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Email Marketing Playbook

Email Marketing Playbook

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Published by: Angi Antonescu on Sep 12, 2013
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Publisher’s Playbook

Done right, email newsletters can generate both reader loyalty and advertising revenue. Done wrong, they can actually hurt your reputation and business.

The resources in this Publisher’s Playbook will get you up to speed on email best practices.

sponsored by


Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing

4 Email moves beyond ‘batch and

25 How to manage and reduce
list fatigue

9 The first email engagement
metric: deliverability

28 Coming soon to an inbox near 30 IAB’s guidelines for email

you: user generated newsletters

10 Stealing a page from retail’s

14 How Brooklyn Based built a

10,000-strong email readership

16 Tips and other resources for
email marketing

20 Your guide to email design 22 How to do your first mailing list

sponsored sponsoredby by

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Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing

Publishers Press is proud to present the Publisher’s Playbook to Email Marketing. Email is an inexpensive way for publishing companies to communicate with their advertisers and readers, foster trust in a brand, and grow a publication’s audience. Whether you use email for marketing campaigns, customer retention, newsletters, notifications, lead generation, or all of the above, email can be an engaging way to communicate your content and brand value to readers. Email is still the most trackable medium that exists for publishers today, and when done well, can be scalable and inexpensive. We partnered with eMedia Vitals to give you the resources to develop the best plan for using email marketing for the growth and future success of your business, because, as one of our in-house email marketing specialists noted: “‘Expect and Hope’ is not a business model.” We appreciate and value your relationship with Publishers Press and look forward to continuing
Michael J. Simon Executive Vice President

our partnership through whatever changes and innovations the industry may bring.

sponsored sponsoredby by

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Several factors are driving the need to be more relevant.” says Stephanie Miller.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing EMAIL MOVES BEYOND ‘BATCH AND BLAST’ BY ROB O’REGAN Publishers who are serious about leveraging email to improve engagement and increase revenues will need to move beyond their traditional “batch-and-blast” approach.” A third factor: the fragmentation of the inbox. social. Miller notes that many users now manage multiple inboxes – work. Market researcher Radicati estimates that 81% of all email traffic is spam. “But the big driver for growth in our recession is retention. vice president of global market development for Return Path. And email can be a powerful retention and loyalty channel – it’s the original dialog channel. The name of the game now is relevance. Radicati says that spam still accounts for 20% of the emails that reach users’ inboxes. While most of this traffic is intercepted by spam filters. Start with the clutter. sponsored sponsoredby by 4 / 32 . which provides email deliverability services. which has caused many publishers and marketers to redouble efforts around customer retention. mobile. “That makes the mailbox more omnipresent. home. A second factor is the current economic climate. “Email has traditionally been used as a broadcast method for promotions and for driving conversions.” she says. which is an opportunity for marketers to engage wherever their prospects and customers may be.

The former needs encouragement and enticement. That’s driving a more strategic use of email. chief revenue officer for Datran Media. The challenge stems not from a lack of information.” The challenge stems not from a lack of information. you have to drive consumer value. requires a shift away from broadcast campaigns to more targeted engagement. but a lack of analysis and response based on that data.” says Miller.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing EMAIL MOVES BEYOND ‘BATCH AND BLAST’ cont’d Such fragmentation. sponsored sponsoredby by 5 / 32 . everyone tracks open rates and click-throughs. however. one that is based on both user-defined preferences and actual behavior. From a monetization standpoint. But how many publishers segment their audiences based on this behavior? Subscribers who rarely click through warrant a different message than frequent visitors. for example). which sells an inventory-management platform for email advertising. Miller notes. but a lack of analysis and response based on that data.” Miller cites several segmentation options that publishers tend to overlook: • Opens and clicks: Sure. Delivering that relevance in email newsletters requires a more sophisticated approach to segmenting subscriber lists. publishers should be able to charge advertisers a premium to reach the most active and engaged subscribers.” says Sean O’Neal. “Most publishers have more data than they probably are using. the latter should be rewarded for their loyalty (access to premium content. of triggering messages based on behavior. “The best way to do that is through increased relevance. “At the end of the day. “But marketers are now seeing the value of segmentation.

