Email, Digital Targeted Messaging & Interactive Marketing Musings, Thoughts & Links - Named A Top Email Marketing Blog by Email Marketing Reports

Monday, October 30, 2006

Interactive News to Use - Week of October 30, 2007

A new BrightWave Blog feature will be a summary of relevant news, links and analysis all on one easy to find post. So be sure to set your RSS feeder to pull this or bookmark it.

Web Search Most Efficient for Customer Acquisition
-The cost per acquisition for search is on average $8.50
-Yellow Pages was the second-most efficient channel at $20 per customer acquisition, followed by online display ads at $50, email at $60, and direct mail at $70.

Takeaway: Search continues to be the most efficient and targeted online acquisition method. Email high's rising acquisition cost should not be a surprise (ever since CAN-SPAM this has been the case) and the best combo order should be SEARCH/AQUIRE + EMAIL/RETAIN/MONETIZE = ROI

10 Ways for E-Marketers to Use RSS
Some nice and actionable items to get the ball rolling for RSS.

Reuters gets a Second Life online
So odd I can't venture to explain. So view this for an explanation. Apparently, a huge community and money are in the mix though. Worth checking out.

The ever entertaining Mark Cuban's take on the Long Tail & its ghetto residence (third internet ghetto reference in the past 3 weeks that I have seen)

Google in the WSJ and Washington Post again? Shocking.
A New Advertising Engine : Google Expands Its Web Reach to Madison Avenue

Google Adjusts Hiring Process As Needs Grow

How W Googles Himself - Finally, in case you missed it, check out how our President uses "the Google" If this sounds like your boss, you have an uphill battle and my sympathy.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Get Relevant

A great piece from Kevin Newcomb at Clickz on the need for email marketers to get a more relevant approach for their campaigns. Most of the data he cites is from Jupiter Research VP and research director David Daniels.

Some highlights:

About a quarter of marketers surveyed by Jupiter are sending broadcast e-mail campaigns with no differentiation or targeting.

The majority of marketers, 65 percent, are using limited personalization, such as using a customer's name, and limited segmentation, such as demographic targeting or using geotargeting to identify a local store.

Only 11 percent of marketers send targeted campaigns that use a customer's purchase history, click-stream activity, or other data to send a relevant, targeted offer.

Untargeted broadcast e-mails, with no personalization or segmentation, have an average open rate of 20 percent, average click-through rate of 9.5 percent, and average conversion rate of 1.1 percent.

Campaigns triggered from user actions, such as shopping cart abandonment, have a 27 percent average open rate, 9.3 percent average click-through rate, and 2.3 percent average conversion rate.

Lifecycle messaging campaigns, such as product replenishment messages, have an average open rate of 26 percent, average click-through rate of 14 percent, and average conversion rate of 2.8 percent.

Campaigns that integrate Web site clickstream data for targeting perform best of all, with a 33 percent average open rate, 14 percent average click-through rate, and 3.9 percent average conversion rate.

This next set of stats I have asked the author for clarification. I dont know if it is implied these are staff + ESP/agency/software fees = annual salary given here.

Broadcast e-mails require just $109,000 in annual salary
triggered campaigns require about $128,000 in salary resources.
Lifecycle messaging campaigns are considerably more expensive than less sophisticated methods, requiring $263,000 in annual salary resources.
Campaigns using clickstream data require $276,000 in salary.

Jupiter also states
54 percent of respondents saying they clicked on a link in an e-mail because the product or service interested them.

Forty percent do so when copy piqued their interest
35 percent are influenced by the subject line.
Only 12 percent of respondents say a single large image influenced their decision to click
9 percent are influenced by several smaller images.

Enjoy your weekend...

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Alert All Consumer Electronics Marketers

Anyone responsible for online marketing (be it search, email, banners, social networking etc) should be sure to include the following as major bullets in their 2007 budget presentation:

  • One Quarter of Consumer Electronics Purchases Researched Online
  • Of the $32.5 billion spent on CE products purchased in the last six months, 77 percent were influenced by online research.
  • Searchers are defined as individuals who use search engines to learn about products to purchase.
  • Searchers consider more brands and are 114 percent more likely to respond to Internet display advertising they see in their research period.

