Recently American email marketing company Indiemark has launched a new tool to help companies battle questionable lists. The tool is called Blackbox and it allows people to compare their own lists to a list of addresses sold on the market by list vendors. An overview from the product page:
BlackBox is a large, consolidated and constantly updated database of compromised and problematic contact records.
It is sourced from a multitude of providers and is prized by list buyers for its freshness and volume. In short, this is the database which is actively being bought, sold, and resold on the open marketplace. It consists of:
- Legacy Compromised Data: 100-125 million records (trailing 12 months)
- New Compromised Data: 5-10 million records (per month).
- Toxic Data: A small but growing list of known litigators and SBL-level complainers
Each compromised record includes email address, name, zip code, and source site. Historically, 97% of which have also included full postal address, multiple IP addresses, multiple time/data stamps as well as assorted demographic information. While the toxic data set consists of primarily of emails and domains.
As such, this service can help with killing off questionable email addresses that have made their way to your or your customer’s lists without you knowing how they got there. The data is pretty extensive, so should serve as a good base line for checking lists.
For more information, check out the Blackbox product page at the Indiemark website.
When I check out some email marketing campaigns, even ‘regular’ ones like newsletters, it is surprising how many little things go wrong. Broken/distorting images or white lines between them, showing the messages have not been tested in the most used email clients. I really don’t use any exotic email clients, so that should not be the issue (Most used by me are Outlook.com, Gmail and Outlook 2007).
Links and the follow-up
Furthermore, what about broken links, or mismatching links? Just reading an article in an email, interested in the bigger picture and clicking through only to land on the general homepage…that happens too often in AdWords campaigns too!
Make sure every step in the click journey is accounted for. Links, forms, downloads all are tested and given the ok. It’s just bad for your reputation with anyone if someone clicks through and the link doesn’t work or they don’t get where they expected to be (which is sometimes even worse). Read more
Catch subscribers’ attention like Mr Miyagi caught flies with chop sticks!
Just recently I heard about a company that quit their email marketing for a very strange reason: business was doing well, and they’d only need email marketing if things would turn ugly for them. How strange is that?
There are several reasons email is fantastic as a marketing channel compared to other (online) marketing channels in terms of building a relationship with prospects, clients and subscribers. Read more
If your email marketing results are still lagging after you’ve put in quite some effort, you might want to take a look at personas. For those who are not familiar with personas: they represent different user types based on psychological data. Lets take these four types of personas (the part in parentheses shows the way they behave).
The four personas
- Competitive (logical and fast)
- Spontaneous (emotional and fast)
- Humanistic (emotional and slow)
- Methodical (logical and slow)
By the way, these four types are not just limited to marketing. They are just anywhere and everywhere. Remember the Sex and the city series? All four main characters were based on one of the four types:
Imagine being a big company, let’s say Electronic Arts (revenue: $3,8 billion last year). Imagine launching Battlefield 3, and wanting to inform the correct audience about the game. Surely you have a marvellous email campaign set up to do just that, right?
Wrong, apparently. According to Loren Norman (and a few others) he received an email with the cryptic subject line “System requirements for PC players” which contained the message below:
Loren pointed out two things, besides never having asked for this:
The subject line really is marvellous – even though the sender name is Battlefield 3, the actual email does not contain PC system requirements! Next to that is the transactional part: this would only be possible had Loren been a member of the EA-network and/or a customer. Here comes the biggest goof: Loren notes that he hasn’t done anything with EA in 5 years…oh dear. Talk about bad list management.
Just recently I posted ‘It is not ok to start mailing an old list…ever‘ but it seems it was a wishful post – EA has gone the other way. There are more complaints too, so it doesn’t seem to be a minor glitch. Even worse, some people considered it a scam email, so it will not have been very helpful in the reputation department either.
Clearly EA needs to get its act together. The subject line is not acted upon in the email, the sender name (Battlefield 3) does not go with the information in the footer (sent to you by EA) and worst of all: they should have no idea of his existence anymore. Last they had business with him was over 5 years ago: that’s forever in fast-moving times these days.
Let’s hope there won’t be more of this from either big or small names in the business.