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Developing content for your email marketing campaigns can sometimes feel like it requires a crystal ball or a lucky streak to get things right. This notion holds especially true if your ideal audience falls into that powerful rising segment of youthful consumers who have both particular tastes and a discerning eye for content. To help your brand capture the attention of these shoppers, and the substantial amount of spending power they bring to the digital world, let’s talk about some of the best ways to optimize your content with Millennials in mind.

Why Millennials Matter

Before delving into the particulars of this process, you’re probably wondering why exactly these people – born between 1982 and 2004 – matter so much to your company’s inbox prospects. According to Yahoo’s Ryan Jenkins, it all starts with the fact that the balance of power is constantly shifting toward this demographic when it comes to expendable income.

Specifically, Millennials stand to have the most spending power of any generation by 2018. Outside of this trend, the people that fall into this range also stand to account for a staggering $2.45 trillion in purchases by the end of this year. Finally, no other generation is as tethered to its mobile devices as the Millennials, meaning that brands who are trying to ride the wave of on-the-go mobile marketing must account for the influence garnered by this type of shopper.

Think Culturally

Now that you understand why the Millennials matter, it’s time to cover what these viewers are looking for in terms of inbox content. As Shea Bennett of Social Times explains, these consumers can’t get enough of content with a heavy cultural orientation. While other players in the world of email marketing are trying to jam overt promotions in front of the Millennials, your brand needs to “get with the times” if it wants to really generate some buzz.

Whether you highlight how your product is relevant to social trends or regional events and gatherings, the big key here is to tether your content to desirable happenings and movements. Simply throwing out an email that’s nothing more than a thinly-veiled “buy me now!” statement isn’t going to cut it with this group.

Keep Things Short and Sweet

As far as the length of your inbox offering goes, Bennett goes on to point out that brevity is a powerful ally when it comes to the Millennials. In fact, Bennett reports that two in five Millennials will simply abandon your content if they consider it too long or boring. Considering how much time and effort you put into developing these offerings, it’s safe to say that facing down an outcome such as this one falls firmly into the “disaster” category.

During your content optimization sessions, ask yourself the following question: “Would my son or daughter read this through to the end?” If the answer is anything other than a confident “yes,” it’s imperative that you head back to the drawing board and see if the message can’t be trimmed or edited down to a more desirable length.

Build with Mobile in Mind

Another strong tactic – this time from Entrepreneur magazine’s Eric Krattenstein – revolves around the concept of building with mobile devices in mind. As we covered earlier, no other generation relies on interacting with email marketing campaigns via mobile platforms as much as the Millennials, so creating accessible and refined content for these devices is a must.

Generating templates and email messages that offer up a responsive experience is a good start. However, if you really want to win on this front, you’ll need to constantly test the end user experience early and often across as many devices as possible.

Leverage Social Media as Much as Possible

Finally, Krattenstein notes that successful email marketing campaigns don’t just take place in the inbox. If you really want to squeeze out the maximum amount of value from these initiatives, then you need to get active on social media and jump right into the middle of relevant digital conversations.

Tweeting out interesting content, sharing your email messages via Facebook posts, and firing off sharable visuals on Instagram all make the cut. Naturally you’ll need to figure out which social networks matter most to your portion of the Millennial demographic pie, but the idea of the “more the merrier” definitely holds some weight in this strategy.

As you can see, building a strong relationship with the Millennials is both highly important and challenging if you’re not prepared for this journey. However, with this newfound knowledge guiding your way, there’s no reason why your brand can’t connect with these shoppers on a deep, meaningful, and lasting level.



At the end of the day, there’s a reason why email marketing is known as the best way to reach your digital audience – when you do things right, nothing else can compare to the results that come with this process. However, just because there’s seemingly limitless potential held within this practice, that doesn’t mean you get a free pass to a happy ending. To generate a powerful following – and the sales that come with such a contact list – there’s plenty that needs to go right for your brand. With this in mind, let’s spend some time talking about five fast and efficient ways to give your email marketing return on investment (ROI) a healthy boost.

Power up your Subject Lines

Since the first thing your viewers see when a new email goes out is the subject line, Entrepreneur magazine’s Eric Samson points out that there’s no better place to start this discussion than with this portion of your message content. In order to capitalize on the ROI gains found within your subject line, Samson explains that you need to hit on three key points.

