Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Love the new Facebook Privacy Settings

Great job by Facebook making it easier to share and not share. Once you have lots of people on Facebook you are bound to have a mixture of who you know (college buds through in-laws). So you need to post on a "need to know" basis. Now you can.

Here's the splash page Privacy Announcement

and the cool new options you can use for each post to decide who you want to include or exclude.

The "Specific People" options lets you chose frienda individually or from your predefined Friend Lists.

So for a small business, you could do social posts just like you send targeted email. Don't think you can do that yet for a large business do to restrictions on Friend List sizes.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Black Friday 2009 vs. 2008

A visual overview of the top 100 e-retailers this year vs. last year.

(Warning : Black Friday 2009 and 2008 link is a 38 MB PowerPoint File of 200 Screenshots)

No time to do some of the analysis from last year. See these other posts:

What Did They Do Last Year? 2008 Holiday SwipeFile

Cyber Monday Best Practices - 2008 vs. 2007

Cyber Monday & Black Friday Roundup

Thursday, October 8, 2009

OMMA Email Awards

The Responsys Creative Team brought home 2 of the 3 awards OMMA Awards for Creativity in the email standalone category for our work with Harley-Davidson and Lenovo.

These OMMA award are just a few of the nearly 30 awards we've pulled in the last three years for creative excellence.

Go Team!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Southwest - Text to Signup for Email

Southwest now allows fliers to sign-up for their click-n-save email program via text. This is especially convenient for travelers since they most often have a mobile device with them.

Here's a screenshot of their boarding pass with an ad for this new feature.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Did They Do Last Year? 2008 Holiday SwipeFile

I've been tracking internet retailer websites for several years now, and I've decided to post several sites home pages from last holiday season.

The information is posted at . I'm actively experimenting with different ways to collect and display information and I'm interested in your thoughts on what is useful in these archives.

The archives currently posted are:

Accessories and Shoes - Coach, eBags, FOSSIL, Nine West, Zappos

Apparel - Abercrombie & Fitch, Banana Republic, Gap, J. Crew, LL Bean, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, Victoria's Secret.

Department Stores - JCPenney, Macys, Nordstrom, Sears, Target, and Walmart.

If you like what you see, or have trouble understanding how to use - just comment below, and I'll address the best I can.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Macys Uses Display Ads to Advertise Facebook Fan Page

Shows that Macys places a big enough value on it's Facebook Fan Page to pay money to drive people to it.

I'm sure others are doing this as well.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Welcome Message Gallery

In a quick (unscientific) review of clients I’ve worked with, the average welcome series generated 6 times the revenue per email sent when compared to the rest of their email program. The worst performing welcome message had over twice the revenue per email sent compared to the total program.

This post is a companion post to my ClickZ article on Welcome Messages.

I’ve collected a sample of 30 different companies. The top 20 Internet Retailers plus another 10 top internet apparel retailers. For each I collected:
- Email signup pages
- Welcome messages
o Images on
o Images off
o iPhone message
o iphone inbox

You can view the full gallery here.

You can view the different categories by clicking on the tags on the left of your screen. The most general tags are
- Email-Signup. Home page plus other email signup pages.
- Welcome-Email. Welcome email as displayed in gmail.
- Welcome-Email-iPhone. Welcome email as displayed on iPhone.
- Welcome-Inbox-iPhone. Welcome email preview as displayed in iPhone preview within inbox.

You can also search for company name or any other text you’d like to find. The text in the image screen shots are searchable.

A few observations beyond my ClickZ article:

American Eagle & J.C. Penney still use plain text messages.

Abercrombie and J. Crew still use the “One Big Image” version of an email.

Click the “800 Number” tag to see the few who use phone numbers in their emails. This works great for mobile.

-Zappos and L.L. Bean have clickable links to phone numbers.
-Circuit City, HP, and Office Max have 800 numbers but as images, so they do nothing to help out the most obvious need for an 800 number – the mobile customer.

Nordstrom and Wal-Mart have trouble using text nav bar in the mobile client.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Better Pre-Headers - Follow Victoria's Secret

Victoria's Secret was a client of mine in the late 90's. They were an innovator then, and are still one of the most innovative internet retailers. Of the top 20 internet retailers, they are one of only two companies that have more than one million fans on Facebook (FanPage Stats).

So how do they do a preheader? The first sentence in the inbox preheader is SELLING.

I can't stand the "problems viewing" pre-headers that dominate the marketplace today (like the one below from Costco).

Once you open the message on the iPhone, that pre-header is a clickable link. And that link takes you to a landing page that while not optimized for mobile, is actually pretty good.

Here's the landing page for the preheader link.

Now check the Costco message.

The landing page for the main offer, is a landing page optimized by internal search.

