Archive for the ‘ExactTarget’ category

Precision Dialogue Awarded Partner of the Year at ExactTarget Marketing Cloud’s 2014 Connections Conference

September 25th, 2014
Partner of the Year for Channel Program

Partner of the Year for Channel Program

We are proud to announce that we have been awarded the 2014 Channel Partner of the Year by ExactTarget Marketing Cloud at their annual Connections conference. The Partner of the Year award recognized Precision Dialogue as a company with high customer satisfaction that is committed to ongoing team growth while exceeding revenue generation goals. Precision Dialogue previously won this award in 2010 and is now one of only two partners to have won this award twice.

Precision Dialogue has been an ExactTarget Platinum Reseller Partner for more than 10 years. Leveraging the digital marketing platform, the Forrester® recognized customer engagement firm has achieved several accolades warranting the award’s distinction, including:

  • Partner of the Year in 2010
  • ExactTarget Consulting Partner since 2011
  • ExactTarget Referral Partner since 2012
  • ExactTarget Services 2012 Program Team of the Year
  • Dedicated ExactTarget team of more than 30 professionals with over 250 ExactTarget certifications
  • 4 certified Solutions Consultants on staff
  • ExactTarget Gold Certified in Scalable Data Strategies
  • Creators of Magento-ExactTarget integration, CONNECT and Code in Color HubExchange app, simplifying the creation and editing of HTML and Ampscript code
  • Architects of dynamic messaging solutions that deliver a unified customer experience through the email and direct mail channels
  • Comprehensive ad-hoc analytics and business intelligence services to support acquisition, growth, and retention strategies
  • Precision Experience LabSM offering usability testing, focus groups, eye tracking analysis, and optimization solutions
  • Award-winning creative team that designs and optimizes responsive mobile, web and landing pages

“Our team has, and continues to work hard to exceed our client’s expectations,” said Jonathan Hill, EVP/Chief Technology Officer, Precision Dialogue. “The ExactTarget Marketing Cloud provides a market leading platform to support customer engagement marketing and our team is proud to be named Partner of the Year for a second time.”

Precision Dialogue applies a scientific and measurable approach to their full service email marketing services. The agency has served over 75 clients and manages the deployment of more than 240 million emails on a monthly basis. Some of Precision Dialogue’s more notable clients include, Office Max, Regions Bank, Midas, Estee Lauder and Sherwin Williams.

Connections is the premier digital marketing industry conference, bringing together the most brilliant pioneers and entrepreneurs in the digital sphere, offering three-days of education, inspiration and networking with speakers from, LinkedIn, and more. To learn more about Connections, visit

Power Your Journey: ExactTarget Connections is the Event for Endurance Marketers

September 18th, 2014

Are your marketing communications relevant, personalized, and behavior driven? Is your marketing program driven by critical data? Do you have a single view of your customer? Are you maximizing all channels?

While these are goals that all marketers aspire to, the answers for most marketers are “no.” (Or for the ultra-sophisticated, the answers might be, “not as much as I would like.”)

If we all know that’s where we want to go, why aren’t we there yet? There are many different practical reasons, but a big, less practical reason is this: As busy marketers, we rarely allow ourselves to take a step back, evaluate our programs, and strategize real-world ways to make these improvements. We may take the time to read an industry article here and there, but do we really take the time to get inspired about what is possible with data paired with the right platforms? And more importantly, how we can apply those concepts to programs we execute? (Or programs that are so amazing, we haven’t even dreamed them up yet?)

Connections LogoExactTarget Connections is a digital marketing event that allows you to do just that. It’s the premier event from the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. The theme for this year is Power Your Journey, and the idea here is that Connections is designed to be the perfect mix of inspiration and enablement.

Connections is unlike most industry conferences. It is not a sales pitch. It is not a big party. It features sessions for all levels of experience and for varying areas of interest (with tracks including Email, Social, Mobile, and B2B). Most importantly, each session will give you practical advice and creative strategies for how to improve your program.

Just because it’s practical doesn’t mean it isn’t also a lot of fun! There are many opportunities to socialize and enjoy entertainment. This year’s entertainment line-up includes, The Script, and DJ Casey Connor.

Connections is also known for powerful and engaging keynote speakers, and featured speakers this year include Marc Benioff (Chairman & CEO, Salesforce), (entertainer), John Green (author), Beth Comstock, (SVP & CMO, General Electric), Gabriel Stricker (Chief Communications Officer, Twitter), and many others.

The conference will be held in Indianapolis on September 23-25. It’s not too late to register! Learn more here.

Email Marketing Case Study: Accelerating Tria Beauty’s Campaigns on a Global Scale Leveraging ExactTarget

August 13th, 2014
Tria Email Example

Tria Email Example

Managing an email marketing campaign on a global scale can be daunting. However, when you blend a team of email marketing experts with a robust platform such as ExactTarget, a wave of encouragement ensues. Learn how we helped our client Tria Beauty, a global retailer of FDA approved laser hair removal and skincare products, elevate their current email marketing campaign to a global scale. Together, we worked to solidify over 130 post purchase streamed emails that targeted customers on an international level.


In this webinar, you will learn how we implemented and maintained a full service email campaign with examples of the campaign process, which was comprised of audience selection, creative and HTML production, email quality assurance and campaign deployment.

Register Now

ExactTarget Distributed Sending: Managing Multiple Voices to Deliver a Constant Message

January 10th, 2014

Organizations that are built with dealers, branches, or franchises are uniquely challenged in delivering a relevant message to regional subscribers, while maintaining a consistent corporate brand. With ExactTarget Distributed Sending, organizations can now create and deploy targeted, local email marketing campaigns that still meet corporate’s brand standards.


