Top email marketing info sources: 2011 edition
No man is an iland (no S), and I owe a constant debt of gratitude to those resources that keep me up-to-date with email marketing advice, wisdom and insight.
Each year, I publish a new list of my personal favorites – the people and places who’ve proved their value as an email marketing resource.
It’s a personal list, not an exhaustive one: there are many other wonderful resources out there, particularly for specialist niches. So please feel free to add to my suggestions through the comments.
After a few years howling in the media wilderness, email has slipped past the bouncer and is back dancing with the cool kids in the marketing nightclub. Everyone is writing about it.
ClickZ and me go back well over a decade. It was there I first read about the killer app (yep, email was once the hot new marketing thing). They have six solid columns now.
Other media & membership sites I go back to regularly are:
- MarketingProfs (especially the “Get to the Point: email marketing” newsletter)
- iMedia Connection
The latter is worth joining to get access to the back catalog of case studies with real campaign numbers (some of which I even wrote, back when I used to freelance for them).
Finally, a special mention also for SmartInsights, which features email articles by digital marketing Überguru Dave Chaffey and Tim Watson, who always impresses me with his critical analysis and thinking. (Disclaimer: I write there, too).
Blogs, newsletters, etc.
Phew…the number of email marketing blogs and newsletters is somewhere in the four figures by now. Everyone has their personal favorites. Here are mine:
The Retail Email Blog is the go-to place for keeping up with trends in, well, retail email marketing.
Author Chad White also produces regular reports and throws in his own wise insights with his coverage of the sector.
Pay close attention to anything you see by Dela Quist and colleagues at Alchemy Worx (newsletter).
It’s hard to find the correct word to describe their insights, so I’ll put it like this: nobody has made me think harder about email and my own assumptions and ideas than Dela.
The folk at Bronto have kept up a high standard of practical posts for a long time now. Also especially good for retailers to read.
The email design world is blessed with some excellent resources and I’ve already highlighted 22 sources for design inspiration elsewhere. But a quick extra mention for:
- Style Campaign (written by mobile email design Goddess Anna Yeaman)
- CampaignMonitor (Ros Hodgekiss and colleagues offer strong support for the email design community)
- Litmus (sterling work by Justine Jordan)
- Email on Acid
- WhatCounts (particularly articles by Christopher Penn, who comes at email from many different and innovative angles)
- The DMA EMC blog (featuring a lot of top UK talent)
- MailChimp (recently the blog has been more service oriented, but check out the article backlog and resource guides)
Statistics, studies and background data
I have separate posts covering sources of numbers and studies you might need for background or presentations. For example:
- Benchmark statistics
- Value of email marketing – why do it?
- How big is email? – webmail and email numbers
- Mobile email use
- Smartphone numbers and market shares
I recently joined the Only Influencers member site and email marketing discussion list.
I’m largely a lurker, due to time issues, but have learnt an enormous amount through the willingness of some very clever people (vendors and marketers alike) to share their expertise, results and practical know-how with others.
It’s invitation-only, so contact Bill McCloskey (it’s his brainchild) to see if you would qualify for an invite.
Another public discussion community is the Email Marketers Club run by the delightful Tamara Gielen.
Recommending top Twitter accounts to follow is a hopeless task: there are so many good ones. I am annoyingly selective about who I follow, so most of those that I do are going to give you value for your time. Most of the resources mentioned in this post also have associated Twitter accounts.
Special shout outs to:
Some other names to watch for: top sharers and/or fountains of insight on Twitter and elsewhere:
- The Trendline Interactive team, e.g. Andrew Kordek
- The Inbox Group team, e.g. Scott Cohen
- The Red Pill Email team, e.g. John Caldwell and Shannon Holato
- Kath Pay, Scott Hardigree, Steve Henderson, Mia Papanicolaou, Spiro Malamoglou and don’t forget pretty much all the people who I follow.
Those getting started, particularly in small businesses
These are email marketing services whose blogs and other content is well suited to small business, often going well beyond email in the topics they address.
Michael Katz’s newsletter is the only one on this planet I find myself reading every issue, even if I don’t have the time to do so. How does he do that?
These ESPs are also well-tuned in to the needs of the smaller email sender:
These are not all email focused, but a few other folk I’ve found struck a chord with me in one fashion or another.
- DJ Waldow, whose monumental enthusiasm and embracement of all things email and social is like having your own personal trainer.
- J-P De Clerck, whose prodigious content output is equally inspiring. More importantly, he has very independent, ethical and forward-thinking views on marketing online.
- Ken Magill, whose coverage of the industry reveals the incalculable value of style, personality and writing skills in creating reader loyalty.
- Jim Ducharme, a top sharer and a writer on email/social media issues with a heart and mind in the right place.
- Robin C Kennedy, the top commenter on this blog…many of his comments deserve their own post. Thanks Robin!
- Kevin Hillstrom, whose blog has taught me more about analysis and measuring the true value of email than I even knew I needed to know.
Author’s note: A couple of the people or organizations mentioned above are also sponsors or clients. A couple are former sponsors or clients. Many I’ve had personal contact with. Many don’t even know I exist. None have bought me a beer.
One or two have sent me t-shirts (I’m a sucker for t-shirts) or chocolate (ditto). All are listed solely on merit and my (inevitably subjective, UK and US-biased) evaluation. Please do add your resource suggestions below!
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