The From Line

Rants, raves and ramblings about multi-channel marketing.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

The first email ever sent from space was in 1991 using Applelink software on a Macintosh Portable. Astronauts Shannon Lucid and James C. Adamson sent the message to Marcia Ivins, a shuttle communicator at Johnson Space Center.

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Posted by on in Uncategorized

Dear ,
Thank you for signing up for our {city name} Newsletter! We are pleased to provide you with the latest news from {county name}, {state} and beyond.
Best,
~{county name } news team

Look familiar? We’ve all been there. You’ve signed up for a new service, newsletter, or daily deal. Anxiously awaiting your first message, you are sadly disappointed when something similar to the above abomination lands in your inbox. If only the designers of that message knew what we know. Even if your subscriber skimps on the info they provide in their signup form, you can still send them relevant and more importantly, professional, content. It’s as simple as throwing a few default slugs into your message by way of dynamic content. So instead of “Dear (blank),” you can greet your new subscriber as “Dear Friend,”. And rather than confusing them with unfulfilled data fields, you can populate actual content in its place. So, your message would look more like this:

Dear Friend,
Thank you for signing up for our Newsletter! We are pleased to provide you with the latest news from your city, the surrounding area, and beyond.
Best,
~your city news team

It doesn’t end there. The same can be applied to images. Because let's be serious, there’s not much worse than a message that’s clearly missing its main attention grabbing image. Why bother reading that, right? I know I don’t have time for that. So if your message depends on a data field to populate a specific image, we’ve got you covered. With dynamic content you can rest assured that your subscribers will never pass over your message because of an MIA image. Simply choose a default based on whatever criteria you desire, and send away, knowing that every single message that’s sent is complete, even if the information your subscribers have provided is not.

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Posted by on in Gold Lasso & eLoop

It’s that time of year again…Movember.

The guys here at GL are growing those ‘staches to change the face of men’s health. On “Movember” 1st they began growing just a moustache (no beards, no goatees) for the month of November. Movember is more than just an excuse to grow a fine piece of moustachery, it’s about creating conversations while raising funds and awareness for men’s health. It’s about having fun and doing good.
http://us.movember.com/donate

About Movember: 

The Movember Foundation is the leading global organization committed to changing the face of men’s health. They achieve this by challenging men to grow moustaches during Movember (the month formerly known as November) to spark conversation and raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health problems.

The moustache maketh the man, and today it is a symbol to spark conversations about important health issues.

We are passionate about this cause because too many men are dying unnecessarily from testicular cancer, the most common cancer in young men. Current treatments for testicular cancer are pretty good, but pretty good is just not good enough.

The Movember Foundation is working around the clock and around the world to improve the lives of men and their families affected by testicular cancer. Find out more about why you should join Movember by taking a look at the men’s health causes we are fighting for:

http://us.movember.com/programs

It doesn’t matter if you’re a Mo Bro or a Mo Sista, we’d love to have you on our team. Guys, sign up to grow a moustache, or ladies, sign up to support the men in your life. It’s going to be a great journey.

http://moteam.co/the-motown-phillies

Thanks for joining us to help change the face of men's health.

-The GL Movember Men
http://mobro.co/themotownphillies

 

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Posted by on in Creative

I'm a news junkie! I admit it! I can't get enough news and analysis on Middle East conflicts, stock market trends, sports picks, and celebrity gossip. I almost always have two news channels running simultaneously in my house and at my desk at work. To continually feed my habit every waking hour, I subscribe to no fewer than 137 daily email newsletters, from big-name publishers to small niche bloggers, and I scan almost all of them on my four-inch iPhone 5s screen.

In general, my daily email newsletter habit saves me a lot of time. It's quicker than jumping from app-to-app or site-to-site to satisfy my fix. However, at times I get frustrated and stumble from the routine of using my right thumb to scroll down and click.

This frustration usually happens when I encounter a mobile-unfriendly newsletter, forcing my left index finger and thumb to start pinching and stretching across my iPhone's screen. My eyes dilate to discern the extra small fonts, while my genetically oversized thumb has to switch from a vertical to a horizontal scroll.

