I am a big fan of performance testing – in fact, I have a successful consulting business built on helping clients test to make their email marketing efforts more effective and more profitable.

But if you don’t choose the right Key Performance Indicator (KPI), your efforts could be a waste of time.

Here’s a ‘don’t make this mistake’ case study from an organization with the best intentions whose performance testing efforts were for naught.

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Note: Oops! We got updated conversion information, this campaign had a longer tail than we anticipated, so I’ve updated this blog post accordingly. The results were even better than we initially thought!

Sometimes you can get a big boost from small but thoughtful changes to your creative. Here’s a case study from a recent project we did for a household-name client that resulted in a 95% boost in conversion rate. Read More →

Email marketing automation is all the rage right now. Being able to set up a multi-email or multi-channel campaign and have it triggered automatically based on an action, a prospect, or customer offers real efficiency.

But a lot of companies try to jump into marketing automation without laying the groundwork for a successful campaign. Here’s a quick primer on how to start. 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. 

Email marketing automation is a wonderful thing. It allows marketers to be more relevant while increasing the efficiency of the marketing team. But here’s a cautionary tale delivered as a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to everyone using triggered email programs — and especially to IBM Security, who has been sending me the same email message every day for more than 2 weeks now.  Read More →

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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Hard to believe that Thanksgiving is this week! It sure seems like it snuck up on us with all of the warm weather we have been having. If you are like most, you are probably still trying to finalize your email plans for holiday. Not to worry, we have scoured the internet to find the BEST 2016 Holiday Guides to help you with your last-minute planning.

Here they are — did we miss one that you found useful? Email me with the name of the guide, the URL where we can find it, what you liked about it and your name, title and company. If we agree, we’ll add your find to the list and give you credit for the recommendation!

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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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From lines are a critical part of your email marketing message; they help determine whether a recipient will open your message now, later or never. In most email clients it’s the ‘friendly from line’ — the one without the “@” — that recipients see in their inbox.

But many organizations aren’t fully leveraging this powerful element of their email programs. Case in point: my alma mater, Georgetown University.

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