Guest Author

Guest Author for Madrivo

Website URL: http://www.madrivo.com

Gary Thuerk
18
May 2018
You may have read our post on May 4th marking the 40th birthday of email marketing. Our friends at ZeroBounce wrote a great blog post detailing the history of that day and how email has evolved year to year. Enjoy the post: If you look on the Guinness World Records website, you will find Thuerk listed as the author of “the world’s oldest spam.” His email, which was composed on the 1st of May 1978, got sent on the 3rd of May to almost 400 ARPAnet users. “The world’s oldest spam was sent at 12:33 EDT on 3 May 1978 by Gary Thuerk (USA), then working for Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC, USA). It was sent to 397 email accounts on the ARPAnet (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) of the US Defense Dept., inviting them to a product demonstration of the DECSYSTEM-2020, 2020T, 2060 and 2060T computers. ARPAnet is regarded as the predecessor to the internet. The original email still exists,” states the Guinness Book of World Records. “I thought of it as e-marketing,” says Thuerk, who admitted he knew he “was pushing the envelope.” But he wanted to reach as many people as possible and invite them to test DEC’s new products. As a marketing manager for DEC, Thuerk was hoping to get attention and increase the company’s revenue.

What happened next?

He received many complaints for his unsolicited email, including from an ARPAnet representative, who called him and “chewed him out,” as Thuerk remembers. On the other hand, the email blast did work: DEC sold almost $14 million worth of its new computers as a result of the mass email.

How email marketing evolved

Since Thuerk’s first email blast in 1978, email marketing has gone through many transformations, with marketers and email service providers fine-tuning their strategies. Let’s take a look at how things have changed: 1991: Internet access gives marketers a new way to reach potential customers, with Hotmail offering the first free email service. The most common email marketing tactic is “spray and pray.” 1998: The Data Protection Act forces email marketers to offer their recipients the possibility to opt out. 2001: The first behavioral email is sent, as marketers realize they need to craft their campaigns according to online user behavior. 2003: The first spam regulations appear. The Can Spam Law sets new rules for commercial emails. 2004: The Sender Policy Framework is introduced as an email validation system for the prevention of email spam. The system verified the sender’s IP address. Email marketing is on the rise, with intensive spam being its main weakness. Legitimate marketers start to see a serious effect of the ISP’s filtering rules on their campaigns. 2008: Windows Live Sender Reputation Data allows recipients to mark emails as spam. Marketers start to understand they have to refine their strategies if they want to preserve their reputation. 2009: Email deliverability becomes a topic of discussion, as Return Path reports that 30% of emails never reach the inbox. Recipients now have the option to block certain senders. Due to poor email reputation, many marketers are blacklisted. 2010: The continuous development of email marketing and the rise of social media bring focus on data collection and management. 2012: More than 40% of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device. Creating mobile-friendly campaigns becomes a priority. In the same year, the European Parliament starts preparations on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 2016: The European Parliament approves the GDPR. Enforcement date: 25 May 2018. 2018: Email is the most efficient marketing channel, with a revenue of $44 for every $1 spent. Techniques are more sophisticated than ever. Emails are personalized and marketers strive to send valuable content. Email verification becomes an essential part of their strategy as it increases deliverability and helps maintain a good sender reputation. About ZeroBounce Created by a team of top-notch professionals, ZeroBounce is the premier email validation service dedicated to e-mail bounce detection, email abuse and spam trap detection, email data append and advanced security. Marketers who are using email lists validated by ZeroBounce report a 98% accuracy rate and preserve their online reputation intact. Featured on Entrepreneur.com, BuzzFeed and Inc. magazine, ZeroBounce is widely considered “the best email validation system available.”
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08
May 2018

Even though social media is largely increasing its influence in the world of digital marketing, email marketing still remains the most personal form of communication.

However, email marketing has become a lot more difficult to grasp than a few years ago. Nowadays, if you don't meet your audience’s needs and requirements or catch their attention immediately, your email will most likely end up in their spam folder or marked as read. That is why we decided to compile a comprehensive list of the best email marketing tips for 2018.

