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?

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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 →

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 →

Note from Jeanne: Happy Throwback Thursday! A year after Gmail introduced the prominent unsubscribe link (it’s still there, I just checked) I’ve still not heard of any email marketer who saw their unsubscribes increase significantly. Which makes this article published by ClickZ in March 2014 even more relevant. Read on to learn about a whimsical way that one company incorporated their own prominent unsubscribe in every email — and why they did it.   Read More →

15 Types of Tests

Note from Jeanne: This was one of the most popular columns I wrote for ClickZ in 2013. If you’re looking to make your email marketing more effective and more profitable you have to test. As the title suggests, here are 15 types of email marketing tests you should be doing. Enjoy!

I was recently asked to develop a “testing protocol” for a client. The deliverable was a worksheet that would document tests for a particular send, but they wanted it to do more than just that. They wanted it to educate on the value of testing and spur the groups within their organization to truly leverage testing to their advantage.

Not a simple task.

One of my observations, both with this client (who I’ve been working with for more than two years) and with other clients, is the focus on subject line testing. My personal goal, with this project and in general, is to get email marketers to go beyond just testing subject lines and look at other elements that might improve response. Read More →