Search Email Moxie Posts

Top-Performing Advertising Channels

In a recent survey, marketing executives reported that email is the strongest-performing advertising channel. Behind Email was Search, Offline, Affiliate Marketing, Display, Direct Mail, Social Media and Mobile.

 This data is from Datran Media's 4th Annual Marketing & Media Survey, 2010.

Share your thoughts on what will be the next big marketing channel.   Can Social Media be number one in the future?

Bridging the Offline/Online Experience

Retailers who have brick-and-mortar locations and an online presence frequently struggle on how to bridge these two unique, but vital, customer touch points.

Some of the Offline/Online struggles and questions are:
  • What are the best ways to promote in-store email sign-up?
  • How do we promote our stores in email?
  • How do we train our store associates to ask for email addresses?
  • Will promoting online over in-store result in lower performing stores and the cannibalization of our customer base?
Here is a good example of an email that World Market sent after an in-store email sign-up.  This email provides the best of both worlds. It adds the person to the email marketing list, promotes the benefits of online shopping, and also drives the customer back to the store with an in-store only offer.

What are some solutions you have found to the Offline/Online struggle? 
Please share your thoughts and ideas with us.

Yahoo! Mail Is Turning Links Blue By Default: Get The Fix

There is a new issue occurring in Yahoo! Mail.

What's happening
In some cases Yahoo! Mail is turning links blue by default

The solution
The workaround is to overwrite the Yahoo style by declaring it with an embedded style within the section like this:

Here is an example of the pesky blue links:

Here this is fixed:

Here is an example of how to fix this:

< a href=" http://%%track%%/dyn598" style="padding:0 8px 0 16px; color:#FFFFFF;" title="Mirrors" target="_blank" >Mirrors< /a >

Updated with Changes:
< a href="http://%%track%%/dyn598" style="padding:0 8px 0 16px; color:#FFFFFF;" title="Mirrors" target="_blank" >< span style="color:#FFFFFF" >Mirrors< /span >< /a >Mirrors

This example will set all links as black:
   < style type="text/css" >
    .yshortcuts { color:#000000; }< /style >  

If you need to change more than one link color you will need to create classes.

In this example there is a class created for the links in the header and for the links in the footer.

.header .yshortcuts { color:#666666; }
.footer .yshortcuts { color:#FFFFFF; }

The class name would need to be added to the table tag or tag that contains the links.

Here is an example of the header class added to the table tag.

< table width="619" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" class="header" >

If there is text that is being highlighted as a popular search term by Yahoo! you can place an < a > tag around it to stop the underlining and blue box.

Here is an example of how you can do this:

< a style="color:#000000; text-decoration:none;" >System text copy that is being underlined by Yahoo!.< /a>

 Please note: I added spaces before each < > in the above code. This is so the code displays correctly in this post. Remove the erroneous spaces when you try this in your Emails HTML.

As always, be sure to test your mailing after adding these snippets of code to ensure that it isn't causing any new breaks in other mail clients. Let me know if this update works for you. 

Header Redesign: Simple Changes Can Make Big Differences

Header text is a must have best practice for any serious email marketer. This text will display in an email even when images are blocked and formatting is not quite right. This actionable area, at a minimum, should deliver the point of the email and have a link to the online version. Header text should be clear, clean and actionable.

The specialty kitchenware retailer and culinary mecca, Sur La Table, recently updated their email header text. The new text not only follows header text best practices, but it also conserves precious email real-estate, and looks great.

Here is the updated header text. Notice the links are all click-able and are in one line at the top of the email.
Here is the original header text. The text is not all click-able, is a bit long-winded, and takes up valuable, above the fold, email real-estate.

What do you think about these updates? Have you updated your header text? Please share your experiences and thoughts with us!

When Your From is Done: Updating Your From AddressPart II

In March 2010, I had a similar article to this about updating a From address. Here is another example of updating ones From address. 

There comes a time in most email marketer’s life that the email address he or she sends from needs to be changed.  This change might be warranted because of an IP update, a change to a new email marketing service provider, a hosting update, for ascetic purposes, or other reasons.

When a change like this must be made, what should be done? Two of the most critical goals are, one, to do your best to be sure deliverability does not suffer when the new email address is used and, two, that subscribers recognize that the email is from you and do not hit the spam button.  After a thorough white listing process what’s next?  Do you alert your subscribers about the new email address, if so how? recently tackled this issue.  In their case they were updating their ‘from’ email address,, to the easier to digest

This retailer of all things baby sent an email to their subscribers explaining that to better serve them they are making some ‘technical upgrades’ to their website including changing the address that they send email from.  The message requests that the subscriber does one of three things.

1. Right click on the from address with the email, select "add to contacts."
2. Right click on the message before opening it, select "add to contacts" or "add to people I know.
3. Click "add to address book" from within the email next to the from address.

This message is clear, simple, and sincerer.

