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As one of the biggest names in the digital world, it’s hard to imagine a tech giant like Yahoo ending up on the wrong side of the law. However, after facing a reversed decision from a three judge panel in the United States 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, this leader in email, SMS, and other virtual services currently finds itself in plenty of legal hot water. To bring you up to speed with the particulars of this case, as well as provide insight into ways your own brand can avoid facing the same backlash, here’s an in-depth look at how Yahoo potentially crossed the line via unintentional spam practices.

Breaking down the Law Suit

According to Media Post’s Wendy Davis, the story starts back in late 2014 when Philadelphia resident Bill Dominguez alleged that Yahoo sent him over 27,000 unwanted text alerts. Dominguez – who purchased a mobile phone secondhand – claims that these alerts consistently disrupted his daily life over the course of several months, despite his repeated requests for the services to cease and desist.

Complicating the matter even further is the fact that these SMS messages weren’t actually meant for Dominguez in the first place. The phone’s previous owner had apparently signed up for a now defunct Yahoo service that converted emails into mobile messages and failed to cancel this arrangement before selling his or her phone.

Without a way to contact the phone’s previous owner, Yahoo states that it was unable to obtain the proper authorization to halt this service. Additionally, Yahoo’s attorney noted in the initial hearing regarding this case that the company had not anticipated members of this program to change mobile numbers without informing the organization.

A History of Spam Issues

Unfortunately for Yahoo, this isn’t the first time that they’ve ended up having a day in court thanks to some less than stellar SMS practices. As Kira Lerner of Law 360 notes in a look at this company’s legal history with spam issues, a 2013 case against Yahoo shows that other plaintiffs have had issues with unwanted and unsolicited text alerts and messages.

Specifically, Rafael Sherman sued Yahoo in 2013, alleging that the digital powerhouse sent notifications related to its online instant messenger service to his phone. The only problem is that Sherman claims to have never signed up for an instant messenger account in the first place.

With both of these cases still outstanding, it’s hard to tell what the future holds for Yahoo in terms of SMS services and compliance. However, it is safe to say that the current position of this brand in the text and mobile world is anything but enviable at this point in time.

Avoiding the Same Fate for Your Brand

Although these types of text spam complaints aren’t what we’ve come to expect when it comes to running afoul of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), and other regulatory bodies, there’s still plenty of lessons to be learned as your organization tries to avoid facing the same legal issues as Yahoo.

To start, having updated and easily accessed unsubscribe features is a must if you plan on interacting with customers via SMS offerings. The last thing you want to do is stir up a bevy of complaints – and potential fines – from viewers who want to opt out of your text messaging program, but find the process complex or unintuitive. Simply put, “short,” “simple,” “easy,” and “fast” are the words that you want to describe your opt out process.

As far as bringing new customers into the fold, if you don’t have express consent from these users, then you could potentially find yourself in a noncompliant position. Express consent comes from having a documented agreement to opt-in from your new contact list member, as well as ensuring that the services and content offered by your brand are clearly stated during the sign-up process. It might seem like a lot of work initially, but you’re much better off laying out every little detail now and guaranteeing that nothing is left to chance or interpretation on the end user side of things.

If you’re able to hone in on these features and functionality – as well as handle any unusual or extreme corner cases like the ones listed above in an expedient and satisfactory manner – then you’re well on your way to tapping into the copious amounts of value found within the world of SMS marketing; all while avoiding the pitfalls experienced by Yahoo and other brands that failed to play by the rules.



Standing tall in the inbox as a nonprofit organization requires a unique approach to the email marketing process. Unlike your retail counterparts, this practice isn’t always about selling a product or capturing leads thanks to a discount or offer. Instead, you’re in the business of driving people to make a difference by helping out with an important cause or charitable opportunity.

With this in mind, let’s look at the five questions that every nonprofit needs to ask itself before sending out an email newsletter. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you’re always connecting with donors and other interested parties in a way that imparts the significance of your cause in an impactful – and effective – manner.

Is Your Message Valuable?

The first question to ask yourself and your team of email marketing experts, according to Jimmy Daly of Marketing Land, focuses on whether or not your message is valuable. Naturally, determining the value of a message can come down to subjective measures, but the big key here is that your newsletter emphasizes stats, facts, and figures at the expense of fluff and filler.

