Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Simply Irresistible Email Pre-Headers

So how many of you have been guilty of deleting an email that you thought was of no interest to you without even opening the entire message? This is where a pre-header is becoming one of the most important parts of the email composition. For those not sure what the header is, it is generally the text all the way on the top of the email usually residing above company logo.

When a user first receives a message, what will normally be displayed are the sender’s name, subject line and then one or two sentences known as email fold on ISPs. Since this is the first exposure to the content, we think a good call to action is needed. It is very important that the sentences explain the purpose of the email. Not only is it crucial for raising attention in users to open the email - it is also the only text seen when the email is open as images may be blocked until the user downloads the images (usually when you are not classified in the users safe list). It may even help to personalize pre-header or the subject line to engage your audience. Here at Kobemail we test all our campaigns on different ISPs and devices to better understand what users see when emails are sent to them and advice our clients accordingly.

Take under consideration as well that we are now in the mobile generation. Consumers continuously check their inbox while on the go. In a mobile device, for example a Blackberry, the header takes up about 1/3 of the screen. The header is one of the only chances to motivate your recipient to fully scroll down the rest of the email.

Overall pre-headers are a crucial part of any email deliverability campaign as it is where you can earn the attention of your recipient to motivate them to view the full message. It is always good to give recipients an idea of what the email is about in the pre-header of the email. Write your main selling point or the reason for your email.

Happy Mailing !!

Author: Adeline Zeledon
Editor: Yasifur Rahman

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Social Media Email Marketing - Tips

In case you missed it, check out Part 1 and 2 of this Social Media and Email Marketing blog:

Part 1: It Doesn’t Have to Be One or the Other
Part 2: Ways to Connect

Let’s finish this 3 Part segment off with some friendly tips and reminders to help you make the most out of your email marketing campaigns.

Have a Clear Goal

What do you plan on getting out of this? Is this synergy an attempt to gain membership? Drive more traffic to the company website? Encourage registration in a contest? It’s important to have a clear and consistent goal and mold you efforts around said goal.

For example, if you are currently holding a Facebook contest and trying to increase signups, be sure to make mention of the contest in the newsletter or try sending a “blast” to your list that centers on the contest with links that redirect straight to your Facebook page.

Foster Positive Conversation

Work to increase positive feedback while acknowledging and dealing with negative. The worst thing you can do is delete or ignore negative comments; users will feel like they’ve been tossed aside by the big bad business, and this kind of animosity is what leads to diminished reputation and poor company image.

Hire staff to answer posted questions, respond to tweets, and look for trends in feedback. If users are all posting the same question, then the information you’ve provided is not comprehensive enough - fix it. Utilize users as an extended marketing team and learn to consider their advice – after all, the customer is always right.

Keep the Cycle Going

Follow up – make an effort to confirm things have been fixed if there was an issue or that things are still going well if there wasn’t. To keep the conversation going invite users to discuss a topic further on your Facebook page or other social channel.
Show consumers you are really listening by featuring their comments in a newsletter or on your website. Send them an email thanking them for their feedback. Make sure they know their comments are not just being fed to a robot – there’s a person over there!

Promote Transparency

Here at Kobemail we work to promote transparency with our clients and encourage them to do the same with their recipients. Remember, social media blew up as a personal outlet and in order to mold it to business practices we must be in tune with how it works.

Is called “Social” media for a reason – Have a conversation with your users just like you’d have a conversation with a friend (while keeping the profanities and sarcasm to a minimum, of course). Nobody wants to talk to someone they think is being fake or insincere – so be real, and they’ll appreciate it.


Try out new techniques, the only failure is not taking advantage of a learning opportunity. Every business is different and because of this you won’t know what works best until you experiment! Trying different incorporation techniques (how links are used, where they’re used, what kind of incentive your offering, etc) can help lead you to a practiced marriage of social media and email marketing campaigns.

As always – Happy Mailing (and Social Media) from all of us here at KobeMail!

