Posted May 4, 2008 1:12 pm by with 14 comments

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By Michelle Greer.

It’s official. As much as people want to pile on the social media consulting gravy train to bring in the big theoretical bucks, even Biz Stone at Twitter sends email newsletters. Apparently, the guys at Twitter have cool news they want you to hear that requires more than 140 characters.

How can marketers actually send emails that people want to read, according to a study done by eROI?

  • Put out something people can use. Of those who responded to the study, only 29% offer access to preferred content, 24% offer discounts/coupons, and only 22% offer some kind of contest.
  • Don’t be a jerk. Only 30% of respondents to the study are offering any opt-in options.
  • Your customers have different needs, so treat them that way. One-third of responders are offering no form of segmented email list at all.

To find more stats on making email marketing effective, read the summary of eROI’s report.

About Michelle Greer

Michelle Greer is an internet marketer/geek out of Austin, Texas. You can find her writings about ecommerce at and her social networking blog at

  • What does the word opt-in mean?

  • What I find to be useful in my newsletters is to add the human-interest aspect – what’s going on in my life, how my air conditioner broke so I had to work at the library, which Twitter Budgie ate my lab notebook, etc. I’ve received many positive comments about that.

    Data points,


    Barbara Ling (aka Owlbert)’s last blog post..Insane Luxury Music – Party hard with this 5K Jukebox

  • @Webmaster Forums – it means that the user specifically requested to join the email list.

  • PS3

    And double opt-in?

    I find e-mail marketing a difficult concept to get my head around, bearing in mind that I delete anything that vaguely looks like it is selling me something or is spam. Doesn’t everbody?

  • double opt in, as i understand it, sends another email to you to verify that you indeed opted in to their mailing list

  • Was following an interesting thread on another blog about the imminent redundancy of email, and here we are talking about email campaigns again.

    There is still value to be found here in my humble opinion, however the spam issue has fouled the works up a bit. If one can effectively circumvent spam issues (don’t ask me how….) then there is life left in this type of campaign.

  • Personally I don’t even bother opening emails which look like spam. It’s the 30 year anniversary of spam.

    Today more than 100 billion spam messages are sent every day. They make the senders more than £121m a year. It’s a real problem.

    Opt-in emails are different though. You know who sent them. I still ignore them unless they have something worth reading, which is never.


  • PS3, If you were to sign up to MP updates or newsletter for example they would build up your trust, send you some useful info and only then start plugging referral links or ads. Half the time you won’t even know you are being sold something.

  • Newsletters are helpful once in a while. There are so many newsletters sitting in my mailbox, but I hardly get time to read any.

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  • Yeah me too rarely read the newsletter come to my inbox. Sometimes maybe I just deleted it right away before read it because I don’t have enough time to identify whether it is spam or not.

  • I’m super proud of my D& D newsletter. It has been going to 11+ years now! yee haw.

  • make that 12, sorry

  • I also think newsletters should offer some original content. Companies and individuals should offer something new in their newsletters. This goes along with the idea of providing something of interest to the readers. Why would they care about a newsletter that only contains information they’ve already read several times?

    Jeff Kempf, marketing intern at

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