First, make sure that the subject line is useful, unique, urgent, and ultra-specific. Viewers don’t have time to waste on changes found within these headers, so get to the point and make sure it stands out in a big way. From here, try to identify your brand; it’s important that your audience knows exactly who is attempting to connect with them. Finally, great subject lines take these two attributes and add factors that promote trust and a rapport with the person on the other side of the screen when possible.

Show Empathy in Your Content

Once you’ve garnered that all important open via a strong subject line, Samson goes on to suggest that you continue to build goodwill with your readers by way of emphatic content. Making a point to highlight the fact that you’re willing to use this content to cover any questions, comments, or concerns regarding both the daily life of these audience members and your products or services shows that your brand is able to connect on a deep and meaningful level with consumers.

Avoid the Spam Filter

From a technical aspect, Eric Didier of MarketingProfs suggests that your brand can boost ROI by avoiding the spam filter. By avoiding “spammy” words both in your subject line and within your content, your email blasts can successfully bypass these filters and end up in front of your targeted audience.

Aside from succumbing to the temptation to use damaging words like “buy,” “free,” and “stop,” Didier also pinpoints coding errors as a way to trigger filtering on your messages. Before hitting send, make sure that your template functions properly on both mobile and traditional platforms. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when the response to this content is stymied due to unnecessary spam filtering.

Play to the Holiday

Is there an important or exciting holiday/event coming up in your region? If you answered “yes” to this question, then Social Media Today’s Veronica Taylor explains that you might be sitting on an ROI boosting goldmine. Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, or a more localized reason to celebrate, developing content that highlights these exciting times not only breaks up the monotony of generic offerings, it also helps your brand stand out while other organizations let these opportunities slips through the cracks.

Embrace the Mobile Future

Finally, if there’s only one piece of advice you follow from this look into boosting ROI, it needs to be the fact that embracing the mobile future of the email marketing world is vital to your campaign’s success. With more than half of all emails being opened on smartphones and tablets, it’s more important than ever before to get things right with your on-the-go customers.

Implementing responsive templates that shift to the needs of each device or platform, keeping message content brief and concise, and constantly evaluating the mobile experience from a critical perspective helps ensure that your brand is always on the cutting edge of this front of the email marketing industry and maximizing the impact of its mobile ROI potential.

Naturally, there’s so much more that goes into boosting ROI than just these five tips. However, if you’re strapped on time and looking for a few quick fixes to get things back on track in terms of extracting the maximum value from your email marketing operations, you’ll be hard pressed to find better tips that what we’ve covered here today. Once you’ve hit on each of these points and you’re ready to take the next step with your campaign practices, the sky is the limit in terms of your ROI potential.



By now, you’ve probably noticed a recurring theme regarding statistics, data, and analytics in a lot of the helpful content on this blog. Considering how important these tools are to the email marketing process, this revelation should come as no surprise. After all, everyone loves a good figure or stat that helps support an email marketing decision or change. However, there is a growing number of voices in the community that claim these cold and calculating tools aren’t the only way to enhance your inbox content development and optimization.

Breaking down the Concept of H2H Marketing

So if there’s more to creating a winning email strategy than just facts and figures, what’s the missing ingredient? According to Gabriel Villablanca of Direct Marketing News, what most brands don’t mix enough of into the campaign process is the “H2H” marketing element.

H2H – otherwise known as human to human – marketing is all about answering a few fundamental questions regarding your customers and leveraging the power that’s held within these queries. Who are these people that open and read your emails? What are their needs and desires? And how can your organization create an email marketing experience that develops a strong emotional bond with these consumers? If you can answer these questions, Villablanca suggests that it’s only a matter of time before your brand stands as a titan in the inbox.

Why Bother with This Method?

For those of you who think that blending the power of H2H marketing with your established consumer data sets sounds like a lot of work, you’re not wrong. However, despite the hurdles that come with this approach, the Content Marketing Institute’s Andrew Davis notes that sparking these meaningful connections with your audience is well worth the effort.

The big takeaway from Davis’ piece on the subject is that in today’s ultra-competitive digital world, every connection counts and anything that helps differentiate your brand is well worth the effort. Basically, standing out in the inbox today and capturing sales requires more than just standard sales pitches and promotional gimmicks.

