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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Email Marketing Trends

Every business using email marketing is trying to improve the relevance of using the media for managing the returns on the investment made towards email campaigns. Email marketing itself is finding its relevance by more targeted communications, moving away from email blasts.

The key trends are:

1. Targeting: Email list segmentation is increasingly being used as the best practice to improve the relevance and targeting of selected customers. The businesses are making a conscious effort to capture increase demographics and purchase behavior information of customers to create multiple, highly customized lists.

2. Personalization: Businesses have understood the value of personalizing their email marketing communications, using salutations, first and last names and personalizing the messages using the stored demographic and purchase behavior attributes of the individual.

3. Deliverability: Deliverability concerns persist among businesses of all sizes. Leading Email Service Providers continued to address the deliverability of the email communications of the businesses, by including automated CAN SPAM compliance checks, dedicated deliverability personnel, relationships with third party deliverability services such as Return Path, employing Dynamic Message Transfer Agents (MTAs) and working with ISPs closely to integrate authentication mechanisms.

In addition, the email marketing service providers worked with businesses in supporting and advancing email marketing best practices, by maintaining clean lists and improving email relevance with better targeting and personalization tactics.

4. Email Automation: Businesses are looking for designing, creating and conducting automated trigger email campaigns. Leading email service providers are providing life cycle based event and time based triggered email communication to consumers. This will greatly enhance the experience of the consumers through relevance and timing.

5. Integrated Campaigns: The rise of SEO, SEM, Mobile, Social Media and Social Networking have made business to look for closer integration with email marketing campaigns with SEO, SEM, Mobile and Social media tactics. With businesses adopting CRM and lead generation systems, email marketing is getting integrated into these systems for better targeting and personalization of email communications.

6. Hygiene Lists: Lingering concerns about deliverability will make businesses to scrub their email lists and subscriber data. Economic pressures for improving performance across all marketing channels will contribute to this trend, in addition to the need for clean when integrating email marketing with CRM and lead generation systems.

Aghreni Technologies is a customer centric, ROI driven provider of integrated email and mobile marketing solutions and services to indian businesses.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Online advertising is the biggest driver of brand engagement for retailers

IAB research shows online ad spend achieves 40% of the communications effect within the media mix for retail brands. Online, press and TV are the strongest drivers of brand engagement within this market.

The latest Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) cross-media Brand Engagement study has found that online advertising for retail brands delivers the biggest effect in the media mix, driving 40% of brand engagement, compared with press (31%) and TV (19%).

The average online ad spend for all five brands in the study was just 2.5% of total media budget, which suggests that internet advertising – which delivered 40% of brand engagement across all communications – is around 16 times more effective than the monetary investment would suggest. To put this into perspective, in the second half of 2007, the retail sector accounted for just 5% of all internet advertising expenditure, whilst total consumer spending on products, goods and services online for 2007 was £47 billion.

Aghreni Technologies is customer centric ROI driven provider of email and mobile marketing solutions and services to Indian Marketers.

Aghreni brings in several years of working experience with global leaders in email and mobile marketing and marketing campaigns for leading brands.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Are Indian Marketers adopting the best practices in email marketing?

I am receiving newsletters from the various agencies and companies who are into online marketing over a couple of months.

As a professional worked for large global online marketing companies and their clients who manage global brands, I see Indian online marketers are still at a nascent stage in using the media.

Looking at over several newsletters, alerts, marketing campaigns from several companies, I observe the following issues.

1. Target Selection
Segmenting the customer profiles based on demographics, preferences and purchase behaviors is not being done by Indian marketers. Indian Marketers send every customer everything they want to sell or inform. What it means to consumers? Spam! Consumers stop reading the messages, ignore them or classify it as spam.

Hence Marketers have to change their traditional mindset from mass advertising through print and electronic media when they want to adopt to online marketing. Selecting your target audience and carefully positioning your offering is more important than mass advertising.

2. Personalization
Email Marketing provides better personalization features for each individual. Email itself is meant for one-on-One communication. However most of the Indian Marketers tend to ignore it and send non-personalised messages, as though they are sending the message for masses.

