Tag Archive | "email marketing"

The Ultimate Email Checklist [Infographic]

We’ve all been there. Spending precious time drafting and re-drafting an email that will be blasted to hundreds if not thousands of subscribers, only to realize a blaring spelling or grammatical error right after you have hit that blast button.  <facepalms>

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a checklist of sorts to help you avoid the most common of mistakes? The people at Moosend felt the very same way, so they put together this handy dandy checklist below.

What are some items you might add to the already awesome checklist that have worked for you?  We would love to hear all about it in the comments below.

Happy emailing!

newsletter check infographic

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The Periodic Table Of Email Deliverabilty [Infographic]

I don’t know about all of you, but if I see another article regarding when the best time to schedule that next email campaign… I’m probably gonna scream.  Ok, maybe I won’t actually scream, but I’ll definitely give an aggressive eye-roll.

The folks over at Moosend actually did put together a pretty stellar, research driven plan that seems easy enough to follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not only is the “Deliverability Score” they have put together straight forward and simple, but they also took the time to go into further detail of many other key points surrounding this heavily discussed subject.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA Marketing, Email MarketingComments (0)

California Bill Introduced That Would Further Restrict Commercial Email Advertising

An Assembly member recently introduced AB 2546, an author-sponsored bill that would amend California’s anti-SPAM legislation (CBPC § 17529.5).  The potential impact on the email marketing industry is profound.

The bill expands California’s anti-SPAM law to provide that it is not only unlawful for any person or entity to “advertise in” a commercial email, but also unlawful for a person or entity “to initiate, advertise in, or enable or assist a person or entity to initiate or advertise in,” a commercial email advertisement either sent from California or to a California email address, under certain circumstances.  It expands the existing circumstances under which the anti-SPAM law is triggered and adds six new circumstances.

The bill also expands the list of individuals allowed to bring an action under the anti-SPAM law, amends the available remedies to limit the circumstances under which liquidated damages could be reduced by the court, and allows the court to issue injunctions.

Specifically, the bill:

  • Expands the three existing circumstances listed under current law in which it is unlawful to send SPAM to also include circumstances where: (i) the email advertisement contains or is accompanied by a third-party’s email address without the permission of the third party, except as specified; (ii) the email advertisement contains or is accompanied by falsified, misrepresented, or forged information in the subject line or body; and (iii) the email advertisement has a subject line that is likely to mislead, and not just where it has a subject line that a person knows would be likely mislead;
  • Adds new circumstances where advertising in a commercial email sent from California or to a California email is unlawful, including where: (i) the party who initiates the email uses “multiple domain names for no legitimate reason other than to bypass SPAM filters;”  (ii) the body of the email or the underlying source code contains nonsensical text unrelated to the advertiser’s business that is intended to bypass SPAM filters; (iii) the “From” name of the email advertisement meets certain requirements, such as using generic text that misrepresents who the email advertisement is from or generic text that a reasonable consumer would not associate with the advertiser, or a fictitious business name that the advertiser uses exclusively or primarily as the “From” name in email advertisements; (iv) the subject line begins with “re:” or anything substantially similar, or the subject line otherwise states that the email advertisement is being sent in response to a request or previous correspondence from the recipient, when the recipient made no such request; and (v) the subject line contains the word “free” or any language substantially similar to “free” if there are conditions attached, as specified, unless the subject line clearly indicates that there are conditions attached (a mere asterisk or other symbol, referring to conditions in the body of the email, does not satisfy this requirement);
  • Allows the following individuals to bring an action under California’s anti-SPAM law and allow them, if prevailing, to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs: (i) a district attorney or a city attorney; or (ii) a person whose name, username, email address, or domain name appear in the “From” name or sender’s email address without permission from that person or entity;
  • Provides that truthful content in or accompanying an email advertisement, including, but not limited to, identifying the sender in the body of an email advertisement, shall not cure false, misrepresented, or forged information in another part of an email advertisement;
  • Provides that a recipient is not required to opt-out of receiving the commercial email messages in order to bring a cause of action for a violation of the anti-spam law and that a defendant shall not assert any defense relying on the assertion that the recipient did not opt-out, subject to a specified remedy;
  • Adds to the list of available remedies, authorization for courts to enter an order enjoining a violation of this law;
  • Revises the circumstances under which the court must reduce liquidated damages to instead provide that the court may only do so only upon a finding that the defendant has complied with, and has satisfied the burden of proof by demonstrating specified requirements.  These requirements, would include, among other things, that the defendant has established and implemented with due care practices and procedures reasonably designed to effectively prevent unsolicited commercial email advertisements;
  • Codifies the intent of the legislature that the section containing the above provisions, which prohibits falsity and deceptions in commercial email messages, shall operate within the exception to federal preemption to the full extent permitted by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 (Title 15 United States Code Section 7707(b)) and any other provision of federal law.  This bill would further include a severability clause in the section containing these provisions;
  • Expands the definition of “commercial email advertisement,” as specified, for these purposes;
  • Updates codified legislative findings and declarations and add that there is a need to regulate the advertisers who use SPAM because they may obtain an unfair advantage over their competitors who engage in legitimate and lawful advertising practices.

