Thursday, March 29, 2012


If I were going to get a flu shot (which I'm not - I don't get sick often and when I do it's mostly right after getting flu shots), I'm not sure this deal from Walgreens is very appealing?  Every day?  Yikes.

And ow.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Lose It! Hack

So Lose It! is awesome.  I've lost a lot of weight using Lose It! and gained some weight when I stopped using it.  (I'm again trying to be pretty faithful.)  Running has helped, but a big key was realizing just how many calories I was consuming compared to how much I was burning.

One thing that can be frustrating at times, though, is entering in all the stuff I've eaten.  Especially if it's not in the database or it's not something I'm going to eat often enough to worry about putting in.  For those instances, I have a hack - zGeneric10 and zGeneric100 - these are items for which each serving is 10 or 100 calories, respectively.  So when I know the size of something but I don't really care to get specific, I just use the required number of servings (a 425 calorie entree becomes 42-1/2 servings of zGeneric10.)  Helps me stay on track, but save time.

You'll also notice "zCoffee" and "zCreamer30," two other items I enter on a fairly regular basis.  Coffee Mate (and Fred Meyer and other generic) offer some very good low-fat creamers (French Vanilla and Hazelnut are the most commonly available ones).

Sunday, March 25, 2012

What Not to Email

I can't decide if this is a work-related post or not.  But, it's the case of two emailers who FAIL.

Exhibit A: eBay
According to the email (in which the most commonly repeated phrase is my username), I could win an iPad or a $500 AMEX card.

But, if you've already got an iPad,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

#EEC12: Discover (A Work-Related Post)

#7 in a series

How Advanced Segmentation Can Improve Targeting and Metrics
Jeff Teitelbaum, e-Business, Discover
Jared Chase, Client Services Lead, e-Dialog

  • Engagement Pyramid (relevancy and specificity)
  • * One single customer
  • * Segmentation and modeling (Web Analytics, CRM)
  • * Demographics
  • * General/mass population

  • "We are not order takers, we provide insight.".....

Friday, March 23, 2012

More For Me

I reject this nonsense.  You go right ahead and unplug.  That'll make the internet faster for me.

Or, to quote Animal, "Plug in! Plug in!"

Thursday, March 22, 2012

#EEC12 Kansas Speedway (A Work-Related Post)

#6 in a series

Customer Connections: Using Social & Customer Data to Improve Email Relevancy
Stephanie Miller, VP, Digital Messaging Solutions, Aprimo
Julie Brown, Consumer Marketing Manager, Kansas Speedway

  • Your customer is learning about in a lot of new ways, a lot of them you don't control or pay for
  • Their research will lead them to you eventually
  • (1) Customers don't want more email, they want relevant email
  • (2) Communicate on the customer's timeline and urgency
  • (3) Where do we go from here? (checklist)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Free Therapy

It's been quite fascinating learning about our children's diagnose, a kind of free therapy. for instance, i learned that autistic children sometimes make use of a weighted blanket at dinner or sleep time - that it's comforting and heko them feel secure. So i've lately been adding extra blankets on the bed (this doesn't work in the summer) and been sleeping far more soudly. Or when in a meeting with our daughter's neurobehavioralist, he asks "Who lived in a house with boxes?" my wife quickly raises her hand, remembering the constant moving around they did when she as growing up. Or when he asks "Who uses lists as a coping mechanism?" and we both quickly raise our hands. Even though the sessions are about her and how she's doing at home or school, he will often drop these massive nuggets that are just so helpful to us. Like how Lori and I have different levels of tolerance for clutter. Lori's coping mechanism is to spread things out - it allows her to survey and know where things are. Mine is to consolidate into action piles.

And it makes sense because when it's time to attack an action pile, then I spread it out so that I can survey it, which at work manifests itself in two interesting ways - a box-lid of stuff i'm working through and the extreme measure of sometimes completely ignoring a thread in email if there starts to be too many people talking all at once - I have to wait until I can set aside some time to go through all of them (sometimes printing out all the emails) and synthesize a summary of everything I know and don't know so that I can go and get the gaps filled in and understand what needs to be done next. It is a coping mechanism that has really served me well in most case, except when the matter is more urgent and I'm begging to be able to step back and be left alone to look at the bigger picture and understand all the players. That must be a bit of aensory overload.

But this has all been beneficial to us - Lori's adopted some new techniques that has allowed her to spread things out a little less (file folders, etc.) and I've learned to be more careful about how I move piles of things (coupons, receipts, recipes) to protect the sanctity of their arrangement and relationship to one another. Mid-week, the dining room table is often Grand Central for stuff in and out - from mail to clean laundry - so we're always looking for space to work and so these realizations about each other have just made that all the more harmonious.

I know he prefers to work with children, but man, if we could send the children to a friend's house and then have him come over and just hang out with us for a few hours we'd learn so much about our own quirks and coping mechanisms and brains. But for now, we'll just have to be content with being alert and observant and picking up every lttle nugget that falls our way.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

#EEC12: Email Marketing Trends for 2012 (A Work-Related Post)

#5 in a series.  In this one, observations and recommendations are interspersed instead of all being at the end like they are in the other ones.