Not addressing the recipient in the message doesn't create any relationship or value to the consumer. The first thing marketer has to do in direct marketing is to develop the relationship, before he could even offer him anything.

3. Message Content
Direct Marketers have to pay special attention to the content in the message. The content has to bring out clearly the value proposition, excite the consumer and create interest in your offering.

When looked at the content being sent out by Indian Marketers, they fall into 2 extreme mindsets. One is very simple text messages and other rich images. Both are bad. Simple text messages doesn't convey everything the marketer has to convey. They can't create much interest in consumer minds. Sending graphic images requires high bandwidth and many ISPs block images. It may take several minutes to download the image before reading them.

Rich HTML messages with judicious use of text, images and links can provide a compelling interest with consumers. They are easy to read and when consumers need more information they can click on any link and visit the marketers website for more information. The message sizes are also optimal. The consumers can start reading the text in the messages, even before the images are being rendered on the email client.

Marketers also get rich metrics on opens, clicks on all links, and landings on their websites and further web site analytics through the navigation of the consumers on the websites through the landing pages. The landing pages further can be optimised for creating more interest with offers, etc.

4. Giving the control back to Consumers
When I looked at the messages sent by Indian Marketers, very few provide the option to reply back to a reply-to address, opt-out, send viral marketing messages, putting the physical address of the company/marketer who is sending the message, change preferences, etc.

According to CAN-SPAM act, any message not following the rules for message content will be classified as SPAM. The ISPs may bounce such messages, block the sender domain from sending emails or put it in spam folders. What it means to Direct Marketers, is that their deliverability (number of emails delivered to consumer inboxes/total number of emails sent) will suffer.

5. Email Frequency
Some marketers flood emails in a day thinking consumers will read all of them, just like the 30 second ads that get repeated on TV every 5 minutes. While Television viewers have no option, rather view them, but thanks to new devices like Tivo can allow to skip the ads, online consumers have the power to delete or move those to Junk/Spam folders without even opening them. This may land the marketer in trouble, as ISPs will now treat the senders as Spammers, because their readers are not reading those messages.

Hence Indian Marketers have to start listening to consumers on how many messages they can read in a day/week/month. If a particular message has been sent, when can they send the same message again if it is not opened or clicked? or even can they send an other offer, if another offer has been sent earlier and if so, after how many days?

6. Deliverability
Deliverability of emails sent by senders is very important, as it a measure of how many consumers received the emails in their inboxes, vs. sent. Deliverability depends on many factors, the list hygiene (correctness of email addresses, valid ones, etc.), the sender reputation, the message content, the consumer's behaviour, senders relationships with major ISP's etc. It is largely a collective responsibility of sender (list hygiene, opt-in lists, message content, etc.), email marketing solution provider (reputation, capability of handling bounces, sending messages to ISPs through various techniques enforced on them, throttling the email sent per hour, setting the frequency of emails sent to each consumer, relationships with ISPs to address deliverability and Abuses, Tracking options, powerful reporting features) and Consumer behavior (interest, spam, etc.).

However Indian Marketers tend to think their deliverability will improve if consumers are asked to put the sender email id into safe sender list. Consumers will not approve or guarantee to give control to senders to send anything. Moreover, it doesn't guarantee deliverability as there are other issues that the sender and the email service provider have to adhere to.

Hence, Indian Marketers have to take this responsibility on themselves and adopt best practices from both the senders and email service provider's perpsective.

7. Lead Generation
Indian Marketers have to move from the traditional mindset of creating mass awareness that was being done through traditional media when migrating to online marketing.

Online marketing provides better opportunities in not only creating brand awareness, but also in lead generation. Anyone visiting the marketers or company website is a prospect and his/her contact information has to be captured. Most websites today are just iconic in India and have no provision to collect email addresses. When company websites, start collecting information about visitors, they are building a powerful customer database, through which they can keep in touch with periodic newsletters, offers etc. and building a loyal customer base.

Through Viral Marketing (forward to friend) features, marketers can enhance their lists in a exponential way.

