The Technical Side of Email Marketing & Other Ramblings

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Wham, Bam, Spam Button Slams Email Marketing – David A. Utter

The following article was published on the WebProNews website this morning:

Drop a non-relevant email into a recipient’s bin, and risk being shut out of inboxes throughout an email domain.

Legitimate email marketers risk ruining deliverability and effectiveness of their campaign, if they get careless or greedy with the power of email.

The Dot Email marketing community site said the ease of hitting a spam button to mark an unwanted message jeopardizes future campaigns.

“I believe that a lot of people still don’t grasp the power of the ‘This is SPAM’ button within the web based mail clients and how it can greatly effect clients list attrition as well as deliverability for future campaigns,” said Michael Weisel, CTO of Gold Lasso, Dot Email’s sponsor.

“The bottom line with all of this is that if you send relevant information, to people who want it, in the proper format, this will greatly limit your risk of destroying your lists or encouraging users to press that oh so powerful (and sometimes too easy to click) SPAM button,” he said.

AOL has been the most unfriendly to unwanted email, with 38.4 percent of marketers surveyed saying it had the lowest deliverability. Google’s Gmail scored very favorably, with only 7.1 percent having issues with deliverable email.

MSN/Hotmail tends to vanish emails marked as spam, meaning the message doesn’t bounce or fall into someone’s spam folder. Microsoft’s products vexed 21.4 percent of marketers. EarthLink and Yahoo did so at rates of 17 and 16.1 percent, respectively.

Delivering through AOL isn’t easy: Dot Email report

The following article was on the main page of DMNEWS this morning:

AOL is the toughest nut to crack for e-mail deliverability for marketers, while Google’s Gmail is the easiest, according to a recent survey by online community for e-mail marketers Dot Email.

The report found that e-mails that are not relevant to users are being marked as SPAM, which is affecting deliverability rates of future e-mail campaigns. According to the poll, 38.4 ercent of e-mail marketers think that AOL has the lowest deliverability and 7.1 percent of respondents think that Google’s Gmail had the lowest.

“The market penetration for Gmail is not the same for AOL or Hotmail,” said Elie Ashery, president of Gold Lasso. “There is more volume on AOL, as some people have had AOL since its inception. Gmail also recently bought Postini, the largest filtering company, so they probably have a better handle on the technology for spam filtering.”

MSN/Hotmail were a close second with 21.4 percent of the e-mail marketers saying that this ISP had the lowest deliverability rates. Seventeen percent thought Earthlink had bad delivery and 16 percent thought it was Yahoo according to the poll. “For AOL and Hotmail, marketers have to push harder for recipients to put them on the friends or save sender list in the opt-in process,” Ashery added. “This will help to use the dynamic content feature so marketers can send them instructions on how to get on the save sender list. The better the opt-in methodology, the better the deliverability you will have. Having double opt-in keeps down suppression; making sure that the list is clean is another major factor.”

New Informal Poll Shows ISP “Spam Button” Powerful Tool With Top Providers, Affecting Future of Deliverability

GAITHERSBURG, MD–(Marketwire – October 4, 2007) – A recent informal poll sponsored by Dot Email, a free online community for email marketers, shows that emails that are not relevant to users are quickly and easily being marked as SPAM, which is effecting deliverability rates of future email campaigns. According to the poll, AOL scored the lowest with 38.4% of email marketers saying it has the lowest deliverability and 7.1% of respondents stating Google’s gmail (7.1%) had the highest deliverability rate.

“I believe that a lot of people still don’t grasp the power of the ‘This is SPAM’ button within the web-based mail clients and how it can greatly affect clients’ list attrition as well as deliverability for future campaigns,” says Michael Weisel, CTO of Gold Lasso. Gold Lasso is the sponsor of Dot Email. “The bottom line with all of this is that if you send relevant information, to people who want it, in the proper format, this will greatly limit your risk of destroying your lists or encouraging users to press that oh so powerful (and sometimes too easy to click) SPAM button,” he says.

