The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Kudos To Colin Kinsella For His Promotion At Avenue A|Razorfish

Most blogs contain a ton of whiney complaints without a lot of kudos.  I always like to recognize personal achievement in the marketing industry.

Congrats to Colin Kinsella for his promotion at Ave A!

Avenue A|Razorfish is a great turnaround story from the dot bomb days and I'm sure Colin was instrumental during that process.

Congrats again!

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Are You A Spammer? Not So Much Anymore!

If I got a dollar for every time I have been asked that question over the past five years my kid's 529 savings plan would be well funded for a Harvard tuition.  Finally over the past few months I haven't been as embarrassed to say I'm in the commercial email industry and I have the classic spammers to thank.  

It seems as though the average American (with the exception of the few spam vigilantes) have become so desensitized to classic spam they almost expect it.  "Sure I'll wire over $10,000 to Mr. Mobutu over in Nigeria" jokes one of my buddies at a cocktail party.  "Who falls for this stuff?" chimes in a neighbor.  Efforts of classic spammers are so off the deep end it's become laughable and makes my job easier to legitimize opt-in commercial email.  Most Americans have been on the Internet long enough to tell the difference between spam and legitimate commercial email.  So the next time someone some one asks you what you do for a living just say "email marketing."  And if they ask "Are you a spammer?" just politely reply, "If you still want to call me that."

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The New York Times Sticks It to Email Marketers and Does the General Public A Disservice

On my way home from a restful Caribbean vacation I picked up a copy of the New York Times during a stopover at Charlotte Douglas International.  On the front page in the Inside feature section read a headline "Do Not Call, Write or..."  Since I'm an email marketer, naturally my curiosity piqued and I read the article.  Needless to say I have never read such an ill researched piece of crap from the mainstream media then what I read in the New York Times that day.  The premise of the article was to give advice to consumers about how to remove their names from marketing lists.... snail mail, email, etc.  In the article Damon Darlin suggests to readers that "Whatever you do, do not respond to an unsolicited e-mail message when it gives you the option to opt out of receiving more e-mail. That is a trick used by spammers to confirm they hit a live address. Once that happens, your address goes to a prime list and is sold to other spammers. You may even find legitimate businesses eventually using addresses on that list." 

Where is the research behind this claim?  All the spam that I have received for Viagra, fake Rolex watches and winning lottery tickets never have an opt-out link.  Granted, I'm sure the practice by spammers of using an opt-out link to trick unsuspecting consumers to verify their email address may happen on rare occasion.  However if a spammer wanted to use that opt-out link methodology  to really confirm email addresses they would simply measure the open rate... a spammer would a  better net result and the process would be much more efficient.  Therefore Darlin's claim is total bogus.  Yes, spam is an issue however sending unsolicited commercial email in the United Stats is not illegal and legitimate companies practicing this do include an opt-out link if they have half a brain cell.   Therefore not using an opt-out link to such email would simply have the opposite effect stated by Darlin.  The bottom line is that Darlin and the New York Times have done a disservice to consumers and have contributed to the undermining of legitimate marketer's efforts to educate consumers to use the opt-out link. 

Read the New York Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/20/business/20money.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

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2007 - The Year of the Mailman In Email Marketing

Recently Gold Lasso has been receiving a large influx of sales leads from the not so usual suspects in email marketing.  The diversity of leads range from the local flower shop to an oil and gas driller.  One major thing these atypical email marketers share is that they are completely clueless about where to begin.  They are baffled by the efforts involved with list building and maintenance, legal compliance and content development.  Many of them just want to cut corners and "blast" their way to success.  It's the old mentality that most experienced email marketers went through in the late 90's.   There is one very interesting trend that can be decifered from the surge of newbies entering the industry.  Commercial email has become so mainstream that consumers are starting to expect it from businesses they interact with on an daily basis.

What scares me is that legitimate commercial email has become so commonplace, the value is driven down by shear clutter.  Just as you know it's time to sell your stocks when your mailman told you he bought into the market, is it time to shift away from email?  Nah!  It's too addicting.

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Congratulations to Margaret Carter for Being Named Direct Marketer of The Year

Margaret Carter, responsible for the direct response fundraising unit for the American Red Cross was named Direct Marketer of the Year by Target Marketing Magazine in its October 2006 issue.  Read more about it here! http://www.targetmarketingmag.com/story/story.bsp?sid=37546&var=story

Great job Margaret!!!!

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!