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Four Email Marketing Predictions for 2010

As the end of the year nears, here are four predictions for 2010:

Inactivation campaigns will become more important, thanks to ISPs giving weight to engagement metrics when determining whether to deliver to the inbox or junk folder or to block email. Marketers with 50% or more of their list inactive will have to start devising strategies to deal with reducing that level. It will start with each company defining what "inactive" is for them, then progress to segmentation tactics to message inactives differently, and possibly culminate with reactivation campaigns that give subscribers a chance to reaffirm their interest or be dropped from the list.

It's Holiday Season. What If Your Emails Don't Care?

If you thought inboxes were already cluttered, just wait until this year's holiday season ramps up to full speed. Retail business are struggling to recover, while at the same time cutting ad and direct mail spending, and focusing more resources on ROI-heavy programs like email. It's a perfect storm headed straight towards inboxes.

Email Use Increasing, Despite What WSJ Says

The Wall Street Journal is the latest to jump on the "email is dead" bandwagon. The article, "Why Email No Longer Rules... and what that means for the way we communicate," opens with the proclamation, "Email has had a good run as king of communications. But its reign is over."

In actuality,
Email's future is looking even brighter today than it was just three years ago. Here's why...

Are You Using These Preheader Text Up-and-Comers?

Preheader text is HTML text that appears before or sometimes within the header of an email. It's important and growing in popularity because of the prevalence of image blocking by email subscribers and the increasing use of image-unfriendly mobile devices to view email. Those two trends make preheader text vital as both a promotional and functional tactic.

Are You Ready For The 18 Phases Of Christmas?

If you haven't begun planning your holiday campaigns, then you're already behind. The first salvo of holiday email marketing has already been fired, with 8% of major online retailers having already mentioned the holidays in their email campaigns. As discussed in the recently released :Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season," holiday messaging goes through 18 phases...

The 12 Steps For Wayward Email Programs

As an Email Insider regular, you've probably got a long list of things you "should" do, but simply can't accomplish. The reason may be resources, internal politics, or technical limitations. These hurdles can be incredibly frustrating. If this is you, consider the following, liberally modified from traditional 12-step programs, for reinvigorating your email program and taking it to the next level.

Short Or Long Copy In Newsletters: What's The Smart Choice?

Recently I read a quote from an email expert who flatly stated, "the purpose of email is to get people to click on links." Really?

Certainly, promotional emails fall into the "drive 'em to the Web site" category because most sales are closed on the Web. But email newsletters can be of more than one kind -- ranging from snippets of copy with links leading back to the Web site right up to full articles in the email itself. So, which should you choose? Here are some guidelines.

The Video Boom: Video Takes Over the Inbox

The rumors are true -- developments in video are exploding into the world of email marketing. It feels like we've been waiting for ages to use video (and deliver it safely into inboxes), and the time is finally here!

Great Design Doesn't Always Follow The Rules

A solid, well-branded, flexible template is a must in today's email marketing world -- vital to recognition in the inbox, consistent rendering, and communicating an air of professionalism worthy of subscribers' trust. However, templates can also become mind-numbing to subscribers over time. If your emails look too much alike, subscribers may think you're sending a lot of the same kind of information over and over and start to tune you out.

What 'Free' Means For Email Marketers

by Morgan Stewart - Despite the debates that have surfaced about the viability of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube or the future of publishing, there is consensus about the digital age having ushered in an era where information and ideas are abundant. Regardless of whether these companies can develop sustainable business models, the fact remains that there is more free information available to consumers than at any prior point in history.

I dare not attempt an exhaustive list of the implications the information abundance era will have on email marketing, but here are a few of the things that I believe we are already seeing as a result.

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