Dec 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all of you

In this period of economic crunch and uncertainty I wish you all beloved readers and your relatives the happiest Christmas.

Can email marketing save Albion?

I'm on my way back to France after a couple of days spent in Cabestan's UK office.
It seems the economic crush REALLY is a big issue in Great Britain, retailers are closing one after the other and discounts and bargains are on all shops' windows.
I guess this is just the exact time to go email marketing.

Email marketing remains in my opinion the best way to quickly get in touch with a LOT of potential clients at a VERY LOW cost.

I don't know if marketing is the only they out of this economic crush but it sure is a good thing to have on your side.

If you are stuck in the middle of this crush, wish to go email marketing and are not exactly sure what to do, you can read my Email Maketing Strategy Guide or contact me if you have questions.

Dec 17, 2008

For French speaking marketers now

After the link for Spanish speaking marketers a couple of days ago, here comes one for French speaking persons:

Cabestan (my company) has participated to a guide (the EBG 2009 Marketing Guide) which is now available to buy.

If you want to have a look, please visit the EBG website

Dec 16, 2008

DMA Reputation Registry is now live

I just receive an announcement from returnpath.
Returnpath partnered with the DMA to launch an Email Reputation Registry.
This registry will help the DMA members to fulfill the authentication requirement and will help the DMA to monitor their members' compliancy.

These features are already available today in the RP monitoring suite.

More information available on the DMA Help center

Dec 15, 2008

For spanish speaking email marketers.

My company (Cabestan) organized two weeks ago a breakfast in Madrid (Spain) featuring Come&Stay, Yves Rocher Spain, Vipventa and Returnpath interventions.

The presentations went on very well and the ppt files are available here.
Please note all of them are in spanish except for the Returnpath presentation.

Dec 11, 2008

You are someone special

Email marketing is always about having your client feel like they are special.
Some say email personalization is the key, that getting in a one2one relationship through personalized content is the one and only key to make your subscribers feel special.

I do believe that sending targeted offers with personalized content is a great way to hook your clients, but I just received a campaign making me believe that you can still send bulk email to people and still trigger a positive reaction through a little bit of humor and wit.

The email campaign I just received (on the left right here - you can click to enlarge) from Eurostar's frequent traveler program is just a great example of all this.

For all you non french speaking people reading these lines, I will translate the funny/interesting things in this email:

The campaign is presented as some kind of undercover/special agent briefing:

The newsletter is not called the December Newsletter but the December briefing
The email starts with a "confidential data" kind of disclaimer.
The offers are introduced by a quick text saying: "do not tell your friends about these dedicated offers or just to piss them off".

The footer is also special:
The traditional unsubscribe link says: To say "no thank you" to our emails, click here
The disclaimer: Our confidentiality agreement is no secret for anyone, you can read it here
I really like the last one as well: If you can't live without our newsletter, please add to your contact list before some zealous postmaster condemns our newsletter to the endless flames of the spam filter.

At the end of the newsletter, believe it or not, I kind of felt special :)

Dec 9, 2008

Are you kidding me???

Browsing the web, you sometimes find strange things...

Funny for example to find on page 2 of google's results for "email marketing" query the following:

A broadcast software that - believe me - has nothing to do with marketing.

Here are a few "highly impressive" features and services proposed:
Email Extractor - web email addresses harvester
Email Harvester - a program to harvest email addresses from wherever on your computer
Newsgroup Extractor - a usenet newsgroups data harvester
Atomic Whois Explorer (AWE) - a domain owner email address extractor from WHOIS database
IE Contacts Spy - an Internet Explorer plugin to harvest contact information from the Web, even decrypted emails from password protected websites

I really wonder how in 2008 some websites can still propose such sick practices and still appear on page 2 of the email marketing google results (this probably means a looooot of backlinks).

Are we really that far from getting email marketing to a safe and healthy level?

Very good post on Deliverability

Mark Brownlow from No man is an iland made a very good post on email deliverability and how your ESP can help you (or not) with tools and services.

The post is available here

Dec 5, 2008


Knowing the type of email addresses you have in your Database is very important.
This is why I just started a list of important freemail providers.

If you see anything missing, please feel free to comment or to contact me.

Dec 4, 2008

When enough is it too much?

All email marketing blogs and websites (including this one) give you plenty of advices and best practices for your email marketing strategy.
This list of best practices usually includes (but not exclusively) getting rid of inactive email addresses, segmenting the database and personalizing your email campaigns.

Recently though, I had some of my clients that took these practices one step too far and the outcome was not as good as expected.

Let's start with the segmentation thing: Segmenting is good, but if you segment too much you will come across several issues:
First, the final volume will probably be inferior to what you usually broadcast.
Secondly, this kind of extremely precise segmentation will only have extended value if you are able to target dedicated emails to each segment, it will therefore also increase your creative budget.
Finally, the statistics will be also more difficult to read and analyze.

Then database cleanup: Having a clean database where you remove inactive profiles is a very good practice, but I had a client who's inactive users exclusion list was too tight and during the summer vacation a bunch of active profiles (especially young students, with several months of vacation) where inactivated (of course we reactivated the accounts afterward).

For the last best practice I have no special example except from my own personal experience. If personalizing emails is very good, whenever I receive an email which personalization is too precise and advanced, it kind of frightens me a bit (although, since I work in email marketing I am kind of used to it).

According to me, best practices are like food: necessary but if you get to the excess it ca damage your balance.

Dec 1, 2008

Are best practices the same for all?

I am currently running some study on email communication habits for several types of sites.
This test will run until the end of the year but one thing struck me already:
The number of weekly emails sent varies from one site type to the other. For example, retail websites seem to send less email than private sales websites but more than online travel agencies.

We there get to my point: One of the best practices recommended by all Email Service Providers is to be careful not to send too many emails to your clients.
Is this true for all website types? - Probably not.
Do people know when they sign up to a Private Sales websites they are likely to receive over a mail a day? - I guess so.
How do I know people expect such frequency? - I work at an ESP and I don't see higher complaint rates on such clients than there are on retailers sending once a week or less.

This would definitely mean that user oriented best practices (as opposed to ISP ones) are highly dependent on your website type and how people expect you to interact with them.