E-mail Marketing: Best Practices for Effective E-mail Marketing
June 7, 2005

“Most [consumers] who are going to use e-mail have already started, the trick is to find them and keep them,” said Chris Baggott, co-founder and chief marketing officer of e-mail marketing firm ExactTarget at the session”How to Multiply Your E-mail Marketing Returns with Proven Practices and Methods” at the Annual Catalog Conference held last month in Orlando, Fla. Additionally, each person who uses e-mail opts-in to only about six e-mail newsletters, and within that, most don’t opt-in for more than one of the same type, noted Baggott. So how do you get customers to sign up for and respond to your message instead of your

By the Stats: How Quickly Have Consumers Adopted Media Technology?
April 26, 2005

The Internet penetrated consumers’ inner sanctum faster than any medium since the black-and-white television; both reached 50 percent of U.S. households within eight years of being readily accessible, says DoubleClick, citing the 2001 U.S. Census in its paper, “The Decade in Online Advertising, 1994-2004,” released last Wednesday. And just how does that compare to other media used to reach consumers? Other data revealed by the U.S. Census: ¥ Nine years for 50 percent of homes to gain radios ¥ 17 years for personal computers ¥ 39 years for cable television ¥ 70 years for the telephone

E-mail Marketing: Make Your E-mail Campaigns More Effective
March 29, 2005

“E-mails are just like direct mail pieces with a really short shelf life,” noted Neal Patrick, director of marketing for Lerner Direct, during the session “Sowing Seeds of Change: Getting and Tracking Online Results” at the spring conference of the New England Mail Order Association held in Cambridge, Mass., last week. So how can you improve the performance of a medium that drives three-quarters of its sales within the first 48 hours of its existence? Patrick, along with Nancy Reiser, vice president at list company Mokrynskidirect, offered the following tips in their joint session: * E-mails need a reason to exist. “Don’t just send e-mails to

Contact Centers: Improve E-mail-based Customer Service
March 29, 2005

While use of e-mail as a method of communication between business and the consumer continues to expand, customer satisfaction with this method of customer service remains low, according to a white paper released by eGain Communications, a customer service and contact center software provider. In order to better the customer experience with e-mail communication, eGain offers the following tips in its white paper: * Determine the optimum response time for your customers. Ask your customers how long they expect to wait for a response, set a response time based on their expectations and your capabilities, and then stick to it. * Send an automated response to

Sender Authentication: What Is It, and How Can It Help You?
February 15, 2005

In the era introduced by the Can Spam Act, how can you make sure your e-mails aren’t immediately being filtered into a junk folder? Sender authentication recently has emerged as both an opportunity for direct marketers to identify themselves and a tool to identify illegal spammers. Stephen Guerra, e-mail communications strategist for Atlanta-based Silverpop, a provider of permission-based e-mail marketing solutions, answers common questions about sender authentication and how it works. Idea Factory: How will sender authentication help direct marketers? Guerra: Sender authentication will first benefit direct marketers by allowing them to clearly identify themselves when sending to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Secondly, it will help the

Manage E-mail Privacy Across Multiple Channels
January 4, 2005

With the start of the 2005, the Can Spam Act reaches its one year anniversary. As the year unfolds, it’s especially important to make sure your multichannel business is compliant. Bennie Smith, chief privacy officer at DoubleClick, offers the following tips on how to unify your e-mail campaigns and protect your customers’ privacy. - All e-mail communication to customers should be presented in a clear, consistent and standard fashion. This includes standardizing e-mail subject lines, headers and footers. Your e-mails need to clearly designate they are an advertisement or solicitation, as well as provide functional opt-out mechanisms, says Smith. - Multiple e-mail marketing databases of opt-in

Kick Your E-mail Campaigns Into High Gear
January 1, 2005

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to boost response from your opt-in e-mail marketing campaigns, you’re not alone. Many multichannel marketers are chanting the same mantra — and with good reason. E-mail click-to-purchase conversion rates and number of orders per e-mail delivered by retailers and catalogers continues to increase, according to DoubleClick’s Q3 2004 E-mail Trend Report. But other e-mail marketing statistics are less encouraging. For instance, revenue per e-mail delivered is declining, as is median order size. Moreover, open rates for offers made by retail and catalog companies were the lowest among those categories tracked by DoubleClick — 30.8

Kick-start Your Opt-in E-mail Campaigns: Capture Customers’ Preferences
December 21, 2004

If your opt-in e-mail marketing campaigns could use a kick-start, try segmenting customer groups and then sending targeted messages based on their preferences, say officials at Responsys, an e-mail service provider based in Redwood City, Calif. They recommend that if you want to effectively communicate with your e-mail customers throughout their buying lifecycles, take the following actions. 1. “Keep the initial opt-in form with required information short and ask [customers] for preferences iteratively,” notes Responsys in its white paper”Making the Most of Each Customer Contact.” Include an optional secondary page on which customers can offer additional data about themselves, including interests, hobbies and how often

The Bombay Company’s Winning Formula
November 1, 2004

Furniture and home accessories multichannel merchant The Bombay Company has made aggressive strides into e-mail marketing during the past two years. The results have been worth the effort, says Matt Corey, vice president of marketing and e-commerce. The Bombay Company has 650,000 opt-in names on its e-mail list and successfully integrates its campaigns with those of its retail, catalog and e-commerce channels. Donna Loyle, editor in chief of Catalog Success, asked Corey to share the secrets of his success in e-mail marketing. Catalog Success: What mechanisms did you use to go from 20,000 opt-in, or registered, e-mail names to 650,000 in only two

Personal Creations Brings E-mail Marketing Home
March 1, 2004

Problem: Executives at Personal Creations catalog were unhappy with the performance of their outsourced e-mail marketing program. Solution: They implemented iBuilder to manage e-mail marketing internally. Results: Annual e-mail sales increased 70 percent, sales per e-mail went up 10 to 15 percent and e-mail marketing costs were reduced by more than 50 percent. After outsourcing to various e-mail service providers for two years, officials at Personal Creations were displeased with the performance of their program, including production time, distribution methods and service costs. They decided to bring their e-mail marketing program in-house. “We felt we could do a better job managing