There are plenty of opportunities for Indian Marketers to nurture and grow their customer base, only if they adopt best practices in email marketing.

Email marketing is a powerful tool and if not used in the best way can also damage the reputation and sales of the marketers.

Aghreni Technologies is a provider of customer centric, ROI driven email marketing solutions and services to Indian Marketers and clients. It has many years of working with leading global companies and clients in email marketing and lead generation.

For more information, visit

You can get the most out of email marketing by tailoring to target

A recent study by a team of computer scientists at the University of California looked at the response rates and profitability of professional spammers.

By hacking into the Storm network, which has control of over one million home PCs, to send out junk e-mail, the researchers took control of 75,869 hijacked machines to conduct their own fake spam campaigns.

The researchers used two popular ploys used by spammers, first offering a fake pharmacy site and, secondly, offering a Viagra-style remedy to boost libido. It seems the only way to measure spam is to become a spammer.

‘‘After 26 days, and almost 350 million e-mail messages, only 28 sales resulted,” said the research paper. That means a response rate of one in 12,500,000 people take up the offer of the scam, giving the fraudsters a conversion rate of less than 0.00001 per cent.

These response rates would seem to suggest ham-fisted spammers, but once you consider the scale on which some of the scams operate, it is clear that, in this case, quantity wins out over quality. The researchers estimate that the controllers of a network the size of Storm are still bringing in about $7,000 a day or $3.5 million over a year.

There are two lessons that marketers can learn. First, it is important that the intended consumer response is defined at the planning stage of a campaign - what do you want the consumer to do? It could be just seeing your brand and its message, perhaps a click through from a banner ad, an opening of an e-mail, time taken to read or watch a piece of content related to your brand, an opt-in to receive more information.

Each response should be given a relative weighting so that an overall value can be assigned to any campaign. This rarely happens, but is not difficult to do. Web and e-mail analytical tools, such as Google analytics, will provide a certain amount of information, but more qualitative methods - such as simply asking users and customers their opinion on the campaign - will provide more meaningful insights to their response.

So the second consideration is that people will respond only if they believe there is something in it for them, so brands must clearly define the consumer benefit attached to any response. What will they get in return for clicking, watching or registering?

Furthermore, by adding a level of personalisation to the communication can increase the likelihood of a response.

Aghreni Technologies is a provider of customer centric, ROI driven online marketing (direct email and mobile marketing) solutions and services to Indian clients. It has many years of working with leading global companies and clients in email marketing and lead generation.

For more information, visit

Worsening economy sends marketers looking at online medium

Economic Times reports that, during this worsening economic period when both print and electronic mediums see a dip in advertisement revenues, google said it is still seeing money flowing into online marketing initiatives. Advertisers are now looking at cost effective mediums to reach the target audience.

Google said 'Usage of the online medium as an advertising platform is increasing in the economic turbulent time. One of the reasons is that the medium offers the advertisers the flexibility to reach the right kind of users. The slowdown in the economy has forced the advertisers to creatively use the medium to their advantages, not just branding, but also for generating leads'.

Aghreni Technologies is a provider of customer centric, ROI driven online marketing (direct email and mobile marketing) solutions and services to Indian clients. It has many years of working with leading global companies and clients in email marketing and lead generation.

For more information, visit

Monday, December 15, 2008

Marketing for Corporate Training

Running training like a business implies marketing training like a business. But a recent study of 75 training leaders by expertus reports that a minority of corporate training departments have written or formal marketing plans, budgets or promotions that go beyond general awareness of their courses. This study reveals what those with more sophisticated marketing do to target their audience and measure their reach, and which marketing activities they find to be most effective and favorably-received by employees.

Email blasts have been the most effective marketing activity followed closely by phone calls and recommendations.

Not surprisingly, print newsletters and mail are at the bottom of the list, which seems to be a direct result of the increased reliance on email and websites. In fact, anything that requires paper or printing is at the bottom half of the list.