MSN/Hotmail were a close second with 21.4% of the votes. “From what we are hearing, MSN gives the initial impression of letting more questionable messages through. These messages appear to be delivered by most mail servers, but are actually marked as spam before getting to the users’ mail folders.” says Elie Ashery, founder and editor of Dot Email. “This causes the email to be labeled as ‘missing.’ It may not show up as a bounce or even make it to a recipient’s junk folder.”
Earthlink (17%) and Yahoo (16.1%) fared almost equally in deliverability rates according to the poll.

“With the SPAM filters really acting as living organisms, I believe that if you were to conduct this same poll three to six months from now, these percentages will most likely change based on who does what next with regards to tweaking their anti-SPAM technology,” says Weisel.

Dot Email, sponsored by Gold Lasso, is a community built specifically for email marketers as a forum to share their ideas, keep up with news, learn tricks of the trade, and just to comment or complain about some of the fun or vexing issues that serve to continually motivate them. Features on the forum include: detailed resource links, message boards, links to industry news, blog commentaries, file sharing, job and marketplace sections, and much more.

How Open Source Stacks Up – By Joe McKendrick

How Open Source Stacks Up – By Joe McKendrick

The following article was published in Database Trends and Applications Magazine
as well as on their online version:

For a number of years, there has been a great deal of momentum behind Linux, the
open source operating system. Now open source is proliferating up the stack, to
the database level, to middleware, to development tools, and to applications
themselves. Companies are increasingly moving to mixed stacks, which comprise
the best open source and commercial solutions, depending on business

For example, ETAI, a leading provider of technical information for the
automotive, manufacturing and retail industries, uses a mixed stack that
includes open source software, but proprietary products as well. Philippe Bobo,
director of software and information systems at ETAI, told DBTA that this was
necessary because the company works with a variety of database formats,
including MySQL, DB2/ 400, Access, SQL Server, Oracle, Excel, and XML.

While there are a wide variety of open source solutions emerging in all parts of
the stack, a new survey conducted for the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG)
by Unisphere Research found that most open source applications are still being
deployed to support peripheral functions, versus core mission critical
enterprise applications.

While companies are receptive to the concept of open source software its stigma
of being unsupported ‘freeware’ evaporated some time ago many IT managers still
crave the guaranteed support and robustness that commercial grade products
promise. For open source databases, for example, “the greatest challenge is
meeting the ‘three Rs’: reliability, reliability, reliability,’ said Eugene
Ciuranae, director of systems infrastructure for Leap Frog, a major toy
manufacturer. Clustering, grid, and other forms of replication aren’t as mature
in open source databases. Their reliability is still relatively low when
compared against the major commercial vendors. Even with the increasing
reliability of many open source offerings, there’s another obstacle simply
cutting through commercial vendor hype, or finding the time to test various
products. For example, Ciuranae pointed out that the market is not fully
educated yet when it comes to open source middleware options. The open source
middleware pieces are in most cases more robust than commercial offerings
because they are engineered toward truly embracing heterogeneous systems, he
said. Unfortunately, many enterprise people are too afraid to go open source, or
the company’s policy doesn’t allow it, or the architects are receiving only
partial information from their entrenched vendors, and have no time or means of
learning about other options.’

Caution Still Advised

While open source software up and down the technology stack offers many
advantages, both experts and end users advise caution, and weighing the
advantages of going open source versus sticking with a commercial brand. In
fact, 54 percent of 226 executives and professionals responding to the IOUG
survey said one of the greatest limitations to open source was that it lacked
the robust enterprise support that many commercial packages have. Another 47
percent added that they are concerned that many open source packages do not
offer 24×7 support, while 35 percent question the security such software offers.

End-users agreed that support is still a sticking point for open source
solutions. While Rich Moraski, director of knowledge engineering for RealOps,
finds there are ‘fewer and fewer issues all the time’ with open source
solutions, support still remains the largest drawback. To some extent, ‘you get
what you pay for’ is relevant here, he told DBTA. That said, online forums are
typically regularly monitored by knowledgeable people who can either point out
what you’re doing wrong, or identify the issue as something in the process of
being corrected. Michael Weisel, CTO at
Gold Lasso, an
email marketing company, agreed that
there is less support with open source products, and that while it is available
out in the community, companies need to be proactive in going out to find
answers to issues. ‘It is important for us to make sure to keep up with systems,
grow and remain up to date within the open source arena so that a company can
keep making their product better,’ he told DBTA. ‘Gold
is constantly researching limitations and bugs, which is more of a
challenge than using another type of product. At other companies, such as
Microsoft or Oracle, if someone finds weakness, a patch is put out. Open source
has a community, and solutions are available, but you have to search for the
answer. Twenty-four percent of the IOUG survey respondents also expressed
concern about the availability of skills to build, manage, and use open source
solutions, a sentiment echoed across the industry. Seth Hishmeh, co-founder and
chief operating officer for USAS Technologies, which runs both MySQL and
Microsoft SQL Server within its data center, told DBTA that open source skills
might be difficult to find. ‘In some cases, it may still be more beneficial for
companies to use products such as Microsoft SQL Server it may be easier for them
to find Microsoft developers.

