Dear EmailRules Community,

It's easy to think of email tracking as strictly the domain of email marketers, for transactional messages. But even if you're not selling or promoting a product, did you know that email tracking can help just about anyone more fully understand and engage their subscribers and get better results?

Get key info on the different levels of tracking, the importance of permission and the useful data reports that tracking provides in our new whitepaper:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/pdf/wp-EmailTracking101.pdf

We welcome you to let us know your feedback and any questions by emailing us at: [log in to unmask] Thanks for being a part of the L-Soft and LISTSERV community.

Susan Brown Faghani,
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Subscriber,

Hope you had a great year of email in 2018! With 2019 in mind, could you please share which topics would be most helpful to your work with email lists and email marketing in the new year? Examples include tips on managing email lists and email marketing campaigns, articles on data protection and compliance and email authentication and security, and, of course, anything else you'd like to explore.

Please email [log in to unmask] with your suggestions. Thank you!

Did you know that early 2019 will bring a major new version release, LISTSERV 17.0? A newsletter template creator with 46 ready-to-use HTML templates, enabling senders to create fully responsive HTML newsletters without HTML coding experience plus dramatically improved user-friendliness with a single comprehensive list archive and three viewing options to choose from are two of the many helpful features in the upcoming new version.

Be sure to stay on top of all the latest news and developments by subscribing to the LISTSERV at Work newsletter and joining us on your favorite social media platforms:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/optin.asp

On behalf of L-Soft staff worldwide, we thank you for being a member of the L-Soft and LISTSERV community and wish you a Happy New Year!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani,
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Subscriber,

Interested in building email communication knowledge this back-to-school season? Check out the new weekly #LearnLISTSERV how-to series on social media. Join us on your favorite platform to get helpful tips.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lsoftlistserv
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/l-soft/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/listserv
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lsoftlistserv/

Feel free to share the #LearnLISTSERV series with anyone who wants to expand email know-how, prevent common mistakes or just learn something new!

The weekly tips are also available here:
http://www.lsoft.com/LearnLISTSERV

Any topics you'd like us to cover? We welcome you to be in touch. Thank you for being a part of the L-Soft and LISTSERV community.

Best Regards,

Susan Brown Faghani,
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Subscriber,

Since May 25th, the GDPR has been in force, affecting all organizations handling the personal data of EU residents and carrying substantial penalties for non-compliance with its strict data protection and other requirements. Among the many tasks, questions, layers and gray areas associated with this sweeping regulation, one of the key dilemmas for email marketers and digital communicators (with homage to Shakespeare) is:

"To track or not to track? That is the question."

Email tracking has clear advantages, of course, starting with generating valuable data that helps you to better engage your audiences and boost your results. Yet given the data protection compliance needs of the GDPR, just how should people use email tracking in the GDPR era, if at all?

If you're sending email campaigns and tracking the results, you are processing the personal data of your subscribers and need to take certain measures to be fully compliant with the GDPR. Check out an expert-authored tip on different email tracking options and what's most appropriate to use in the GDPR era, plus more relevant content in this brand new issue of the LISTSERV at Work newsletter:

http://www.lsoft.com/news/issue3-2018.asp

Thank you for being a part of the L-Soft and LISTSERV community.

Best Regards,

Susan Brown Faghani,
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Subscriber,

Email may be the top online activity and sales channel, but all email is not created equal. Strong prior consent from subscribers continues to be the foundation for ethical email communication that gets positive results. This month, permission email as we know it today turns 25.

L-Soft Founder and CEO Eric Thomas invented LISTSERV, the original email list manager, in 1986 and added the subscription confirmation feature, also known as double opt-in, to the version released on March 15th, 1993. This strengthened recipient consent and launched permission email, which remains the industry gold standard.

Compliance with consent, authentication and data privacy requirements including the EU GDPR, for which enforcement begins May 25th, 2018, is now in major focus for digital marketers and communicators.

Informing and empowering subscribers is essential and confirmed permission from recipients is fundamental, so keep these three keywords as top priorities:

• Explicit: Ask your subscribers to actively give their consent, and don't do the work for them

• Specific: State the purpose of the email list clearly, and deliver what you promise

• Confirmed: Ensure your subscribers reconfirm that they initiated the subscription request to receive your messages in the future (confirmed opt-in/double opt-in)

Watch one-minute video on key email best practices:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqD9mmqueGU

Learn more about new consent, data privacy and authentication requirements:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/regandleg-issue1-2018.asp

Read article on permission email::
http://www.lsoft.com/news/permission-issue5-2017.asp

Thank you for being an EmailRules subscriber and Happy Emailing!

Best Regards,
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Commmunity,

Permission email and the related handling of subscriber data were in the spotlight in 2017, with legislative and regulatory developments, particularly in the United States, Canada and the European Union. We welcome all changes that strengthen trust and nurture relationships between senders and subscribers.

Thank you for being a part of the LISTSERV community. Warmest wishes for the holiday season and the new year!

http://www.lsoft.com/happy2018.asp

Best Regards,
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Earlier this year, when the Federal Trade Commission announced that it was planning a review of the CAN-SPAM Act, many organizations, including L-Soft, submitted public comments on the law, urging the adoption of an opt-in requirement for email marketing. While it's unlikely that much will change regarding the CAN-SPAM Act and its provisions in the near future, L-Soft strongly recommends that everyone follow email marketing best practices, which includes the more responsible opt-in standard for subscriber acquisition.

Read More:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/optin-issue4-2017.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
L-Soft Webmaster


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Two months ago, I posted a tutorial from the LISTSERV at Work newsletter, where we learned how to create a responsive HTML newsletter containing a mix of one-, two- and three-column content areas with the help of easy, reusable code blocks. In part two of this series, you can discover how to create another layout variant -- a two-column design with a small sidebar and a larger area for the main content.

Responsive HTML Newsletters Made Easy - Part 2:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/responsive-issue3-2017.asp

Responsive HTML Newsletters Made Easy - Part 1:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/responsive-issue2-2017.asp

If you want to subscribe to LISTSERV at Work, L-Soft's customer newsletter, directly, visit:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/n-subscribe.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
L-Soft Webmaster


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Dear EmailRules Community,

In today's email landscape, if your HTML newsletters aren't optimized for mobile devices, you're missing out on many opportunities to truly connect with your subscribers. The good news is that for the most part, email clients, webmail clients and mobile email apps have all taken strides in recent years to improve their support for media queries and responsive design, so you no longer have an excuse. This step-by-step tutorial published in the LISTSERV at Work newsletter will show how you can easily create a responsive HTML newsletter with the help of reusable and customizable code blocks.

Read More:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/responsive-issue2-2017.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
L-Soft Webmaster


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Every day, Special Olympics Maryland, Prince George's County (SOMDPG) puts its mission into action, providing athletes with disabilities the opportunity to develop physical fitness and build relationships with family, friends, fellow athletes and the community. In the process, the athletes are also able to achieve another part of the organization's mission: demonstrating courage and experiencing joy. SOMDPG is a non-profit organization run under Special Olympics Maryland (SOMD). Statewide, SOMD serves more than 6,500 athletes with intellectual disabilities.

"Training and competitions are provided at no cost to the athletes or their families, other than the need to get the athletes to practice," says Karen Reznek, IT Support, whose daughter Abby is autistic and a SOMDPG Aquatics Team member, who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the summer 2015 Special Olympics World Games.

Guided by the core values of community, friendships, integrity, opportunity, quality and sportsmanship, SOMDPG's athletes, representing various sports, work with an all-volunteer coaching staff.

*Improved Communication: A Team Effort*

In January of 2012, SOMDPG determined it needed to boost its communication by finding an efficient way to:
- Get specific teams' training and competition information to their respective athletes and athletes' families quickly and easily
- Send information to athletes across all teams and to staff with multiple roles, without burdening people with duplicate messages.

SOMDPG started using L-Soft's ListPlex – LISTSERV® in the Cloud – email list hosting service.

"After finally tracking down SOMDPG and seeing how much Abby benefited from her involvement, I made it a goal that other families would not have such a difficult time getting involved. To that end, I joined the management team and set up email lists for the teams Abby was involved with," Reznek says. "Later, with another generous donation from L-Soft, I was able to set up lists for all of the teams under a master SOMDPG list. This enables coaches to communicate easily with their teams, athletes and their families to receive information about the sports they are interested in. It also makes it very easy for SOMDPG to send out announcements to all teams with a single message, and no subscriber receives more than one copy."

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Librarians are among the true "power users" of LISTSERV email lists. A simple query of CataList, the official catalog of LISTSERV lists, shows 588 different lists, and that only includes public lists. Librarians from schools, universities, historical venues, governments and other organizations have been using LISTSERV for decades. This feature on librarians' work with LISTSERV spotlights email list tips, experiences and insights shared by Melissa Jacobs, List Owner, NYCSLIST.

*How did NYCSLIST begin?*

I was a school-based librarian, and this was prior to social media or any communication network like that. I had used a LISTSERV list in graduate school; that's how we communicated with classmates. But when I started working as a librarian in the school system in 2000, there was no network like that. So I appealed to the director of library services and said that we should have an email list because it's difficult to find answers if you don't have a network. Librarians attend district meetings once or twice a month, but there was very little email communication in the school library system. Email was new at the time, and people were reluctant to use it as a form of communication and for asking questions. There was no network of people to ask. Each librarian was 'the only one' in their school building, like the custodian and the nurse.

Fast forward five years to 2005, I had finished my administrator's license and second Master's Degree and applied to be a coordinator. The same director hired me and said 'go create it.' So I started exploring software that would be able to serve a school community like New York City. Communication across 3000 schools is a challenge. I wanted it to be more than just 'here's a newsletter' or something that's flat. I wanted people to be able to post a question and get an answer. For example, if I'm a librarian in South Brooklyn, I could get an answer from a librarian in the Bronx about a Winnebago automation system issue. But if I had walked into the staff lounge at school discussing a problem with Winnebago, the staff would look out the window for a Winnebago motor home and have no understanding of the automation software. Having archives was really important because I wanted people to be able to search.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Despite the occasional proclamation to the contrary, email lists remain the most effective tool for customer and constituent communication for organizations of all sizes. Study after study show that no other electronic channel comes close to matching the reach and results that email provides. Here are a few best practices that will help you grow your lists and make the most of your email list communication.

Make it easy to subscribe and reduce unnecessary friction

Create easy paths for people to subscribe to your email lists through your website as well as other social channels as appropriate. Explain what your list is about, what type of messages the subscriber will receive and how often. Only ask for the minimum amount of information that you need to get started in order to minimize friction and lower any perceived barriers. Subscriber preferences and profiles are a great tool for customizing and targeting future communication, but including a lengthy questionnaire at signup will turn off potential subscribers by making the process seem like a huge time commitment. You can always ask your subscribers to complete their subscriber profiles at a later time.

Generate a clear value proposition and a sense of exclusivity

Make it appealing to subscribe to your lists by providing something that subscribers desire. To make your value proposition even stronger, create a sense of exclusivity by offering something to your subscribers that they cannot get any other way or through any other channel. Common examples include special offers that are only available through your email list, or being the first to find out about a new product, service or event. It could even be exclusive gifts or giveaways that aren't available to non-subscribers. The bottom line is that email lists shouldn't just repeat what you are already communicating through your website and other social channels. By getting permission to send email to someone's inbox, you need to provide content that is actually worthy of this privilege.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Happy New Year!

Are you resolved to do more with your email in 2016? Find out why email lists and email marketing persist as the most valuable communication channel for all of our audiences, and learn how to make the most of the indispensable tool that email is.

Start doing more with email now because your email matters:
http://www.lsoft.com/flipbooks/emailmatters

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The much-hyped symbiotic relationship between millennials and social media is said to portend the death of email or, at the very least, formidable struggles for organizations without a "strong social presence" with gazillions of followers or that magic mojo to get millennials' eyes off their small screens for a few seconds, much less consider our messages and organizations worthy of thumbs-up emojis.

