Press Release: Pure and Rightmove show marketers the measure of email success

Pure and Rightmove show marketers the measure of email success

Release Date: 29 November 2007

The UK’s leading property web site Rightmove’s continued success in generating traffic and return on investment from email marketing was the talking point at an industry showcase earlier this week.

Rightmove, along with email marketing company Pure, presented a case study to brand marketers on creating successful email strategies.

Pure’s Account Director Marc Munier presented with Robin Wilson, Business Development Manager at Rightmove, on how the online property portal’s sophisticated use of the PureResponse email platform and Enterprise eMarketing Toolset has resulted in a huge uplift in the commercial value of Rightmove’s email marketing strategy. The case study also demonstrated how improving relevancy of email marketing has provided a healthy return on investment for Rightmove.

“Rightmove puts a huge emphasis on account management and reporting, and continues to make effective use of Pure’s expertise,” said Marc Munier, Account Director at Pure. “The company is one of the top brands within our major accounts division.”

The talk focused on measuring consumer behaviour, and included tips on how to improve the content of email campaigns

Online publisher Mad.co.uk’s ‘Email Marketing for the Real World’ conference took place at London’s Kensington Close Hotel on Tuesday.

About Pure
Award-winning Pure (www.pure360.com) is one of the top email and SMS marketing companies in the UK*, and the eleventh fastest growing new media company in the country**. Founded in 2001 by Darren Fell, Pure provides big brands and small companies with the technology, know-how and support to run effective email marketing campaigns that have a measurable, positive impact on business. Pure’s email platform, PureResponse, was created by marketers for marketers – it’s used in 40 countries by over 1,200 people. Pure counts innocent drinks, Rightmove, Truprint, EMAP and the FT among its stable of over 700 clients. Brighton-based Pure also publishes the Email Marketing Manual (www.emailmarketingmanual.com); a best practice web site and newsletter featuring brand case studies and expert comment from high profile digital industry faces each month, including journalist and industry guru Mark Brownlow – author of Email Marketing Reports.

*As featured in respected online marketing publisher E-consultancy’s Email Marketing Platform Buyers Guide 2007

**GP Bullhound’s Media Momentum awards, March 2007.

About Rightmove.co.uk
Rightmove.co.uk is the UK’s number one property website, displaying details of homes for sale or rent in the UK and overseas to the largest online audience. It has around 80% of all properties for sale and at any time displays a stock of over 1,000,000 properties to buy or rent, worth around £170 billion. The Rightmove.co.uk site receives over 25 million visits every month and is regularly ranked in the Top Ten most viewed UK websites (source: Hitwise).

For further information please contact:
Claire Armitt
020 7754 5507
07985 297842
claire.armitt@no-flannel.com

comScore: Cyber Monday Sales to Top $700 Million

ComScore Media Metrix is predicting Cyber Monday sales of $700 million, far surpassing the $608 million from last year’s Monday following Thanksgiving.


More than 50 percent (54.5) of office workers with internet access – that’s 68.5 million people – will shop at work today, up from 50.7 percent in 2006, despite the increased prevalence of high-speed broadband connections at home, according to a BigResearch survey commissioned by Shop.org (via MediaPost).

Chad White, founder of the RetailEmail blog and director of retail insights for the Email Experience Council, an arm of the Direct Marketing Association, also believes that sales today will be significantly higher than last year. He points to retailers’ email marketing activities as an indication that retailers have been making a hard push to drive sales for Cyber Monday.

However, forecasts have predicted a certain amount of gloom for the holiday season, thanks to declining economic conditions. Marketing pushes began earlier in the season to try to boost holiday sales, and some believe shopping enthusiasm today will be dampened.

Cyber Monday is no longer considered the busiest online shopping day of the season. That day generally falls on a Monday two weeks before Christmas, and is this year predicted to land on Dec. 10.

Related topics: Research, Signs of What’s to Come, Feature, Planning, List Marketing, Interactive, Email, Direct

Cyber Monday post analysis

Week-End Trends: Retailers barely slow down to chew their turkey

Email activity and promotional trends during the past week:

The RetailEmail Index rose 10% to 246—a new year-to-date high—during the week ending Nov. 23, and is up 28% from where it was four weeks ago. The Index score indicates that on average the top 100 online retailers sent nearly 2.5 promotional emails each last week.

Click to view larger
*The RetailEmail Index is a general measure of the promotional email volume generated by 100 of the top online retailers.