For less technical users, it may be better to utilize more well known
applications such as Crystal Reports, and to have a central company to contact
for support issues.’ ‘The biggest challenge is finding people that know the open
source database. Many will know Microsoft or another major database,’ agreed
Weisel. Overall, the IOUG survey uncovered a mixed picture with open source
adop­tion. The survey found that open source is prevalent at many levels of the
enterprise, and most organizations intend to increase their use of open source
over the coming year. In fact, the percentage of enterprises running a majority
of their applications on open source infra­structure is up from early 2006, the
first time this question was asked in an IOUG survey. At that time, nine percent
ran most applications on open source, compared to 13 percent at present. Leading
types of open source products include Web servers such as Apache (adopted by 60
percent), operating systems such as Linux (58 per­cent), application servers
such as JBoss and Tomcat (45 percent), and databases such as MySQL and
PostgreSQL (35 percent). The IOUG survey also found that open source tools and
platforms are also being adopted to aid IT depart­ments in developing and
managing data center environments. For example, 30 percent of companies use open
source development tools such as Eclipse and NetBeans. Another 21 percent are
adopting open source frameworks, and 13 percent are using open source
man­agement environments.

Adoption not Deep

ETAI, which needs to process and man­age data in a variety of formats, turned to
an open source data integration solution Talend Open Studio to address handling
disparate open source and proprietary databases and files. ‘At ETAI, our
business consists of producing and selling data,’ Bobo explained. For example,
in the automotive industry, ETAI collects raw data from suppliers vehicles and
parts manufacturers consolidates and reconciles this data, and sells
applications based on the thus created technical database. Each time a new
version of a database product is released over a hundred times a year all of the
repositories need to be processed, which is very time consuming and always
presents data quality challenges.’ However, adoption of these solutions
typically does not run deep, the IOUG survey also found. In most cases, fewer
than 10 percent of enterprise application portfolios are supported or interact
with open source systems. Leap Frog’s Ciuranae concurred, noting that in the
database arena for example, Oracle remains the database to go to for mis­sion-
critical systems. Open source databases are being adopted for non mission
critical, non transactional operations. Leap Frog, for example, uses MySQL for
some caching func­tions but not for business sensitive data.’ Still, there are
critical areas where open source adoption is well suited, such as projects that
may not have required funding. ‘Open source databases are a great resource for
new projects or ideas that require information technology infrastructure at very
low cost,’ Oscar Zamora, senior database administrator for Global Resource
Systems, told DBTA. ‘Many new companies that have a low budget will tend to use
an open source database to accomplish a core solution for its businesses. It can
be used for URL tracking, content management, storing redirect statistics and
reporting.’ Open source approaches lower a barrier to entry for companies that
are just getting established. Gold Lasso’s
Weisel told DBTA that ‘from the very
beginning, Gold Lasso started to use open
source, and migrated their existing programs to PostgreSQL for mission critical
application as well as to MySQL. We did this to avoid paying big license fees.
It seemed to be the only way to do business without raising huge amounts of
money first.’