Gauging Your Current H2H Capabilities

Of course, simply stating that you want your brand to take on a more human element and expecting to see results isn’t exactly a strong plan. To really get off on the right foot, it’s imperative that you gauge your current capabilities and content practices. Specifically, critiquing your active consumer personas and previous email marketing efforts make the cut on this front. By sitting down and engaging in a little introspection within these areas, you’ll not only garner a better understanding of any inherent H2H capabilities in your current campaign, but also generate a better understanding of what you need to do to get up to par with this approach.

Developing a Winning Strategy for Your Next Campaign

Aside from ensuring that you know who makes up your audience and whether or not you’ve sparked any sort of connection beforehand, Deanna Baisden of Social Media Today also points out that it’s important to know your role in the inbox. In terms of creating a more humanistic approach within your email content, Baisden highlights three key roles – the informant, the creative, and the entertainer.

As the names imply, each slant on the H2H process aims to fill a certain void in the inbox that hones in on a certain need or desire found within the audience. The informant uses the stories of others and real-life situations to help enlighten and educate the person on the other side of the screen. This relationship often comes across as slightly more formal than the other two.

Brands that fill the creative slot seek to inspire the inbox audience with content that shows unique or intriguing response to concerns or problems. For those that take on this role, thinking “outside the box” definitely takes a spot at center stage. As for the entertainer, this approach is all about engaging your viewers with high quality offerings that fit the specific interests of the group. Humor is usually a big player in most campaigns that follow this path.

Figuring out which role to take on requires quite a bit of soul-searching on behalf of your brand. However, with this information in hand, as well as the rest of what you’ve learned here today, there’s no reason why your company can’t navigate the sometimes tumultuous waters of the inbox and reap the rewards that come with adding a greater amount of H2H elements to your campaign practices.



If you know anything about email marketing, then you know that garnering consent from your contact list membership is kind of a big deal. In fact, with the continued rise of regulatory agencies and consumer rights, it’s safe to say that properly requesting consent deserves the top spot in virtually any email marketing conversation. With this in mind, let’s shift some focus onto the particulars of acquiring consent appropriately, including the concept of the three distinct levels that make up the contemporary understanding of this practice.

Why Bother with Consent in the First Place?

The need for consent comes from two major shifts in the world of email marketing; the rising insistence for transparency by consumers and the legal ramifications that come with disobeying the law of the land. In terms of consent related laws, there’s one acronym that you need to memorize as soon as possible – CASL.

Those who fail to fall in line with Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) in terms of consent run the risk of some severe fines and backlash. If you’re not interested in paying a $1.1 million fine like Compu-Finder did earlier this year, then it’s time to get serious about how your brand gathers consent from your existing and future email marketing list membership.

Single Opt-Ins

So where does the consent process begin, and how does the first layer of this process work? According to Forbes magazine’s team of experts, it all starts with the single opt-in process. This base form of consent acquisition includes the user on the other side of the screen knowingly and clearly enacting an action that results in joining your contact list.

Sometimes, this process can come with certain conditions or restrictions. For instance, the person in question might only want to receive email content related to the information presented at the time of consent, so making note of these particular wants and desires helps define a strong single opt-in layer.

Opt-Ins with Confirmation

Going a little deeper on the spectrum is the concept of utilizing a single opt-in process that includes a notification or confirmation. Generally, this approach goes a step farther than the traditional single opt-in by firing off a confirmation email within the first 24 hours of contact list membership acceptance.

This confirmation email will usually cover the particulars of the email marketing campaign, including message frequency, content offerings, and how to unsubscribe. If you’re thinking about implementing this layer of requesting consent, it’s a good idea to ask your new subscribers to whitelist your relevant addresses while confirming their desire to join your campaign. This way, you can reduce the risk of accidental filtering and other hiccups in the process.

Closed Loop or Double Opt-Ins

The final – and most thorough – form of opting-in requires the interested consumer to “close the loop.” Known more often as a “double opt-in,” this practice takes your confirmation email and adds a final action to the process before promotional content starts hitting this individual’s inbox.

Usually, this action comes in the form of a clickable link that redirects the user to a confirmation page, thus closing the loop and creating an air-tight connection between you and the latest addition to your contact list. One of the biggest mistakes brands make on this front is also incorporating advertising into the confirmation email, thus causing this offering – and the redirect link – to end up in the spam folder.

