Amazon.com is a good case study of smart permission email marketing.
The emails are personalized with my name.
They send recommendations based upon what I have bought in the past.
They send recommendations based upon what people who share my interests have bought.
All of this data is uniquely targeted to me; no other person has the same set of interests and has bought the same combinations of books and music on Amazon that I have. Yet, the email content remains relevant to me. Otherwise, I would have unsubscribed long ago.
They also make it easy to order, and much of the functionality described above is duplicated on the website, if you log in.
They allow me to create my own sense of community on their website (wish list, writing reviews) and use email to keep me connected to that community.
Yep, I love Google.
And the reason is, Google seems to have the psychic ability to figure out exactly what I need and want, and give me exactly that, much of the time.
An example from just few minutes ago…
I had trouble remembering the spelling of a particular word, and decided to simply type “spelling” into Google to see what would happen.
Google then displayed a link to the “Spellboy” gadget and asked if I want to add it to my Google start page.
I did, in fact.
Here’s a great site which aggregates feeds from business blogs and news sites, especially those oriented toward startups:
I learned about this from Tim Berry’s blog on Entepreneur.com, another helpful resource:
Here is a very helpful article on the issue of metrics:
The author claims that not only are most web publishers measuring the wrong metrics, the data they do measure is usually inaccurate.
To the tune of 75%.
Bottom line: figure out what you’re supposed to be measuring (for a sales site, it’s conversion) and measure that.
How many visitors opt in?
How many viewers buy?
What is their average purchase amount and purchase frequency?
Don’t get hung up on the number of page views, except that if you’re getting a bunch of folks clicking away immediately, you know you have a problem. 🙂