Last year about this time I presented at ClickZ Chicago. I love this presentation because it really gets back to basics but it uses case studies and data to support the standards and best practices that will help you make your email marketing program more effective and more profitable. Enjoy!

The Direct Marketing Association projects that email marketing returns $28.50 for each dollar spent – the highest return-on-investment (ROI) of any other direct response channel. Join Jeanne Jennings, Vice President of Global Strategic Services for Alchemy Worx, to learn how organizations are optimizing their email marketing efforts to improve opens, clicks, conversions and ROI.

This fast-paced session will provide real-world examples of inexpensive strategies and tactics you can implement with your own email program. We’ll cover: Read More →

Happy Throwback Thursday! It was just a year ago that I had the honor of speaking at the All About Email Virtual Conference and Expo hosted by eM+C and Target Marketing (this year’s event is November 12 and I’m speaking again — join us!). The issues I discussed last year — email frequency, cadence and ROI — are just as relevant today. Enjoy!

Are you over-mailing? Under-mailing? How do you know? What are the consequences (both positive and negative) of each? And how do you come up with the ‘perfect’ frequency and cadence (if there is such a thing)?

Read More →

Happy Throwback Thursday! It was about a year ago that I wrote this column; I was preparing to speak at ClickZ Live Chicago. I taught a half-day workshop on Advanced Email Marketing Strategies and Tactics there, one of my very favorite topics. Here’s that article again, a year later but still 100% relevant. Enjoy!

Today I wanted to write about 2 of my favorite advanced email marketing metrics: Click Reach and the Value of an Email Address.

1. Click Reach

You’re likely familiar with click-through rate (CTR) and click-to-open rate (CTOR), but click reach is a different animal. CTR and CTOR are measured for a single email message; click reach is measured over a series of messages or, more accurately, over a span of time.

Here’s a simple example. Read More →

Well this was fun!

I was poking around online and I found a video of my presentation at the Specialized Information Publishers Association in June, 2015.

In this presentation I talk about data, technology and testing — it’s one of my favorite decks to present. Here’s the session description and take-aways: Read More →

I’m not a junkie (anymore), but I am definitely interested in the political process. One of my undergraduate majors was Political Science and I spent a few years working in marketing at Congressional Quarterly back in the 1990s. While in college I also volunteered on a few campaigns, including the 1986 Scranton for Governor bid which is a bit infamous for the “Guru Ad” brainstormed by James Carville that most agree won it for the other side.

So I was interested to read that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was being given carte blanche with regard to the Obama campaign’s email list. From the article:

“DNC officials declined to discuss the size of the list, but DNC digital director Matt Compton’s excitement at owning the list that helped Obama raise “more than $500 million” last cycle according to the Wall Street Journal was palpable in an interview at the DNC’s Summer Meeting. DNC officials said the list was the “largest political email list in the world.””

This appears to be the same list that was rented to a political nonprofit for a cool $1.2 million a year. I don’t know how many sends were included in that rental agreement or if the DNC will be renting the list to third-parties, but it’s certainly an asset that could have a positive impact on the DNC’s bottom line in more than ways than one. Notice I said “could” — not “will.” Read More →

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! Most of what I do with clients is strategy, but I do often roll-up my sleeves and dive into creative direction and that’s what this post focuses on. It’s from last year (published by ClickZ in October 2014) and it was a very popular article back then, I think because there’s something here just about everyone can test to see if it will improve performance.

I never did hear back from this restaurant even thought I sent the critique to them with a friendly note. But I hope they are still in business — and I hope their email marketing is generating revenue for them (whether or not they ended up taking any of my advice). Enjoy!

I love email marketing. It makes me really sad when I see a small business trying to leverage the power of the channel making small mistakes which could be the difference between success and failure.

Case in point: an email I received earlier this month. It appears below; I’ve redacted the details to protect the organization. To set the scene: I attended a business networking event at this restaurant and dropped my business card in a bowl to win a gift certificate. This is the first communication I received from them.

Take a quick look with your best email marketing eye and make a note of what you’d suggest they change in their next go round. My thoughts on 11 things they could have done better follow. 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 →

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! This item was originally published on July 21, 2014 in my ClickZ Column. Jut about every list has inactive email addresses — and there are many different opinions on how to handle them. Here’s a pragmatic approach. Enjoy!

Inactive email addresses are people on your email list who haven’t opened, clicked, or shown any sign of life in a while. Depending on your send frequency, “a while” could be a few months or a few weeks. It’s basically the point where you go, “Oh my, why aren’t they interested in my email anymore?”

What to do about it? Reactivation campaigns are a good idea. I wrote about reactivation campaigns in 2011 and I did a part one and part two on them back in 2008 (Note: Yes, even though the columns are old, the information is still accurate and useful).

But today I’m here to talk about the post-reactivation campaign issue: what to do with inactives that remain staunchly inactive. They didn’t respond to your reactivation campaign and you have to decide what to do with them. Read More →

Note: Happy Throwback Thursday! I wrote this piece nearly 10 years ago when I was revamping the creative on a transactional email for a client. Right at the top of the email it said “DO NOT REPLY TO THIS EMAIL” — just like that. All caps. What a way to begin a missive to a customer! This is still relevant today; it’s also one of my most read articles on ClickZ. In fact it’s the one they usually pull once a year when I skip a deadline and they run an encore article. Enjoy!

A full half of the transactional messages I recently reviewed in my inbox asked me not to reply to the email. In this age when most companies are actively trying to engage them in social media, why don’t they want email replies? Here are some reasons – along with ways, if you must, to make “Do not reply to this email” more reader-friendly. Read More →

I was surprised to see this headline (“Clinton’s apology won’t make e-mail scandal disappear”) in my Washington Post app this morning. Not because of anything having to do with Hillary Clinton, but because of the spelling of the word ‘e-mail.’

My standard is ’email.’ This happened back in 2006 when I was writing my book for SitePoint — their standard was ’email’ and after about three chapters I decided that I needed to change what was then my spelling (‘e-mail’) to match theirs.

Looking back, I think I was just lazy. ‘Email’ was one less character to type; switching would also make it easier on my editors, who were forever having to fix one of the most common words in my manuscript. Right around the same time the Email Experience Council (EEC) took a stand for ’email’ over ‘e-mail’ which also swayed me, I’m sure.

So when I saw this headline it made me wonder — how many media organizations are still using the hyphen?  Read More →