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Tag: email marketing

Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that utilizes email to sell products. Email marketing is the most relevant form of marketing online as email usage has become habitual for the majority of adult Internet users in the US.

Customized Email Audits Available

After you’ve operated with a specific email template and strategy for a while, it becomes like second nature. You know exactly what’s needed daily, and you’re able to execute on it with ease.

However, consistency may lead to complacence, and if you want your email campaigns to always be as effective as possible, you have to take a critical look at them from time to time.

7 Steps to Improving Email Delivery

Email strategy consultant Jeanne Jennings shares some important insight

We talk at lengths about the power and relevancy email plays in today’s digital world.

As a habitual activity familiar to the majority of online users, email doesn’t appear to be going anywhere. Although some age groups may not use it as much for communication with friends as they use social media, the relevance still lies in being a trusted medium for business activities and financial transactions. From paying bills to receiving email newsletters, email provides a means to an end not found through other online services.

Choosing Your Email Service Provider

Choosing the email service provider (ESP) for your business is a more difficult task than many people would think.

For instance, what do the potential ESPs have to offer your business? Will they provide you with a private IP address, or would you be sharing an IP address with others. It’s desperately important to know this and understand your emailing needs. We’d recommend that all online businesses use an IP address dedicated solely to their company, or they’d run the risk of getting penalized or possibly blacklisted due to the actions of others.

Subscriber-centric: A Mequoda Open Content Standard

Being subscriber-centric puts a focus on your level of direct interaction

What makes your customer relationships unique? Is it that your content successfully brings value to your audience so they can do more and live better?

Publishers have ample opportunity to reach the right people in the digital age – they just need to take the proper steps to do so.

SIPA Member Profile: Nicholas Follows Lighthouse to Smooth Sailing

Don Nicholas, CEO, Mequoda Group, Hopkinton, Mass.

What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?

I was 27 when I graduated from college. As my sons, Scott and Ryan, like to say, I was on the 10-year plan. I had gone back to school full-time two years earlier, after spending four years in the Navy and about four years in publishing and marketing. Once I did graduate, I did what all my friends were doing in 1983 and started a software company. Lighthouse Software created and supported a financial forecasting system for magazine and newsletter publishers. Within five years, ours was the number one product in the industry. With more than 800 clients, I made a lot of relationships that have lasted my entire career.

Making Money with Digital Video and Book Bundles

Bundle first, create new products later

While most of the publishers I work with were not in the video production business five years ago, virtually all of them are today. In some cases, the sales of video content now accounts for as much as 20 percent of their total revenue. In addition to sourcing third-party video, many have also built their own production studio and are creating dozens of new titles this year.

Whether you have 10,000, 100,000, or 1 million e-mail subscribers, your e-mail marketing program still has a limited number of slots. Most of the publishers I work with focus on 2 to 5 products, or perhaps I should say offers, each week. Those who have seen revenue per e-mail subscriber increase over the past few years, pay close attention to the performance of the products and offers occupying those precious e-mail promotion slots.

Read! Calls to Action Enhance Email Marketing.

The Power and (Occasional) Glory of Email Marketing

Email marketing remains a powerful tool, so powerful that it’s almost like one of those laser weapons in a James Bond film: put in the wrong hands, bad things can happen. I saw an example this week, where a well-intentioned email led to a flurry that had people very upset about their weighted-down inbox. (On that issue, check out the Email Charter devised by Chris Anderson and Jane Wulf to try to get people to send less and engage more—in person or by phone. It’s also in the November Hotline newsletter.

Week in Review: November 7th, 2011 – November 11th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Mequoda Email Source Report

Collecting data from your email marketing campaigns allows you to determine which activities are the most beneficial to the health of your online business.

Smart online publishers use this data to plan their future email calendar, focusing on products and topics that generate the most website traffic and audience interaction while generating revenue.

For Mequoda Gold Members, we’ve developed a WordPress plug-in that collects this information for them.

SIPA Member Profile: Sports Background Prepares Crotty Well

Brian Crotty, President, OPIS (Oil Price Information Service), Gaithersburg, Md.

What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
I had a creative writing degree and thought since I could write, I would be a journalist. My first job was at a newspaper called The Daily Record in Baltimore. Problem was, I couldn’t write journalistically—so that job didn’t go too well. After being aggressively edited for several months, I decided I needed to go to journalism school, so I did.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road?
I can think of two. The first was in 1995, when I was named a VP at Phillips Publishing after having worked there for two years. They had some very good people there so I felt like I could compete with top publishers. The second was in 2002 when I went back to UCG as president of OPIS. My goal was to be a president of a company before I was 40—and I just made it. I was 39 and 3 months!