Differentiate existing audience from prospective

Imagine meeting someone for the first time in your life and starting a conversation with them. It might be a rather pleasant conversation but is not laid-back because you two don't really know one another. Then, an hour after your conversation ended, you meet an old friend of yours. You hug each other, joke and laugh and then you decide to go for a drink. In the bar, you have a great time together and keep talking for hours. These two conversations simply cannot be the same. That is exactly how you are supposed to differentiate between the audience that you are sending an email to for the first time and the audience that is already on your mailing list. The former is a new acquaintance, while the latter is an old friend. A practical way to implement this idea and even increase profits on your most engaged and profitable audiences, is by routing your traffic through more than one delivery vendor. Use high-end ESP or SMTP vendor for your less engaged list (prospects), such systems are more expensive, and use an additional vendor, such as Amazon SES, which is a top tier email delivery platform, with a very attractive low-cost pricing model but with strict bounce rate policy for your clean engaged audience (clients list). Make sure to take into account the difference between your relationships with your existing and prospective audience when crafting and sending emails, and you will do yourself a huge favor.

Personalize and Segment

Nowadays, everyone is trying to sell something. Our inbox is loaded with dozens of emails from who-knows-what-company trying to sell us who-knows-what. When we open an email, we want to see our name in it. If we are addressed personally, we are much more likely to respond. However, you should dive even deeper and try to separate your audience into several categories. Imagine the difference between talking to your spouse and your child. Even though you know both of them and call them by their names, you will not talk to them in the same manner. You should bear this in mind when writing to your already existing audience. Segment your audience based on their needs, profile info, website activity, location, responsiveness and so on. This method will be very helpful to you in the long run since it will allow you to devise different strategies according to your audience's characteristics. Therefore, personalized and segmented emails will simply be a must in 2018.

Visualize your content

Over 80% of the information that we get is visual. In that sense, people are spoiled and they expect the content to be visually appealing. One of the most important email marketing strategies is to include visual content in your email - videos, photos, animations or GIFs. Email service providers are increasingly allowing this feature, so you should take advantage of it as soon as possible.

Build your own email list and keep it clean

It is very important to have your own audience. Yet, it can be difficult and time-consuming to create a list of people who are genuinely interested in your product or service, but it is the only way to stay truly relevant to those who receive your emails. It is much better to have a shorter list of people who will be engaged by your emails than to send them out to random email addresses. Also, from time to time, you should clean your mailing list. You can do this by asking your audience to reconfirm their subscription and then delete all those who no longer want to receive your emails. This might seem counterproductive, as you would probably like to see a long mailing list. However, it will pay off in time. Remember – quality over quantity. Read more about lists management! 

Use your own IP address

Most email service providers offer a pool of shared IP addresses that you can send emails from. Now, if your emails are sent from the same IP that a dozen other companies use, your reputation will depend on theirs. If one of them spams their audience from an IP that you use, your emails will be recognized as suspicious too. Keep in mind that your IP is directly associated with your reputation. That is why you want to have your own IP address or more of them if you have a large audience. It might be slightly more expensive, but it is definitely a safer option.

Measure and analyze by using KPIs

If you invest a lot of time, effort and money in an email campaign, it is only natural that you want to keep track of its performance. In the world of digital marketing, measuring your success is much easier when you use key performance indicators. Some of the most relevant KPIs are click through rate (CTR), conversion rate, bounce rate, list growth rate, overall ROI, etc.

Conclusion

There you go! Those were some of the best email marketing tips to stay relevant in 2018. If you follow them and carefully tailor your campaign around your audience's needs and desires, you will see outstanding results very soon. Ongage is an advanced email marketing solution that separates the front-end from the back-end delivery system, allowing email marketers to seamlessly manage and route multiple email marketing operations via multiple email delivery systems. It was designed to improve campaign effectiveness by providing versatile and powerful marketing tools coupled together with full marketing analytics. The end result being improved deliverability, performance and ROI. Click here to try it for free.
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24
Apr 2018
Email marketers know one of the best ways to keep subscribers happy is to let them choose what emails they receive. That’s why marketers implement preference centers. Sometimes giving your email audience that choice can be the difference between an engaged subscriber and an opt-out. When it comes to preference centers, email marketers also have a choice. After all, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to implementing a preference center. Audiences, brands, and email programs are all different, which means marketers must choose a preference center strategy that makes sense. Whether with email content or sending frequency, allowing subscribers to make choices ensures that your emails are relevant. Here are a few choices email marketers have for giving their subscribers choice ways to make a choice.