Last week, 95% of the retailers in the RetailEmail Index send out at least one promotional email, up from 92% the week prior, and up from 87% during the 4-weeks-ago period.

Click to view larger

Christmas (Dec. 25): Just like last year, I’ve stopped counting holiday references because nearly every retail email has a holiday angle to it at this point.

Thanksgiving (Nov. 22): The retailers in the RetailEmail Index sent 50 emails referencing Thanksgiving last week, up from 28 the week before.

Black Friday (Nov. 23): There were 44 emails referencing to Black Friday last week, up from 3 the week prior.

Cyber Monday (Nov. 26): There was 1 email that referenced Cyber Monday last week, up from zero the week before.

Other things referenced by retailers: winter sports, holiday parties

CobWebs: 10 criteria for online fundraising

November 26, 2007

CobWebs: 10 criteria for online fundraising

By Herschell Gordon Lewis
Excepting political, of course, a great many veteran fundraisers question the effectiveness of email and a monolithic Web site in competing for the fundraising dollar, pound, euro, yen, and pledge.

Shakespeare anticipated this reaction when he wrote, “The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.” Some of the accepted procedures for commercial online marketing fall flat when applied to eleemosynary online marketing (no, the terms “eleemosynary” and “marketing” aren’t mutually-canceling).

The fundraiser who sequentially at10ds to 10 relatively simple criteria should find this newest — and admittedly the most challenging — medium responsive. If you’ve become disgusted with email as a lead generator or a resuscitator or even as a reminder, a suggestion: retest, with wording congruent to the Web mindset.

An online appeal has the benefit and the curse of fast acceptance/rejection. That’s Step One. Holding at10tion and immediately converting at10tion to the first of these suggested criteria is an indication of fundraising professionalism.

Criterion no. 1: Rapport
Of all 10, this one is most crucial. Assumption of a relationship, real or invented, is the essential key to positive attention. That means starting the message with rapport-laden wording, whether in the subject line or the first sentence of text. It also means discarding trickiness, cleverness, and chest-thumping.

Criterion no. 2: Rationale
Saying to the message recipient, “I’m contacting you because you are who you are” adds octane, provided the first criterion has been established. The two are Siamese twins, tightly joined at the brain. Pretending you’re getting the message instead of sending it is no great challenge. Ask: Why am I contacting this person? Is it because he or she gave us money before? Is it because the last contribution was long ago or because the demographic matches our best donors? Distilling the answers should result in a rationale.

Criterion no. 3: Heroism
We all deal with the truism that every nonprofit is competitive with every other nonprofit. The typical donor has a finite amount of money to contribute to all causes. So the library competes with the symphony orchestra, which competes with the hospital, which competes with the community foundation. Being able to tell a prospective or lapsed donor, “You can be a hero” — in credible, digestible wording — can jog that individual off the stump of apathy.

Criterion no. 4: Logic
“We need help” is half a century out of date. Everybody needs help, which automatically diminishes this ancient approach. Instead, the first three criteria should isolate our cause on a plateau above the phone calls from shadowy law enforcement sources and direct mail that claims worthiness without the rhetorical weaponry of rapport, rationale, or heroism. Projecting the concept of logic isn’t wording that says to the recipient, “This matches you”; rather, it’s wording that has the recipient saying to himself or herself, “This matches me.”

Criterion no. 5: Urgency
Urgency is implicit, and it also should be explicit. What makes the timing tight? Why are we in a hurry, which means you should be in a hurry to participate? What emergency exists? Careful, now: Our rapport-buddy has to accept what we regard as urgent on identical grounds. Don’t sink too deeply into the overly dramatic. Panic not only isn’t a sales weapon, it’s a turnoff, and the rapport-switch can too quickly snap to “off.” Urgency, too, becomes controversial because it’s at odds with a venerable fundraising method. Note the next criterion.

Criterion no. 6: No pledges
Pledges and immediacy are at the antipodes of online appeals. You’re using the “Right now” medium, and your call should stay in sync with the medium. No one can object to testing the pledge-option, but that’s what it should be — a test rather than a given. Inherent mutual speed is a characteristic that doesn’t extend from the Web to standard-class direct mail. It does have a cousin — public service space ads and broadcast commercials … but they aren’t the topic under dissection.