To avoid this untimely roadblock, skip the promotional content and keep things short, sweet, and simple for your viewer. This way, he or she can access the confirmation link in as quick and simple a manner as possible, thereby ensuring that things go smoothly as you add a new member to your contact list.

Which One Is Right for Your Brand?

Now that you’re an expert when it comes to the three layers of requesting consent, it’s time to answer one last question – which layer is right for your brand? While the answer to this question naturally can vary based on your business and current email marketing practices, the answer generally comes down to going as deep into this layered process as possible.

As more and more regulations and industry trends shift the discussion toward even greater consumer rights and transparency requirements, there’s no denying that double opt-in systems will move closer and closer to the norm. This means that even if you don’t need to offer up a strong confirmation process now, chances are you’ll have to revamp and reassess this system later on down the road as CASL and other forces within the email marketing community continue to shape and redefine the notion of consent gathering best practices.



By now, you know without a doubt that email marketing is the biggest player in the world of digital brand awareness. More consumers are connecting with organizations in the inbox than ever before, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. However, this process is far from infallible. To ensure that you get back on track for success in the event of an email marketing stumble, let’s talk about some of the best ways to revamp and reinvigorate your inbox campaign.

Put Your Tools to Good Use

Considering that email marketing is all about making the most out of modern technology, it makes sense to start this conversation off with a look at your digital tools and how best to put these assets to good use. As Jason McDonald of LinkedIn points out, there’s plenty of options to consider as you refine and optimize this content. From free subject line testers to HTML previewers that ensure your coding comes out clean and flaw-free, presenting a technically sound and attractive email shouldn’t be relegated to the territory of guesswork and uncertainty.

Get Personal

Outside of keeping your digital tools and practices in top shape, Business 2 Community’s Amanda Clark suggests getting personal with your audience. For some brands, this means personalizing content and leveraging the power held within your consumer data to make the email marketing experience more intimate and unique. If you don’t have this data to help guide your decision-making process, then now is as good a time as any to start surveying members of your list and utilizing other sources of “Big Data” and viewer information.

Free Stuff Makes a Difference

Perhaps the most powerful way to get back on track with your email marketing campaign is by giving away free stuff. Yes, on paper adding more costs to a failing endeavor seems like bad business. However, analyzing the situation from a more grounded and industry-relevant perspective proves just how wrong this initial assumption is when it comes to the inbox.

As Clark goes on to explain, few methods offer up as much potential for goodwill and immediate impact as a giveaway. Even if it’s something as simple as a coupon or test product, letting these customers and contact list members know that there’s something tangible and worthwhile waiting for them should they participate in this outreach initiative goes a long way toward restoring the impact of your campaign.

Re-Evaluate Your Timing

Another area that could be tanking your inbox operations comes in the form of poor message timing and frequency. Specifically, Direct Marketing News’ Andrew Corselli points out that even the best content around doesn’t stand much of a chance if you’re unable to get it out in front of viewers when they’re most likely to open the email.

Because of this reality, ensuring you always test new timing strategies and avoid resting on your laurels is not just recommended, it’s virtually essential. Sometimes making a switch based on shifting consumer needs and trends is a tough pill to swallow. However, when compared to the alternative – a failed email campaign – it’s easy to see that making the switch is well worth the effort.

Try a New Template or Email Approach

In some cases, it might be time to take your actual content back to the drawing board in order to get things back on track. According to Search Engine Journal’s Alex Bashinsky, one of the best ways to go about this is by trying out a new template or basic structure for your content.

Change for the sake of change obviously doesn’t make much sense, but just like testing out your timing and frequency, sometimes consistently exploring new territory can help uncover a theme or style that resonates more closely with your audience. Even if it’s something as simple as a new template for your base message, switching things up can go a long way toward catching the attention of your viewers.

Check the Quality of Your Contact List

Finally, take some time to guarantee that there’s actually someone waiting for your content on the other side of the screen. Far too often, brands that purchase or fail to maintain accurate contact lists end up firing off emails to dead end or incorrect addresses. Even if you’re not an email marketing expert, it doesn’t take much to see that either of these scenarios are literally “no-win” situations.

Thankfully, if you stay on top of monitoring and maintaining your contact list – as well as putting to good use the rest of what you’ve learned here, then there’s no reason why your future campaigns can’t end up standing as shining examples of the true power held within this practice.