they have to think about it in narrower terms around acquisition. according to Miller. additional articles read.” says Miller. whether they shared the article. • First-issue unsubscribers: For users who opt out after receiving their first newsletter. How well are you setting expectations when users grant permission to receive your emails? • Post-click actions: Tie click-throughs to user activity once they get to the site – session length. retention and delivering a quality experience. • Multi-channel access: How many of your email subscribers have also joined your Facebook group? Clearly. Who has clicked on more than one article? How much of a time lag exists between when someone receives an email and when they click through? Saving the email in their inbox and accessing several articles at a later date is an indicator of longer-term engagement. “If publishers want to continue to use the email channel as a retention and monetization tool.” says Miller. “You can use that information to further motivate subscribers and also to let advertisers create something interesting for them. examine the methods and messaging you’re using to invite subscribers and to confirm signups.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing EMAIL MOVES BEYOND ‘BATCH AND BLAST’ cont’d • Signup date: Keep track of subscribers 30. 60 and 90 days after they sign up for a newsletter and segment based on their activity level at those intervals. sponsored sponsoredby by 6 / 32 . these are loyal readers – find a way to motivate them to do more or reward them for their engagement.

For newsletters. “Our paradigm is. This information feeds back into mPower. after you segment. MedPage saw the number of active email users double in four months. Ammirati says mSpoke’s current publishing clients include Forbes. InformationWeek and MedPage Today. – to create a baseline list of preferences. everyone gets the same content.” says Sean Ammirati. download activity. sponsored sponsoredby by 7 / 32 . mPower will customize the order of content and the subject line based on each user’s profile information. But once you get that list. Using mSpoke to customize its newsletters. etc. The third step is iterative. Reed Business Information. based on users’ interactions with the content – not just what they’re clicking.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing EMAIL MOVES BEYOND ‘BATCH AND BLAST’ cont’d Getting personal How those segmentation techniques translate into more relevant content is the big challenge for publishers. a publisher of medical news. you should prioritize and filter which content you put in front of that list.” The company’s mPower “adaptive personalization engine” analyzes a publisher’s content. adding its own metadata to whatever metadata editors have already created. The software then looks at subscriber histories – profile information. so that each user gets a different newsletter. “Most email systems are good at segmenting lists. which adjusts each profile accordingly. CEO of mSpoke. a Pittsburgh-based startup that has developed technology that enables publishers to personalize websites and newsletter content. but what they’re ignoring as well.

a campaign verification platform that gives advertisers and media buyers more transparency into where their ads are being placed across ad networks and exchanges. who serves as co-chair of the IAB’s Lead Generation and Email Committee and was one of the primary authors of the report. your only alternative is to batch and blast.” sponsored sponsoredby by 8 / 32 . your only alternative is to batch and blast. ad units and standalone email campaigns. a New York-based startup that recently launched PerformMatch. you need to do the same thing with your ads.” Publishers who want to take full advantage of the channel. the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a new paper titled “Email Monetization Strategies.” says Alex Baydin. inventory management and data collection – including privacy issues. relevant and unique content in your If your attitude is that email is cheap. “And you’ll continue to see lower returns on that. will need to devote the time and the resources toward a more customized approach. In November 2009.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing EMAIL MOVES BEYOND ‘BATCH AND BLAST’ cont’d Relevance = revenue? Targeting technology also provides publishers with an opportunity to embed relevant advertising in their newsletters alongside custom content.” The paper defines the value of newsletters to publishers and advertisers and offers guidelines on advertising and sponsorship models. newsletters.” says Datran’s O’Neal. and you’ll continue to see lower returns on that.” says Return Path’s Miller. “The email channel is a natural extension for publishers to distribute and monetize their content. “There’s a significant revenue opportunity through sponsorships. CEO of PerformLine. “If your attitude is that email is cheap. “To the extent that you’re putting out engaging. vendor selection. however.

