I don’t deal with it as much as I used to, but there are some really good resources for Email marketers out there. A good blog is RetailEmail.
But what I was really impressed by was the tools that were linked from the site:
Spammy Subject Line Tester
Highlights potential problems with the words you use, and some half decent help descriptions.
From & Subject Line Tool
Shows you what an email looks like in the inbox of different ISPs.
Email Marketing Calculator
Easy and quick email stats for mailings you have sent. Sample:
As a follow-up to my DoubleSoft post, looks like Google beat out Microsoft for Doubleclick. Looks like Real Media Open AdStream just got a bigger competitor. You have to wonder how serious Microsoft is about getting back in the game. It’s not like they don’t have a sizable war chest, but I guess it comes down to their ability to make money on a deal, and I’m sure Google has a higher threshold.
I am not concerned yet over the size of Google. I have not seen the predatory practices that I saw from Microsoft, that created my great dislike for their monopoly. More power to Google and Apple.
Microsoft to ‘acquire DoubleClick’ so says the Register.
I find that a scary thought since DoubleClick owns most of the graphic banner hosting (and has been the advertising platform at most companies I have worked). Real has a pretty good product but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from their RealPlayer spamware.
Or maybe this will push Google to make AdSense more publisher and sales-staff friendly.
For those small and medium sized businesses that don’t have a website, Google is now giving them a free host a webpage that can be created when joining AdSense. All wizard based so people don’t need to know HTML.
So yet again Google is expanding the pool of people that can advertise with them.
Heard about this from MarketingVOX.
GrandCentral, an attempt to provide one phone number, to manage numerous phone numbers. Especially handy if you travel a lot, calls can be routed to whichever location you happen to be at. Certain people can also be directly routed, or sent straight to voicemail (or blocked as spam).
It also has a handy feature, akin to Answering Machines where you can pick up while someone is leaving a message.
GigaOm wrote about the launch:
You, can upload your address book, and set rules that can help manage your incoming call flow. For instance, if you are working in the office, all incoming calls from your mother in law can be forwarded to well, a voicemail box. Similarly you can assign “people” who can reach you anytime, regardless of your location. (Your kid’s school teacher would be a good option.)
The service is free for 100 minutes of calling per month, or pay $15 per month for unlimited.
An update on the industry state of Rich Media advertising from MarketingVOX. We are starting to see more and more advertisers wanting to do more with their banners.
PointRoll’s 404.2 million impressions constituted a market share of 59.7 percent, writes Internet Retailr, citing a Nielsen/NetRatings AdRelevance report. Eyeblaster was a distant second with 98.8 million impressions and a market share of 14.6 percent, followed by Klipmart, 73.5 million and 10.9 percent; Dart Motif, 48.4 million and 7.2 percent; and Eyewonder, 34 million and 5 percent.
By technology category, compound image/text ads accounted for 27.9 percent of ads for the same week, followed by sponsored search links, 25.3 percent; standard GIF/JPEG ads, 23.7 percent; Flash (generic), 22.0 percent; and rich media vendor ads, 1.2 percent.
One thing about web design changes is that its difficult to really know what people are actually doing on your site. WebTrends does have a stats overlay feature, but like Google Analytics, really only works on the site level, and we all know what issues web analytics have.
Test different versions of a page to see which works better
- Discover which ad placement gives the best results
- Find out which design encourages visitors to click deeper
- Learn which content leads to improved sales
Crazy Egg is designed to help you continually test and improve your site.
Got the word from the BivingsReport.
Matt Marshall at Siliconbeat wrote that web analytics are broken and are back to square one, talking about third party web traffic measurement.
The only reason the system isn’t breaking down, and advertisers aren’t pulling out, is because they have no choice but to play. They are taking informed guesses, based on the shoddy statistics available. And Google et al. are using every strategy they can find to deal with this problem.
Webanalyticsbook added some graphs and a good summary of the main companies that guess traffic.
Alexa: Alexa data is collected via the Alexa browser toolbar, which is obviously more often installed on tech interested users, than on average Joe’s computer. This means that more tech relevant users on your site increase the chance that your Alexa rank increases. Also software programmes like Alexabooster can easily “boost” your rank . Alexa only gives you an idea or a trend, but will never be accurate.
Comscore: Comscore is based on 2 million participants, which allows them to capture a broad view of surfing and buying behavior. Problem here is pretty much the same. Accuracy won’t be 100% for tech related websites.
Hitwise: Hitwise collects logfile data directly from the ISP networks (network-centric) and does not have a user-centric or site centric approach. They also combine this rich ISP data with a worldwide opt-in panel to overlay demographic, lifestyle and transactional behavior across the thousands of websites that are reported on every day.
I think we need to think long and hard before moving to an opt-in approach to solving all Internet privacy issues. Sure, we have the right to privacy on the Internet, but if we force users to opt into stored queries, stored behavior, stored logins, etc, it will make the Internet a lot less useful.
Today Amazon is storing our clickstreams on Amazon and using that to create a custom home page where we get really useful purchase recommendations. If that was an opt-in feature, about a tenth of the people who find it useful would actually be using it.
This is something I have deal with a good deal at work, and after much debate we have found that a bold opt-out works best for our business.