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Put Some Pizzazz In Your Registration Page

Email Marketers live and die by their email lists. Having the right email registration page can make or break your program. Many email marketers try to be overly cleaver or overly stuffy with their registration pages - this turns off potential subscribers and customers.

I found an email registration form and process that is easy to understand, refreshing, comical, and honest. This is for the daily deal site ( is one of the four woot sites.,,, and Why not start building the relationship at the point of email capture? This is what does.

Here is how Woot does it.
  • One, the Registration location is easy to find on the homepage. "Hi, are you new? Start here." is welcoming and clear. If you are not new, you know where to Log in.
  • Two, the form itself is clear, funny, and not intimidating.

  • Three, if I make a mistake the error message is lighthearted and clear. There is no question what I need to do to make the form right.

Once I hit "woot me", there is not a Thank You for filling out the form, but I was redirected back to the home page where I can start shopping.

The next morning I received a Rich Text Welcome. This welcome was lighthearted and informative. It explained how the various sites work and what I can expect when placing an order, tracking and order, and what to do if I have questions.

Woot! Woot!

Google and Microsoft: The Battle Over College E-Mail

College students used to complain about dining-hall mystery meat. Their new gripe? Puny e-mail inboxes.

Students have been howling that school e-mail accounts are too small to handle their daily deluge of mail and attachments. To address that problem, a growing number of colleges and universities are outsourcing their e-mail. The companies swooping in to manage student accounts for free? Google and Microsoft. Like search, software and operating systems, campuses are a burgeoning battleground for the tech titans. (See pictures of the college dorm's evolution.)

Google now manages e-mail for more than 2,000 colleges and universities, enabling students to transform accounts capped at 100 mb into Google-managed inboxes that allow for 70 times as much mail. Microsoft also provides free Web-based mail for thousands of schools, including colleges in 86 countries. Once colleges switch systems, students keep their .edu e-mail address while upgrading from stodgy campus access pages to speedier, sleeker Google (or Microsoft) log-ins.

Kirk Gregersen, senior director for Microsoft's Live@Edu program, says many schools that already rely on Microsoft software and services are comfortable expanding the relationship by letting Microsoft manage Web-based student e-mail.

Early adopters of Google, such as Northwestern, are lately being joined by Cornell, Georgetown and Temple, to name a few. Google's Apps for Education program has gained significant momentum as student tech demands mount and budgetary pressures strain campus IT departments. Handing the e-mail keys over to Google helps schools avoid costly server upgrades while capitalizing on Web-based e-mail's popularity among students. Eric Weil, managing partner for Student Monitor, a national college-focused market research firm, says the average college student has two or three personal e-mail addresses, and Gmail's popularity among students has doubled over the past two years. (Read "Google's Chrome: Taking Aim at Microsoft — and the iPhone.")

In the 2008 national Campus Computing Project (CCP) survey, 42% of schools reported that they had already migrated or were about to migrate to an outsourced student e-mail service. Another 28% said they were considering switching. CCP founding director Kenneth Green says many of today's first-year students like to use the Web-based e-mail they grew accustomed to in high school, just as many stick to an existing cell phone number rather than get a new dorm number.

Brown University is among the legion of schools now testing Google-managed messaging. Brown Junior Sarah Bolling says she hopes her school Googlifies permanently because she gets about 300 e-mails a week and misses important class messages when her tiny 250-mb school inbox overflows. She's not alone. More than 60% of Brown students have already been forwarding their messages to Gmail accounts, says Donald Tom, Brown's IT support director. He says the switch could help reduce a planned multimillion-dollar expenditure to upgrade Brown's tech infrastructure.

Of schools in the 2008 CCP survey that reported having outsourced e-mail already, 57% said they had opted for Google, while 38% had partnered with Microsoft. In addition to e-mail, Google's free Apps for Education offering includes voice- and video-chatting capabilities as well as collaborative word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and website-creation software. Google Apps shed its beta, or trial, label in July, reassuring decision makers. Microsoft, which is refining its own Web-based Office software, grants every student 25 gb of free online storage space.

When Notre Dame hired out their e-mail to Google last year, the school saved $1.5 million in storage and other tech costs, says Katie Rose, Notre Dame's program manager for enterprise initiatives. Student e-mail satisfaction ratings rose 36% after the switch. Arizona State estimated that its savings with Google were $400,000 per year. Washington State University, meanwhile, expects to save about $100,000 by working with Microsoft. (See the top 10 Microsoft moments.)