Donors want to commit to a cause, but often need a nudge in the right direction. By offering up the value of your nonprofit’s mission throughout the various pieces that make up your newsletter, it won’t be long before readers that would otherwise flip past this offering take the time to make a contribution or support your cause in some other way, shape, or form.

Does Your Newsletter Content Tell a Story?

Going a step farther, it’s also a good idea to question how you’re imparting this value. Is it offered up in an easily digestible and intriguing manner – say a human interest story? Or are you just listing off stats and figures without any real context? The difference might not seem like much initially, but the gap between these two approaches is actually quite expansive.

Fitting your message into an appealing shell that helps create a story or narrative is a powerful marketing practice that works on virtually any platform. However, it’s especially potent in the inbox. People enjoy connecting to specific personalities and personas, so give your viewership what it wants by telling the best story possible as you promote your nonprofit or charitable cause.

Can You Fit Some Humor into This Offering?

Marketing expert John Haydon also offers up the suggestion to look into what role humor might play in your upcoming email newsletters. Naturally, humor doesn’t fit every message, but adding in some fun or lighthearted inclusions in a tactful manner can help differentiate your offering from the more serious and bland selections found in the inbox. Even if you simply recount a funny “behind the scenes” event at the office, working-in humorous anecdotes humanizes your content and provides relatable material for your audience to consume.

Are You Speaking in the Donor’s Language?

Before you hit send, take a moment to ask yourself, “Am I speaking the language of my donors?” As the HubSpot Blog’s Gretchen Barry points out, skipping the formal language and reaching out to your inbox readers in a more approachable manner goes a long way toward increasing donations and retaining the attention of these benefactors.

It’s important to note that this isn’t a free license to rely upon jargon and text-speak – like “lol” – in your newsletters. You’ll still want to produce a quality newsletter that retains a professional appeal, even if you do skip out on some of the drier body copy for a more conversational tone.

Would You Read This Newsletter?

Finally, don’t be afraid to sit down and honestly debate whether or not you would actually read your newsletter if you were on the other side of the screen. From making changes to the editorial style of this offering, to realizing that your chosen template isn’t visually appealing, there are plenty of improvements that can come out of an honest critiquing session. As scary a proposition as this may be for some nonprofit managers, you’re better offer facing these fears now and addressing any concerns that arise from this practice before your newsletter ends up in the inboxes of donors and other members of your community.

If you’re able to answer this tough question, as well as the others offered up here, then there’s no reason why your next newsletter can’t generate a substantial amount of support for your nonprofit and the underlying cause that means so much to you and the other members of your organization.



With Halloween right around the corner, chances are there are plenty of spooks, specters, and other frightful apparitions floating around in your daily life. However, did you know that these macabre occurrences can spread into the world of your email marketing operations? To ensure that your upcoming campaigns aren’t haunted by the four ghosts of email marketing – as detailed by Media Post’s April Mullen – let’s spend some time covering these phantom threats and what your brand can do to ensure that it always gets the most out of its email marketing operations.

Email Marketing Is a “Set It and Forget It” Process

The first ghost that haunts most outdated email marketing campaigns comes in the form of assuming that email marketing is a simple, “set it and forget it” process. Yes, sending an actual email is as easy as a click of a button, but delivering an email that actually generates some sort of response from your audience requires quite a bit of work and preparation.

Designing templates, crafting optimized content that appropriately leverages the power of calls-to-action (CTAs), and constantly reaching out to your audience for feedback are just some of the pieces of the puzzle that go into crafting a winning take on inbox outreach campaigns. Simply put, with all of these variables factoring into the process, it can take weeks or even months of advanced planning to properly execute and extract all of the value that comes from a successful email marketing endeavor.

Comparing Benchmarks Across Campaigns

As Econsultancy’s Christopher Ratcliff explains in his look at key performance indicators (KPIs) used by email marketing experts, benchmarking the gains of your campaign is a complex process. Unfortunately, the complexity of these measurements becomes even more exaggerated when you start trying to compare your current campaign with the progress of previous offerings or even the endeavors of your brand’s competitions.

The truth of the matter is that each campaign is a unique foray into the inbox, complete with its own strengths and weaknesses, so letting the specter of comparative benchmarks loom over your progress evaluation is not a winning recipe. Yes, benchmarks are still relevant and should help show upward or downward trends related to audience interaction and response, but try to refrain from “mixing and matching” these metrics between campaigns if possible. Failing to heed this advice could lead to unrealistic expectations and lost opportunities for meaningful inbox content refinement and optimization.

