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  • May 14, 2007

Takeaways from the Email Insider Summit, Summer 2007

Here are just a few of the great insights and learnings from the conference:

Deliverability
>> Craig Spiezle, director of online safety strategies and technologies at Microsoft, said that a large flower retailer used a new domain to send out its Mother’s Day campaign this year and started sending millions of emails from a domain with no reputation. “Did we deliver those emails [to our Hotmail users]?” he said. “No we did not.” And now they have a warehouse of wilting flowers. “Content is no longer king,” said Spiezle. “If you don’t have email authentication, your emails are going to be throttled.” He said that Sender ID adoption is at 43%.
>>George Bilbrey, GM, VP of delivery Assurance services at Return Path, said that you have to warm up a new IP address. You just can’t start blasting. The rate at which you can scale up the use of an IP address varies from service to service.

Relevancy
>>“To not send people as much email—that’s a start,” said David Daniels, VP, research director at Jupiter Research, talking about email’s PR problem and the need for greater relevancy.
>>Miles Libbey, office of postmaster at Yahoo Mail, said that he worked with a marketer and was able to increase their revenue 25x by sending one-fifth the email.
>>“One man’s harassment is another man’s relevance,” said John Stichweh, director of global interactive marketing at Coca-Cola. He also said, “Relevancy comes from deep consumer insights.”
>>Deirdre Baird, president and CEO of Pivotal Veracity, said that the number of people that have turned on images is a measure of relevancy and engagement.

CAN-SPAM
>>“If you know that Jerry has opted out [of your email program] and you try to push more email to him within those 10 days, that’s illegal,” said Jerry Ceresale, VP of government affairs at the Direct Marketing Association. “Ten days is the maximum amount of time you have to honor that opt out,” it’s not a green light to send has much email as you can to them before the 10-day limit expires. He added that there’s talk of reducing that window to honor opt outs to only three days, and recommended that marketers talk internally about what would have to happen to move to three days.

Unopened emails
>>Stichweh and his team are trying to figure the value of the From line of an unopened email in the inbox. Just because they don’t open the email doesn’t mean that branding of the From line and the content of the subject line didn’t have an impact, he said.

Segmentation
>>Jupiter’s Daniels suggested segmenting by open rate.

Reactivation
>>“In the catalog world, zero to 12 months is active,” said Dough Williams, director of ecommerce at Sierra Trading Post. “In the email world, zero to six months is active for us. Seven-plus months is reactivation.”
>>Dela Quist, the CEO of AlchemyWorx, said you should trigger a reactivation email after three to six months of no activity. He also suggested using serialized content to build anticipation of and interest in the next email.
>>37% of email marketers have no reactivation plan, which is to say that they just keep sending the recipient emails even though they aren’t opening them or clicking through, said Daniels.
>>“Permission is not a forever thing,” said Stephanie Miller, VP of strategic services at Return Path, talking about the need for reactivation after a long period of time has passed since you last emailed someone who opted into your email program.

Welcome emails
>>“Give them a reason to save the welcome email,” said Niti Chhabra, email marketing consultant to BabyCenter, saying you should consider adding links to the most popular content and products on your website. “Also tell them to expect the next email.”

Alligators and airboats
>>Gators like jumbo-sized marshmallows! Of course, they’d rather eat you, but they’re happy to eat any marshmallows you might have. Less surprising is that raccoons also like marshmallows. It’s apparently a vital part of the food chain in the Everglades ecosystem.
>>Airboats can really haul ass! And they’re extremely loud, so don’t ignore the captain when he advises you to put on your protective headsets.


A special thanks to Steve Hirchak over at 1-800-Contacts for snapping this picture of me and this alligator (which I lovingly nicknamed Spam Trap).

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