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Guest Author for Madrivo

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Sep 2018
For an email campaign to be successful, one of the first things that needs to happen (after delivery to the inbox) is for recipients to actually open your message. It’s hard to drive a new site visit, let alone a lead or sale, if your audience simply deletes your email without ever opening it. Recent studies suggest the average open rate for commercial email (across all industries) is about 21%. But, whether your average open rates are already above the average or you’re still working to reach that number, most email marketers are interested in getting more recipients to open their next email. There is no shortage of tactics to help increase open rates, but here are just a few to keep in mind when you’re planning your next campaign.

1.Deliver a Killer Subject Line

This is probably the most obvious tactic for increasing open rates, and with good reason. There are only two pieces of information that a recipient is likely to see before making a decision to open, file, or delete an email (along with the sender name). With this being the case, the subject line is your best chance to catch attention and entice a recipient to open your email. There are numerous guides, white papers, and entire books written on how to create the perfect subject line. So, I won’t attempt an in-depth analysis here, but three things to keep in mind.
  • Keep your audience in mind - What would your audience find interesting? Coming up with the coolest subject line that your marketing team loves isn’t necessarily the best way to capture your audience’s attention.
  • Be clever, but not too clever - As marketers, we all love coming up with clever copy. A subject line is a great place to insert a little humor or cleverness, but keep it simple. Sometimes being too clever is either a turn-off, or some recipients won’t ‘get it.’
  • Stay on brand - Always remember your brand image. If you have a fun, irreverent brand image, than don’t be afraid to use it in your subject lines. But, if your brand is a bit more straightforward, keep that in mind as you write your subject lines.

2. Strategically Segment your Email Lists

You’re probably already segmenting your audiences into various email lists to provide more relevant and engaging content and maximize response. But, the same tactic comes in handy when trying to optimize open rates. You might even consider creating an additional layer of audience segmentation that goes beyond audience demographics to include past email response behavior. If you can identify an audience segment that has especially substandard historical open rates or overall response, you might set them up as separate campaigns focused on getting that first engagement and eventually you may simply remove them from future mailings if they fall into a high-volume non-responder category.

3. Think Mobile

Just about every usage statistic shows that mobile is now the most popular method of surfing the web, checking email, and many other digital behaviors. So, when you’re thinking about things like the length of your subject line, your preview copy, etc. remember the size and general specs of the typical mobile device screen. An overly long subject line may get cut off and your preview copy is almost certainly going to be shorter. So, if you’re optimizing those items for a desktop environment, you run the risk of your mobile recipients not seeing the content you planned. Going forward, mobile is almost certainly going to become even more the standard for typical digital engagement, so if you haven’t already made the transition to thinking mobile first, now is the time.

4. Timing is Everything

As you test various campaign strategies and tactics to optimize performance, you may well have tried mailing at different times on different days of the week and measured how it impacted response. If you haven’t looked at open rates on these types of tests, you should consider looking back at past test or planning new ones to establish some baselines for open rates based on these temporal variables. You may find that recipients are more likely to open emails on certain days or at certain times of the day. Make sure you match these up with your more ROI focused optimization tests as well, as it is possible that a higher open rate may not directly contribute to higher overall performance. You can find any number of useful guides and other material to help you optimize your campaign open rates, but starting with these four strategies will help you get off to a good start. Tom Wozniak - Executive Director of Marketing - OPTIZMO Technologies, LLC
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Jun 2018
Brand protection is on the minds of a lot of advertisers and marketers lately. From advertisements showing up alongside objectionable content to fears about influencers dragging their name through the mud (or whatever messy challenge is making the rounds among YouTubers that week), brands want safety. But email is a pretty safe communication channel for brands, right? It can be, as long as you take the right steps to secure your brand reputation. While affiliate email marketing can bring big returns, it can also introduce safety and security concerns. Fortunately, there are ways to navigate these challenges without hurting your brand. Let’s take a look at a few ways email marketers can reap the benefits of email while protecting their hard-earned brand reputation.