If you view on a mobile, you really should have bigger images. And also, think about formating so that you take the up the full screen and not waste space on the right, like the Costco landing page below.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Share with Twitter Facebook and Email

Website Magazine has a nice concise way to ask people to share any way they like

{Click to view full image}

Email Insider uses some nice concise buttons as well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

MySpace directing to Facebook & Twitter to promote Bruno

Gotta love that even though the Bruno ad site is hosted on MySpace, it links off to Facebook and Twitter.

Appearance on the Tonight Show was hilarious, and definitely post-Leno era.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Facebook for the Internet Retailer

This is a companion supplement to my June 26, 2009 ClickZ article

To-Do List for Facebook and E-Mail Integration

Recently, Facebook began to give individuals the ability to replace their regular Facebook URLs, which show a user number instead of a name, with a "vanity" URL of their choosing. (For example, I changed my URL on Facebook to .)

Few of the Internet's leading retailers have taken advantage this opportunity. In this post, I'll cover a quick survey of the top 20 Internet retailers Facebook presence and websites.

Of the top 20, I found that 17 had a presence on Facebook, but only 8 have adopted the new vanity URLs that make it easier for customers to find these pages.

Most of these "microsites" are still small. Only Apple and Victoria's Secret have attracted over one million fans.

Home PageVanity URLFacebook Landing Page # of Fans
Wall 58 7,943 31,587
Wall 96
Wall 1,361,913
OfficeMax 24,643
Wall 554
Wall 2,056 20,163
Wall 15,596

Wall 677
Wall 52,480 11,940

Wall 4,559 36,765
Victoria's 1,428,143 451,528

If you'd like to compare the Facebook pages to the Home Pages of the top internet retailers check out these two albums.

Facebook Fan Pages - Top Internet Retailers

Home Pages - Top Internet Retailers

Email Signups on Facebook

The top ad on the Sears Facebook landing page says “Become a fan today. Click here to get your free $10 Sears coupon now.” Clicking on this add leads you to another page where they collect email address.

{Click on any screen shot or slide show to enlarge.}

Lenovo has email address integrated into their Facebook landing page.

Here's a demo for how to create an Opt-In form for Facebook.

Links to Facebook Pages on Home Pages
Of the 20 sites I checked, only two had links to their Facebook pages on their website home page.
  • J.C. Penny in top nav
  • Circuit City bottom right

Circuit City also uses their email to send consumers to their Facebook page.

SWYN - Share With Your Network

Within the top 20, only J. C. Penney and HP asked consumers to share the email with their network. (J. C. Penney coded directly, HP used 3rd party Share This), which allows the company to reach out to all of the customer’s Facebook “friends”. This reaches a much larger group than the usual “share with a friend” button.

Thank you Chad White and the Retail Email blog for sharing several emails.

J. C. Penney


I've included several additional examples in this Picasa album.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Barack Obama knows the value of a Quick Signup - Do You?

Lots of marketers struggle with getting home page real estate for their email sign ups.

Follow our President's lead. Put a prominent quick sign up at the top right of your website home page.

Don't be lame. Links to forms are so last year & last President.

Barack Obama's Home Page
Click Image to View Full Screen

George Bush's Home Page
Click Image to View Full Screen

George Bush's Subscription Page
Click Image to View Full Screen

Some Like Macy's Don't Collect Email on Home Page
Click Image to View Full Screen

Wal-Mart Does a Quick Signup, but on Footer
Click Image to View Full Screen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Circuit City RIP

Circuit City closed the last of its stores this Sunday.

Here's a look back at their website for the last year and a half (starting January 2008).

View the slide show or click to go to Picasa album which will provide more viewing options.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Guidelines for Presentations

We give lots of presentations. Most of them aren’t good, mine included, so I’ve developed this guideline to inspire us all to do better, and to organize some of the basic tips on creating great presentations.


If you want inspiration, one of the best public libraries of great talks is . Most of this has nothing to do with email marketing, but is an awesome source of great thinking by persuasive speakers. There is a lot we all can learn by watching the greats.


The number one goal of your presentation should be to persuade your audience to do something. If you don’t expect them to DO SOMETHING and CHANGE after you speak to them, then don’t waste your time or theirs. Every business presentation is about persuasion.

If you believe in your idea, sell it. If you don’t, stay home.

Guy Kawasaki gives great, persuasive presentations. As a former Apple evangelist, you’d expect that. He had to compete with Steve Jobs. His 10/20/30 Rule for PowerPoint is a classic. If you are looking to improve your presentations do two things.

  1. Focus on persuasion. Ask, “What do I want your audience to do?” Then focus only on facts that support them making that decision.
  2. Read Guy’s blog linked below, and follow his advice for keeping in short, and clear.