Time of Day Is the Most Important Metric

Speaking of metrics, there’s plenty of talk that honing in on the right time to send your message is the most important factor that determines the success of your campaign. There’s no denying that optimal timing is a nice metric to work around as you plan out the delivery phase of your campaign, but labeling this factor as the “most important” variable indicates a dated viewpoint on how modern consumers interact with their inboxes.

With the advent of mobile viewership, Matt Rosoff of Business Insider reports that 98.4 percent of smartphone owners check their email on these devices at least one to three times a day, with 33.8 percent of these respondents easily breaking the 10 times a day mark. From all of this we can deduce one key point: Picking out a few good times a day to fire off emails is a great addition to an established campaign, but – given the nature of the modern world’s “always on” mobile contact – your brand is far better off focusing instead on quality content that is relevant regardless of the viewing timeframe.

Blasting Away at Your Content List Is a Good Idea

The final ghost of email marketing offering up by Mullen comes in the form of relying solely upon email blasts. Not too long ago, firing off a “one size fits all” message to your entire contact list was the go-to method for reaching out to a target audience. However, this approach is nothing more than a haunting visage of email marketing’s past that simply won’t fade away.

Dissecting your audience into multiple segments and tailoring content exclusively to the needs and desires of these users is a far more effective approach to modern email marketing. If this seems like overkill, it’s important to understand that the inbox is an extremely competitive place; if you’re not able to zero in on the particular pain points of these highly specialized groups within your audience, don’t be surprised when your competition happily slots their content into this value-driven role.

Fortunately, with what you’ve learned here leading the way, the inbox doesn’t have to be a scary place for your brand anymore. As long as you’re willing to take on a modern approach to providing quality content to your audience, there’s no reason why your business can’t say goodbye to these ghosts for good and forge a powerful relationship with the customers that matter most.



When it comes to email marketing, most people naturally assume that this method of outreach is exclusively relegated to the toolbox of online retailers who specialize in consumer goods. While there’s no denying that these retailers can definitely make good use of the potential found within the inbox, why can’t the hospitality industry – specifically hotels – also claim a share of this valuable email marketing pie? To help get you off on the right foot as your explore this outreach method, let’s spend some time talking about how those who operate within this industry can craft a smart – and successful – email marketing strategy.

Discussing the Value of Email Marketing

Before getting into the particulars of how to win in the inbox, it’s a good idea to start by discussing the value of email marketing as it pertains to the hospitality industry. According to Hospitality Net’s Shawn Williams, it all starts with capturing the lost potential of wayward site visitors.

Specifically, if your average booking rate sits at 1.5 percent, then Williams explains that 98.5 percent of your site’s traffic leaves without reserving a room. Even the most basic of email capture strategies garner opt-in rates between two and 10 percent, leading to an interaction with up to six times as many potential customers.

Going a step deeper, Williams also points out that visitors scour booking listings and hotel information for weeks in advance, leading to a protracted reservation process. The deciding consideration when the time comes to make a booking often boils down not just to price, but also value – hotel options, amenities, nearby locations, etc. In terms of elaborating on these valuable factors, what better way to accomplish this goal than by sending off value-driven emails that educate and inform contact list members?

Laying out the Blueprint for Your Strategy

So now that we’ve covered why email marketing matters to the hospitality industry, it’s time to go a step further and build an approach that truly captures the attention – and business – of your target audience. As Julia McCoy of Marketing Profs explains, your best bet is to focus on creating a personal connection before hitting these viewers with a sales pitch.

The best email marketing campaigns aim to relate to inbox readers, so try to go this route if possible. Covering honeymoon ideas in your area, seasonal events or happenings, and even simply taking some time to thank these contact list members for their continued support are all signs of a strong interpersonal approach. The big key here is to speak to these viewers from a conversational perspective – often via personalized content that utilizes contact list information – and then slowly build into recapturing lost sales via time sensitive deals and discounts.

Another strong practice that should serve as a pillar of your inbox initiative comes in the form of triggered email content. Much like reaching out to customers in the face of an abandoned online shopping cart, hotels can trigger specific content based on a consumer’s activity that occurs on site. From offering up advice and insight based on the timeframes or locations reviewed by the visitor, to enacting “last chance” booking offers for repeat visitors, utilizing the power of triggered messages is one of the best ways to leverage the power found within email marketing.