Author: Caitlin Durand
Editor: Rebecca Allas

Friday, August 19, 2011

Urban Email Deliverability Legends

“ Urban legend: is a form of modern folklore consisting of stories usually believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story's veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it.”

Email marketing “urban legends” have been around for quite sometime now. One would think that as technology evolved and email marketing was used more, most of these urban myths would go away.

So how can one marketer be more educated and evolved?

Keeping up with the latest digital marketing news would help drastically. Here at Kobemail, we make it a priority to keep pace with the ever so fast evolving digital marketing world.

Now on to some legends…

  1. “I have to have a perfect deliverability rate at all time” – Great IP reputation only comes with a healthy list. In reality, perfect deliverability rate of 100% is simply unattainable. Consider using a process called “confirmed opt-in or verified opt-in to send a unique link to the attempted subscriber when they request initial information. This way, before adding the person to your list, they must click that unique link to verify that it is their real email account. This can dramatically increase your deliverability rate to 20-30%.

  2. “I am mailing from a large corporation, I will be in the junk box” - ISP’s do not care if you are mailing from a large to mid size corporation or a small independent company. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the ISP world. To avoid spam filters in general, try optimizing your creative and focus on subject lines. I would suggest trouble shooting your mailings once a month to monitor which creatives go to inbox and which gets spammed.

  3. “A bigger list is always better”- In this case, it’s more quality over quantity. The size of your list only matters if everyone on your user list wants to be on it. Try to re-examine your mailing frequency and check your bounces. Bounce rates could be telling you the effectiveness of your sending frequency. Another thing you might want to look out for is the non-engaged users. Cleaning up your audience means following up with non-opens as well. This will help you concentrate on the users that are engaged and help segment that non responsive users for a different call-to-action campaign.

  4. “Persistence is a virtue” – At times it is, not in email marketing. Continuing to mail them is counterproductive. What do I mean by this? Consider changing your content around and try to focus on what engages your users. Also, try to find out who your loyal customers are. One example is setting up a free “Pro Account” and invite users to join this exclusive email account adding bonuses for being a “Pro member”. Require an opt-in process and start a whole new mailing campaign to these loyal users. This is a great way to find your most loyal customers, who in the future will open more, click more, forward more, and complain less.

Email Deliverability urban legends are prominent is this age of modern technology. As with all legends, there is often a grain of truth, but it’s up to you to consider the source and do your homework.

Happy Messaging!

Author: Rebecca Allas
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Social Media and Email Marketing- Ways to Connect

Last week we discussed the importance of uniting the old-school and the new-age marketing giants – email promotion and social media, to create dialogue, drive content, and give insight into future campaigns.

Below are some really simple ways to incorporate social media into your email marketing campaigns that can help in maximizing reach and enhancing your brand personality:

  1. Provide incentive for joining multiple outlets – If you’ve just got involved in social media, or aren’t happy with the results you’ve seen thus far encourage sign up by featuring a reward for “becoming a fan” or “tweeting” about your company – You could offer a coupon or even just a little personal recognition which go a long way in building brand loyalty.

  2. Drive traffic just like you would to your website – These social media outlets are an extension of your online presence, just like you use “read more” on emails to drive traffic to your website, “share” or “like” buttons drive traffic to your social networking sites (and help to increase click through rates).

  3. Use your email header or footer to house widgets that link to social media outlets – these little gizmos catch the eye of users, and simple to find, easy to use, and a great way to consistently promote your social media throughout your email campaigns.

  4. Use social media outlets to hype up and build anticipation for upcoming mailings- Tweet or post about something interesting that can only be found in the newsletter (a new contest, an exclusive article, etc) and make sure to give the option to sign up if the individual isn’t already an email recipient.

  5. Develop a cool video and provide a link in your mailing - Whether it’s a help video or a funny anecdote, your customers will appreciate you feeding them information in an interactive way. Don’t be afraid to have a personality or try something new – be a pioneer.

  6. Encourage post-purchase activity- Engage in conversation by prompting users to share their experience via social media after a purchase, interaction with an employee, or simply after reading of an article – of course, a high level of quality content and professionalism need to be present for comments to be positive and subsequently this to be beneficial.