According to the author of the bill: “It is common for advertisers to send unsolicited commercial emails to consumers.  Often they will contract with ‘spam networks’ to distribute emails to consumers.  Those ‘spam networks’ in turn contract with third-parties who actually send out those emails.  Often times, the senders will use methods designed to circumvent spam filters or mislead consumers.  Among others, these methods include: sending emails from multiple domain names, altering the “From” lines to mislead the recipient about the identity of the sender, copying headers from legitimate businesses and placing them into the email, or simply providing untruthful content to mislead a consumer.”

“Under existing law, advertisers are strictly liable for false and deceptive spam.  However, the actual senders of the emails are not liable for sending the unlawful spams.  AB 2546 would strengthen California’s prohibitions on false and deceptive spam emails in a number of ways by:  (i) holding spam networks and the actual senders liable for false and deceptive spamming; (ii) applying the law to falsehoods/misrepresentations in the body of emails, not just the headers; (iii) establishing that truthful content in one part of a spam email does not cure falsity in another part; (iv) prohibiting spamming from multiple domain names for the sole purpose of bypassing spam filters; (v) prohibiting “From” names that misrepresent who the spams are from; (vi) authorizing the Courts to impose injunctions to stop unlawful spamming; and (vii) allowing District Attorneys and City Attorneys to bring actions against unlawful spammers.”

In addition to expanding the list of individuals allowed to bring an action under the anti-SPAM law, the bill would expand the list of circumstances that trigger a violation of the state’s anti-SPAM law, and make clear that it is a violation not only to advertise, but to initiate or otherwise enable or assist another person to initiate or advertise commercial email advertisements in violation of California’s anti-SPAM law.

The bill also seeks to clarify what is meant by “commercial email advertisement.”  Specifically, “commercial email advertisements,” would include those email messages initiated for the purpose of advertising or promoting the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, “promotion,” or other disposition of “credit, stocks, bonds, sweepstakes, insurance, employment opportunities, or any other solicitation” as well as email messages initiated for the purpose of advertising or promoting the lease, sale, rental, gift offer, or other disposition any property goods, services, or extension of credit as currently identified under existing law.

This bill does little more than ignore federal law that largely preempts it and already regulates commercial email messages.  It invites excessive litigation for actions that do not result in any damages, and in a state that already has among the nation’s toughest anti-SPAM laws.

The proposed expansion of the law would make it nearly impossible to send commercial emails from or to California and would prohibit many legitimate practices, such as using the d/b/a name of a business as a “From” line, or using more than one sending domain.

Additionally, the notion that actual senders of emails that may be initiating SPAM are not liable for doing so ignores the contractual liability that senders face from marketing partners and an aggressive plaintiff’s bar that does little to distinguish between advertisers and senders.  Current law already provides for enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, including the imposition of civil penalties.

CAN-SPAM was enacted to create a single, national standard for the regulation of commercial email messages.  AB 2546 purports to create new protections for consumers, but instead pushes the agenda of the plaintiffs’ bar and attempts to circumvent CAN-SPAM by adding additional state law provisions that directly contradict those of the federal anti-SPAM legislation.