Finally, if you’re new to the ins and outs of marketing in the inbox, it’s imperative that your organization play by the rules. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and other regionally relevant regulations forbid certain practices and dish out hefty penalties and fines to offenders, so taking some time to brush up on what’s allowed and what’s not is vital to the continued success of your campaign.

Generally speaking, you’ll want to hit on the following points to at least stay on the right side of CASL compliance:

  • Acquire express consent from all contact list members.
  • Clearly describe the purpose of your email marketing operations, as well as what comes with joining your audience.
  • Incorporate transparent and readily available unsubscribe mechanisms in each and every email.
  • Process these unsubscribe requests within a maximum of 10 days.

It seems like a lot to keep track of initially, but carefully reading over CASL parameters – which you can find here in our CASL Survival Guide – and aligning yourself with a team of trusted email marketing professionals makes this process significantly more manageable.

At the end of the day, tapping into the power of email marketing as a business within the hospitality industry requires a significant amount of work. However, if you’re able to take what you’ve learned here and start laying the foundation for a successful incursion into the inbox, it won’t be long before your organization truly maximizes its online booking and reservation opportunities.



If you’ve logged on to Facebook at any point in time over the last few years, chances are that you’ve seen a friend, family member, or associate post a photo or “memory” from the past via the Timehop app. Considering how fun it can be to look back on these moments, it’s no big surprise that this app is all the rage right now.

However, is the Timehop craze just some passing fad, or are there any lessons the world of email marketing can learn from this app before you roll out your next inbox campaign? To answer this question, let’s spend some time looking over the particulars of Timehop, as well as how the features found within could create an unforgettable email marketing experience for your audience.

What Is Timehop?

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Timehop app, it’s a good idea provide a quick overview before we delve into the overlap between this social phenomenon and the world of email marketing. Essentially, Timehop is a “memory reminder” app that searches through a user’s post history on Facebook for images, updates, and other offerings that might be interesting or otherwise memorable.

While it sounds fairly mundane on the surface, providing daily reminders of events that happened on the same date one year ago creates a unique and engaging experience for those who utilize Timehop. Nostalgia is a powerful motivator, so it’s no big surprise that this feature blends so well with the desire of the Facebook audience to share memories and fond past experiences with one another.

In terms of just how popular Timehop is with this crowd, TechCrunch’s Colleen Taylor points out that this app recently surpassed the 12 million registered user mark, with six million of these individuals opening the app on a daily basis. Considering that Taylor goes on to note that both of these numbers doubled during a five month period leading up to the end of 2014, and plenty of competitors – including Facebook itself – have tried to get in on the hype with Timehop knockoffs, it’s safe to say that there’s definitely some lessons to be learned from this social media craze.

How Does the Timehop Flashback Method Fit into the World of Email Marketing?

As far as pulling ideas from Timehop and applying it to your email marketing strategy goes, Jason Warnock of Marketing Land points to three big concepts that every brand and marketer should aim to implement within their inbox offerings: Emphasizing nostalgia, targeting returning customers, and zeroing in on buying cycles within your audience.

As we covered earlier, Timehop has exploded onto the social media scene thanks to that warm and fuzzy feeling that comes with a healthy dose of nostalgia. By emphasizing nostalgia within your marketed message content via events, places, or former connections – or even resending older offerings that evoked a strong response from your audience the first time around – your brand can capitalize on this feeling and build a Timehop-style experience within the inbox.

Additionally, Warnock goes on to explain that this effect works wonders with the portion of your following that falls into the “return customer” category. “Remember when” emails that trigger based on a site visit or interaction can help remind these customers of a positive experience with your brand or a previously purchased item, thereby resulting in higher conversion rates and a better return on your investment (ROI) than campaigns that focus on new visitors and first-time buyers.

The “reminder” cycle of Timehop also provides a strong basis for changing around the timing of your email marketing operations. By flashing back to important points in the cycle with fun reminders or even time-sensitive discounts, your campaign can maximize the sense of urgency created within these periods and remain seasonally relevant with its audience.

Molding This Approach to Your Next Campaign

Going a step further, incorporating the ideas of fashionability and durability into your operations can also help optimize this content and provide you with the basis for appropriate flashback message timing. Fashionability refers to the process of molding and shaping your approach to current trends within your audience (what’s “in” and how does your older flashback content reflect these trends?), while durability addresses the reality that the lifespan of your products might not always be conducive to this kind of long-term approach.