    Wow. While not a surprise it is powerful. Any CE company (small or large and the playing field has been leveled some with paid search) must have a strong presence in search and email marketing. Or else game over if you want to keep up with today's consumer.

    It is really that simple.

    The hard part is doing it effectively with strong ROI.

Solid Newsletter

Miracle-Gro (not a BrightWave client) does an excellent job with this newsletter. It is easy to read, has an appealing and well thought out layout, and most importantly provides relevant and helpful information.

In summary, they provide value to me, the subscriber, without overselling any products. Not an easy or common thing in today's crowded inbox.

Nice work.

How to get picked for speaking engagements

Bill McCloskey provides tips and insight on how to properly submit a proposal for speaking engagements.

The main points:
Number One: Proofread!
Number Two: Make sure that what you are promoting is relevant and to-the-point.
Number Three: Unless you are a marketer for a large brand, don't diss the conference subject in your proposal.
Four: Come up with something that hasn't been beaten into the ground.

Most of these are based on common business sense but also remind any potential speakers out there to remember to keep it basic and easy for the reviewer.

One point I take exception on is the following:
Better yet, don't use links. I've printed out all the proposals I'm reviewing. One person submitted a link to his bio instead of including it in the body of the proposal. Guess what? I'm never going to see that bio.

I think this depends on what the conference or event guidelines say. In fact, one conference where I will be speaking said to include only links for bios and pictures.

The takeaway, read the rules and follow directions or you may not even get a chance to be considered.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

E-mail Resurges (but still positioned in the DMA ghetto)

A nice piece on where email is going as an industry and why email needs its own trade groups, rather than stay under the umbrella of broader groups like the DMA or IAB.

Not said in this article but voiced by some industry leaders is how email and interactive are not properly represented at all by the DMA and in fact, exiled to the "convention ghetto" during recent DMA shows. No surprise there as the DMA has not fully grasped how it will handle the little pesky stepchild that is interactive marketing. A wise person would say embrace it before it shoves you out of the way but than seems a difficult concept for some folks.

Critical Survey Conducted to Set Standards for Email Deliverability & Bounce Management

An important release from the EEC. Find it here

Monday, October 23, 2006

Who Controls email?

David Baker tackles the fight for the in-box and states the average consumer receives 361 e-mails per week, and maintains three separate e-mail accounts, for their different business and personal personas.

We all know email programs need extra attention and this article helps provide how to approach that...and more

Monday, October 16, 2006

the new PowerPoint Rules

Brad Berens provides some insightful advice on what "rules" should be used for PowerPoint presentations. He also presents a case against the “two minutes per slide” rule.

Stopping Spam & Spamhaus - A true power play

A legal drama plays out while the battle against spam continues. Check out Defending a Blurred Line: Is It Spam or Just a Company Marketing by E-Mail?

Rejecting Google's Millions - Friendster's Demise & VC power

The New York Times provides a timely and fascinating look at how Friendster had a shot at millions and the big time, but turned it down in what now looks like a greedy and shortsighted move.

Email Creative That Works

Silverpop released a new study today based on data collected, compiled and analyzed from 612 emails sent by 430 companies.

Key takeaways include:

-Making simple changes to creative elements of email messages can boost click rates by 50 percent or more

-Emails with branded subject lines generated significantly higher open rates. BtoC emails with the brand or company name in the subject line enjoyed open rates of 29 percent on average, compared to 22 percent without branding.

-BtoB emails with the company or brand name in the subject line experienced an average open rate of 32 percent, compared to just 20 percent for messages without branded subject lines.

-All-text BtoC messages generated a 4.7 percent click rate on average, those that were mostly image-oriented achieved a 7.1 percent average click rate.

-All-text BtoB messages received a 5.4 percent click rate, compared to only a 3.5 percent click rate for those that included an equal amount of text and images.

