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Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels for a small business today – it is cheaper, more measurable and can be targeted more effectively than traditional direct mail.
More than half of the respondents to our 2007 Industry Census that tracked their ROI, said that income from email marketing was three times or more than the amount spent , while almost a third said it was five times or more.
It occurred to me recently that we do not give spammers (and in their turn ISPs) enough credit for helping to make email a long-term, credible media.
Software as a Service (SaaS) tools help email marketers look smart by keeping it simple - so long as the techies who designed them understand how their customers do things.
The success of email newsletters rests on a delicate balance between regular communications and flooding your customer’s inbox.
I take a look at HMV’s email marketing efforts, which offer a lot but fail to deliver.
To keep emailing those individuals now being labelled 'emotionally unsubscribed' may be enticing on the basis that one day they may be in the buying window... but it may also be very dangerous.
One of the questions I am asked most frequently is 'which email service provider or delivery platform is the best?'
The answer is 'how long is a piece of string?'
Is it time to say farewell to the old model of assigning all the value to the last click? Many marketers want the ability to measure customers' paths to purchase and understand the influences of each channel on a sale.
It would be a dream to accurately measure the impact of your TV ad on generating uplift in an outdoor campaign, driving interest in your press ad, which subsequently delivers a sale.
But can this now be achieved online?
Beware of 'averages' - sometimes they hide more truth than they reveal.
The send speeds of ESPs are increasingly being looked at as a key selling point. Being able to pump out over a million emails per month is regarded as a benefit by many clients.
Most major UK-based ESPs are able to provide these speeds, often through a partnership with companies such as Strongmail or Port25 Solutions.
But is this important?
The Direct Market Association (DMA) has urged email marketers to focus more closely on deliverability after its figures showed another drop in delivery rates in the second quarter of the year.
The group’s latest stats suggest that delivery rates fell to 68% for acquisition emails and 80% for retention emails in the period, continuing the drops seen in Q1.
A simple Santa hat, some holly or a bit of tinsel hanging off the corporate logo is often the most companies do to make their email marketing festive.
They are missing a trick.