  7. Feature customer quotes or even give them a feature - Show customers that they can be heard through the social media outlets – Give them a voice and they will be more inclined to join. By featuring consumer quotes you promote transparency and generate positive conversation.

…and as always don’t forget to produce quality content. You can utilize all the social media tools you want but if customers don’t trust your company, these outlets can defiantly backfire. Giving consumers a voice is a double edged sword – so make sure to master processes and identity internally before you promote externally.

Look out next week for “Social Media & Emails Marketing Part 3: Tips” the final segment in this blog thread. Good luck & happy emailing from your friends at KobeMail!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Smartphone E-mail Usage Climbing

There is no doubt that new generation is wired in and the Gen X as well as the babyboomers are following suite. Grandad and grandmas are now using their phones to send and receive pictures of their 10 year old grand children. I, personally have two email accounts set up and receive and send emails throughout the day. Having my email makes me feel connected and in the know whether it be coupons from my favorite store or an email from a friend about a weekend party. The smartphone virus has infected all of us and in a very very good way. :)

It is obvious with the increase in the users using phones as their primary source of email, desktop usage has fallen. A study from ComScore* stated that mobile email usage has had a jump of 36% in a three month period that ended in November 2010 citing that there was a 6% decrease in the number of users checking their emails through their desktops or laptops.

It’s important to consider the effects this can have on the email marketing world. As an email marketer your job is no longer only testing the rendering of your creative’s on computer screens but also considering how that creative will appear on a mobile device. Of course some changes will have to be made to allow your message to get through to your mobile email users.

Here at KobeMail, our dedicated account managers (which includes me yay!!) make sure that the mobile email users will be able to access the email being sent. These emails undergo testing to ensure that the communication renders correctly – while being consistent with the formatting with client requests, and the look and feel represents the quality our clients expect.

I try to provide my clients a text version to their campaigns so that it is sent as a multipart to avoid rendering issues on a mobile device. The result – the message is delivered in the proper rendering format whether it’s viewed on desktop or a phone.

While desktop, laptop and web-based email usage is not a thing of the past mobile email usage is certainly on a rise. Keeping this in mind will allow you to get your message across to all users no matter what type of device they chose to use.


Author: Amarilys Rivera
Editor: Yasifur Rahman

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Relationship vs. Engage to Marry your customer to your brand

Email marketing is NOT a one way street: Have a conversation!

Let’s talk about a marketing myth I heard in college:

Email marketing is ineffective since so many people receive truckloads of junk mail to their inbox on a daily basis.

To deny some truth to this myth would be absurd. While it might be true to some extent however, on the flip side email marketing can be very effective when you use it consistently, correctly, and as a part of your overall customer relationship management strategy.

So how do you avoid the divorce and work towards a relationship based marketing experience?

One of the reasons email communications tend to be ineffective is because it is too impersonal and constantly a selfish tone from the business side. On top of that, adding a touch of bulk emailing software, misspelled titles and altered subject lines that looks suspicious and unprofessional are just a few things that spam filters are physically attracted to. Who wouldn’t delete at first sight. The odds of a second date are pretty much slim to none.

On the other hand, if you receive a more personalized email designed specifically to you, wouldn’t you be more open to that experience? Imagine receiving a personal email from a trusted source on a consistent basis, catering and adding value to you and not constantly asking you to give give give. You won’t be able to help but develop a relationship with the sender.

Here are a few tips to a successful email courtship:

  • Take a quick look at Email Service Providers – Do your research, understand what an email service provider is (ESP). Many can send but only a handful can strategize. Here at KobeMail we focus on your goals and strategy.

  • Get Inside your Customer’s head – Understand what they want and need, get to know them. Personalization needs to be felt by your recipient and at the same time showing them the ways your product will benefit them.

