Giving Voice to Your Emails

Giving Voice to Your Emails

Email & User Content I have been in email marketing since 1999, so I have built up quite an arsenal of emails in my seed accounts.   I have seen content that was creative, wonderfully written, personalized, and even cutting-edge. More importantly, I have watched as this channel keeps growing even as everyone else has predicted its death. Like any nerdy but dedicated email marketer, I subscribe to all types of emails, including brands on the retail side and those in publishing, telecom, e-commerce, financial, and more. Before I invest time in a brand, a product, or a service, I do quite a bit of research. Depending on the brand, I almost inevitably spend time reading online reviews.   These are oddly satisfying. I try to associate the strangers’ reviews with the way I live my life, the things I say, and how I think. I throw out super negative reviews unless the reviewers add context explaining their comments. I also look for...
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How to Choose the Best ESP for your Email Deliverability Check

How to Choose the Best ESP for your Email Deliverability Check

Choosing the best ESP (Email Service Provider) can feel like shopping for a car; a ton of conflicting recommendations, a thousand different models, and a lot of excessive features that seem neat in the showroom, but won’t ever be used on the road. Similar to this, in marketing, it’s important to be organized and have a clear goal. Check your email deliverability first. This means identifying your needs and your nice-to-haves first, while also knowing the difference between the two. First, answer these questions: What’s my budget? This means you also need to know your email ROI, or at least your target ROI. There are a lot of options, so knowing how much you are willing to spend can help you narrow down the field. What does your buyer’s journey/nurture/conversion look like? Tracking your metrics is critical to a successful email program, so identify the data you’ll need before you get started. What’s your sending volume? You need to know if a shared or dedicated IP is right for you....
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How Email Can Fix a Broken Return Process

How Email Can Fix a Broken Return Process

In today’s multiple-channel retail environment, returning an online purchase to a store can add an extra layer of frustration for customers and retailers alike. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. My recent experience with a national brand retailer showed me how a creative use of email could make the return process less onerous, increase customer satisfaction, and drive increased revenue. Background: My wife and I received a wonderful holiday gift from a colleague, who had bought it online from an upscale home furnishings retailer. We loved it, but we already owned one. So, we decided to exchange it. This retailer had a store near us, so we took the gift to the store, found something we liked and took both items to the checkout counter to make the exchange. Easy enough, right? Not quite. The clerk handling our transaction told us we could not exchange the gift for store credit because it had been purchased online. The returned merchandise would “go...
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30 Spam Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid

30 Spam Filter Words and Phrases to Avoid

Spam filtering has become quite sophisticated. Your email subject line isn't the only part of the email delivery equation, but rather, just one part of the whole. Emails are delivered to inboxes based on subject lines, content, and reputation. Avoiding or limiting certain spam trigger words or phrases in your subject lines or throughout your content is important for successful email deliverability. 1. $$$ 2. 100% free 3. Act Now 4. Affordable 5. Amazing stuff 6. Double your income 7. Earn $ 8. Earn extra cash 9. Eliminate debt 10. Free 11. Free gift 12. Limited time offer 13. Make $ 14. !!! 15. 100% free 16. Act now! 17. ALL CAPITALS 18. Discount 19. Double your income 20. E.x.t.r.a. Punctuation 21. FREE 22. Guarantee 23. Join millions 24. Lose weight 25. All natural 26. Bargain 27. Best price 28. Lowest price 29. T e x t w i t h g a p s 30. No purchase necessary Vertical Response has some tips that may or may not set off official spam filters, but they tend to set off human spam filters: Don’t write subject lines ALL IN CAPS. Don’t make spelling...
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What it Takes to do Meaningful Personalization

What it Takes to do Meaningful Personalization

I’ve been in email marketing for 9 years now, the latest iteration of a digital marketing career that I have had going for over 20 years. During this time, I have seen interesting new technologies emerge—from Send Time Optimization to Machine Learning, to AI being leveraged for content and subject line suggestions. And yet, I look in my own inbox and am forced to ask, “What the hell is going on?” Why do I ask this? Take a look at your own inbox. As VP Solutions Consulting at Trendline Interactive, I travel a fair bit and regularly receive emails from hotel chains, car rental companies, and airlines. All of these company subscriptions include regular monthly newsletters, along with periodic special offers or upsell opportunities. For the most part, I have satisfactory experiences when looking at them. But there are a few that leave me astounded, given the capabilities I know their platforms have. More specifically, as a frequent traveler, I want to...
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Partner POV: Guarding the Email Marketing Gates

Partner POV: Guarding the Email Marketing Gates

This is a guest POV from our industry-leading partners at BriteVerify.   As a marketer, your goal is to collect valuable data from people who are interested in what your company is selling. But what if bad actors hijack that process for their own purposes? We, at BriteVerify, have followed a clear trend in the way marketers are managing the quality of their email acquisition processes to avoid bad and fraudulent data. And more often than not, marketers are increasingly forced to take measures to ensure not only the validity of data originating from their various channels but also the humanity of that data. As online Web Forms, POS systems and lightboxes become smarter components in your marketing strategy, the question arises: Are you speaking to a person or a bot when you collect information? There are a few key things to consider for savvy marketers today as you protect your ecosystem while also engaging with real customers: Are you a robot? ReCAPTCHA The simplest way...
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Why Was My Email Blocked?

Why Was My Email Blocked?

Oftentimes, absolutely no one knows why your email got blocked or bulked, but that isn’t necessarily a problem.  The answer to the question, “Why was my email blocked?” has changed in the last 10 years. I’ve heard this question many times. It’s the first question anyone asks when they find out they have a deliverability issue. A decade ago, the answer was usually pretty straightforward. Blocklists, spamtraps, complaints, bounces, spam keywords—whichever the specific cause—it was generally fairly easy to figure out. Today, though, the honest answer in many cases is, “I don’t know.” This isn’t a popular answer. It’s not one that most deliverability people are comfortable giving, and it’s certainly not one clients want to hear, so it’s not usually the answer you’ll be given. Instead, possible, plausible, and likely causes are given. The truth is that not even the ISP’s own staff actually knows for sure why a given email was blocked. A little while back, I had the pleasure of attending...
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