Aghreni Technologies is an offshore provider of email and mobile marketing automation solutions and services to clients in India and world-wide. Some of the best global companies utilise the depth and breadth of marketing automation software, solutions and services of Aghreni.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Aghreni Technologies will offer Best of Email and Mobile Messaging solutions and end to end services to Indian Companies

Aghreni Technologies Private Limited, a leading Email and Mobile service provider based out of Bangalore, India is bringing a top selling european email and messaging platform to Indian Marketers.

Team Aghreni has over 5 years of experience in email marketing, working with some of the world’s largest brands. Aghreni’s email platform called e-messenger services over a 1000 clients in Europe, Asia and the USA.

Aghreni is one of the focused Email Marketing Solutions and Services provider, serving reputed clients from various industry verticals both in India and abroad.

Aghreni works with world leaders in Email marketing and Mobile Marketing companies in the world to bring best of the practices in marketing communications to its clients.

Aghreni Technologies has its development and registered officeoffices in Bangalore, India, and business development offices in NY and NJ, USA.

Aghreni's e-messenger platform provides a flexible and reliable solution for clients to professionally plan, implement and control their bulk mailing to subscriber base.

e-messenger has an easy to use interface and can be easily integrated into client's CRM and web site.

The platform has over 900 clients systems and more than 800 million emails and SMS messages sent monthly. Leading companies with high email and SMS broadcast volumes trust the performance and reliability of e-messenger, web based email marketing communications software.

By taking advantage of Aghreni email marketing software, clients will benefit by receiving detailed real time reports, the option to personalize message and current best practice advice from experts. With features that include comprehensive ‘Bounce Management’ and automatic de-duplication, Aghreni can ensure client’s emails always reach the inbox safely. In addition, Aghreni also have a specialist team dedicated to taking care of all aspects of ISP relations.

For more details, please visit Aghreni's website

Mobile Advertising is Surrounded by Myths

According to eMarketer, mobile advertising is a huge growth area with a global compound annual growth rate of 48%. However, despite the rapid growth forecasts there are still a few industry concerns about mobile advertising.

Shaun Gregory, CEO, Blyk UK, shares his views about the mobile advertising industry, consumer preferences, content and context of ads etc., in an article in the mobile reseller magazine Mobile Today. A summary of what Shaun wrote in their blog in presented below.

Shaun believes that the various concerns related to mobile advertising, such as optimum quality and delivery through small mobile screens, lack adequate support for rich media, mobile push advertising considered spam, and choice of technology, etc. are all myths surrounding the mobile advertising space. Citing the example of Blyk, the ad-funded UK-based MVNO that has more than 2,000 campaigns to its credit in just over one year of business, Shaun writes that they have learned some valuable lessons about how to be successful in mobile advertising.

Shaun Gregory, CEO, Blyk UK
He wrote that relevance and predictability make the difference when it comes to effectively using push communications strategies. Push strategies used as an initial conversation entry point are effective as they open up a dialogue.

When it comes to advertising on mobile brands, Shaun writes, the following should be considered:

- Put the consumer first – mobile advertising has to take basic user experience into consideration, since mobile phones are functional and personal devices.
- Consider timing and context – one of the beauties of mobile advertising is the timing element.
- Do not plan mobile advertising on a reach and frequency basis. Instead, build frequency through engagement, re-engagement and relevance.
- Mobile advertising works alongside other channels as part of an integrated campaign and should be built into media plans.
- Value exchange – I will cite Blyk as an amazing example of value for both brands and members. For brands, we offer an effective and efficient channel to create awareness, build engagement, drive sales and gather insight. For members, we offer free communication, entertainment, social currency, exclusive content and an opportunity for them to give an opinion.

For more details, please visit URL

Aghreni Technologies Private Limited is a leading Email and Mobile service provider based out of Bangalore, India. Team Aghreni has over 4+ years of experience in email marketing working with some of the world’s largest brands. Aghreni’s email platform called e-messenger services over a 900+ clients in Europe, Asia and the USA.

The email platform has over 900+ clients systems and more than 800 million emails and SMS messages sent monthly. Leading companies around the world, with high email and SMS broadcast volumes trust the performance and reliability of e-messenger, web based email marketing communications software.

Fore more details, please visit URL