Here’s how it works: ExactTarget sets the client’s account allowing corporate to control the email templates, the images, the subscriber lists, etc. for the dealers, branches or franchisees to use. Individual rep or franchise access can be controlled by either default user roles* or custom roles built off the marketer’s requests.


Applying these simple features can let corporate give their local reps the ability to deliver professional level marketing campaigns, while avoiding spending the time and resources training them.

Why This Feature Works

Distributed Sending allows those who are delivering messages to do so in the way they see fit for their audience. Account users have the ability to deliver their messages the way their region wants to receive them, which is not always possible when messages are delivered at the corporate level.

For example, if a franchisee has a carnival going on near a certain store and sees the chance to increase business with a coupon, they can create the message in ExactTarget and send it out when and to whom they want. They also have the opportunity to deliver monthly messages with updates on product prices.

Distributed Sending empowers marketers to take their email marketing to the level they see fit; allowing for weekly, monthly or even yearly emails to be distributed at a regional level. The best part about a controlled environment is that it’s completely customizable and can be configured to fit any business structure.

Want to know if Distributed Sending is right for you? Contact us for a demo, or more information please contact or 887.332.9222.

What Would Jean Claude Van Damme Do?

January 6th, 2014

If you are an email marketer, you know that throughout the year you have to live different types of experiences (good ones and, not so good ones) and sometimes it’s hard to find a good way to cope with them.

For the new year, I’ve compiled a list of things that happen in the everyday life of an email marketer and answered them with a simple question: What Would Jean Claude Van Damme Do? Or, like I like to say, WWJCVDD?


When you hear that someone bought a list of subscribers, breaking all the rules of the CAN-SPAM Act, ask yourself WWJCVDD?


Click here to learn more about the CAN-SPAM Act.

When your team deploys a very complex email marketing campaign successfully and you feel like celebrating, ask yourself… WWJCVDD?


Watch this video to learn what we do and why we do it so well.

When you are concerned about being able to balance creative direction with email design best practices, simply ask yourself WWJCVDD?


Read our three-part blog series on some of the most common and dangerous mistakes Email Marketers can make in their campaigns.

When your QA specialist stays up late to do the last round of tests for a deployment early in the morning and you can’t help but feel love for them, just ask yourself…. WWJCVDD?

Watch our Email Quality Testing Best Practices webinar to learn more about thorough QA best practices.

When you have to click the SEND button because your deployment specialist is gone for the day and you just don’t want to look, ask yourself: WWJCVDD?


When you clicked that SEND button and you feel so proud of yourself you just want to celebrate again, just say it… WWJCVDD?


And lastly, when your client calls you to tell you that your team is doing such a great job and they feel they can count on you, just ask yourself the question: WWJCVDD?



Learn more about how our Email Marketing team applies their expertise and JCVD philosophy to drive clients to success:

Happy New Year!


Part 2: Five Common and Dangerous Email Design Mistakes

November 13th, 2013

Note: This is the second part of a three-part series on some of the most common and most dangerous mistakes of Email Marketing Campaigns. In our last article Part 1: Five Common and Dangerous Email Conceptual/Campaign Mistakes, we took a look at the big picture with some of the most common conceptual and overall campaign mistakes email marketers make in conceiving their campaigns. In this article, we look a little closer at some common email design mistakes.   Dangerous Email Design Mistakes

By design, we’re not talking about how “pretty” or avant-garde your email is. That’s between you and your graphic designers though, surprisingly enough, if you test, test, test as we mentioned in the previous article, you may find that sometime, the prettiest and sexiest emails don’t always convert as well as plain-Jane emails. But there are structural design issues that always seem to hold true and failure to follow these rules can be damaging or fatal to the effectiveness of your emails.

  1. Poor Subject and Pre-Header The handful of words you choose for your subject line and pre-header text may be the most important words in your email. People decide whether or not to open the email by the subject line and in some readers, the pre-header text. If they don’t open the email, it doesn’t matter how snazzy your design and message is.By testing, again and again, you need to determine what words and which presentations get the most opens. Do you personalize it or not, do you say “free gift” or “super opportunity”—depends on your product and your audience. The only way to know is to test but it is of the utmost importance you get this right.

    And, you have to balance your enticement to open against the words and phrases most likely to get you blocked by spam filters or blocked by subscribers who think you are coming on too strong.

  2. Overcomplicating Your Call To Action So let’s assume you read our previous blog post and now you have a Call To Action. It does you no good if your user can’t find it. The design of your email should be such that the user can clearly see how to take the action you want. If it is a button or link, make sure it is prominent and that it looks like a button or a link. That may sound obvious but many cool and avant-garde designs hide the standard underline and ugly blue link color for esthetic reasons or make buttons that don’t look like buttons to a standard subscriber. Steve Krug entitled his classic book on Web Usability Don’t Make Me Think (Berkeley, 2006) and his advice is as good for emails as web pages. People don’t have a lot of time or bandwidth to spend searching your artful but confusing email to figure out how to do your action. If they don’t know where your CTA is, they can easily delete your email.Another common mistake is to have too many CTAs. Think of the email as your opening lines in the conversation with your user, not the entire discussion. You need them to take the next step, to click on the link to your landing page where you can then entice them to buy or act. Don’t expect them to click on the “buy now” button from an email (in most cases). Don’t expect them to hang around your email if there are lots of little CTAs and it is unclear which CTA is the important one. Your email, like your web pages should be more like a funnel than a whack-a-mole game.

  3. Too Much Text How many emails do you get a day: 50, 100, 200? Are you going to read an email that looks like a WSJ article? Maybe if you are already really, really, interested in the subject. Emails are the first step in your conversation with your customer. In most cases, the only real purpose of an email is to get the user to click a link for more information. They should be short, sweet, enticing and to the point. Give the user enough information to get them say “yes” by following your CTA. If they need more information, give it to them on your landing page.