Week in Review: October 31st, 2011 – November 4th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

One Major Email Deliverability Issue You Need to Monitor

Do you know your inbox placement rate (IPR)?

Email usage has remained solid for years, and its popularity will likely grow due to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. A new report from Nielsen shares that 40% of smartphone owners and 42% of tablet owners use their device while watching TV. What are people doing on these devices? 60% check their email during shows, while 59% wait for a commercial break to check their email.

And of course we can forget Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project’s statistics, which shared the information that 92% of online adults use email, with 61% using it daily.

Discover the 10 Habits of Highly Effective Twitter Accounts

The largest publisher Twitter accounts today are the ones who didn’t wait for someone to give them the “go ahead”—they just dove into it. The New York Times boasts the biggest Twitter following of any publisher on Twitter and has been tweeting since March 2007, less than a year after Twitter launched.

Survey Results: Digital Natives Definition & 3 Surprising Subscription Habits

Are you wasting time with email marketing? 50% of Digital Natives might say yes

If you’ve been following the Occupy Wall Street protests, you might be shaking in your boots about the future generation of consumers—do they expect everything for free? Surely they can’t expect jobs if they want everyone to work for free, can they? Thankfully you’re likely already giving away plenty of free, valuable, information on your website—right?

Well, have you been wondering how the next giant generation of consumers—those mysterious”digital natives”—prefer to subscribe to your free content online? When we asked a few non-digital natives in an informal survey, they pretty much told us that the current generation of twenty-somethings are a bunch of social media-crazed web-niacs that don’t even use email anymore.

The Importance of Links Stressed by a Major Publisher

The Washington Post is instructing reporters on the importance of link building

How many times have you heard that building links are important?

Reporters at the Washington Post recently received a memo briefing them on the importance of linking content.

Email Marketers Shift Focus on How They Share Links

More retail marketers are directing audience members to their social networks

Do you incorporate the “forward-to-a-friend” option in your email newsletters?

If so, how has it worked for you? Do you track in Google Analytics when new converted members come from the forward-to-a-friend option?

How to Get the Most From Email Marketing

5 tips for a better email marketing process

How often do you pay attention to your email file?

Even if you see it growing on a regular basis, have you taken the time to look deeper into the statistics behind your list? Doing so will help you clean up your list and create segments of your most valuable customers.

The following tips

Dropping the “F-Bomb” in Email Marketing – Can You Pull it Off?

Getting away with using the word “free” in an email subject line

You know, I once used the word “kick-ass” in a subject line to describe hiring “great” editors. Even though we got a 30% boost in open rates, we also got a few complaints. So here when I’m talking about the F-bomb, we’re alluding to the word FREE, not that other four-letter word. Promise.

The word “free” is not your enemy. Smart email marketing professionals will never tell you to avoid it, because dropping the f-bomb in your subject line on occasion is almost always worth the risk of being filtered in exchange for the above average open rate you’ll get out of it.

Your Online Persona May Need Polishing Up

Creating a Strong Online Persona Makes Sense

Here’s some good advice from Max Drucker, chief executive of Social Intelligence, a California-based company that “navigates the complicated landscape of social media” for hiring purposes: “Create an online persona that is far richer than a resume might be. Create your own personal domain. Participate in various industry blogs. Put yourself out there in a way you’d like your employer to see.”

The quote appeared in a recent Washington Post column called Web inSites from writer Melissa Bell. “A job candidate should spend as much time polishing an online profile as choosing an interview suit,” she writes. In fact, I have a 20-something friend who, convinced that his college exploits might have cost him a couple jobs, has started a new persona with an altered first name, sans the social media history.

5 Big Mistakes Highlighted from Our Email Newsletter Reviews

Email newsletter rants from email marketing expert, Jeanne Jennings

As I was paging through our list of email newsletter reviews, written by the admirable Jeanne Jennings, I was finding some pretty great commentary about what worked and what didn’t work amongst the email newsletters we reviewed.

Week in Review: July 11th, 2011 – July 15th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

10 Email Marketing Vendors That Publish Great Blogs

Check out these email marketing vendors who have a knack for publishing great case studies and informative research

At Mequoda Daily, we blog a whole lot about email marketing. We talk to clients and other publishers so that we can pull together great case studies to learn from. However, since we can only pull so much data from everybody, we also keep up to date on the blogs of email marketing vendors who often release reports and case studies that are really helpful to our research and best practice development.

