Anne Holland

Are some emailers being duped by junk list owners?

June 12th, 2003

Are some emailers being duped by junk list owners?

Our Relations Director Aimee called me this morning to say, “You have to warn me next time before you publish a really controversial issue!”
Turns out she’s been deluged with calls and email in the 24 hours since I published an EmailSherpa article that named the names of 25 mailers we suspected could be using junk lists.

Several mailers were (very) unhappily surprised to see their names on the list.

I created the list by glancing over the mail that we get in an email box here at Sherpa that doesn’t actually belong to anyone. Since no one “owns” it, no one has ever used the email address to sign up for any list. Therefore, I figured the 300-odd promotional emails the box gets every day must ipso-facto be coming from mailers using non-permission junk lists.

As I said, it turns out some of those mailers were shocked to find their names published by us as people using junk lists. Turns out they were promised by whoever they rented the names from that it was a permission list. It wasn’t.

I’m not saying all rented lists are bad. Heavens no. In fact I strongly support the permission rental industry.

Personally there are some hobby lists that I sign up for hoping to get promotional mail, because as a consumer I’m deeply interested in offers in those niches. I’m sure many of you
feel the same way.

Anyway, tirade aside, you can find the article where I named names below: It’s #5.

Thanks for your support,

Anne
Anne Holland – Publisher
MarketingSherpa
AHolland@MarketingSherpa.com

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CASE STUDIES
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#2. How Tweaking a Business Web Site’s Design Can Increase the Sales Leads it Generates by 60%

If you agonize over your company’s Web site lay-out, you’ll love this Case Study because it includes before-and-after screenshots showing how to change home page and registration form can improve results.

Plus – if you wonder how asking many questions vs. few on a registration form affects the number of people who will fill out your form, this Case Study has an answer for you:
http://www.b2bmarketingbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2368

#3. Go RVing Integrated Online/Offline Ads Rank in Top 10% of All Campaigns Measured for Effectiveness

We hounded the folks at Go RVing to let us write this Case Study after we saw one of their ads, and thought, “This is so great looking, did it work?”

Learn how their multi-channel campaign, including radio, TV, print and online, did incredibly well by using best media buying, creative and offer practices. Yes, lots of creative
samples are included from online and offline media:
http://www.consumermarketingbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2374

#4. PC World Tests Selling PDFs and CD ROMs Online: What They Learned:

If there’s one lesson to be learned from this Case Study, it’s that sometimes you have to keep projects simple to get them off the ground at all. PC World’s Bruce McCurdy deliberately avoided fancy tests, tracking heaps of metrics, and investing in an ecommerce backend, when he decided to test selling PDFs and CD ROMs for the first time.

The point was to get the answer to a single question: Will people buy these items at all? Here’s what he discovered:
http://www.contentbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2370

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PRACTICAL KNOW-HOW
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#5. Big Threats for Emailers Part II: False Positives & Offers Sent to Junk Lists in Your Name

In Part II of our special report for legitimate mailers and brands trying to avoid problems posed by the increase in junk email, you’ll find:
a. What to do when your mail is stopped by Corporate filters
b. Junk Mail Still Arriving from 15 Legitimate Brands
c. List of Some Third-Party Offer Emailers Using Junk Lists

Definitely worth a read if you send any broadcast email at all or if you let third party mailers send on your behalf:
http://www.emailsherpa.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2371

#6. How Aubuchon Hardware Doubled Online Sales by Improving Search Engine Optimization: 5 Specific Tips

Fascinating fact: Aubuchon Hardware revamped their site entirely in September 2002 specifically to encourage search engines to notice it. However, it took until well into November for the new site to have any affect. So, while optimization is definitely worth investing in, you have to wait 60-120 days for real results. More info:
http://www.greatmindsinmarketing.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2373

#7. How to be Featured in a Baseline IT Case Study

Ziff Davis just launched Baseline Magazine fairly recently, so it may not be on your PR screen yet. However, it’s already got 125,000 avid readers, so this is definitely a place you want to plant a story if you’re trying to reach IT pros. Here’s how:
http://www.marketingfame.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2372