  4. Putting Too Much Text in Graphics Designing emails that look the same in all email readers is a frustrating experience at best and a nightmare when you expect emails to act like web pages. Designers who get frustrated and decide to send everything as one big image or one big sliced up image run into another set of problems.

    • All-graphic emails are more likely to be marked as spam by the spam filters.
    • If your user views emails with all graphics off, you’ve sent him or her a blank email. Many users do this to avoid tracking or to keep their download sizes small.
    • This violates generally accepted accessibility standards, meaning that if your subscribers use a screen reader for need or convenience, you may have well just sent a blank email.
  5. Not Considering Email Size Web designers have settled upon 1024 pixels as the general minimum screen size for web pages so many go ahead and design emails the same way. For many reasons, this is a very bad idea. First, most people do not view web pages in full screen, most people, even on their desktops, view email within a much narrower column.Things get even tighter when you consider that almost half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device (according to If you’ve designed your email at 900 pixels wide, they will either see the whole page with teeny-tiny fonts and pictures or they will see it 100% and have to scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll to try to read your message. They won’t do that, delete is much easier.

    We recommend an email be no wider than 600 pixels and no longer than it needs to be.

    If you really want the best experience for your subscriber, use responsive design. In responsive design, the graphics, layout and font sizes of your email will adapt to whatever size screen your subscribers is viewing it within. Your subscribers get the maximum experience and will be more likely to read and process your message properly.

Next: In the next article in this series, we will go into the real nuts and bolts of email development and show you production best practices and how to avoid some of the most common HTML and production mistakes.

Making Email Part of the Consumer’s Every Day Process

September 30th, 2013

checking_emailMany of us are used to a common routine – we wake up in the morning, plug-in the coffee pot, pour ourselves that eye-opening cup of brew, shower, get the kids ready and off to school and then we are off to begin a new day. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle, some of us try to squeeze in a moment to check our emails. Whether it’s work, personal, on our mobile devices, or our desktops, emails have quickly become part of our everyday process.

So what is it that we want to see when we check these emails? What catches our eye? Are we skimming & deleting or are we really spending time reading these messages? Within the short amount of time that we have to focus, we need to determine which emails are worth our while.

Below I’ve outlined a few things that I personally look at once I see that email hit my inbox on those busy mornings and what marketers can do to help improve email open rates:

    • Subject Line – The first thing you read. Is it an eye-catching message? Did it encourage me to click through to continue?
      → Tip: Email subject lines are the gatekeepers. The subject alone tells me if it’s worth my time to open. So, keep it simple and to the point.


    • Email Content – Ok, so you got past the subject line. Now, what are you looking at?
        • Personalization – Do they know me? Have I engaged with them before? Are they showing me products that I’ve purchased before or a service that I’ve used in the past? If yes, I’m probably more likely to continue reading the message. If not, my attention has already shifted back to my next sip of coffee.
          → Tip:Make your personalization efforts more conversational – for instance, “Hi there, Jen!” or “We miss you, Jen.”


        • Relevance (in both body content & audience) – Does the message apply to someone like me? Have I ever shown an interest in this company, service, or organization before? I’m an avid fitness buff, so I would expect to see messages based on nutrition tips or maybe showcasing a new set of workout DVD’s.
          → Tip: Evaluate and apply the data in your database to make your messages more relevant to your audience. Simple demographics such as age and gender can be an easy starting point for marketers to generate more relevant marketing messages.


        • Call to Action – What are they asking me to do? If I click here, will it take me to another page full of too much detailed information that I don’t have time to read in my morning? Will I be required to fill out a lot of information? Even if the marketer already knows my information? If yes, they’ve lost me.
          → Tip: Make the CTA simple, make it brief, make it easy for someone to engage in the little time they have in their daily process.


        • Images & Copy – Ok, so the subject line and overall content has me interested, but what does the email actually look like? In everyone’s busy morning, we don’t have time to read a bunch of text. We don’t have time to sift through paragraph upon paragraph of detail that really doesn’t directly apply to the CTA or intended message. What images do I see? Do I have to download images in order to make sense of the message? I don’t want to see an extensive amount of copy, or a ton of images that take over my page.
          → Tip: Email marketers should focus on balance. Emails should have an even balance of copy versus images. Want to get it just right? Try usability testing with eye tracking to actually see and hear what your users are saying when they interact with your emails.


    • What’s Next? – So, say they got me. The marketer has me engaged. My coffee is getting colder and my husband is screaming for me to get in the car. What can I expect from the marketer next? Will I get another email tomorrow morning? Will it be as relevant and will I want to engage again?
      → Tip: Email marketers need to understand that in order for people to continue wanting their product or service, the stream of messaging must be consistent and relevant. But don’t go overboard and send messages every day for the rest of the year. Make your email part of your consumers’ daily routine. Establish that trust factor, by encouraging them to visit your preference center and letting them determine when and how often they want to receive their emails. ExactTarget has great advice on what to include in your email preference center.


Like most people, I am definitely a person of routine. I enjoy process and I thrive on structure. But when it comes to opening and reading my emails, marketers must make it worth my time. They must capture my attention so that their emails remain part of my ‘process.’ Remember, process is hard to break but easy to maintain. Make sure you keep your users in mind to become part of their routine.

Are you ready for some Connections?

September 16th, 2013

Every fall we look forward to participating in the industry’s premier digital marketing conference – ExactTarget Connections! This year, we have not just one, but two of our employees; Patricio Sapir, Director Interactive Development and Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant, speaking during the breakout sessions, at the conference taking place in ExactTarget’s headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana September 17-19.