As you can see, adopting a Timehop-style approach could be the key to an exciting and impactful opportunity to interact with your audience. The only question left to answer now is whether or not your brand is ready to hit its inbox following with a smart, savvy, and engaging blast from the past.



Making the most of your email marketing operations requires a keen eye for content optimization and refinement; no one can deny this fact. However, the truth of the matter is that these tactics don’t actually offer much to your campaign if you don’t have anyone to send your messages to in the first place.

With this in mind, let’s spend some time covering five clever – and effective – methods for boosting opt-in rates within your target audience. This way, you can rest easy knowing that you always have a thriving contact list awaiting your next great piece of inbox content.

Offer Content Upgrades

To start off this discussion the right way, Business 2 Community’s Tim Soulo suggests taking a closer look at how “content upgrades” can sway casual viewers of your site toward a contact list opt-in. Essentially, the idea here is to provide these visitors with the base or introductory portions of a valuable piece of content on your branded blog or social media accounts, then require an email opt-in for the rest of this offering.

Naturally, the big key here is offering up something truly valuable – an eBook, exclusive case study, etc. – to your audience in return for this “gated content” exchange. If you’re able to pull this tactic off though, Soulo notes that your campaign could see up to a whopping 600 percent increase in email signups.

Capture Email Addresses (and Consent) at the Checkout Screen

Another strong way to convert site visitors into email list followers, according to Matt Callen of EMarketing Journal, comes in the form of capturing these user addresses at the checkout screen during the sales process. Given the fact that these customers already need to enter contact information into the various forms to complete the transaction, it makes plenty of sense to take this opportunity to also add in a request to join your weekly newsletter or other inbox initiative.

Of course, trying to “sneak” this little agreement by these shoppers is a quick way to end up in hot water with both your audience and the team behind Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL.) To ensure clarity, transparency, and compliance, always make it a point to acquire express consent from these viewers and explain exactly what joining your contact list entails.

Run an Exclusive “Members Only” Contest

Much like the aforementioned content upgrade approach, Callen also notes that creating a “members only” contest or event can go a long way toward boosting list numbers and generating a healthy buzz of excitement within your audience. Again, the big point to keep in mind here is that your contest has to impart real value if you plan on maximizing the reaction from participating viewers.

Whether you offer up free products and services, or you work in conjunction with a related brand or organization to give away a different type of prize, it’s safe to say that bigger is definitely better on this front. Outside of going above and beyond with a truly meaningful contest, offering up a scenario in which all new contact list members win, via coupons and discounts that trigger upon list registration, can also keep interaction with this segment of your digital audience running high.

Fine Tune Your Request Timing

If your brand currently runs pop-out or overlay contact list requests on its site, Econsultancy’s Justin Rondeau explains that figuring out the timing of this request can increase opt-ins significantly. Specifically, Rondeau suggests giving your visitors about 15-seconds on-site before letting this overlay enter the picture. It might not seem like much, but sticking with a shorter timeframe before this contact list request occurs can increase opt-ins by 11 percent and 50 percent when compared to 30-second and 45-second intervals, respectively.

Ask Current Subscribers to Forward Your Content

Finally, one of the most effective – and often overlooked – methods of increasing opt-ins comes in the form of simply asking current inbox viewers to share your content with their friends, family members, and social networks. As the HubSpot Blog’s Lauren Smith points out, emails that include a “share with your network” call-to-action (CTA) are 13 times more likely to lead to a new sign-up from a viewer who would otherwise not have found out about your contact list.

After looking over these five clever methods for boosting your email opt-in rates, the message here is clear: There’s plenty of ways to bolster your contact list numbers if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. All that’s left to do now is decide which strategy is best for your brand as it continues to leverage the power held within these valuable inbox connections.



As one of the biggest names in the email world, it’s no surprise that the moves and machinations coming out of Yahoo can send ripples through the inbox strategies of brands and marketers alike. With the release of Yahoo’s latest iteration of its mobile email app, this notion rings true yet again. To keep you ahead of the competition as you hone in on this audience, let’s take a moment to talk about why this new take on Yahoo’s app favors mobile-friendly emails, as well as how best to capitalize on this opportunity with optimized mobile messages.