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Anne Holland

Infoworld is

June 11th, 2003

On the trendspotting front, although practically none of my EmailSherpa readers (13,000 major broadcast emailers) said they
think RSS is interesting yet, I’m guessing that same question six months from now will get much hotter response because this been- a-baby-forever trend finally is starting to build steam fast. For example, according to AdWeek’s Technology Marketing yesterday
Infoworld became the “first” publisher to build ads into its RSS feed.

http://www.technologymarketing.com/mc/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1910272

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Anne Holland

Clever Sub Selling Pop-Ups Convert Nos into Yeses

June 6th, 2003

Today I spotted two print mag sub offers that are using pop-ups to convert nos into yes’. If you go to PC World’s online magazine order form and then you decide against buying, as you click away up comes a colorful pop-up with the headline, “Are you sure you want to pass up [the offer]?”

(Which is, as Bruce McCurdy, PC World’s Online Product Development Manager, says, hugely ironic because PC World editors are constantly running front page stories on how to get rid of pop-ups.)

Baseline Magazine, which is a new Ziff Davis title for IT pros, tries a variation on this theme. Instead of a pop-up that looks
advertising-ish, their pop-up when you leave the form without subscribing looks like one of those official grey rectangular boxes your PC uses to ask for instructions sometimes.

The copy begins, “Are you sure you want to navigate away from this page? The form should take under 5 minutes to complete,
etc.” Then the user is prompted to click either “OK” to continue leaving the page, or “cancel” to stay on the page and keep
filling out the form.

http://www.pcworld.com

Baseline: http://www.omeda.com/ziff/bsl/bsl.cgi?p=homepage

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Anne Holland

Thanks to those who wrote me about last week's blog

June 5th, 2003

Thanks to all of you who wrote me in response to last week’s SherpaBlog. Here is a quick summary of what I’ve learned from you:

- Pages must print:

If you decide to switch right-hand links to the left-side of pages based on the usability lab research I mentioned last week, make sure users can print pages without losing any information off the right edge.

I had our Web guy Ryan add a “print this story” button to the top and bottom of every article on our site to help with this problem.

- SEO is unaffected:

For those of you who were concerned that your search engine optimization might be affected by moving links from the right to the left, I asked expert Jill Whalen of HighRanks.com for advice.

Jill said, “Either way of having the links makes absolutely no

difference to the search engines. Unless your HTML page is over 110K (not including graphics), the spiders will index *all* the content and follow *all* the links.”

- For eCommerce keep your buy button right-side:

Click analysis researcher, David Niu of NetConversions told me based on his data, “A retail best-practice that we’ve observed is that call-to-action should be placed on the right-hand side and most cross sell and up sell opportunities are also best placed there or under the product.”

- In email, right-side links not always visible:

Loads of you wrote in to note that when it comes to email newsletters, you do not always open your window all the way to read. Smaller windows = right-hand columns being cut off.

If a newsletter (or other mailer) wants clicks, don’t put critical stuff over on the far right.

Until next week�

Thanks for your support,

Anne

Anne Holland – Publisher

MarketingSherpa

AHolland@MarketingSherpa.com

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CASE STUDIES

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#2. Vary Email Creative by Region for Higher Response

At long last, we got someone besides a travel company, to go on the record saying that different offers and creative work better in different parts of the US.

Pamela Hoffman at Ajilon discovered strong regional biases quite by accident when she created an email campaign template library for her company’s 100+ regional sales offices. Turns out account reps in and clients in California liked very different campaigns than the Midwest, or Northeast. More here, including some creative samples: http://www.b2bmarketingbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2362

#3. How to Target Asian Americans Through Integrated Online/Offline Marketing

Every wondered what it’s like to market a Broadway show? Here’s a fascinating behind-the-scenes story, including results.

