Posts Tagged ‘Together’

Bring Deliverability and Design Together to Maximize Email Marketing Success

January 28, 2009 — Tips for getting your permission-based marketing emails into the inbox and the actual design of the email are closely linked. Here you will find useful information on getting into the inbox, email design tips, and the nexus between the two.

If you are just getting back into email marketing after a break, are new to it, or are sending to an old list, make sure to ramp up your sending. This does not take long. If you have a large list, do not send to your whole list all at once but ramp up incrementally to maximize email marketing deliverability.

It is very important to keep a clean list. Too many hard bounces (email addresses that do not exist any more) can hurt your reputation with the ISPs. Pay close attention to keeping a clean list and purge as many bad addresses off the list as you can before you even send through a new Email Service Provider (ESP). You want to get off on the right foot with good delivery.

Keep in mind that the worst thing you can do to build your email list is to harvest emails off of Web sites, as this a flagrant violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

In addition, do not buy a list from some guy on the Internet who promises you the subscribers have all opted-in. They may have opted-in to hear from someone, but not from you. For you, they are likely to hit the spam complaint button along with the many others to whom this guy has sold the list. Sending to this sort of list will hurt your ability to reach your best customers or prospects.

No matter which ESP you choose, they will assign you an IP address – either shared or private. This IP address, not your email address, is the “Caller ID” of every email that goes out, whether a personal message or email marketing. Make sure you setup a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record that matches the IP your ESP assigned you with the sending domain (yourcompany.com). If you do this, you will be in the elite of email marketers who are following this optimal practice and will have an advantage. If you need help, ask your ESP. If you are a techie or know one, setting up an SPF record in your Domain Name Service (DNS) records does not take long. With many ESPs, you can determine the IP (shared or private) by looking in the settings of the account; with some ESPs you may have to ask them what IP address your emails are coming from.

Here are some additional tips on getting your emails through the spam filters.

Email Marketing Design: The Coin of The Realm

Good email design is not only more appealing to recipients and better for click throughs, but it also makes the spam filters look more kindly on your emails. This matters greatly when it comes to reaching the inbox, but do not forget that people like well designed emails better than something that is hard on the eyes. Your success with achieving your email marketing goals — including click-through-rates (CTR) and conversions — will be greatly enhanced by aesthetically pleasing email design.

One of the top guidelines for email marketing design is not to send out an email that is too heavy graphics or, much worse, one giant graphic. The guiding principle is 60 percent text, 40 percent graphic. Many email recipients view emails in a preview pane, so the top left corner is an ideal location for brand placement and a good enticing lead. Also, keep in mind that many email clients have graphics turned off by default so you have to entice people to click the button that turns graphics back on. The best way to do that is to leverage strong content, a well-designed email, and a good balance between text and graphics. It is always a very bad idea to send out an email that is one large graphic because not only will it lessen the chances that people will read it, but also because spam filters hate one large graphic emails.

It is crucial to remember to include ALT text for any images you include in your emails. The reason is that anything you are trying to communicate through images will be lost until many users turn on the graphics, which usually can be accomplished with a quick click. Entice them with descriptive ALT text that describes the graphic. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then give your recipients a reason to view those images.

Tables are back – which may seem counterintuitive to those of you who have been involved in a Web design project. Tables are an important element of email marketing design. You can use CSS but it must be inline CSS if you want it to work. Consider tables in your email design and play close attention to using table attributes.

Be aware of the inherent limitations of email programs as compared to Web browsers. Consider that the optimal email width is recommended at 600 pixels wide to accommodate for various browsers and mobile devices. Try to hit this range to avoid wide and unwieldy emails that few will want to read through. You probably want to avoid very long emails as well.

Again, keep in mind that while Web browsers are developed to handle javascript, flash, etc., many emails programs simply cannot handle the fancy stuff.

In addition, make sure to have a link in your email that enables your recipients to view the email as a Web page. Most ESPs provide a very easy way to accomplish this task. Some people will just prefer to view your email as a Web page.

If you combine good design for email with an awareness of both the spam filters and an aesthetically pleasing email for your audience, then you have a recipe for success. Email marketing can be hard work but when done well it yields the highest ROI of any other marketing tactic, which, according to the Direct Marketing Association is nearly $57 for every dollar invested.

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Self Motivation And Success Works Together

How do you know if a person is willing to attain self improvement? This is a question with no definite answer. It will all depend on the individual.


Many people have goals, dreams or ambitions but do not know how to go about achieving them. They may have thought about what would make up self improvement and their ideal life, but have no idea how to even begin to make the plans and take the actions required to make them a reality.

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Social Entrepreneurship & Social Media Marketing Go Together, Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

By Melissa S. Barker

Why have so many people risked everything to undertake new ventures, when over half of all new businesses fail within five years? Until the late 20th Century, the answer was simple--the lure of riches and being your own boss. However, a new breed of social entrepreneur is combining societal and environment concerns with wealth creation. Today, more and more people are finding innovative ways to make capitalism work for them, their communities, and the environment.