Growing Use

The more a company relies on one open source part of the stack, the more likely
it will also be moving to open source for other functions up and down the stack.
LAMP [Linux Apache MySQL Perl/ Python/PHP] stack solutions are widely used with
open source databases,’ he observed. ‘It is common to see a Linux server running
Apache Web server and a MySQL instance, to track and deliver dynamic content.’
Ross Turk, community manager for, agreed that there is a strong
connection across the technology stack between various open source solutions.
The project database ‘is bursting with technology built upon
open source database engines, with just over 10,000 projects that specify a
requirement for either MySQL or PostgreSQL,’ he told DBTA. These two databases
have unquestionably established themselves as best of breed choices to support
open source applications.’ He added that ‘many open source Java projects make
heavy use of Hibernate, an ORM solution, or rely on JBoss, Tomcat, or a
combination of the two.’ The IOUG survey found a strong cor­relation between
adoption of open source databases or middleware and adoption in other parts of
the enterprise. For example, those companies with open source databases (such as
MySQL or PostgreSQL) were more likely to be running open source OSs such as
Linux (72 percent versus 60 percent for the general survey group) and more
likely to be running an open source application server such as JBoss or Tomcat
(72 percent versus 45 percent overall). The survey even found that open source
database sites are much more likely to be receptive to open source desktop
applications such as OpenOffice (23 percent versus 13 percent).

The correlation also applies to open source middleware or application server
adoption. Those companies with open source middleware solutions (such as JBoss)
were also more likely to be running open source at the OS level (73 percent
versus 58 percent) and using open source development tools such as Eclipse (51
percent versus 30 percent).

For some companies, the mix of open source solutions has delivered performance
gains as well. For example, Journyx, a provider of online time and expense
tracking solutions, has been running 200 customer accounts on PostgreSQL since
1999 without so much as a hiccup. ‘We have never had any downtime related to
bugs in this system,’ Curt Finch, CEO of Journyx, told DBTA.

Journyx has extended its operations with a range of open source solutions. ‘ All
of our software is written in Python, an open source language, and runs on
Apache, an open source Web server,’ Finch related. ‘We have the full support of
Red Hat and IBM for the OS and hardware respectively for our SaaS setup. Many
businesses run their criti­cal payroll, billing and project account­ing
functions through our system, and we are committed to providing a stable
platform. We couldn’t do this nearly as easily without open source technologies
that are mostly virus free and relatively but never completely immune to
security attacks.’ Finch added, ‘Microsoft platforms are ill-suited to a high
availability SaaS data center envi­ronment.’ Many products are now bundling a
range of open source solutions together into a single package, SourceForge’s
Turk observes. ‘A good example of enterprise software that relies on open source
middleware and database engines is Hyperic HQ, a systems man­agement and
monitoring suite, which comes bundled with PostgreSQL, Tomcat, and JBoss.
OrangeHRM, an HR information system, and Zimbra, an enterprise messaging and
collaboration suite, rely on MySQL. And, of course, there are many examples of
enterprise software that support both open source and proprietary database
solutions, such as Pentaho, a business intelligence platform, and OpenBravo, a
Web-based ERP. Also, Jasper Reports, a very well ­established reporting
framework, plays nicely with both open source and pro­prietary databases through

Gold Lasso Announces Move to New Corporate Headquarters

Gold Lasso Announces Move to New Corporate Headquarters
Unprecedented Growth Spurs Relocation to Revitalized Historical Space

GAITHERSBURG, MD–(Marketwire – September 5, 2007) – Gold Lasso, LLC (, a leading provider of on-demand email marketing software and services, announced today the relocation of its corporate headquarters to a larger facility in Olde Towne Gaithersburg, Maryland. The facility will accommodate the Company’s exceptional growth over the past year. Gold Lasso’s corporate move will be completed the first week of September.

In addition to quadrupling the space available to the company, the new location offers a fully renovated facility and upgraded amenities. All departments of the company will be located at the new headquarters.

Gold Lasso has experienced tremendous growth over the past year. We have been able to offer the best product for the best price and service in the industry, and it has served us well,” commented Elie Ashery, President and CEO. “We are excited to be a part of a revitalized area and work in a district with such an extensive history.”

The telephone numbers, fax number and email addresses will remain the same. Gold Lasso’s new location is:

25 B Chestnut Street
Gaithersburg, MD 20877

Gold Lasso, LLC, located in Gaithersburg, MD, is an interactive technology marketing firm that started operations in 2001. The company primarily services the association, publishing, retail, education and hospitality industries. For more information, visit the Gold Lasso Web site at or call 301-990-9857

Email marketer harnesses the power of Gentoo

Everything Linux and Open Source

Email marketer harnesses the power of Gentoo

August 31, 2007 (9:00:00 PM)

By: Tina Gasperson

Gold Lasso uses an open source infrastructure to power its email marketing business. Cofounders Elie
and Michael Weisel say open source is the only way to keep prices down and “truly compete in the
current marketplace.” And, they say, Gentoo Linux is the only way to keep their system truly secure. But
finding employees who can manage a system built on Gentoo has been a challenge.