One update that should make to their creative, however, is add the new email address to the header of the email.  Here is a good example from Current Catalog.

This way the subscribers will be more conscious of the change since it is in the top of the creative and top-of-mind.

Here is the creative from  The subject line is: We're updating our email address‏

Here is another example. This one is from Kenneth Cole.
The subject line is: Add our new email to your address book

Two Email Tools That Every Marketer Needs

I found two great email marketing tools on Email  These will come in handy for anyone who works with email marketing data and email addresses. 

The first is an email validation tool.
The second is an an email extractor tool.

Email Validation tool
This tells if an email address is real.

Email Extractor Tool
This does lots of data organizing and extracting.  Let's say your client sends text and emails combined and wants us to pull out the emails.  This will do that.

Features also include:
  1.    Extract emails without repeating the same email
  2.    Display total extracted emails
  3.    Select different separator for each email (or enter your own)
  4.    Group emails by number specified by you. Each group is separated by new line.
  5.    Option to sort emails alphabetically
  6.    Option to extract or exclude email containing only certain string
  7.    Option to extract web addresses instead of email addresses

How will you use these tools?  What other email tools do you use?  What other email tools do you wish you had?

Adding Facebook Like To Email - The Secret Is Out

A recent hot topic in Email Marketing has been adding the Facebook Like icon and functionality to email. 

Here is how this works:

1-They can select the icon. This will take them to a new URL where the Like is registered.

2- They can select the icon. This will take them to a new URL where the Facebook Like is registered.

The simplest way and the one most likely to work for most users is to use the following code.

1. Change the URL to the page you want ‘liked’
2. Change the img location and upload your likebutton image.

This is still a new tool.  Lookout for enhancements and feature updates.  
Please email me if you would like a text version of this code.

Data Append Mishap

I am a fan of quality steak and well run email data appends.  In this example the high end steakhouse, Fleming's, is batting.500.  They serve some of the best steaks in the world and unfortunately had a misstep in a recent data append.

I have been a Fleming's email subscriber for some time. I diligently open each email looking for the next delicious deal. Recently I received an email from Fleming's with the subject line: Email Communications from Fleming's. Interesting, I thought.  When I opened the email I instantly recognized this as an email append message.  I was being auto opted in to receive emails from Fleming's even though I was already an active subscriber. Oops...

This screen shot shows the append email, and past emails I have received.  As you can see I regularly receive their emails.

How did this happen?  My guess is that they ran a data append, acquired my email address from some database, but neglected to exclude already subscribed email addresses from their final list.  They not only emailed subscribers but paid someone for this match!  Double ouch.

For those who do not know an email data append is typically ran like this:  You take non-email address customer data (name, address etc.) and run this against a database looking to match an email address.  Once you acquire an email address you send an email notifying the person that you are opting them into your email list because you have a past relationship with them. This newly acquired subscriber must be given the option to opt out in the append email.

One positive, however, is that the email append creative Fleming’s used is really sharp.  They explained why I was receiving the email, provided ample ways to opt-out, and also told me more about who they are and what they offer their customers

Email Deliverability tougher in US than Europe

ReturnPath recently released their 2009 Global Email Deliverability Benchmark Report.

Some Key Findings Are:
  • E-mail deliverability varies by international region, with European marketers enjoying the best chances of reaching consumers' inboxes.
  • In the second half of 2009, only 80.1% of permission-based commercial e-mail in the US and Canada was delivered to the inbox. This represents a slight increase from the first half of the year.
  • The percentage of mail delivered to the "junk" or "bulk" e-mail folders remained flat at 3% in the July-to-December time period for the United States and Canada. During the second half of 2009, 16% of e-mail messages was not delivered at all, a slight decrease from earlier in the year.
  • Commercial European mailers saw a more favorable picture, with 85% of e-mail delivered to the inbox.
  • In Europe, only 3.6% of permission-based e-mail was sent to "junk" or "bulk" e-mail folders, while another 11% was missing or not delivered at all.
What is the difference between North America and Europe?
According to George Bilbrey, president of Return Path, the difference between the US and Europe is due to ISPs' approach to filtering
"North American ISPs tend to use reputation more when deciding if an e-mail gets delivered, and European ISPs do much more content delivery filtering."
Asia Pacific outperformed both Europe and North America with 86.9% inbox placement, only 3% of e-mail sent to the bulk folder, and only 10.7% missing. Interestingly, in China, e-mails were more likely to get delivered if they were sent from within the country.

Have you seen your delivery rates change? Do you email more than one country? Do the rates vary based on country or region?  Share your thoughts!