  • Personalize the Subject line but keep the From name consistent for branding- The subject line is the first thing your recipient sees when they open their Inbox. Once you are familiar with the needs and wants of your customer you can write subject lines that appeal to their expectations and that serve as a reminder you are focused on their needs. A consistent “From Name” makes your IP a reputable source and will decrease bounce. Not only that, the customer will recognize your brand because of consistency.

  • Offer value at the right time - Messaging customers at the right time is another key way to add value to communications. No matter what your industry, there are messages that can be automated, particularly around a conversion. Ex: Flight updates and alerts, in-stock notifications.

  • It’s a 2 way conversation – Listen to your customers, it’s a conversation. Use social media to offer your customers a voice. Ex: Provide an ability to share stories, send reviews, “like us” on Facebook.

  • Give a little – A little goes a long way! Just like any relationship anything given is always appreciated (or so I hope). Consider running promotions or giveaways. A sweepstakes of some sort can increase response rates and user engagement.

Adding a touch of personalization will help get to a customer’s heart. Maintain a relationship by paying attention to their likes and dislikes. Also keep in mind to keep space at times. Just like any relationship, too many email messages will eventually make them immune and they will eventually tune you out.

Happy Messaging!

Author: Rebecca Allas
Editor: Roopal Rawani

Friday, July 15, 2011

Testing is Your Vital Key

How many of you find yourself wondering why your email campaigns show different numbers? Are you thinking context, subject lines used or even the time sent makes a difference? It sure it does. Testing your campaigns can give you answers that are beneficial in building stronger emails.

Here at Kobemail we offer resources like, A/B splits and Nth Sampling to help our clients figure out what works best for them. For those not familiar with A/B split, this is the strategy of sending two or more different emails to the same list. Usually lists are evenly divided. For instance, a list testing 2 campaigns splits would be separated 50:50 for this strategy. As for Nth Sampling, emails are only sent to a specific group. Example - you have a list of 100 users but you specify to send the variable email to every 3rd users up to the 50th users on the list.

When testing there are some suggestions you should keep in mind.

  • Always have a control email. Control email needs to be analyzed under the same conditions as the group you are testing, but without the changed variable. This way you are able to quantify the effects of the unknown variable corresponding to the control.

  • Send all test campaigns at the same time. Sending campaigns at different intervals will not give you accurate data.

  • If you are testing reaction to different days/hour it is advisable to send out the same campaign where only day/hour will vary.

  • Test one change at a time. It is always recommended to just have one modification to each email. This way you can get a clear understanding of what factors caused any performance related changes. Small adjustments, like moving around an image, can receive vast reactions.

It is always suggested to embrace testing. This way you can always figure out what works better or what does not works at all. Test often. Make it a part of your process as it is not here to back track your campaigns but to help you achieve productive emails.

Author: Adeline Zeledon
Editor: Roopal Rawani

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Open Rates

Open rate refers to the number of recipients that opened a specific email and is measured using an embedded HTML code that requests a transparent tracking image from web servers. When a reader opens the email, the ISP used to display the email requests that image, and an ‘open’ is recorded for that particular piece of mail.

The real question is: How much emphasis should be put towards analysis of open rates as a performance metric? Due to problems regarding interpretation in relation to image files, it’s long been debated the accuracy and weight this measure should hold – and some overlook open rates as valuable statistical information.

Conflicts regarding open rates include:

  • Due to the fact that an ‘open’ will only be recorded if the readers ISP is capable of displaying HTML images, if the option is turned off and the recipient chooses to only receive text-only emails there is no way to record the open rates.

  • Although the e-mail has been opened by the recipient there is no guarantee that the receiver read or actively engaged with the email in anyway, all this means is that the tracking image was requested, so you must understand not everyone opening is definitely taking in the information.

  • Some e-mails come equipped with a preview function in which the email is displayed automatically and therefore downloads the tracking image without the receiver ever having viewed the image or even clicked the message.

Open rates do have some positives that should not be overlooked, mainly concerning their use as indicators. How open rates change over time, for example, can tell you a great deal because changes in the open rate reflect real-time changes in your marketing efforts and show problems or successes in regards to how your campaign is running.

