email subscriber data

Email Address Guardianship: Whose Responsibility Is It Anyway?

Last week’s headlines about the massive theft of 53 million email addresses from Home Depot seems the straw that broke the camel’s back when it comes to 2014’s barrage of data breaches. The year has seen a veritable flood of hacks and breaches at retailers (Target, Best Buy, eBay) restaurants (PF Chang’s, Subway) and even financial institutions (JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America). The verdict is clear: no data protection system is foolproof, and when it comes to data theft there is no sacred ground – hackers will take all the personally identifiable consumer information (PII) they can get.

In the pecking order of consumer data, credit card numbers and account passwords trump email addresses due to the immediate financial gain and fraud possible.  Besides, when it comes to your email address, how many companies already have it from you voluntarily? If you’re the average consumer, easily tens if not hundreds to the point, I fear, that consumers have become blasé about email address theft.

At best, a stolen consumer email address generates a temporary barrage of spam easily blocked by filters or manual feedback (just tell Gmail “this is spam” and it quickly adjusts deliverability). At worst, [click to continue…]

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Emotional Subject LInes

One of the best ways to engage email subscribers is to connect with them emotionally, although this is often easier said than done.

I have spoken and written many times about the importance of creating emotional resonance – either positive or negative – between your message and your audience. It’s essential because without some sort of feeling connection to you, at least occasionally, subscribers will become bored by the purely practical often repetitive litany of subject lines cropping up in their inboxes (i.e. 20% savings this week!) and easily tune out.

It’s fine to engage your audience intellectually, but if you want your email to create a lasting impact, it needs to pack an emotional punch too!

The subject line is an obvious, immediate and powerful way for email to connect emotionally with subscribers – but how many of us routinely think about writing subject lines from an emotional vs. informative frame of mind? While not all need to be emotional stunners, I thought it would be fun to comb through my email swipe file to showcase examples of subject lines that evoke, provoke, and otherwise succeed in causing a visceral emotional reaction.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at ten email subject lines that pack an emotional punch and explore why: (click on images to view larger)

1. Carnival Cruise Lines
Subject Line: Deleting this email is like deleting $200

This example from Carnival Cruise Lines is a refreshing departure from their standard “$200 cash back” offer and typical promotional fare. It demonstrates empathy on a few levels: first, they’re one step ahead of subscribers by realizing that most email gets deleted without being opened, so they’re attempting to pre-empt that. The subject line then taps into our basic fear of scarcity – who would throw away money? (Hopefully now you, smart Carnival subscriber).Carnival Cruise Lines Email [click to continue…]

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Email Marketing Automation Strategies, Secrets and Lies

August 25, 2014

Email automation, the ability to program email campaigns based on behavioral, date or other triggers, is a known revenue-producing powerhouse often generating three to ten-times the ROI of broadcast email. However, it’s almost always easier imagined than done. In the following interview, I share several thoughts on email automation with Skip Fidura, Client Services Director […]

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Six Ways to Fastrack Your Email List Growth (Part 1)

August 8, 2014

If you take them aside in confidence and buy them a drink or two, most people working in email marketing will eventually admit there’s a hungry beast they have to deal with that is never full and always has an appetite for more. No matter how much or how often they feed it, it’s a […]

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Three MORE Email Marketing Improvement Challenges for 2014

May 9, 2014

Last month we looked at three email marketing improvement challenges for 2014. This month I want to give you three more that can maximize email’s contribution to your bottom line. Although improving email open and click-through rates seems an ever-present task, I encourage you to expand your focus beyond mere campaign-by-campaign process metrics and try […]

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VIDEO: Email Marketing List Hygiene and Deliverability Essentials for Success (and Pitfalls to Avoid)

April 21, 2014

Chances are you’ve invested a significant amount of time and money building your email marketing list, but are you taking care of it? What exactly should you be doing to ensure email address integrity and maintain list deliverability, and how often?  And what’s the downside of not doing enough – or worse yet – doing […]

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Three Email Marketing Improvement Challenges for 2014

April 8, 2014

With the first quarter of the year behind us already, what will you do to maximize email marketing’s contribution to your bottom line from here on out? Although raising email open and click-through rates seems to be forever on the agenda, there’s a lot more to creating a successful program than focusing on boosting response […]

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4 Content Marketing Approaches for Email Fun and Profit

February 12, 2014

This month I thought I’d share a webinar I recently presented for BrightTALK: 4 Content Marketing Approaches Every Email Program Can Profit From. If you haven’t yet embraced Content Marketing, you’re missing a huge opportunity to create powerful, continuous inbound lead generation and ongoing, lasting customer engagement. Content Marketing isn’t a channel, it’s an approach […]

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A Blueprint for Email Messaging Strategy Success

January 31, 2014

As a marketing channel, email is coming off a banner year! 2013 boasts some of the most significant investment and acquisition activity in the industry’s 20-year history ( acquired ExactTarget for almost $3 billion, Oracle offered $1.58 billion for Responsys). Despite the occasional sensational headline to the contrary, email marketing’s use and popularity continues to […]

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Determining Subscriber Value: What’s a List Member Worth? (Part 2)

December 20, 2013

Last month we explored the first of two important digital marketing list subscriber metrics: CPA, the cost to acquire a new list member (see Part 1 here). I also presented a process for determining your maximum allowable CPA – that is, how much it’s worth paying or investing to acquire new subscribers on a name-by-name […]

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