Michael Della Penna

Direct marketers interested in reaching the younger subset of Generation Y need to understand one thing about this generation: The way 18- to 24-year-olds cope with information overload on the Internet is simple—they compartmentalize it or ignore it.

As Tom Goosmann, chief creative officer of New York-based agency True North Inc., said in his luncheon keynote address at this year’s DM Days New York Conference & Expo, two years ago some marketers didn’t know a “MyFace” from a “Spacebook.” Now, more marketers are busy Twittering away while they digg, del.ici.ous and reddit press releases, articles and blogs to add to their companies’ e-mail marketing and e-commerce efforts. And as the online environment continues to shift shape, the e-mail channel is expected to evolve to better serve consumers’ and business professionals’ interaction preferences. With inbox advertising avoidance on the rise, experts predict that

By Irene Cherkassky This past September, New York City-based e-mail service provider Bigfoot Interactive—recently acquired by Epsilon, and now renamed Epsilon Interactive—released its latest e-mail Q2 2005 benchmark results announcing the overall success of e-mail marketing initiatives across all leading vertical and performance metrics. Strategic e-mail initiatives are experiencing continued growth and high performance—this includes contextually relevant, persona-based marketing messaging as well as service, lifecycle and integrated, automated e-mail messaging. Deliverability across all industries tracked remained extremely strong as well, at 94.4 percent, with retail promotional messaging performing at a 95.5 percent success rate and media editorial messaging hitting the 98 percentile.

Good design gives your message a fighting chance. If it feels as if e-mail marketing has become a battlefield, perhaps that’s because it has. Your messages must duck blacklists while staying in the good graces of whitelists. They must shimmy through spam filters, and then hope—even with opt-in e-mail—that when they finally arrive where you’ve sent them, recipients are still at the addresses. Given all that your e-mail messages must go through to reach their intended targets, it would be kind of sad if you hadn’t equipped them to present your offer in the most effective way possible. Introductions Once your message

Three … two … one. That's how long your e-mail message has to make an impression with a typical e-mail user. Call it the three-second rule. "It is critical to get your message across in the subject line and the part that pops in the preview window," says Michael Della Penna, chief marketing officer of e-mail marketing service provider Bigfoot Interactive. "Focus your attention on great copy." Remember: Jaw-dropping design will be for naught if you don't hook recipients with a few great words first. —Brian Howard

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