Keep an eye on your CAN-SPAM compliance.

When there are a million other things to consider in an email marketing program, staying CAN-SPAM compliant isn’t always at the top of marketers’ minds. But complacency can be costly. At best, sending email to opt-outs will give prospects a negative perception of your brand; at worst, each email can cost you thousands of dollars. When you’re sending millions of emails, those fines can add up. It’s important to have a system in place to manage opt-outs. That way, you keep your customers happy, and you honor your unsubscribes well within the 10 days mandated by the CAN-SPAM Act.

Monitor your email partners for optimal brand protection.

If you’re emailing with partners, odds are, you spend time carefully choosing your affiliates or co-marketing partners. But even the most meticulously vetted partners can go rogue. Email partners who abuse your email list can upset customers, leading to email unsubscribes and lost business. To make sure partners don’t scare off your subscribers, it’s important to have brand protection tools, such as partner monitoring, in place. Solutions like UnsubCentral give email marketers the tools they need to keep an eye on their email partners. By tracking how often partners download suppression lists and watching how many unsubscribes these partners generate, you can keep your brand from falling prey to a bad influence.

Secure your suppression list data.

Speaking of suppression lists, sharing suppression list data with your partners can bring security concerns into your email program if not done correctly. You must make sure all email partners can scrub their lists against suppression files, but sharing raw email data gives emailers access to a slew of nonmailable data. No brand wants to be synonymous with security issues—especially when data breaches have dominated the news lately—which means you need a way to share this data securely. With a global suppression list management solution, you can house email data in a centralized location without having to give partners access to nonmailable email addresses. When your email data is secure, your email list is happy.

Use suppression lists to send smarter email campaigns.

Finally, suppression lists don’t have to be all about compliance. They can help you be a better email marketer to your list. By using suppression lists to exclude certain segments of your list, you can help make sure that your email communication isn’t turning off your current customers or other parts of your email audience. For example, if a customer receives an email notifying them of a special offer for new customers, that customer might get a little annoyed at paying a higher rate than incoming customers. Instead of sending an email that will annoy current customers, you can use suppression lists to exclude customers from certain affiliate email campaigns.
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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Jun 2018

On May 31, 2018 the CA Assembly voted in favor of AB 2546.  This bill expands the provisions of California Business and Professions Code 17529.5 (commonly known as CA’s anti-spam law) by, among other things, expanding the law to allow private suits not just on the header information in commercial emails but also the body of the emails, expanding the definitions so that the law would apply to charitable, religious and political email advertisements, and unless you can prove you have some other legit business purpose – it also will prohibit the use of multiple domain names to send commercial emails, prohibit the use of registered dbas as from lines and prohibit hidden and nonsensical text for the purpose of breaking spam filters. Under the revised law mailers and networks will be liable (not just advertisers) and arguably ESPs, ISPs, colocation facilities and software platforms are directly liable too if they know their services are being used to send unsolicited commercial email. If this becomes law the amount of claims and lawsuits against large reputable companies that are involved in commercial emailing will increase and the provisions of this law will make it more difficult to send commercial emails to or from CA.

Now that this bill has passed the Assembly it will move on to the Senate for consideration during June and July with a deadline of August 31st for the Senate to pass this bill. Madrivo, along with a number of other great businesses in the industry, have just joined the Internet Business Coalition which will be opposing this bill as it makes its way through the Senate.

With GDPR and other new Web regulations, Email Advertising (the legitimate compliant kind) is not only the most cost effective media channel, it’s now also the most reliable one. The restrictions in the bill will make it very challenging for honest companies trying to advertise their products and services via email. Action is required. 

Oppose this bill? If you are in CA contact your local senator’s office today and tell them to oppose AB 2546 – contacting is simple through your local representative’s website. If you are interested in doing more to oppose this bill please contact your Madrivo representative.

JFK once said “There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”

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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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