The Particulars of Yahoo’s New Email App

As Jess Nelson of Media Post’s Email Marketing Daily blog explains, Yahoo released an update for iOS and Android on October 15th that is focused on creating a great mobile experience for users of this app. The new user interface aims to enhance mobile speed and usability, as well as provide access to additional features – namely, a smarter mobile search engine, Yahoo News updates, and even contact profiles that integrate seamlessly with social media networks and apps.

The mobile update from Yahoo also rolls out the new “Yahoo Account Key” feature. This service replaces the need for the traditional take on email security and protection by completely removing account passwords from the equation. Instead, users will simply link their Yahoo accounts to the mobile device in question, thereby creating a link that Yahoo’s app development team sees as more secure than standard passwords. It is important to note that members of your mobile inbox audience can still use regular passwords if they so choose.

From a larger picture point of view, Nelson goes on to point out that all of these changes serve as strong responses to two important factors – the growing demand for a mobile-friendly experience from email users, and the pressure created by the continued growth of other providers on this front. While time will tell if these improvements are enough to gain ground for Yahoo in the mobile world, it’s safe to say that the launch of this upgraded email app has definitely set the stage for a major push in the right direction.

Making a Great First Impression on This New Platform

So now that you understand what’s going on with Yahoo’s new mobile email app, it’s time to talk about the best ways to ensure that you make the most out of this opportunity as well by following in this email service provider’s mobile-friendly footsteps. In terms of creating content that not only responds well to viewing on this – or any other – mobile platform, but also enhances the experience for the person on the other side of the screen, Entrepreneur magazine’s D.J. Waldow points out that it’s hard to go wrong with a call-to-action (CTA) that’s big and obvious to the viewer.

Yes, your brand wants to elaborate on the offer, announcement, or news story that makes up the majority of this message’s body content, but it’s also important to understand that mobile viewers generally scroll past anything that they perceive as “fluff.” This means that you’ll want a CTA button or link that states its purpose in an obvious manner, all while being in a place of prominence within the message.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to your CTA is that if it’s hard for you to click on or otherwise interact with it during testing, then you can bet your audience won’t waste more than a few seconds in trying to fiddle with this button or link before they give up and head to the next message in their inbox.

From here, Waldow also suggests being smart with your image usage in these mobile messages. This isn’t to say that you have to skip out on images entirely, just spend some time working out how these visuals render and affect the user experience within Yahoo’s new app – or any other mobile platform, for that matter. In some cases, leaving the images for a landing page or expandable link might be a better call and ensure that the viewer experience is streamlined and easily navigable.

If you’re able to keep these quick tips in mind, as well as put to good use the rest of what you’ve learned here about Yahoo’s recent email app update, then there’s no reason why your brand can’t capture all of the potential held within this segment of its audience as you continue to refine and optimize your mobile inbox experience.



A while back, we spent some time talking about how best to curate content in the inbox – if you missed that post, feel free to check it out here. However, as effective and important as this process might be as part of your email marketing operations, there’s no denying that this practice is also a potent force in the world of social media. To ensure that you’re getting the best of both worlds, let’s shift the discussion back to maximizing your presence on Twitter, Facebook, and other networks via the curation and sharing of content from around the web.

Build a Curation Schedule

To kick off the discussion, Mashable’s Steven Rosenbaum points out that it’s hard to go wrong with a set schedule of curated posts. The big reason for sticking to certain dates and times for the sharing of curated content arises from the fact that audiences of all shapes and sizes expect – and enjoy – regularity.

Whether your curate three new links or posts a day, or you stick to weekly offerings instead, it’s important to avoid missing publishing dates whenever possible. Just like your followers in the inbox, those who keep an eye on your brand via these networks generally don’t take well to sporadic or unpredictable actions that fail to conform to an expected or normal schedule.

If you find that you’re having trouble sticking to this kind of rigid and consistent approach, don’t be afraid to enlist the help of a management app like Hootsuite or Buffer. These platforms offer up quick and easy scheduling tools that ensure your curated content posts go live, even when you’re not in front of your computer.

Embrace Multiple Platforms

Rosenbaum also suggests embracing multiple platforms as you lay out the foundation for incorporating curated content into your social media engagement operations. Much like the relationship between Outlook, Gmail, and other platforms and your email contact list, different segments of your audience prefer different networks, so why not reach out to these viewers across multiple channels?

