A Bad Marketing Experience

So last week I had a pretty annoying experience being on the receiving end of a marketing technique that I felt was very poorly timed. (I’m not going to name names of the caller or his company.)

My employer uses Silverpop for email marketing. I was doing some troubleshooting as I’m semi-new to the platform and was having a pretty rough time with their support portal. Before thinking of finding a 1-800 number for the company and calling it, I went on the Online Complaint Engine (that is to say, “Twitter”) and groused about their support.

The initial response from Silverpop was a little annoying, but I eventually got a ticket opened and had my issue resolved.

So where’s the shitty part? Continue reading A Bad Marketing Experience

Bike Recap

The email list sign-up campaign worked like a champ. I’ve already determined the winner and have sent an email. The full breakdown of the contest, and so on, will be detailed in next month’s email newsletter. I did manage to significantly increase the size of my mailing list, which I’m very happy about.

The Almanzo 100? Well, let’s just say that I made one of the smarter choices in my life during the morning of my race. We woke up, looked at the weather report, and said, “Yeah, fuck this.” With wind chills floating around the freezing point and rain falling from the sky, a hundred miles of unsupported riding on muddy gravel with poor cellphone coverage seemed like a really bad idea. So Damon, Dan, and I decided to call it before we even started and went and scored some breakfast. A good thing.

The cyclocross bike. I finished the reworking of the bike on Thursday night, and then did some minor tweaks to it on Friday night, in prep for what was to be its last race. My plan has been to sell the frame and fork and to build myself a new one. That plan is still underway, but I’m going to try to get my frame done before I sell the old one. The new one will be lugged steel (Platinum OX). Should be a fun ride.

Email Marketing: Useful Links

Here’s a few useful email marketing links that I have found that would be useful for someone just getting started in business:

Email Marketing: Measuring Engagement

In my analysis time at work, I’ve been batting around the idea of “unengagement” — a metric to determine individuals that have received x number of email campaigns, are still eligible to receive campaigns1, and have not clicked on any links in the email.

The industry standard, per Epsilon Interactive, defines an engaged user as someone who has opened an email campaign or clicked on a link.

I believe that that metric has too much grey area in it to be useful.

The first issue is the preview pane. Lyris uncovered that 9 in 10 have access to it as part of their email reader, and 7 in 10 actively use it. When scrolling through their inbox, a preview that is not actively read by the recipient can still count as an “open”.

Secondly, there’s the matter of being unable to accurately measure the open rate for those people who look at the text-only versions of the email.

I believe that both these factors muddy the waters significantly, and have determined that it is better to determine users who are “unengaged.”

To qualify, under my current system, a recipient — over the life of the program — must have been sent to more than six times, have never opted-out, and have had less than four failure-to-delivers.2 Additionally, they must never have clicked on a link.

When setting this up, I did so with the understanding that opening an email is no indicator of engagement, but clicking on a link would be.

Ideally, in the future, I’d be able to find a system that would allow me to not only see how many times they’d open, but how much time they’d actively spent looking at the email. Then we could use opens as an indicator of engagement, when filtered by a metric based on t.

How are you measuring the engagement of your mailing list?

1. Eligibility is defined as not opted out, and has had less than four fail-to-delivers.

2. In the program at my employer, we have a threshhold for delivery failures of four — after which, the system will no longer send to that recipient without an override during the scheduling process.