What's in it for Google and Microsoft? Not revenue. Neither company charges for outsourced e-mail. In its contracts with schools, Google forgoes the $50 annual fee per user that it charges companies and promises not to impose ads on students or faculty. Microsoft makes a similar pledge. (Read "Can Microsoft's Bing Take a Bite out of Google?")

Even if it doesn't boost short-term profits, Google hopes serving schools for free will help broaden acceptance for Web-based e-mail and software services, says Jeff Keltner, who heads Google's Apps for Education team. Keltner says administrators appreciate not just cost savings but security benefits. "They walk away saying my data is probably safer in Google's data center than anywhere I would house it myself," he says. "And they appreciate the advantages to having data in the cloud, rather than residing on phones or laptops, which are devices that tend to get lost."

Timothy Chester, chief information officer for Pepperdine University, which recently partnered with Google, says his staff is 20% smaller than it was three years ago. Taking advantage of Google's economies of scale means that his smaller team can focus more on improving the way computers are used for learning on campus. "We want our staff working more with students and faculty and less on the nuts and bolts of delivering technology."

This article first appeared on Click here to view the original article.


Every so often it is prudent to take a refresher on fundamental email marketing topics and best practices. CAN-SPAM, officially known as the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicitedcan spam, can spam facts, CAN-SPAM, CAN-Spam quiz, spam, spammy email, what is can spam? Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003, is one of the most important online marketing topics. To follow is a CAN-SPAM QUIZ. Test your knowledge to make sure your emails are compliant.

You can also check out my other CAN-SPAM related blog post, CAN-SPAM: Just The Facts, by clicking here.

This quiz is from You can see the original quiz by clicking here.

CAN-SPAM is only applicable in the United States and overrides any state level spam laws.
- True
- False

Updates to CAN-SPAM are managed and produced by the FCC.
- True
- False

Which of the following is not acceptable under CAN-SPAM?
- A physical street address in the content of the sender
- A PO box address in the content of the sender

- Having an opt-out link

- Sending marketing email to anyone regardless of whether they’ve actually opted-out

What’s the maximum number of pages a user is allowed to land on or be redirected to after clicking on the unsubscribe link in an email?
- One page
- Two pages
- Three pages
- Four Pages

How quickly after a user unsubscribes must you remove them from your marketing lists?
-Five days
-Ten days
-One week
-One month

How long must the unsubscribe link in an email remain active for a user to click on it?
-Five days
-Ten days
-One week
-One month

Transactional email is defined as that which you think the recipient would most likely convert on.

Transactional email is exempt from CAN-SPAM.

Which of the following headers must accurately reflect the sender?
- The friendly from
- From address
- Subject

- All of the Above

You must send to at least the following amount for CAN-SPAM to be in force?
- Any Volume
- 100
- 1,000
- 10,000

Violation of CAN-SPAM can result in monetary fines and possible jail time.

Keep on reading to view the answers.

Question 1
The answer is “True.”
CAN-SPAM was written into law in 2003 as a federal measure to ensure that all email adequately identifies its origin, allows a user to remove themselves from future mailings and provides the government and ISPs a right to action against anyone not following CAN-SPAM requirements.

Question 2
The answer is “False”.
While the FCC contributes to CAN-SPAM via email sent to cell devices, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) owns and updates the core requirements of CAN-SPAM. The FTC is also the governing body in legal prosecutions.

Question 3
The Answer is “Sending marketing email to anyone regardless of whether they’ve actually opted-out.” CAN-SPAM is very clear that once a recipient has opted out of receiving your email, you may not contact them again for further marketing opportunities. With an unsubscribe, this is akin to a Do-Not-Call list with telephone numbers.

Question 4
The Answer is “One page.”
To avoid senders having overly complicated or confusing opt out mechanisms to keep list attrition at a minimum, a sender is allowed to have the recipient take one action after landing on the unsubscribe page from an opt-out clickthrough. At that point, they can click on a confirm button, check a box, etc., but a sender cannot require them to sign into an account and perform other actions to be removed from the list or require a fee.

Question 5
The Answer is “Ten days.”
You must remove a recipient from mailing lists or suppress sending to them within 10 days of receipt of their opt-out request as mandated by law.

