Break it to me Gently - Re-ngagement Done (Mostly) Right

Thursday, September 26, 2013 Listrak 0 Comments

I recently received this email from Chico’s that exemplifies how to do re-engagement right. If you’re considering a re-engagement campaign to warm up inactive subscribers for the upcoming holiday season (and you really should be), you might take some tips from this effort.
First, the subject line, “Last Chance…50% Off (Confirm Your Email),” broke it to me gently. They want me off their mailing list if I plan to keep trashing their daily sends unopened, but they’d like to keep me enough to offer me an incentive to stay. 
Inside, rather than being all-business, I was treated to an attractively-designed email with a style consistent with the brand (lest I’ve forgotten why I was attracted in the first place). And finally, the offer was communicated loudly and clearly and the call-to-action was prominent.
When I clicked through, a similarly-designed page enthusiastically thanked me for staying connected, re-stated the offer and gave me the code:

All of that being said, I would have liked to have seen Chico’s do one critical thing differently. Because I shop there so infrequently (only for gifts), I really do tire of seeing emails so frequently and delete them habitually.There will come another gift-giving time, however, when I will want to shop there again, so I don’t want to be cut off completely. 
As it turns out, when I went back to the original email and clicked “unsubscribe” out of curiosity, I was pleased to see that I could actually opt-down to two emails a month, which is ideal. The email and landing page, as well as the standard unsubscribe link in the email, however, made it seem to me that it was going to be either Chico’s way or the highway.
So, I guess you could say we’re now on a break. We’re going to see each other much less frequently, but there’s still hope that we’ll one day get back together…


Hitting the Inbox this Holiday Season - Your Questions Answered

Wednesday, September 04, 2013 Listrak 0 Comments

Listrak recently offered a webinar, “Hitting the Inbox this Holiday Season,” in which our Chief Privacy Officer James Koons and 250ok Founder and CEO Greg Kraois presented valuable tips on what you need to monitor to maximize email delivery during the busy holiday season. 
A link to a recording of the webinar will be available soon. 
During a Q and A session at the conclusion of the webinar. James and Greg were able to answer many - but not all - of the questions participants raised. Below, as promised, are responses to the questions that could not be addressed within the hour:

Q:  What is a bounced email and what is the difference between a hard bounce and a soft bounce?

A:  A bounced email is a message that did not reach the intended recipient’s inbox. The message is returned to the sender with information about why it failed. These appended messages are referred to as bounce messages and can help a sender determine why a particular email has bounced.
Bounce messages are usually defined as “hard” or “soft," however, we feel it is better to describe them as being either temporary or permanent delivery failures.
A hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure. Generally these recipients will never accept email. Common hard bounce reasons are that the email account or domain does not exist.
A soft bounce is a temporary failure.  Examples of a soft bounce reason would be the user is over his or her email storage quote or the server is temporarily unavailable. 

Q:  Can I find out why a spam filter rejected my message if no reason is given?

A:  Unfortunately, not all spam filters provide a reason as to why messages are filtered out.  Some are open about their content restrictions, while others are not.  In general, most filters are not willing to share much information at all and are not willing to share their filter logic with email senders in an effort to keep spammers guessing.

Q:  I’ve noticed that a lot of email clients block images by default.  Is there a way to force images to be shown?

A:  If the sender’s email address has been marked as a trusted sender, the images will be enabled automatically.  A good way to ensure that images are shown by default is to encourage recipients to add you to their address book. 

Q:  If I am on a shared pool of IPs and there is a problem with one IP (perhaps that of another customer), I am told that all the IPs in the pool will be affected.  Is this true?

A:  It is very rare that an entire IP range is blocked due to a single IP issue. This was a more common practice in the past, but now ISPs tend to only block the problem IP addresses individually. Listrak uses 250ok’s Blacklist Monitor to watch our entire IP space. Individual IP blocks are monitored daily, and each one is thoroughly investigated and mitigated as needed.

Q:  How do you ensure that the message volume and send speed matches the requirements of each ISP?

A:  Send volumes that are too high or too low can have a negative impact on your email deliverability. Listrak’s deliverability team will balance your email volume according to the requirements of various ISPs and message sending speed is also adjusted by ISP to help ensure your messages won’t be blocked due to rate limiting issues.