Schwedelson Gives Tips on Tackling E-Mail Issues

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E-mail is a growing space for sales and marketing but consumers and Internet service providers are getting more discriminating.

In a presentation June 21 at the DM Days New York show, Worldata corporate vice president Jay Schwedelson advised attendees on how to navigate the tough, sophisticated e-mail world. One recent Return Path study found that 20 percent of permission-based e-mails were not delivered, he said.

He suggested a few tactics to bolster e-mail campaigns.

First, ensure that content is readable over different channels. Neither Gmail -- the fastest-growing Web-hosted e-mail provider -- nor Microsoft's Outlook 3, mostly used by businesses, allow HTML messages within the body of e-mails. So he urged the use of text-based messaging with links.

Mr. Schwedelson also advised business-to-business firms not to rule out Gmail, Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail accounts, as up to 13 percent of e-mail addresses at these domains are businesses.

Finally, he said the trend is for mailing on Fridays, because most e-mails are sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and most are opened on Fridays. The word "free" should still be used in titles of e-mail sent to existing customers. Though the word is often filtered, it still drives major results.

"Make e-mail a private event," Mr. Schwedelson said. "Consumers like to feel like they are the only one getting the deal. Exclusivity drives response."

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