Early Bird Pricing for Search Engine Optimization 2011 Ends…

Early bird pricing ends on Tuesday, July 12th so register now and save

Register for Search Engine Optimization 2011 Seminar now

SEO has become a fundamental skill in the digital landscape. If online editors, writers and content marketers aren’t knowledgeable on the best practices for SEO, then will not be as successful as possible in building website traffic and generating revenue.

The four modules taught at our upcoming Search Engine Optimization 2011 Seminar will provide context for the digital publishing environment while sharing techniques proven to build traffic, conversions and core audiences for B2B and B2C publishers.

Cut the Formalities – and Other Web-Writing Tips

Drawing Attention Is a Good Thing on the Web

In his SIPA 2011 session on Writing for the Web vs. Print: The Practical Differences, Curt Brown of Progressive Business Publications laid out the challenges of writing for online consumption—and how to overcome those challenges. Here’s a top 11:

1. In print, headlines have three seconds to grab the reader; in online, you have one. The three types of headlines and email subject lines that best grab a reader’s attention are: need-to-know information like news; a tease; and intrigue.

Companies Now Using In-House Social Networks

Social Networks for the Workplace

We’ve discussed the topic before in this space about how social networks might work for businesses. One of the answers appeared in a New York Times article Sunday about companies using social networks that are specifically being built for that function.

“Although it is difficult to quantify how many companies use internal social networks, a number of corporate software companies have sensed the opportunity and offer various systems, some free to existing customers, others that charge a fee per user,” wrote Verne G. Kopytoff in the Times.

Mequoda Gold Member Bob Kaslik Honored

Folio names Kaslik as a 2011 Audience Development All-Star

Bob Kaslik, Sr. Vice-President of Consumer Marketing at Interweave, is one of the eight audience development professionals selected as Folio’s 2011 Audience Development All-Stars.

In its fifth edition of Audience Development All-Stars, Folio has compiled a group of “the most innovative individuals in circulation, consumer marketing and online audience development.”

Content Management Systems Evolve with Times

A Good Take on Content Management Systems

There was a very interesting story on the Poynter website last week titled “4 ways content management systems are evolving & why it matters to journalists.” Founded as the Modern Media Institute in 1975, Poynter remains affiliated with the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest newspaper. With the lessening of the newspaper industry over the last few years, Poynter has changed its focus, now including this line on its website: “Today’s Poynter still helps newsrooms; but we assist the independent entrepreneur, too.” When it comes to building communities, Poynter can be a great resource.

In his article, Matt Thompson writes (with journalists in mind): “…it’s hard to get people interested in the one technology that they have to use every day, the thing that either inhibits or enables the space-age storytelling they want to do—their content management system.”

SIPA Member Profile: Doherty Serves Healthy Platter

Judy Doherty, President, Food and Health Communications, Louisville, Colo.

What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
My first job out of college was a pastry chef’s position at a very posh private club in Tucson, Ariz., which later turned into executive pastry chef for Hyatt Hotels for almost 10 years. I started having an interest and knack in healthy cooking and eating. Then I began my publishing company off the kitchen table more than 18 years ago because I saw a need for my expertise, creative talent and information in the nutrition and wellness education arena.

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road.
We were reporting about educational materials in my newsletter, and I noticed there were none on a few topics so we created them—and the orders started streaming in across the fax. Our ancillary business is actually much larger than our newsletter business today.

Social Media List Building: Why To Start & How To Do It

Start treating your lists equally by building your social media lists with new free products

Social media list building requires less effort than building your email list. Less effort on the side of the subscriber, because you won’t ask for an email address, and less effort on your part because you don’t need to create a whole elaborate name-squeeze page for each an every one you release.

Using Facebook to Build Your Community

A Town’s Facebook Page Builds New Community

Yesterday, I wrote about Twitter, based on a PBS NewsHour story the night before. The news is obviously good for Twitter, but there was one interesting, not-so-good fact pointed out by reporter Spencer Michaels: “One industry group says only 8% of Americans have ever used Twitter, compared to 51% for Facebook.”

So Facebook remains the social media star, but what about its potential to help with business—your business. An interesting experiment is taking place just across the Potomac River from SIPA Central in Rockville, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C. (This is also one town over from where the U.S. Open golf tournament begins today.) On March 1, Rockville Central, a community news outlet for that town, moved its entire operation to a Facebook page.