If you're panicking, you're not alone. But rest assured, the generation with the overused label, people born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s, use email – a lot. And they like it.

Thomas Cook, Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Student, Class of 2016 told us:
"Email is so important in my life now. I get about 100 a day for school, fraternity events, alerts and my Interfraternity Council work. At least 75 are relevant to something I need to focus on during the day."

See what some other millennials we recently spoke with have to say about email's role in their lives, and get some illuminating statistics in this brand new article:
http://lsoft.com/news/millennials-issue4-2015.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

It's probably safe to say that there aren't many actual children running email marketing campaigns. But thinking like a child – that mostly good kid before those trying tween and teen years – can help ground, inspire and energize our email marketing efforts.

1. Ask people to be on your team. Understand that it's ok that everyone won't join. Be a good sport anyway.

It's the first and most essential step. We know it, but it's worth repeating because it goes beyond just the apparent: Ask for permission to email people. In addition to the obvious of never using purchased or rented lists, there are less readily apparent dimensions of being a true permission email marketer. For example, instead of automatically adding people to your subscriber database from a hardcopy signup, for example at an event, send them an invitation that reminds them that they expressed interest at the event and makes it easy to join your list. Only email people who have given their explicit, prior permission for that specific content through double opt-in. And despite your best efforts, naturally, some of your subscribers will want to unsubscribe at some point. Is there a super-easy avenue in every email for people to unsubscribe? For the ones who choose to jump ship, a one-question survey asking them why they left and how you could have done better can give you some good insights. But don't chase people.

2. Get people's attention and stand out in a good way.

People are bombarded with email, so be completely clear and certain about what you're trying to achieve with a given campaign. There's power in that sense of purpose. It will infuse a more dynamic vibe into your messages from the start. Then, put as much effort into your subject line as you do into your main message content. Think of your subject line as the high gate and your message content as the playground that lies behind it, barely in view. If people see the gate and turn back, they'll never be able to discover and much less enjoy the benefits of the playground. If they feel positive emotions or believe they will derive a benefit from what they see and hear at the gate, it will entice them to walk through it by opening your email. Whether you're sending a special offer, an event announcement, an email newsletter, the latest product catalog, or a new white paper or podcast, keep your subject line short and snappy. And where possible, customize subject lines according to your subscribers' preferences and your analytics on their past interactions with your messages. Building on your subject line, craft the body of your message with audience-tailored words, images as you see fit, a clear and easy value proposition and a tone that invokes happy emotions and inspires action.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

As the old adage goes, “It all comes down to people.” Email marketing is no exception because relationships bring results.

As email marketers and communicators, our first responsibility is to respect, protect and engage our subscribers.

Here are 10 simple yet important best practices to foster long-term relationships of trust, which, in turn, will boost your outcomes:

http://www.lsoft.com/resources/emailmarketingcode.asp

And here's a piece on how marketing psychology factors into getting subscribers' attention:

http://www.business2community.com/email-marketing/5-email-hooks-based-marketing-psychology-01055923

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
Manager, Marketing and Sales Communication, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With the rise of newer social media, companies are putting a lot more resources and effort into social media marketing, sometimes at the expense of more established channels like email. But the latest technology is not always the greatest, at least not when it comes to creating lasting relationships with your customers and generating results. Here are five reasons why savvy businesses maintain email marketing as the foundation of their online marketing efforts.

Reach

According to The Radicati Group, a market research firm, there were an estimated 2.5 billion email users worldwide in 2014, with about 4.1 billion active email accounts. There are nearly three times as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. The numbers alone guarantee that you have potential for a much wider reach with your email marketing campaigns than with any social media marketing. Email simply is embedded into most people's daily lives in a way that social media can't match.

Quality

Of course, numbers aren't everything. In order to achieve results, you need to reach people who are receptive to your messages. This is where email shines. A carefully collected list of subscribers who have given permission and opted in to your list ensures that you have quality recipients who actually want to get messages from you. By allowing your subscribers to set their subscription preferences and profiles as part of the sign-up process, you can use this data to finely target and engage your subscribers to offer the most relevant content for each recipient.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Email marketers often wonder about benchmarks and how their open-up and click-through rates stack up against others. While it may sound appealing to be able to do a quick numerical comparison to assess the success of a campaign, this is usually not the most worthwhile exercise because average response rates vary so widely across different industries, organizations and types of campaigns. Instead, the more important focus should be on following a few key best practices to consistently improve the response rates for your particular situation and unique audience. Here are five quick tips to help you do just that.

Acquire Subscribers the Right Way

The most important "to-do" in any type of email marketing is to use double opt-in to ensure that you're getting each and every subscriber's explicit, prior permission for each of your email lists. Don't send marketing email to anyone who hasn't expressly consented to receive your messages, and don't purchase subscriber lists. Sending unsolicited email that puts the onus on the recipient to opt out is simply not worth the spam complaints, erosion of trust, damage to your organization's reputation and loss of the opportunity to engage that person as a subscriber – not to mention the potential legal liabilities. Remember, behind every subscriber count is a group of individual people, each of whom wants control over his or her inbox, a connection with the sender that's built on trust and respect, and content that's relevant and valuable. Include easy paths for people to subscribe to your email lists through your website, newsletter and social channels. Communicate exactly what your list is about, what type of messages the subscriber will receive and how often. Also offer a subscriber preference or profile page at sign-up, allowing your subscribers to specify in detail what types of messages they are interested in. This initial data will serve as a cornerstone for any future segmenting that you do. For additional encouragement and engagement, offer your subscribers specialized incentives, for example exclusive white papers, useful promotional items or discounts that are not available to non-subscribers. And remember to include refer-a-friend opportunities in all of your communication, which will allow your lists to grow virally.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

May is giving way to June, and (above the equator) we are almost into summer. May is a special month because it’s a nice reminder of the importance of permission in our email list communication and email marketing efforts. It's essential to be certain that we are following the “May we …” rules and key best practices to be sure we’re respecting our subscribers at all times.

The most fundamental question, of course, forms the basis of our subscribers’ trust: “May we add you to our email list?”

With the right care, just like May flowers, our relationships with subscribers can bloom to full potential.

So, with "May" in mind, check out L-Soft’s handy 10-point Code of Email Marketing:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/emailmarketingcode.asp

May you have a wonderful weekend!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

One of the more powerful tools that we, as email marketers, have in our arsenals is A/B-split testing. The concept is quite simple and means that you send two or more different versions of a mailing to random splits of your subscribers and compare the response rates to see which version performs better. You can then use these insights to optimize future messages and campaigns. However, to actually obtain meaningful data from A/B-split testing isn't quite as straightforward and requires a little more thought and planning. Here are five simple tips that will help you spend your time more wisely and make the most out of your A/B-split testing.

1. Make sure that you have enough subscribers

Fundamentally, A/B-split testing is based on statistics, probability and sampling. The smaller your sample size is, the larger the likelihood that random statistical noise can influence the data, making it difficult to reach statistically significant conclusions. So the first step before you begin any A/B-split testing is to make sure that you have enough subscribers to actually obtain meaningful data. For example, if your mailing list only has 100 subscribers, hold off on A/B-split testing until you have a larger subscriber base. To illustrate, if you were to send two variants to 50 subscribers each and got a 30 percent open-up rate from the first variant and a 20 percent open-up rate from the second, you might conclude that the first variant was far more successful. However, those percentages are equivalent to just 15 and 10 open-ups respectively -- a difference of 5 -- making it impossible to state with any confidence that the results were directly attributable to the differences between the two variants rather than just random variations. If this is your situation, focus on growing your list of subscribers before you spend serious time on A/B-split testing.

[More ...]


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Dear Subscribers,

L-Soft would like to extend big thanks to you, as members of the EmailRules community, and to all of our customers, list owners, and subscribers.

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate!

We invite you to explore this virtual cornucopia of ways to stay connected and informed:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/optin.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Email discussion lists as we know them today got their start in academia, with Eric Thomas' development of LISTSERV(R) software in 1986. Naturally, the technology has evolved tremendously since then, and newer social media have emerged. Yet the unique ability of opt-in email discussion lists to nurture collaborative research and profession-based knowledge exchange continues to prove itself, day after day, through lists that not only thrive but advance the body of knowledge and sense of community, making a lasting imprint on their respective fields.

We invite you to read two new case studies spotlighting the persistent power and tangible impact of email discussion lists.

Learn how JISCMail enables 1.38 million subscribers in UK education and research to engage, connect, collaborate, discuss, share and champion their work:

http://www.lsoft.com/customers/jiscmail.asp

Discover how FundSvcs, Grand Prize Winner of The Mailys 2013-14, unites and empowers the advancement services profession across 24 countries:

http://www.lsoft.com/customers/fundsvcs.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With the rise of newer social media, companies are putting a lot more resources and effort into social media marketing, sometimes at the expense of more established channels like email. But the latest technology is not always the greatest, at least not when it comes to creating lasting relationships with your customers and generating results. Here are five reasons why savvy businesses maintain email marketing as the foundation of their online marketing efforts.

1. Reach

According to The Radicati Group, a market research firm, there are an estimated 2.5 billion email users worldwide in 2014, with about 4.1 billion active email accounts. There are nearly three times as many email accounts as there are Facebook and Twitter accounts combined. The numbers alone guarantee that you have potential for a much wider reach with your email marketing campaigns than with any social media marketing. Email simply is embedded into most people's daily lives in a way that social media can't match.

2. Quality

Of course, numbers aren't everything. In order to achieve results, you need to reach people who are receptive to your messages. This is where email shines. A carefully collected list of subscribers who have given permission and opted in to your list ensures that you have quality recipients who actually want to get messages from you. By allowing your subscribers to set their subscription preferences and profiles as part of the sign-up process, you can use this data to finely target and engage your subscribers to offer the most relevant content for each recipient.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

If you're in the email marketing business, you may have heard of CASL (Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation), which will go into effect July 1, 2014. This new anti-spam law applies not only to Canadian organizations and companies but to anyone sending commercial email to Canadian subscribers. Failure to comply with CASL comes with stiff penalties.

As opposed to the American CAN-SPAM Act, which allows email marketing messages to be sent to anyone, without permission, until the recipient explicitly requests that they stop, CASL allows commercial email messages to be sent only to those who have given prior consent and explicitly opted in to receive the messages.

Here are three simple tips to help you comply with CASL and other similar anti-spam laws:

Obtain Permission

Always ask for express consent before sending commercial email messages to your contacts. The method of acquiring permission should be explicit and require a positive action like checking a box, typing into a field or clicking a button. Pre-checked boxes should not be used because they assume consent and don't involve a positive action.

Provide Identification

Always clearly identify yourself in the "From" field and use a subject line that accurately describes the content of your message. Also include a valid physical postal address, or a prominent link to a web page containing this information, in every commercial email message that you send. If you are sending email on behalf of another company or organization, both organizations should be identified.

Include an Unsubscribe Mechanism

Make sure that every email that you send contains a prominent and functional mechanism for subscribers to easily opt out from receiving further messages from you. The mechanism can be a link to a web page or an automatically generated URL that allows subscribers to opt out simply by clicking it. Honor all opt-out requests promptly and without delay.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Want an enjoyable read with some strong statistics on email marketing as a thriving channel that delivers results? Here's a recent article from Econsultancy (the title says it all):

Email is not dead. Here are five reasons it's alive and well: https://econsultancy.com/blog/64860-email-is-not-dead-here-are-five-reasons-it-s-alive-and-well

Take a look at how the newest version of LISTSERV Maestro, released last week, meets the challenges of today's email marketers, such as visually comparing results over time to identify trends and problems and enabling the creation of customized reports of all kinds:

http://www.lsoft.com/products/maestro_60.asp

Happy opt-in email marketing!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

L-Soft introduced the industry's only no-compromise solution after Yahoo, followed by AOL, implemented aggressive DMARC policies over the past several weeks that created giant headaches and widespread outcry. With no advance warning, list administrators have had to resort to a variety of circumventions, from giving all Yahoo and AOL subscribers the boot to putting the list address in the "From" field, thus causing all private replies to be broadcast to the list without warning and inviting mail clients to submit out-of-office messages to the entire list.

