The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Sara Steinnagel serves as Community Manager at Gold Lasso. Follow her on twitter at @Sara_C_Stein

Feedback Loop Management Strategies

Originally created by ISP’s to help identify senders of spam email, feedback loop management can be a great way for a marketer to effectively manage their email campaigns and send their subscribers messages they want to see.

Many ISP’s provide feedback loops to email senders as a way to help proactive companies cut down on spam complaints the ISP receives. Whenever someone tells their provider they’ve received a spam email, it’s basically like a “complaint” to the ISP. While each ISP’s threshold differs, the outcome is the same with all of them. Too many complaints will have a negative effect on all of your email campaigns, making it more difficult for subscribers who actually want your information to receive it.

With more and more email messages being sent, it’s important to understand what causes recipients to flag your message as spam. Common reasons for flagging email messages as spam include:

  • Irrelevant content
  • Receive too many messages
  • Recipient doesn’t remember opting into your list 

Even implementing email campaign best practices, you’re likely to get some subscribers who complain. While receiving some unjustified spam reports is unavoidable, there are some very practical ways you can use this information to improve your email campaigns.

List cleansing

When you review your feedback loops, you should unsubscribe any visitor who has reported your message as spam. This will make you look better in the eyes of the ISP’s and help keep your overall complaints low.

Message Testing

Feedback loops can also be used to help you identify what messages your list wants to receive and help you better target your message. Messages that receive a lot of complaints are clearly and indicator of the type of message your list does not want. The simple solution is to send more messages like what your list wants to receive and fewer of those that they don’t.

It’s easy to dismiss spam complaints as having come from unhappy people, but when used correctly, the information provided by feedback loops is invaluable for helping your refine your email marketing campaigns. For more information regarding feedback loops or any of your other email messaging needs, please contact us. Also, please feel free to check out one of our previous posts, It includes one of the most detailed FBL lists around!

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Lead Scoring: All Leads are not Created Equal

In corporate America, where the business world is both rapidly-moving and technologically-advanced, tools to improve marketing precision and lead management are not only handy but are intrinsic to the growth and continued success of a company. Lead scoring ranks the leads in order of value by evaluating the work required to develop the lead against the profit it will potentially bring the company.

Logically a more precise, adaptable system of lead management will equal higher volume in sales which, in turn, will generate greater profit for the company as a whole.

While there are a variety of ways to score leads, a new product, designed to help identify the leads that will generate the most profit to marketing companies, is available. A write-up in the San Francisco Chronicle describes the software as a free lead scoring development matrix that operates in Microsoft Excel.

The program is called the Lead Scoring Model Designer (LSMD) and it works by employing a “system of one to five stars that are used to represent the impact of each scoring parameter on a lead's sales-readiness score. The layout organizes lead scoring parameters into three buckets that characterize demographic, behavioral, and qualification status. The 25 fields of predefined and user-entry parameters are adjustable to meet unique sales and marketing practices”.

Lead scoring models, such as this one, that are customizable and adaptable for a variety of sales techniques are foundational for business success in a modern world. Give us a ring for additional lead scoring ideas and other eMarketing strategies.

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Incorporating Social Media Into Your Email Marketing Strategy

In the fall of 2012, CMOs who were surveyed saw social media as having the biggest impact on their email marketing strategy in the near future. This report coincides with a more recent one that placed social media as the second highest priority for email integration for 2013, falling behind mobile marketing by just one percentage point.

Online marketing is maturing to unexpected levels. There is higher demand for increased personalization thanks to social media. Likewise, email marketing campaigns continually experience greater return on investment when emails are customized to their recipients' preferences.

When combining social media and email marketing, you can achieve the highest level of personalization, second only to real-time human one-on-one communication. The challenge for any business is knowing how to convert social followers to their email marketing initiatives.

Converting Social followers to the email world:

For Facebook – add an email opt-in form on your Facebook page. Not many companies do this, so you can be a trail blazer in this area.

On Twitter – a little shameless promotion does not hurt, but of course you have to do this gracefully. You can simply ask your followers to join your email newsletter, then provide the direct link to the form. A more subtle way is to provide the opt-in form on every one of your web pages. When your followers visit your website, they can see the invitation to join your list.

LinkedIn Groups – a great way to represent your company. By creating a group in LinkedIn, you can share content and invite users to join your list.

The key to successfully carrying out a social media initiative to grow your email list is to provide incentives to your audience. Give them email teasers, have them download a free report, or invite them to a webinar. Your options are limitless.

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Capable Mobile Marketing Dependent Upon Understanding User Behavior

The era of the smart phone is fully ascendant in 2013. This year Deloitte estimates that the billionth such device will be activated. However, mobile marketing success going forward will be about much more than just numbers. Anticipating how user behavior will evolve will be absolutely crucial to a well-managed mobile marketing budget.

Linear No More

For example, consider the 'second screen' phenomenon. The old paradigm, first on laptops and then on mobile devices, was linear. That is, users would move through channels in succession. Linear consumer behavior is relatively easy to track as one moves from point A to point B to point C.

Now, a new behavior pattern is emerging. For example, more and more smartphone users are active while simultaneously watching TV. Key questions arise. To what degree will smartphone usage relate to the 'second screen,' the TV? Will TV viewing and smartphone activities be related or not?

Smartphones may become popular as a means for further interaction with a television program. Should such consumer behavior proliferate, mobile marketing can respond with a more cross-channel, holistic approach. In fact, in ideal scenarios, the impact on advertising may almost be counter-intuitive. That is, the successful advertisers that truly engage such cross-channel users may gain their attention in very relevant ways.

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Don't let your sales funnel slip! Optimize your efforts now.

How do your sales and marketing teams define the sales funnel? If their views aren’t compatible and streamlined, you likely have a problem. Don’t fret though. Your team is just a few important steps away from maximizing their sales opportunities.

Develop the Most Qualified Lead

There seems to be a traditional rift between marketing and sales personnel when it comes to defining the sales funnel. It could be attributed to the number of steps required to qualify a lead or it may be due to the economic friction “generated by the need to divide the total budget.”

Ultimately, one of the biggest roadblocks to alignment is the different view each team has of the sales funnel. Therefore, it is up to the two camps to agree on what defines the most qualified lead.

There are generally four types of leads based on the level to which a customer is a good fit and interested:

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