-BtoB emails in a postcard-style format received average click rates of 7.9 percent, compared to popular one-column and newsletter formats, which received click rates of 3.4 and 5.4 percent, respectively

-BtoC marketers interested in boosting click rates should take a long look at newsletter-style layouts, which generated average click rates of 7.1 percent, compared to average click rates of 6.2 percent for single-image "postcard-style" messages.

The new study is not yet found on Silverpop's site but be sure to check back shortly.

5 Easy to implement ways to improve your response rate

Stephan Spencer provides some useful tips to get your email campaign response rates higher. I agree with all of these basic but potentially powerful action items.

One exception can be the specific subject line item. Studies have shown broad subject lines get higher open rates but of course the best way for your subscribers is to test several subject lines out.

Clean up the email format to make it more ’scannable’.

Consider smaller, more targeted campaigns, tied to broader campaign strategies

Get more specific in your Subject line

Practice spam filter avoidance

Experiment with send times

More Open Rate Fodder (and other metrics to include in your weekly report to your boss)

None of us the stats included in this MailerMailer study are new or earth shattering but they do help support the increasing need to test and focus more on subject lines - often the key to driving strong response rates.

Some highlights from the study as reported by Chief Marketer

-HTML, Subject Lines Affect E-Mail Open Rate

-Regarding subject lines, MailerMailer found that messages with shorter subject lines were substantially more likely to be opened.

-Those with subject lines in excess of 35 characters saw open rates of 16.93%, while those with shorter subject lines generated open rates of 24.02%.

-Click-throughs reflected these open rates: Messages with shorter subject lines generated 3.84% rates, while clicks for those with longer subject lines were barely over 3%.

-Personalization also had an impact on whether messages were opened. Those with personalized subject lines saw open rates of 24.31%, while those with personalized messages were opened 22.2% of the time (while not expressly stated, assumedly recipients would know that their messages were personalized through preview windows.)

-Those that had both personalized subject lines and messages generated open rates of just over 28%.

-The days of the week e-mail messages were most likely to be opened followed the same pattern in the first half of 2006 that they did during the last half of 2005: hest on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, lower Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, with an uptick on Saturday.

-If messages are going to be opened, a majority – more than 80% -- will be opened within 48 hours after delivery. Fewer than 10% are opened four days after delivery.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Breaking News from a Treo

We all know mobile phones are increasingly how we communicate. All email marketers are aware their audience often read emails on their Blackberries and Treos but Fox raised the stakes in the hand held device game by broadcasting breaking news (in this case, the NYC plane crash) via a Treo.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Walk Before You Run

David Daniels at Jupiter Research states "the majority of email marketers are tethered to the production process of getting their weekly mailings out and often do not have the time or the resources to think strategically about how to improve their mailings."

I find this to be the case, almost exclusively, with all clients and prospects. Marketers really do need to focus more on unchaining this tether and taking the time to establish policies and rules that allow email teams to improve their campaigns, not just get them out.

The Daniels article (and countless others on email marketing, including one from yours truly) is found here

"open rates are arguably the most ridiculously stupid metric in the history of marketing"

Well, according to Ken Magill they are. While I agree with him on some points, notably the inflated value most marketers place on them and other industry metrics, they do serve some benefits.

These include providing a clue to whether your audience is even interested in your email. Sure, there are some issues with Open Rates (image suppression, preview pane) but I like using the stat the same way I like looking at my fantasy basketball team's rebounding totals. It tells a small part of the story and everyone loves stats anyway, especially in marketing and fantasy sports. But do you make a huge change or trade your best player because of this one isolated metric? Of course not.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Will web beacons be eliminated (and therefore eliminate the open rate stat)

Bill Nussey has an interesting post on his blog and how "Pattymail" could shake up the email industry. Any email marketer knows the open rate stat is a perennial favorite when being quizzed by the boss?

Did our campaign go out on time? How many people opened?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is Spam "noble" if it comes from an environmental group?

Yes, says Doug Moss, publisher and executive editor of E/The Environmental Magazine, in this opinionated piece from Ken Magill of DirectMag. Ken, um, disagrees.