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Posts in Email & eCRM

Signals split for online video

videoJust as the industry is getting used to the terms and conditions of "online video" it's time to split it up. Online video is headed for three distinct executions: online spots, email video, and online programming.

The evidence for this comes from several sources, most notably Goodmail's CertifiedVideo, which bowed this week. CertifiedVideo jumped the gate with AOL and Yahoo aboard and many entertainment brands carrying promotions as part of their email campaigns. It also became apparent at the ARF conference this week, that online video needs to be more closely defined.

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What you can learn about a company on April Fool's Day

Yesterday was, of course, April Fool's Day and the internet has created a rich environment for all sorts of April Fool's pranks.

After all, there are limitless ways you can trick, deceive and amuse online, making internet users a juicy target for April Fool's Day.

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UK retailers need to improve their email marketing efforts

The UK's retailers still have plenty of room for improvement in their email campaigns and are not making the most of tactics which could improve their email ROI, according to a new study.

Marks and Spencer and H Samuel both performed well and scored 81 in the study, but both Somerfield and H&M need to improve, as they were joint bottom on 48. 

Overall scores were down compared to last year's survey, with retailers failing on crucial areas like personalisation and gathering relevant information when customers sign up in the first place.

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Brands seek order in media chaos

tangledNo secret that performance-based advertising is dominating internet marketing. But brands are still trying to find the right mix for all those performance options, email, and a rapidly declining display market.

According to IDC research analyst Caroline Dangson, the display market contracted by 7 percent in Q4 of 2008, and will continue to see decreased spending until the end of this year. With this in mind, several brands are trying to find some balance for all the advertising options available.

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Online retailers squandering email opportunities

junk mail

Online retailers are getting lazy, irresponsible, and are disregarding best practices when it comes to responsible email marketing, according to a new study from Return Path.

These dire findings were based on buying items from 45 online retailers, then monitoring their transactional and promotional message streams. These emails messages were then compared with messages received by registering for the same retailers' email programs without making a purchase.

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Companies still failing to track email ROI

A lack of measurement is still an issue for many email marketing campaigns, with almost half of companies failing to track their ROI from email.

Econsultancy's third annual Email Marketing Industry Census, sponsored by Adestra, found that 42% of organisations did not know what their ROI was from their email efforts, despite its proven effectiveness.

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Will social media throttle email marketing?

empty inboxAre you getting less email these days? I am. And that can't be good news for email marketers. Is email beginning to wither on the vine?

By "less," I'm not referring to work email (if only!) or messages from marketers, but less of the type of email that added a little frisson to checking the inbox: fun, flirty, and conversational messages from friends, family, and objects of affection. That stuff is now flowing in through all sorts of other digital channels, of which email constitutes a smaller and smaller part.

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Making the unsubscribe process as painless as possible

If recipients decide that they want to unsubscribe from your emails, it's best to make it as easy as possible as the alternative is having hit the spam button, which can of course be harmful for your sender reputation.

I've been taking a look at some best and worst practice examples from UK retailers...

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Sears is serious about channel integration

sears logoSears Holding is reorganizing its on and offline channels under an ambitious new initiative dubbed ShopYourWay. The program intends to integrate the scope of the goods and services the retail conglomerate provides across a panoply of channels, including in-store, online, mobile, electronic kiosks, even PDAs.

ShopYourWay has launched on Sears.com, and will soon be introduced to Kmart.com. When that happens, the full range of Sears products will be available to shoppers on Kmart, and vice-versa. Such cross-merchandising will increase the options available to consumers. Shoppers on Sears property LandsEnd.com, for example, will be able to view apparel from other Sears brands.

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Hitwise: Twitter looks like a social network

Yesterday I detailed my experience of trying to use Twitter as a search engine. It wasn't a good experience.

A lot of people have been trying to define and categorize Twitter lately with minimal success. That's probably due to the fact that Twitter is being used by lots of different people for lots of different things; it's hard to fit it in a neat little box.

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Email continues to struggle with relevance

Frustrated womanRelevance. It is the key to success for email marketing, but still it continues to be a sore spot. Two separate but synchronous email studies shed new light on relevance, and the lack of it, in email marketing. One addresses the desires of the hyperconnected 18-24 year old generation. The other recognizes said relevance problem and identifies some solutions for online retailers.

The Gen Y study comes from the Participatory Marketing Network and Pace University's Interactive and Direct Marketing Lab. It shows that the majority of Gen Y consumers welcome direct brand interactions through email, but they want more ability to control, organize and manage the interactions. Only 28 percent of those surveyed believe the email they get from companies is relevant. But they are eager to see “innovative services” that increase that relevance. Specifically, 62 percent would communicate directly with retailers about their favorite products in exchange for getting preferential pricing. 44 percent would subscribe to an email service that collected and summarized multiple offers of interest to them. And in direct opposition to the Nielsen social media report issued on Tuesday, which painted a bleak picture for advertising within social networks, 32 percent would share promotional email offers with members inside a social network.

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Give your digital marketing a shot in the arm

We’ve just launched our 2009 Breakfast Briefing sessions which aim to give digital marketers a quick digital boost before the day starts. The short sessions start at 8.30am and finish at 10.15am and are intentionally designed to give quick actionable tips that you can return to the office and actually action straight away.

Our first session ‘Optimising your Digital Business using the 80:20 rule ‘ works on the premise that in many digital campaigns there are a lot of quick and easy wins which will significantly improve your ROI and yet most businesses are missing the opportunity to do so.

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