Janet

Who Really Processes Everything They Read or Hear?

Who Really Processes Everything They Read or Hear?

As a society, we are “plugged in” to the world around with information: Who Really Processes Everything?

Information is everywhere.  There is so much information coming at us from all directions, all the time, it becomes difficult to process everything.  In fact, some of us just mentally stop processing everything we read or hear altogether.  It becomes too overwhelming to think about.  Too much information can desensitize us, cloud the critical issues, for ourselves, our family and our community.

As a non-profit, you need to get your information out there too.

But as you know most people, businesses, and organizations understand that their customers, clients, and volunteers are inundated with groups to join on Facebook, Twitter feeds to follow, banner ads to click on, Instagram posts to view, etc., AND if you’re running the media campaign on these Social Networks, what once was a simple few hours a week has probably turned into a full-time job.

Is it necessary to spend so much time on the Social Web? Is that the best way to keep up with your current goals and directives: Keep in touch with your donors, volunteers, and community members.   Not to forgo the Social Frenzy but it’s been noted that a much simpler and direct approach works better when it comes to communication with these groups, email –  a push technology that has been used for years:  it’s easy, trackable, cost-effective, and personal, with instant results. Unlike Social Media, where you have to wait for your audience to log on to a certain unsearchable web page, with email, you just create your content and send it out to your list members.

Dundee Internet offers list hosting on the Lyris ListManager platform.  When you create your email content, to raise money, ask for volunteers, share a story or just automatically say thank you for a purchase you can easily personalize all your email messages, speak directly to them, not to a group of followers.   For example, John is a member of your list, he has a Cocker Spaniel named Daisy. He recently purchased a daisy decorated dog a collar from your website to support a dog rescue adoption event. Personalized your email:

Dear John,

“We thank you for your recent purchase of our hand-painted dog collar. We hope Daisy enjoys it! “kita dog

And follow up, automatically a few days later, with an event reminder for Rescues with a personal invitation.

Connecting to people through email is an easy, simple and dependable way to make your non-profit stand out from the rest.  Adding personalization and using other email tools, such as triggered email you will solidify your subscriber base, adding and keeping loyal and beneficial members to your organization.

Email tools will allow you to compose and schedule advance notices, thank you messages, membership anniversary greetings, to email specific receipts, email timely renewal reminders.  All email messages can be sent on a specific date (i.e. Holiday) or as a result of a recipient’s action (i.e.  Purchase), You can decide the parameters and sending criteria for any type of message.

Don’t get lost in the Web of Social Media.  Along with your Social presence make sure you use email marketing to reach out and grab the attention of your supporters.  Show them they matter to your non-profit as an individual with personalization, just one tool you can use when running an effective email campaign with Dundee Internet Services.  For more information on what ListManager and Dundee Internet Services can do for you please visit our website at https://thelisthound.com/non-profits

 

It’s Fun-Raising Season!

Are Email Feedback Loops Driving You Nuts

Are Email Feedback Loops Driving You Nuts

As an email marketer, you are responsible for sending hundreds, or maybe even tens of thousands of emails to those subscribed to your list. These are email campaigns you’ve worked on for weeks; testing to verify your campaigns will send the right message at the right time and bring in that expected ROI. However, some of the most significant feedback you need to make your campaign successful is what your recipients do with the emails you send them.

What your recipients do with your email once they receive it boils down to a few choices that include:

  1. Open
  2. Save for late
  3. Share with a friend
  4. Delete immediately
  5. Mark as Junk/Spam Mail
  6. Report you as a SPAMMER and complain to the ISP you’re hosting with.

As a marketer, we try to avoid them later, but it does happen,  so don’t let Feedback Loops drive you nuts!

When the recipient marks your mail as spam and complains to the internet service provider (ISP) they usually notify the sender of the complaint. Once notified, you should have unsubscribed the complainant from the list. One way to do this efficiently is the use of a feedback loop.

Feedback loops (FBL) are used by most ISP’s. Essentially, it’s a system that assists senders to keep their subscriber lists clean.  Some ESPs (Email Service Providers) set up FBLs for their customers, with those ISP’s that use them, Dundee is one of those providers.  A typical FBL format includes a button or link, which when clicked allows the email recipient to register a complaint about the received email.

(fig. 1). It is also advisable to ban the complainant’s email address so they cannot re-subscribe to the list and send another complaint.  This is important because an increase in spam complaints can influence the senders’ reputation.

