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Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Most marketers know by now that welcome emails are not a luxury, but a necessity — and yet a number of prominent brands may be missing their opportunity to make a first impression. A recent report by Return Path showed that only 75 of the top 100 retail companies employed a welcome email of any kind (only three of those had a comprehensive welcome series!). Here's how to improve your email marketing program by employing and analyzing smart welcome messages:

The Ecommerce Quarterly includes expert analysis on how emerging trends are shaping ecommerce. This unique and exclusive report of more than 500 million online shopping sessions has been referenced by eMarketer and Gartner, and covered in CNBC, Forbes, TechCrunch and Mashable. Download your copy today.

Now in its third release, the Ecommerce Quarterly (EQ3 2012) includes expert analysis on how emerging trends are shaping ecommerce. This unique and exclusive report of more than 100 million online shopping sessions has been referenced by eMarketer and Gartner, and covered in CNBC, Forbes, TechCrunch and Mashable. Download your copy today.

Facebook launched its own email service back in 2010, which was promptly forgotten by everyone. This morning, Forbes noticed that they removed everyone's email addresses from their profiles, replacing them with an @facebook.com email address instead (not Facebook's internal email address which they use for notifications and password resets, just the one listed on your profile). Luckily, it's easy to get your old email address back on your profile

Mozilla has publicly decried the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a controversial cybersecurity bill recently approved by the House of Representatives that is now being considered in the Senate. In a statement to Forbes, the head of Mozilla's Privacy and Public Policy Department said: "While we wholeheartedly support a more secure Internet, CISPA has a broad and alarming reach that goes far beyond Internet security. The bill infringes on our privacy, includes vague definitions of cybersecurity, and grants immunities to companies and government that are too broad around information misuse. We hope the Senate takes the time …

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