Years ago I was obsessed with preheaders, aka snippets or autopreview, and wrote about them in my ClickZ column. Back then I did a lot of testing of preheader copy and generated some great results for clients.

Fast-forward to today. I still consider preheader text when I’m helping clients optimize their email efforts, but am no longer obsessed. But maybe I should be…

A recent test generated a 96% increase in revenue-per-email — nearly double the control — and all we did was change the copy in the preheader. It was an A/B split test — everything else about the creative was exactly the same; we randomly split the list in two and sent the messages at the same day and time.  Read More →

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. 

I received this email on January 3 from a long-time industry acquaintance we’ll call “Fred.” Fred is one of those people you see once or twice a year at conferences. You know what I mean, someone you’re friendly with but you’re not necessarily friends. The first thing about this email that struck me is that I haven’t received anything from him in a long time. I opened the email to find out it’s been at least FIVE YEARS…

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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. 

I always try to be gentle with these critiques but this time… it’s Microsoft, for heaven’s sake!

Microsoft, which so many people have a love-hate relationship with.

True story: in the mid-1990s I had a boss who refused to let our marketing department become a 100% Microsoft shop. His last stand: we used Lotus 123 instead of Excel. Every other department in the company used Excel. During budget period we were constantly having to translate spreadsheets back and forth between the two programs. and just about every time you did it something was lost. It was a bit of a mess.

Microsoft, maker of my Surface Pro, which I love. But also Microsoft, which still causes me heartburn as an email marketer because its Outlook email client blocks images by default, making it more difficult for my clients’ email messages to make a good first impression.

So why, oh why, does the Microsoft Rewards Team send emails which are more than 90% images – and which look like nothing when images are blocked? Case in point…

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Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! This was originally published by ClickZ in September 2015 as part of my regular Email Marketing Column. That was a year ago but the ideas are as relevant now as they were then. Take a quick read and then try these tactics to grow your email marketing list. 

There are a lot of risky email list growth tactics out there, which I’ve written about before.

It’s a shame that organizations often look to grey area tactics when there are some very effective ways to increase both the quality and quantity of people on your list.

These can be used without risking bottom-line performance, blacklisting, and without having to spend incremental dollars.

Here are few things you can do which will improve your list growth.

Two of the three require some programming, but they are one-time expenses which will continue to deliver you a list growth boost for years to come. Read More →

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! A year ago LinkedIn made some big changes which drove me to write this article which was first published by ClickZ in August 2015. Whether or not it worked for them it raised some good questions about send frequency– here are some of those questions, along with my suggestions for how to find answers specific to your own email audience. Enjoy! 

Did you notice?

Last week LinkedIn announced some big changes to its email program: they decreased their send quantities – dramatically. For every 10 emails they used to send, they now send only six. That’s a 40 percent decrease.

Most of my colleagues didn’t notice the difference. But I did. My morning email from LinkedIn, the one I read religiously every day along with theSkimm, disappeared. I was wondering what happened to it. That said, I am sure there are other email messages from LinkedIn which have disappeared that I’m not missing.

LinkedIn says they made the change because of customer feedback – and jokes on late night talk shows. They are happy with the results; complaints have been cut in half since they made the change.

Frequency is one of the biggest challenges facing email marketers today. Whether you’re considering sending less, like LinkedIn did, or increasing your send quantities, here are some things to consider. Read More →

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 →

In a statement, Crocs said it believed it was “acting consistently with social media marketing best practices.”

— Source: On Instagram and Other Social Media, Redefining ‘User Engagement’ by Sydney Ember and Rachel Abrams, The New York Times, September 20, 2015

It’s things like this that give marketers and marketing a bad name.

In case you missed the story, here’s a synopsis.

A mother took a picture of her 4-year-old daughter and posted it on Instagram. The daughter was wearing a pair of Crocs sandals and the mother included #Crocs in the description. Crocs scraped the photo from Instagram and included it in a gallery of user-generated content on its website. Read More →

You may have read my recent ClickZ Column on LinkedIn Sending Less Email — what I didn’t know when I wrote it was that the changes were going to have a negative impact on my love life.

Here’s what happened.

I’m not sure it was as clear as it could have been in that article — LinkedIn globally restructured its email program in an attempt to decrease user complaints. It voluntarily cut back send quantities by changing the structure of its triggered email program WITHOUT telling users what it was doing. And without proactively giving them a choice of which emails they would continue to receive and which would stop. Read More →