In the world of advertising and marketing, standards and best practices abound for just about every medium you can think of, except email. Outside of some legal requirements originating from the FTC, email has been a largely unregulated marketing channel, creating some critical gaps for marketers.
This lack of direction has opened the door for unscrupulous “marketers” to use the channel and all but ruin its reputation in the public eye. Although emotions drive opinions, numbers don’t lie. At the eec, we are advocates for email and continue to support its good name.
That being said, we need your help. The time has come to unite and collectively define some the standards and best practices that are not only critical to establishing a successful email marketing program, but are also the foundation and backbone of any digital program you can deploy. Getting it right with email building means a foundation for getting it right for other digital channels like mobile, desktop applications and more.
Share our passion as we explore some of the hottest and most important topics in email today through our Marketing Roundtables.
Change is not driven by one person. Change happens when a group of people work together toward a collective vision of success. These member-led groups are the heart and soul of the eec community.
The eec’s Member Roundtables offer the environment that fosters this collective vision. Each Roundtable focuses on a key issue in the email industry and develops ways to overcome barriers to success by working on projects that enable us to get to the next level.
The eec has four Roundtables:
- Cross-Channel Integration Roundtable
- Deliverability & Compliance Roundtable
- Email Design Roundtable
- List Growth & Engagement Roundtable
The eec also has three Advisory Committees.
This roundtable is chaired by eec members Colleen Petitt of Aprimo and Dwight Sholes of Sholes, LLC.
Members of the Cross-Channel Integration Roundtable seek to determine the best practices for communicating to customers on a 1:1 basis no matter the channel of communication. With inboxes becoming a central hub for communications (not just email), ESP's integrating with mobile and social, customers engaging with companies across various channels, the role of the email marketer has become more complex. It is important to understand how email marketers should best approach the various channels to communicate to customers effectively, so this roundtable is looking to determine a best practice for multi-channel communication efforts.
Meeting Schedule: This Roundtable meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 2:00pm EST/11:00am PST.
2010/2011 Project: We are currently outlining the top 10 guiding principles of a successful cross-channel marketing program. This will lead to an outline of how best to approach or refine your cross-channel marketing program.
This Roundtable is chaired by eec members Dennis Dayman of Eloqua and Matt Rausenberger of Return Path.
The killer app—email—is under fire by spam, viruses, and general mis-use. How do we preserve the credibility, deliverability and effectiveness of email communications? The Deliverability & Rendering Roundtable will lead the charge forward in identifying and championing gaps in the marketplace and the best practices in deliverability, permission, reputation and rendering needed to improve our effectiveness.
We'll serve as an essential intermediary between the sending and receiving community by fostering open dialogue, cooperation and agreement on acceptable standards. We'll educate the mailing community on critical issues that impact their email reputation across the customer lifecycle and across communication mediums through practical and easy-to-execute tips, as well as expert whitepapers. We'll utilize the eec as a forum for establishing a consensus on key performance metrics related to deliverability and reputation management and foster their adoption across the industry.
Meeting Schedule: This Roundtable meets on the third Thursday of the month at 2:00pm EST/11:00am PST.
2011/2012 Project: The Wedding Document - a three-part series.
Wrote How to Revive a Stale Email List, a reportlet that lays out step-by-step how to salvage stale lists and actively prune lists before too many inactives build up. Read about what happens if you don't keep a clean list. This Roundtable also released a "Deliverability Resource Guide", available in the eec Research Store .
Chairs: eec members Michelle Eichner of Pivotal Veracity and Andy Goldman of Ogilvy
State of Email Metrics, a survey and report on the industry's inconsistencies in how it defines bouncebacks and other key email metrics. Report released February 2007. Cost: $59 for non-members, at a discount for silver and gold members, and for free for platinum members.
Chairs: eec members Deirdre Baird of Pivotal Veracity and Michelle Eichner of Pivotal Veracity
This Roundtable is chaired by eec member Lynn Baus of Responsys and Garrett Ryan of Arc Worldwide.
The Email Design Roundtable is focused on determining industry leading design tactics that create rich and profitable customer relationships through email.
Email has forever changed the world of design. It has pushed us into thinking differently about what defines a successfully designed campaign. This roundtable is dedicated to pushing the world of creativity into a world of measurable results. Please join us as we collectively lead our industry in the creation of innovative design solutions, best practices and email stewardship for the global design community.
Roundtable initiatives will focus on combining the art of design and science of analytics. Together we will guide our industry on how to best utilize database marketing techniques for determining individualized and evolutionary design strategies. Furthermore, we will demonstrate how behavioral indicators can be used for establishing design tactics such as image placement, copywrite direction and much more.
Meeting Schedule: This Roundtable meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 4pm EST/1pm PST.
2011/2012 Project: TBD
Released six Email Checklists available in the Research Store: Code QA Testing, Email Design, Landing Page, Welcome Email, Creative A/B Testing, and Email Program Review.
Created three Email Checklists—the Code QA Testing Checklist, Email Design Checklist and Welcome Email Checklist—and posted Email Design Checklists Save the Day: Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Put Your Welcome Message to Work with the Welcome Message Checklist on the Email Experience Blog.
Chairs: eec members Lisa Harmon of Smith-Harmon and Julie Montgomery of Smith-Harmon
This Roundtable is chaired by eec members Ryan Phelan of BlueHornet and Nate Romance of ExactTarget.
A high-performance email list is not about size, it's about engagement. The List Growth & Engagement Roundtable is a group of email marketing retention and acquisition practitioners committed to refining and sharing best practices. The group focuses on research projects, case studies and other initiatives to illuminate the most effective ways to build an active, engaged email list. Our work will help email marketers benchmark their own practices and provide a forum for testing exciting new ideas and technologies. Additionally, we dedicate a part of each meeting to an “on-the-record” discussion of a key topic. Members have exclusive use of these discussions as blog posts or other content for their websites and social media activities. Join us!
Meeting Schedule: This Roundtable meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 1pm EST/10am PST.
2010/2011 Project: List Growth and Engagement Podcast Series. The Roundtable is creating an ongoing podcast of interviews with list growth and engagement leaders—some, but not all, from the ranks of the eec membership. Interviews are conducted by the Roundtable members and are available here on the eec website. We plan to build the podcast series to create a robust library of growth and deliverability expertise available in easily consumed audio bites.
2009/2010 Project: In September of 2009, the List Growth Roundtable published the List Growth Strategy Evaluation Tool & Benchmarking Guide which is available for purchase in the eec's Research Store. For 2010, the group is working on an interactive tool to help marketers audit their list growth strategy and offers suggestions for improvement.
Chairs: eec members Amy Bills of demand-generation agency Bulldog Solutions and Nate Romance of email marketing software leader ExactTarget
2007/2008 Projects: Defining the value of an email address by industry. The ROI Calculator for Retailers is currently available for $49 for non-members, at a discount for silver and gold members, and for free for platinum members. ROI Calculators for other industries are in the works. Also, the Roundtable launched a List Growth Challenges blog post series, which discuss various list growth issues and how best to deal with them.
Chairs: eec members Austin Bliss of FreshAddress and Dan Babb of WalterKarl Interactive
2006/2007 Project: Value of an Email Address, a survey and report on the various manners in which marketers determine the value of an email address and measure success. Report released February 2007. Cost: $39 for non-members, at a discount for silver and gold members, and for free for platinum members.
Chairs: eec members Austin Bliss of FreshAddress and Stephanie Miller of Return Path
eec members can get involved with our Member Roundtables by contacting Ali Swerdlow.
Consumer Education Roundtable
This roundtable was chaired by eec members Justin Premick of AWeber and David Hibbs of Mighty Interactive, A Division of Off Madison Ave.
There's no denying it: Some consumers are absolutely frustrated and confused by email. The goal of the Consumer Education Roundtable is alleviate that frustration and confusion by identifying and creating content and tools that help educate consumers on the most efficient and safest ways to use email so they can have the most positive email experience possible. The Roundtable will also launch marketing and promotion campaigns to raise awareness of these resources.
2009/2010 Project: To launched and created a consumer education website about email.
Measurement Accuracy Roundtable
This Roundtable was chaired by eec members John Caldwell of RedPillEmail.com and Luke Glasner of Glasner Consulting.
The members of the Measurement Accuracy Roundtable seek to provide exactly that, measurement accuracy for all. Building upon our past work seeking the advancement of industry standards, we work to illustrate how to use this framework to build more complex calculations all email marketers can use for their specific programs. We will assist email marketers by facilitating knowledge sharing for various measurement methodologies and their practical application in the field. We will also continue our commitment to standards through the management of the industry standards adoption seal program for email service providers.
2009/2010 Project: Industry roll-out of the S.A.M.E. Project – Support Adoption of Metrics for Email project.
2008/2009 Project: The Email Render Rate: The Inadequacies of the ‘Open Rate’ and the Need for a New Standard Terminology. Available in the Research Store.
2007/2008 Project: Establish a standard definition for "open rate" and for the various levels of permission. Promote the adoption of deliverability metrics standards.
Chairs: eec members David Daniels of JupiterResearch and Loren McDonald of Silverpop