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Email Marketing Update 2007


Email marketing changes as the market continues to become more savvy of whatever tactics are currently being used. For this reason, it is important to update your strategies on a six monthly basis. This update from mid 2007 relates to the closing remarks of the Email Summit 2007.

This event was attended by marketers from the US, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Germany, Italy and other countries.

Legitimate, targeted email really does work. The cheap, blast-everyone technique is the format that is causing chaos for this legitimate marketing tactic. Dedicating five staffers to email lifted VistaPrint’s ecommerce sales by 67% to $150 million, said Trynka Shineman, VP Retention Marketing.

Key topics of concern were:


Major Takeaways


Find the right frequency is about testing, offers, demographics, product, price tag, country and other factors. In otherwords, it all depends! However, to cut through the mass confusion, attendees agreed on three clear rules:

  1. Test it - big AND small brands
  2. Email-only offers work best if you normally sell via multichannel
  3. Facilitate urgency by making sure the landing page reiterates the deadline. Urgency matters a 48- and 72-hour offer windows do well in email campaigns.
  4. De-escalating time options work well - responders receive 25% off day-of for an email sent on day 1, 20% if they bought on day 2 and 15% if they wait until day 3 following the mail out.

Tighter Segments, Smaller Lists

Don't just use demographics to select names - use a combination of demographics and predictive behaviors.

Conducting surveys can turn campaigns into big winners.

Narrowing offers to smaller segments need to be accomplished - even if your brands target wider demographic. For instance a target market of 'educated white women in their 30s and 40s' can be broken into segments such as:

  • Women who want their homes to look beautiful for visitors
  • Women who love fragrance of the product
  • Women who bought because their mothers did
  • Women who have little time

Individual creatives must be developed to target each segment for the email program to be successful.

Another type of behavioural targeting may be 'slow-buyer' segmentation for people who respond quickly versus people who like to think about it for awhile.


Relevancy is extremely important in email marketing - questioning recipients can help filter those that do not find your content relevant enough.

Ask inactives why they remained on our list even though they hadn't opened or clicked in 90 days.

Avoiding Email Junk Files

Staying out of spam and junk filters is a challenge for most email marketers. Key suggestions for overcoming this problem were:

Examine names acquired through co-registration campaigns - segregate the names you buy by source on different IPs so you can evaluate the source based on delivery factors and complaint levels.

Welcome Messages

Welcome messages really sell - dedicate time to making your welcome strategies work - test - test and test again.

Kristen Barletta, Email Programs Manager, Sprint Nextel. “We get higher click and open rates with them compared to other campaigns.”

Use welcomes to segment your list - Track new names by response to the first welcome message [which should contain an offer]. If they are not responding, segment them into a different group and serve them different offers from responders.


Testing images versus no images did not result in marked differences, although relevancy may be a big factor. Large versus smaller images was insignficant, but can depend upon the product line.

If you do decide to use images - remember for marketing and deliverability, emails should be no bigger than 50K.

B-to-B Messaging

Nine out of 10 sales reps abandon individual leads after just two calls. This escalates the value of email for networking.

Using a local partner to send the messages can bring higher rewards - sometimes who the message is from matters more than the subject line or copy.

Feature local relationship with your customers via more-targeted images and copy.

IT Support

Getting your IT department to buy into your email needs is difficult until they can see the response generated by email. Show them samples and get them excited.

Include the techie stuff like cookies and multivariate testing. Also, reinforce that once the capability is set up - sales do most of the work. Its more about tweaking details and small changes.

Staff Resources

Larger firms and organizations tend to have a dedicated team that includes:

  • Creative and/or copywriting
  • Database management
  • Analytics
  • General manager

Smaller organisations may have just one person who often has other non-email duties. Email typically underperforms for firms that had absolutely no one solely dedicated. Include a combination of IT, Creative and marketing personnel.

Next: How To Increase Your Email Open Rates

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