Email debate: why spend resources on email? you can shoot image-based emails at will

Question:

I was asked today “since image based email is ‘bad’ why does some of the largest retailers, Gap, Target, [name your retailer here], still do it”? And it’s true, I get hundreds of tile layout image based emails.

As we tested for deliverability (less than a half of a percent), the major errors that came back were non-specific for clients like Juno, Aol and other no name clients, no one would ever think to test. (Digico comment: bad general marketer philosophy: if low, let’s crack it even more..)

My basic philosophy on the concept is that a healthy dose of image and text helps fight the war on Spam. However when contrasting content based spam with server side spam irregularities (like Comcast hating everyone for no reason). Most of that “war on spam” seems to now be fought on the servers rather than in HTML. (Digico comment: I think he never heard the concept of client nurturing – digital marketing is all but war).

So are image based emails still something worth fighting over when it comes to brand style guides?

My answer:

Rightful questions, most ecommerce businesses think in a logic of speed. Speed is good, but after some time (let’s say a 6 monthes to 1 year period) using cheap approaches to emailing, leads to high burnout on list. Not to mention damage in brand by sending half-baked campaigns that are barely readable on a smartphone (if not showing like i often see, fully unreadable).

Finally, if a business works in a full burnout logic for clients on email, it’s not a sustainable one. For example, did you see full image email from fab.com? I didn’t. Because they don’t. And while with no particular competitive advantage at first sight, they are now a thousand million business. Do they compete Ikea? No. Do they use image emails? Never.

Email is not about shooting, it’s about your digital strategy. If you want to approach digital marketing using Pareto Law, you can it’s possible. But do you know the cost of each email you send? Did you calculate the attrition rate at each image-based email VS carefully-built email with managers for the task?

Volume is not an option any more.

I’ll also add, that in general thin ecommerce margins, there are only a handful of very profitable customers – that you’d like to care about. Your junior approach to shoot image-based emails won’t do. They probably blocked your emails already.

How to get Virtual Desktops on Windows (with different icons on each desktop)

Today, I’ll share a tip on Windows OS, which is having several desktops available, with different programs – as well as icons  – on each one.

Tired of my Windows desktop bloated of icons, I searched for a solution

Getting used to Linux for 1 year now, I found Windows increasingly frustrating, not able to get a simple and efficient solution like every Mac or Linux user are used to. To that end, I searched how to work it out on a Windows 7 build, and get a similar result for 2 reasons:

  1. my desktop was crowded with unncessary icons, like with ebooks to read later, last music I found interesting, or pictures
  2. it’s a big productivity gain to have dedicated desktops, for instance one for each part of a daily job – all with a unique desktop folder for the same user.

Dexpot looked like a good one

Seaching over the net, I found Dexpot, a german freeware solution for personal use (but paying for freelancer, business and ngo). As a personal user it’s really nice. Basically Dexpot allows a Win 7/8 user to have several desktops with programs in each virtual desktop, totally separated like a VM.

Switching between Virtual Desktops

Dexpot bar

Dexpot bar

In the above screenshot, you see dextop at right, with 1 selected, as for 1st desktop. This icon can be mouse clicked to change between each desktop. That’s simple. Keyboard shortcuts are fully cusomizable too.

Move icons manually in your Windows user folder

Most of the time, you can move icons between Virtual Desktops inside Dexpot. But I got some trouble with some icons, so here is a good tip.

In your Windows user directory (c:\users\yourname\) you now have “Desktop 1, 2, 3, 4”, one folder for each desktop. You can just move icons from the regular Windows desktop folder (Desktop 1) to each of the others. The GUI doesn’t always recognize them, so I prefer this manual way.

To make it work at every Windows start

After you setup Dexpot, don’t forget to right click icon > settings > automatic launch at Windows startup.

It’s one of my best productivy saver for years. I now have 4 desktops, each one with different icons on my PC. With no performance hit at all. If you use it often, feel free to buy it to support developers.

Doctors save more lives with new technologies (apps, GPS…)

It’s a more and more true statement,

From regular and well-established technologies, some startups are able to pull your hearbeat in real-time (some seconds of lag, though). Many applications are to be found in this field like :

  1. reminding when to take prescription through a mobile app
  2. instant GPS localization for emergency services
  3. instant email to family
  4. and many more…