Hey, news sites: Think like retailers!

Today I received an e-mail promotion from an electronics e-retailer that I’d purchased from before. The after-holidays sales promotion looked interesting, so I clicked the ad to go to the site. I spent very little time there, didn’t see any deals I couldn’t live without, and clicked away. About an hour later, in comes another…

Breaking news from the source, not the newspaper

This afternoon at 3:14 p.m., a few minutes after my daughter’s school ended for the day, I received this e-mail alert from the school’s principal: “Dear Parents: “An incident occurred today that we wanted to make you aware of. At around 12:45 p.m. the school received notice from BVSD that a threat had been phoned…

Young people really do use e-mail

As the father of two American girls, now ages 11 and 16, I get to watch the younger generation’s (digital) media habits up close, which is useful in my line of work as a media trend watcher. Something I noticed some time ago with my teen daughter is that e-mail is used in limited ways….

More print redesign advice: Remember e-mail

Jay Small, writing on his Small Initiatives blog, comments on my latest Editor & Publisher Online column about how to smartly redesign print editions of newspapers. One of the key points in my column is that newspapers need to provide MANY more refers and pointers to online and mobile content, in an effort to guide…

Farewell, Online-News!

I’m going to partake of a little nostalgia here. Stop reading if you don’t care about the early days of interactive news. … Back in 1994, I started an e-mail discussion list called Online-News. It turned out to be the primary hangout for lots of the pioneers in the field of online news, and continued…

Help needed: avatar and Twitter feed

Can anyone advise me on a Twitter feed challenge? See the comic avatar of me in the upper right of this blog page? There’s a talk balloon, and I’d like to get my latest post from Twitter to show inside that balloon. (That is, the balloon is updated with new text whenever I post a…

Personalize e-mail communications for better open rates

In yesterday’s tip I talked about e-mail sub-lists as a marketing tool. Here’s another bit of e-mail advice: Personalize your e-mails to improve open rates. It’s been demonstrated that inserting personalization variables into outgoing e-mails’ subject lines significantly increases the number of people who open an e-mail. We all get so many messages — many…

Domains for sale: clearmail.com, athletemoms.com

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got some domains sitting around gathering dust (and costing annual renewal fees). In my case, projects that didn’t work out, or projects that were envisioned but never got off the ground, are the reason. I’ve got a couple domains that I think are pretty good names: Clearmail.com AthleteMoms.com Clearmail.com…

What’s your worst e-mail ‘oops’?

On a small e-mail discussion list that I’m on, one of the participants inadvertently sent everyone a PDF of a couple prescriptions for a family member. Obviously, her e-mail was intended to go elsewhere — probably her pharmacist. It was one of those “oh, s***!” mistakes that the speed of digital communications makes too easy….

I hope your mail isn’t landing in my spam folder

So, spam now accounts for 90-95% of all e-mail. That’s up from 5% in 2001, and 70% in 2004 when the federal CAN-SPAM Act went into effect. That’s depressing. Personally, I’m not bothered too much by receiving spam, since Gmail does a pretty good job filtering it. But where it has an impact is that…

Good grief, MSNBC.com!

I thought I’d confirmed my subscription to MSNBC.com’s e-mail news alerts using its antiquated e-mail list system. I had to jump through a bunch of absurd hoops (including starting a new subscription after renewing the old one didn’t work), and the latest — after I thought it was completed — is this e-mail I just…

1994 revisited by MSNBC.com list server?

I got the e-mail below this morning, apparently from MSNBC.com, asking me to renew the e-mail breaking news alerts I receive from them. Is this for real? I checked the header, thinking maybe it was a crude spammer’s attempt to harvest e-mail addresses, but it sure looks like it is from MSNBC.com. Here’s the text…

You better not hit my spam bucket

At one point in time I used to check my spam folder in Gmail to make sure nothing important slipped in there by accident. I’d regularly find a personal message or two. But now, the amount of stuff going into the spam bucket is so huge that I don’t have time to look for good…

What’s happening to my e-mail?

Increasingly, I’m getting messages from people via Facebook. That is, folks who are in my friends list on FB (around 200 now) go to my profile page and then use FB to send a message. I am alerted to the message with an e-mail, of course, but that just provides a link to the message…