11 Ways to Think About and Use Twitter…

PBS Report Helps With Ways to Use Twitter

The “PBS NewsHour” ran an interesting story about Twitter last night. The five year-old company has gone from eight employees when it started to almost 500 today and projects to 3,000 within two years. They are about to renovate a large San Francisco building for all these new people to move into

Twitter figured prominently at last week’s SIPA 2011 Conference with two large “Twitter walls.” Tweets rolled through like the ticker on the stock exchange. Luis Hernandez from Thompson wrote, “Of course we need Web writers, but knowledgeable content curators are just as important. Some orgs have both!” Torry Burdick from Mortgage Success Source tweeted, “Ossoff: our industry will survive by producing practical, useful and accessible information.” Lexie Gross from BVR asked, “how to sell content – opportunistic vs. proactive; what content do your customers want?”

SIPA Member Profile: Ash Builds ‘Capitol’ Investment

Phil Ash, Publisher, Capitol Information Group, Inc., Falls Church, Va.

SIPA: What was your first job out of college and how did you get into this business?
PHIL ASH: It was the recession of the early ’90s, and I simply wanted a job. So I majored in accounting and went to work for KPMG. Despite all the excitement of a 7-year accounting and finance career at KPMG, Young & Rubicam and McDonalds, I ultimately decided that direct mail was even more compelling. And as a member of the Lucky Sperm Club, I was fortunate to have a father who just so happened to own a newsletter publishing company (that’s what they were called then.)

Has there been a defining moment in your career? Perhaps when you knew you were on the right road.
Taking on the challenge of helping open a Young & Rubicam office in Ukraine was probably my greatest period of growth. I quickly learned that no business script ever plays out as intended, and success is built on lots of difficult, heat-of the moment decisions. Ultimately, I knew I was “on the right road” when I packed up my stuff and headed to the airport. But the outpost we developed continues to this day.

29 Ways to Increase Website Traffic

Order this new, 90-minute webinar on CD and discover an audience development checklist containing 29 ways to increase website traffic.

4 Ways to Get Email Subscribers from Inbox to Sale

Email copywriting is only a small ingredient in the grand scheme of email marketing

Why do you send email promotions? Why do you send email newsletters? The answer is that you want the user to complete a task. Maybe the task is for them to click on an ad, or to click through to an article on your website. At the end of the day, you hope that your email newsletter will elicit some type of transaction.

Does Your Email Newsletter Follow CAN-SPAM Guidelines?

CAN-SPAM guidelines to check-off your to-do list

Every day I look in my email inbox and see an email newsletter or promotion that is still not adhering to CAN-SPAM guidelines. They aren’t those viagra spammers either; these are noteworthy publishers with tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of consumers on their email lists.

Breaking the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act will cost you up to $16,000 for each rule that you break. Virgin Australia (when it was known as Virgin Blue), an airline, was fined $100,000 for not unsubscribing people from their email lists when people tried to unsubscribe. Several other companies have paid millions of dollars to the FTC for not adhering to the guidelines. Even more, as of March 28, 2011, any messages you send via Facebook on behalf of your business (including wall posts) need to adhere to basic CAN-SPAM rules.

Week in Review: May 9th, 2011 – May 13th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Respect Your Email Marketing Lists: Make Unsubscribing Easy

Don’t be so needy – if someone on your email marketing list wants to go, let them go

When you are selling a subscription website, one of the most highly practiced rituals for keeping people subscribed is to make the unsubscription process a chore. Asking them to call a phone number in order to cancel their subscription makes the task a chore, which can end up getting put off for months, adding dollars to your pocket if you run a monthly subscription website.

However, when you try to practice this same approach in email marketing, the resulting “chore” can actually do you more damage than good, and here’s why. When you make it too hard to unsubscribe from your email list on your terms, they will end up unsibscribing on their own terms. That means you’re going to have subscribers hitting the “spam” button more frequently, which will result in you getting backlisted across multiple domains.

The Most Common Use of SEO

Discover a shift in the way marketers are using SEO

Optimizing content for search engines helps publishers market their content in a natural way. Often times, SEO receives more credibility than paid advertisements, and may remain ranked for a longer period of time, leading to more visibility.

What SEO efforts are you engaged in, and why? A recent article from eMarketer discusses data that shows the primary way marketers are using SEO.

Marketing via Email vs. Twitter vs. Facebook – Who Wins?

Social media put to the test – does email outperform Twitter and Facebook?