Patricio  Sapir, Director Interactive Development

Patricio Sapir, Director Interactive Development

Patricio Sapir, Director Interactive Development will educate attendees on how to build Hub apps and take them to market in HubExchange, the Hub’s integrated app marketplace, on Wednesday September 18 at 2:30pm EDT. Patricio will explain how he created Precision Dialogue’s Code in Color app which allows users to edit HTML and AMPscript code for emails without having to use separate text editor software.

Patricio Sapir is the Director for the Interactive Development Practice for Precision Dialogue, in charge of developing robust, scalable front end and backend technology that enables products and platforms, bringing together the best of cutting edge software engineering. Patricio has over 10 years of expertise as a Mobile and Web applications developer, architect and Project Manager with a focus on Agile Methodologies.  He is a graduate of the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant

Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant

Marvin Cal, Implementation Consultant will discuss flexible framework designs on Wednesday September 18 at 4:45pm EDT. Learn how flexible frameworks can improve your brand with consistent visuals, production efficiencies and campaign performance.

In  a combined role of Senior Graphic Designer and Production Specialist, Marvin has produced many successful email campaigns for our top email marketing clients. He has been working in the interactive field for more than 10 years and his expertise extends beyond email best practices into web design and development, flash animation, banner ad development and interactive applications.

Are you going to Connections? Follow the conversation on twitter by using the hashtag #ET13.

Precision Dialogue Launches New App for ExactTarget HubExchange to Edit HTML, AMPscript for Email

August 5th, 2013


Precision Dialogue, an analytics-driven, omni-channel, customer engagement firm, launched its new Code in Color app for ExactTarget HubExchange today, bringing marketers a new solution to edit HTML and AMPscript code for email within ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub.

Code in Color highlights words in the code such as AMPscript function names, variables, etc., as well as HTML code, allowing developers to easily identify the code they want to update. Updates are saved directly to the email; therefore the developer does not have to leave the application to make any changes.

Additional features of Code in Color give marketers the ability to:

  •  Open existing paste HTML emails, created in the ExactTarget Email application
  •  Highlight HTML and AMPscript based on what you want to edit
  •  Search within code for specific text
  •  Access to a library of AMPscript code snippets
  •  Update email properties such as name, subject line or encoding

“Code in Color was built to help marketers edit code directly through the ExactTarget email application, eliminating the possibility of overwriting code.” Patricio Sapir, Director of Interactive Development and developer of Code in Color. “Our app is intuitive, easy-to-use and ensures that users are writing emails correctly and efficiently.”

Code in Color is the latest innovation from Precision Dialogue. Precision Dialogue’s cross-channel solutions utilize customer intelligence and insights to deliver informed business strategies focused on maximizing and optimizing customer experiences. Precision Dialogue serves a diverse customer base from a broad range of markets including retail, financial services, insurance, telecommunications, pharmaceutical and entertainment. The company is focused on delivering the promise of customer engagement to drive mutually beneficial relationships between brands and the customers they serve. Precision Dialogue embraces emerging technologies and platforms, aggressively seeking strategic acquisitions and partnerships to position the company among the industry’s foremost customer-focused marketing firms.

“We are pleased to welcome Precision Dialogue’s Code in Color to ExactTarget HubExchange,” said Ian Murdock, ExactTarget’s vice president, platform and developer community. “Together with companies like Precision Dialogue, ExactTarget is transforming digital marketing, providing marketers around the world with a powerful platform and ecosystem of integrated applications to create customer experiences that build loyalty and drive results.”

HubExchange is ExactTarget’s app marketplace that enables technology providers to build and deliver integrated applications within ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub. Much like a consumer purchases and downloads apps on a smartphone, HubExchange enables marketers to access and install ExactTarget and third-party developed digital marketing apps, making it easy to integrate new features or marketing solutions to power marketing campaigns from within ExactTarget.

For a free 10-Day trial of Code in Color or to learn more visit HubExchange

Introducing Code in Color by Precision Dialogue!

July 16th, 2013

Yesterday Scott McCorkle, President of Technology and Strategy at ExactTarget, officially announced the commencement of HubExchange Week, which celebrates the launch of HubExchange, an app marketplace located in ExactTarget’s Interactive Marketing Hub that allows marketers to leverage the ExactTarget platform to create and offer their own applications to ExactTarget users.

Precision Dialogue was lucky enough to be invited to the party, being carefully selected by ExactTarget to help launch HubExchange with our new app, Code in Color!

Code in Color allows users to edit HTML and AMPscript (ExactTarget’s proprietary scripting language) for emails within the Interactive Marketing Hub. If you are already an ExactTarget user, you may be thinking: how is this different from ExactTarget’s Email application?

Basic Application Features

  • Text tab allows the formatting of a text-only version of your email
  • Properties tab allows users to update basic email properties such as Email Name, Subject Line and language encoding
  • Preview tab allows you to preview your changes

Where Code in Color differs greatly from the ExactTarget Email application’s content creation tools is on the HTML tab.

Nerd Alert! Why We’re Excited

Besides giggling over the opportunity to build applications on a new and robust platform, the initial launch of this application is a true app made for developers, by developers! This means that we’ve taken your coding challenges to heart when creating this app, because let’s face it – we’ve been there!

The HTML tab provides multiple color schemes for code display, which can toggle between highlighting AMPscript and HTML for easy editing. A code snippet dropdown includes basic AMPscript code snippets available for insert. A search field allows users to search for specific content or code within the HTML, and line numbering allows users to quickly find the area of the email they need to edit. Finally, there is a full screen option that allows users to make the HTML tab larger.