“How often should I be sending emails to my contact list” This common question encompasses a wide swath of concerns within the spectrum of email marketing, yet there’s no definitive answer on which to base your campaign moving forward. Unfortunately, this situation doesn’t look like it’s changing anytime soon.

However, this lack of a universal answer to the frequency dilemma doesn’t mean that your brand is up the digital creek without a paddle. By putting some industry-leading best practices and tactics to good use, there’s nothing that can stop you from finding the ideal email frequency that fits your organization.

Answer the Five Fundamental Frequency Questions

At the core of the discussion surrounding frequency, according to Business 2 Community’s Annie Zelm, are five fundamental questions. Without a solid answer to each of these concerns, Zelm points out that it’s virtually impossible to develop and refine an equation that helps elaborate on how often your brand should be showing up in the inbox.

The first question you need to ask yourself revolves around the marketing goals of your organization. Is your current contact list good enough, or are you aiming to grow and reach new segments of your audience that may or may not have different preferences when compared to your current membership?

From here, gauging the standard behavior of both your industry at-large and your current contact list specifically comes next. Taking cues from competitors, as well as the habits of your existing followers, goes a long way toward shaping and molding a responsive and effective schedule that covers both timing and the number of weekly or monthly messages.

On a similar line of thought, Zelm also suggests questioning the performance of your previous forays into the inbox. Looking into the habits of those around you does tell some of the story, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better representation of email volume that resonates with your audience than your prior record of successes and failures.

Finally, don’t be afraid to talk about your targeting capabilities and prospects moving forward. Sitting down for an honest evaluation and asking the tough questions surrounding your current practices is far from easy, but this approach can help pave the way for future growth and positive gains. At the very least, doing this can offer up an insightful look into how further optimization and refinement can beneficially impact your current stance on email frequency and your email marketing methods in general.

Naturally, these five questions don’t cover every facet of the frequency debate. However, chances are you won’t find a better basis for the introspective look needed to begin working toward your ideal number of sent messages.

Adjust for External Factors

Outside of approaching the process from these numerous angles, Marketing Land’s Tom Sather also notes that it’s important to keep your stance on frequency flexible and adaptive – especially when it comes to outside factors. From holiday peaks and lulls to industry specific events, having a willingness to shift the number up or down keeps your campaigns in an optimal and effective position.

It might seem weird to think of your ideal frequency as a “shifting” or “fluid” number at first glance, but a quick run through a busy or slow season and its effects on your audience behavior can reinforce this notion in a hurry. The big key to hitting a home run on this front is to keep an eye out for anything that might fall into this category. The more cohesive and accurate your picture of email marketing frequency is, the more likely you are to avoid any pitfalls or hiccups that can damage the effectiveness of this campaign attribute.

Test, Test, and Test Again

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, is the advice offered up by David Moth of Econsultancy – test, test, and test some more as you work toward an ideal email frequency number. Tweaking the variables and testing different approaches is a time-consuming, effort intensive practice at times; no one can argue against this fact.

However, going above and beyond via testing opens your brand up to truly putting the pieces together when it comes to how often you should be sending messages. While other brands simply accept “good enough” in terms of frequency, this approach can vault your organization to the top of the inbox via proven practices and results. Considering how important getting things right with your email marketing campaign is to the viability of your digital presence, isn’t it worth going all in to figure out your ideal email frequency number?



With the mercury rising to higher and higher levels in thermometers across the country and air conditioners running on full blast, there’s no denying that one thing is on everyone’s mind; summer is officially here. Unfortunately, plenty of brands out there fail to take note of this trending topic and continue along in the inbox with a “business as usual” mentality. To ensure your brand stands out this summer and doesn’t get lost in the flood of generic offerings coming from the competition, let’s talk about five of the best email marketing tips for your upcoming summer campaign.

Go Regional with Your Content

According to Practical Ecommerce’s Carolyn Nye, there’s no better place to start than with regionally relevant content. Naturally, this can be harder for the bigger brands to pull off, but if you’re able to integrate references and relevant information about local events, happenings, and other topics into your content, then you have an opportunity to really stand out and capture the attention of specific communities. Even if you don’t dig into highly specialized neighborhood happenings, simply covering citywide events and other outings in a particular area can help keep the goodwill flowing into your brand image.