AB 2546 should be of particular interest to email marketers, as well as brands that advertise via email.  Contact the author at rnewman@hinchnewman.com or (212) 756-8777 to discuss the potential implication of the bill, email marketing compliance and/or how you can oppose AB 2546.  You can also contact Sarah de Diego at sarah@dediegolaw.net or (310) 980-8116 to discuss opposing this bill.

Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements. You can find him on Twitter at FTC Defense Lawyer.

 

ADVERTISING MATERIAL. These materials are provided for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice, nor do they create a lawyer-client relationship. No person should act or rely on any information in this article without seeking the advice of an attorney. Information on previous case results does not guarantee a similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35thFloor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.

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10 Things You Shouldn’t Include In Your Next Email Campaign [Infographic]

Are you an email marketing noob? Or maybe a “old” pro?  Either way, I’m positive that the following infographic from Citipost Mail can not only teach a noobie a thing or two and teach that old dog some new tricks as well. (No pun intended – really!)

The infographic explains what is needed to get you started on the right foot and avoid some common mistakes that could very well be detrimental to the success rate of a campaign.

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AWeber Announces New Features

AWeber announced last week it’s newest of features: Segmenting with Tags and Sending Broadcast Newsletters to Tagged Segments.

In this week’s previous article, we touched on the importance of segmenting your huge list into much smaller lists so that you can be able to send more targeted emails with contextual content. According to the National Client Email Report (2015), effectively targeted emails can drive up to 77 percent of your overall email ROI.

77 percent. Wow. Think of what 77 percent could do to your bottom line.

With AWeber’s newest feature you will be able to segment and sent targeted broadcast newsletter based on tags as well.

While this might seem like a small simplistic feature on the surface, it turns out to be a mighty powerful one when you dig a little deeper. The feature will enable marketers to apply tags to subscribers based on their preferences and actions. Thus allowing marketers to build segmented audiences from those tags. And you guessed it, send more relevant, targeted emails.

Boom!

Now get too it and tell us in the comments below how it is working out for you.

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6 Ways to Effectively Segment Your Email Lists

For the majority of us the phrase “bigger is better” has been drilled into our heads like some sort of religious mantra that we must live our lives by.  I’m sure that many of us have fallen victim to this single minded way of thinking. Whether it be in regards to cars, houses, diamonds, boats, and yes those other unmentionable things too..  

A recent research study conducted by GetResponse suggests that bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to our email lists. They are in fact suggesting the exact opposite, “go small or go home.”

The email marketing automation platform analyzed nearly two billion emails sent via their very own platform over a two month period and the data is shocking. Their study suggests that users were rewarded with a higher engagement rate on segmented lists containing between 1,000 and 2,499 subscribers. While email lists with more than 1 million subscribers only generate open rates of 8.1% compared to their smaller counterparts which pulled in 31.19%.

Let us drill this down for you.

The study isn’t suggesting that you dump your thousands of subscribers that you have worked so hard to obtain, rather, you should segment that big list into smaller more personalized lists of their own. A smaller list enables you to send messages with more finite segmentation, thus creating a slurry of higher open rates.

How to segment your lists?

  1. Geography

This should seem like a no-brainer, but honestly there always seems to a handful of those that I’m coaching that simply overlook this.  You don’t want to send Canadians or other subscribers that aren’t US based marketing correspondence centered around Thanksgiving, for example. Nor would it be relevant to send a southerner an article discussing the best way to keep warm during the winter.

  1. Age

Just as you most likely speak to a millennial differently than a retiree, it’s a good idea to adjust your messaging and offers based on their age.

  1. Gender

Source: DeviantArt.net

Mars vs Venus. We might not like to admit it, but genders tend to see, feel, and purchase differently than each other. What might be highly appealing to a female, could regrettably not interest a male in the least.

  1.  Past purchases

Anytime I’m setting up a new email automation account, the very first segment that happens is a differential between buyers and non-buyers.  Again, it’s common for us already knee deep (or further) in the trenches, but noobies often overlook it.

  1. Interests

This can be accomplished in a variety of ways such as past purchases or even surveys. Go ahead, find out what your subscribers actually want, we promise it isn’t going to hurt.

  1. Stage in the Sales Cycle

After analyzing 34 online studies of ecommerce shopping cart abandonment, Bamyard Institute determined that, on average, 68% of shopping carts were abandoned prior to purchase.