The solution that LISTSERV(R) Inventor and L-Soft Founder and CEO Eric Thomas created for LISTSERV does not require anyone to make compromises or lose any functionality – not even the Yahoo and AOL subscribers.

"Once you install the update, everything works just like it did before the DMARC debacle; incoming Yahoo and AOL addresses are automatically rewritten to local addresses that can receive private replies and forward them to the original poster," Thomas said.

Find out more:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/2014/listserv160-2014a-us.asp

Read Internet experts' perspectives:

John Levine: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20140408_yahoo_addresses_a_security_problem_by_breaking_every_mailing_list/

John Klensin: http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf/current/msg87777.html

We invite you to share your experience with these recently implemented DMARC p=reject policies, the effects they have had on your email lists and how you have been handling the situation.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The ability to easily unsubscribe from email lists is a key need. Almost all of us can remember a frustrating unsubscribe experience and appreciate being able to leave a list quickly, when we would like to.

The typical placement for the unsubscribe link is at the bottom of each email. To include a sign-off function is not only an email best practice but a legal requirement. Having an easy-to-find unsubscribe link benefits everyone because your subscribers can easily leave a list when their preferences change, and we, as senders, can ensure that our email lists are up-to-date and include people who truly want to receive our messages.

Google announced a new Gmail function, the unsubscribe tool, earlier this year. However, the function itself is not new. For example, Microsoft Outlook webmail already had such an unsubscribe link in the footer of email messages. What's new in Gmail is that the link appears right at the top, on the email header itself. On promotional messages, this gray unsubscribe link is placed directly after the sender. This is a positive step that makes it easy for a subscriber to leave a list when desired. Naturally, it's better for a subscriber to leave a list than click "report as spam", when the sender is reputable and follows email best practices. Gmail's unsubscribe link appears only for senders who have a good reputation and use the "email list-unsubscribe" header settings.

The unsubscribe - or opt-out - function simply needs to be seen and work, whether our subscribers choose to click the link embedded in the header or footer of a web-based email service or to click a prominent unsubscribe link in the message itself. Unsubscribes give us an opportunity to communicate - for example you can customize a nice sign-off confirmation message. The unsubscribe function may look small, but it's an important part of the overall email experience, so it needs care, attention and testing to work successfully. First and last impressions count.

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Dear EmailRules Community,

People around the world have cast more than 18,000 votes for 20 nominated email lists, and the five grand prize finalists, which received the highest percentage of votes in each month of the LISTSERV(R) Choice Awards -- The Mailys -- are now determined:

- DEERHOUND-L, a discussion list for Scottish Deerhound dog breed enthusiasts
- NYCSLIST, a professional networking forum for New York City School Library personnel
- FUNDSVCS, a discussion list for people who run fundraising programs
- GUNROOM, an email community about the world of author Patrick O'Brian
- RECOVERYMEDITATIONS, daily inspirational vignettes for overcoming compulsive eating

While every list runs on LISTSERV software, they represent a wide array of uses of the technology, topics and impacts on their subscribers. Learn more about The Mailys and the nominees and finalists at:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

L-Soft congratulates all the nominated lists and thanks all nominees and voters for participating! Stay tuned to EmailRules and L-Soft’s other communication channels for the winner announcement.

To make it even easier to stay up-to-date, we invite you to explore L-Soft’s brand new website, launched a few days ago, with improvements including a streamlined subscription center, where you can access all of L-Soft's announcement lists, user forums and social media channels in one place. Did you know about the LISTSERV at Work newsletter, which provides the latest product and industry news, or about all of the user forums, offering peer support for getting the most out of your LISTSERV email lists and LISTSERV Maestro email marketing campaigns? Enjoy browsing around, and feel free to share feedback via the icon on the top right corner of all pages.

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Dear EmailRules Community,

While trends come and go with each passing year, study after study shows how email stands the test of time and relevance as the top online marketing tool. Recent McKinsey and Custora research found that, when it comes to growing a customer base, email marketing has a 40-fold edge over Facebook and Twitter combined:
http://www.mckinsey.com/insights/marketing_sales/why_marketers_should_keep_sending_you_emails

Here are a couple other relevant articles:

http://econsultancy.com/blog/64180-seven-super-exciting-predictions-for-boring-old-email-marketing-in-2014

http://venturebeat.com/2014/01/22/65-of-all-email-gets-opened-first-on-a-mobile-device-and-thats-great-news-for-marketers/

Happy New Year of opt-in email communications!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With 2014 upon us, we wanted to wish you a Happy New Year, on behalf of L-Soft staff around the world.

Though each year brings new ideas and innovations, some things seem to be the topic of perennial discussion. To start the new year off with a humorous look at one of our favorites, we invite you to view the social media debate – which tool will rule in 2014?
http://www.lsoft.com/happy2014.html

Thank you for subscribing to EmailRules and for being a part of the L-Soft and LISTSERV community.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

It is the Nobel Prize week in Stockholm, Sweden. As one of the email list nominators to LISTSERV Choice Awards, The Mailys, will win a trip to Stockholm, we wanted to provide you a tour in the city in spirit of the Nobel Prize. Enjoy the December scenes from this Nordic capital here:

http://youtu.be/UxjLHazPa8A

We warmly welcome you to nominate your favorite LISTSERV email list to the Mailys before nominations close on December 31. Read more about The Mailys and nominate here:

http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing

P.S. To see more highlights from the Nobel Week visit the Nobel Prize website:
http://www.nobelprize.org/


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Are there certain kinds of information that you would be thankful for -- or already appreciate receiving -- from your city or town? Email newsletters, discussion communities and alerts on topics of each of our choosing can help us to get better informed of what's happening in and around town and feel more involved with the areas where we live. This makes our everyday lives easier. This is probably why many municipal governments are using email list technology to engage and empower residents and improve governmental operations within and across agencies and departments.

We invite you to come to Email City and click around for information and inspiration on just a sampling of how email list communications connect and benefit everyday citizens and local government leaders and staff.

http://www.lsoft.com/products/listserv_citygov.asp

Enjoy your visit, and please feel free to share the Email City resource with colleagues and friends who work in municipal government, public schools, community associations and other relevant entities. Thank you!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

L-Soft is always looking to improve its website to make it as user-friendly, informative and effective as possible for our visitors. We invite you to be among the first to preview the new website and provide feedback to help improve it. We are especially interested in your opinions, as email list communicators, on how well the new website meets your needs. The preview site is fully functional, and you can browse around as much as you would like. Click on the "Give Feedback" icon to share any comments or suggestions for improvement. As a thank-you gift for your time and effort, we will send you a timeless LISTSERV t-shirt.

Visit the preview site:
http://preview.lsoft.com/

Thank you, and we look forward to your feedback!

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
L-Soft Webmaster


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The life-threatening illness they face. The challenges of their profession's daily work. The dog breed they love. When it comes to connecting people around a common interest or need, nothing beats email.

"Email has been woven into our day-to-day lives for so long, and email lists give a depth to the discussions that the newer social media simply can't," said Eric Thomas, L-Soft Founder and CEO, who invented the industry-pioneering LISTSERV(R) email list software in 1986. "So it's no surprise that for the daily needs and wants for information, connection, support and community – personal and professional – that all of us have as human beings, we keep returning to our inboxes."

Which email lists make your professional or personal life easier or better? Which lists stand out in your inbox? L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards – The Mailys – recognize opt-in email lists that make a difference. Check out the email lists currently nominated and nominate your favorite email list – including discussion communities, newsletters and announcements – today to give it the best chances of becoming a finalist for the grand prize. One randomly selected nominator will win a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, home of L-Soft’s European HQ and a meeting with Eric. And a representative of the grand prize winning list will also meet with Eric.

Nominate to The Mailys:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceform.asp

See nominees, vote, learn more:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The public voting to determine the five finalists eligible for the grand prize in The Mailys 2013 has now started. As you may already know, in any given month, the nominated list that receives the highest number of votes will become that month's finalist. Five different finalists will be selected, one for each month of voting: September, October, November and December 2013 and January 2014.

Nine lists have been nominated so far. Spread the word and vote for your favorite lists among the nominees. You can vote once every 24 hours, so as the saying goes, vote early and vote often!

Vote:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choicevote.asp

If you are subscribed to a great LISTSERV list but don't see it among the nominees, nominate it! Nominations are accepted until December 31, so nominate today to make sure that your favorite list gets maximum exposure. And remember, everyone who nominates a new, qualified list is entered into a random drawing for a chance to win a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, home of L-Soft.

Nominate:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceform.asp

The LISTSERV Choice Awards, also known as "The Mailys", began in 2004 and is a unique, worldwide recognition program that honors outstanding email lists. The program is currently in its eighth year. All LISTSERV mailing lists, including announcement lists, newsletters, discussion groups and email communities are eligible, and everyone can nominate an interesting list.

For more information about the competition, including rules and prizes, visit:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula,
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The three most popular web-based email services have been busy improving usability by streamlining the interface, upgrading functions and integrating additional services, such as voice-over-IP. One of the recent trends aims to help users keep their in-boxes in control.

Google launched a tabbed Gmail in-box. It filters the incoming messages under five different content categories: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums.

Microsoft's Outlook.com also offers functions to automate the in-box. For example, the set of sweep functions includes: Move, Delete, Unsubscribe and Schedule Clean-Ups.

Yahoo! Mail introduced a new interface to its users this year and announced that it will recycle abandoned email addresses. If your email list has lot of Yahoo! Mail addresses, you may want to read this Word to the Wise blog post "Yahoo retiring user IDs: why you shouldn't worry<http://blog.wordtothewise.com/2013/06/yahoo-retiring-user-ids-why-you-shouldnt-worry/>".

As these new functions emerge, they change the behavior of the subscribers and recipients. So there are implications for us, as email senders. The key is to monitor email performance and see if the email metrics change significantly.

When our messages are expected, relevant and interesting and there is prior permission and an existing sender-recipient relationship, the recipient is likely to find and filter the messages to a preferred tab, folder or in-box for reading.

Yet when preferences change, it is very important to have a clear, visible and working unsubscribe function at the end of each message. This way, the recipients who wish to unsubscribe can do so directly and promptly. This also saves, for example, one round of Outlook asking the sender to unsubscribe the recipient -- or the worse alternative, the recipient blocking and filtering the future messages as spam.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With the growth of smartphone technology, sending successful HTML newsletters has become an increasingly complex endeavor in recent years. In the past, it was usually enough for senders to test their newsletters on the most common webmail and desktop email clients. Now, however, with an increasing number of people using mobile phones as their device of choice to read email, it's more important than ever to optimize HTML email for smaller screens.

For an introduction to responsive design, published in the latest issue of LISTSERV at Work, visit:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/responsive-issue2-2013.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula,
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Since LISTSERV was invented in 1986, people have been connected for communication and collaboration -- professional, academic and personal -- on email lists. Which messages stand out and shine in your inbox? We invite you to nominate to The Mailys 2013. Feel free to nominate email lists that help you professionally, increase your knowledge, give you networking opportunities, provide support -- make your life easier in any way. We look forward to nominations of email lists of all types that bring value to their subscribers.

And new for this year, anyone submitting a new, qualified nomination of a LISTSERV list or LISTSERV Maestro campaign will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a trip to Stockholm, Sweden, home of L-Soft.

Nominate:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula,
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Is there a difference between LISTSERV® and an email list? How about between LISTSERV and other email list management products?

Yes! LISTSERV is a software application that runs opt-in email lists, including discussion lists, newsletters, announcement lists and email marketing campaigns ... all types of permission-based mailing lists.

