Most Major U.S. Newspaper Chains Now Have E-Mail Publishing Operations

Congratulations for the Gannett corporate staff for selecting — after more than three years of deliberations— an e-mail publishing vendor for USA Today and for all Gannett newspapers and TV stations in North America. Gannett’s ‘quick’ selection is significant for two reasons: First, it means that now almost all major U.S. newspaper chains have finally begun e-mail publishing operations. Gannett is the largest U.S. chain and the last to do so. Knight Ridder, Advance Publications, Tribune, New York Times, Post-Newsweek, Media News Group, and Media General already have such operations underway. This leaves Hearst and Cox as the only chains […]

A Day in the Life of a Spammer

What if the crime of Breaking & Entering into your home were illegal only if the perpetrator wore a mask? Imagine if Breaking & Entering into your home were legal if the perpetrator didn’t wear a mask. Now imagine that we’re not talking about breaking & entering into your home but into your e-mail queue. In the U.S., it’s now legal to spam you if the spammer doesn’t disguise his identity. That’s the situation which the ironically named CAN SPAM Act of 2003 has created. Provided that the spammer doesn’t disguise his identity or subsequently agrees to not break into […]

NYT Interactive E-Mail about U.S. Presidential Campaign

“In case you missed any of these important stories, here are the Top 10 Most Read Articles from our Campaign 2004 section for the month of July (as of 11 a.m. ET, July 28).” So says the greeting on this e-mail from The New York Times (click the thumbnail image at left to see the full-sized GIF of the e-mail). It’s an excellent editorial use of e-mail publishing. The e-mail provides its recipients with headlines and links to the ten most read political stories in July from the newspaper’s Web site, and it features a color-coded map of the U.S. […]

More Data Why Publisher Who Don't Use E-Mail Marketing Are 'Missing the Boat'

DoubleClick’s analysis of e-mail marketing opening rates, click-through rates, order size, and revenues per e-mail during the 1st Quarter of 2004 gives an excellent example of why we think that most newspapers and magazines have ‘missed the boat’ by concentrating on Website publishing and not on e-mail publishing. DoubleClick reported that: Overall delivery rates (measured as the number of email sent minus the hard and soft bounce-back rate) increased slightly to 88.8 percent an increase of 1.3 percentage points from a year ago (Q1 2003) when it was 87.5 percent. Q1 2004 e-mail opening rates declined slightly to 38.2 percent […]

The U.S. Government Told Them They can SPAM

CAN is an auxiliary verb in the English language. It is used to indicate ability. And that was the unintentional irony when the U.S. Congress passed into law the CAN SPAM Act six months ago. Although the legislators thought that the acronym stood for ‘Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing, what the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 actually did was legally tells most marketers that they can SPAM (provided that those marketers don’t falsifie their identities or e-mail headers or hijack third-party’s computers). The result six months later is that 82 percent of all U.S. e-mail is now […]

CheetahMail Purchased by Experian

E-mail publishing applications service provider CheetahMail has been purchased by credit reporting and business information corporation Experian. CheetahMail started in 1997 as a private spinoff of the newspaper industry’s failed New Century Network (NCN) consortium. CheetahMail initially specialized in providing e-mail publishing to newspapers, but soon redirected its focus toward providing e-mail marketing applications to retail marketers and gained clients such as Neiman Marcus, Starbucks, Discovery Channel and Bloomingdale’s. Back in 2001 Experian, formerly known as TRW Credit Services, aquired another e-mail publishing ASP, Exactis. Our congratulations to CheetahMail founders (and former NCN staffers) Irene Pedraza and David Villeger!

NAA Legal Advice to E-Mail Publishers

On the Newspaper Association of America’s Digital Edge Web site, Attorney William Baker offers some basic advice to e-mail publishers about U.S. anti-spam laws. In our experience, the Editorial departments at newspaper, magazines, and broadcasters generally obey anti-spam laws.However, we’ve seen (and stopped) some tabloids from forcibly opting in (an oxymoron) potential subscribers, and we’ve often seen print publications’ Circulation or Advertising departments send unsolicited commercial marketing e-mail (which can include subscription solicitations). All should e-mail only to people who have expressly opted-in to receive those e-mails from that specific publication.

The 11 November IT Professionals GnomeReport

We thank Chris Pirillo of Lockergnome, who today is attempting to clear up Digital Deliverance’s “deep misunderstandings of the RSS feed and its accomplaying blog technology.” He has been leading a charge that publishers should abandon e-mail publishing in exchange for RSS feed syndication. Because his opinions have been picked up by some mainstream publishing pundits, we think his misinformation has been hurting mainstream publishers. That’s why we’ve been countering it. He now writes: “An RSS feed allows micropublishers a place akin to a shop in the mall, while a traditional, static, website only gives them a store out on […]

Effects of the EU 'Ban on Spam' Directive?

At the beginning of this month, the European Union’s ‘ban on spam’ directive (PDF format) took effect: ‘Cookies’ and other invisible tracking devices that can collect information on Internet users may be utilised only if the user is given clear information about the purpose of any such invisible activity and is offered the right to refuse it. Location data generated by mobile phones can only be further used or passed on by network operators with explicit user consent. The only exceptions are the transmission of location data to emergency services, and transmission of data to law enforcement authorities, subject to […]

'White Collar' Spammers

There’s a good story today on the front page of The New York Times about how otherwise reputable companies become ‘white collar’ spammers by purchasing and using lists of consumers’ e-mail addresses. If you’ve provided your persona demographic information and registered to use the NYTimes.com Web site, you can read the story (the story is the text that appears to the far left of the giant banner ad and briefly beneath the animated banner ad). The companies of course insist that every such incident is an analomy, claiming that just because the e-mail addressees never actually gave their company permission […]

85 Percent of Americans Disagree with DMA on Spam

InsightExpress found that 85 percent of the 1,500 U.S. online consumers it interviewed disagree with the Direct Marketing Association’s various pro-marketing definitions of spam: 43 percent agreed that “Any unsolicited e-mail message, commercial or ogtherwise, is spam.” Another 18 percent agreed that “Any unsolicited, commercial e-mail message, whether or not I’ve ever done business with the sender, is spam.” Another 23 percent agreed that “Any unsolicited, commercial e-mail message receive from a company I’ve never done business with, is spam.” Only ten percent agreed with the DMA’s latest definition of spam: “Any email that misrepresents an offer, or misrepresent the […]

DoubleClick & AOL: Consumers Do Try Unsubscribing From Spams

Last month, a posting on the Poynter Institute’s E-Media Tidbits site highlighted a marketing newsletter report (which the newsletter has since put behind a paid access archive) that unpublished parts of a Quris study of 1,691 American e-mail users found that 92.3% didn’t bother unsubscribing from spams (hence 7.7% did try). We objected to Poynter. We noted that none of Quris’ published surveys and reports contain any such data nor conclusions. We also pointed out that Poynter, an institute that trains journalist, shouldn’t be citing as fact a second-hand report about a survey when that survey itself as published doesn’t […]

Richard M. Smith on Wasted Data-Mining

ChannelSeven has an interview with Privacy Consultant Richard M. Smith, who’s now semi-retired. Among other topics, he talks about how much data-mining is actually wasted by marketers: “Web sites and database companies collect an amazing amount of data that isn’t used. One offline example is the shopper loyalty card. A ton of data is collected there, but very little of that information is actually used. It’s a bizarre human characteristic, sort of a packrat mentality. We collect it and then it sits around.” Smith also talks about when he thinks the type of intrusive marketing technologies used in the movie […]