Code in Color Roadmap

What sorts of goodies come with future enhancements to Code in Color? Right now, the functionality allows the easy editing of existing emails only. Here’s what we’re adding:

  • Email creation / copy functionality
  • WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Editor
  • Template support
  • Content area support
  • AMPscript validation
  • AMPscript function library

For a 10-Day free trial of Code in Color, visit your account’s HubExchange today and look for our app!


For more information on HubExchange Week’s festivities, check out ExactTarget’s 40+ Events!

Protecting your Email Reputation with Unsubscribe and Reengagement

May 20th, 2013

I have a very common name and, as an early Gmail adopter, I was lucky enough to get my name as my email address.

The downside? I get literally hundreds of emails every month that don’t belong to me. Not only do these messages clog my inbox, but with all the newsletters and offers I receive each day, it’s extremely difficult to remember if a commercial message was something I wanted, or if I’m getting it by mistake.

According to Microsoft, 75% of email messages reported as spam are actually legitimate, requested communications. The subscriber entered the wrong email address, didn’t uncheck an opt-in box when they registered for a website, or simply forgot that they signed up. So, these messages are a gray area when it comes to deliverability – they’re legitimate, permission-based sends that are important to some people, but may be considered by others as spam.

To help fight legitimate spam and the inbox clutter caused by unwanted graymail, email providers are increasingly relying on personalized, relevancy-based filtering to determine which messages are important to individual subscribers. If your messages are reported as spam or even ignored, they won’t get priority placement in the inbox, and your subscribers may never see your message.  As an email sender, this means you need to protect your reputation as well as your position in the inbox through a clear unsubscribe mechanism and a reengagement strategy.

Senders are often wary of the unsubscribe option. You’ve spent a good amount of time and effort growing your list, so you don’t want your valuable subscribers to leave. However, if you don’t provide those who don’t want your message with a way to clearly remove themselves from your list, they generally respond in one of two ways:

  • Report your message as spam or junk, harming your reputation with not only that subscriber, but that email provider as well. If enough subscribers report you as sending spam, you risk your reputation even further by potentially ending up on a block list, which impacts multiple email providers.
  • Ignoring your future messages, which tells the email provider that your messages are either not wanted or relevant, pushing you out of the inbox.

Therefore, providing subscribers with a clear and prominent way to unsubscribe is in your best interest as an email sender. You may lose a few subscribers, but your reputation will be protected.

While many senders only place their unsubscribe link somewhere in the footer of the email, consider also putting it at the top, in the “preheader” area. Include a brief reason for the message, such as, “You are receiving this message because you registered on our website. If you no longer want emails from us…” Also, consider giving subscribers preference options other than receiving all messages and unsubscribing. Perhaps someone wants to receive offers from you, but not your newsletter (or vice versa). By allowing them to choose what messages they receive from you, they may be more likely to remain on your list instead of completely opting out.

Example of "Preheader" Unsubscribe Link

Example of “Preheader” Unsubscribe Link

Also consider implementing a reengagement email to keep your subscriber list fresh and filter out the subscribers who are no longer interested in receiving messages from you. A typical reengagement email is sent to subscribers who haven’t opened an email in a particular period of time. The messaging asks if the subscriber would still like to receive email messages from you, and requires an action – usually a click – to stay on the list. Subscribers who do not respond are removed from the email program, and you know the ones who do are still interested in hearing from you. While these campaigns do decrease your list size, the subscribers who remain are more likely to respond to your messages, which will further increase your relevancy in the eyes of the email providers.

Unfortunately, not everyone on your email list will want to receive your messages, even if you are collecting valid opt-ins. They may have changed their minds, forgot they registered, or entered the wrong email address! Luckily, with a clear unsubscribe method and a reengagement campaign, you can maintain a great sender reputation and focus on your most interested subscribers.

Approaching the Mobile Inbox: Four Questions to Ask Yourself

March 19th, 2013

Mobile devices are becoming a great influence in the consumer’s life and behavior, and should also be a key component in marketers’ revenue-growing strategies. I encourage you to grab a small group of people at work and ask them: What are the first things you do in the morning after you wake up? I bet most people will say they look at their phones. Not only that, it’s likely that most of them will say that they check their emails!

Mobile Opens Increase 123% in 18 Months via The above data is based on more than 1 billion opens collected from Litmus customers worldwide using email analytics. Source:

With 700 million smartphones shipping last year and the tablet market growing at an accelerated pace, email marketers are focusing on strategies to enhance the mobile email experience and improve conversions. So now that I have your attention, let’s get you thinking about your own mobile email strategy.

1) Do I need to focus on mobile email?

This is the first question you should ask yourself before starting a mobile email redesign. Even though the numbers speak for themselves, each business is different. The first thing you should do before investing money and time in this endeavor is review your own analytics when it comes to email opens in mobile devices and conversions made from smartphones. Tools such as Litmus, IBM Email Optimization (formerly Unica), and Return Path provide great insight on how your consumers are looking at your emails. The other thing you should consider is how your email looks outside of desktop or web email clients. A bad user experience will break the path to the conversion, so you should be really paying attention to how that experience is presented in all of the relevant platforms. How do you know if your user experience is good? The tools listed above can be used to help you to assess the rendering of your email in different platforms, so you don’t have to keep a bag of different phones on hand for email testing! Read on for more information about how to review and improve your customers’ mobile email experience.

 2) What happens after the consumer gets to my website?

Even if your mobile email is as beautiful as Scarlet Johansson or Channing Tatum, if the mobile website experience is poor, you will lose conversions. It’s very important to assess how your website looks in different resolutions. Sites like offer a great service to test websites in multiple platforms, including mobile.

 3) What can I do with my email design?

There are different approaches for mobile email redesign, with the two most popular being:

  • Responsive Email Design
  • Mobile aware email design

Responsive Email Design

This approach consists of using a series of techniques that include CSS3 media queries, fluid grids, and swapping content to make your email layout adapt to different screen resolutions. A great example of this is the email series that Precision Dialogue has built for Midas. As you can see, the content grows and adapts when viewed in a mobile device, making calls to action “finger-ready” so they are easy to tap.

