Friday, July 20, 2012

How Email works... Part 4... (final)

A successful connection triggers the four-step Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) process: 1) Identifying the sending and receiving servers; 2) Identifying your RSVP address; 3) Identifying the recipient's email address; and 4) Transferring the data.

Essentially now you know how an email gets from you to your subscriber. It may seem simple getting your message to someone...  but now you know it's anything but simple.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How Email works... Part 3...

If no connection can be made, it might indicate a permanent issue (e.g., the domain doesn't exist) or a temporary issue (e.g., a bad connection).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How Email works... Part 2...

Next, the MTA connects with the MX record for the DNS of the domain (e.g., gmail, or companyname) to which you're sending. A domain's DNS is a one-stop location that other machines use to communicate with the domain's various servers, and the MX record is there to process any incoming mail.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How Email works... Part 1...

It's good to know the typical route of how a promotion gets from you to ultimately your subscriber.

First, your email service provider (ESP) formats your message and sends it to a mailer (MTA). The MTA adds header information about the sender (RSVP address), the ESP (IP address) and the recipient (email address).

Monday, July 2, 2012

Less is more...

Shorter email subject lines perform better. Those containing 4 to 15 characters attract the highest open rates of 14.1% while those with 51 or more characters more often have open rates below 10%.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Subsciber Retention Rate... The Math!...

Subscriber retention rate = # subscribers – bounce backs – unsubscribes / # subscribers
How much do you stink? This is perhaps as strategic an analysis as you could do for your email campaigns. Here you are measuring both the technical effectiveness of your email campaigns over time (reducing bounce backs) and the relevance of your messages and the targeting of the same (reducing unsubscribes). Measure retention rate over time in aggregate – or for optimal health, segment retention rate – and measure it for the various objectives you have set for your email marketing program.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Click-to-deliver Rate.... The Math!...

Click-to-deliver rate (CTDR) = # of clicks / # of emails delivered

This is a key measure of the quality of your email list, and of the effectiveness and relevance of your message. Segmenting this metric is really powerful. You can learn whether text messages or messages with images get a higher CTDR. You can compare customers in California, Idaho, and Florida; new and existing customers; or various demographics, etc., etc., etc. This should drive aggressive experimentation of email content / offers / targeting / every facet by your team.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Open Rate... The Math!...

Open rate = # of emails opened / # of emails delivered

This is core..... know it on each campaign.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Delivery Rate... The Math!...

Delivery rate = (# of emails sent – # of bounce backs) / # of emails sent   
This is your bread-and-butter outcome metric when it comes to your campaign; it answers the following simple question: did we stand a chance at success? Note that the increasing use of junk and spam boxes means that bounce backs are not the cleanest way to measure deliverability.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A lost visitor is a gone visitor...

Navigation should be really simple.
  • Make the navigation bar available on every page.
  • Keep the navigation bar in the same place on every page.
  • Make sure links are described using unambiguous terms. It's better to be clear than clever.
  • Make the home page link really obvious (allows visitors to "start over").
  • Don't assume visitors know there's a back button on their browsers, i.e. no dead ends.
  • Avoid dynamic navigation bars where links change based on the page the visitor is on. Consistency avoids confusion.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Keep customers engaged...

By periodically sending them personalized emails that reflect their experiences with your brand and the channels they most often use. Thank them on days that are specific to them — a one year anniversary as a customer, a birthday — or surprise them with a targeted thank you and offer when they are least expecting it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Put offers in the subject line...

Respect people’s time! Put offers in the subject line... I hate it when I get the teaser of "Very Special Offer" and then I open the email to find out it's only 10% off on something I'm not even interested in.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Repetition & Persistence are key...

Email marketing studies have shown that most prospects must see the same or similar email three times to seven times in order to buy. Don't give up after one or two email campaigns that don't get the initial results you're looking for.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Welcome new subscribers!...

After subscribers have signed up and confirmed, it’s time to welcome and remind them what they signed up for.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Be upfront and transparent about all costs from the outset...

70.8% of shoppers said that hidden costs at the point of checkout would cause them to abandon the purchase process. While there are numerous reasons behind a shopper's decision to walk away from an online store, the end result is the same - lost revenue.

Be upfront and transparent about all costs from the outset!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Promote, Promote, Promote...

Promote following and sharing within all your email communications. Let people 'like' on Facebook, forward it to a friend, or tweet it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Barcodes can be fun too!...

I love seeing what clever ideas marketing comes up with... Take for example the drab barcode on your package... now turn it into a talking point!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Segment, Segment, Segment...

The more you know about individual customers, the more relevant your messaging can be. Age, gender, location, household composition, marital/family status and ethnicity all matter. But don't forget about life stages like new parents, families with children and empty nesters.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Legit email not making it to the inbox...

“Twenty percent of email in the United States and Canada is still not making it to the inbox while 3% of email goes to the “junk” or “bulk” folder and another 16% goes missing.” – Return Path (2010)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Capture More Email Addresses...

Force your guest purchasers to enter an email address as the first step of their checkout process, and while this will undoubtedly capture more email addresses, it may be too aggressive for your brand. So proceed with caution! Only you know your brand and audience.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Lead them to where the postive chatter is happening...

Add social chatter in your email campaigns. Copy and Paste what customers say of course from Facebook wall but also include sites to Yelp, Epinions, and Amazon.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Adopt lifecycle email marketing...

Marketers are adopting lifecycle email marketing instead of batch-and-blast. You will experience increased Subscriber engagement, campaign performance & increased Customer satisfaction and retention.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Time to get off the fence...

Get off the fence in regards to QR-code’s. While it won't necessarily spike sales, it will drive up conversion rates. Providing additional information to the customer will help uncertain buyers move closer towards a purchasing decision.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Duplicate Content is bad for SEO...