Talk about Summer Behavior

Similarly, there’s also the concept of tailoring your overarching content tone toward a more “summer-oriented” style and direction. Discussing gardening, getting ready for the beach, or any other seasonal behavior might seem a little out of place at first, but this approach falls right in line with a sound email marketing strategy.

It’s important to keep in mind that not everything you send out to your contact list members has to be related to a product or service. Sometimes, it’s okay to take a moment and talk about something – in this case, summer activities – that’s both relevant and interesting to your audience.

“Christmas in July”

Nye also suggests utilizing the “Christmas in July” tactic as part of your summer email marketing initiative. It might seem a little awkward at first, but creating a sense of urgency for the holiday season now is both effective and engaging; if you’re able to pull it off properly.

Essentially, a Christmas in July email campaign or sale needs to hit on two key points – encouraging the consumer to start holiday shopping early and offering real value to incentivize the process. If you’re not able to hit on these aspects of the process, then don’t be surprised when even the most well-crafted summer email content falls flat on its face.

Offer up a Seasonal Giveaway

If you’re not looking to run a sale, but rather generate some excitement via a giveaway or contest, Jonha Revesencio of The Huffington Post points out that the summer season offers up the perfect timing for this tactic. A surefire way to win big on this front is by blending in practicality to the process.

As Revesencio goes on to explain, people can really appreciate offerings that fill a practical need during these hot summer months. Even if your organization doesn’t offer up a product or service that fits in line with this mentality, that doesn’t mean that branded sandals, sunglasses, and other giveaways can’t fill this void.

Give Summer Tips and Health Advice

Finally, if you’re all out of other ideas, don’t be afraid to send out an email that’s a little more educational in orientation. The rising temperature comes with plenty of perils, so a simple and straightforward tips and advice edition of your weekly brand newsletter can go a long way toward keeping your audience informed and safe.

Whether you cover information regarding sun safety and extreme weather warnings, or simply decide to focus on lawn-care advice and other relevant summer discussions, setting aside the promotional content for a day is a powerful and effective tool for bonding with your valued following. The best part is that this tactic extends to other seasons as well, so you’ll never have to worry about coming up with something to write about when the fall, winter, and spring months pop up on the calendar.

At the end of the day, staying seasonally relevant – especially during these hot summer months – is all about finding new ways to transfer value to your audience. This basic premise is the guiding light behind email marketing, so finding creative ways to incorporate summer and other major yearly events into your campaign approach ensures that you’ll always be relevant and engaging.



As crazy as it sounds, there are some voices from around the web that would have you believe email marketing needs saving. Specifically, these experts point to behavioral segmentation and its applications as the prime source of resurgence and renewed power behind this practice. To see if these claims actually hold any weight, let’s take a moment to delve into the basic argument supporting the unappreciated impact of behavioral segmentation.

What Is Behavioral Segmentation?

Naturally, a lot of the importance of this discussion is lost in translation if you’re not exactly up to date on the finer points of this process. To help get you back up to speed, the consulting experts over at MBA & Company explain that behavioral segmentation is essentially a more focused subset of traditional segmentation tactics.

Instead of relying upon standard data – like age, location, gender, etc. – this form of segmentation seeks to go beyond and answer the “how” and “why” of your connection with a certain audience. The influence of special occasions, benefits offered, consumer loyalty, and usage rate of digital tools all serve as excellent examples of behavioral metrics. The overarching point here is that to truly understanding the people that relate to your brand, it’s important to go beyond the basic statistics and data.

The Claim Behind Email Marketing’s Savior

At this point, we know the truth about the particulars of behavioral segmentation, so it’s time to answer the big question – did this practice really save email marketing? According to Bryan Gudmundson of Business 2 Community, the answer is an unequivocal “yes.”

Gudmundson posits that behavioral segmentation is the key to dispelling the oft repeated mantra of “email is dead!” By combining an analytical approach with life and environmental cues, this method stands to generate a substantial jump forward in the effectiveness and productivity of the average email campaign.

Getting down to the Truth

Of course, the only problem with this viewpoint is the misguided notion that email marketing needed saving in the first place. While behavioral marketing can definitely add a new and powerful layer to your next campaign, it’s not the “last hope” for this method of reaching out to consumers. In fact, email marketing continues to stand as the hottest digital marketing practice around.

