Does anyone else get annoyed at the word ‘lead’? I know I do. Yet, ‘lead nurturing’ is a very well-known term for ‘staying in touch with people’. That’s why it’s up there in the title; it’s a highly-searched keyword, doncha know?
What is lead nurturing? In short, it is a program of email messages, in addition to your regular newsletters, sent to people who once visited your website or some other web property and gave you their name and email address. By following best practices, you’ve verified that they knew what they were getting into, so it’s not spam as far as you’re concerned (email recipients tend to use a broader definition of what they consider ‘spam’). You send email on a regular schedule that reminds people you exist and do something they were once interested in.
By now you probably know about the New York Times’ little email error on Wednesday, December 27. But if you don’t, here’s the nutshell: The Times sent a ‘Cancellation’ email to 8.6 million people, presumably every single one of their online email subscribers. The email was meant only for those who actually subscribe to the paper’s home delivery service.
First the Times claimed it was spam, then blamed their email service provider Epsilon, and finally fessed up; The Times did it themselves.
As I’m sure we’re all wondering: How exactly did it happen? And how can you avoid it? Only people at the Times know for sure, but it’s possible, in fact easy, to guess. In fact, it’s a worthwhile exercise, because it may help you to avoid copying their mistake.
Priority Inbox is already a turbocharged email engagement algorithm designed to funnel only the inbound emails that are most likely to be opened to the reader’s immediate attention. Everything else goes to the regular ole’ inbox. It’s not in the junk folder, but more like email purgatory.
Well, Google figures, if you can make a piece of code do that, you can certainly make it prioritize the ads that display while a reader uses GMail.
While trying to start my car the other day, I heard that terrible clicking sound that you hear when the key doesn’t do what it is supposed to. I also felt that instant of internal disappointment, knowing that something I trusted had suddenly let me down. A few more times turning the key didn’t change things; the battery was dead. (The next sound I heard was the clinking of money ringing in my ears). I was going to have to find another way to get to work.
Then it hit me: the dead battery was a lot like some email marketing campaigns I’ve seen. You know when you see a brilliant subject line from a trusted sender, you open the email, and are disappointed by the content? It turns out not to be the insightful and enjoyable read you thought you were getting, but instead just another lame pitch. Don’t be the dead battery in your reader’s inbox.
What is the best email address to use for your email marketing messages?
If you’re struggling with this question for your own campaigns, congrats! You’re thinking pretty deeply about optimizing engagement and interactivity with your readers. There are basically two schools of thought: 1) Your readers want a ‘personal’ approach and will respond to an email from their friendly sales executive named Joe instead of an impersonal, faceless corporation, or; 2) Your readers understand your brand and will welcome news and updates from your company, but will feel ‘tricked’ by your attempt to use a personal name.
If you’re an email marketer or email service provider, you may have read about Microsoft’s recent changes to its Windows Live Hotmail email client. Are you hosed? Maybe not, but these changes will definitely affect the way you send email campaigns to your Windows Live and Hotmail clients (Below, I’ll offer some suggestions for dealing with it). These changes include:
Look, I’m new to social media, so I won’t shovel you expert advice about building a huge following. Your Twitter mojo is probably a thousand times mine. If you rock the social media house, keep doing whatever you’re doing. I’m probably learning a lot from you.
But like everyone else, I do have an opinion on how best to use social media to grow your business. That’s what it is ultimately about, right? Growing your business? Building a base of people in your community, so that you have a wealth of knowledge and experience to draw on to help you deliver a finely-honed service or product to the people who are willing to pay you for it? Creating mind-share? Getting noticed?