Product Ratings and Reviews: A Recipe For Success

Product ratings and reviews are a powerful and proven tool to boost  sales, build brand loyalty, gain valuable insight into your customers and products, improve your organization, and to generate buzz about your products, service, and website. This all sounds fantastic, but...
  • How is this done?
  • What is the best way to run a ratings and review program?
  • What are some pitfalls and best practices?
  • Where do I begin?
Review requests are typically sent to purchasers via email after a set amount of time following the purchase. One week after delivery is a good rule of thumb for marketers to use — but your wait time can vary based on your sales cycle. Be sure to account for shipping times and delays prior sending the review request, and keep in mind that it would not be good if the request was sent prior to the customer receiving the product or having time to adequately enjoy or use the product. Many email service providers, eCommerce solutions and product review vendors can automate the entire email and review process. I recommend jumping on this opportunity if it is available to you.

Here are some of the key components to a seamless review process.
  1. Be sure you have a good looking email review request creative. List the product name (and have a picture, if possible).  Ask for the customer’s feedback, address the customer by first name, list the purchase date, and present an offer or sweepstakes for completing the review.  Be sure to have links to your website and other eCommerce sites. Don't miss this opportunity to make another sale.  Remember, you are emailing someone who recently made a purchase from you.  They could very well purchase again from this email.
  2. Create a clear and easy flowing review process.  Don't make the reviewer guess what they need to do next in the review process.  Also, do not make this too time consuming.
  3. Make the review submit button clear and obvious.    
  4. Give the reviewer the ability to view and edit his or her review prior to it being posted.
  5. Once the review is posted send a follow-up email to the reviewer letting him or her know that the review was successfully submitted, thanking the customer for the review, where the review is (they might want to tweet it to their friends), how to edit or remove the review, the details of any offer or sweepstakes for making the review, and what to do if you never made a review and someone else has submitted this in your name.
  6. Analyze  reviews once they have been posted.  If someone gives you a rave review, blog about this, tweet this, highlight this in one of your marketing emails.  Tell the whole world how great your customers say you are.  Be equally as proactive if you receive a bad or scathing review.  Try to solve the reviewer's problems or issues.  The bottom line is to take the good, bad, and indifferent reviews and work to make your products and business a better place and have the best customer experience as possible.
    Here is a real life review experience I recently had with ratings and reviews.  This is a review request for a picnic table I recently purchased. Take special note to the flow of the review process.  This entire process, from when I first opened the initial email to the Thank You For Making a Review email, was about four minutes.

    Step 1: The Request To Review
    I received the request for a review. The Subject Line and From address was very clear.

    Here is the email creative.  Notice that it lists the website I purchased from, uses my First and Last Name, has an image of the product, the product name, there is an offer and the link to write the review and the product name is in blue while the rest of the text is black.  This is very clear, concise and well done.

    Step 2: The Review Process
    Once I clicked the Write A Review link from the email, I was sent to the review page.  This page was branded with the companies navigation bars (just in case I wanted to make another purchase) and the review process was clear.  Notice how the item I purchased is again listed and contains a picture.

    Here are the categories in the review page.

    - Review Headline
    - Rating (One to Five stars)
    - Pros
    Here are the Pro category options. I could also add my own.
    Attractive Design, Cleans Easily, Comfortable, Easy To Assemble, Weather Proof, Well Constructed
    - Cons
    Here are the Con category options. I could also add my own.
    Difficult To Store, Not Weather Proof, Poorly Made, Tough To Assemble, Unattractive Design
    - Best uses
    Here are the Best uses category options. I could also add my own.
    Decks, Lawns, Patios, Porch, Relaxing, Entertaining
    - Describe Yourself
    Budget Shopper, Midrange Shopper, High-end Shopper
    - Primary Use
    Business, Personal
    - Comments
    - Bottom Line
    Yes, I would recommend this to a friend, No, I would not recommend this to a friend
    - Nickname
    - Location
    - Add images or video to the review
    - Preview and then submit

    Step 3: Thank You Email

    Within a few seconds of submitting my review I received a Product Review Notification email.

    This was an all text email that Thanked me for submitting my review by my first name and location, displayed the review, listed a link to update the review, and a link to remove the review.

    The only information that was missing in this email is how the drawing for the $100 gift card works. This was the offer listed in the Request To Review email.

    Suspend Your Email Subscription

    You are excited about an upcoming vacation or trip. Your subscribe to a million different email lists related to travel. Airlines, cruise ships, travel destinations etc. Then your trip is canceled or delayed. Boo Hoo.

    Now you have three email options –
    1. Ignore the travel emails in your inbox and become inactive.
    2. Go through the tedious unsububscribe process or simply hit spam on all the emails that you signed up for and no longer want.
    3. Periodically open the emails and dream about the vacation that might not happen.
    Recently I saw an unsubscribe page from a company called Vacations To Go that offers a nice forth options for the delayed traveler. They offer an option to suspend your current subscription and then choose a month when the subscription will restart. Vacations To Go also offers a frequency option of once a week, once a month, and every two months. This is smart – especially in the fickle and highly competitive travel industry.

    Here is the opt out/out down page from Vacations To Go:

    What other creative opt downs have you seen?