For instance, Marketing Land’s Amy Gesenhues points out that the last quarter of 2014 saw a 70 percent jump in mobile email conversions over the same timeframe last year. Digging a little deeper, this represents a 40 percent climb in click-to-open rates and a total increase of 10 percent in the overall number of email clicks across a 12 month span. Simply put, there’s plenty of innovations that contribute to the growth of email marketing – like behavioral segmentation – but that doesn’t mean that this practice is even close to falling into the realm of digital obscurity.

Leveraging the Power of Behavioral Segmentation for Your Brand

Now that you know that email marketing is just fine, but powerful assets like behavioral segmentation can take your campaign to greater heights, let’s talk a little bit about how best to leverage the inherent benefits held within this process. As David Kirkpatrick of the Marketing Sherpa blog explains, it all starts with utilizing your existing behavioral data and building a solid foundation for the application of your segmentation techniques. Any information that helps point to how readers react – either positively or negatively – to your content is right in line with this approach.

From here, Kirkpatrick notes that mining social data can help fill in the gaps significantly. People share more about themselves online than ever before, so why not make use of this public information to bolster your understanding of what these individuals desire in high quality email content?

Once you’ve hit this point, Liga Bizune of the Marketing Profs suggests testing the waters with differing content and email tactics. For instance, firing off an offer for alternative, educational content to readers who open your email, but don’t accept your call-to-action is a strong tactic for enhancing interaction with the less active portions of your viewership.

The main idea behind all of this discussion is to find ways to grow and support your relationship with the person on the other side of the screen. People are more than just numbers, so it makes sense to go beyond the basic data and start truly answering questions about who these readers are and why they do the things they do. When paired with the rest of what you know about modern email marketing best practices, it won’t be long before this greater understanding leads to a much better showing in the inbox.



With the one year anniversary of Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL) almost here, there’s plenty of questions floating around in the email marketing community. Did CASL work, or is spam still a problem? Should I still be worried about any compliance issues? What’s the next step in the fight against spam? To help you sift through this conversation and learn more about the past, present, and future of Canada’s fight against spam email marketing practices, let’s take a minute to check in on the status of CASL and its position in the current marketplace.

Delving into the Impact of CASL on Spammers

Now that we have almost a year’s worth of data on the books, it’s only logical for the discussion to turn to the raw effectiveness of the anti-spam strategy. According to the experts over at the SPAMfighter blog, the answer to this question falls firmly into the “success” designation. After the law went live on July 1st, 2014, spam originating in Canada fell an astounding 37 percent. Even more impressive is the fact that this number continues to dip as more and more offenders are brought to justice or change to more transparent and acceptable tactics.

Unfortunately, CASL still hasn’t alleviated all of the issues related to spam emails. As the team at SPAMfighter go on to explain, inbound spam from Russia, the United States, and other foreign locations continue to be an issue. However, regulators and officials continue to seek out punishment for those abroad, potentially setting a new precedent for handling international spam complaints that affect consumers here in Canada.

What about Those on the Right Side of the Law?

Of course with such a harsh crackdown on spammers serving as the leading image of the CASL movement, it makes sense to assume that properly handling email campaigns has also become a more demanding affair. Thankfully, IT World Canada’s Jeff Jedras offers up some research that dispels this myth and helps prove that generating buzz in the inbox under CASL guidelines is still a viable strategy.

Specifically, Jedras notes that over 70 percent of Canadian small organizations have continued on with business as usual, and at least nine percent have increased their operations during this year-long period of CASL application. Even list sizes have remained largely unchanged as consumers continue to have access to consistent opt-out opportunities.

The moral of the story here is clear; if you play by the rules, CASL and its enforcers have no need to step in and stop you and your audience from reaping the rewards of this mutually beneficial relationship.

Making a Better Inbox Experience for Consumers

As for the person on the other side of the screen, Elyse Dupre of Direct Marketing News points out that there’s never been a better time for Canadian consumers in the inbox. Despite the concerns faced by brands and marketers over the implementation of CASL compliance, the average Canadian shopper has hardly noticed a change in the email marketing process or their desire to continue receiving this kind of content.