sponsored sponsoredby by 9 / 32 . and Canada did not reach the inboxes of intended subscribers. who shared an interesting insight about email newsletters: deliverability should be viewed as an engagement metric.S. relevant to any publisher that sends email newsletters or alerts.S. permission-based email delivered in the U.. and Canada did not reach the inboxes of intended subscribers. 3. . Even “silent unsubscribers” – those who receive your email but simply ignore it – can hurt future delivery rates. Of that undelivered email. Return Path concluded that more than 20% of commercial. permission-based email delivered in the U.more than 20% of commercial. “All other response and engagement metrics derive from the inbox placement rate. Before you can track engagement. with no notification to the sender of non-delivery. In its most recent Delivery Benchmark Report (covering the first half of 2009). That’s why it’s important to track deliverability metrics beyond just the hard bounce rate.” she said. as they are one ingredient in what Miller calls the “reputation cocktail” that ISPs use to identify spammers. Miller’s point is that deliverability is the first opportunity for engagement – if you don’t reach the inbox.4% was not delivered at all.. It’s a good read. you need to take steps to ensure that your emails are actually reaching subscribers’ inboxes. you can’t earn a response.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing THE FIRST EMAIL ENGAGEMENT METRIC: DELIVERABILITY BY ROB O’REGAN I recently interviewed Stephanie Miller. vice president of global market development for Return Path.3% was routed to a “junk” or “bulk” email folder and 17. A recent post on Return Path’s corporate blog looks at the engagement metrics that influence deliverability with ISPs and offers a few ideas on what marketers should be doing to keep their deliverability rates up.

Retail stores will often monitor what item you browse on their sites and then include it front and center in your next email newsletter. most publications take a one-size-fits-all approach when sending email newsletters. for the retail tools of the trade that publishers can borrow from the Best Buys of the world to deliver highly targeted and successful email campaigns. sponsored sponsoredby by 10 / 32 . But despite the existence of contextual ads and the prospect of custom content.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing STEALING A PAGE FROM RETAIL’S PLAYBOOK BY SEAN BLANDA Email newsletters are nothing new to the publishing world. DYNAMIC CONTENT This is the practice of inserting custom advertising or editorial into each individual’s newsletter. have been using behavioral targeting tactics for years to create email campaigns that will most likely result in sales. Application: Publishers can use this method to track what stories readers click on their webpage and then offer relevant content in the next newsletter. research director at Smith-Harmon and author of the Retail Email Blog. however. Retail stores. We asked Chad White.

If retailers notice an item is viewed but not purchased.” sponsored sponsoredby by 11 / 32 . they will send additional information to help close that gap. then maybe I’m also interested in snowboarding or snowmobiling and would be interested in those kinds of articles and that kind of publication. not the price. They gave me lots of different paths.” Application: If you notice one reader’s browsing habits focusing on a single topic area. the cheapest Blu-ray player and the Blu-ray player that had been discounted the most. “They sent an email to me the next day all about Blu-ray players. but they also had the latest Blu-ray player.” said White. “In the publishing world. Keep track of what your customers have purchased in the past and offer them accessories or other related items. I’m probably going to buy a DVD next. “If I buy a Blu-ray player.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing STEALING A PAGE FROM RETAIL’S PLAYBOOK cont’d TRIGGERED MESSAGE Sometimes the reason people do not purchase something is a gap in education.” said White. “Crutchfield (an electronics retailer) one day noticed I was looking at Blu-ray players. The one I was looking at was the featured item. Sometimes the reason people do not purchase something is a gap in education. If I were to explicitly say that I was interested in skiing. not the price. offer white papers and other ecommerce products to satisfy their curiosity. clearly there are topics that are related to one another. PURCHASE HISTORY A method used by companies like Amazon.

