E-mail: Best Practices for E-mail Marketing Communications
October 25, 2005

These five best practices, offered recently by The Direct Marketing Association (DMA), are intended to improve the likelihood of permission-based e-mail being delivered successfully to a recipient’s inbox -- and being read by the intended recipient. 1. Encourage customers and prospects to add your legitimate sending e-mail address to their personal”approved list/address book” and provide up-front instructions on how to do so in registration pages. Being an approved sender yields higher response rates and generates fewer complaints and blocked messages. 2. Carefully consider the content and presentation of marketing messages, as recipients are increasingly labeling any e-mail communication that’s irrelevant to them or looks

E-mail: Etiquette
October 11, 2005

E-mail is a double-edged sword. Done well, it’s a powerful business tool. Done poorly, it causes serious problems for individuals and organizations alike. “E-mail has not only changed the way we do business, it’s begun to define how we’re viewed as professionals and people,” says Janis Fisher Chan, author of “E-Mail: A Write It Well Guide -- How to Write and Manage E-Mail in the Workplace” (Write It Well, 2005, $21.99). “The words we write are very real representations of our companies and ourselves. We must be sure our e-mail messages are sending the right messages about us.” In her book, Chan offers practical

E-mail Marketing: Three Keys to Successfully Maintain a Good E-mail Reputation
October 4, 2005

E-mail marketing is effective only if it reaches its intended recipient’s inbox. The Direct Marketing Association and e-mail marketing firm Bigfoot Interactive, in their white paper,”Authentication, Accreditation and Reputation--for Marketers,” offer three keys to ensure your e-mail marketing efforts arrive at the intended destination. 1. Maintain good e-mail list hygiene. E-mail address providers often blacklist entities that send e-mail to too many non-existent addresses, the white paper’s authors state. Spammers often randomly generate e-mail addresses to send to, resulting in many addresses that aren’t real. Address providers do acknowledge there is a lot of churn in terms of consumers changing e-mail addresses, but it’s generally

E-mail Marketing: Two Tactics to Test
September 20, 2005

When investing in your e-mail marketing campaigns, it pays to do a little testing. Here are two testing tips from Refinery, an interactive and search marketing agency. 1. Subject lines. Make them not only intriguing to recipients, but also benefit-oriented and related to the e-mail’s featured products, suggests Refinery in its white paper “Give Your eTail Sales Tactics a Tune-up.” One of Refinery’s b-to-b clients reported that it found far greater success with benefit-oriented subject lines than with promotional subjects. For example, instead of using a subject line stating: “Sale on Workboots,” try “You’ll Save Money on Rugged Workboots This Week Only.” “With their

E-mail Marketing: Segment Your Customers With an E-mail Campaign Tree
September 13, 2005

E-mail provides a one-to-one marketing medium that allows you to deliver a message directly to individuals, speaking to their specific interests, needs and desires, notes Mike Adams, founder and president of e-mail marketing software provider Arial Software. In “Permission Wave,” a guide to effective permission-based e-mail marketing, Adams explains how you can learn a lot about your customers by asking just a few questions via e-mail. He gives the following example: Say you’re a coffee merchant with 100,000 subscribers to your e-mail newsletter. Ask three questions in three separate e-mails. First ask your subscribers/customers what they purchase your products for and provide four possible

E-mail: Improve Your E-mail Program in Three Easy Steps
August 16, 2005

You don’t have to invest money in any fancy online technologies or vigorous list scrubbing services to see a measurable improvement in your e-mail marketing efforts. Anne Holland, publisher of Marketing Sherpa, a Warren, R.I.-based company that publishes research reports, case studies and e-newsletters on marketing, advertising and public relations, remarked that sometimes the best fixes are the easy ones right in front of your face. At List Vision 2005, held last week in New York City, Holland offered the following solutions to some of marketers’ top e-mail challenges: Challenge: Companies report 20 percent to 40 percent non-delivery of e-mail. Solution: In addition to delivery tracking, implement

E-mail Marketing: Differentiate Your E-mail Marketing Messages From Spam
July 19, 2005

Internet service providers (ISPs) and legitimate e-mailers should develop a comprehensive e-mail authentication and reputation strategy, noted several speakers at the E-mail Authentication Implementation Summit held last week in New York. The need for such a strategy is illustrated by statistics revealed by Craig Spiezle, director of technology care and strategy for Microsoft, in his session”Authentication Identity Crisis.” Spam now represents 75 percent of all e-mail, and 95 percent of all phishing attacks are made from spoofed or forged e-mail addresses, he said. Tips and trends revealed at the Summit included: * Marketers should implement some form of e-mail authentication in time for the holiday selling season.

E-mail Campaigns: Do’s and Don’ts of Producing E-newsletters
July 5, 2005

For catalogers who want to retain contact with customers via a regularly scheduled, opt-in e-newsletter, there are several recommended strategies to be aware of, said Mark Priebe, president of Proximity Marketing, an e-mail services provider, during his session “E-Newsletters: Ways to Make Them Work” at the American Society of Business Publication Editors’ meeting held last month in Cleveland. While Priebe’s comments were earmarked for editors, his insights also will prove useful to anyone, including direct marketers, who want to produce e-newsletters for customers. Don’t assume that all recipients will read every word of every edition. On average, 57 percent of recipients skim e-newsletters for relevant

What’s Working: Seven E-mail Offers That Work
July 1, 2005

Opt-in e-mail campaigns continue to be a cost-effective way to generate sales and traffic to your Web site. If you execute your own campaigns in-house, the cost practically is zero. Even if you use an outside e-mail marketing firm, the cost to send each e-mail is miniscule compared to the cost of a mailed, printed piece. However, as consumers get more and more frustrated with inbox clutter and shady offers, it’s even more important that you ensure your offers are effective and provide value and/or interest to your customers or prospects. Otherwise, the cost to you may not be in simply executing the

By the Stats: How Do Catalogers Use Their Web Sites to Collect E-mail Addresses?
June 7, 2005

Of 175 catalogers with e-mail programs, e-mail marketer Silverpop found that between March and May of this year, 75 percent offered e-mail signup directly on the homepage, while 3 percent used a pop-up at the homepage to collect e-mail addresses. Other data revealed by the study: * 75% offered an incentive to customers for providing their e-mail addresses * 45% of those catalogers offered sales and promotions as an incentive * 14% offered newsletters * 11% offered a catalog or other form of direct mail * 2% offered a prize For more information on Silverpop’s “2005 Retail E-mail Marketing Study,” visit http://www.silverpop.com/news/press/05_26_05.html.