The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Explosive Growth for Email – More Legal Hurdles on the Way

Last week at the Interop trade show, David Grannan, General Manager of Mobile Email at Nokia made a crazy prediction. Grannan stated that by the year 2010 there will be more than 100 million business users of mobile email, more than 20 times the current business users.

I'm going to do the "Long Island one-up" on Mr. Grannan and predict his 2010 number won't be all business users but at least one-third consumers. My reason is simple. Consumers are at the forefront of most cutting edge technology. It was consumer instant messaging that mainstreamed the communication vehicle into corporate culture and it is consumers who are leading the way for blogs, podcasting and peer-to-peer VOIP. Whatever the makeup of the 2010 number, one thing is certain, "always on email" will soon be a reality and marketers will want to leverage it. Whether its SMS or actual email protocols, consumers and business executives will be easily reached with an efficient mobile messaging device attached to their phones. Before marketers start to dip their toes in this vast sea of email mobility they will have to tackle formatting and technical issues coupled with the inevitable legal headaches. Mobile phone carriers could become the new giant ISPs and their tolerance for any commercial email would likely be very limited. In addition, the legislation that has shielded consumers from telemarketing to their mobile phones will eventually make its way to mobile email, once pressured by mobile carriers and consumer protection groups.

Whichever way the wind blows, in the end advertising efficiency will win out over the minority vocalists and unscrupulous lawyers who claim that legitimate marketers have denigrated an emerging technology. Remember, if you're cheaper to market to, you deserve cheaper prices.

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Lower Your Bounce Rate: 12 Quick Tips to Help

An active email-marketer knows that managing your bounce rate is critical. Reducing your bounces decreases your delivery costs and increases conversions – ultimately increasing the ROI of your email campaigns.

There are two types of bounces that are important to understand in the delivery process.

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server, but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the recipient. Soft bounces can occur for the following reasons; recipient’s mailbox is full, the message is too large, the recipient’s server is down, or the recipient has abandoned the mailbox. Most providers will try to deliver the email regularly for a few days. If it is still not successful, it becomes a hard bounce.

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned the sender and marked undeliverable. Hard bounce causes include invalid email addresses, invalid domains, or the recipient’s server has blocked your server.

Here are 12 “Quick Tips” to help manage and reduce your bounces:

  1. Clean Your Lists: Whether manually or via a list-hygiene service, check for incorrectly formatted addresses, invalid domains and typos.
  2. Consider Using An Email Change of Address (ECOA) Service: With many companies experiencing email address churn of 2.5% a month, an ECOA service could pay huge dividends.
  3. Confirm Email Addresses: Send an auto-reply confirmation when a user subscribes, registers or makes a purchase. If that message bounces, you can attempt to correct it right from the start. Additionally, you may want to consider requiring a second email address line (in your online forms) that confirms the correct address was entered.
  4. Include Subscription/Account Management Links in Your Emails: Make it easy for your customers and subscribers to update their email addresses by including a link in your emails to your Web site account/subscription management page.
  5. Prompt Customers to Update Information: When a customer is completing a transaction, prompt them to verify and update information – particularly their email address.
  6. Use Mail or Phone to Update Information: If you have postal addresses or phone numbers for customers/subscribers with bad email addresses, consider contacting them via mail (such as a postcard) or telephone.
  7. Understand and Monitor Spam Filters: Get to know the more common things that most spam filters block.
  8. Remove "Spam Flag" Addresses: These are often added maliciously. Examples include: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  9. Pretest Your Emails: Prior to distributing your email to your entire list, send a test to yourself and others (make sure you include all the major email services used by members of your list).
  10. Understand How Your Email Provider Processes Bounces: Gain a thorough understanding of how your email provider classifies and handles soft and hard bounces – and manage accordingly.
  11. Monitor Changes Among ISPs: After mergers, financial troubles and other announcements, many users of a particular ISP may decide to switch to a different account or ISP for their email. Consider sending an email to members of your list with the domain name in question, asking them if they would like to update their email address and other information.

When All Else Fails, Suppress or Delete Recurring Bounces: Determine an appropriate bounce suppression/deletion strategy for your email program. For example, if you distribute a monthly email or newsletter, you may want to suppress/delete accounts after three consecutive bounces.