MEASURING CLICKS Measure clicks in your email newsletter and use that information to customize the next edition.” Application: If you have a general newsletter with a wider subject focus. Unfortunately. THE SURVEY In a dream world. take a page out of Amazon’s book and offer article recommendations based on the user’s past reading history.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing STEALING A PAGE FROM RETAIL’S PLAYBOOK cont’d Application: If your content is categorized. For example. some retailers have set up “quizzes” that collect reader information in a fun online game. Spiegel. “Hot Topic sent out an email with t-shirts and measured everyone that clicked on a World of Warcraft shirt. the women’s clothes retailer. had a style quiz that asked shoppers to pick which celebrities they liked and where they would like to travel. sponsored sponsoredby by 12 / 32 . “The company then used that info to send out an email that was dedicated to just those people featuring World of Warcraft. readers would fill out surveys that dictated exactly what kind of content they wished to read. long questions are the easiest way to scare off anyone with access to a back button. measure headline clicks to see if your publication can offer any niche products. To combat this. Keep an eye out for customers showing interest in topic areas where you have a sister publication.” said White.

“It’s extremely clever and it’s done in a way that helps the shopper discover something about themselves. but also gives you a peek into the type of reader you have. it gives Spiegel fantastic information about how to serve that shopper.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing STEALING A PAGE FROM RETAIL’S PLAYBOOK cont’d “They would use the answers to figure out what kind of person you were and therefore what kind of clothing style would best suit you. sponsored sponsoredby by 13 / 32 .” Application: Construct a survey that is fun. At the same time.” said White.

We asked Davis how she built such a large and captive mailing list so quickly: Relevant content The spread of Brooklyn Based was “completely word of mouth. began diligently sending out what she jokingly refers to as “bleemails” (half blog post. “I wasn’t going to capture anyone’s attention by starting a blog. the pipelines for sharing content were already established. a Manhattan-based weekly. readers would show up to recommended events and create a community around the newsletter. sponsored sponsoredby by 14 / 32 . “We’ll tell you about an artist or designer who could be living two doors down for you. half email) to 100 friends containing her picks and lists among happenings in Brooklyn. By targeting a geographical community that already existed.000 readers strong and has an open rate of 70 to 80 percent.” and for good reason: The newsletter is highly targeted and highly relevant to what was then an under served community.000-STRONG EMAIL READERSHIP BY SEAN BLANDA A few years ago. Davis. soon joined by Annaliese Griffin and Chrysanthe Tenentes. Two years later.” she said of her decision to go with email. Every day.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW BROOKLYN BASED BUILT A 10. And because the email pertained to events. Nicole Davis used to work as an art and entertainment editor at The Villager. she says. she would receive information about events in the neighboring up-and-coming borough of Brooklyn.” she said. Brooklyn Based is 10.

” she said. not just an email that delivers info.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW BROOKLYN BASED BUILT A 10. We inform and entertain. On Tuesdays and Thursdays. blogs and podcasts. Even as the list grows I still feel the intimate connection with our readers. “You can have a much more one-on-one dialog. “With email you can get a much more real response from people. “We’re a really fun read. Davis believes part of the growth and success of Brooklyn Based is due to the fact that her newsletter contains material that is written specifically for email in the style of a magazine front-ofbook piece. For Brooklyn Based.000 readers strong and has an open rate of 70 to 80 percent.000-STRONG EMAIL READERSHIP cont’d Embrace email’s benefits as a medium Email may be old-school in the face of tweets. Brooklyn Based contains feature stories about local news or events. No digests For many publishers. Wednesdays bring the “tip sheet” with event recommendations from the newsletter’s editors.” Two years later. Davis also says she believes the medium possesses an intimacy that others do not.. Brooklyn Based is 10. email newsletters usually involve some sort of digest.. Most online publishers rely on readers to take the time to copy and paste a link into a tweet or email. sponsored sponsoredby by 15 / 32 .” said Davis. readers just have to hit the forward button. No medium has yet surpassed email in its ability to be easily shared. but it still has its advantages.