This is a must-read if you are involved in grassroots community-based efforts, or you’re hoping to learn more about how to approach the Asian American demographic. Plus, includes a photo of the coolest promotional t-shirt we’ve ever seen: http://www.consumermarketingbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2367

#4. How to Make a Niche Community Site Profitable; Plus 4 Ways to Market CD ROMs to Your Members

If you market to mothers of young children, you’ll find some fascinating insights into the demographic in this story.

Also, if you’ve ever dreamed of quitting your corporate job and starting your own online publishing company for profit, you’ll be inspired by this story of a husband and wife team who are living the entrepreneurial life-style in Austin Texas.

P.S: Be sure to click on the link to creative samples at the end of Case Study, because their clean design is really lovely:

http://www.contentbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2363

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PRACTICAL KNOW-HOW

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#5. Special Report: How Rising Junk Mail Rate Affects Legit eMailers: 36 Brands Accused of Spamming

What do Amazon, Dupont, Marriott, Crate & Barrel and Bank of America have in common? In the last 24 hours each has been accused of being a suspected spammer by consumers. Ouch.

In part I of our Special Report on how the rising junk mail rate affects legitimate emailers, you’ll learn:

  • How most junk lists are created
  • How to spot if you’re rented a junk list: Quick solution
  • 14 legitimate brands hurt by junk lists
  • 22 permission mailers mistakenly reported as junk mailers by consumers

    http://www.emailsherpa.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2364

    #6. How to Set Clear Rules for Your Company Logo: 3 Steps Goldman Sachs Used to Solve Branding Problems

    It’s easy to lay down the law about what your official company logo should look like � but then what do you do when you acquire another well-branded company? What about when you launch a hot new product line with its own brand?

    The problem with making up rules about logos is handling all of the exceptions that invariably arise. Find out how a marketer at Goldman Sachs handled this common problem: http://www.greatmindsinmarketing.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2366

    #7. How to Plant a Story About Your Product or Service in BYTE.com

    BYTE.com’s Editorial Director Jonathan Erickson is more influential than you may think because he also oversees editorial for several other CMP titles, including Dr Dobbs and The Perl Journal. Find out how to approach him with your PR pitch in our exclusive interview: http://www.marketingfame.com/sample.cfm?contentID=2365

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    Anne Holland

    MagBlog Tracks Articles for Print Mag's Online Sales

    June 3rd, 2003

    Just found this fun little MagBlog from the folks at PressFlex who build sites for print mags. It features links to news and
    articles on how to sell print magazine subs via online marketing, something which I’ve definitely felt the print folks could be doing *much* more of.

    Also features enough typos to make me feel better about my own lame spelling habits. Of course they are Hungarians blogging bravely in English, while I’m typo-ing away in my native
    language.

    http://magazines.pressflex.com/news/categoryfront.php/id/7/MagBlog.html

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    Anne Holland

    Quick NEPA Notes: Email & Pub-Entrepreneurs on Upswing

    June 2nd, 2003

    Made a flying visit (in and out of DC in under 6 hours) to the NEPA show(www.newsletters.org) yesterday. Wish I could have stayed longer, but an insane editorial schedule here precluded that. Quick notes:

    - Email is finally on the table for the print newsletter publishers, mostly as a marketing tactic. I spoke with half a dozen publishers who were mailing hundreds of thousands of emails per month to their usually-very niche markets. The real success seems to be on the ancillary products front. You can sell free email subs reports, videos, event tickets, audio conferences, etc. The subscription sales front is a harder pitch than a one-off to a free list.

    - Everyone at the editorial roundtable I attended seemed to be focusing on how to get more from a tight editorial team when you can’t hire more people and the content bar is constantly rising.
    When I said, “Oh my problem is hiring people who can write solid, detailed business how-to content quickly and concisely for online publication, I’m looking for several and I’m in hiring hell.” Everyone started sputtering.

    The editors around the table definitely thought I was a clueless jerk. “There are so many good people looking for work! I turn them away!” said one. “I find the problem isn’t with the writers, it’s with the training the publication gives them,” noted another.

