6 Great AI Ideas


It was such a pleasure to present ’35 Great AI Ideas in 35 Minutes’ with Tamara Gielen, Materialise, at Email Innovations World 2024! For those of you who missed our presentation, I thought I would present 6 of my ideas here, and another 6 on my Email Optimization Shop blog; I’ll...

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GenAI in the automation of email production: distant fantasy or a near-future workflow?


GenAI has recently captured significant interest in our industry, particularly for its potential to enhance email creation — from drafting subject lines to generating complete emails. Despite the current hype surrounding GenAI and the many applications being built on it, the practical utility of GenAI often falls short of expectations. Demonstrations...

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A Customer Just Unsubscribed! What Are They Telling You? Are You Even Listening?


Most of us marketers consider unsubcribes a fact of life in email. We all-too-often take them for granted. They are considered the unavoidable collateral damage that each passing campaign creates. But what if they were a missed opportunity to learn how our sending behavior may be impacting our effectiveness? We set...

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How to Fail as an Email Consultant: 4 Fallacies That Thwart Your Success


“Wanna go on a road trip?”– my mom would randomly ask when we were kids. Of course, my little brother and I would yell “Yes!!!” We had no clue where we were going but we knew we’d have fun in the car, listening to music and playing the word game where...

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What Email Marketers Should Be Upset About


There’s no shortage of things in email marketing to be irritated about. The lack of email coding standards, the inconsistent email rendering, the partial support for CSS-based interactivity, the partial support of AMP for email, inconsistent implementations of dark mode, how expensive BIMI VMCs are,… Marketers have also been perpetually frustrated...

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On Bundles And ESPs


Jim Barksdale, co-founder of Netscape, is credited with saying ‘there are only two ways to make money in business. One is by bundling. The other is by unbundling.’  That casual-sounding insight is like a high-powered X-ray view for the changing fortunes of businesses — especially, it seems, digital businesses.  You could...

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6 Tips for Effective 'Free Trial' Marketing


Assuming your product or service lends itself to try-before-you-buy, a free trial can be an effective way to sell it. I’ve helped create and market a lot of free trials over the course of my career. I started my career in the publishing industry, and free trials can be a good...

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How We Taught Our Client to Do Email Marketing and Remained in the Red (It Was Worth It)


For several years straight, we’ve been successfully setting up and launching email campaigns for our clients. But sometimes, we come face to face with unusual tasks where the most reasonable decision is to teach the client’s team all the required details. In November, the e-learning team of a large cosmetics brand...

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My First Foray into ChatGPT for Data and Analytics


Recently, the OI Metrics committee hosted a webinar on Using ChatGPT for Email Data Analysis. I must admit I was skeptical of it when we started. So far, my exposure had been subject line tools that used ChatGPT, which I consistently beat for one of my clients. I also thought that...

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Mastering your ESP RFP: 2024 Update


Since it’s been almost 6 years since I last offered advice on OI as to how to approach your RFP process, I thought it was time to revisit the topic in the OI blog. There have been a lot of changes during that time. So let’s get started! 1. Know when...

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When does 1+1 not equal 2?  Unique vs Total Clicks


This is a story of unique and total clicks: how they are computed, what they mean, and how you can make the most of them. One morning recently, I started my day with a query from a client who was reviewing their engagement reports from our platform, and wondering why the...

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Sus or Bussin? How Email Marketers Should Approach Gen Z Buyers


If I said “Rizz”, “Drip”, or “NPC”, would you have any idea what that means? If the answer is “no”, then just search your contacts for your favorite 14-year-old and they will enlighten you. Generation Z, or those people born between 1997 and 2012 according to Pew Research Center, represent $360B...

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How AI amplifies 'fauxthenticity'


Chad is quickly becoming a valuable member of my agency's team for our planning, creative development and optimization. You won't find his photo on our company website, however. That's because "Chad" is the name we've given to our private version of ChatGPT. Plus, he's still a work in progress. We're training...

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Are your personalisation efforts CRISP?


Just this week I saw yet another of those consumer surveys about email marketing commissioned by a tech vendor. Inside there were lots of obvious things that come from leading questions (like ‘Would you like less or more marketing emails in 2024?’. Phrased like that how do you think they’d respond?...

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How to succeed in email no matter where you are


One theme I've developed after 25 years in email is that it's important to give back to the industry, to contribute to our overall success by helping other people. Like you, I find myself talking with and advising marketers at conferences and on webinars, and when writing articles like these, working...

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Driving Deliverability with Data Quality (A Tale of Two Clients)


Over the past year of consulting, I've had two client cases that have caused me significant inner turmoil. Besides fixing flawed technical setups, most cases could be fixed with the sentiment, "send wanted content." And this most often was THE solution; often boiling things down to sending the content as it...

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Who is responsible for your deliverability?


Excellent tools. Poor deliverability? Twice a year, the website EmailToolTester compares the deliverability of different email platforms. For example, according to their report from January 2024, HubSpot, one of the most commonly used email platforms among startups, ends up with an unappealing score: "poor deliverability". The method used to make the...

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Prompt engineering on big data for email marketers


Email marketers are relying on AI more and more – but are your AI endeavors as successful as they could be? Some simple guidance on prompt engineering can help – here are some tips along with a few case studies from the email marketing industry. Prompt engineering is the art of...

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Theory. The secret weapon unlocking your email marketing success.


I was recently asked to provide a keynote speech at a university. In preparing for this I started to think about the benefits of learning. Drawing on my own experience both sides of the lectern, I know and see how combining theory with real world practical experience, elevates any marketers game....

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Are Email Newsletters the New Social Media?


Four Truths for 2024 #1 - The Google Gauntlet and the Rise of Value Let’s talk about Google's HCU and manual penalties. It feels like every other day, there’s a new hoop to jump through. But here's the twist: This isn't about dodging penalties; it's about embracing the core of what...

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