Michael Weisel is Chief Technology Officer at Gold Lasso,Inc. He can be reached by telephone at 301-990-9857 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit Gold Lasso at http://www.goldlasso.com.

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The Follow-Up Frenzy - eLoop Feature Spotlight

In a perfect world, wouldn’t it be nice to plan all your email marketing follow-up by clicking a button? The good new is with Gold Lasso’s eLoop™ you can!

eLoop’s Action-Based Messaging™ (ABM) allows you to automate the delivery of personalized messages based on a recipients action or in-action in prior messages. With the click of a button you can schedule one, two, three or even 20 follow-up messages. Take a look at how ABM works:

Example: ABC Company sends an introductory email to all prospects and customers announcing their new Web site. Within the message, they give links to the Web site, product information, event information, and press releases. eLoop™ automatically tracks all the links within the message so you know how many recipients clicked on each link.

Now, the key is to follow up based on what the recipient did or did not click on.

Message 1: ABC Company drafts an email thanking recipients for visiting their Web site. It is automatically sent to all those who clicked on the Web site link within the message.

Message 2: ABC Company has an email that further promotes their products. This email is sent to all those that clicked on the product information link.

Message 3: ABC Company has an email on registration and hotel information for their upcoming convention. This is sent to all those that clicked on the event information link.

Message 4: ABC Company has a monthly e-mail newsletter on industry news. The latest issue is sent to all those who clicked on the press release link.

Message 5: Of course, there will always be recipients that do not click on anything at all. Maybe they were too busy, maybe you caught them at the wrong time. Don’t give up!

Set the initial message to go out again to all those that did not click on any links at all.

Effective follow-up is the key to successful marketing. Gold Lasso has automated this process so follow up is easy, creative and personalized. Around here we’ve dubbed it “set it and forget it” – and it truly is as simple as that!

Danielle Ashery is VP, Client Services at Gold Lasso, Inc. She can be reached by telephone at 301-990-9857 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit Gold Lasso at http://www.goldlasso.com.

 

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Get Creative: A Checklist for E-mail Development

There are many components of an effective e-mail message. You’ve got your graphic design, you’ve got your copywriting, and of course, your targeted list. It isn’t an easy task to create a message that ‘speaks’ clearly to everyone. But here are some tips to help you along.

Design
An effective design needs to do more than just simply look nice. For maximum impact, it must support the goals and objectives of the message. It’s no joke, a picture really can be worth a thousand words if it is done properly. For HTML message design, follow these simple guidelines:

Make sure your designer understands your objectives. Communication is the key. Let them know what you’re looking for – your vision is key.

Choose a design team that understands email marketing. Traditional print ads are very different than online and email marketing. What works offline does not necessarily work online.

Focus on areas of design that are sure to ‘brand’ your messages. Headers featuring your logo or organization brand, colors that stand out and identify your organization, a signature graphic to make the email appear more personal.

Stay away from graphics that do not assist in getting your message across. These are costly additions and can actually hinder the success of your campaign. For example, colored wallpaper or background behind text often triggers spam filters. ‘Cutesy’ icons instead of straightforward bullet points can sidetrack viewers. Using graphics that directly encourage the goals of your message keeps recipients interested and focused.

Copywriting
Writing for an online medium is a completely different animal. As mentioned above, a designer that understands email marketing is crucial –so is a copywriter that understands email marketing. Copy always yields a different effect once integrated into design. For a powerful email campaign, it is extremely important to mesh the copywriting and design components so they build off one another. Below are some tips for powerful copywriting:

  • Write a compelling subject line
  • Short, concise paragraphs
  • Focus on ONE specific subject
  • Bullet point wherever possible
  • Include at least one call to action (More Information, Conference Registration, Product Demonstration)

It is important to remember that the average person is inundated with email messages every single day, most of which are completely irrelevant to them. The key is to target the right people and make your message stand out. With an efficient email marketing strategy, using the guidelines in this article, email can really put you closer in touch with your market and strengthen your communication efforts.

Danielle Ashery is VP, Client Services at Gold Lasso, Inc. She can be reached by telephone at 301-990-9857 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit Gold Lasso at http://www.goldlasso.com.

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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!