When using methods like A/B splits, looking at long term trends, making open rates a base for other metrics, and even comparing campaign results across multiple ISP’s the measure it quite useful.

Open rate can be an effective measure in performance analysis – just be careful how much weight you ultimately give this statistic.

Author: Caitlin Durand
Editor: Yasifur Rahman

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Using Click-Through Data in Your Email Marketing Campaign

One of the more practical and valuable features of using e-mail to market your business is using e-mail tracking reports to find out what your audience is doing with your e-mails after you send them. Every time someone clicks a link in your marketing e-mail, you have the opportunity to track the click back to the individual, use the information to accomplish more meaningful objectives, and increase the value of your e-mail list.

Click through data is a way of measuring the success of your email campaign using the number of unique individuals clicks (only one click per person is counted) who clicked on one or more links in an email expressed as a percentage of total tracked opens.


Total number of unique individuals who click a link in the email

-DIVIDED BY- the total number of tracked opens


So if there were 3 unique clicks and 30 opened emails:

3 clicks/30 opens = .1 clicks per open (multiplied by 100 to get CTR ) = 10% CTR

Average click-through rates vary widely by industry. Below are some ranges for average email click through rates for permission-based house lists.

  • B2B (business to business) email newsletters typically range from 5% to 15%. If your CTRs are consistently below that level then among other things, you are probably providing content of little value to your email subscribers. Or you may have most of the content within your email, not giving subscribers a reason or means to click-through to your Web site.

  • B2C (business to consumer) promotional email marketing campaign often range from about 2% to 12%. Email campaigns with less than a 2% CTR may be a result of over mailing and questionable email opt-in processes.

  • Highly segmented and personalized email lists (B2B and B2C) are often in the 10% to 20% CTR range. Also, email messages with very strong content but sent to unsegmented lists, like many news or trend-type e-newsletters, are often in the 10%-15% range.

  • Trigger or behavior-based email campaigns (emails that are sent to recipients based on some behavior they showed, such as clicking on a product link, visiting a specific Web page, etc.) are often in the 15% to 50% range.

Author: Rebecca Allas
Editor: Yasifur Rahman

Monday, June 13, 2011

Increasing Click-Through Rates Using Strong Call to Action

“As a command, “click here” is beautiful in its simplicity, but falls far short as a call to action – the trigger to launch the customer on the complicated path to conversion – because it doesn’t tell your email readers what you really want them to do.”

Millions of people use search engines daily and every one of those individuals are inundated with organic search listings and the same boring display ads. How do you set your emails apart from the rest for an increased click through rate and conversion?

An effective call to action in your email subject lines and ad text can bring substantial gains in CTR. To get the best results, you have to make clear exactly what you want your readers to do, giving a direct order with direct instructions. Using clear and obvious action words will help the recipient to understand not just where to click through, but why they should and what they can expect in the email.


  • Request more information!

  • Sign up now!

  • Discover the best deal of 2011!

Take your ad-writing skills to the next level! It is so important to master the skill of utilizing strong calls to action in your ads.

Author: Rebecca Allas
Editor: Yasifur Rahman

Monday, June 6, 2011

Autoresponders – What You Need to Know

Here at KobeMail, we know a thing or two about autoresponder mailings. For email marketers, the following information should be just a review. However, for those not in-the-know, autoresponders are the most widely used online marketing tool. Autoresponders have many names – mailbots, email responders, and autosenders – but regardless of what you call them, their importance is undeniable.

Once an autoresponder is successfully in place, your business can save time and money. Some autoresponder “systems” lead to abuse, which is why you should look to a full service email provider – such as KobeMail – to handle the sending of your autoresponders for you.

The term autoresponder comes from the idea of an email being sent to a subscriber after an action is taken on their end. The autoresponder should only be used for emails to customers who have signed up at your website to receive communications. Otherwise, you will likely face a lot of issues along the way.