10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint – Guy Kawasaki

- 10 slides

- 20 minutes

- 30 point or larger font

You think 20 minutes isn’t enough to get your story across? Watch the hundreds of AMAZING stories told in 20 minutes or less at, and you’ll know it can be done. After listening for 20 minutes to any of these speakers you’ll know MUCH more, and likely be persuaded to adopt their point of view.

Focus on problem first, then our solution. A typical slide order might be

  1. The Problem
  2. Your solution
  3. … Evidence necessary to persuade them that your solution is the best solution
  4. Projections and milestones
  5. Status and timeline
  6. Summary and call to action

Another great read is Seth Godin’s blog post Really Bad PowerPoint or in his ten-page ebook. Seth’s tips:

Four Components to a Great Presentation

1. Make yourself cue cards. Don’t put them on the screen. Put them in your hand. This simple device will keep you from putting words on slides just so you can read them.

2. Make slides that reinforce your words, not repeat them. Create slides that demonstrate, with emotional proof, that what you’re saying is true not just accurate.

3. Create a written document as a leave-behind. Put in as many footnotes or details as you like. Then, when you start your presentation, tell the audience that you’re going to give them all the details of your presentation after it’s over, and they don’t have to write down everything you say. Remember, the presentation is to make an emotional sale. The document is the proof that helps the intellectuals in your audience accept the idea that you’ve sold them on emotionally.

4. Create a feedback cycle. If your presentation is for a project approval, hand people a project approval form and get them to approve it, so there’s no ambiguity at all about what you’ve all agreed to.

The reason you give a presentation is to make a sale. So make it. Don’t leave without a “yes,” or at the very least, a commitment to a date or to future deliverables.

What makes for a great presentation?

“The home run is easy to describe: You put up a slide. It triggers an emotional reaction in the audience. They sit up and want to know what you’re going to say that fits in with that image. Then, if you do it right, every time they think of what you said, they’ll see the image (and vice versa).” – Seth Godin

What Can Your PowerPoint Presentation Learn from TV Commercials?

Think about it. TV commercials tell as story and sell you in 30 seconds. That’s talent! This MarketingProfs article is a great summary about how to use TV ad techniques to make your presentation better. The steps, in brief:

1: Kaboom Them Into Waking Up!

2: Always Tell A Story

3: Use Suspense, Not Mystery

4: Don't Bore Them with Your Solutions. Bring Up the Problem!

5: Reduce Risk

6: Let Your Audience Know They're Not Guinea Pigs

7: Close the #@$%*&^ Sale!

8: Bring on a Quirky Finale!

The book, Say It With Presentations by McKinsey’s Gene Zelazny is a classic and a quick read. I can’t do it justice in a brief summary, but here’s my best shot, with a little editorial.

Design the Presentation

Why are you giving this presentation?

Answer this question seriously before you even start to create the presentation.

Whom do you want to convince?

Designing a presentation without an audience in mind is like writing a love letter and addressing it To Whom It May Concern. - Ken Haemer, AT&T

There is no such thing as a dumb audience. If they don’t understand, it’s because you can’t communicate. – Henry Golub, American Express

It’s not what you say that counts, it’s what they hear. – Red Auerbach, Boston Celtics

How much time do you have for the presentation?

Determine your message?

This is the part that should be like a TV commercial. If you can’t come up with what you would say if you only had 30 seconds, then don’t bother wasting an hour of someone’s time. You need to get the message right before you create the story.

Craft the storyline.

Write the introduction.

- Purpose

- Importance

- Preview

Plan the ending.

- Summarize major points.

- Spell out the recommendation

- Present your action plan

- Ask for agreement and commitment

- Close off with “next steps”

Build a storyboard

Deliver the Presentation

You are the star! Not your presentation. If that makes you uncomfortable, stay home and send a written report. The presentation used to be known as a “visual aide”. That’s what it is, just an aide. You are the star.

The three things that matter in your delivery:

· Confidence

· Conviction

· Enthusiasm

Great delivery takes practice. Practice makes perfect.


Churhill rehearsed, Kennedy rehearsed, Martin Luther King rehearsed, Clinton rehearsed, Obama rehearses.

Don’t kid yourself. No matter how great an orator is, they rehearse. You’re kidding yourself if you think you can even be GOOD if you don’t rehearse.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

ClickZ Column - Segmentation: Yes, You Can!

I started writing a monthly column for ClickZ today. My first column is titled, "Segmentation: Yes, You Can!" I've found that while the idea that segmentation is the "right thing to do", many marketers struggle to actually get the job done.

In the column, I address some of the barriers I've heard, and how marketers I've worked with have overcome and achieved great success.