Email Marketing Trends for 2012
Shar Van Boskirk, VP and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Ryan Phelan, VP Strategic Services, BlueHornet

Presentation Included Video from a Recent Man on the Street Survey.  Some funny results, some painful.

  • "Why do you sign-up for emails?"
  • - 95% to receive discounts
  • - 57% to receive product updates
  • - 56% because they love the brand
  • You need a signup on Facebook - these are people who love your brand

Monday, March 12, 2012

500 in 300: No Such Luck

I really had not expected the winter to take the wind out of my sails to such a pathetic degree.   I had been doing well, ahead of pace at the start.  But when you pretty much stop running for several months, you can't keep up the pace.  I will not hit 500 miles in 300 days.  However, I'm going to start running again soon and we'll see how long it does take me.  Lessons learned: (1) Don't make a goal over a busy, busy holiday season tinged with miserable weather and (2) Don't stop running.

I am 71% through the 300 days and only 39% done with the 500 miles.  (I should be at 356, I'm at 195.)  I needed a rate of 1.67, I'm down to 91.  The gray line shows me at 160 behind goal (304 miles to go in 84 days.  2.57 miles every single day between now and then.)

I don't think I'm going to make it.  Sad.

#EEC12: Analytics and Response (A Work-Related Post)

#4 in a series

Using the Right Metrics for the Right Job
Luke Glasner, Principal, Glasner Consulting
Adam Holden-Bache, CEO, Mass Transmit
Ryan Hofmann, Sr. Consultant, Responsys
Dela Quist, CEO, Alchemy Worx

  • EEC S.A.M.E. (Support Adoption of Metrics for Email) Project
    • Accepted (instead of "Delivered") - any email not rejected (same metric, better name)
    • Render (instead of "Open") - number of times HTML was displayed (with images on)
    • Inbox Placement Rate
    • Total Confirmed Opens = Render + Counts from Clicks (to capture any text or image-off opens)
  • Need to map the lifecycle of your customer, with regards to email
  • Subscribers are most engaged in the first 90-days
  • "Emotionally Unengaged" = unresponsive

Friday, March 09, 2012

#EEC12: Haute Look (A Work-Related Post)

#3 in a series

Increase Profitability Within Your Inactive Customers
Erik Kirby, CEO and Founder, Connection Engine
Harvey Osher, Director of Member Engagement, Haute Look
Spencer Kollas, Director of Delivery Services, Strongmail

  • Haute Look (purchased by Nordstroms) - flash sale - emails delivered between 7:50-8 am PST drives 60% of all traffic
  • For most marketers, 50% of a subscriber file is inactive/disengaged
  • Problems with not mailing: loss of revenue, loss of contact potential
  • Problems with mailing: deliverability; customer satisfaction, marketing waste

Thursday, March 08, 2012

#EEC12: REI (A Work-Related Post)

#2 in a series

REI's Journey to a Data-Driven Experience
John Reynolds, Manager, Marketing Analytics, REI
Jennifer Alexander, VP/General Manager, Epsilon

  • Stop siloing based on medium (direct vs email vs socila)
  • Shifting from "episodic" (ad hoc) to "always on" (trigger)
  • Episodic/Ad Hoc = Marketer Focus
  • Always On/Trigger = Donor Focus
  • Retargeting display based on abandoned cart
  • Everyone needs to start collecting data in a more customer-centric model
  • Work hard to standarize data, goals and which analytics should be used/captured/acted upon
  • Data: Plan and Forecast Sales, Calculate Lifetime Value, Understand Behavior and Trends (becoming very important)
  • Leads into Merchandizing and Pagination and Catalog / Planning future product development

Friday, March 02, 2012

#EEC12 Gilt (A Work-Related Post)

These are my notes captured from the Email Evolution conference held in February 2012.  I'm capturing them here in case they might be useful to you.  I highly recommend this annual conference as a great way to sharpen your email marketing skills.  I'll post my notes from additional sessions as I have time.  (This was the first 3 pages, I have 18 pages of notes total.  At the end, I'll try to pull out the common topics/themes/trends and aggregate my recommended action items.)

EEC12 - 2/23 Keynote
Jessica Harley, VP of Customer Marketing

  • 1/3 of customers login monthly
  • 65% of "noir" customers purchase at least once monthly
  • flash/competitive sales: most of their sales/revenue is generated at noon each day (when sales/email lauch)
  • 20% each month are *NEW* customer
  • Technology all developed in-house
  • Rapid growth led to fragmented experience (especially look & feel and email design) - considerable effort done to realign
  • In the four years since Gilt launched: Facebook "like", Foursquare, iPad, iPhone (almost), Google+, Pinterest
  • 87% of email users check personal email each day
  • Even for the group that say they've created a special "spam/retail" email address - 60% of them check daily