Let Subscribers Choose How Often They Receive Email

Email marketers often struggle with how often to send email. Once a month? Once a week? Daily? It’s an important decision. Send too much email, and you risk fatiguing your audience. Send too little email, and you lose out on potential revenue. Instead of fretting over frequency, let subscribers set their own email cadence! Give them a few options for how often they receive email. That way, readers are less likely to unsubscribe because you’re sending them more than they can handle. Plus, if a subscriber does attempt to unsubscribe, having an option to receive fewer emails may keep them on your list. Every subscriber is different. Whatever your subscribers prefer, get on their frequency.

Meet Subscribers When It’s Convenient for Them

Here’s another common discussion among email marketers: “What’s the best time to send an email?” Like any other aspect of your email program, this answer varies based on your audience. You could A/B test send times, but in the meantime, why not let subscribers decide when to receive your email? For publishers, this could mean offering different versions of your news digests at different times of the day. News publishers like Politico and Axios offer morning newsletters, as well as shorter afternoon newsletters that recap the day’s events so far. People prefer to read emails at different times of the day, and offering different time options ensures the information is current, no matter when a subscriber is free to check email.

Give Subscribers the Option to Avoid Seasonal Email Blasts

You know the stats: consumers prefer email for brand communication over every other channel. In fact, 61% of consumers prefer email offers to those by any other digital method. That’s good news for email marketers, but unfortunately for consumers, some marketers take it as a cue to blast buyers with a blizzard of email offers during the holidays. Some people love those sweet deals, but some people don’t. You don’t want to make subscribers mad—not during the holidays! If you plan on ramping up email sends to capitalize on Christmas shoppers, why not give them a choice to opt out before things get too crazy. By letting subscribers choose whether to get onboard, you reduce the risk of freezing out your less email-happy subscribers.

Offer Multiple Newsletters on Different Subjects

The more emails you send a subscriber, the more chances you have to engage them, bring them to your site, and monetize them. Still, you can’t just send email to send it. You have to make sure the content you send is relevant to the subscriber. How do you do that? One way is to separate your email sends into verticals or topics, then allow subscribers to select which newsletters they receive. Sounds nice, but what if you don’t have the manpower to increase newsletter output? Email automation makes it easy to populate emails with relevant content and scale your email program. When subscribers can opt-in to content they choose, they’re self-personalizing their email, so you ensure they’re receiving email about things they like. That means more engagement and more revenue. In fact, not only do these emails drive site traffic, they also attract in-email advertisers who want their ads in front of interested audiences. It’s a win-win.

Let Email Subscribers Take a Break

Finally, you might be able to reduce opt-outs in your email program if your preference center strategy includes an easy way to turn off email communication for a set period of time. After the temporary break, they return to your regular email sends. Why would people want a break from your email? Maybe they’re not in the market for your product right now. Maybe you just caught them on a bad day. At any rate, it can help you hold onto a valuable subscriber who might fall in love with your email again after a quick break. If only it was that easy to get a break from all email for a while. Are you using preference centers in your email program? If not, maybe it’s time to make that choice. UnsubCentral can help.

About UnsubCentral

UnsubCentral offers the industry's leading solution for email compliance and opt-out list management. UnsubCentral provides advertisers, agencies, and networks with the necessary tools to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act by allowing them to securely manage opt-out and customer lists across third party partners.

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About us

Madrivo empowers advertisers to effectively grow brands online and enables publishers to optimize online media and to leverage customer acquisition channels.

In the constantly evolving and incredibly fast-paced digital era, Madrivo is an integrated online marketing agency that develops efficient marketing solutions, unifies customer acquisition strategies, and develops tactics to successfully move traditional operations to the Internet. The team at Madrivo guides companies, large and small, globally, to establish the most cost effective online presence.

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