The truth is that it’s really hard to tell the true reach you have on Facebook. You can tell how many people click on your articles, but how many people are really seeing your content?

The definite benefit to Facebook is that you have unlimited opportunities to get visibility. The more that people comment and like something you post on your wall, the more likely it will continue to show up at the top of your fan’s feeds over and over again. In terms of visibility, Facebook can give you the ultimate exposure so long as you have a good amount of fans to “like” your stuff.

Make Increasing Website Traffic with Twitter Even Easier by Using InboxQ

Increase website traffic by using this handy tool to start Twitter conversations

As always, I’ve been researching new social media productivity tools that publishers can use to spend less time and be more affective at social media marketing.

One of my newest tools that is incredibly impressive is InboxQ.

If you were at the Mequoda Summit earlier this month, you would have heard me talk about how important it is to reach out to people. Waiting for people to come to you isn’t going to gain you any new followers anytime fast. The more willing you are to reach out to new people, the bigger of a net you’ll be able to cast.

Week in Review: April 11th, 2011 – April 15th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

2 Reasons Why Email Marketing is More Valuable than Search and Social

Tips from Jeanne Jennings, Email Marketing Consultant, at the Mequoda Summit West 2011

For all the naysayers out there, no, email is not dead.

In fact, it offers the highest ROI of any direct marketing channel. In 2009, $43.62 was made for each dollar spent on email. Following in a distant second was Internet search advertising at $21.85.

Characteristics of Top Performing Content

Discover content tendencies found in our top performing article posts

Do you know what your top performing articles are?

If not, and you have an analytics program, you can easily figure out which article posts receive the most traffic. After discovering this information, you can analyze the content to determine similar characteristics top articles share. Additionally, you will understand the topics your audience values the most. Creating more content on these topics will further help satisfy your audience.

Insight on Developing IT Partnerships

Discover how Carl Kravetz, Publisher of Vida y Salud, has implemented IT partnerships to handle his technology requirements

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily, we discussed six online tools that can be used as technology partners.

These tools are all different but work together to help build on the overall success of a website.

6 Helpful Tips on Building Email Circulation and Increasing Website Traffic

If you want to increase website traffic and build a larger email marketing list, we have the solution

Download a free digital copy of Increasing Website Traffic & Building Email Marketing Lists now

For successful online publishers, website traffic and email circulation go hand-in-hand. For instance, the more website traffic you have, the bigger your email marketing list will likely be.

If you want more website traffic and a larger email marketing file, try using the six tips we outline below. You can get further help in our

15 Idea-Driven Articles About Email Newsletter Marketing

Create email newsletters that rock, with these 15 email newsletter marketing articles and 4 free white papers

How many blogs do you read per day? I often find myself reading only the articles with the catchiest headlines that I see on Twitter or in my email inbox. I have an RSS feed too, so sometimes when I’m waiting for a plane, or say, in line for a hotdog, I’ll break out the RSS reader on my phone.

The point is that with my valuable spare time, I’m consuming, at most, 10 articles per day and I consider myself a stallion for even being able to digest that much.

At the Mequoda Daily, we post at least three articles per day, creating about 780 articles per year. That’s 30% of my yearly article consumption. And these aren’t news articles or quick-tip articles. Many of our articles are in-depth best-practice pieces that may have taken hours, weeks or years to take from concept to completion.

Build a Bigger Audience with White Hat SEO Campaign Management

Learn white hat SEO strategies for ranking higher in search engines during our SEO Campaign Management session at the Summit

In the Mequoda Daily yesterday, I talked about a rare chance to see inside one of the most successful SEO campaign management operations on the planet that includes hard data, which has now been gathered over a two and a half year period.

When it comes to SEO campaign management, theory is great but skill-building activities are priceless.

Learn How to Build Relationships and Maximize Customer Value with Content Marketing

Three strategies from our Content Marketing Made Simple webinar

In yesterday’s Mequoda Daily, we discussed three content marketing tips for building user relationships.

The fourth principle of a successful content marketing strategy is just that: build user relationships.

Week in Review: February 14th, 2011 – February 18th, 2011

Catch up on the Mequoda Daily’s blog posts for this past week

Increase in Spending on Earned Media Expected in 2011

Discover the tactics Internet marketers are focusing more attention on in 2011

Earned media, also known as unpaid media, is expected to see an increase in spending this year.

According to The Society of Digital Agencies (SoDA) and AnswerLab, 24% of agencies plan to increase investments in unpaid media by 24% in 2011.