                                                                                                                                                       


Different ISP have their own feedback loops – some use the same provider – here

    • AOL
    • BlueTie – by Return Path
    • Comcast –by Return Path
    • Fastmail – by Return Path
    • Rackspace
    • Gmail
    • Time Warner Cable – by Return Path

 

Questions on Feedback Loops?  Just ask mailto:help@dundee.net

Are You a Primary, Social or Promotional Email Marketer?

Are You a Primary, Social or Promotional Email Marketer?

As an email marketer, you’ve put effort into generating your email list to sell your services or products, but you’re not seeing a high response rate from your Gmail members.

It could be that Gmail, offers their user an option to deliver all emails into categorized tabs*. These tabs include Social, Promotions, and man with letterthe all-important Primary tab. What do these tabs mean to you, and how can you increase the deliverability and open rates of your emails?

Gmail has become one of the most popular” free” email systems available.  This means there is a good chance a large portion of your subscriber list are Gmail users, and Gmail has become their primary email source.  As your growing Gmail subscribers actively use this email client, Gmail tabs can become a concern and possibly affect your deliverability.

Emails in Gmail that are tagged Primary will alert the user’s phone when one is downloaded.  An alert increases the chance that your email will be seen and opened. However, if your email lands in the Promotion tab  no alert sent, and the email could be overlooked entirely. So how do you increase the deliverability to the Promotions tab?

Here are a few helpful tips:

  1. Keep your member list up to date:

Your first few emails to Gmail clients have a good chance of ending up on the Primary tab. As you continue emailing, the interactions of your subscribers to your messages (do they read them, trash them?) is measured by Gmail.  If the interaction is poor, your emails are deleted as soon as received or never opened (for example) Gmail may start moving your incoming messages to the Promotion tab – lowering your overall deliverability.

By using an up-to-date list your email marketing will perform as expected, with high deliverability, opens and forwards. Including an increase ROI.  It’s worth the investment of time needed to build and maintain an engaged list of subscribers.

  1. Keep your subject line formal, and hello personal: 

When deciding on a subject line, try to shy away from using words like sales, free or discounts, as this can be viewed as Promotional and will affect the deliverability as such. Create messages that are personal instead of generic, thus increasing the likelihood that your email will be delivered into the Gmail’s Primary tab.

  1. Limit your images and links:

I’m sure you heard it before, limit the number of graphics you use in an email.  This also applies to Gmail.  As stated Gmail monitors incoming email, a message with several images and links will appear to be a marketing or spam email.  The Primary tab, because it is associated with personal communication, will less likely accept an image-laden message – if it’s not deemed spam it will most likely end up under the Promotional tab.   Personal correspondence usually contains just a few images or links, emails with a high text to image ratio, or high HTML usage will also be seen as promotional and moved accordingly.

  1. Send a Welcome Letter:

When you have a new subscriber, send them a welcome letter. “The most important email you’ll ever send hasn’t changed, it’s still the Welcome Letter.  Whether you are offering a service, selling retail or running a nonprofit organization, the goals are all the same.  Increase the customer, client or member base and keep them happy and interested.”  In the letter thank them for subscribing, and ask them to move your email to the Primary tab instead of the Promotional Tab. This only takes a few clicks on the subscriber’s part and this will inform Google that they want to interact with your emails.  If they do the sorting most likely any future emails will automatically be sent to the primary tab.

  1. Send a Test Email:

The best way to see if your content will end up where you want it is to do a test run. Generate your email and send it to a test account to see where it lands. From here you can make any needed corrections, or if you’re happy with the turnout, send it out.

The goal of all list owners is to grow your subscribers and get them to complete an action. To do so you must be effectively reaching your clients. It may take a little time and effort to guarantee your Gmail subscribers see your emails, but the result may just be worth it.

  • *Primary: personal conversations and messages.
  • *Social: social network messages and other services such as media-sharing sites and online dating services.
  • *Promotions: advertising, marketing, offers, deals, and sales.

“Discussion Lists” the Only Communication Tool Before Social Media

“Discussion Lists” the Only Communication Tool Before Social Media

As a non-profit organization, communication between all departments and volunteers is key.