In 1986, Eric Thomas dreamed of solving a problem. The result: He programmed LISTSERV software. Eric began his own company 20 years ago to develop LISTSERV further and to employ people to provide, among other services, excellent customer support. There are other competing solutions, but the LISTSERV brand from L-Soft is truly the first and only pioneering email list manager.

Read more about our guidelines for proper use of the term LISTSERV®:
http://lsoft.com/corporate/trademark.asp

Happy World Intellectual Property Day (www.wipo.int/ipday) from L-Soft!

Best Regards,

Susan Brown Faghani,
L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

It's exciting to announce today that the grand prize winner in L-Soft's LISTSERV(R) Choice Awards -- The Mailys -- 2012 is The Recovery Group's (TRG) THEBIGBOOK study list.

Founded in 1995, TRG runs more than 100 LISTSERV(R) lists focused on helping people recover from eating disorders using the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.

“The Big Book list hosts an online study each year. Beginning in January, we study the first 150 pages of The Big Book, which the original members of Alcoholics Anonymous wrote. Many think of the Big Book as an 'instruction manual for addicts' and the facts are that addiction has no boundaries. Food just happens to be our 'drug of choice'," said Linda Smallwood, Coordinator of THEBIGBOOK. "Our LISTSERV list has archives going back to 1999. Each leader's share, as well as the responses to the daily assignments are there, where they can be read for years to come by those who struggle with eating disorders all over the world. TRG's Founder, Mari, the Executive Committee, and I, on behalf of all the members of The Recovery Group, want to thank Eric (L-Soft Founder and CEO and LISTSERV inventor), the jury and everyone at L-Soft for selecting us as the winner. “

Congratulations to TRG, THEBIGBOOK study list, the other top five finalists -- GUNROOM, TRG's WORKING THE STEPS (WTS) and RECOVERYMEDITATIONS lists and WORLDWIDEWORDS -- and to all nominated lists. Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted in this year's awards program.

Full coverage of THEBIGBOOK's work and the announcement of the opening of nominations in The Mailys 2013 will be coming soon. If you're not already subscribed to L-Soft's LISTSERV at Work newsletter, the primary channel for news on The Mailys, tech tips, product releases, industry news and other updates, visit the opt-in center to learn more and subscribe: http://www.lsoft.com/contact/optin.asp

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Subscribers,

Hope your 2013 is off to a great start! Making this year an even better opt-in email year than last year is in focus.

Whether you're running LISTSERV(R), with or without the Maestro add-on, licensed or hosted, you want to get the best possible performance and results from your email list solutions. Here are some to-do checklists and resources to skate into the new year with confidence.

http://www.lsoft.com/news/checklist-issue5-2012.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Going mobile is where email is going. Are you keeping up?

Get technical and non-technical tips on how to better reach your subscribers in an increasingly mobile world. Check out a brand new article from L-Soft expert Ben Parker, which begins:

"You've got mail ... on your computer, on your tablet, on your phone. Email messages today simply aren't what they used to be."

Read "Computers, Tablets and Phones - The Changing State of Email" in the latest issue of LISTSERV at Work:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/changing-issue4-2012.asp

Happy Holidays and Happy Email Mobil-ization!

Best Regards,
Jani Kumpula,
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Keeping our subscribers subscribed … it may sound simple, but it’s not easy.

And even when using the foundational double opt-in practice, it can be all-too-easy to spook our subscribers with email that crosses into the gray zone of too frequent, not relevant, not quite what they think they signed up for, unclear opt-out instructions, the list goes on.

It’s essential that subscribers subscribe and stay subscribed to our email list communications because they want to receive and – even better – interact with our content. And respecting, trusting, getting to know and never spamming the people who make the effort to sign up for our newsletters, discussion lists, announcements or email communities is the cornerstone.

Check out these resources on keeping the relationship you have with subscribers always sweet and never scary. And feel free to share any subscriber retention tips or experiences.

http://lsoft.com/resources/optinlaws.asp

http://www.dmnews.com/getting-to-yes-yes-double-opt-in-as-a-power-practice/article/99132/

Tre@t, don't trick! Happy Halloween!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The voting that will determine the last of the five finalists in The Mailys 2012 closes August 31st at 6 p.m. Central European Time. So be sure to cast your final vote now!

And have fun testing your email list knowledge by answering the quiz question. Choose the correct response, and you may even win the random drawing for an L-Soft prize, including LISTSERV t-shirts, tote bags and commemorative pins.

Vote and enter the quiz drawing:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choicevote.asp

Thanks to all who have nominated, voted and participated in The Mailys 2012 and congratulations to all the nominees and finalists!

Best Regards,

Susan Brown Faghani, on behalf of the LISTSERV(R) Choice Awards -- The Mailys -- Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The LISTSERV(R) Choice Awards – The Mailys – 2012 are in high gear, with three of the five finalists for grand prize consideration determined: World Wide Words, The Gunroom, and Working the Steps and less than a week left to nominate. We enthusiastically invite your participation, as EmailRules community members. Would you like to see a great LISTSERV email list list in the running for the grand prize? Nominate by July 31st and give it an opportunity to qualify!

Each month of the competition, the nominated list receiving the highest number of votes that hasn’t already qualified as a finalist becomes that month's finalist. All finalists receive a certificate signed by LISTSERV inventor and L-Soft founder and CEO Eric Thomas. And winning the August vote is all it takes to qualify for grand prize consideration.

Nominate here:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceform.asp

Learn more, see previous winners, and check out the prizes:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

As EmailRules community members, you are welcome to nominate your own lists and to spread the word about the awards to your list subscribers. Looking forward to your award nominations! Remember, lists nominated by July 31st will be added to the ballot – so nominate today. Thank you!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, on behalf of LISTSERV Choice Awards – The Mailys – Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

As permission-based email communicators and marketers, we have tracking and reporting as our keys and flashlights, opening doors to understanding our subscribers' interests and showing us the way to delivering the most meaningful content possible, on our subscribers' terms.

L-Soft customers currently running LISTSERV(R) software can now add these subscriber engagement features quickly and easily with LISTSERV Maestro One. Introduced this month, LISTSERV Maestro One is a single-dataset communication manager based on a compact user interface with a quick learning curve.

More information:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/issue2-2012.asp

Feel free to post your subscriber engagement tips, challenges and successes. And in the meantime, here's a roundup of some best practice resources:

Respect, Protect, Engage:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/emailmarketingcode.asp

Discover 12 Tips for Email List Communication:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/stellaremailtips.asp

Opt-In Laws in the US and EU:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/optinlaws.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

People subscribe to different email lists for different reasons. And many subscribe to multiple lists, motivated by perceived benefits, a limited sampling of which may include:

- Getting professional tips and information
- Accessing support with products or services that they use
- Saving money through special offers from favorite retailers
- Supporting a cause
- Discussing health, lifestyle and parenting issues
- Enjoying a particular activity or hobby

Whether subscribing to a library science professional association's email newsletter, a discussion list for parents of children with cerebral palsy, an announcement list for university alumni local events, or an email community of runners, subscribers and prospective subscribers seek content that's relevant to their lives.

Did you know that there's a tool to find a LISTSERV® email list on just about any topic you can imagine?

L-Soft's CataList database indexes tens of thousands of public LISTSERV® email lists. Just click "Search," enter your topic of choice and see what you find:

http://www.lsoft.com/catalist.html

And keep in mind that searching the archives of email lists gives access to a rich source of information -- both for list members and even for one-time research on a question.

Enjoy discovering new email lists, and remember, in addition to relevant content, the respect and trust earned through opt-in best practices, are the foundation of outstanding email lists that attract and retain subscribers.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The Mailys 2012 are off to a fantastic start, with more LISTSERV(R) lists nominated in the first month than ever before -- 16 to be exact.

See the amazing array of topics covered by the nominated lists and cast your votes before the April voting contest closes tonight and the vote counters are reset.

Vote:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choicevote.asp

If your favorite list isn't among the nominations, be sure to nominate by Tuesday, May 1st, so that your list will be posted from the very beginning for the May voting contest.

Nominate:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceform.asp

Looking forward to your participation in the LISTSERV Choice Awards -- The Mailys.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, on behalf of L-Soft Awards Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Do you manage or know of a great email list or email marketing campaign run on L-Soft’s LISTSERV(R) or LISTSERV Maestro software? Then here's a chance for email list communication stars to shine. As an EmailRules subscriber, you are encouraged to submit nominations to L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards, also known as "The Mailys".

Nominate here:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceform.asp

Launched in 2004, the competition is the only recognition program honoring the most interesting, creative, innovative or exemplary usage of LISTSERV and LISTSERV Maestro email list solutions.

Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know:

- All LISTSERV email lists and LISTSERV Maestro email marketing campaigns (including email newsletters, announcement lists and discussion groups) are eligible. Self nominations from email list owners and email marketing campaign directors are welcome.

- Polls open April 1 and close August 31, 2012 – so be sure to get your nomination in by this Friday so that it's included from the start and has the most chances at winning a monthly voting contest to qualify as one of the five finalists for grand prize consideration.

- In any given month, the nominated list that receives the highest number of votes and has not already qualified as a finalist will become that month's finalist. Five different finalists will be selected, one per month of voting, and will advance to the jury for grand prize consideration.

- Nominating a list is easy and takes just a couple of minutes. Nominators will receive an L-Soft promotional item of their choice, with options including t-shirts and tote bags, and the first person to nominate a particular list will receive a limited-edition LISTSERV 25th Anniversary commemorative pin. Each nominated list will also receive a special "Nominated" star web logo. Remember, voting opens April 1st, so nominate now!

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Subscribers,

Delivering life-changing and even life-saving information to thousands of people is all in a day's work for the LISTSERV® email communities that won L-Soft's 2011 LISTSERV Choice Awards – The Mailys.

L-Soft honored the powerful efforts and profound results of The Kidney Cancer Online Support Group (KIDNEY-ONC) and BELG-L, a community of Belgian Shepherd owners, naming each email list as a grand prize winner in its global competition.

Regardless of their topics – whether serious or fun or somewhere in between -- and despite the growth of newer social media, email communities are going strong. KIDNEY-ONC List Owner Robin K. Martinez shares an insight as to why:

"The information on the 'talk-based' social media is ephemeral; it can be valuable but may not be easy to locate again if you need it because it's not archived. Email also offers the immediacy of social media, so to me it's the best of both worlds."

On Tuesday, we published full coverage of the award-winning email communities, and we invite you to learn more and be inspired by their work:

View KIDNEY-ONC and BELG-L case studies:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choicewinners.asp

View tips from the award-winning list owners:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choicewinners-tips.asp

Learn more and nominate to The Mailys 2012:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With the first month of 2012 behind us, it's an ideal time to make sure that we, as email marketers, are doing everything we can to respect, protect and engage our subscribers. We encourage you to take a look at a set of simple, yet essential email marketing best practices to use as a road map going forward.

The Code of Email Marketing:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/emailmarketingcode.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

We wish you a happy new year and thank you for being an EmailRules subscriber. Please enjoy our annual greeting, featuring 12 tips for stellar email list communication in 2012.

http://www.lsoft.com/happy2012.html

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, on behalf of L-Soft Marketing Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

We invite you to watch the inaugural video in our brand new video series, "ET on IT = No-Hype Insights from the Guy Who Wrote LISTSERV(R)."

In this video Eric Thomas, LISTSERV Inventor and L-Soft Founder and CEO, discusses cloud computing.

Watch video:
http://youtu.be/l5caGqoVoLo

Enjoy the video, and please feel free to share your comments and suggestions for future topics on the YouTube page.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, on behalf of the L-Soft Marketing Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

In Europe we moved the clocks back this past weekend, and the United

States is following suit now on Sunday. The end of the year is certainly

near and gives us the opportunity to reflect back and ahead. As email

marketers, following best email practices as the industry evolves is

always important. So what are the most essential pieces in a "code of

conduct" for email marketers? For inspiration, see the classic points below.

What would you add, change or remove?