An autoresponder should not be chosen solely based on its cost. Instead, you should look at the included features of the service, the reputation of the provider, and other elements to determine which system is the best for your needs. An autoresponder service is elemental in business success today. The online world is full of missed opportunities and you can't let communication with your customers be one of those issues.

Happy Mailing!

Monday, May 23, 2011

How to Send More Effectively

According to Forrester, by 2014 the average email user will receive over 9,000 marketing email messages per year. If you break that down, it equates to a user receiving 25 marketing emails every single day.

ISPs have a limited threshold for emails, so when the frequency of mailing gets ramped up, marketers have to find a new path into the inbox. Below are a few suggestions for marketers, especially those who still plan on mailing at a high rate, to separate themselves from other mailers and find their messages in the inbox of their readers.

1. Remailing. Based on a certain behavior of the reader, you can remail. If there was no click, no open, or no purchase, you can set up a remail automation. You can also remail to a certain list when you are running a special or a promotion. The biggest piece of advice associated with remailing: don’t abuse it.

2. Automation. Creating automated messages, based off of triggers, will increase your revenue. Automating your messages allows you to set up a specific schedule of mailing for specific actions taken by the reader (abandoned cart, site behavior, etc.)

3. Holidays. Aside from the major holidays that fall during the end of the calendar year, you should be taking advantage of the many other holidays throughout the year. Do you have an international audience? If so, capitalize on their specific holidays. There are extensive lists available online of all holidays – be creative and utilize the day!

4. Segmentation. We have mentioned the concept of segmentation before, but it is too important not to mention again. Segmentation allows you to send more frequently based on specific actions or preferences of your readers.

Sending emails at a high frequency can be a good thing, so long as you do not abuse it. Always remember to mail wisely, use an email marketing agency like KobeMail, and build your email lists organically!

Happy Mailing!

Author: Peter Schirripa

Monday, May 2, 2011

Safeguard and Enhance Deliverability

The entire goal of email marketing is to reach the inbox, and thus the users, as often as possible. At KobeMail, we pride ourselves on our top deliverability rates, but as marketers, you have to take some steps toward safeguarding deliverability yourselves. Here are a handful of tips to do so…

KobeMail offers an extensive reporting package, which we monitor closely on our end daily. In order to up your deliverability rates, consider switching analyzing campaign metrics for yourself before you send out your next mailing, rather than looking at the metrics after the mailing has already gone out. Taking the time to analyze opens, click thru rates, bounces, etc before you continue mailing will allow you to optimize campaigns and strategies to get the best performance possible out of your campaigns. Being proactive with your campaign strategies will help to boost your deliverability rate.

Similarly, if you’re seeing negative changes in your reporting numbers, fix the problem immediately. Avoid sending out another mailing with a template or subject line that isn’t performing because it’s very likely that it will perform poorly again. Figure out the problem and amend it quickly. There’s no need to waste mailings on graphics or text that aren’t working!

If you’re not being upfront about exactly what you will be mailing to your users when they sign up, it’s imperative you become candid quickly. In the same vein, if you are telling users they will receive 1 type of mailing from you and suddenly they begin to receive another type without warning or signing up for it, chances are pretty high that they’ll begin to “junk” your mailings. You can be sure that this will cause your deliverability rate to plummet. As with everything, even in email marketing, honesty is the best policy.

For those users who are clicking “spam” or “junk,” take them off your list the minute they do so. If they “spammed” you once, they’ll do it again. Why rack up unnecessary spam complaints when scrubbing your list is so effortless, particularly with our new product iSuppress, which handles every facet of suppression list management including list scrubbing. The same holds true for bounced emails. If you’re seeing upwards of 5 bounces (whether hard or soft) from the same user, get them off your list! A clean list will definitely improve your deliverability and keep your users happy too.

Just by taking a few extra steps before and after each mailing you send, you’ll notice an improvement in your deliverability rates. It is of course important to be affiliated with an email service provider who has a great relationship with ISPs (like us at KobeMail!), but there are always steps you can take as email marketers to improve your own performance.

Author: Peter Schirripa

Editor: Anthony Lee

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sending B2B Email Marketing Campaigns?