Timely and accurate communication can be tricky, as members may be spread over the United States and unreachable the same time you’re not.   So, just how do you effectively communicate with your group when your organization members are not in the same room, or in the same City or Country?lock and key

You might consider Group Messaging, but what about the different time zones and the information they will miss if they weren’t there at the beginning of the conversation. Facebook®? Is everyone on board to set their privacy up correctly and who wants to scroll through hundreds of messages to find an answer or ask a question?

Selecting the right communication tool for your Non-profit is important and researching all the ones available tools can be daunting.   However,  the answer is easier than you may think, set up an Email Discussion list.

How do discussion list work you may ask – with Dundee Internet Services, Inc. we set up your list to your specifications, you import all your members, (simply done with Excel or CVS file) send them a hello letter, maybe include some list etiquette and you’re ready to have your first discussion by email.

You can also invite others to join your list, from any of your websites. Once a new list member opts-in they can join the group discussion by sending an email to an automated email address. The email is then sent from our server to all subscribers on the list. Once received, members can then respond to not only the sender but the entire subscriber list, resulting in a real-time discussion from the privacy of the member’s inbox.

Discussion lists can be customized to meet your organization’s specific needs.

Features may be changed, which include but are not limited to, how to handle subscriptions, user preferences, and branding.  When it comes to subscriptions members should be able to join or remove themselves from the mailing list with ease. To accomplish this, the member can add themselves by emailing a specific email address or by go online and subscribe to your organization’s webpage.

When logging in via a webpage the new member would generate a new account by setting up a username and password. Once they are a member they can change their user preferences.  Members can decide how they want to receive these posts, they can be received as an email every time someone responds or once a day as an accumulated response.

As the host of these discussion lists, you can decide how you want them to appear to all those involved, the options can be endless. For instance, you may choose the color or even add your organization’s logo to make the list look more official or tie it into the member website. The possibilities are endless

Email discussion lists are a critical tool for the nonprofit agencies looking to reach a broad spectrum of people. A good discussion list can bring in people, from all walks of life together, to generate a conversation.  Think of how a discussion list for your Volunteers or donor can bring them closer to your cause.

Discussion lists are used for everything that needs to be acted on: from scheduling everyday tasks to collaborating with board members over any issue imaginable.  They bring people together, worldwide just as simple as composing an email.   Sign up for a free 60-day trial special and see of yourself.

Is this Puppy REALLY from the IRS ? … that’s what his credentials say.

Is this Puppy REALLY from the IRS ? … that’s what his credentials say.

The Dundee Internet Mailing list servers work exclusively with email.  You can personalize your messages by including the list members name along with their email address and use other profile information as needed but the mail is delivered using an email address.

Email addresses are normally the basis for online communication, used by almost everyone, everywhere. They are prolific by nature but also disposable, forgotten and changed, inviting fraud and can be vulnerable to attack by unscrupulous individuals.

To keep your list of addresses safe Dundee Internet Services, Inc., takes all the maximum measures we can to assure the security of each and every email address in each and every list we host on our servers.  Nevertheless email addresses travel outside the realm of our servers as email is a tool that your customers, including yourself probably use every day.

Email therefore is indispensable, especially to the digital marketer. This type of marketing has a positive impact on your business when you have a clean list with opted-in list members; becoming the core of your marketing plans and a primary sources of revenue for your company. However this type of marketing as with so many email based programs is subject to email fraud, which when successful may have a negative impact on your business.

Depending on how the fraud is perpetuated email fraud can destroy your email marketing programs, with lies and pretense resulting in loss customers as they lose trust in your company, service or product.

Email fraud can be caused by:

1. Spoofing
2. Phishing
3. SPAM

Spoof email has the appearance of coming from someone when in fact the addresses are forged and the email is actually coming from someone else.  It only takes a little know how to discover As-Seen-on-ABC@beatmake.win is sent from someone in the Czech Republic and not ABC television.  Spoofed email comes in with bad intentions; from illegitimate marketers to virus borne attachments using a disguised sending identity to get into an inbox.

Customers who receive spoofed email, if they believe it’s from (for example) a company they do business with, will normally trust the message, open it and click on the embedded links and maybe download a virus. – There goes their trust in future emails from that company.

And if your company address is compromised and used to Spoof emails, you might witness an influx of bounce back emails coupled with a low percentage of open rates. Maybe your email address will not be used to spread a virus, but instead, used to send SPAM in your name, resulting in customer unsubscribes.

