digiland image

From time to time I’ll pull a message from my inbox and do a walk-through of its pros and cons. These gentle critiques are intended to educate; I hope that the companies mentioned as well as readers will keep that top of mind. 

This is the tale of three email messages, sent over the course of four months from the same organization. As with any great story, there are high points and low points to this tale — read and score it yourself, decide whether the positives outweigh the negatives. This organization is certainly trying and making progress, but are they succeeding?

The email I received yesterday, the last of the three, follows. Read it quickly, gather your thoughts, then read my thoughts below. Read More →

theSkimm logo 200

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! I wrote this article back in February 2015 and it was published by ClickZ. A lot has happened since then but email newsletter remain as hot as ever. Read on for an in-depth look at theSkimm, with lot of ideas and tips that would easily be applied to your own email newsletter to boost performance. Enjoy!

Email newsletter are big news lately. In case you’ve missed it:

  • Nearly a year ago Quartz Insights’ Global Executives Summary found that 60% of executives read an email newsletter as one of their first three daily news sources
  • In June 2014 The New York Times reported on “a radical publishing technology that is catching on in news media companies big and small” – which turned out to be email newsletters [Note: As I’m writing this I just got news that David Carr, the NYT Media columnist who wrote this article, has died. RIP; my thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. I will miss his articles on the publishing industry, which I grew up in.)
  • In December of last year a start-up called theSkimm, whose only current offering is a daily email newsletter, raised $6.25 million in funding

On a personal note, I spoke to a business communications class at the University of Maryland last September – my topic was email newsletters. Not only did my session get rave reviews from the students, but I’ve been asked to present again this semester.

So if you’re not currently doing an email newsletter to support your business goals, now’s the time to start. Implementing some best practices will help you be successful – so here’s a quick and dirty review of a recent email newsletter from theSkimm to get you started. Read More →

trump email 200

In case you missed it, now both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have ’email issues.’ Here’s a bring overview of the latter situation along with some tips for avoiding the rookie mistakes made by the Trump Campaign.

Mr. Trump’s problems are a little different from Mrs. Clinton’s — his revolve around deliverability caused by a gap in some basic email knowledge within his organization and/or its consultants. In a nutshell:

According to Return Path, 79% of the email messages sent by Paramount Communication Group on behalf of the Trump campaign were not delivered to the inbox. As a result of this and the spam complaints generated by the send Adestra, Paramount’s email service provider, suspended their account.

There were a number of things the campaign did that contributed to the deliverability issues. It appears that they did not warm up their IP addressess — it also appears that they purchased an email list that wasn’t well targeted.

Let’s talk in detail about the second one.  Read More →

Epsilon open rate 2016-07

I am truly an email geek — my Fourth of July was made all the better by the release of the Epsilon Q1 2016 Email Trends and Benchmarks Report. If you’ve been following me you know that I’ve been following the Epsilon Email Trends and Benchmarks Report since Q3 2006 — nearly 10 years.

Here’s what’s new and exciting in this quarter’s report:

1. Open Rates — for Both Business-as-usual and Triggered Email Messages —  Hit a New High

Despite image blocking, open rates have been trending upward for years. This quarter both the business-as-usual and triggered open rate benchmarks hit new highs — see the chart below. Read More →

shopping_cart_icon1

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! Cart reminder email programs continue to be one of the highest revenue-per-email (RPE) campaigns you can run; one of my clients is generating $16 for every cart reminder email they send. In this article from last year (originally published by ClickZ) I provide some industry statistics and, more importantly, tips for making your own cart reminder campaign a cash cow for your organization. Enjoy! 

I had the pleasure of leading not one but two webinars last month on digital marketing for retailers. I always like to round out my case studies and practical advice with industry statistics. And what I learned about online cart abandonment surprised and disturbed me:

Read More →

three_reasons_individual_superior

I was speaking with a couple of salespeople I know a few months ago and one of them used the word “idiot” to describe a C-level executive at a company he was hoping to close as a client.

I have a lot of thoughts about this particular situation. The C-level executive is someone I know and like and I strongly dislike use of the term “idiot.” I shared my thoughts at the time, but I’ve had trouble letting go of the experience.

I’ve been thinking about the bigger picture implications of disparaging your prospects. Does it negatively impact your ability to convert them into customers? Read More →

2015-06-08hanes thanks for stopping by 2015-06-08

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! I continue to work with clients to make their marketing more personalized — without crossing into the creepy zone. A discussion I had last week in a meeting reminded me of this article from June of last year (it was originally published as part of my ClickZ Email Marketing Column) — read on for some tips on using personalization in a way that won’t upset your customers.  

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Specialized Information Publishers Association’s (SIPA, a division of SIIA) Annual Conference. My presentation focused on data, technology and testing in digital marketing and a particularly interesting discussion arose around browse reminders.

Were they good marketing tools or creepy?

Read More →

creative_brief 200 wide

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! A client recently asked me what type of information I’d like to see in a creative brief and I thought of this article! After reading it everything here still applies (and that’s saying something, since I wrote this article for ClickZ back in November 2003!). A strong creative brief is the first step toward better bottom line performance, but many brands miss some key things that should be in their creative briefs (and many brands still don’t do them at all!). So take a few minutes to read my thoughts on creative briefs and then try to make at least enhancement to the next one you draft. Enjoy!

I’ve been doing a lot of work with creative briefs lately. In some cases, clients provide them to my creative team before we begin work; other times, I put them together for my team based on what I know of my client’s product and business goals. Either way, a strong creative brief, combined with good feedback, can make or break an email campaign. Here are a few tips on effectively writing and using creative briefs.

Creative Briefs

Creative briefs (as I’m sure you’re aware) aren’t unique to the online world. They’ve been used for years in offline marketing because they’re a great way to focus a creative team and increase the chances of creating a first draft that meets business goals. That said, it’s surprising to me they aren’t yet standard operating procedure for online marketing. Online product managers and others will benefit from writing creative briefs for every campaign. There are some down-and-dirty shortcuts you can use whether you’re writing a brief for one of your products or one of your client’s. Read More →

abandoned cart preso

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! I worked with a client recently that was dabbling in cart reminder emails. When we analyzed the results we found an average conversion rate of 2.07% with $16.79 in revenue generated for every email sent — the best performing of all the initiatives we looked at. Needless to say, they will be expanding and automating this very successful program. It all made me think of this presentation from last year, which I thought I would share — enjoy! 

Read More →

20150511 DATA 400 width

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! Smart data is the key to success in email marketing — as I laid out roughly a year ago in this column originally published by ClickZ. Enjoy!

“Big data” is often seen as the boogeyman of marketing – and in truth, I’m not a big fan of big data.

But I am a fan of smart data. Smart data is about determining in advance what information you will use for segmentation, targeting, personalization, and customization – and then using this list as your guideline for collection. Don’t collect anything that you don’t have a solid plan to use in the next six months.

Through my work with clients I’ve seen the benefits smart data provides to both marketers and the people they market to. Here’s a primer on four ways to collect and develop smart data that will improve the performance of your marketing efforts. Read More →