Example of Midas Email in Gmail

Midas Email in Gmail

Example of Midas Email on an iPhone

The same Email in an iPhone

Mobile responsive design can get a bit tricky when it comes to coding, adding some time to the build process.

Mobile Aware Email Design

These types of emails don’t require ninja developer coding skills; they are more focused on having one email design that will look good on different resolutions. To make this happen, you need to focus on a single column layout and big call to action buttons (aligned left – you will find out why later), so that all of your content displays nicely in any device. Following is a good example from a Kelly Services email newsletter: Example of Kelly Services Email

Note the single column layout format of the Kelly Services career tips newsletter email

 4) Which areas of my email should I be focusing on?

Here are some key elements to consider in your email design:

  • Content is King: Plan your content strategy before you start planning design.
  • Honor legibility over length: When it comes to mobile, scrolling through an email is not annoying if you’re providing useful content and clarifying details. Don’t cut content because your email will be too long.
  • Single column layout design: This type of design will allow you to include the necessary content without worrying about elements getting cut off.
  • Avoid using the word “click”: Remember that mobile users don’t have a mouse to click on links!
  • iPhone Considerations: According to a recent study from Litmus, 24% of total email opens happen in iPhones. This device scales messages down so consider the following:
    • Keep text large for legibility.
    • Use large buttons so it’s easy to tap on them.
    • Use pre-header text to drive the consumer’s interest before opening your email.
  • Android Considerations: According to the same study, Android accounts for 7% of total email opens. The caveat with Android phones is that they will cut your message in half so you have to scroll right to see the rest, and in some models, the images are blocked by default. Consider the following:
    • Keep important content on the left, especially calls to action.
    • Style alt tags behind your images so even if they are blocked, your content still looks good and readable.


Rethinking your mobile strategy shouldn’t be guided only by what the industry is doing. It’s critical to consider how your unique customers are behaving. Before you consider redesigning your emails, you’ll want to review your analytics and conversion data. In the majority of cases, you can improve your mobile design and user experience – and ultimately, your conversions – with some fairly simple changes. The process should begin with asking yourself the right questions.

#ETCafe Twitter Chat: Ensure Customer Engagement with User Research

March 6th, 2013

Lisa Dragin - Research & Customer Experience Director

Join Research & Customer Experience Director Lisa Dragin this Thursday at 11am EST as she leads the ExactTarget user community (#ETCafe) via Twitter to discuss improving customer engagement with user research.

Lisa Dragin, Research & Customer Experience Director at Precision Dialogue, has a passion for making the world easier to use.  Lisa has an excellent track record in usability testing, user research, user experience design, and prototype development. Her experience spans industries including retail, health care, financial services, public sector, and more.

Customers are complicated. They act subconsciously, have little time and even less patience, and can’t always articulate their wants and needs. What are you doing to understand why they behave the way they do with respect to your emails?

  • How do you understand what users want with respect to emails?
  • How do you determine what they see with respect to emails?
  • How do you determine what key takeaways users notice for your email?
  • What experience do you have with behavior-based observation of emails?
  • What experience do you have with qualitative conversations with your end users about why they behave as they do?
  • How can you increase email conversion through email optimization studies with eye tracking?

To participate, log into Twitter or use your favorite Twitter application to follow the #ETCafe hashtag. Add the #ETCafe hashtag to your tweet so others can see your tweets.

We will be giving away a $25 iTunes card to the person with the most insightful tweets so happy tweeting!

MobileConnect: Past, Present and Future

February 18th, 2013

I am a true fan of ExactTarget products (a.k.a. “Product Nerd”) and generally enthusiastic about Precision Dialogue’s partnership with ExactTarget. When MobileConnect launched last year, it presented marketers with a huge opportunity to better plan, automate, and track mobile marketing campaigns. (And for ExactTarget email customers, that opportunity came in a tool that was conveniently integrated with their email platform.) Personally, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a demo account and start playing – I mean, “testing.” The initial rollout included a lot of great features, and the product roadmap for 2013 does not disappoint! Let’s take a look:

The [Immediate] Past:

The initial release gave us SMS messaging capabilities in over 80 countries worldwide through an easy-to-use interface. In Q4 of 2012, we saw the push of additional, more advanced message templates, as well as send throttling and improved settings for restricting send times by time zone.

The Present:

With just one (by no means little) release, it’s now easier to trigger SMS messages in real time! Contacts can now be imported via the FTP AND the API. We can also trigger messages to audiences already created in the app, choosing both who we wish to include/exclude via an API call. Use of the API allows us to call these functions from our website or any external source, i.e., pushing a contact’s data to MobileConnect as soon as they opt in to SMS in the ‘My Account’ section of your website.

MobileConnect Playbooks allow users of the application to easily create contact strategies for acquiring opt-ins for SMS and email, and delivering email in real-time in response to SMS requests.

Have we already come so far?