After I get a taste of the initial snippet of an interesting story, my desire to indulge in the rest takes over my brain. I use my thumb to forcefully scroll right, then left, frantically searching for the "read more" link or button, finally seeing the little blue words seducing me into action. As I take a deep breath to lift my thumb, I subconsciously notice the edge of a social media sharing image positioned nanometers from my objective. My thumb hits the screen, and a cold feeling immediately overcomes me with the thought that I missed. Sure enough, my Facebook app opens, with a prompt to share the story I that I'd just wanted to finish reading. "Crap!" I say. After repeating this narrative between 50 and 60 times daily, I've started being more selective with the publishers I interact with.

The phenomenon of online media not accommodating mobile email is not isolated to a small percentage of the industry, nor to a segment of its respective demographics. It's a systemic issue that's a disservice to publishers' subscribers and brand. In an era of fragmented audiences and shortened attention spans, publishers can't afford to marginalize the power of mobile email by ignoring responsive design. More importantly, publishers' lackadaisical interest in mobile email is counterproductive to their cries of low CPM rates and quality traffic.

When I ask publishers why they don't embrace responsive design, their answers range from technical ignorance to outdated design ideology. Whichever their answers, most fit in the confines of a flimsy excuse and are akin to shooting one's self in the foot, purposely!

Fortunately, adopting responsive design is easy, and can be fully integrated into a publisher's repertoire of daily email. The publishers who do eventually make the responsive design jump notice a substantial increase in engagement and monetization. It's not unheard of for open rates to increase by 20% or 30%, and CPMs to reach up to $8 or more for standard display ads alone. Given these tangible benefits, it's baffling why publishers aren't there yet.

The economics of a widely used, open platform like email are such that when there's an issue with functionality, the market rushes in to correct it. Uniform rendering across disparate email clients is a byproduct of trying to fix broken HTML. Publishers should expect similar efforts from developers trying to dictate subscriber experience to their email clients.

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Posted by on in Email Monetization

As published in MediaPost

Native ads are hot! This controversial yet ultra-effective tactic of blending content, advertisement, and placement is heading straight for consumers' inboxes. With a firm hold on the social channel, native ads are quickly making their way to the email channel where they are a natural fit for mobile newsletter formats. Despite the initial success of native ads, many email publishers are fumbling with their implementation and optimization. Here's some help.

Eye Movement

The successful implementation of native ads in email starts with the format of the email message itself. Email formats are now highly influenced by the success of social media on mobile devices. For example, Facebook made a fairly smooth transition from desktop to mobile, as it was able to scale the value of its social stream to a smaller format. The same challenge for email is achieved via adaptive design, compacting all of an email's content into one narrow column. This one -olumn format significantly increases an email's legibility and engagement, especially on mobile devices, by allowing a subscriber's eye to effortlessly scan from left to right while scrolling.

Native Art

Ideally, all aspects of a native ad's format should be identical to the main content, with the exception of disclosures and labeling. This includes headlines, colors, fonts, image sizes and any other characteristics of the email's native design and format. While some might consider the prior suggestion controversial and even counterintuitive to traditional journalism ethics, others argue that when publishers adopt native ad formats, they send subscribers a message that this content is advertising -- and that their editorial is equally important to their business. After all, you can't have quality content without a solid revenue base to support it. Regardless of your stance, there should be no argument on proper and visible advertising disclosures.

Placement Science

To maximize return on native ads, placement becomes just as critical as format. When using a one-column format, native ad placement in email is easy, yet should be tested extensively while ignoring intuition. An example of letting intuition trump science is not placing a native ad at the top of an email's news stream because an advertisement as a top story goes against the norm. Despite whether this is true or not, publishers who rely on science for placement always fare better then the ones who rely on old-school intuition.

Contextual vs. Personal

Contextual and personal native ads are the two types publishers are currently experimenting with in email. Contextual is easier to implement, as there are fewer targeting and content variables to consider. Personalized content, on the other hand, is much more difficult, since publishers need to be armed with both a deep and diverse ad inventory, as well as with individual targeting capabilities. Unless you are a publisher of a micro-niche subject, it's been proven that personalized native ads mostly outperform contextual ones.

As always, email eventually finds a comfortable role whenever there's a digital media transformation. For now, email is successfully providing extended reach for native ads, while facilitating targeting and testing, resulting in additional publisher revenue.

 

Elie Ashery is the CEO of Gold Lasso and an adjunct professor at the Robert H. Smith School of Business.

 

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