Gold Lasso markets data collection and management tools and provides outbound messaging services.
Ashery had cofounded another email service provider called, and “pioneered a lot of email
techniques” there, which inspired him to expand on those techniques in launching Gold Lasso.
He called up his friend Weisel to help, and together the two bootstrapped the company.

“We were selling things on eBay to make enough money,” Weisel says.

In order to keep costs down and to build the company on a more reliable base, Weisel and Ashery decided
to build on a Linux infrastructure. “Before we laid out any of our own money, we looked at what we’d used
in the past and tried not to make the same mistakes we made before,” Weisel says. “My background was
mostly Microsoft, but I looked at all the issues I’d had with Microsoft servers, stepped back, and said, ‘What
can we do to avoid that?’ I saw open source as the biggest jump toward this. We knew we could keep the
cost down with Linux, too.”

“We didn’t want to dilute ourselves,” Ashery says, “And open source source afforded us the possibility of
not raising venture money. Now, if we’d had to go down the Oracle or Microsoft route, we would have
needed VC for licensing, for development, for all that, but open source allowed us to avoid that. There’s no
way we could have gotten where we are today without open source.”

They tried a few different flavors of Linux before settling on Gentoo. “One of our previous employees was
into Gentoo, and made us believe that it is one of the most secure distributions out there,” Weisel says.
“Yeah, it’s hard to install and manage sometimes, but it has definitely given us an advantage. Back when
we started moving toward Gentoo, our lead developer and I were sitting in my townhouse with an old
server trying to get it loaded. It took two days to get it up and running — but after we learned how it
works, now he can put in a Gentoo server without even looking at it. We found other people, so now we
have an arsenal of people who know the system. We knew the initial investment of time to get it
configured properly and running was going to pay off in the future. It’s very secure and stable.”

For Ashery and Weisel, finding the right people to administer Gold Lasso’s infrastructure has been
elemental to building a successful company. “With the technology we use, sometimes it’s very difficult to
find people that know it,” Weisel says. “It’s easy to find people that want to learn it, but hard to find people
who know it.” Weisel recommends that others looking to launch businesses with open source technology
make a special effort to find the right people. “If you don’t know the technology, or you can’t figure it out
yourself, make sure you get the right person to do it. People that come from a Microsoft environment have
a very hard time moving into a Linux environment. Now, people in Linux have no problem going into
Microsoft. It’s kind of interesting. But I would definitely look at universities. That’s probably our best
resource for people who will know open source technology.”

Ashery says trust is a key element. “Make sure the person you’re trusting is good. Really talk with them. If
you have somebody at your disposal, someone you know that knows the operating system very well, have
them sit in on the interview. One mistake we definitely made was choosing the wrong person. They knew
Linux, but they didn’t know Gentoo. That can create a mess.”

Starting with the “right technology” from the beginning is something Ashery and Weisel wish they’d done.
“Some of the technology we chose in the beginning is not the technology we’re moving to now,” Weisel
says. “Some of that could have been avoided if we’d thought it out harder in the beginning. The mistakes
we made, I wouldn’t say they cost a lot, other than in terms of time. We would have been a little further
ahead if we’d gone with the right stuff from the start.”

“Now we have a good five years under our belt,” says Ashery. “It’s full steam ahead.”

Read in the original layout at:

Dot Email (, Open Online Community for Email Marketers, Offers Free Advertising to Industry Providers

GAITHERSBURG, MD — (MARKET WIRE) –04/10/2007 — As a pioneer in creating an open source community for professional email marketers, Dot Email has launched a new program to provide free
advertising on the site for industry providers. It is another way the site’s creators are committed to promoting email marketing best practices and the industry vendors that support them and their hilosophies, ultimately creating a win-win situation for everyone.