Some web developers don't build sites with SEO in mind and may create two homepages: the regular one and one that is listed as the "default" or "index". While the content is the same, the pages are different and each have different inbound links. Splitting the link value like this is very bad. One of the key components of SEO is building quality, inbound links to your site which builds trust with the search engines. The more that you have, the better.  If half of these links are going to the homepage and half are going to the "index" homepage neither one of them is reaping the full benefit of these links.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thinking of selling globally?...

You should!!!!

Global ecommerce is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2015. The differences among countries can be striking... for example. In France consumers prefer to pay for online purchases with debit cards and PayPal more often than credit cards, and to pick up their purchases at neighborhood stores rather than have them delivered to their homes.

So... think of enlisting local experts to ensure relevancy when it comes to merchandising and marketing your products.... this can make all the difference!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Facebook is a great way to increase your list...

Most Facebook brand pages are missing the boat when it comes to providing a way for Fans to opt-in to receive email.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Make sure your iOS device is really encrypted!...

I have become so dependent to my iPhone that is has become an extension of me and the fear of all that data in the wrong hands scares me to death! Make sure your iOS device is secure and all that data be REALLY Encrypted. Here is how to make sure how….

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Keywords should always be page specific...

Keywords should always be page specific and based on the content of that particular page. Let's say you run a dress boutique that sells wedding and prom dresses. Why would you try to incorporate prom dress keywords into the wedding dress page? Bringing the prom dress shopper to your wedding dress page provides a bad user-experience and might make the visitor feel like they've been tricked.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Location-based technology can pay off...

I love seeing proximity-based innovation grow in mobile apps. If you’re building an app think about adding driving directions to your store.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Incentives Motivate Moms...

Moms are highly engaged in brand conversations and are keen on finding bargains and additional ways to save. Incentives, including coupons, local deals, discounts and product samples, serve as a powerful marketing tool to drive moms to discuss and pass information about products on to their network of friends.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Are you vigilant in protecting customer data? 4of4...

Be aware of phishing attempts. As phishers become more savvy, their emails look more credible. Check URLs closely and verify that they are legit.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Are you vigilant in protecting customer data? 3of4...

Be just as strict with remote access. Your VPN should be using the strongest possible encryption method. Only offer VPN to employees who have valid business reason. A VPN connection is a door to your LAN, and should only be open when it needs to be.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Are you vigilant in protecting customer data? 2of4...

Be strict about employee access. When someone no longer needs access, delete that user THAT DAY. Shared user accounts and passwords are insecure SO DON'T DO THAT!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Are you vigilant in protecting customer data? 1of4...

Be vigilant about passwords. Most intrusions happen through the front door vs. the technical back door. Enforce strong passwords and change it periodically. Set expiration dates on passwords, and enforce password histories.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Interesting Facebook Stat...

If you're an American aged over 12 and under 50 then you're probably on Facebook. If not, you're in a minority of just 4%.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Personalize your email!...

Personalization will close the gap between the faceless corporate brand and your customer.
  • Insert a real name in the FROM line.
  • Insert customers first name in the email
  • Insert past purchases and preferences in your email template

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Create a relationship...

An email with a link to your website is advertising not relationship building. Add a question or a poll in order to create a dialogue. Adding these requests in an e-mail that drives them to either a dedicated landing page or a social network transforms e-mail from a one-way ad into a branded interactive experience. A real relationship is about give-and-take over time not repeated blasts of short form ads.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Anticipate and market to your brand champions who promote accross channels...

A client posts on your Facebook wall and or positively tweets about your brand these actions are great for eMail triggers for thank you message or a more personalized message.

How do you get your emails read?...

First develop simple segments!
Segmented email marketing programs generate 2x-5x over non-segmented programs.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Email Preference Center is Key in 1 to 1 Marketing...

Send an email to your entire list asking for their Physical Address, Birthday, Sex, Frequency of email send (Daily, Weekly Monthly) and Format type (Text or HTML). With this info you can easily segment and send emails that will be personalized and relevant.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Remove Inactives... They will ultimately hurt deliverability...

For those that did not engage with your win-back campaign(s), send a re-permissioning campaign and then remove those that didn’t respond.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Win them back...

Don’t forget to re-activate those old customers. Lots of gold to mine there. Re-engage with special offers and win-back programs.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Near-Field Communication (NFC)...

NFC allows smart phone users to pay for products and services with just the swipe of their device. NFC has long been used in Asia but it is yet to be commonplace in the US. Contactless payment systems are coming. Get ready for it!

Friday, March 9, 2012

What is Augmented Reality?...

It is a visual layer of information tied to your location that appears on top of whatever reality you're seeing. For marketers this can be the next big thing!... Imagine seeing yourself in that new dress without trying it on. Augmented Reality can and will take the shopping experience to a whole new level.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Short Code Marketing...

A short code is a truncated phone number for automated text messaging. This is an effective means to market to consumers. Acquiring the truncated text message number costs between $500 and $1,000 a month. Located at  you will learn how and why short code marketing works.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

You’ve only got seconds!...

Visitors are spending seconds.. NOT MINUTES... on your site, so be as clear and concise as you can with the language you use.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Small Business Facebook Tip #4...

Offer loyalty rewards.

Reward customers for checking in, adding a "like" to your page, or mentioning them on Facebook.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Small Business Facebook Tip #3...

Ask clients to post tagged photos of themselves with your product and share them on your page.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Small Business Facebook Tip #2...

Encourage check-ins!!!

Offer a special to customers who check in to your Place on Facebook, and you'll be in your fans' news feeds.