Phishing:  An effort to procure sensitive data and credentials for malicious reasons.  Such data can include passwords, bank account number, credit card logins, social security numbers and so forth.

Phishing is usually accomplished by spoofing an email from a source that would need or have access to sensitive information. These type of emails can be crafted in such a way that there’s little or no doubt it’s really from your bank, IRS or favorite retail store.

  • The Phisher will usually spoof the From Field by changing the display name to one they want you to believe (IRSrefund) and use a legitimate company domain (@irs.gov)
  • The Subject may be enticing.  “Mr.Jones we owe you a back tax refund”
  • The letter may include legitimate looking logos.
  • The body of the letter may include a links to a landing page that will ask you to verify your information:  social security number, date of birth, mailing address.
  • There may also be attachments which contain malicious content.

SPAM as we all know is a relative of the junk mail your parents received in the home mail box, however modern day spam is more widespread, costly, time consuming and can be computer deadly (Affect your computer with a bad virus).

Some SPAM are attempts at Phishing, others lead the recipient to websites containing malicious software, some have attachments with viruses and others just want to sell you another hose.

How do SPAMMERS get email addresses?spam

  • They buy them
  • Trade lists with other SPAMMERS
  • Harvest them from websites that use email addresses for example in conversations on public forums
  • Capture email addresses with the promise of free services or other items

Online communication with email is great.  It is especially great for digital marketers and the bottom line. Once that email communication has been compromised and a customer perceives they can no longer trust the origin of that communication the digital marketer loses that communication: The email subscriber

Coupled with the lost subscriber comes lost revenue. And in some cases will cause damage on intellectual properly by tarnishing the reputation of the company and its brand reputation.
The best way to avoid the potential of email fraud: use email authentication programs like SPF, DKIM and DMARC along with customer education. Take time to write to your customer list and tell them you will never ask for (passwords, addresses, social security numbers and so on).

If you have more questions feel free to contact a Mail specialist at Dundee Internet.

Email Ambiguity – can you really test for that?

Email Ambiguity – can you really test for that?

Your computer screen is zipping along with charts, graphs and numbers.   So far so good, everything looks great.    You believe the email campaign is a success, so many website visitors, even more than you had hoped for.  Management is waiting for your report; how many people clicked on the yellow shoes, they ask – Clicked on the yellow shoes? You wonder, was I supposed to track that too?

yellow shoes

Yellow Shoe Marketing

It all comes down to using the right set of parameters and performance indicators, the key performance indicators (KPIs) to collect the data  you need.  It goes without saying, knowing the objective of the campaign (yellow shoe clicks) will allow you to choose the KPIs you believe will be the most useful to determine the success or failure of a campaign.

When you start reviewing which KPIs  to use,  it may seem a bit overwhelming, after all, you’re only trying to measure how well your email campaigns are doing and are they doing as well as you think.   So why should you be concerned with which KPI’s to use?  Because, the key performance indicator of success is your Conversion Rate.

Conversion rates are not standardized, organizations measure conversion rates differently from one another.   For example, a real-estate company’s email campaign might base their success on the number of completed buyer profiles received, a shoe store may measure the number of clicks on their yellow shoe, while similar competing industries will have dissimilar conversion goals; such as opens compared to a success rate based on the number of unsubscribes in a mailing.

KPI’s are important because they:

  • Assist with organizational objectives – what do you want to achieve?
  • Are success indicators – Are your results comparable to your market and competitors?
  • Are uniquely defined by the individual organization – Who, in your company defines the goals for your email marketing efforts?

The common types of Key performance indicators used in email marketing may describe strategic goals in terms of quantifiable parameters, which in turn will allow you to estimate the success of your email campaign.   The common key performance indicators themselves, are not based on standardized formulas –the formulas used can be defined as needed

For example, there are at least two acceptable calculations for email Open rates; one based on delivered emails while the other based on total emails sent.  Both formulas are very acceptable.  What definition are the formulas then based on the actual click on an email, or when an image renders in an email client or when someone clicks on a link within the message?
Some commonly used Key Performance Indicators

In conclusion, there are many ways to measure a successful email campaign.    The KPIs define a set of values to measure against.  Selecting the right KPI’s is contingent on having a good understanding of the email campaign goal and expectations.  However there a degree of ambiguity that comes into play, which may not be of concern if your numbers are going up, ROI is climbing, and your subscribers are happy.