Winner of Best Email Design Contest 2012!

Your email template designs were judged by our panel of email experts and now it’s finally time to announce who this year’s contest winner is! However, before we announce the winner, let’s recap:

The Net Atlantic Best Email Design of 2012 Contest was open only to existing customers of Net Atlantic and Atlantic Web Host. Submissions were judged on criteria based on aesthetic appeal, content, as well as how well they follow industry standard best practices as set forth for email marketing. See full contest rules here.

Our winning template stood out and grabbed our judges’ attention because of its clean design and layout. This communication demonstrated a good balance of text and graphics as well as clear call-to-actions.

Now, without further delay, our chosen winning template design is…

Improve Data Quality by Verifying Email Addresses

Email remains a vital piece of contact information across all organizations and, in order to have a successful email campaign, deliverability is key. Ensuring email addresses are accurate allows you to get your message delivered to the intended recipients.

In my blog post titled, I’ve sent multiple emails and they’re not making it into my (or my recipients’) inbox!, I covered some of the most common reasons that emails may not be delivered to an inbox. In this post I discuss the benefits of real-time email verification, including:

Behavioral Marketing: Subscribers Demand More Personalized Content

Targeting tactics should be a key component of your marketing strategy

Behavioral targeting starts with understanding who your target audience is, what they’re interested in and what their needs are. Crafting your email with their needs in mind will help keep them engaged.

Identifying a target market’s pain points and recognizing differences between groups of customers, is at the heart of marketing. What you think is relevant and what a prospect or customer finds relevant may be two different things.

Harness customer data to improve relevancy

Moving into the New Year, marketers will need to make better use of customer data to engage and drive more relevant communications. By gathering insight about customers, marketers can begin to have more meaningful interactions through rich and deep customer intelligence.

Business intelligence data offers immense opportunity to better serve and engage customers. Expanding the customer profile with a combination of transactional and behavioral interaction data collected across multiple channels, empowers marketers to create highly targeted automated messaging. Start by tracking behavioral interactions, such as purchase history, clicks in your emails, and website activity. Use this data to segment your list and create actionable offers that are more integrated, personalized, and relevant across all your marketing activities.

Data Collection Tips to Improve Deliverability

The key to an overall data collection strategy is to ensure your data collection methods are sound. The quality of the prospect and
customer data being used to target and personalize your email messaging efforts are only as good as the data used to power them.

There are several actions that your organization should take at the point of data collection to ensure that best practice is achieved in the collection and use of data, including:

  • Gaining positive consent by using an “Opt-in” checkbox (where the box is unchecked) is preferable to a passive opt-in practice (where the box is pre-checked).
  • While single opt-in (no confirmation email) remains the most commonly used permission-based mechanism, double opt-in (where a confirmation email is sent to the new subscriber with a link to activate the registration) provides 100% assurance in terms of the validity of the email address and reaffirms that a recipient does want to receive your messaging.

Win $250 – Enter Your Best Email Design of 2012!

You worked hard in 2012 designing email templates that produced high conversion rates, generated traffic to your site and maximized your email marketing ROI. If you think you have created an award winning email, enter to win a $250 American Express Gift Card.

The rules are pretty simple. Send us your design by February 1, 2013. A panel of email marketing experts will review and score the entries. In March, we’ll announce our winners! Read our official rules below and enter today.

Good luck!

Infographic: Email Testing In 4 Simple Steps

Email marketing best practices dictate that testing be performed for each mailing you send out. And it makes sense! Why would you want to distribute what would otherwise be a broken email message to your carefully cultivated audience? So many things could go wrong (e.g., improperly formatted HTML, images not loading as planned, incorrectly entered merge tags, etc.) that it’s worth the extra few moments to ensure that your communications go out without a hitch. But that’s just testing for delivery. How about testing for effectiveness?

Testing your email content — and in a larger sense, your message — is an often overlooked step in the email marketing process despite it being a best practice. And it’s kind of silly that it’s so often forgotten about, really. Why wouldn’t you want what you send to be the most effective it could be? Much as you want to ensure the technology supporting the transmission of your communication is functioning as intended, you should also see to it that your message is producing the results you set out to achieve. But how do you do that? What do you change to make your campaign more effective? How do you measure this change?

Given its undeniable tie to the success of your campaigns, email testing is a pretty big deal. And unless you are 100% satisfied with your email marketing effort’s performance as is, it’s a big deal that you should probably address. But don’t fret; while it may seem somewhat complicated, fundamentally it’s a pretty simple process.

Our Email Testing In 4 Simple Steps infographic illustrates exactly how simple it is.

Email Testing in 4 Simple Steps

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