Forrester predicts that consumers will receive an average of more than 9.000 marketing messages in their inbox annually in 2014. more money. The channel has become so overstuffed with marketing blather that consumers can’t possibly keep up (as the 3. But publishers must avoid the many traps of email marketing – even if they achieve some early success with their campaigns. ‘no mas. general manager of IDG Connect. “This business is an opiate. and you say ‘more mail.’ . Recent research from Forrester predicts that consumers will receive an average of more than 9.000 marketing messages in their inbox annually in 2014. with email marketing spend reaching $2 billion in five years. more mail... more money. For publishers. There are no signs of a slowdown.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing TIPS AND OTHER RESOURCES FOR EMAIL MARKETING BY ROB O’REGAN These tricks. drive readers to your site and bring in additional revenue through sponsorships.” said Frank Cutitta. however. The growth is understandable.. given that email can be an efficient and effective channel for promoting products and services.. “You start seeing leads come in.’ And all of a sudden you see a precipitous drop as people say. tools and advice will help you get your email campaigns on track It’s easy to take shots at email as an overused and ineffective marketing tool. a provider of lead-generation and other marketing services to technology vendors. email presents an opportunity to showcase your content. advertising and lead generation. sponsored sponsoredby by 16 / 32 .409 unread messages in my inbox demonstrate).

Cost: $397. We’ve gathered some of them here to help you get up to speed. • A compendium of tips and advice from Email Marketing Journal Finding a vendor How to sift through the seemingly endless list of email marketing service providers and software? Start with these two guides: • MarketingProfs offers a free vendor selector tool. So we look for the sweet spot of how much efficiency we can get out of each mailing. people will unsubscribe. there is a seemingly endless supply of Web resources about the topic. people will unsubscribe.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing TIPS AND OTHER RESOURCES FOR EMAIL MARKETING cont’d “If you send too much mail. find a service provider and learn about what works – and what doesn’t – with email campaigns.95 a year) receive more detailed product listings and access to filtering tools. from BizSnap Business Services. because they feel it’s too casual of a relationship. “But if you don’t send enough. consider these guides: • Best Practices in E-Mail Marketing Handbook.” Because email marketing is so prevalent. • Buyers’ Guide to Email Marketing. from growing your database to measuring your results. how many responses and how many drop off or don’t drop off based on the email we send. Premium members ($149. Learning the basics If you’re just starting out. from MarketingSherpa.” added Cutitta. Strategies and tools for building a “best-in-class” email campaign. sponsored sponsoredby by 17 / 32 .

• Mobile Email Marketing Tips • Mobile email: the marketing challenges sponsored sponsoredby by 18 / 32 .Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing TIPS AND OTHER RESOURCES FOR EMAIL MARKETING cont’d Learning from others There are plenty of case studies – positive and negative – about email marketing campaigns. A cautionary tale. • What Social Media Can Learn From Email Marketing • Combining email with social media Don’t forget mobile Another new channel that marketers are attacking more aggressively is mobile. MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa offer two of the more extensive collections: • Marketingprofs offers a rich library of case studies • MarketingSherpa has a repository of more than 200 case studies related to email marketing Adding social media to the mix There’s plenty of buzz about whether social media will kill email or increase its effectiveness as a marketing tool. Here are four perspectives: • Will social media kill the email star? • Email Marketing + Social Media = Execution.

• Another top 10. including more Top 5 or Top 10 lists than you can shake a spam filter at. • OK. Key point: Ignoring metrics. body parts or anything related to porn. Here’s some targeted advice for newspaper publishers: • Email Marketing A Secret Weapon For Newspapers • SMS & Email Marketing Can Help Newspapers Survive • A Billion Dollar Email Opportunity: Where Are All The Newspapers? What not to do There are plenty of cautionary tales about email marketing. • A list for geeks: top HTML email coding mistakes (example: Using JavaScript Or ActiveX In HTML Email) sponsored sponsoredby by 19 / 32 . Key point: Not giving people what they want. • Spam-inducing keywords to avoid. Hint: don’t include swear words. Key point: Requiring too much information to sign up.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing TIPS AND OTHER RESOURCES FOR EMAIL MARKETING cont’d Specifically for newspapers Newspapers seem to be lagging in their approach to email marketing – and may be missing a big opportunity. one more top 10. • How to Escape the Corporate Spam Filter • 5 common deliverability mistakes • Top 10 mistakes.