Criterion no. 7: Recognition
Any and every professional fundraiser knows how to stroke a donor. That’s nothing new. Inclusion of publicized recognition, often decked with ribbons on a separate enclosure in a direct mail appeal, should be mentioned early on and exploited later on. The nature of online fundraising makes us wary of unexplained defections. Where did we lose that person? Immediately, because we just didn’t connect? Was it halfway through the pitch? At the end, was it because we didn’t convince? The early mention of recognition is a glue. It might be a weak glue, but certainly that’s better than no glue.

Criterion no. 8: Guilt
Guilt is one of the great motivators of our time, and properly mounted it outweighs any of the others in fundraising. The acknowledged others are: fear, greed, exclusivity, need for approval. There are also two “soft” motivators, convenience and pleasure. In commercial online marketing, greed is the runaway winner. Being able to generate a guilt-reaction might well be the height of fundraising art. It becomes “If we fail, you fail,” blended with a non-threa10ing but clear “It’s up to you.”

Criterion no. 9: Satisfaction
Satisfaction links itself to guilt, rewarded. Don’t assume the person to whom you’re communicating will complete this link without you. Hammer it home: “You’ll sleep the sleep of the just tonight” is the effect. Is that specific wording too strong, too obvious, too forceful? That becomes an executive creative decision. Although all fundraising is competitive with all other fundraising, uniqueness is a mandatory component, and whether you enter the arena with guns blazing or roses tendered is a matter of intended projected image.

Criterion no. 10: Verisimilitude
Of all the criteria, verisimilitude — the appearance of truth and validity — is the most difficult to impose because without exquisite tuning, explanation inadvertently (or deliberately) gives way to what the reader too easily can interpret as supplication. That’s all it takes to wipe out both rapport and guilt.

An absolute rule for online fundraising is that we don’t have to justify our existence to those we’re contacting. The salesperson who says, “I’ll be honest with you,” is immediately suspect.
It boils down to this: We’ve heard it throughout our professional careers: Direct mail doesn’t work. Space ads don’t work. Broadcast doesn’t work. Handouts don’t work. And now, online doesn’t work.

Opinion: Each one works for some others. So it isn’t the medium that doesn’t work. It’s the use or misuse of the medium that doesn’t work. The fault, Dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

How Not to Deal With ISPs

Online political group Truthout.org cried foul recently after Hotmail and AOL blocked its e-mail. At the same time, Yahoo! apparently has been shunting Truthout’s messages into subscribers’ junk folders.

But rather than conducting an internal assessment of its e-mail program to find out why it’s having delivery troubles at the three largest e-mail inbox providers, the organization’s executive director Marc Ash called on subscribers to pressure the ISPs into delivering their mail.

“NOTHING works better than public pressure,” he said in a post on Truthout. “They can ignore us; they can’t ignore you.”

There’s a lesson here for marketers: Ash’s approach couldn’t be more wrong-headed.

Large ISPs don’t block e-mail arbitrarily, and certainly not because of the messages’ political content.

“In all my years at AOL, I can tell you that AOL never intentionally blocked an organization for their political views. I would not have allowed it,” wrote Carl Hutzler, the former head of AOL’s anti-spam team, in a blog post commenting on the matter.

AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo! use spam-complaint rates — the number of people who press the “report spam” button — as the No. 1 gauge to determine whether to block incoming messages. By all accounts, a complaint rate of more than 0.5% will cause delivery problems.

E-mailers who send to too many bad addresses can also find their messages blocked. Sending to dead addresses is classic spamming behavior.

That two large ISPs are blocking Truthout’s messages independently of one another is a sure indicator that Truthout’s spam complaints are too high, that it’s mailing too many bad addresses, or some combination of the two.

“These ISPs are competitors. They’re not sharing this kind of data back and forth,” says Al Iverson, director, privacy and deliverability for e-mail service provider ExactTarget. “It’s a technical issue. In the case of AOL and Hotmail, there’s a big sign on the door that says if you want to come in here, you have to do ‘X,’ ‘Y’ and ‘Z.’ ”

According to Iverson, Truthout could easily clean up its act by doing the following:

  1. Sign up for feedback loops — programs that provide spam-complaint reports — at AOL and Hotmail.

  2. Make sure it unsubscribes people who complain.

  3. Ensure that bounced addresses get unsubscribed automatically.

  4. Apply for safelist status at AOL.

Or, he said, Truthout could move to a service provider where these processes are handled automatically.

Ash didn’t respond to an e-mail asking if he’d taken steps to clean up his group’s e-mail practices.

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Magilla Marketing, Ken Magill’s weekly e-mail newsletter, is archived at http://directmag.com/magill/.