Reputation: Decoded

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” What exactly does reputation have to do with email? Sender reputation is a combination of factors that contribute to your status with mailbox providers as a good or undesirable sender. It’s a…

Email Deliverability, in Plain English

Being an email marketer requires quite a vocabulary. MBP, IPR, filters, bounces, traps, reputation … huh? These are just a few of the many terms associated with email deliverability. It can be daunting to understand the alphabet soup of the industry, especially if you're relatively new to email marketing, much less know how to read…

Understanding Subscriber Engagement: Opens vs. Reads

Over the last few years, we’ve seen a shift in the email deliverability landscape. Major mailbox providers, like Gmail, have incorporated subscriber engagement factors into their filtering algorithms, making the sorting process much more dynamic (and challenging to navigate). While retailers have been closely watching subscriber engagement as a key success metric for many years,…

Email Opens or Reads: Which is Right?

When measuring the success of email campaigns and overall performance health of email programs, opens and its various related metrics (open rate, click to open rate, etc.) are a common benchmark used by marketers. This metric is accepted as an accurate capture of views, as it tracks images rendered per message, counting the rate at…

The 3 Best Triggered Email Messages to Send

Big data, hyperpersonalization and triggered messages have all gotten a lot of press over the last few years. It seems like everyone would be firmly seated on the one-to-one marketing bandwagon by now. However, the reality is that many marketers aren’t able to leverage data to personalize campaigns. In a recent study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing,…

Subject Line Testing in 3 Easy Steps

Subject line testing is one of those things that's always on the “to do” list, but somehow seems hard to make happen. There are a thousand reasons why: lack of creativity to come up with variations, last-minute issues to resolve before the campaign goes out, uncertainty about how to split up the list … Subject…

Metrics That Matter: Email Benchmarks for 2018

Last month, I shared a collection of retail industry benchmarks to help with 2018 planning, and noted the fact that email has grown significantly to 3.7 billion users in 2017. As we enter the new year, it’s also an ideal time to review how specific performance metrics from your email program compare with other email…

Metrics That Matter: Retail Industry Benchmarks for 2018

How does my email program performance compare to others in my industry? Are the trends my business is experiencing in line with other retailers? Was the huge dip in sales specific to my program, or are my competitors having similar challenges? Is email even still relevant as a marketing channel? These are just a few…

3 Quick Deliverability Tips Ahead of the Holiday Rush

Holiday spending online is projected to grow more than 15 percent during the 2017 holiday season, and 2 percent for brick-and-mortar stores, according to eMarketer. That’s $916 billion in holiday spending opportunity for retailers over the next couple of months. For many, the holiday campaign planning cycle has been in full swing for several weeks…

Do You Still Believe These ‘Old Wives’ Tales’ About Email?

“Don’t make that face — it will freeze that way!” “Walking under a ladder brings bad luck.” “Indigestion during pregnancy means the baby will have lots of hair.” All of these statements are examples of old wives’ tales … superstition from long ago. In most cases, these ideas have been around for so long that…

Emojis: A New Tool to Help Marketers Win the Inbox

At last count, there are 2,666 emojis, and billions of them are sent every day — including 5 billion on Facebook Messenger alone! These modern day hieroglyphs pepper text messages, tweets, photo captions, status updates, and even a series of operas and ballets at London’s Royal Opera House. The meteoric rise of emojis has been…

Mistakes: Happenstance or Enemy Action?

Mistakes happen. On a daily basis, everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes mistakes cause frustration, as work has to be redone. Other times, mistakes can be painfully embarrassing, as they may expose shortcomings or a momentary lapse in judgment. The redeeming factor about mistakes is that we generally learn from them. We learn what to avoid and…

Retailer or Spammer? You Decide

Email deliverability is hard. It’s hard for retailers trying to get campaigns into customers’ inboxes. It’s hard for mailbox providers trying to keep users’ inboxes safe. It’s hard for consumers trying to manage their messages. Deliverability is hard. So often, I hear marketers express their frustrations with mailbox providers when they find out campaigns are…

Relationships Are Hot; Acquisition is Not

Acquisition (n.) the act of gaining possession; the purchase of one business enterprise by another Acquisition is an odd choice of word for marketers to use in reference to new subscribers. Would you introduce someone you’ve started dating as a new acquisition, or someone you possess? (I hope not!) It’s more likely that you would…

3 Tips for Reaching the Mobile Consumer

Email opens on mobile devices have grown 133 percent over the past five years. In 2011, just 23 percent of consumers used their mobile devices to access their inboxes. At the end of 2016, over 53 percent regularly read email on their mobile devices. Mobile is no longer a consideration; it's dominating the subscriber experience.…