Tom Sather

Tom Sather

Tom Sather is Return Path’s senior director of email research. Tom uses his knowledge of ISPs, spam filters and deliverability rules to advise marketers on how to get their email delivered to the inbox. He began his Return Path career as an email deliverability consultant working with top-brand clients like eBay, MySpace, IBM and Twitter. Tom’s previous experience includes roles with email service provider Experian and on the abuse desks for AOL, Bellsouth, AT&T and GTE.

Hillary vs. Bernie: Applying Email Marketing Measurement to Track a Political Race’s Shifting Momentum

Bernie Sanders was winning. Heading into the first democratic presidential debate, Sanders' email messages were reaching more users than Hillary Clinton's and his program was performing significantly better. In the week before the event, nearly 95 percent of his email reached the inbox, almost 19 percent was read, and less than 13 percent was ignored (deleted without being read).

The Path to Holiday Email Optimization Part III: Measuring Your Impact

The holidays are coming up and you are feeling pretty confident about your campaigns. You have looked over your program, making sure everything was running smoothly, and you are tracking your metrics to know how your campaigns are performing. The final step before your program is ready for the holidays is to understand the impact of each element and how to track and report on it.

The Path to Holiday Email Optimization Part II: Optimizing Performance

The winter holidays are fast approaching and leading marketers are already done with their holiday planning. After establishing a solid structure, marketers can begin to focus on strengthening their email campaign performance in the weeks leading up to Black Friday. The following indicators can show you the best opportunities to improve program performance in time to realize gains in Holiday 2015.

The Path to Holiday Email Optimization Part I: Checking Your Foundation

For just about every consumer marketer, the winter holiday season generates the majority of revenue for the year. It's the season in which most businesses invest the bulk of their time and money in their marketing programs, and rightfully so. As the opportunity approaches email marketers typically concentrate on gaining consumer mindshare and showcasing value, laying the foundation for holiday purchases. The leaders do even more.

5 Tips to Rekindle Your Unengaged Relationships

They call it a honeymoon phase for a reason: It's only temporary. The key — and challenge — to developing a top email program is transitioning users from the honeymoon phase into an ongoing, engaging relationship. This is not such an easy thing to do; it takes work.

Phishing: Today’s Big Security Problem, Tomorrow’s Big Marketing Problem

Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and more common. Recent analysis reveals that an increasing amount of potentially fraudulent email is attributed to prominent global brands across a spectrum of industries. In addition to posing security risks and eroding consumer trust, email fraud may threaten targeted brands' ability to reach their customers.

Investing in Testing? These Traps Can Cost You Dearly

While others debate about what to send, marketers who test already have the upper hand on creating content that kills. But before you act on test results, make sure you're analyzing them correctly. You could be passing over the winning result if you fall into these six testing traps:

Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3

Who doesn't want their emails to make a splash? Unless you're an email savant, however, you might debate about what to send. While you can take chances, an easier and more effective method is to ask your audience. And although you can, and should, outright ask your subscribers what they want in the form of preference centers, this won't help you with the little details that can make or break an individual campaign. For help with the little things, start performing split tests with your emails. If you're beginning to get into testing and want to know where to start, look to these five areas:

Recap: Consumers Wanted Your Holiday Email, and the Numbers Prove It

Customers aren't bombarded by marketing email around the holidays. In fact they crave more of it ... From everyone. A recent snapshot done by my company showed that over the holidays, while people got 10 percent to 20 percent more marketing messages, they read 22.4 percent of their daily messages, compared to a 22.8 percent quarterly average. So they engaged with their email at just about the same rate they usually do.

3 Reasons to Use Email Data for Crafting a New Campaign Strategy

Marketers have traditionally leaned on email to build and monetize customer relationships rather than for acquisition or head-to-head competitive campaigns. But that's changing. Email data analysis is helping marketers understand more about who their customers are, where to find more people like them and how to win their attention back from competing offers.

5 Tips to Welcome Your Email Customers in the New Year

A new year means new resolutions—make one of them the resolution to craft the perfect welcome to your email program. Welcome emails are an important component for your email program because they are often the first look subscribers have of your email program. Welcome emails not only show subscribers who you are, they allow you to understand who your subscribers are (i.e., real, and not machines, or bad addresses). Tracking new subscribers' interactions with your welcome emails allows you to understand not only how to connect with them individually, but how to better to connect with all your subscribers.

How to Optimize Emails for a Multi-screen Audience

Today, your customers are multi-screen users, and it's unlikely that people are solely consuming your content and emails on only a smartphone, or only a desktop. Today's marketer needs to be prepared for their customers to read emails on a combination of mobile, desktop and webmail. This means taking a mobile-first or responsive design approach.