There are tons of automated tools out there that will shoot a potential customer an email if they should happen to abandon their cart, or sometimes even sooner in the sales process. For instance, just this week I was checking out the new Samsung Galaxy S8 via Verizon’s website. I really was just looking to see how much I would need upfront to get into a new phone. Of course, I abandoned my cart after I found the desired information and didn’t think about it again until I received a text. 

 

With another follow up text the next day reiterating the previous message.

What about you? What other ways can you think of to segment your email lists? Or which of the above mentioned techniques are you using?  We would love to hear more from you in the comments below.

 

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10 Stupid Simple Ways To Grow Your Email Marketing List

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.  Marketing Sherpas research has shown that your email subscriber list is most likely going to degrade by about 22.5% every year.  For various reasons:

  • Subscribers’ email addresses change as they move from one company to another
  • Unqualified leads opt out of your email communications
  • People abandon their old Yahoo address they really never use except for “spam” sites
  • Your email content no longer applies to their needs/desires

Now for the good news…There are tons of easy ways to continue to grow or build your email marketing list back up.  As a marketer it is your job to infuse fresh contacts into your email campaigns that you can keep your numbers growing.  This is done with a little bit of ingenuity and time, not by purchasing or renting a list, as we discussed a few weeks back.

Below is a list of 10 ways to ramp up your email database for free:

Grow it with new content

1) Create a new lead-gen offer such as a free ebook or whitepaper which would be available for download after they provide you with their email.  This is a pretty standard lead-gen move.  Create a landing page with an opt-in form and a teaser about the free item. The page then normally leads the subscriber down an offer flow or deeper into your blog.  

2)Create a free online tool or app.  Again just like the ebook or whitepaper the visitor would supply you with their email address in order to obtain access to the download.  Make sure to make the tool and/or app worthy of their email address offering. 

Grow it with Networking, Traditional Marketing and Advertising

3)  Collect email addresses at tradeshows or other offline events.  There are a ton of industry events everywhere, of course some are much larger than other but even the smallest of crowds could help you grow your database.  Find networking events in your area on sites suchs as MeetUp.com and make sure you are armed with business cards with a link leading them to your lead-gen page.  Of course always remember to send these contacts a welcome email confirming their opt-in to your list.  

4) Host your own offline events.  Not finding any networking events in your area? Host your own using sites like MeetUp.com or other social media platforms.  Send a blast out on Twitter or create a boosted Facebook post.  

5) Host an online webinar or podcast. Collect email addresses at registration.  Remember to make the webinar or podcast valuable not a timewaster.  

6) Add a QR code to your traditional printed marketing campaigns.  People can easily scan them to opt-in to your list.  Plus they just look “new agey.”

Grow it with the help of a partner

7) Host a co-marketing campaign or offer with a partner.  Ask for the help of a partner (should be a known entity – again not a purchased or rented list) to co-promote the lead capture to both his and your own list.  After the launch the list becomes a shared resource.  

8)  Have affiliates run your offer on their website.  You will either have to reciprocate with an equal amount of traffic to your site or set up a pay per subscriber scenario.  

Grow it with Social Media

8)  Add a simple sign up page to your Facebook page.  Yeah, that sounds silly but many people simply overlook this.  There are many different app options to add and set up an email sign-up form to your Facebook page alone. Most email list servers have a custom Facebook app that syncs with your list from Facebook.

Some suggested email sign-up apps are:

9)  Preview or give teasers of premium content via your social channels.  Just as with your lead-gen page, you can give a glimpse of your free ebook or whitepaper and ask for their email information in exchange for the entire download.   Tweet, post, or share excerpts from the ebook/whitepaper to drive interest and traffic to your lead-gen page.  Make sure you include a visual component in each post.

10) Leverage your YouTube channel.  Add call to action and URLs in to all your posted videos that will encourage visitors to subscribe to your list.  

All of the above examples are ways that you can ramp up your email list today.  Many of them are not even too difficult to put into action.  The objective being to stay on top of your list building so that it never truly dies out.  Keep cycling out the dead weight (look for an upcoming article on list segregation), nurturing the veterans, while still growing the fresh subscribers.  

What other ways do you use to grow your list? We would love to hear your ideas!

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Email MarketingComments (1)

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