Return Path’s Weekly Roundup

Hotmail publically announces testing interactive email called Active Views. This is part of email providers’ attempt to keep their users in the inbox, rather than leaving every time they click on a link or perform some sort of call to action. For example, today if someone receives a Netflix email about a new release, you have to click on a link, log in to Netflix, and add it to your queue. Now one will be able to do this right within the email without ever having to leave the inbox. Orbitz and are testing this out this week, with Netflix and LinkedIn coming soon. Yahoo and Gmail will also be offering very similar services.

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Trusteer discusses the “Golden Hour of Phishing Attacks” in their latest blog post. They found that half of the victims of phishing emails fall for the scam within an hour of receiving the phished email. 80% respond to the phishing campaign within five hours, and 90% do so after ten hours. It’s best to block the phishing messages from ever reaching the inbox than being reactive and trying to take down the phishing site. Return Path’s anti-phishing tool Domain Assurance does just that by preventing phishing messages from ever reaching your subscribers in the first place, because as seen from the numbers, if the phishing message is already in the inbox, the damage has already been done. Trusteer chief technology officer Amit Klein says, “Blocking a phishing site after five to 10 hours is almost irrelevant.”

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Pew Internet released their Generations 2010 report on how each generation uses online activities. What surprised me was that Gen Xers and older generations were more likely to engage in several online activities, where Millennials were not. What remained the most heavily used and uniform, regardless of age? Email. While teens are still using email, they are only using it for formal communications with adults. Besides making me feel old, it’s sign of things to come with short Twitter-style messages which is at the center of Facebook Messages.

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Marketing Sherpa shares case study from Digg’s new re-launch, and how email was integral in the re-launch campaign. They started by creating three segments: active (site visit <2 months), lapsed (site visit 2 – 18 months) and very lapsed (18+ month site visit). They then tested email created specifically for each segment and chose the winning creative in each segment based on the response level from the tests. The results? Actives saw a 42% open rate (5x greater than regular emails) and a 4x (13%) increase in click throughs. Lapsed saw a 20% open rate (2.5x increase) and a 7% (2x increase) click through rate. Very lapsed segment saw a 15% (2x increase) open rate, and a 6% (2x increase) in click throughs. Moral of the story: segmentation and testing are essential for email marketing success, not to mention it helps boost deliverability rates.

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Blue Sky Factory shares two signup ideas that I love. One is for Evernote where they add a competitive flare to the registration by displaying the record time for filling out the form (which happens to be 15.6 seconds until I break the record). What a great way for companies to increase their number of completed registrations by employing everyone’s competitive drive. The other sign-up page is for a World of Warcraft blog that has a dynamic video showing the subscriber what the DOI/confirmation email will look like in their inbox including personalization. I love this idea too since it helps reinforce to their subscribers to complete the subscription process and leaves out any room for confusion or error on the end users’ part.

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