Jan 162013


What kind of company has the best chance of success using email to acquire new customers? I’ve identified four key characteristics of successful programs:

Their target audience is small and medium-sized businesses

If you are marketing to Fortune 500 companies, it is extremely hard to achieve the scale you need to make email marketing cost effective. The list sizes just aren’t there, and the CPMs can be prohibitively high. If you have an extremely valuable offer, email might be viable, but direct mail or inside sales approaches probably make more sense. Yes, I just wrote that.

They have a very compelling offer

You are an uninvited guest, so you need to show up with some really good wine. Free trial offers, dramatic cost savings, and exciting promotions all have proven effective at getting emails opened. White papers are OK, but they don’t tend to attract those ready to make immediate transactions. (If you’re building a prospect database, however, they are very effective). You might never get a second chance to email to this person, so you need to swing for the fences right away.

MORE:  4 characteristics of successful email acquisition programs




Sep 182012

There’s a preconception among designers that email clients’ lack of support for web standards means you can’t get creative with newsletters. James Parker is out to explode this theory

In the current economic climate, firms across the globe are looking to maximise their return on investment from slashed marketing budgets. With customer information databases bulging, and the ability to target people genuinely interested in what they’re selling, it’s no surprise email newsletters have become the marketers’ new weapon of choice.

But even with demand at an all time high, there are still a vast number of designers hesitant to offer newsletters to their clients. Put off by the lack of support for web standards in email clients, many feel restricted as to how creative they can be.

I want to put that theory to bed. Designing in this format can be great fun, and the technical limitations of working on emails can be a blessing in disguise because they get us back to thinking about basic design principles.

In this tutorial we’ll use Fireworks to design an email newsletter for Love Barista, a social project for coffee lovers. Focusing on a sleek, scalable layout, and by considering the weight given to core elements in the design, you’ll build up an email that’ll stand out of any mailbox. At the end of the tutorial you’ll be ready to build, and as our layout would be perfect for a Campaign Monitor template, I’ll give you a few tips to help get you started.

MORE:  Make a scalable newsletter with Fireworks | Tutorial | .net magazine.


Aug 272012

Of course, you don’t want to avoid social, but you should try to pull those customers ready for a deeper relationship into your email campaigns. Tactically, this is simple. You can post a message leading to your newsletter, or host a form field right there in the social platform.

But you’ll need a good reason for an engaged social follower to become an email subscriber. You need to show not just the value of your emails, but appeal to the unique social character of that follower. And guess what — not all followers are the same.

MORE:  How to turn social followers into email subscribers – iMediaConnection.com.


Aug 232012

Facebook today announced a new design and features for its messages product on the web. The two-paned layout and addition of keyboard commands makes the update similar to some email clients.

When users access messages from Facebook.com, they will see one column with recent messages and another column with an individual conversation. This should allow for faster browsing, similar to how users navigate messages in the Facebook for iPad app. Users can also search by a sender’s name or keyword at any point. In the previous layout, users could only search for names and keywords from the main inbox. When they opened a message, they could then search within that conversation.

MORE: Facebook updates messages layout to look and function more like email.


Aug 212012

It’s no surprise that freelancers tend to rely on cloud-based apps, which allow flexibility in storing and grabbing files on the go. Among the top 25 apps on the list include Dropbox, Google Analytics, Gmail, Evernote and Hootsuite.

Meanwhile, some emerging favorites include expense report app Expensify, to-do list app Remember the Milk and Jing, which captures and shares anything you see on a computer screen as an image or short video.

For a full look at which tools are top of mind among freelancers, check out the list below.

MORE:  The Most Popular Freelancer Apps for Work-Life Balance [INFOGRAPHIC].


May 212012

Are you constantly hitting refresh on your favorite site or spend countless hours surfing the web? If you answered yes, you may be depressed.

Internet usage was shown to vary between people who showed signs of depression and people who had no signs of depression. People who had symptoms of depression were more likely to use file-sharing programs and seemingly cruise around sites at random.

Researchers led by Sriram Chellappan from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, collected internet usage data from 216 college students enrolled at the university. The usage data was collected anonymously without interfering with the student’s normal internet usage for a month.

The students were tested to see if they had symptoms of depression and analyzed internet usage based on the results. Depressed students tended to use the internet in much different ways than their non-depressed classmates.

Depressed students used file-sharing programs, like torrents or online sharing sites, more than non-depressed students. Depressed students also chatted more and sent more emails out. Online video viewing and game playing were also more popular for depressed students.

SOURCE Medical Daily: Depressed People Surf the Web Differently.


May 152012

Before setting foot outside, about 45% of consumers have already chosen where to eat with the help of an online dining guide. Online reviews are a huge decider of what’s for dinner — 57% of patrons rely on them.

Even more interesting is that despite the rise of online food directories such as Urbanspoon or Menupages, 41% of consumers still wine and dine at a particular restaurant after receiving a promotional email.

The National Restaurant Association drew up the infographic below showcasing how technology is changing the food industry. Plus, check out the kinds of technology consumers are expecting to see in restaurants.




SOURCE: Most Restaurant-Goers Rely on Online Reviews [INFOGRAPHIC].