gantt chart

Note: Recently on one of the industry discussion boards a call went out for sample email production schedules. I pulled a set of production schedules I had done for my first big client about 10 years ago and provided them to the list. Some were amazed that I had scheduled 28 days from start to finish for one email; others defended my timeframes as necessary to do great work. Here’s an article I wrote for ClickZ back in May 2013 that talks about the need for time — and how to best spend it to improve your email marketing efforts. Enjoy! 

Want to make your email marketing more effective? Make sure your production schedule allows enough time to develop great creative.

Can you develop and send an email in a couple hours? Sure. And sometimes you need to. But most projects are on the calendar well in advance; starting early will allow your creative team the time they need to give you great copy, design, and programming.

My standard production schedule for a brand new email campaign is Read More →


Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! This article is from last year; it was published by ClickZ in April 2014. But the three tips for better testing are still applicable. Enjoy!

Last week I attended and spoke at Which Test Won: The Live Event in Austin (the European version of the show is taking place in London later this month). As the name suggests, the show is dedicated to testing to improve performance. If you know me, or if you’ve be a regular reader of my articles over the years, you’ll know that I am a huge fan of testing. So this has been a fabulous experience!

Here are some tips on performance testing – both for those just starting out with A/B split or multivariate testing, or for those who have been doing it for a while. Read More →


Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! This is one of my favorite columns; I wrote it for ClickZ in May 2014. I love it because I was able to deepen my understanding of responsive design and then share what I learned with readers. It was also the start of a friendship with Luca Bellavita; we’ve kept in touch even though we’ve both left the agency we were with last year. 

Responsive email design and coding are here to stay. Whether you’re a marketer, a designer, or a coder, increasing your responsive design and coding knowledge will serve you well in the future.

According to Litmus, mobile operating systems accounted for 47 percent of all email opens in March 2014 – down from a high of 51 percent late last year. Apple’s iPhone was the leader in market share last month, being credited with 26 percent of all opens – a large lead over Outlook, which was number two with 14 percent.

It’s possible that your audience isn’t reading your email messages on mobile devices – but it’s unlikely. I feel that I understand the concept of responsive design and that I know enough to answer some basic questions. That said, I was eager to learn more and understand some of the nuances, especially around how you decide which technique to use to achieve the responsiveness. If you feel the same, this column is for you. Read More →

snippets 2

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! This is the second in my trifecta on snippets — and it’s my #1 client case study showcasing the power of this often overlooked tactic. Although this was first published by ClickZ in January 2008, the tips here are still relevant today. Enjoy!

An old direct marketing trick can help e-mail marketing campaigns today.

A Johnson Box is a box commonly found at the top of direct mail letters, containing the key message of the letter. The purpose of it is to draw the reader’s attention to this key message first, and hopefully grab their attention, enticing them to read the rest of the letter…It has also been adapted to the email format, having the additional benefit of allowing the most important message in the email to be visible in the preview pane of an email reader. Wikipedia, January 2008 Read More →

snippets 1

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! I’ve been having a lot of discussions lately about snippets with a friend who is wanting to leverage them to improve the performance of his email newsletter. It occurred to me that there are still email marketers out there who aren’t leveraging this extra piece of copy to drive better results. So here is a trifecta (this is the first of three, watch this space for the other two) of ‘oldie-but-goodie’ articles to get you up to speed on the hows and whys of leveraging snippets.

This article, which I wrote, was first published by ClickZ in October 2006, but the facts remain the same. Enjoy!

Do you optimize for snippets? Do you even know what snippets are?

I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t think much about snippets, or even know their official name, until a client brought them to my attention. With regard to snippets, the Unofficial Gmail FAQ says: “Gmail snippets will show the first part of the message right in the title bar, similar to how Google shows snippets of web pages in their result pages.” Read More →

testimonials 2

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! My last #TBT post discussed the value of testimonials and presented my tried-and-true, surefire way to get quality testimonials for e-mail, Web site, and other marketing efforts.

This week, let’s move on to discuss effective uses of testimonials, and what to do if the person who gave you a testimonial changes names, positions, or companies. This column was originally published by ClickZ back in 2008, but it’s all still very relevant. 

Use of Testimonials in E-mail

Once you have great testimonials about your company, you want to leverage them in every way possible to benefit your brand. Positive testimonials are an asset to your organization, so don’t just collect them and let them sit in a file folder.

You can build entire marketing campaigns around a single testimonial or a group of testimonials. This works equally well for e-mail, direct mail, and other channels. The credibility of the statement is greatly increased since it comes from a peer, rather than your organization’s marketing department.

Here’s an easy way to do it: Read More →

Retail Webinar Screenshot

When it rains, it pours! Last month I had the honor of leading not just one but two webinars offering strategies and tactics to help online retailers make their digital marketing more effective and more profitable. I love talking email marketing and I love inspiring other online marketers to up their game — and improve their bottom line.

There’s a special focus here on cart abandonment emails — abandoned carts cost retailers $18 billion a year in lost revenue but only 21% of top retailers send cart abandonment emails. Here are tips to put a successful cart abandonment email program in place. But that’s not all. I also touch on ways to proactively address cart abandonment before it happens as well as other strategies and tactics retailers can use to generate more revenue. Read More →

client testimonials

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! Good testimonials can be excellent additions to an email marketing message (or any marketing communication, online or offline), but getting them can be a challenge. This was first published by ClickZ back in 2007, but I was reminded of it in doing work for a client last month. When I went back to look at it — it was still 100% relevant today. Enjoy — and look for Part 2 here next week.

One of my favorite marketing tactics, especially in e-mail campaigns, is the use of customer testimonials. Testimonials are beneficial in a number of ways:

  • They add instant credibility. You’re not telling prospects how great your product is, one of their peers is.
  • They leverage your existing client base. It’s a subtle way of saying, “These companies use us, why don’t you?”
  • It’s the original form of user-generated content. What’s more Web 2.0 than having your clients evangelize your service to others?

Read More →


Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! This is from just last year but the tips are more relevant than ever — see the notes below to get the updated industry metrics (not that the data has changed very much). Sending triggered email messages can be an extremely effective marketing strategy, as they have been shown to produce much higher open and click-through rates. Here are some tips. 

Last week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Monetate Agility Summit about one of my favorite things: triggered email messages.

And I’m not the only one who likes them. According to a December 2012 MarketingSherpa survey, 39 percent of marketers cited them as a way to improve email relevance and engagement. That was more than a year ago and triggers were the most mentioned tactic. Based on what I’m seeing with our clients, the number is much higher today.

There are a number of reasons to like triggered email messages: Read More →

Email Profits Webinar

Happy Throwback Thursday! If you follow me at all you know that I love my data and my spreadsheets. I’m a numbers and metrics girl — these are quantitative representations of how your readers are interacting with your email messages. 

Along those lines here’s a Webinar presentation that I gave last March. It shows you, in great detail, how to use data trees to analyze your email performance, determine what’s causing performance issues and identify where you should focus your efforts to fix it. Best of all it’s still completely relevant, even a year later. 

It’s definitely an advanced topic — but one that can make you a rock star in your organization when you use it to improve your bottom line performance. So take a deep breathe and dive in — I promise I’ll make it as painless as possible.  Read More →