If you are an email marketer, you are used to sending campaigns either B2C or B2B. In today’s article, we want to shed some light on how to successfully send a B2B email marketing campaign. To successfully sell B2B, you should be focusing on the long-term relationship built between your company and other companies. Here are some suggestions on how to strengthen B2B relationships:

1. Be personal. If you are used to sending email campaigns B2C, you are probably used to sending mass emails with very general subject lines. However, in order to gain the loyalty of another business, you need to prove to them that they are more than just a number on your email list. Try to make the emails sent to other businesses as personal as possible – include any information you may have: names, past purchases, dates, etc. Make it known that their business is important to you.

2. Develop solid groundwork. Trust is key when trying to establish a B2B relationship. Businesses will always choose to get their products from a company they know and trust over a company that they do not. Trust leads to relationships, and relationships lead to sales.

3. Go beyond the sale. Once you make the sale, your job is not finished. You want to continually follow up with the new client to ensure that their experience is ideal. Sending them regular emails with how-to instructions or just follow up questionnaires show them that you are concerned with their well-being. The more you can offer your customer, the more they will value your service.

Continue reading the KobeMail blog for insight in the email marketing industry.

Happy mailing!

Author: Peter Schirripa

Editor: Courtney Dillsworth

Monday, April 18, 2011

Revamping Your Current Email Marketing Strategy

The most successful email marketers will tell you that you must constantly update your email marketing strategy in order to stay relevant to your subscribers and up to date with the most recent technologies. Here at KobeMail, we have seen all different types of approaches. While different strategies work for different companies, we have listed a few suggestions below that apply to any company who uses email marketing:

1. Hire an email service provider. KobeMail helps make it easier for companies to email successfully. Some companies still use in-house mailing departments to handle their email marketing, but we would highly recommend outsourcing. The statistical research that ESP’s can offer cannot be matched by an in-house department.

2. Set up a regular schedule for your mailings. You want to send emails on a consistent basis so your users will anticipate an email from you. If you take a month off from mailing anything, your readers are going to forget about you. If you decide to send five emails in a week when you normally send only one, your readers are going to get annoyed, fast. Consistency builds trust and anticipation; two things that will boost your open and click through rates.

3. Build a custom template to use. In order to be noticed by your subscribers, you want to make sure that your emails are unique. Remain consistent with your mailings by using the same or a similar template for all mailings. Be sure not to use too generic of a template- be unique!

4. Focus on Reporting. Extensive reporting is available if you are using an ESP. However, many companies make the mistake of not really delving into their reports. Open rates, click-through rates, and A/B splits are just three of the many units of measure that every successful email marketer looks into deeply. Taking the time to analyze your reporting will allow you to optimize your campaigns and improve performance.

Continue reading the KobeMail blog for more insight on how to successfully manage your email campaigns.

Happy mailing!

Author: Peter Schirripa

Editor: Courtney Dillsworth

Monday, April 11, 2011

How to Run a Successful Contest via Email

Many of our clients here at KobeMail run contests via email. This is a great way to build lists, keep your readers engaged, and promote your business. However, just like any email marketing tactic, having a successful email contest takes proper planning and execution. Here are some steps that we have found to be imperative to take in order to run a successful contest campaign:

1. Define a specific goal. This step is important to keeping your campaign on target. You do not want to try to do too many different things with your contest. Your goal should be apparent throughout all of the mailings.

2. Define success metrics. Similar to the step above, you need to be specific about what you want to achieve from running the contest. Do you want to create a buzz on your social media accounts? Do you want to grow your email list? Do you want to add to sales?

3. Offer clear directions. While a successful contest can do great things for your email marketing strategy, a poorly managed campaign can be devastating. The rules for the contest need to be clearly defined and easy to understand for your subscribers. Once the rules are established, you should not change them at all. It is advised to run the proposed rules past your legal department to ensure compliance.

4. Promotion! Like any successful marketing campaign, promotion is a huge factor. Who is your audience? Once that is defined you can target your promotion. Do you use facebook and twitter? Do you take out ad space on similar sites?