With the average viewer spending about 1.2 hours in their inbox a day – and 68 percent of all shoppers listing email offers as their favorite form of outreach – it’s safe to say that CASL has done little to damage the relationship between eager members of the contact list and the participating brand. In fact, it wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise if the continued drop in spam offenders helps push the demand for authentic, valuable email offers to newer and greater heights.

Keep Your Brand on Track for Email Marketing Success

So now that you’re all caught up on the current status of CASL, what’s next for your brand? The answer to this question revolves around your goals and aspirations for the future. Are you interested in expanding your email operations and reaching out to new audiences? What if this is your first time reading about email marketing and you’re looking to capture sales that would otherwise go unrealized? Regardless of where you currently fit into the process, it’s safe to say that as long as you play by the rules, there’s nothing that can stop your brand from truly making a mark in the inbox with effective and sound email content.

If you’d like to learn more about CASL compliance and advice for staying on the right side of this law, feel free to check out our CASL Survival Guide, expert analysis from our CEO, Robert Burko, and additional coverage.



While email marketing offers up some serious returns for your investment, there’s also one truth that plenty of members of the community have a hard time facing: Email marketing requires a hefty amount of work in order to do things right. In an effort to trim down on the workload that goes into building a list, some brands seek out and purchase established contact lists. Unfortunately, buying a list of addresses is far from a good call. To help explain this point – and provide your organization with a more efficient and effective alternative approach to growing a list – let’s dig into the numerous perils that come with acquiring an already developed inbox audience.

Most Lists Aren’t High Quality

In order to properly explain why purchasing an email list is never a good idea, it’s important to impart one clear, concise fact about this process to you and the rest of the readers browsing this article – most lists for sale are bad. As Kate Harrison of Forbes magazine points out, there’s a reason that the owners of these lists generally aren’t too sad about letting such an asset walk out the front door. From poor open rates to an overabundance of abandoned addresses or spam accounts, the vast majority of purchased lists simply just don’t offer much.

Big Brother Doesn’t Condone This Activity

Additionally, Harrison goes on to explain that with the advent of tighter regulations and guidelines, the officials behind CASL enforcement and other spam-fighting groups aren’t exactly thrilled with this practice. The problem here is that by purchasing a list, you don’t offer your new readers a chance to opt-in to receive your messages. Sure, those that actually bother to open your incoming messages might have agreed to the original owner’s terms, but that doesn’t mean that they are on board for your content. Considering how stiff fines and penalties can be for those who stick their toes over the spam law lines, do you really want to test your luck with an unsuspecting and potentially disgruntled contact list?

Your Reputation Means More

In terms of future prospects, the HubSpot Blog’s Corey Eridon notes that even those who avoid fines and penalties still aren’t free of the hazards that come with purchasing a list. Internet service providers (ISPs) and email providers, like Yahoo and Gmail, keep track of shady practices, so don’t be surprised if your IPs end up banned or black flagged due to unacceptable email transmissions.

There’s also the reality that consumers using review sites and social media have no problem tarnishing your reputation via negative reviews and word-of-mouth anecdotes regarding unsolicited marketed messages. Think of it this way: If the shoe was on the other foot, would you really want some strange company spamming your inbox with offers and discounts that you didn’t ask to receive? At the end of the day, your brand’s reputation is worth far more than the minimal benefits offered up by purchasing a list.

A Better Alternative

Now that we’ve covered some of the most damaging outcomes that spring forth from this approach, let’s take a moment to talk about properly building your email list via trusted and proven tactics. Yes, doing things the right way is more work than simply forking over a hefty chunk of your marketing budget, but the payoff and goodwill that comes with this approach more than makes up for the effort that you put into this process.

According to the Marketing Profs’ Meghan Keaney Anderson, it all starts with giving your potential contact list membership options. From opt-in options on your blog, social sites, and other web content, to the ability to leave the list whenever they want, ensuring transparency stays at the top of your list of priorities is a great way to play by the rules of your audience, the various ISPs, email providers, and even the government.

Outside of putting the customer’s decision first, Anderson goes on to suggest filling your emails with only that of which they can benefit – and letting the world know about the deals held within. Between your membership spreading the good word to friends and family and your own outreach programs, it won’t take long for your contact list to become a healthy and vibrant community. When compared with the digital downfall that comes with most purchased lists, you’ll be happy you took the time to properly invest your resources in a custom contact list that can truly make your brand proud.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin