The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Start the New Year CAN-SPAM Compliant

Everyone understands the importance of internet marketing, specifically the effectiveness of a targeted e-mail strategy. However, e-mail marketing compliance is often the last things a small business owner considers when creating his or her marketing plan. The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act was passed in 2003 and has major implications for e-mail marketers and consequences for violators. In fact, violators can be charged up to $16,000 for each separate e-mail that violates the CAN-SPAM Act. Consider the main features of this legislation:

What E-Mails Must Comply with CAN-SPAM?
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), any e-mail whose "primary purpose" is commercial must comply with the act. Any e-mail that advertises your business or promotes your products and services is subject to CAN-SPAM guidelines.
E-mails considered "transactional" or “relationship content" do not have to comply with all the CAN-SPAM requirements. For example, if you send payment receipts, shipping information or simply respond to customer inquiries, you do not have to abide by all the guidelines. Some do still apply though. Marketers are prohibited from using inaccurate information in the "to" and "from" fields. The e-mail address and domain must definitively indicate who the message is coming from.

What Are the Rules?
If your e-mails are subject to the CAN-SPAM Act, consider the following guidelines.
• Headers, domains and subject lines must be clear and not deceptive.
• You must state that the message is an advertisement.
• Your message must include your postal address in the body of the e-mail.
• You must provide an option to unsubscribe from the e-mail list, and follow-up on those requests within 10 business days. Whatever unsubscribe tool you use should be able to continue processing the requests for 30 days after the original e-mail was sent.

Lastly, keep in mind that the FTC doesn't differentiate between you and a third party that may be sending your e-mails on your behalf. Ask your provider how they handle the "opt-out" feature and any other compliance issues.

Contact us to develop an e-mail marketing strategy that is in compliance with the law.

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Change Your Email Templates For The New Year

With the start of a new year comes new opportunities for growth and change for your business. You already know how important it is to have an effective email campaign in place. A great way to vamp up these campaigns and make them even more effective in 2013 is by changing your templates to include newer, eye catching designs. Why not stir things up a bit in 2013?

How long have you been using your current email template design? If it’s been over a year and you’re still stuck using the same bland format, it’s about time for a change. Do you know if the template you've been using translates as well on smart phones and tablets as it does within different email clients? If you're not sure, it's definitely time to reevaluate and consider an upgrade.

More and more people are using mobile technology to view their emails. In order for your campaigns to be as effective as possible, you need to be able to communicate to your leads efficiently, especially within the mobile platform. When subscribers open your emails on their mobile devices, do you know what they see? If you’re not certain of how your message renders, there is a good chance it could be improved. Worse yet, if your messages aren’t getting through, you can be sure it won't be long until your emails are marked as spam, or your leads unsubscribe from them all together. Optimizing your templates to render properly on mobile devices will ensure proper deliverability and higher open rates. The best email templates to use are the ones that translate well regardless of what device they're used on. Your template should look just as nice on a desktop computer as it does when it's viewed on an iPhone.

Using a revamped email template is also a good way to create new buzz about your business. Do you have a new product or a new service you're offering this year? Even if your merchandise or services are the same, a new email template gives your leads the impression that great things are happening in your business and it encourages them to check out what you have to offer.

Are you ready to make some changes to your email campaign for the new year? It's never too late to start. You already know that email marketing is one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience. Let us help you refine your campaign to get the best results possible. For more information, contact us today.

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Thinking Visual For Better Mobile Marketing

Brand Visualization is cited as one of the major branding trends in a recent article at for the year 2013. Mobile marketing is inevitably enhanced when brand visualization techniques are employed.

From Flat Screens to Smart Phones

It’s ironic that, as flat screen TVs grow ever larger, the proliferation of smart phones drives consumers to view more and more information in relatively small places. It was inevitable, therefore, that part of the solution would be found in images. Pinterest, Instagram, and Flipboard are all examples of visually-based sites that quickly drew millions of followers. In fact, Instagram's trajectory from inception to a $1 billion purchase by Facebook was simply stunning.

The consumer has spoken, and the market has quickly responded. A photo's capacity to say 'a thousand words' is undeniable. Utilize that power for your own enterprise, and your branding efforts will benefit.

The trend toward the visual is also apparent in social media post excerpts. Initially, they appeared in words only. Then, small images began to accompany excerpts. Now, the image itself is often the primary attention-grabber. The title of an article merely becomes a link to the post itself. The image becomes the portal, the gateway, to further exploration.

The Potential In Data Visualization

The characterization of your numbers as 'dry statistics' is even more a barrier to communication in this visually-dominated age. One can do more than use dynamic photos and eye-catching logos to enhance brand awareness. In fact, those company stats that convey credibility and success can be turned into visuals like info graphics that overcome traditional communication barriers.

The most ancient of data visualization tools was not always the most accurate, but it sure was effective. Take for example, the ‘map’. It may have committed certain egregious omissions, like the initial elimination of the Western Hemisphere, but it served its purpose and was sufficiently effective.

Today, both images and visual representations of data are maps that the consumer will use to navigate, quite literally, to their destination -- your brand, hopefully!

In the world of the web, we've rapidly migrated from the '140 character' world to a land of bandwidth that can project HD images onto smart phones and tablets almost instantaneously. It is incumbent upon Internet marketers to fully embrace this newfound visual power. Data visualization is one such method for doing this. Fully embrace this concept, and the communication of data can move all the way from obstacle to asset. Recognize this potential in branding, and further success will be yours.

Gold Lasso is committed to contemporary e-marketing that welcomes every new development and applies it for its customers. So that we may learn more specifically of your needs, please contact us today.

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The Ins and Outs of Permission Marketing

Any savvy businessperson knows that email has become an essential method of delivering marketing messages. Permission marketing, however, is a specific type of marketing aimed at communicating with customers who have already indicated an interest in your product by opting in via your website, Facebook page, or another vehicle.

Even though you may have “permission” to send marketing messages, there are some specific steps you should take to make your marketing strategy as productive as possible.

Pinpoint “WIIFM”

One of the first things that your customers will want to know is ‘what’s in it for me?’

Nearly 15 years ago, internet marketing pioneer Seth Godin said in Fast Company , "Consumers will grant a company permission to communicate only if they know what's in it for them.” So essentially it all comes down to rewarding consumers for paying attention to your message. Whether you offer industry tips, links to helpful information, discounts on products or services, or something else, consumers are all about getting something for letting you develop a relationship with them.

Build Your Target List

Building relationships with customers requires you to both hone in on who will bring you the most profit, as well as define those who are most likely to influence other customers. You want and NEED these people on your permission marketing target list.

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Custom email templates: The extra pizzazz that will help your business shine

If your business currently employs an active email marketing campaign, congratulations! You are already taking advantage of an effective and proven strategy. So much so, that according to the Message Systems 2012 Marketing Channel and Engagement Benchmark Survey, email still tops the list as the most popular and successful marketing channel, despite the rise of social media. In fact, 63 percent of their survey’s respondents credited email as their largest return on investment.

Knowing this, it is important for marketers to ask themselves if they are truly getting the most out of their email marketing. Is your email template unique, attractive and eye-catching? Does it generate the interest in your product or service that you are aiming for? Are you able to repurpose templates in an efficient way? In order to make the most of your email marketing campaigns, the bones of the operation have to be top notch.

Creating your own email template can mean many hours devoted to design and coding. Even after all of that effort, you could still end up with a template that fails to connect with prospective customers in a meaningful way. Using a pre-made template limits your options and does not allow for your company's unique character and message to stand out from the crowd. After all, it is unlikely that your company is the only email marketer using any given pre-made template.

Custom email templates allow for more creativity and individuality in your messaging. At Gold Lasso, we can help you create a truly unique and effective email template that will attract attention. Instead of settling for a pre-made template that may already be in use by dozens of other marketers, choosing to employ a template that is professionally designed and coded specifically for your campaign is a proven strategy to connect with prospective customers in a more effective and personalized way.

If you would like more information on our design service for custom email templates or our full line of eMarketing solutions and services, contact us.

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