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Eric Thomas, inventor of LISTSERV® software, which launched the email list industry in 1986, hosted a live chat and videocast on September 15th. The event was part of a worldwide online party celebrating the 25th anniversary of LISTSERV, which Thomas developed as a university student.

You can view the chat transcript here and watch a new video, in which you'll hear Eric reflect on 25 years of LISTSERV software and give a sneak peek of the next version.

View Chat Transcript:
http://www.lsoft.com/chat/livechat.asp

Watch Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dDIIDEKsw0

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

To celebrate a quarter-century of the software that pioneered permission email list communication, L-Soft would like to invite you as EmailRules subscribers to pre-submit questions for LISTSERV® inventor and L-Soft Founder and CEO Eric Thomas to answer during a live chat to be held Thursday, September 15.

Here is your chance to ask all the questions you ever wanted to know about LISTSERV and email lists but were afraid to ask. Have you ever wondered why Eric invented LISTSERV? Are you curious how LISTSERV has changed over the years? Do you want to know what some of the very first LISTSERV lists were? Are you interested to hear Eric's vision of the next quarter-century of LISTSERV and the permission email industry? Just Ask!

By pre-submitting questions, you will be placed in the priority queue, which will increase the odds that your question will be answered during the live event.

To submit questions, visit:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/livechat.asp

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
Senior Webmaster/User Interface Designer
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Polls closed August 31st and all five finalists in the LISTSERV® Choice Awards – The Mailys – 2011 are now determined. The following LISTSERV email lists, each of which won one of the monthly public voting contests, have qualified for grand prize consideration:

April Finalist: IWETEL
May Finalist: BELG-L
June Finalist: SHOWDOGS-L
July Finalist: KIDNEY-ONC
August Finalist: WORDS-L

LISTSERV email list subscribers and enthusiasts cast a total of 39,159 votes during the five months the polls were open.

Learn more about The Mailys and see vote totals here: http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

The L-Soft jury and Founder and CEO and LISTSERV® inventor Eric Thomas will select the grand prize winner based on information provided by the nominators as well as the award jury's research. Judges will analyze content, email list activity, subscriber involvement, functionality, overall concept and innovative and effective use of LISTSERV technology with an eye to the overall success and benefit of the list. The grand prize winner will be announced in the fall of 2011.

Congratulations to all the finalists and to all nominated email lists! Thank you to everyone who nominated and voted in this year's contest.

Meanwhile, the LISTSERV 25th Anniversary online party, featuring the Ask the Inventor live chat and videocast with Eric, is right around the corner on September 15th!

Be sure to submit your live chat questions for Eric:

http://www.lsoft.com/news/livechat.asp

And visit the LISTSERV 25th Anniversary disco-tech party room to find out online party time for your area, enjoy a visual tour of a quarter century of LISTSERV and more (including a few surprises):

http://www.lsoft.com/listserv25years

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With email communication best practices as important as ever, here are some timely resources on the daily business of email:

New video from US Federal Trade Commission on complying with the CAN-SPAM Act:
http://business.ftc.gov/multimedia/videos/complying-can-spam-act

Table with US and EU basic legal requirements and email marketing best practice checklists:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/optinlaws.asp

L-Soft is a proponent of explicit prior recipient permission, also known as opt-in, and strongly recommends double opt-in, even if this is not required by legislation. Double opt-in made its industry debut with the 1993 version of L-Soft's LISTSERV(R) software. The first spam filter followed in the 1995 LISTSERV software release.

As always, we welcome you to share your experiences and insights as opt-in email list communicators.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The 25th Anniversary of LISTSERV® is in full swing, and we invite you to celebrate with L-Soft.

The date is now set for the videocast and live chat with Eric Thomas, L-Soft Founder and CEO, who developed LISTSERV software in 1986. The live chat will be on September 15, 2011, at 12 noon U.S. Eastern Time, with people tuning in online from anniversary parties around the world.

Please visit the LISTSERV 25 disco-tech party room on the newly designed L-Soft website to:
• View a one-minute video welcome by Eric
• Register for the online party: Deadline August 25
• Submit your live chat questions for Eric
• Experience The Story of LISTSERV
• Share your LISTSERV story and get a special commemorative item
• Check out special offers
… and more – with a few surprises to be found!

Check out the party room: http://www.lsoft.com/news/listserv25years.asp

We warmly welcome all of you, as EmailRules community members, and your colleagues to join the celebration of a quarter-century of the software that pioneered opt-in email list communication. Thank you!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Did you know that 2011 marks a quarter-century of LISTSERV(R) software?

We invite all EmailRules Community members to share your LISTSERV stories with us.

What’s your LISTSERV story? Were you there since the beginning when LISTSERV was invented by Eric Thomas in 1986? Are you new to LISTSERV? Is there a particular LISTSERV list that is beneficial to you or your work?

We welcome all perspectives and submissions – you can share quotes or even longer testimonials, photos, video or audio files, anecdotes, email messages from long ago – just about anything that tells your LISTSERV story. We're leaving it open-ended, so you can submit whatever you would like to commemorate the 25th anniversary. Selected stories will be featured in a special LISTSERV at Work newsletter edition this month. And as a thank-you gift, you will receive a commemorative LISTSERV 25th anniversary collectible.

Submit LISTSERV Story: http://www.lsoft.com/news/listserv25years.asp

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

2011 is the year LISTSERV(R) -- the first program to automate email list management -- turns 25. LISTSERV software was originally created in 1986 by Eric Thomas, then an engineering student in Paris, now the Founder and CEO of L-Soft. The official anniversary date is June 23rd, and special prize giveaways, calls for your LISTSERV stories and many more opportunities to celebrate are beginning in May.

We encourage EmailRules community members to keep up-to-date on the latest news and activities:

Bookmark or subscribe to EmailBits, our new microblog: http://community.emailogy.com/scripts/wa-COMMUNITY.exe?A0=EMAILBITS

Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/listserv

Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/lsoftlistserv

Subscribe to LISTSERV at Work newsletter: http://www.lsoft.com/news/newsletter-us.asp

Meanwhile, we invite you to travel through a quarter-century of LISTSERV with the new timeline: http://www.lsoft.com/corporate/history_listserv.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Do you manage or know of a great email list or email marketing campaign run on L-Soft’s LISTSERV® or LISTSERV Maestro software? Then here's a chance for email list communication stars to shine. As an EmailRules subscriber, you are encouraged to submit nominations to L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards, also known as "The Mailys".

Nominate here:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceform.asp

Now in its sixth year, the competition is the only recognition program honoring the most interesting, creative, innovative or exemplary usage of LISTSERV mailing list technology. 2011 is a particularly exciting competition year because it's the year LISTSERV® software turns 25!

Here's a quick rundown of what you need to know:

- All LISTSERV email lists and LISTSERV Maestro email marketing campaigns (including email newsletters, announcement lists and discussion groups) are eligible. Self nominations from email list owners and email marketing campaign directors are welcome.

- Nominating a list is easy and takes just a couple minutes. Everyone who nominates a new list and submits a valid, completed nomination form to L-Soft will receive an L-Soft promotional item of their choice, including t-shirts and tote bags.

- Polls open April 1 and close August 31, 2011 -- so be sure to get your nomination in by this Thursday so that it's included from the start of the always-exciting public voting that determines the award finalists.

- In any given month, the nominated list that receives the highest number of votes and has not already qualified as a finalist will become that month's finalist. Five different finalists will be selected, one per month of voting, and will advance to the jury for grand prize consideration.

[More ...]


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Dear Email Rules Community,

The Research Administration Discussion List (RESADM-L), the 2010 Grand Prize Winner of L-Soft’s LISTSERV® Choice Awards – The Mailys – is an outstanding example of how profession-based email list communities benefit subscribers in their day-to-day work, training, and career development while building the body of knowledge in a given field.

With inspiration from and congratulations to RESADM-L, here we offer some key ingredients for strong and successful email discussion communities – of any size – and the terrific results these communities can accomplish.

Ingredients: What Strong Professional Email List Communities Need

- Professionals with shared interest, who use email
- Searchable online web archives
- No clutter, spam, advertisement
- Focus
- Quality membership, developed over time
- Generous and sharing list culture
- Knowledgeable person who is responsible for maintaining the email list

Results: What Successful Professional Email List Communities Can Achieve

- Network of connections for timely problem-solving, sharing of expertise
- Wider perspectives and collaboration, including advice to help save time, money, and stress, while increasing revenues or memberships
- Shared knowledge and development of field, with searchable online archives as a standing resource and reference to help professionals do their jobs more effectively and advance the body of knowledge in the profession
- Professional development, encompassing jobs/career opportunities and training and development resources, including support for certification processes in fields that have them
- Sense of community and sense of belonging among peers, strengthening the profession as a whole

To learn more about RESADM-L, including gaining additional insights from its list owner and getting first-hand perspective from subscribers on the benefits of this LISTSERV email discussion community, read the case study and subscriber testimonials:

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The Internet is constantly developing and has become a place where users are searching for experiences rather than just information. This means that our customers, members and subscribers want fast results and high usability -- without needing to learn complex and technical systems. In order to create successful email marketing campaigns that result in strong recipient experiences, the email marketer has to be able to handle design and layout challenges, while keeping email integrity a top priority, especially when it comes to permission.

It is also wise to start focusing on mobile-optimized websites. While smart mobile devices are able to handle web displays, a more positive user experience can be delivered if the site is streamlined for these smaller displays. In addition, specialized and dedicated applications or "apps" for mobile internet access are on the rise and will continue to become even more mainstream.

The web experience is, without a doubt, increasingly extending beyond personal computers to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet computers. In the year ahead, email marketing will take an essential role in an environment where more and more potential customers are reading their email. Social media users are becoming more mobile, and with this, we are seeing more interaction between social media and email.

Not only is it time to consider how websites can be best developed to meet the needs of users who are navigating with their fingertips but future email design will also be influenced more by mobile devices, and the gap between computer email and mobile email will continue to close. As this arena grows, small businesses are starting -- or will need to start -- designing email marketing campaigns for mobile phones. However, in order to design successful email marketing campaigns for mobile devices, as savvy email marketers, we also need to consider a few areas where email for personal computers and mobile devices differ:

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Happy Holidays! With permission always in season, we would like to share L-Soft's brand new music video on YouTube: Pyre of Spam, by Permission Man.

Just who is Permission Man? Reveal the mystery and discover his in-box liberating superheroics today:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNdFyFwzupY

And for a bonus holiday surprise:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcGida7lYjc

If you enjoy the videos, please comment on or "like" them within YouTube. Feel free to spread the word by sharing the videos with colleagues, friends and family via email, Facebook and other social media. And we invite you to subscribe to our YouTube channel and Facebook page:

http://www.youtube.com/user/LSoftLISTSERV

http://www.facebook.com/pages/LISTSERV/52566892488

Happy New Year from L-Soft, and best wishes for a 2011 of heroic efforts to defeat spam and defend permission email.

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With email marketers and communicators looking to 2011, it's important to keep current with the latest anti-spam legislation. Recently, the Canadian government reintroduced legislation to reduce spam, the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act (FISA). FISA is anticipated for possible passage into law by the end of this year.

Meanwhile, you can find some useful information by visiting:
http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/ecic-ceac.nsf/eng/h_gv00567.html

FISA implementation tips and details about how this new legislation compares to CAN-SPAM are available at:
http://www.thindata.com/aboutus/resourcecenter/fisa/pdf/The_Marketers_Guide_to_Applying_FISA.pdf

Best Regards and Happy Holidays,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

This past week, spam has received quite a bit of media coverage -- and it's been good news: Spam decreased in October.

For email marketers and email list communicators, spam -- which is a serious crime -- rears its ugly head in several major ways:

- Erroneous filtering of our legitimate email as spam and the sender blocks resulting from it
- Negative contribution to public perception of email marketing
- Constant need for vigilance against spam attacks

Naturally, all of these areas require resource commitments: money, time and people power. But despite the recent drop, spam isn't going away, and spammers continue to find ways to continue what they do.