The Future:

If I wasn’t ready to shout about my love for MobileConnect from the rooftops, the product roadmap for 2013 definitely pushed me over the edge! (Remember earlier when I said I was a nerd?) The items outlined for the future of MobileConnect will truly help marketers take their SMS programs to the next level:

  • Importing contacts via the FTP and API (included in the Q1 release) will surely lend itself to building hands-off automations and real-time responses, previously only available in the email application. This allows us to integrate automated and triggered messaging for more rounded cross-channel touch points with our customers.
  • Triggered messages from MobileConnect is merely a continuation of what is already available in the email application – triggered SMS messaging is no different than real-time email messaging – your contacts will expect certain message types to occur immediately. Time is of the essence!
  • The release of additional MobileConnect Playbooks will allow all application users easy-to-create contact strategies, thus increasing the amount of implementation you can do on your own – the goal of this feature is to make you a MobileConnect marketing rock star!
  • What about those random responses that don’t fit your keywords? Right now, if your contact sends an unrelated keyword or message to your short or long code, they are presented with an error message, but their response is lost – hindering you from giving your contact the help or personal attention they need. Enter the message center, which will act as an inbox for these messages in Q2*!
  • Since this application is available in the Interactive Marketing hub, along with your email application, campaigns and calendar apps, you are that much closer to the unified view of each customer across multiple channels (email, mobile, social).

What else does the future hold for MobileConnect? It’s hard to imagine it getting any better than the roadmap for Q2, but my predictions include improved integration between channel applications (easier to unify MobileConnect contacts with Email subscribers), and reporting enhancements.

For more information or a demo of MobileConnect, contact or 887.332.9222.

*Release information is subject to change

Upcoming Webinar: Email Deliverability 101: Achieving Inbox Success

July 11th, 2012


Complimentary Webinar Series from Metrics Marketing Group

Thursday, July 26, 2012

12:00PM – 1:00PM EST

Do you know the difference between CAN-SPAM and CASL? What about blacklist vs. whitelist? Do you know the dangers of buying an email append list and why it’s important to establish a good sender reputation? In this webinar, learn the answers to these questions and the basics of email deliverability so your email marketing campaigns achieve inbox success. Our experts will cover the basics of email deliverability, provide tips on how to establish and maintain a good sender reputation, give insights on repair and reengagement strategies and more.

Presented by:

Jennifer Timmerman, Email Marketing Strategist

Liz Lewis, Email Implementation Consultant

Jennifer T Jennifer Timmerman

Email Marketing Strategist at Metrics Marketing

Liz Lewis

Liz Lewis

Email Implementation Consultant at Metrics Marketing


Upcoming Webinar: Mastering the Art of Welcome Emails

June 18th, 2012


Complimentary Webinar Series from Metrics Marketing Group

Thursday, June 28, 2012
12:00PM – 1:00PM EST
Learn how to make a memorable impression with your email campaigns by optimizing your welcome emails. In this webinar, learn how to take full advantage of your welcome email opportunities through examples and actionable best practices. Also, learn more about leveraging the welcome email to increase ongoing engagement and sales.
Presented by:
Tiffany Olson
Interactive Business Development Manager

tiffany-olson-BW Tiffany Olson
Interactive Business Development Manager at Metrics Marketing


Webinar Announcement: Utilize Your Customers’ Online and Email Data to Increase Sales

December 5th, 2011

Complimentary Webinar Series from Metrics Marketing Group

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Utilize Your Customers’ Online and Email Data to Increase Sales 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EST
Are you interested in increasing overall customer engagement with your email campaigns and decreasing abandoned shopping carts? Metrics Marketing has created a solution by combining the power of the ExactTarget email platform with the strength of Magento’s eCommerce solution. In this webinar, learn how to better leverage your customers’ data to increase engagement and sales.
Presented By:
Tiffany Olson, Interactive Business Development Manager & Adrienne Embery-Good, Business Development Manager
  Tiffany Olson

 Tiffany Olson, Interactive Business Development Manager at Metrics Marketing Group 


 Adrienne Embery-Good 

Adrienne Embery-Good, Business Development Manager at Metrics Marketing Group


Register Today

Metrics Marketing Group Announces Magento®-ExactTarget Integration

November 2nd, 2011

Magento-ExactTarget integration administration panel

Magento-ExactTarget integration administration panel

 Cleveland Marketing Firm Develops Seamless Integration between Magento® and ExactTarget for an Enterprise-Level, Commercial-Grade Email Marketing Solution

CLEVELAND, OH (November 2, 2011) – Metrics Marketing Group, an analytics-driven database marketing and interactive services firm, announced today the release of their in-house developed Magento-ExactTarget integration, enabling merchants to create, deploy and track transactional emails with ExactTarget straight from the Magento platform.

ExactTarget, a leading global interactive marketing solutions provider, and Magento, the fastest growing eCommerce platform on the market, are two of Metrics’ leading interactive services.  Metrics Marketing is the only solution provider in the Magento development community to offer the ExactTarget extension.

Metrics Marketing’s Magento-ExactTarget integration gives merchants the ability to create a better shopping experience for their customers by delivering targeted, relevant emails based on behavioral and transactional data. With this functionality, merchants can address abandoned shopping carts by employing highly effective and engaging emails to customers automatically. The integration offers more than 29 different triggered emails including newsletters, new order, order update, shipment update and more.

“Successful eCommerce sites need to focus on building long-term customer relationships instead of one-time transactions,” said Scott Roth, senior director of partner marketing and alliances at ExactTarget. “Metrics Marketing has integrated Magento and ExactTarget to help online marketers create an ongoing dialogue with their customers around the world through highly targeted and personalized interactive marketing programs.”

“As merchants look to create precise triggered and transactional emails to customers, the ExactTarget Extension for Magento provides an enterprise-class solution featuring ExactTarget’s award-winning email platform,” said Phil Robinson, head of business development for Magento.  “And we appreciate the leadership once again shown by Metrics Marketing in bringing this extension to market.”

The Magento-ExactTarget integration is currently available for all of Magento’s platform editions including Magento Community, Professional and Enterprise. Metrics Marketing is continually updating the integration to include enhanced dashboards to feature simple analytics data, abandoned cart and campaigns.

“We saw an opportunity to improve the interaction between a distinguished eCommerce platform and a reputable interactive marketing platform to create a solution to target customers more effectively and efficiently,” said Stephen Kidwell, eCommerce practice director. “The Magento-ExactTarget integration now enables online retailers the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind customer experience as a result of this improved interaction.”