In some cases, you might find that these target segments yield a greater amount of interaction on niche platforms like Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram when compared to the “Big Three” – Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Naturally, this approach requires a willingness to delve into any available data that’s related to the habits of your audience on social media, but the payoff for uncovering networks that provide more impact with your brand’s followers is well worth the work that comes with this process.

Don’t Run the Content Well Dry

As far as the actual content that your brand shares, Matthew Collis of The Huffington Post points out that it’s all too easy to “run the well dry” by sharing from the same sources over and over. Yes, you always want to provide your readers with great content, but it’s equally important to pull from multiple outlets as a way to keep things fresh and vibrant.

If you don’t mix things up from time to time, it won’t take long for your audience to start viewing your regular posts as rehashed or automatic offerings that simply trigger whenever the overused source in question makes a post of their own. You’re much better off drawing from as many trusted and valued outlets as possible to ensure that variety and selection stay at a premium within your curated content practices.

Add Your Voice to the Conversation

One of the greatest shortcomings of most curated content campaigns – regardless of whether you’re enacting this approach on social media or in the inbox – comes in the form of failing to add your voice to the discussion. Yes, the point of curation is to share interesting and engaging selections from around the web, but your followers also want to hear what you have to say about this content as well.

You are the expert, so feel free to sound off with a poignant opinion or piece of insight on the topic at hand. By doing so, your brand can promote even more conversation and interaction – something that any organization operating on social media craves. Even if these readers disagree with your stance, they’ll still engage your brand and help spread awareness about your social profiles within their own circle of friends and family members.

With these tips in hand, your brand is now ready to make a big splash on social media with a steady stream of high-value curated content. When paired with a similar program in the inbox, there’s no limit to how fast your digital presence can grow once you get the wheels of this approach in motion.



Commonly referred to as the “welcome email,” the first message you send to new members of your contact list is the ultimate test of your email marketing operations. This statement might sound like a bit of an overstatement, but as iMedia Connection’s Matt Zajechowski explains, the actual data tells a far different story.

Specifically, welcome emails generate 320 percent more revenue than any other promotional message, as well as an 86 percent jump in average open rates. Simply put, this email opportunity matters more than ever. To ensure that you capture all of the potential held within this digital first impression, let’s take a moment to talk about how your brand can optimize the first email that it sends to every new subscriber.

Start with the Subject Line

In terms of optimizing this offering, Zajechowski explains that there’s no better place to start than with the subject line. After all, it’s the first thing your newly acquired audience member will see when they open up their email app or browser-based inbox. Specifically, you’ll want to hone in on a few key words and themes as you craft these messages.

  • “Sale” increases open rates by 23.2 percent.
  • “News” boosts open and click-through rates by 34.8 percent and 47.7 percent, respectively.
  • “Bulletin” raises open rates by 15.8 percent and click-through rates by 12.7 percent.
  • “Video” gives open rates an uptick of 18.5 percent, while also raising click-through rates by a whopping 64.8 percent.

As you can see, your choice of wording for this icebreaker can make or break the impact generated by this selection. It’s also a good idea to squeeze in a “thanks for joining” or other similar greeting if possible. As long as it doesn’t dilute the message of your subject line, showing your latest audience acquisitions a little love is a nice gesture that truly resonates with the people on the other side of the screen.

Shore up That “From” Address

Outside of your subject line, the HubSpot Blog’s Carly Stec suggests that you ditch the “noreply” From address. While this generic address often ends up as the default choice for most brands, the truth of the matter is that it does little to endear your organization to these new followers in the inbox. Going with your company name – or even a personal moniker or nickname – helps cut away some of the ambiguity of this outreach process and ensures a warm and heartfelt welcome for your new inbox reader.

Skip Over the Spam Words and Persuade Your Audience

In terms of your actual message body content, Stec goes on to explain that the best course of action is to skip over the words and phrases that trigger inbox filters and focus on persuading your reader to take the next step with your content and promotions. Words that aren’t safe for email marketing include:

  • “Prize”
  • “Free”
  • “Bonus”
  • “Buy”
  • “Purchase”
  • “Order”

While these words might earn your content a one way trip to the spam folder, starting off your request with “because” and illuminating the need for a response (such as seeking a whitelisting for your branded email addresses) has been shown to increase compliance for an email marketing request by up to 94 percent. Additionally, personalization via contact list names and liberal use of “you,” as well as including the word “imagine,” can also boost the effectiveness of your message content.