Question 6
The Answer is “One Month.”
To ensure that recipients have enough time to actually click on an unsubscribe link in an email, you must support the unsubscribe link and the resulting landing page for at least 30 days.

Question 7
The Answer is “False.”
CAN-SPAM clearly defines transactional email as one which “facilitates an agreed-upon transaction or updates a customer in an existing business relationship.” This definition prohibits marketing messages from being labeled as transactional although it does allow for marketing content in a transactional email.

Question 8
The Correct Answer is “True.”
Since transactional email falls under strict definition by the FTC, it is exempt from the commercial email restrictions. But, it is advised that a sender get input from someone who’s an expert in email law to certify that the content does apply to the transactional definition.

Question 9
The Answer is “All of the Above.”
All of these must accurately reflect the originator of the email message. Failure to do so is considered fraudulent and in direct conflict of the transparency spirit of the law.

Question 10
The Answer is “Any Volume.”
Any amount of email sent, regardless even if it’s just to a single recipient, is covered by CAN-SPAM. There are no volume thresholds.

Question 11
The Answer is “True.”
Violation of CAN-SPAM can result in monetary fines and jail time depending on the number of offenses and intent of the sender. Over the years, many people have received either or both as they’ve been found guilty of breaking CAN-SPAM regulations. Also, a sender in violation can face civil damages from private ISPs attempting to recoup damages lost by sending mail to their recipients.

Holiday 2009 - Your Plan For Success!

As all  email and online marketers know, Holiday 2009 is just around the corner.  This is the time of the year that can make or break not only a quarter or year, but a company. Do everything in your power to ensure 2009 finishes with a bang!  EmailMoxie is here to help you succeed!

Here are two great sources for you.

The first is The 2009 holiday marketer: Benchmark and trend report.  This comes to us from

Experian Marketing Services.   The 2009 holiday marketer: Benchmark and trend report has some interesting points well worth your consideration, especially for all of you email marketers out there looking to gain an edge on the competition this winter.

Taking a look at the data from the report, there are a number of relevant tidbits that merit a quick shout-out:

  • Email’s “eco-friendly” reputation may not hold as much sway with environmentally-conscious customers as you thought, so don’t cancel the print catalogs just yet.
  • “Surprising to many, Behavioral Greens, which are the group of consumers that are most green aware according to Experian Simmons, account for nearly half of all catalog purchases.”
  • Shorter really is sweeter when it comes to email subject lines during the holidays.  Take a look at the EmailMoxie post on this subject by clicking here.
  • “All industries with the exception of consumer products and services experienced the highest open rates when using subject lines of 25 characters or less last year.”
This report is based on data tracked from more than 4,700 emails from top 100 online retailers during the fourth quarter of last year. This guide includes benchmarks and advice on when to begin your campaigns, how much to increase your email volume, which days to send on, and how to stand out in the in box during the busy holiday season. 

Last year nearly 90% of major online retailers increased their email volume during the holiday season, with retailers boosting their send frequency by 43% on average compared to the pre-holiday period.  WOW!

Other topics covered in the guide include:
  • Cyber Monday 2008, may not have been "the biggest online shopping day of the year" as billed. But it was the most popular day of the year to send retail emails, with 70% of retailers sending at least one email on that day. Helping you make your scheduling decisions, the guide also details other days among the 20 most popular days to send retail email last year
  • You will also see examples of the "18 Phases of Christmas." This is the 18 strategies that retailers use at different points in the holiday season.
  • Tactics for standing out in the inbox, such as using video, which is an up-and-coming tactic, and animated gifs, which were used by 22% of major online retailers in at least one email during November and December last year.
  • Strategies to employ during the final days before Christmas, including promoting e-gift cards, which were mentioned in more than 20% of retail emails during the three days before Christmas last year.
  • Numerous examples of subject lines used last year during the various phases of the holiday season to help you devise your subject lines for the crucial November and December months.
  • Holiday header launch dates: percentage of retailers that introduced a holiday header, beginning on 10/20/09.
Hopefully this will help you to have a great 2009 holiday season. Remember, that the quality of email sent can be much more important than the quantity.  Be sure your emails are honest, timely, relevant, follow best practices, and done right!  Let us know how can help you make Holiday 2009 your best season yet!