Metrics Marketing is a Magento Gold Solution partner, ExactTarget Platinum reseller and 2010 ExactTarget Partner of the Year.

To learn more about Metrics Marketing’s Magento-ExactTarget integration, visit, or contact Adrienne Embery-Good, Business Development Manager at Metrics Marketing via email at or call 440-471-6009.

About Magento
Magento is the fastest growing eCommerce platform with over 180 solution providers and 60,000 merchants and brands worldwide, enabling over $25B in transactions each year. Magento is a feature-rich, professional Open Source eCommerce platform solution that offers merchants complete flexibility and control over the presentation, content, and functionality of their online channel. Based in Los Angeles, Magento is a fast-paced, entrepreneurial organization dedicated to the mission of enabling the eCommerce ecosystem. For more information about Magento, visit  

About ExactTarget
ExactTarget is a leading global provider of on-demand email marketing and interactive marketing solutions. The company’s Interactive Marketing Hub technology provides organizations a single solution to connect with customers via email, integrated text messaging, landing pages and social media. Supported by collaborative global services teams, ExactTarget’s technology integrates with more sales and marketing information systems than any other in the industry, including, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Omniture and Webtrends among many others. ExactTarget powers permission-based multichannel communications for thousands of organizations around the world. For more information, visit  

About Metrics Marketing
Based in Cleveland, Metrics Marketing offers comprehensive analytics-driven database and interactive marketing services that include: automated/triggered marketing systems, marketing database development and hosting, email strategy and deployment, predictive modeling, segmentation analysis, search marketing, creative services, website design, development and hosting, eCommerce solutions, web usability, web analytics, user research, traditional market research and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) strategy consulting. Metrics Marketing Group is a Precision Dialogue company and is located at 905 Corporate Way in Westlake, Ohio. Additional information can be found at



Media Contact:
Kelly Bowman

Join us for an Exclusive Webinar Featuring Magento® & ExactTarget®

August 15th, 2011



You’re Invited!
Join us for an exclusive webinar featuring Magento® & ExactTarget®. 

Utilizing Your Customer’s Online & Email Data to Increase Sales
Learn how Magento now integrates with ExactTarget to power more personal, relevant, and timely communications 

The days of abandoned shopping carts are over. Online retailers can now convert customers with highly effective and engaging triggered and transactional emails with the Magento-ExactTarget integration by Metrics Marketing.

Metrics has created a seamless integration between Magento and ExactTarget for an enterprise-level, commercial-grade email marketing solution. Online retailers can create, deploy and track targeted, relevant emails based on behavioral and transactional data with ExactTarget, straight from the Magento platform.

Learn how this integration can help you create better shopping experiences for your customers and increase conversions.

When: Wednesday, August 24th

Time: 12:00pm-1:00pm EST

Space is limited, so please register early! 

Real Connections Made at Ad:Tech in San Francisco

May 3rd, 2011
Dean Westervelt & Jeff Rohrs

“Missing You”

I recently attended the interactive and technology ad:Tech conference in San Francisco.  In addition to intellectually sampling the ad:Tech keynote speakers, panels, and workshops concerning all that is cool and impactful about digital marketing, I was honored to speak with Jeff Rohrs at an evening event hosted by Metrics Marketing and ExactTarget.  Over 100 marketing professionals joined us at the Intercontinental for an evening of networking, cocktails, and learning about the interconnections consumers are making across email and social channels and how this combination effectively supports social CRM (sCRM) initiatives. 

Jeff kicked off the engagement with a discussion of the ground-breaking Subscribers, Fans and Followers social research he authored.  Jeff touched on the differentiated ways consumers navigate the “big three” social platforms of Twitter, Facebook, and email (yes, it’s a social platform!).  Communication with consumers across these three channels should be viewed as a collaborative, synthetic effort that marketing professionals can use to address all aspects of the conversion funnel.  Whether your focus is on acquisition or retention – or all the strategic space in between – communication should be organized to take advantage of the preferences customers and prospects have across all three.  For example, Facebook and Twitter can be used to spread and extend the word about your products and services and email is the hook to exclusive content that can be used to effectively drive targeted response among a loyal vibrant base of subscribers. 

Typically for me and my Metrics-minded organization, the discussion shifted to analytics and supporting data, within the context of social CRM (sCRM), when it was our turn to speak.  sCRM is simply the application of emerging social technologies and data to traditional CRM strategy to extend your current marketing approach beyond the traditional channels, both in terms of how you speak with your customers and what you know about them and their preferences.  For example, ExactTarget incorporates social into their offering through platforms (CoTweet), social sharing of email, and the customizability of communicating with your subscribers based on their own interests through Audience Builder and the Interactive Marketing Hub.  

Another example mentioned highlighted the social aspects of e-commerce.  Magento – a Metrics partner – has an open source (which itself fundamentally is “social”) e-commerce platform solution that has successfully incorporated sCRM features into the purchase process.  Social aspects of the Magento platform include customized communication based on customer preferences and providing unique landing pages for user-generated content (e.g., product reviews, pictures, and videos).  This social outlet provides a creative bridge between the ongoing multimedia “conversation” and, importantly, the link back to the action – purchasing a product through the ecommerce platform.  

Metrics Marketing specializes in traditional, digital, and social analytics.  Organizing your data across disparate channels creates the solid foundation necessary for effective sCRM strategy.  To find out more about sCRM, please Social CRM White Paper or view our “Social CRM:  Myths and Realitieswebinar and don’t hesitate to get in touch.  We may have missed you in San Francisco but the social web means that we can connect at any time – and always through your preferred channel…