Incentives can go a Long Way

Of course, no welcome email would be complete without some sort of promotion or discount to help get the ball rolling on what your brand hopes to be a lasting and prosperous relationship with this new contact list member. In total, slipping in a coupon or limited-time offer can lead to 2.6 times more transactions when compared to a more generic welcome email. Even if you’re not able to offer a blockbuster deal, simply showing your appreciation in some way, shape, or form is vital to the success of this offering.

Always Play by the Rules

Finally, while this is hopefully just the first of many marketed messages being sent to the consumer in question, your brand still needs to make sure it plays by the rules during this initial contact. Covering frequency and subject matter considerations, as well as informing your reader about privacy and unsubscribe polices, is key to ensuring that your organization plays by the rules in the inbox. If you’re able to do this, in addition to putting the rest of what you’ve learned here to good use, then there’s no reason why your company can’t get the most out of this crucial email marketing first impression.



If you spend any time reading this blog – or offerings from any other trusted industry source – then it should come as no surprise that SMS marketing is one of the most powerful was to connect with a target audience. However, simply assuming that everything went right after a campaign isn’t the best way to ensure that you always get the most out of this process. With this in mind, here’s the top five questions that you need to ask yourself in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign once the hard numbers start rolling back in from your audience.

How Many Mobile Viewers Actually Converted?

As the experts from Business Mag explain, there’s no better place to start than with a look at how many raw conversions your SMS campaign acquired. Naturally, extenuating circumstance and other outlining factors can affect this raw data, but it’s hard to go wrong with taking a look at how many subscribers actually redeemed your brand’s offer.

By making this offer exclusive to your SMS audience alone, and avoiding the temptation to use a generic coupon or discount code that any person can redeem, you can ensure that this statistic accurately represents the reaction from your SMS audience. If, after enacting this safeguard, you end up with a conversion rate that sits at a minimum of 12 to 15 percent, then you can rest easy knowing that your audience responded positively to this specific run of SMS content.

If You Included Shortened Links, How Many Clicks Did You Generate?

Similarly, it’s also a good idea to question just how many clicks your shortened links generated during this series of marketed text messages. As long as you’re using a link shortener like bit.ly, reviewing how many clicks your campaign has acquired should be a breeze thanks to the built-in tracking functionality found within these tools.

Outside of tracking how your links did within this SMS content, examining this data can also serve as the basis for testing the effectiveness of individual landing pages that are tethered to each phase or portion of your campaign content. Having this kind of data on your side now can do wonders as you begin to optimize and refine the supporting landing pages of your next big SMS push down the road.

Did You Play By the Rules When It Comes to SMS Compliance and Viewer Rights?

Much like staying in line with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) in the inbox, Matt Baglia of Business 2 Community points out that your brand will also want to gauge how well it handled privacy and subscriber rights during its most recent SMS campaign. Otherwise, don’t be surprised when you not only run afoul of your audience, but also CASL and any other relevant governing bodies.

The big points to keep in mind on this front are transparency and user choice. Did your messages clearly expound upon the subject matter of your texts and the right of the user to opt-out at any time? What about providing access to additional information via help messages and non-SMS contact details? It’s best to answer these questions before you start firing off texts, but if your brand didn’t utilize this kind of foresight, you’ll want to make sure you answer these questions during your campaign wrap-up procedure.

How Many Opt-Outs Occurred During This Campaign?

Speaking of opting-out, you’ll also need to look over these numbers as you spend some time evaluating the success of your SMS campaign. Naturally, there’s no way to completely eradicate opt-outs; no campaign is capable of keeping every user perfectly engaged. However, facing down the loss of a large percentage of your audience during any phase of this SMS outreach program can illuminate a serious issue or concern that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.

What Other Lessons Did You Learn?

Finally, there’s nothing wrong with sitting down and simply asking yourself, “What other lessons did I learn from this campaign?” Did you uncover a better approach to message timing or frequency? What about the effects of split testing two different types of SMS content? This kind of open and honest evaluation can do wonders for your brand as it continues to leverage the inherent power of SMS marketing.

In reality, these five questions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to evaluating the success of your SMS campaign. Based on the particulars of your organization and audience, there are so many other concerns or queries that can arise during this discussion. However, with these questions leading the way, you’ll have everything you need to get this conversation going and ensure that your next campaign reaches even newer heights with your brand’s target audience.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin