Good Deal of Positive News for Daily Deal Email Programs

Groupon Daily deal websites and email campaigns have certainly gotten a lot of attention this past year. With Groupon leading the charge, now other big players such as Google and Facebook are drooling over getting a bite of the pie.

The real question is, have consumers eaten their fill and could more chefs in this soup cause a loss of appetite?

According to research from Yahoo! Mail and Ispos OTX MediaCT, deal overload doesn’t seem to be much of an issue yet. The survey from February 2011 found that at least in the US, adult internet users subscribe to an average of almost three daily or weekly shopping emails or newsletters. More importantly, respondents actually read them! 61% of those who subscribe to at least two of these emails indicated they read all of the messages. They also reported accessing those messages at least once a day.

Frequency with which US internet users access daily deal and shopping emails or e-newsletters

Another bit of good news is that most of those subscribed to daily deal emails pass them along to friends and family, albeit with less frequency. Only a quarter passed them on daily, but almost half (45%) forwarded them on at least once per week.

There seems to be a good deal (pun intended) of positive news for daily deal email programs. Even the enthusiasm doesn’t seem to wane too much among subscribers. Six out of ten said they are subscribed to more of these programs than last year and almost half were still excited enough to say they “can’t wait” for the latest and greatest offering message.

There also seems to be a certain level of trust here with only 27% of respondents admitting they use an email account (other than their main one) for these daily deals. In other words, the vast majority don’t mind getting these in their primary personal account inbox. That seems to suggest that subscribers view them as desirable and relevant.

Speculating on this, I think the perception of these emails for many is about the same as a wrapped present. Part of why we love these daily deal emails is because it promises the potential to reward ourselves. The ribbon on the box is that we can rationalize giving ourselves that treat because we are getting a deal on it.

Fear of Email Overload?

Of course relevancy is the key here for daily deals as it is with any email marketing campaign. If your messages are not relevant people will soon tune out and unsubscribe. I wonder why more brands don’t engage in their own daily or weekly deal emails. Is it because we have become so hung up on the frequency issue (the fear of overloading subscribers) that we just don’t even consider trying it? Or is it just a case of most brands not having the variety of products or services to offer consistent deals? Or is it because we just don’t have the imagination to try such things?

Which is it? Or is it something else or a combination of all of them? I don’t have pat answers for this – you tell me.

2011’s Deliverability Nuts and Bolts

You can have the best looking and most informative email marketing newsletter on the planet, but it’s useless if it never gets to the subscriber inbox. Deliverability is one of those aspects of email marketing which everyone should be thinking about and yet too few do.

2011’s Deliverability Nuts and Bolt’s is a new whitepaper from goldLasso which tries to clear up some of the confusion on this topic and offer some advice for marketers.

Deliverability is not going to get any easier in the future – quite the opposite! Carol Catajan, Product Manager for Yahoo! Mail, announced at the spring 2010 Email Insider Summit, that its systems block 60% of all email messages received. Of the 1 billion or so email messages that Yahoo! delivers, in a given day, 40% of them are placed in the spam folder.

As, goldLasso makes clear, your email service provider (ESP) should be knowledgeable about deliverability and able to support you in obtaining and maintaining solid deliverability rates for your email campaigns.

There are several components to deliverability which you should understand:


Just as it sounds, these programs confirm you are the sender you claim to be. It protects you from having spammers hijacking your name and reputation. Among the most popular protocols for this are: SPF, DKIM, SenderID and DomainKeys. Ask your ESP about these protocols and what they use/offer.

Content filtering

As the name suggests, this type of filtering relies on flagged key phrases or words to filter out/block spam. You may even have run into this kind of thing on your own mail server at the office, depending on how aggressive your IT team is about using it. Content filtering has issues with false positives and that’s one reason why sender reputation is used by major ESPs and even free web based services primarily.

Sender reputation

Many ISPs use this as their primary filter to cut down on spam – for some, this is their only method. Sender reputation works like the financial credit rating system.

The five key elements for sender reputation are:

Volume and consistency – how much you send and at what frequency is a flag for ISPs to monitor a sender.

Unknown subscribers/hard bounce rate – Sending to a lot of email addresses which don’t exist (old inactive addresses for example).

Complaints – Complaints can come from the “spam” button in email clients or directly to the ISP via an email from a user.

Permanence & IP stability – The longer you send from the same IP address the more reputable you will appear.

Spam traps – These are set up by ISPs and others to catch spammers and those with poor list management (never buy an email list). If you send to these “phony” addresses too often you will likely end up on a black list and that will definitely impact your sender reputation and deliverability.

Establishing and maintaining a good sender reputation is a work in progress. You have to actively monitor and manage your reputation by keeping your lists clean, up to date and adhering to best practices which will prevent any ISP flags going up. For the vast majority of email marketers, this means partnering with an ESP that understands the ins and outs of sender reputation and provides the support to keep your rep in tip top shape.

You can get the white paper here.