Did you know that L-Soft's LISTSERV(R) software introduced the industry's first spam filter in 1995? L-Soft has always been an active supporter of explicit prior recipient permission, opt-in, and strongly recommends double opt-in, even if this is not required under the governing law.

Here are some selected resources on the topic:

New York Times on Spamit investigation: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/business/27spam.html?_r=1&ref=business

Spam Volume Index data showing drop in spam: http://labs.m86security.com/2010/10/spam-volumes-drop-after-spamit-shakeup/

L-Soft Resources on Opt-In Laws: http://www.lsoft.com/resources/optinlaws.asp

By keeping up on the latest news about spam and maintaining double opt-in best practices with every single message, email list communicators and marketers fight the good fight against spam and uphold the integrity and strength of the industry.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With the initial mailings of L-Soft's new Le Sac LISTSERV tote bags completed over the past few months, the totes are making appearances around the globe.

We invite you, as EmailRules community members, to win your very own tote bag by participating in our "Where is Le Sac LISTSERV?" contest. Simply guess the location of the totes pictured, and we will send you your own Le Sac.

Enter contest: http://www.lsoft.com/contact/WhereisLeSac.asp?id=930

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft Marketing


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Dear EmailRules Community,

There have been many comparisons made between email list communication and social media channels in recent times, with some journalists even having declared email dead at various points. Rather than viewing it as an "either-or" proposition, it is helpful to look at the different needs and audiences served by each communication tool, particularly when contrasting email discussion lists and email communities with social media. There are many interesting differences to observe as well as some commonalities. Overall, email lists are a communication solution that fosters focused exchange of knowledge and support within a closed group of known subscribers. Microblogging, on the other hand, supports brief, frequent updates while social media platforms enable less structured ad-hoc musings to be shared. The audience of social media tends to include more casual followers, many of whom are unknown to the publisher. As for content, email lists support virtually any length and type, while social media is more tailored to shorter exchanges in a more rigid format. Each tool has its own value and benefits to users, so integration is key (see the EmailRules archives from April 2010 for tips).

Here's a link to a relevant new article in Slate magazine, for which the author interviewed L-Soft Founder and CEO and LISTSERV(R) inventor Eric Thomas:

The Joy of Listservs
One of the Internet's earliest innovations is still one of its best
Slate, Farhad Manjoo, August 5, 2010

http://www.slate.com/id/2262954/pagenum/all

The article is also posted to the L-Soft Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/LISTSERV/52566892488

We invite you to share your experiences and insights regarding using email lists and social media to achieve your organization’s goals and how they differ in message tailoring and audience reach.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Many HTML-savvy designers find themselves frustrated when building HTML newsletters for the first time. Creating HTML content for browsers, which enjoy relatively good HTML standards support, is very different than creating HTML for email clients, where HTML support is much more sketchy. Despite all of this, designing successful HTML newsletters doesn't have to be a major challenge as long as we follow a few key guidelines.

1. Realize that HTML for email is different

The first step is to come to terms with the fact that building HTML for web browsers is different than building HTML for email clients. While email clients have seen some progress in HTML standards support, many are still years behind web browsers. This means that when coding HTML for email clients, it's important to keep the design simple. The more complex your design, the more likely that it will break in some of the less HTML-proficient email clients. Forget about using cutting-edge HTML and CSS. Instead, code your HTML newsletters as you would have ten years ago. In other words, use table-based designs and inline CSS rather than floating <div> blocks and CSS-based positioning.

2. Design for the lowest common denominator

There are dozens of email clients with varying support for HTML standards. It's your job as an HTML designer to make a judgment call on which ones to support based on your subscriber base. After you have decided on a baseline, design your HTML newsletters for the worst performing email client, or the lowest common denominator. This will ensure that your HTML newsletters will render acceptably for the majority of your subscribers. As you advance, if you want to use more complex HTML and CSS, test this code against your lowest common denominator to ensure that the results are still acceptable. Creating HTML for email clients involves a certain amount of trial-and-error. The key is to start simple and advance later as you learn more about each email client's idiosyncrasies.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Following email marketing best practices is paramount to successfully connecting with your subscribers and nurturing long-term relationships. Regardless of whether you are just starting out with email marketing or have experience in the area, you need to earn the trust of your subscribers and to provide relevant content to the right recipients at the right time. Let's outline the Top 10 best practices that will increase your email marketing success.

1. Always ask for permission before you send

Never send any email without permission. Many countries have laws against unsolicited mass mailings. In addition to potential legal problems, blacklisting and loss of your reputation, sending unsolicited email just makes people angry. Always obtain clear, verifiable permission through a double opt-in subscription procedure. Keep an accurate audit of how and when you received permission from your subscribers as some people forget that they signed up to receive information. To connect, we must earn trust. To earn trust, we must respect. To gain respect, we must ask for permission.

2. Let subscribers know up front what to expect

Clearly explain the types and frequency of your messages on your signup page and stick to your word. It's also a good idea to send an automated and well thought-out welcome message with instructions and expectations as part of the subscription process. This is not an area for cutting corners or taking chances that a message is "close enough" to what a subscriber has requested. If you send unrelated messages to your subscribers or inundate their inboxes, you will not only lose many of your subscribers but also your reputation and people's trust.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

EmailRules subscribers are encouraged to submit nominations to L-Soft's
LISTSERV Choice Awards, also known as "The Mailys," for 2009-10. Now in
its fifth year, the awards honor the most successful, beneficial and
exemplary usage of email lists. All types of lists are eligible to
participate, provided that LISTSERV or LISTSERV Maestro technology is
used.

Eleven lists are currently nominated and available for online voting
until July 1, 2010. There is active voting in progress, leading up to
the determination of the three top lists in the public voting stage.

So far we have not received a LISTSERV Maestro email marketing campaign
nomination in this year's competition -- will yours be the first?

Nominations will remain open until June 1, 2010, at 6 p.m. Central
European Time. So please be sure to take a moment to nominate your
favorite LISTSERV email list or LISTSERV Maestro campaign (including
your own).

Nominations that include a valid postal mailing address will receive a
brand new L-Soft tote bag. Your nomination could be the one to walk the
virtual red carpet in this year's awards.

Nominate here today:
http://www.lsoft.com/awards.asp

Thank you and best regards,

Susan Brown Faghani,
On behalf of the LISTSERV(R) Choice Awards, The Mailys, Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

More and more organizations are taking an active interest in social media marketing and integrating social media technologies with their existing email communities and email marketing platforms. Social media marketing generally focuses on creating content that generates online discussions and encourages readers to share the content with their social networks. The main benefit of social media marketing is that it can significantly extend the reach of your message as people share it with their social media connections. As the message spreads from person to person, it is possible to reach a number of people that far surpasses what is possible through traditional email marketing alone. Here are three simple, concrete tips for leveraging social media to expand your target audience.

* Make it easy for readers to share your content with their social networks *

When creating content, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your readers to share it with their social networks. There are several free social bookmarking and sharing services, such as AddThis and ShareThis, offering widgets that can easily be integrated with existing websites. The widgets consist of a small snippet of code that can simply be pasted into your HTML code. These social bookmarking services allow your readers to easily share your content with their social media connections through Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Delicious and a whole host of other services. If you are sending email newsletters, create an archived web version of the newsletter containing the sharing widget. For email communities, the widget can be placed, for example, on the list archive pages. Adding the widget to email newsletters themselves is a bit trickier since javascript is often stripped or disabled by email clients. However, depending on the sharing service that you are using, it is possible to include a static sharing image with a hyperlink to the sharing service's bookmarking page in the actual HTML newsletter. You would then use the URL to the web version of your newsletter as one of the parameters in the sharing URL.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Many thanks to all members who participated in the 2010 survey of top email list priorities. The top pick in this year's survey is "Email communities and social web integration," which led the results by a 3-to-1 margin over the next top choices.

Since the creation of LISTSERV(R) in 1986, email has been used to forge communities of people with a common interest or goal. Some of the early email communities run on LISTSERV brought people across the world together around topics from troubleshooting technological matters, to coping with illness and raising particular breeds of dogs.

In many cases -- then and now -- discussion lists are email communities, serving as a forum for sharing information and support and providing common ground for subscribers. In addition to the more traditional shared interest/hobby discussion groups and online support groups, opt-in email communities encompass employee workgroups, cross-institutional academic/research collaboratives and customer/member forums. While some communities, particularly ones that are focused on health and parenting challenges, are a mainstay of members' everyday lives, the enjoyment of a debate on the work of one's favorite artist or the practical benefit of getting feedback on an aspect of a newly purchased product represent real value to members of email communities. The range of activity within email communities varies widely, and even less active lists can provide valued information and a shared sense of purpose and interest.

Some outstanding examples of email communities can be found among L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards winners:

http://www.lsoft.com/news/choicewinners.asp

One is the most recent grand prize winner, the Information Center for Online Resources and Services, Inc. (ICORS) whose approximately 270 lists reach about 93,000 subscribers in 147 countries, providing a climate of civility and sensitivity, while offering support, information and community to people in need, including those affected by disability, family issues, health issues and other similar needs. The 2004-05 grand prize winner, the Association of Cancer Online Resources (ACOR), offers access to approximately 160 mailing lists that provide support, information and community to everyone affected by cancer and related disorders, serving as a leading force in the patient empowerment and participatory medicine movement:

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Thank you to all members who completed the 30-second survey that opened last month. The survey will be available through March 19, so please take a moment to quickly share your email list priorities for this year at:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules2010-survey.asp

If you're catching up on reading, here are some brand new articles that address both philosophical and practical perspectives on email newsletters.

Ask the Email List Guru - The Zen of Email Newsletters:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/asktheguru-issue1-2010-us.asp

Feature Spotlight - Building Attractive HTML Newsletters with LISTSERV(R):
http://www.lsoft.com/news/spotlight-issue1-2010-us.asp

The survey results will be published in March; meanwhile, as always, we welcome your postings related to email list newsletters and any other aspect of email list communication and email marketing.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Happy 2010! At the beginning of last year, we surveyed the EmailRules community about the top email list and email marketing priorities for 2009. One of the top reported priorities was improving HTML email design and overcoming blocks and rendering problems. How did your priorities fare? Do you think you were successful or do HTML newsletters seem to be more trouble than they are worth?

LISTSERV 16.0, released last month, focused heavily on making HTML newsletters more accessible to everyone through a new HTML template gallery with ready-to-use, customizable newsletter templates. The idea was that anyone should be able to send quality HTML newsletters without expert-level HTML skills by just clicking on placeholders and filling in the content. The benefit of HTML templates is that industry best practices in both HTML construction and rendering have already been taken into account. Instead of worrying about HTML design and testing, senders can dedicate more attention to quality content development. This is especially valuable for smaller organizations with a specialized focus but limited technical staff.

With a new year comes new priorities. As a result, we wanted to give you a chance to share your highest email list priorities for 2010 through a new survey:

http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules2010-survey.asp

Who knows, maybe your top priorities and challenges will find their way into the next LISTSERV version in the shape of new features and improvements.

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
Senior Webmaster/User Interface Designer
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With our thanks and best wishes for 2010, please enjoy this musical surprise from L-Soft:
http://www.lsoft.com/happy2010.html

We welcome you to share your email list communication and email marketing reflections and ideas for the new year.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft

 


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Many thanks to all of you who voted for your favorite L-Soft LISTSERV(R)
tote bag design.

Check out which two designs were most popular overall and reserve your bag here:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/listservtote.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

L-Soft will be introducing a brand new reusable bag and sending the bags as
free promotional items to members of the L-Soft and LISTSERV(R) community.
This means that we need your opinions. Please take a few seconds to vote for
your favorite design in our quickpoll. The winning design (or maybe the top
two!) will be selected.

This poll closes on Wednesday November 4 at 12 midnight US Eastern Time.

Vote now at: http://www.lsoft.com/contact/votethetote.asp?s=2

Thank you!

