Author: Mike Parry

Mike launched the first email company - e2 Communications - in the UK in 1999, then launched EmailBureau, which became the largest email marketing company in the UK in 2002 before co-founding Inbox Warriors with Tony Macpherson in 2007. He has spoken at numerous seminars so it's just as well he loves the sound of his own voice. Mike likes golf, wine and verbally abusing people.



Email Marketing Automation or the Emperor’s new clothes?

I’ve avoided writing about marketing automation for a while now because, if I think about it too much, it is just “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Don’t misinterpret that statement as me saying I don’t think it is a wonderful tool in the eMarketers arsenal or that you shouldn’t be doing it – it’s just that I think it’s the same thing it was 15 years ago. As email marketers, or as I like to call us now ‘marketing automatons’, we have packaged it in a much more user friendly and functional way, making it possible for the time strapped eMarketer to implement the ideas and plans that they have long since held. Using email marketing automation to positively engage your…

Working on spec

In this weeks blog I am going to look at working on spec. Particularly, why working on spec devalues you and the years you spent learning your particular talent. Why it devalues your existing client relationships and why it devalues any future relationship you might have with the new “client” you are working on spec for. Working on spec is working for free. Now don’t get me wrong, I think doing a client a favour, or offering some free of charge add-ons to sweeten a deal is ok. It shows the new client that this is a partnership, that you are invested in delivering service for them for the agreed remuneration and if you have to go a stage further…

How will the “Facebook law” or safe harbor effect your email campaigns

In order to look at how the European court of Justice’s ruling on Safe Harbor effects your email marketing I think it prudent to look back at the history behind Safe Harbor and the impact on it of the Patriot Act. In 1998, the European Commission’s Directive on Data Protection went into effect, one of it’s basic premises would prohibit the transfer of personal data to non-European Union countries that do not meet the European Union (EU) “adequacy” standard for privacy protection. The United States, while sharing the EU goal of protecting citizens personal data it takes a different approach to privacy from that of the EU. In order for US companies to bridge the gap between the two standards…

Gimmicks in email

So, did you arrive at this blog because of the gimmicky link in our email? Or because you searched for gimmicks in email and google sent you here? Let us know in the comments section below. The question going round the display block offices every time a new gimmick comes out or someone uses some kind of obfuscation in their email to get you to click is “Do these things really work, do they just offer a short term uplift and does that hurt the brand in the long run”. The truth is we didn’t have the data to support what is pretty much a universal gut reaction. Gimmicks in email are just that gimmicks and ultimately have no real…

Cutting edge email design

I was recently a keynote speaker at a European email summit in Amsterdam and was asked to talk about “Cutting edge email design”. Whilst researching emails for this event it struck me that one man’s junk can be another man’s treasure. The reason I say this is because it depends on your role or skill set as to what you see as cutting edge email design. I have selected three of the emails I used in the presentation to highlight some design techniques but also to show how important it is to know your audience and to design for them, not you. The first email we will look at is a Dogs Trust email designed to look great whether images…

Basket Abandonment

I have lost count of the number of times I have spoken to email marketing managers who  have said something along the lines of…”I’m not sure we should be sending basket abandonment emails, it feels a bit big brother to me” and the look of horror when I suggest not only should they be doing them but where possible, they should be sending browse abandonment emails as well. If you are a traditional retailer and someone walks into one of your outlets and picks up and looks at the same item say 3 or 4 times then you would expect your sales staff to engage them in a conversation about the product and attempt to sell it to them. Well,…

Let’s get serious with auto responders!

Let’s get serious with auto responders! Auto responders tend to get set up almost as an after thought. We’ve planned our email broadcasting strategy for bulk sends but about those pesky auto responders? What should we send there? They also tend to get set up and often are left unchanged. We recently discovered a self-service client who had sent over 3 million auto response messages over the last 2 years for a brand they had shut down! The auto responses were set up in the system, the data was there, the trigger criteria had been met in each instance and so the email had been sent, approximately a 1/4 of a million of them a month, all because the auto…

Outlook for iOS logo

Outlook for iOS – the user experience

So here at display block we’ve taken the time to do a user experience piece by @mikepickn on the new Outlook for iOS. @omgitsonlyalex has also looked at it from a technical perspective here. I have taken a few days to use and get to know Outlook for iOS and I am glad I have. When I first downloaded it I had the real feeling that it was a solution for a problem that didn’t exist. iOS had it’s own tool, mail that was indigenous to the product and built on the iOS system. It was a tool fit for purpose. This was further compounded when I tried to set up my work email account and having never used an…

Salesforce and Sugar CRM integration

We have often been asked “does your email platform integrate with salesforce or sugar crm” and our answer has always been, “as long as your CRM solution allows two way API access then of course” However, after building middleware for some of our clients it seemed sensible to make it easy for all our clients to to integrate without the cost of developing middleware so we have. We now have a simple to use integration tool for Salesforce.com, Sugar CRM, Apteco FastStats and Highrise CRM. All that is needed for you to integrate with our tools is an API connection to be made between your CRM and our platform. You can then choose which fields to use and where the…

Email blasts are dead…

The talk is all about marketing automation nowadays. On a group of email geeks, or leading email proponents, depending on your view that I hang out in called Only Influencers the question was asked this week; are email blasts dead? This led to an interesting debate which, to my mind, completely debunked the myth which is marketing automation. For me, marketing automation is a term, thought up by email marketing companies who want to muddy the waters enough to get a foothold in the market. Let me explain; almost from the inception of email broadcasting companies like Saber Software (who became e2 communications) were using “marketing automation” to sell software services online – only they called it adaptive sequenced messaging…