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20 Quick Tips for Improving Your Email Programs

A few months ago I participated in a webinar and after it was over they sent the document attached to this post.  I wanted to share a few insights from the document with you.

  1. List cleaning does not just mean taking bounced email addresses from the database. “By not sending to customers who haven’t opened or clicked in the past year, senders can lower ISP complaints and gain higher reputation scores – and that leads to better deliverability.”
  2. Keep your “from” name consistent and match it to the brand your customer recognizes.  For a company with multiple brands, customize the from name to the brand your customer is doing business with.
  3. It is okay to reuse subject lines in a specific program.
  4. Use action words in the subject line and let the receiving person know what the offer is.
  5. Content driven subject lines are very effective.
  6. Insert marketing materials into transactional emails – test the placement of this material.
  7. Improve your content with segmentation and ask your audience about their preferences.
  8. The least important metric is opens and clicks over time…the report will always look the same…with a downward pointing tail.


Random Email Program Thoughts

I have been trying to think of ways to freshen up our email program here in North America.  Over the last few weeks I have been reevaluating past webinars and workshops I have attended and wanted a place to post all of those little things I have gleaned from the information.  So, this is where I will keep those thoughts for now…I have arranged them by event so if you happen to want more information just let me know.

Online Marketing Summit 2012 – Email 3.0

  1. Look at all information from every department that touches the exhibitor and see what messages can be eliminated and what messages can be combined.
  2. Create a campaign calendar
    1. Involve all groups who touch the exhibitor
    2. At most only email 2 times per month
  3. When a purchase is made, send an add on email 30 minutes to 2 days later.
    1. Studies have shown that if sent within 30 min you have a 90% chance of add on purchase
      1. Sent within 60 minutes 80%
      2. Next day 44%
  4. When someone unsubscribes you should respond with a meaningful message
  5. Get creative in the preheader…don’t just put “If you can’ read this email click here.”  This may be the only thing the user sees.

Online Marketing Summit 2012 – Email Best Practices

  1. Insert reps image in the email – works well in the financial market
  2. Become the customer
    1. Opt-in and see what happens
    2. Make secret transactions
    3. Opt-out to see what happens
    4. Call up and argue/complain to see what happens
    5. Listen to customers when they comment about emails
  3. Let people manage their email preferences; do not assume they want to receive everything from your firm.
  4. When someone unsubscribes, find out why.
    1. Make the unsubscribe page clear so the person know what they are unsubscribing from
    2. Instead of an unsubscribe only area give them the option to edit preferences.

Online Marketing Institute – Advanced Email Marketing

  1. Over 70% of email marked as spam is based solely on the Sender’s name, company names or brand names are not as good as a personal name.
  2. Header should not be one large image, instead upper left should be an HTML headline and move the logo to the right hand side.
  3. B2B – you should not send more than 1 time per month, at most bi-weekly.  Once you go past this boundary you start to upset people.
  4. Design
    1. Pre-header
      1. Put meaningful copy here instead of the “to view” link.  This may be the only place the receiver sees in preview.  Further, the “to view” link does not need to be in the pre-header, it can be lower in the page.
    2. Header
      1. Images on the right
      2. HTML text with style on left
    3. Body
      1. Images should be as small as possible
      2. ALT tags are a must (missing alt tags drive your spam rating higher)
  5. Spammy Words – these words drive your spam rates higher. (Great list of things to remove


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  1. Code
    1. Use no DIV – they add to spam score
    2. No CSS in header – it is stripped out of most email clients
    3. Always define the background color
    4. 600 is now the optimum width for screen
    5. Text – first three or four lines should be no more than 30 characters as that is all that shows up to the preview pane then around 72 characters after that
    6. Text – do not use plus or minus as these will in some instances mess up the rendering of the email; instead use > or *
    7. Use proper pixels instead of percents
    8. Use Height and Width for images

2012 Online Marketing Summit

Guilford Courthouse

Welcome back!

Guilford Courthouse Visitor CenterI was not able to go hiking in the Los Angeles area the weekend of May 5, 2012 as I was out of town on business during the week and took a side trip to visit family.  While I was in North Carolina I took a trip to the Guilford Courthouse to “hike” around the park.  It was more a walk than a hike but there are some nice hills and woods to go through.

Guilford Courthouse is the site of one of the Revolutionary War’s most fierce battles.  According to the National Park Service’s website, “This backwoods county seat of Guilford Courthouse, North Carolina, was the site of a pivotal battle in the Revolutionary War’s decisive Southern Campaign. The engagement set the stage for the region’s liberation from enemy occupation and impelled British general Lord Charles Cornwallis to take the ill-fated road that led him to final defeat at Yorktown, Virginia, seven months later.”

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Paramount Ranch

Today we went hiking at Paramount Ranch; a former movie ranch producing those great old westerns my Dad grew up loving.  The ranch is really easy to find and not one you would realize is located just a couple of miles off the 101 in Agoura Hills.  The main drawback for the area is noise; there is a high amount of traffic on the roads around the ranch and the noise carries quite well.  Which is interesting considering at one time there was a racetrack on the site, Paramount Racetrack.

We wanted to make sure we got a good hike in and there are ample opportunities in this park.  We started going around the Medea Creek Trail which is about a one mile loop.  We the ventured through “Western Town which is the old movie set; however, to keep the pace moving we did not stop to enjoy the town.  Instead we headed toward “Coyote Canyon Trail” which turns into a loop as you go to the picnic area which sits on top of a hill.  The disappointing thing about the picnic area is there is no view.  After the picnic area we headed around the overlook toward the Hacienda Trail which meanders into Witches Wood.  We then started to take a trip on Backdrop Trail but decided we were ready to head back into the town via part of Medicine Woman Trail.

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Circle X Ranch – Grotto Trail

Today we hiked the Grotto Trail which is located in the Circle X Ranch located next to the Point Magu State Park.  Circle X Ranch is a former Boy Scout Camp sitting in the Santa Monica Mountains South of Thousand Oaks, CA near Malibu.  This is a great hike for those looking for a non-fire road type of hike.  The hike is considered a moderate hike and the elevation gain is around 650 feet.

One of the complaints I have of the local hiking spots is most are fire roads that allow for hiking.  Grotto Trail is a true path winding through the hills and woods in this 1655 acre park.   The hike is around 3.5 miles but if you park a bit further you can easily turn it into a four mile hike.

On your trip you will encounter a meadow, dash in the woods, fording a stream, and over some rather large rocks.  Your trip starts by going down a nice shady path just past the camping area.  After going downhill a bit you start to climb and come out looking over some impressive valley view’s where you can see some rather impressive boulder formations.

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