Best Regards,
L-Soft Global Marketing Team


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Disseminating emergency and other time-sensitive messages to the public is
in the news. Opt-in email list software has long been used for critical
communications and remains a trusted technology for organizational and
company- or agency-to-citizen updates on traffic, weather, public health and
various other forms of need-to-know information. Reading one-way email
alerts at their desks or on mobile devices enables people to make immediate
decisions and take action from wherever they receive the information.

With Twitter(TM), Facebook and other social media tools in the mix, people
have newer complementary avenues to receive relevant, time-sensitive
information. Permission-based email lists, such as those running on
LISTSERV(R) software, allow recipients to access more complete information
than Twitter feeds and to receive that information within a non-communal
virtual environment, in contrast with Facebook posts.

Please share your thoughts on the advantages, disadvantages, benefits and
drawbacks of email lists, Twitter, Facebook and other social media tools for
time-sensitive alert communications. L-Soft will contact (on an individual,
off-list basis) all EmailRules community members who post their perspective
to arrange for a complimentary L-Soft CD/DVD holder to be sent. Looking
forward to your observations and experiences. Thank you.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft Marketing


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Anyone who has worked with designing, testing and sending HTML newsletters
can attest to the difficulties of getting them to render consistently across
different email clients. Web browsers that are unable to display
standards-compliant HTML are mostly a thing of the past. Email clients,
unfortunately, haven't been keeping pace. While there are some email and
webmail clients that do an excellent job of handling HTML (Thunderbird and
Yahoo! Mail come to mind), others have been lagging, in some cases even
regressing. I shared my frustration in an earlier posting on this list when
Outlook 2007 was released and it turned out that Microsoft had decided to
start using the limited rendering engine of Word rather than that of
Internet Explorer to display HTML email. All of a sudden, previously
reliable and tested HTML templates essentially stopped working for a large
segment of email users. I scratched my head wondering how a decision could
possibly be made that would allow a new version to be inferior to the old
one. Fast-forward two years to Outlook 2010. Surely things must be better,
right? Not so much. Microsoft is apparently sticking to its guns and has
confirmed that Outlook 2010 will continue to use Word's rendering engine for
displaying HTML email, knowing its limitations and how poorly it works.

The people behind the Email Standards Project, which is an organization that
promotes web standards support in email, even started a grassroots campaign
to convince Microsoft to change course, so far to no avail. Hopefully, the
continued pressure and media coverage can change this:

http://www.fixoutlook.org/

If web standards are important to you when selecting an email client, check
out the "State of the Clients" report from the Email Standards Project on
how various email and webmail clients are doing:

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Last week's guilty pleas in an international spam case that capped years of
investigation
(http://www.scmagazineus.com/Guilty-plea-for-Detroit-spam-king/article/138915/)
naturally prompt the question of whether spam operations will decrease as a
result -- a question that probably cannot be answered now.

For the time being, though, the case sheds additional light on spam as more
than unwanted, unsolicited and annoying email -- and instead as a serious
crime, which is frequently tied to other unlawful activities. Legitimate
email marketers and other opt-in email list communicators have the power of
permission-based email, and email best practices, implemented with each and
every message and subscriber, will prevail. L-Soft is a proponent of
explicit prior recipient permission, opt-in, and strongly recommends double
opt-in, even if this is not required by legislation.

We invite you to visit http://www.lsoft.com/resources/optinlaws.asp for
information on US and EU opt-in laws and checklists of legal requirements
and best practices. And we welcome you to share your thoughts and questions
on sender aspects of opt-in, the spam problem and related issues with the
EmailRules community.

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Opt-in or permission-based email list communication can take various shapes,
with some of its main forms being email marketing, discussion lists, email
newsletters, announcements and alerts, and email communities. With limits on
resources and demands for results, organizations of all types are seeking
ways to more effectively engage subscribers. How about infusing some new
energy (if you haven't recently done so) into your efforts by considering
different types of email list communication and the ways one form can
complement and support another?

For example, if you publish a quarterly newsletter, consider adding a new
announcement list to keep subscribers up-to-date in between -- and using the
newsletter to promote and enable readers to opt-in to the new list? Or if
your focus is primarily email marketing messages, could an opt-in discussion
list about a particular product or topic of importance to your customers be
a valuable new service to offer to them as another opt-in resource? As
always, obtaining prior explicit and verifiable permission for each list via
double opt-in subscription is paramount. Once given permission, the
opportunity and responsibility is yours, to provide wanted, expected,
relevant and interesting messages to each subscriber.

Please share with the community your questions, experiences, challenges and
insights regarding broadening your usage of opt-in email list technology.
Thank you.

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With the UTF-8 support in the upcoming LISTSERV 16.0 -- in the software
itself and the web interface -- lists and subscribers that operate in
non-English or mixed languages and use charsets other than ISO-8859-1
will be supported, paving the way for better international communication
and collaboration.

Here is a sampling of resources about UTF-8 and its importance:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UTF-8
http://developers.sun.com/dev/gadc/technicalpublications/articles/utf8.html

We invite EmailRules subscribers to share some of the ways your
organization is (or envisions it will be) communicating internationally
and in need of support for the world's languages and character sets.
Please let the community know any challenges, solutions and ideas --
technical and non-technical -- you might have on the topic.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Continuing on the topic of email list and email marketing priorities, the
inaugural column of "Ask the Email List Guru" answers precisely this
question. The column appears in the latest issue of L-Soft's LISTSERV at
Work newsletter:

http://www.lsoft.com/news/issue1-2009-us.asp
http://www.lsoft.com/news/asktheguru-issue1-2009-us.asp

As always, please feel free to share your email list and email marketing
questions, ideas and wisdom.

Kind Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Thanks to everyone who participated in the EmailRules 2009 Poll. The
results are tabulated, and the top email list priority identified is list
subscriber retention and growth; but there's a close second!

We invite you to take a look at the full results here:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules2009-survey.asp

Also, we welcome you to share any tips or ideas regarding how you are
working with these aspects of email list communication.

Thank you!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Thank you to everyone who has voted in our QuickPoll. If you haven't had a
chance to respond, there is still a week to identify your top email list
communication priority for 2009.

Polls close January 30, so please cast your vote now and see how the
EmailRules community's top focus areas are shaping up:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules2009-survey.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Subscribers,

Thank you for being a part of this email community. It has been an
interesting and challenging year for email list communicators and email
marketers. As 2009 draws near, we wanted to share a "top 10" list of key
focus areas for email list communication and email marketing.

We invite you to respond to the Quickpoll and share your top priority for
the coming year: http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules2009-survey.asp.

The results will be tabulated and posted to the list. We look forward to
your participation. Happy New year!

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules community members,

Can we make a change for the better with email at the moment, while the global economy is suffering a downturn? How can businesses and organizations best use email to reach out top customers when consumer spending is at an all-time low. Here I share some of my reflections with you and invite you to post yours for discussion with the EmailRules community.

Marketers everywhere are reviewing and tightening their activities and budgets. At the same time organizations are being reminded to focus on existing customer relationships and the core needs of the subscribers on their email lists. Communicating less is not a good option.

It is not surprising that email is one of the communication channels that will stay strong because it can be a significant help to businesses and organizations through the challenging times. MarketingSherpa's "Marketing and the Economy" survey indicates that email can get higher attention during a downturn. According to this survey (a chart available at: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article.php?ident=30925&pop=no) 48 percent of marketers are planning to add mailings to in-house email lists.

So is communicating more the best move? I believe yes, it is - if it can help building even stronger customer and member relationships by meeting recipients' needs. On the other hand, no - this is not the way to go if it means desperately increasing frequency and ignoring essential email best practices.

While the pressures of doing more with less are at the forefront of everyone's minds, the focus on recipient permission, trust and message relevancy remains unchanged. So the question is, how do we develop customer email programs effectively and with the power of permission? In short, we do this by working within the structure of our existing email list communications to invite recipients to give permission to receive our new information and opportunities via email.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

In a sense, online communities represent the social web in its purest, most
organic form.

Uniting networks of people around common interests and concerns for two
decades, email communities are still going strong. Many email lists have
evolved into long-lasting, active communities that fill a unique niche and
have the power to make a difference in people's lives.

Do you belong to or run an email community or another email list, powered by
LISTSERV(R), that plays an important role in or adds something unique to
your life? The fourth year of L-Soft's LISTSERV Choice Awards, a global
competition honoring email list communication excellence, is underway.

Learn more and nominate your favorite lists or communities here:
http://www.lsoft.com/news/choiceawards.asp

Check out and vote on the current nominees for this year's L-Soft's LISTSERV
Choice Awards: http://www.lsoft.se/news/choicevote.asp

And please share your thoughts on email communities with the EmailRules
community.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear Email Communicators,

I hope you are all doing well in the fall - or spring depending on your location as we have subscribers around the world. Where I write from, Stockholm, Sweden, is enjoying brilliant orange hues of autumn, the air is cool and the sun is shining. On behalf of L-Soft, I would like to welcome new members to EmailRules, a discussion community focused on email marketing and email list communications.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) recently published a new guide called "Email Data Management Best Practices". Among other topics, this publication covers permission, techniques to improve deliverability and unsubscribe best practices. You can read the guide here:
http://www.iab.net/emaildata
http://www.iab.net/media/file/email_data_mgt_best_practices0908.pdf

And if you are new to email rules and regulations, check out the overview table and the best practice checklists here:
http://www.lsoft.com/resources/optinlaws.asp

As always, we invite you to send your questions and ideas as well as share best practices and tips with EmailRules members who share your interest in email communications. The email list home page and the message archives are located at:
http://community.emailogy.com/archives/emailrules.html

Best Regards,
Outi Tuomaala
Executive Vice President, L-Soft
www.lsoft.com


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Have you ever wondered how your email client stacks up against other
ones when it comes to HTML support? The Email Standards Project has
a neat resource that helps you find out.

Email Standards Project Acid Test: http://www.email-
standards.org/acid-test/

Standards Support in Popular Clients: http://www.email-
standards.org/clients/

Want to test your own email client? http://www.email-
standards.org/blog/entry/want-to-test-your-own-email-
client/#When:21:52:00Z

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

I am a Business and Marketing educator of high school students.
As an educator of the new generation of emailers, what are some
basic rules that you think are essential for our young to know?
Joanne Valkwitch


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Dear EmailRules Community,

With social networks and online communities an important part of daily
life for many, let's take a look at the email list component of
community building: discussion lists.

In late June, L-Soft announced the grand prize winner in our LISTSERV
Choice Awards: CrimEnet, or Crime Electronic Network. Simply put,
CrimEnet is a LISTSERV(R) email discussion list linking some 320 law
enforcement personnel from 75 agencies across three states (Indiana,
Michigan and Ohio) to create a crime solving network.

CrimEnet founder and adminstrator, Captain Frank Anderson of
Indiana's St. Joseph County police department says CrimEnet
addresses an essential need:
"As we all know, criminals range across jurisdictional boundaries to
commit crimes. Therefore, my agency -- recognizing the value of our
time and the enormity of our caseloads -- created a LISTSERV email
list to promote easier interagency communication."

It sounds so simple, yet its effects are nothing less than powerful,
with numerous crimes solved, suspects taken into custody and
warrants issued (not to mention the increased collaboration between
law enforcement personnel that will reap dividends well into the
future).

While CrimEnet, by necessity, is a closed (or private) list (password
protected, in fact), there is a wide range of options for discussion
lists, including open/public as well as moderated vs. unmoderated.

CrimEnet is a model for real-time information sharing across state and
proscribed boundaries that can be used and expanded upon by other
law enforcement agencies as well as other organizations.

And the work that L-Soft customers are doing -- including previous
LISTSERV Choice Award winners such as cancer information and
support community ACOR (Association of Cancer Online Resources) and
global breastfeeding educator support network Lactnet -- demonstrate
some of the many ways that bringing people together, via email,
around a common goal can reap benefits.

[More ...]


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Hi All on EmailRules Email List,

Are there new rules for email? Yes! As of May 2008, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved new provisions under the CAN-SPAM.

While it is important to stay up-to-date on the legislation that makes up the minimum standards, it is just as vital to stay up-to-date with best email practices. For the most part, these practices go beyond existing legislation. For example, CAN-SPAM does not require prior permission for direct marketing email messages. However, explicit prior permission from each recipient will always remain one of the gold standard best practices of email list communications and email marketing.

Also, keep in mind that national and local legislation differs. For example, the European Union (EU Directive 2002/58/EC) allows direct marketing email messages to be sent only to subscribers ("natural persons" such as consumers and sole proprietorships) who have given their prior consent.

The FTC rule provisions under the CAN-SPAM address four new requirements for commercial email in the US:

1. Easy Opt-Out
"An e-mail recipient cannot be required to pay a fee, provide information other than his or her e-mail address and opt-out preferences, or take any steps other than sending a reply e-mail message or visiting a single Internet Web page to opt out of receiving future e-mail from a sender."

2. Clear Sender
"The definition of "sender" was modified to make it easier to determine which of multiple parties advertising in a single e-mail message is responsible for complying with the Act's opt-out requirements."

3. Physical Address
"A 'sender' of commercial e-mail can include an accurately-registered post office box or private mailbox established under United States Postal Service regulations to satisfy the Act's requirement that a commercial e-mail display a 'valid physical postal address'."

[More ...]


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With 2008 marking the 15th year of double opt-in -- a term that tends
to be used interchangeably with "confirmed opt-in" -- we are taking a
look at opt-in, or permission-based, email.

LISTSERV(R) email list management software first introduced double
opt-in in 1993, designed to prevent people from getting subscribed to
an email list unless they wanted to be.

Generally speaking, opt-in refers to an email list or email marketing
practice in which individuals must explicitly request to be included in a
specific email campaign or newsletter.

Here's a look at the degrees to which subscribers give their permission
within the opt-in email framework:

* Plain opt-in
- No confirmation message sent to the recipient

* Confirmed opt-in
- Subscription confirmation message sent to the recipient

* Double opt-in
- The submitted name is not immediately added to the mailing list. After
a person requests to subscribe to a list, a confirmation email message
is automatically sent to the supplied email address asking the person
to verify. Once confirmed, the person is added. If nothing is done with
the confirmation email, then the address is not submitted or added to
the list.

* Confirmed double opt-in
- Confirmation request message sent to the recipient
- Subscription confirmation message sent to the recipient

Double confirmed opt-in -- the most explicit and definitive affirmation of
the subscriber's interest, ensuring that people say "yes" not once but
twice and receive notification of that "yes" -- is the way to truly ensure
that you're only sending mail to people that genuinely want to be
subscribed to your list. Double confirmed opt-in is the established best
practice. And, naturally, its benefits to deliverability, relationships,
reputation (no legitimate email marketer wants to be viewed as a
spammer) prove the soundness of this best practice.

[More ...]


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When sending opt-in newsletters or permission-based marketing messages to
your subscribers, one of the most important yet often overlooked details is
the subject line. Email communicators spend considerable resources designing
attractive HTML messages with special offers and compelling content. But all
that effort is lost if the subject line fails to entice the recipient to
even open the message. As email inboxes get increasingly cluttered, people
consistently rank the subject line as one of the most important factors that
determines whether they open an email message. With this in mind, here are
some best practices about writing more effective subject lines.

* Mention your company or organization in the subject line *

People will not subscribe to a newsletter or sign up to receive marketing
messages unless they know and trust the sender. Your company or organization
name is, therefore, one of your greatest assets. Including your company name
in the subject line increases recognition and reminds recipients who you are
and why they signed up to receive the newsletter in the first place. If you
are already clearly spelling out your company name in the From or Sender
line, a brand name or other similar identifier might be sufficient in the
subject line.

* Keep the subject line short and simple *

Email clients differ in how much of the subject line they display. Short and
simple subject lines are thus much more effective than long-winded ones that
risk getting cut off in the middle. Most people value their time. A lengthy
subject line gives the impression that opening and reading a particular
newsletter will require a more substantial time investment than a newsletter
with a concise subject line.

[More ...]


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A picture is worth a thousand words ... but how much is that picture worth
when it's blocked?

The challenges associated with sending HTML newsletters to today's email
clients, many of which block all images by default, may be reason enough to
rethink and to add a qualifier to the old saying. There are, however,
practices that can help you to overcome these challenges and to create more
effective HTML newsletters that speak to your audience, even if the images
are blocked.

* Urge your subscribers to add the email address from which your newsletter
is sent to their address books. This is what often determines whether or not
the images are blocked by default.

* Include a text link at the top of the newsletter pointing to a URL where
subscribers can access a Web version of the newsletter in case they are
unable to view it with their email client.

* Avoid using images for your key content. If the image is blocked, the
subscriber will see nothing but an empty square in the email message.
Instead, only use images for banners, logos and other supporting material.
Keep your key content as text, which will always be displayed.

* Include ALT text for all the images that you do use. This ensures that
even if subscribers are unable to view the image, at least they will see a
description of what the image is meant to show.

* Include width and height attributes for all your images so that the layout
stays intact even when the images are blocked. This is especially true for
table-based layouts where images are used for spacing and interspersed with
textual content parts.

[More ...]


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Dear EmailRules Community,

The start of the year is for many the time of new year's resolutions and
goal-setting.

We resolve that 2008 will see EmailRules become a dynamic community. And we
look forward to your postings and to some great discussions of (just about)
everything email.

Meanwhile, thank you to everyone who completed the survey last month. The
results are available at:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules-survey.asp

Although the results represent a sampling of our community's 150 members,
the results provide insights that will help EmailRules to grow and flourish.
Particularly interesting are the responses to questions 11, 12 and 13
because they provide a good place to start for those who are venturing into
email-related resolutions.

Just over half of our community members indicated satisfaction with current
email list communication results and 13 percent are not, while more than a
third don't know whether they are satisfied. This points to an interesting
question: How do we define success and satisfaction in email list
communication?

With deliverability and bounces identified as the biggest challenges you are
facing, how does this affect goal-setting for the year ahead?

Please share with the EmailRules community:

- What are the goals, priorities and resolutions you have for your email
list communication? Are you focused on bounces and deliverability or other
areas?

- How do you and your organization define email communication success? What
factors determine your level of satisfaction with your email marketing and
email list initiatives?

On behalf of the EmailRules community facilitators, we are looking forward
to your insights and wishing you a happy new year.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft


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If you have ever been frustrated by the lack of standards for HTML rendering
across different email clients, there may finally be hope on the horizon.
The Email Standards Project was officially launched last week with a stated
goal of helping designers understand why web standards are important for
email, while working with email client developers to ensure that email
messages render consistently.

For many of us who work with HTML email, the problem came to a head when
Outlook 2007 was released early this year and an email client that had
traditionally provided the best HTML support declined to rank among the
worst because of fundamental changes to its HTML rendering engine. Many
email designers suddenly had to scramble to reassess existing HTML templates
that had been tested and proven to work.

Just as the adoption of web standards made life easier for web designers, it
makes perfect sense that email standards could do the same for email
designers. With generally accepted email standards, email designers could
drastically reduce the time and effort spent on developing and testing HTML
templates on a dozen different email clients, freeing them up to focus on
more worthwhile endeavors.

The project is currently in its infancy but with enough support, it has the
potential to make a profound impact on the future of HTML email.

For more information, visit:

Email Standards Project:
http://www.email-standards.org/

Email Standards Project (Standards Support in Popular Clients):
http://www.email-standards.org/clients/

Email Marketing Reports (HTML email standards: the big interview):
http://www.email-marketing-reports.com/iland/2007/11/html-email-standards-big-interview.html

Best Regards,

Jani Kumpula
Senior Webmaster/User Interface Designer
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

Thank you to everyone who has completed the survey. The results to
date are very interesting and key to ensuring that EmailRules is as
dynamic and relevant as it can be.

It's not too late to let your voice be heard! It will take two minutes to
complete our quick yet important survey, and when you have finished,
you will instantly access an up-to-the-minute visual display of the
survey results. Click now because the survey closes on December 6.

EmailRules Survey:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules-survey.asp

Looking forward to your participation and to making EmailRules a
community that meets your email list and email marketing
communication needs and goals.

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft


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Dear EmailRules Community,

To ensure that EmailRules is as dynamic and relevant as it can be, we
need your input. We invite you to complete a quick but important
survey. Two minutes of your time will help us get to know your
interests and expertise and make EmailRules the premier destination
for email marketers and communicators. The results of the anonymous
survey will be shared with the community.

Thank you in advance for letting your voice be heard. With everyone's
input, EmailRules will continue to evolve into a thriving and useful
community. Please click on the link below to complete the survey.
When you have finished, you will see an instant visual depiction of how
your fellow EmailRules community members responded -- again, thank
you!

EmailRules Survey:
http://www.lsoft.com/contact/emailrules-survey.asp

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft


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Hello EmailRules Community,

Email metrics has become a big buzzword and an important concept in email
marketing. It is difficult to test approaches and get a true picture of
results without using metrics. Consistently applied over time, email metrics
can shed a great deal of light on any opt-in email initiative. So it's no
surprise that measuring and collecting data illuminating just about every
aspect of an email campaign is increasingly more commonplace.

We thought it would be interesting to take a look at what this means for
people who work with email -- people like us! Here's a start on some of the
basics and key terminology that we hope will be useful, and we welcome your
ideas and suggestions as well as any experiences you're having working with
"email by the numbers".

Best Regards,
Susan Brown Faghani
L-Soft

Subscriber Metrics


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Hello,

Email testing, also known as A/B or split testing, has become a helpful
practice for email marketers and other email communicators. From
timing of mailings, to subject lines, to layout, there are virtually endless
possibilities for testing email.

Let's work together to build a list of email testing elements and
opportunities here on EmailRules. Please reply to add the areas you
like to test and any other ideas or initiatives you might want to share
related to testing your opt-in email messages. Looking forward to your
input.

Thanks!
Susan Brown Faghani, L-Soft

A start to the list --

* Subject line
* Placement of links in layout
* Day of week/time of day for distribution
* Testing of embedded links/URLs


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Hello,

As Outlook 2007 is getting more widely used, its new HTML rendering
engine has had people across the email marketing and email list
communication industry voicing their displeasure. The problem is that
Outlook 2007 uses Word's HTML rendering engine instead of that of
Internet Explorer, which was the case earlier. In practice, this means
that email designers and senders are being put in the position of having
to review existing HTML templates they had already tested, creating
additional challenges to getting recipients to view HTML messages. For
email marketers who thought they had messages that worked consistently,
this is unwelcome news. What are your experiences, any problems
encountered and thoughts regarding this?

Susan Brown Faghani
Public Relations and Marketing Associate
L-Soft


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Hello,
L-Soft welcomes you to EmailRules - tips, tools and talk for email marketers and opt-in email communicators.

EmailRules is a brand new discussion community that welcomes and brings together anyone who has questions, answers, best practices and advice to share about opt-in email marketing and email list communication.

EmailRules is designed to be the community where you can exchange ideas and results with others who work with and understand the challenges and opportunities of opt-in email communication. With your participation, we look forward to making EmailRules the smart Internet destination for email communicators.

Please also feel free to let your friends and colleagues who are interested in email know about EmailRules:
http://community.emailogy.com/archives/emailrules.html

Let's get started -- Email Rules! ;-)

Outi Tuomaala,

Executive Vice President

L-Soft

http://www.lsoft.com


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About EMAILRULES

EmailRules is a discussion community that brings together email marketers and email communicators. EmailRules welcomes anyone who has questions, answers, best practices and advice to share about navigating the changing landscape of opt-in email marketing and email list communication. The EmailRules archives are open to the public. However, you have to be a member and subscribe to the community to be able to post messages.


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