Many social entrepreneurs still dream of making money and being their own bosses by forming traditional sole proprietorships or corporations, while others join together in nonprofit cooperatives. Nonetheless, they are all united by a single purpose—to improve the world, either through environmental or societal advances. Despite the altruistic goals, social entrepreneurs are just as driven and ambitious as conventional businesspeople to deliver groundbreaking solutions.

For example, social entrepreneurs build low cost shelters for the poor from recyclable materials, develop inexpensive solutions to widespread health problems, create water cleaning systems for drought-stricken areas, bring educational resources to remote regions, promote the arts to the underprivileged, and develop efficient means to transport freight and people over rugged terrain.

Social entrepreneurship success stories abound, such as Wendy Kopp, who launched, Teach for America, a highly successful movement to eliminate educational inequity in the nation by signing up the most promising college graduates to teach in low income communities. Since 1989, Teach for America has recruited, trained, and supported over 17,000 recent graduates in teaching for two years in economically depressed districts.

Mimi Silbert, founded Delancey Street, one of the foremost residential self-help organizations in the country, working with everyone from the illiterate and homeless to junkies and ex-convicts. Delancey Street equips those who have hit bottom with marketable skills in just six months. The organization is financially self-sufficient, with most of its funding coming from the businesses founded by Delancey Street graduates, such as moving companies, restaurants, and delivery services.

Although there is no single path to becoming a successful social entrepreneur, the following five steps provide a roadmap that can markedly boost your odds of success:

1. Find a cause that inspires and holds a profitable solution

The first, and perhaps the most important, step to becoming a successful social entrepreneur is to identify an environmental or social ill that motivates you to act. However, that’s just half of the challenge; the other half is to find a profitable solution to the problem. Even nonprofit organizations must survive financially, so you must secure an ongoing means to fund your venture. It is worth noting that government grants come and go, while revenues from selling products and services tend to be a more consist source of money.

2. Craft a solid business plan

Whatever form of social entrepreneurship you wish to pursue, certain elements must be present for it to succeed. Research show tat poor planning and insufficient financing are the two major reasons businesses fail. Fortunately, creating a well researched and carefully thought out business plan can go a long way to ensuring success. Creating a business plan forces you to consider your organization’s fundamental mission and its objectives, as well as whom you want to serve, their unmet needs, and how to organize your marketing mix to satisfy those needs. In addition, a good business plan provides operational details, financial forecasts, and spells out how to monitor performance and adjust course accordingly.

3. Securing financing

Without question, the most significant challenge a social entrepreneur faces is finding the necessary funding to launch and sustain a new enterprise. In addition to traditional equity and lending sources, social entrepreneurs can seek assistance from the following organizations:

Ashoka provides funding and support services to social entrepreneurs Echoing Green offers seed capital and support to entrepreneurs with pioneering ideas to bring about social change. Skoll Foundation invests with social entrepreneurs primarily through its Skoll Awards for Entrepreneurship and connects them with key people and resources that can advance their causes. Tides Foundation partners with social entrepreneurs to promote economic, social, environmental progress through a variety of efforts, including fiscal sponsorship. Schwab Foundation identifies, connects, works with selected companies to advance specific social entrepreneurial initiatives.

4. Be smart in implementing your plan

Since social entrepreneurs are especially cash-strapped, with little or no money to finance their operations, marketing, and delivery of services, they must exploit the least expensive and most effective strategies and tactics. Most importantly, social entrepreneurs must efficiently find the people and communities they seek to serve and identify their unmet needs.

This is where social media marketing comes into play. Social media marketing enables organizations to identify and interact with their constituencies, access opinions, gather valuable feedback, and influence views about the organization and its offerings. Social media platforms include everything from blogs and video sharing to social networking and social bookmarking.

To use these freely available social media platforms wisely, social entrepreneurs have to decide which platforms are best suited for their purposes and how to use them productively. This means crafting a social media marketing campaign, which lays out clear measurable goals, investing the time to become familiar with the platforms and participants, creating compelling content, monitoring campaign results, and making the necessary adjustments to succeed.

Done right, social media marketing provides a cost-effective way for social entrepreneurs to make contacts, find support, influence constituencies, form collaborative efforts, as well as establish an image of trustworthiness, integrity, and dependability.

5. Monitor for success

The focus of social entrepreneurship, whether for-profit or not, is social change. Hence, the evaluation process should assess the progress made in achieving specific environmental or societal improvements. Clear and well-defined goals greatly simplify measuring the impact of a program on its intended eco-system or recipients.

In addition, it seems appropriate to evaluate the leadership performance of the social entrepreneur. After all, that individual is at the heart of social entrepreneurship, acting as the proponent, champion, and steward of a driving vision to improve the environment or society. Thus, assessing the social entrepreneur’s leadership, management, and spokesperson capabilities is essential to ensure the sustainability and ultimate success of the enterprise.

Finally, as with any startup, the economic performance of the organization should be analyzed using the same methodologies applied to traditional for-profit businesses. Although profit can be a secondary or even nonexistent consideration for some social entrepreneurs, every enterprise must receive or generate sufficient funds to survive, if not thrive.

For a useful collection of social search engines, be sure to check out the resources at http://SocialInformatics.net/.

Melissa S. Barker, Author of Internet Research – Illustrated 5th Edition, Course Technology, 2010

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