5. Follow through. Once the winner(s) are determined, make sure to share the news with all contestants/readers. Be sure to follow up with the winner(s) with a personalized email congratulating them.

Good luck, and Happy Mailing!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Affiliate Marketing: How it Works

What exactly is affiliate marketing? What are the pros and cons and how does it affect you as email marketers? Allow this passage to help clarify the details of affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is a practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Reward sites or contest sites would be a good example of this.

The industry of affiliate marketing has four main aspects: the merchant (better known as the retailer or brand), the network, the publisher (better known as the affiliate), and the customer.

Affiliate marketing can overlap different forms of advertising, including SEO, display advertising, and of course, email marketing.

The main goal of affiliate marketing is to drive traffic from one website to another. This being said, affiliates play a significant role in email marketers’ strategies.

Affiliate marketing refers prospective clients to a specific service provider when the client is most interested in the provider’s service. This online marketing channel is of great advantage to advertiser service providers because they are only asked to pay after the prospective client is introduced to them. For firms looking to stay consistently profitable and in front of the shifting client base, connecting with the right consumers through an affiliate network is a low-risk investment worth considering.

To find out more about affiliate marketing, or to learn where you can connect with an affiliate, reach out to us through the comment section below or shoot us an email at

Happy mailing!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Self Built Lists

We’ve said it before – having a strong email list is more than half of the battle with email marketing. Even if you have the most captivating and creative content, having a reliable recipient list is what is going to lead to higher open and click-through rates.

The question for all email marketers remains: is it worth buying a purchased list? Purchased lists are a physical copy of email addresses. There is no maximum amount of times that you are allowed to mail to the same list. It seems like this is a smart idea, but after years of research, here are some issues that you may face from working with a purchased list.

1. Exhaustion. The value of a self built list is that people have to subscribe to your newsletter which obviously means they want to read what you’re sending. Using a self-built list will allow you to gain quality and active readers. Sending too much commercial email to a purchased list will lead to people unsubscribing, which is obviously something all email marketers want to avoid.

2. Poor quality. No right-minded company would willingly sell their personal email lists, which take years of patience to build and perfect. The different lists that are available for purchase are probably not as strong as advertised. Usually there is no guarantee that the email addresses are relevant to the associated names, or vice versa.

3. Flagging. Sure, a one-of email sent to a large list of purchased addresses might have its benefits, but the more those users flag you for spam, the more trouble you are going to find yourself in. These addresses have not given you formal permission to mail to them, therefore probably won’t be too happy if they feel they’re overwhelmed with emails from unknown sources.

If your end goal is to have a successful long-term email marketing campaign, you should focus on building your own lists. A strong list won’t come fast or easy, so you will need to refer back to some of our suggestions from the KobeMail blog on how to do so. Patience is key.

Happy mailing!

Author: Courtney Dillsworth

Editor: Peter Schirripa

Monday, March 21, 2011

Test! Test! Test Again!

There are so many variables that affect the success of an email marketing campaign. If you rely on an ESP, like KobeMail, you can be assured that your emails will be tested thoroughly before they are deployed. However, for those of you out there who are using your own in-house mailing system, it is imperative that you spend more than enough time testing your emails.

Optimizing your email efforts relies solely on testing. First, you must make sure the HTML email renders well across all ISP’s. You should have a test account set up for all of the major ISP’s, including, but not limited to: Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail. If the HTML email does not render properly, there is little to no chance that it will be effective.

Using a third party application like Litmusapp will help test your emails if you are not using a trusted ESP. Another important aspect you should test is the ‘from name.’ Make sure the name is recognizable to the recipient. Also, make sure to check the subject line. Is it relevant? Is it personalized to the recipient list? Test, track results, then make appropriate changes.

We encourage everyone who handles email marketing to test and optimize frequently, small changes can make a big impact in your campaigns if implemented correctly.

Happy Mailing!

Author: Courtney Dillsworth

Editor: Peter Schirripa