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  • October 4, 2007

Takeaways from ClickZ Specifics: Email Marketing

On Tuesday ClickZ hosted its ClickZ Specifics: Email Marketing conference. Here are just a few of the great insights and learnings from the event:

Mobile devices:
>>During her keynote address, eec Founder Jeanniey Mullen advised marketers to add a “click to view this email on your mobile device” link to the tops of their emails to get a better idea of what percentage of their subscribers are mobile users. She quoted a stat that “By 2009, 60% of emails will be read outside of the inbox.” (Part of that forecast is based on the growing use of email within social networks.)

Triggered emails:
>>Jim Ofram of Starwood Hotels and Resorts said, “The trick with triggered email is getting scale.” Otherwise, there’s no return on investment.
>>Jim O’Brien of Barnes & Noble asked, Do you get people to sign up for product alerts—or do you use purchase history data to determine product interests and include those products in your normal emails? “You may find you get more scale out of that.”

National Geographic Society:
Eec member and roundtable co-chair Lauren Skena of the National Geographic Society discussed many recent and upcoming changes in their email program.
>>Welcome emails: Skena said that they replaced their text-only welcome email with an HTML welcome email in March and saw their open rates increase 10% and clickthrough rate jump 37%.
>>Email address capture: Skena said that adding address capture forms to the National Geographic Channel website increased list size by 20% over three months. She said that they’ve tried to collect email addresses offline from their direct mail buyers with a paper form and that 10%-12% of them have shared their email addresses. However, bad addresses, illegible handwriting and other issues have reduced that capture rate to 8%-9%.
>>Registration centers: Skena said they will soon launch a new registration center that will be organized by interests rather than by corporate division. She also said that they plan to rotate the top two newsletters in that registration center list because the top two generate consistently higher sign ups regardless of which ones they are.
>>Viral: Skena said that viral works really well for their Photo of the Month email, but not very well with their commerce emails.

>>Karthik Krishnan of Reed Business Information said that, on their unsubscribe page, when given the chance to stay on the list, 30% of the people that visit that page select that option. He also said that given the option to change their email address, many subscribers to that instead as well. Krishnan said that they found that many people who went to unsubscribe were changing jobs and just wanted to change their address.

Role models:
When a panel of experts was asked for the names of five email marketers that get it right, here’s what folks said:
>>Consultant Jeanne Jennings said to sign up for iTunes’ Free Music Tuesday newsletter and added that iTunes transactional emails are best she’s ever seen.
>>Al DiGuido of Zeus Tech recommended signing up for Target and Expedia’s email newsletters.
>>Stefan Pollard recommended signing up for Barnes & Noble and Backcountry’s newsletters—and reading RetailEmail.Blogspot. (Sage advice indeed.)

>>There was lots of good advice about deliverability, which was probably the hottest topic at the conference. Visit the Email Experience Blog to see my takeaways on that topic.
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