    Afterwards though, a few people on the publisher-end came up to me individually to say, “You are right, you know. It’s almost impossible to find really good newsletter writers. There are lots of would-bes, but few home runs.” I felt a lot better.

    - Entrepreneurs are on the rise again. I met about eight people who had quite their jobs and were busy working on a print subscription newsletter launch scheduled for this summer. They were all very niche, and deeply passionate about their topic.
    Often from the expert or editorial end of things, rarely do print newsletter founders come from the marketing/management end of things.

    - We definitely need a group who can talk about company management issues for successful independent publishers at the 3- 6-year mark with $500k-$3 mill sales. Several of us agreed the problem is less what to do about marketing or editorial, and more about managing cash flow, legal, admin, launches, etc. In other words, running a growing company.

    I’m talking to folks about founding some sort of “Successful Sophmores” group of publishers, let me know if you’re interested.

    aholland@marketingsherpa.com

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    Anne Holland

    New Zine for Pubs Accepting CPA Ads

    June 2nd, 2003

    Nancy Beckman just let me know she’s launched CPA Tipline, a no-cost newsletter for publishers and advertisers who want to connect about CPA advertising. I think it’s a great idea, especially if she can help publishers weed through the cruddy offers from slimy operators and find the good ones that are worth investing a test in.

    http://www.cpatipline.com

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    Anne Holland

    New York Times Alerts EMails Switching to Paid-Only

    June 2nd, 2003

    According to this quick article in Editor & Publisher, the New York Times Digital ceased sending breaking news version of it’s emailed News Tracker service several months ago because “of technical delays resulting from having more than 1 million users.”

    On this Wednesday they plan to tell the 500,000 regular News Tracker email recipients that the service will not be free anymore. The service will cost $19.95 year starting June 13th and go up to $29.95 sometime later (which allows NYT marketers to plug a $10.00 off offer for a while now).

    This news underlines one harsh fact: Email isn’t no-cost to send. It may be cheaper than postal mail, but it’s not free.

    When I joined a NEPA roundtable on the economics of publishing yesterday, the moderator said, “Oh here’s Anne who doesn’t have to worry about spending money on fulfillment.” I immediately objected, “Hey I spend a lot on email list hosting and on email production staff, not to mention building the back-end database and Web design and hosting. Online publishing isn’t cheap or free.” Everyone looked startled. Well, welcome to reality.

    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/editorandpublisher/headlines/article_display.jspvnu_content_id=1898063

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    Anne Holland

    Sub Site eDiets Now Open to Outside Investors

    May 30th, 2003

    eDiets, the leading subscription site in the weight-loss category, has been a pretty closely held private company, until
    now. They are presenting at the upcoming RedChip San Francisco Investor Conference Wednesday, June 4 2003, at 9:30 A.M. PT.

    David Humble, CEO, Robert Hamilton, CFO, and Alison Tanner, Chief Strategist, will discuss the Company’s business strategy, recent
    developments and outlook. The Company’s presentation will be Web cast live for investors and will be avail for replay following the conference at:

    http://www.firstcallevents.com/service/ajwz382678364gf12.html

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    Anne Holland

    Lab discovers people don't "see" right-side links

    May 29th, 2003

    I have preached in the past that marketers with common sense
    would stick some important links on the right-hand side of Web
    pages because people read English left-to-right and most people
    click using their right hand.

    It seemed like a “duh.”

    Then I learned that a usability lab in NYC has repeatedly tested
    this for loads of prominent sites … and found consumers ignore
    the right-hand column almost completely because it’s a spot that
    so often contains advertising.

    Seems that Web surfers’ eyes have been trained to stop looking at
    all places on pages that routinely carry advertising — even if
    the site they are on is ad-free.

    Whoa.

    So last weekend our Web designer Ryan took time out from his
    heavy barbeque schedule to begin switching all the links on
    MarketingSherpa sites from the right side to the left side.

    Now we’ll begin to track to see if it makes a difference or not
    in clicks and conversions.

    In the meantime, I’m wondering does this rule apply for HTML
    email newsletter design too?? If you know, contact me.

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