but the sponsored sponsoredby by 20 / 32 . as well as a few design guidelines.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing YOUR GUIDE TO EMAIL DESIGN BY SEAN BLANDA Designing an email newsletter is a lot like designing a web page in 1996: lots of different browsers and no real standards. There are a lot of general tips here. as any Web designer can tell you. CSS support for email newsletters is poor at best. the unsubscribe section and a plain text link are all described in detail. when it comes to the Internet. Smashing Magazine’s tips for assuring your email arrives in the inbox and not in the spam filter. Luckily. CSS and best practices are all covered here. HTML. Make sure you don’t forget any important elements with this overview of the building blocks of an email design such as: the footer. • The principles of beautiful HTML email. Here is a collection of our favorite email design resources that every marketer should use: • Best practices for bulletproof e-mail delivery. A four-step guide to coding an email template from the ground up. such as when to use CSS and which HTML elements are safe. makes it difficult to produce consistent and visually appealing results. • How to code HTML newsletters. the practice of marketing through email is a well-established industry with many people making their best practices available. • A guide to CSS properties. Which.

If you don’t feel like dealing with any of this design stuff. • The 24-point creative checklist.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing YOUR GUIDE TO EMAIL DESIGN cont’d good folks at Campaign Monitor have already tested nearly every CSS element in all of the popular email clients so you don’t have to. run your email through this checklist containing such reminders as including a request to forward to a friend and deemphasizing the terms and conditions. here are some template collections to borrow from: • 30+ free templates from Campaign Monitor • Over 101 HTML email templates from MailChimp sponsored sponsoredby by 21 / 32 . Before you hit send.

though it may take some time to assemble depending on the number of newsletters. If readers show clear preference for one (through open and click-through rates). go back and look at the articles that performed well over the past six months. You’ll also save some money. This should result in a smaller but more valuable newsletter that subscribers actually look forward to. Once you clearly see the overlaps. you have several possible courses of action. You could also create a new newsletter topic and send it to that segment of subscribers that showed interest. Before you shut a newsletter down. Performing a mailing list inventory shows the overlap between all of your newsletters and can shed light on performance issues that have defied solution. A matrix of the data would look like this: sponsored sponsoredby by 22 / 32 .Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW TO DO YOUR FIRST MAILING LIST INVENTORY BY MILIND SHAH Brands who have built a newsletter business over the years often lose track of the subscriber overlap between individual newsletters. you should consider adding that category of content to the better-performing newsletter. If there is a common theme. then you probably have a reason to shut down the poor performer and give subscribers a break. If there is serious overlap between two newsletters. Your company’s email management team can provide this information. you can also see opportunities. A mailing list inventory cross-references the total number of subscribers for each newsletter and the overlap of subscribers between each.

Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW TO DO YOUR FIRST MAILING LIST INVENTORY cont’d From the raw numbers a breakdown of per-list overlap percentages can then be tabulated. sponsored sponsoredby by 23 / 32 .

Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW TO DO YOUR FIRST MAILING LIST INVENTORY cont’d The data can be surprising. while some are niche focused with only single digit overlap. We have made the spreadsheet depicted above available for download here. It also might give you insight into shifts in your audience’s needs. Entering the raw send information into the first matrix will automatically generate the overlap percentages in the second matrix. You can then quickly see whether or not you’re over-sending to your lists. This data is a benchmark for future performance after changes have been made to your mailing lists and newsletters. You can now formulate real strategy (based on hard data) to improve everything from conversions to branding to editorial overhead. In the example above. sponsored sponsoredby by 24 / 32 . Overlay this data with each list’s average newsletter open and click-through rates over the prior year. The link will take you to a Google Docs spreadsheet which you can view online and download into any spreadsheet application. notice that some lists are nearly 90% duplicated in another list. I specify newsletter here so that ad blasts or surveys do not skew your numbers.

Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW TO MANAGE AND REDUCE LIST FATIGUE BY MILIND SHAH The most common cause of list fatigue at media companies is the left hand not knowing what the right is doing. Marketing would like to gauge reader attitudes with some surveys. The tradeshow group naturally wanted to recruit new attendees and exhibitors for its upcoming shows. This group may stagger the delivery of some emails throughout the day or limit their frequency. Audience development/circulation knew that email would be a pretty good way to crossmarket subscription offers. media companies scratch their heads and wonder why readers aren’t opening or clicking on their emails they way they used to. the result is usually chaos and severe list fatigue. Consider how the average email list is used and abused. Then other departments realized what a great tool this subscriber list could be. readers subscribed. advertisers sponsored and all was well. When disparate divisions use the same list for their own needs. In the beginning. Third-party eblasts are a comparatively quick sell. A centralized email group that manages the nuts and bolts of email broadcasts is not enough. it is subscribers who suffer the resulting flood of email. so the sales team loved them to the tune of four or five each week. Meanwhile. Email that was once eagerly awaited is now lumped in with a glut of email that is mostly unwanted and soon sits unread in subscriber inboxes. Unless your company appoints a C-level email czar to enforce some rules. but they do not have the power to stop multiple emails from landing in the same inbox on the same day. Coordination at the brand (not corporate) level is sponsored sponsoredby by 25 / 32 . the editors built a newsletter.

A former colleague suggested the idea of using Google Calendar to provide all parties with this at-a-glance view of the email delivery schedule.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW TO MANAGE AND REDUCE LIST FATIGUE cont’d necessary to manage goals and improve conversions. One way to manage broadcasts and badger subscribers less is to set up shared calendars. Here’s an example from the eMediaVitals newsletter schedule. because only someone familiar with the audience will know how much is too much. sponsored sponsoredby by 26 / 32 . It becomes a dashboard for every department to monitor email volume and makes prioritizing sends more ROI-based and less political.

Sales broadcasts are spread out. signaling a push back to editorial.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing HOW TO MANAGE AND REDUCE LIST FATIGUE cont’d In this example. daily newsletters are timed at 10 am but one-off emails have priority. no more than two emails go out in any one day. you can start testing to see what strategy presents the best results. For especially fatigued lists. it might take time to see results from the new scheme. With someone coordinating email broadcasts. A calendar could be set up by list or by newsletter instead of department. color-coded schedule. Tougher still is not knowing what else is in users’ inboxes that might be impacting your conversion rates. sponsored sponsoredby by 27 / 32 . each department has a separate.

Tom Pimental.” Pimental said. In late 2009. users can choose both the amount and the frequency of the information they’re signing up to receive. “We’re vetting these sources for you. Choosing from 200 topics culled from more than 700 sources. They can even write their own subject lines. The goal is to make it easier for users to receive more relevant information. Tech trade publisher IDG is taking the concept one step further by letting users create their own newsletters. “With so much information out there. likens TechDispenser to an email version of iGoogle for tech information. content discovery is difficult for users. a Web-enabled application that lets users build custom newsletters based on technology topics that interest them. IDG launched TechDispenser.” Pimental estimates that 30% of the traffic on (IDG’s) major brand sites comes from newsletters. It’s a logical play for IDG.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing COMING SOON TO AN INBOX NEAR YOU: USER GENERATED NEWSLETTERS BY ROB O’REGAN The trend in email newsletters is toward personalization. since email is such a healthy part of its business. IDG tapped into its editorial expertise to identify the most valuable sources for TechDispenser content. director of product development for IDG Enterprise. sponsored sponsoredby by 28 / 32 . Pimental estimates that 30% of the traffic on its major brand sites comes from newsletters.

but on the back end we’re a database company. “That’s our most valuable asset. The benefit for IDG lies in the leads – lots and lots of potential new leads. You can see a demo of the product here. “We’re purposely trying to make this a valuable tool well beyond IDG. Pimental already has his sights set on potential product extensions: a mobile app. Pimental admits he had to do more than the usual amount of research and modeling to prove its potential payback. “We’re a media company on the front end.” said Pimental.” said Pimental. TechDispenser is not strictly a promotional tool for IDG content. The email addresses from new subscribers – along with the profile information that the users are providing as they select their topics of interest – will be gold for IDG’s database marketing arm.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing COMING SOON TO AN INBOX NEAR YOU: USER GENERATED NEWSLETTERS cont’d Importantly. sponsored sponsoredby by 29 / 32 . Because the tool is such a departure from other IDG products.” That’s why TechDispenser won’t look like an IDG media brand nor will it offer original content. The potential of a new database product to drive more newsletter subscriptions ultimately was enough to get a green light from the higher-ups. for example. those sources are not just IDG brands. Pimental’s team built TechDispenser in about three months using open-source Rails development technology. or brand-specific versions that IDG publishers can offer to their subscribers.

including issues such as content rights.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing IAB’S GUIDELINES FOR EMAIL MONETIZATION BY ROB O’REGAN The Interactive Advertising Bureau recently released a paper titled “Email Monetization Strategies. The full report is here. reporting methods and ad formats. “It’s a way to provide some consistent definitions to both publishers and advertisers. you guessed it. “Video is a relatively new opportunity. considering the maturity of email relative to other online marketing channels. choosing a player. will be working with ISPs to ensure that rich media formats are deliverable to users’ inboxes. It also discusses emerging best practices for embedded video. standalone email advertising. The report includes sections on email newsletters.” said O’Neal. The press release announcing the paper is here. chief revenue officer at Datran and one of the principal authors of the report (he serves as co-chair of the IAB’s email and lead gen committee). he added. but it’s a very powerful opportunity.” which provides guidelines for.” he said. “We’re trying to create some traction and bring this to the market.” The biggest challenge for publishers. especially those that may be new to email monetization. why there’s a need for this report now. inventory management and data collection. I asked Sean O’Neal. sponsored sponsoredby by 30 / 32 . The purpose is to provide a series of best practices that publishers and advertisers can use to get the most out of their email campaigns. monetizing newsletters and other email inventory.

asp Email subject lines: how long is too long? Subject lines are the most critical element to an email’s open rate. Here are a few tips to improve the response rate of your interactive ventures. http://www.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing ADDITIONAL WEB RESOURCES Tactics for reviving dead email subscribers Every marketer (and publisher) has inactive email subscribers.mequoda.wordpress.com/content/25047. then it’s time to send your ESP packing. See if any of these six reasons to kick your ESP to the curb strike a chord with you.com/author.asp 6 reasons to fire your ESP If your email service provider is sitting back and hoping that each time you call it isn’t because you’re going to flee. the goal is to be as direct as possible to identify your intended audience. This approach will result in fewer clicks but a higher conversion rate. http://www. the interactive nature of email newsletters is growing. But relatively few understand how to bring at least some of those email zombies back to life. http://www.imediaconnection.imediaconnection.com/content/24305.com/2009/02/27/e-mail-subject-line-length-short-is-good/ Master the ‘targeted’ email subject line When writing a targeted email subject line. http://jakprpro.asp?section_id=711&doc_id=183416 sponsored sponsoredby by 31 / 32 . This blog post is a synopsis of an Epsilon survey and details the average number of characters visible on top email clients (AOL. Yahoo and Hotmail account for nearly 57% of the market).internetevolution. http://www.com/articles/email-marketing/master-the-targeted-email-subject-line/ Optimizing interactive content for e-newsletters From employing video and audio content to inserting cutting-edge user polls.

or send an email to info@pubpress. The presentation will help you understand how the system works overall. one of the biggest names in email marketing technology. Our insight enables us respond and provide support to our customers so they can be successful email marketers. That’s why we’ve launched an email marketing service with resources that go beyond technology—our service comes with a deep understanding of our customers’ businesses and our commitment to customer service.Publisher’s Playbook: Email Marketing ABOUT THE SPONSOR At Publishers Press.com. you get support from Publishers Press professionals who understand your business better than any email company could. To learn more about how our email service can grow your business. You get the worldclass features you need. sponsored sponsoredby by 32 / 32 . robust reporting. we know first hand some of the challenges our clients may face when starting an email program. Since we use Bronto for our own email marketing purposes. our email service allows you to use the power of email to engage your audience and bring in new advertising revenue. like sophisticated audience development tools. how to use key features. and segmentation features. Even better. contact your Print Specialist to arrange a demonstration presented by our research group. We evaluated dozens of email service providers to partner with before choosing Bronto Software. Together. and how to track your results. we understand our loyal print customers need digital solutions from people they know and trust.

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