Monthly Archives: March 2012

Before sending an apology email, try to correct your newsletter

What If you accidentally emailed 8 million subscribers instead of just 300 churned customers? You would probably owe someone an excuse. That is what happened to the New York Times at the end of last year as described on The NYT sent an apology email exactly three hours later. It said, “This e-mail [which you received earlier] was sent by us in error. Please disregard the message. We apologize for any confusion […]”.

Mistakes in email marketing are always annoying. They can never be completely avoided. However, you do not always have to set up an apology email. On the contrary, each additional email might be one email too much resulting in an unsubscribe. In addition, some errors can be corrected (or at least reduced) even after the send out, especially if they are detected instantly. Therefore, don’t fall into blind actionism. Depending on the severity and on how many readers were affected, you could instead consider the following five ideas (no claim to be complete): Continue reading

Yahoo! and eco team up to improve email deliverability

As you might know, the German email landscape is special in several ways. For instance, three local email providers own about 75% of market shares for consumer email addresses. It’s not Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or AOL – but GMX, and T-Online. Second, the association of the German Internet Industry (eco, representing ISPs) and the Dialogue Marketing Association (DDV, representing bulk mailers) joined forces in 2005 to launch the so called Certified Senders Alliance (CSA, about) – a central bulk mailer whitelist.

Yesterday, Yahoo! Mail joined this trusted network project to improve email deliverability for accredited senders. Below, you’ll find some useful background information. It also helps to understand, why deliverability is perhaps not such a big problem in German B2C markets as it is in other regions… Continue reading

New insights into Gmail’s spam filtering

Gmail‘s email sorting and prioritizing is based on a complex sets of rules, clustering, machine learning schemes, reputation and user feedback. To be more transparent, since yesterday the webmailer not only shows why it classified certain emails as important (“priority inbox”), but also why certain messages were sorted out into the junk folder. This might also give some valuable new insights for troubleshooting inbox placement issues for email senders which occur more often since a few weeks as reported by Return PathContinue reading

BtoB study: 2012 Email Marketing – A Legacy Channel Continues to Deliver

In an online survey, held between December and January, the ‘BtoB magazine’ asked 332 b2b marketers questions on topics such as email practices, list acquisition, opt-ins, deliverability, mobile email, triggers and other email marketing related aspects. Some keyfacts include: Continue reading

Time to combine email with Google+ – 4 tips you shouldn’t miss

90 million users (Larry Page), 100 million users (Paul Allen, Vic Gundotra via NYT), a decreasing 3.3 minutes share of social networking time in January (comScore via CNN) and so on. Those numbers fueled discussions about the status quo and the future of Google+. Wherever the truth lies – let’s assume that Google+ plays an important role in several sectors, like the tech scene. And let’s assume further that it will play a generally more important role in the near future. Especially email senders can benefit from the close integration with Gmail, regardless whether if it’s deliverability or social sharing. Below you find four tips on how to leverage this linkage to your advantage. Continue reading

Google+ sharing buttons for your newsletters

Until today it seems there’s still no perfect solution for sharing newsletters or single email articles on Google+ directly from within emails. Or at least none of which I know. This is because +1 sharing heavily relies on JavaScript code. And JavaScript will not work in most email environments. But “no perfect solution” also implies: it is possible. Here are three ways to incorporate Google Plus sharing buttons within your emails. Continue reading

Double opt-in – 12 setup-tips to get a maximum outcome [2/2]

In one of the last postings we looked at why and when email marketers should consider using double opt (DOI) to grow their lists. But as a matter of fact, DOI adds a new layer of complexity to the email signup. It naturally costs a certain percentage of subscribers (partly 40% and more) because not all complete the process by clicking the confirmation link in their checkmail. There are many possible reasons that, ranging from ‘users not understanding the need of the second step’ to ‘junk-filtered checkmails en masse’. Anyway, this makes it necessary to implement double opt-in very carefully. By using the following 12 tips, you should be able to maximize your conversion rates from signing in to confirming the subscription: Continue reading

Email response modeling using decision trees – a practical example

Response modeling in most cases means mapping past reactions of your subscribers using statistical algorithms in a way that the outcome for each recipient (e.g. click or no click, open or no open, …) is explained by several explanatory attributes (e.g. age, email’s remote part, salutation, …). Such a view may help marketers, among other things, to …

  • simply get a better understanding of what was going on under the surface of the last campaigns;
  • predict the outcome of future email actions for specific segments.

Of course, open, click, and bounce rates are good and valuable performance indicators. However, they don’t tell you at once for example what groups of recipients showed more clicks and opens than others. And this would be a really interesting insight that holds great potential for optimizations. Decision tree models provide one easily interpretable representation of such mapped response behaviour. Let’s look at a practical example and explore how we could possibly make more of our data. Continue reading

Survey says: email still trumps them all …

Interesting survey from the Target Marketing Magazine (about) that inspects marketer’s direct marketing plans for 2012. In January, 19,600 print subscribers where asked to fill out a questionnaire via email (three drops). The campaign lead to 365 respondents (= 1.9% response rate). Looking at the answers puts one assumption close: email marketing is more vital than ever … Continue reading

Sender or subjectline – what’s more important?

Many articles today cover subject line optimization. Which is good as the subject line surely is a major factor that determines the open rate of an email campaign. And variations can be easily tested. But what about the sender name – could this parameter be even more important? Still, many emails lack of an easy recognizable and meaningful from line … Continue reading