“This is a call to action. By providing Dot Email with an ad, a company shows their support for this open source community concept,” says Elie Ashery, President and CEO of Gold Lasso, LLC and creator of Dot Email. “I wanted a platform that was conducive to an uninhibited free flow of ideas and opinions. I think this is a key element to growing the industry and helping people become efficient, savvier marketers.”

To date, no other email marketing website is providing a free advertising service. Payment is in the form of a commitment to creating the best possible open platform for email marketing professionals with relevant content and useful information.


The offer will commence on April 9, 2007, and industry providers are responsible for the advertising creative. Advertisements will run for six months, and are limited to the first ten vendors to sign-up. The estimated value of this promotion is approximately $1,000. Those interested can visit and click on the “Advertise” section.

This online community was built specifically for email marketers as a forum to share their successful ideas, keep up with news, learn tricks of the trade, and just to comment or complain about some of the fun or vexing issues that serve to continually motivate them. features:

— Detailed resource links

— Message boards

— Links to industry news

— Blog commentaries

— File sharing

— Job and marketplace sections, and much more


Gold Lasso, LLC, located in Gaithersburg, MD, is an interactive technology marketing firm that started operations in 2001. The company primarily services the association, publishing, retail, education and
hospitality industries. For more information, visit the Gold Lasso Web site at or call 301-990-9857.

E-mail marketer launches

Story Featured in the Baltimore Examiner 01-22-2007

GAITHERSBURG, Md. – Imagine a world where one person’s spam is another person’s specialty.

Gold Lasso, an e-mail marketing company with headquarters in Gaithersburg, recently launched a new Web site,, a free online community for sales and marketing professionals to discuss the ins and outs of the e-mail marketing world.

“The reason why we put this together for everyone to see is to show exactly what’s going on in [e-mail marketing],” said Elie Ashery, Gold Lasso’s president. “People can trade information and talk about what works and what doesn’t.”

Ashery said that his idea to create the Web site came when he grew tired of explaining to people that his type of marketing is not spam mail.

“The general public needs to understand how the market is collected, how they get their names on various lists, what the difference is between spam and not spam,” Ashery said. “I just don’t believe there is enough information out there.”

The Web site has detailed resource links, message boards, links to industry news, blog commentaries, file sharing and job and marketplace sections. Gold Lasso is currently getting the word out about the site through blogs and the media.

“This is an easy way of creating an open forum,” Ashery said. “It will really help companies lower marketing costs and will help to lower cost of goods and services.”

“Marketing is such a dynamic field, it’s always changing,” said Cynthia Allen, president of SeaCrest, a consulting company in North Carolina. “Dotemail is a good place to post questions, look at other people’s ideas and more. It’s just like a little online consultant person.”

Online Community for E-Marketers Is Open and Welcoming Visitors Offers Unlimited Resources and Tools for Both Novice Marketers and Sophisticated Email Experts
GAITHERSBURG, MD — (MARKET WIRE) — 01/10/2007 — Gold Lasso, LLC, a leading provider of on-demand email marketing software and services, announced that it has launched Dot Email (, a new, free online community for email marketers. The website was built to serve the professional needs of today’s e-marketers, and in keeping with Gold Lasso’s open source roots, Dot Email was created entirely with open source software such as Joomla and related components. Dot Email features detailed resource links, message boards, links to industry news, blog commentaries, file sharing and job and marketplace sections.

Email marketing has become a billion dollar business, and those marketing professionals that count on email as a valuable part of their marketing toolkits are able to apply innovative strategies and best practices to their work,” said Elie Ashery, CEO and co-founder of Gold Lasso and the creator of “This online community was built specifically for email marketers as a forum to share their successful ideas, keep up with news, learn tricks of the trade, and just to comment or complain about some of the fun or vexing issues that serve to continually motivate them.”

A sample of the issues already being discussed at Dot Email includes the potential impact of Internet video on marketers in 2007. A recent study by the media research firm Horowitz Associates reveals that Internet video content is grabbing more mobile device users all the time, with eight percent of all Internet users reporting they watch video content on a handheld device at least once a month. How will this growing trend impact email marketers in 2007? Early users of Dot Email are already sharing opinions on the most successful methods for packaging an email that is linked to video content in order to boost viewers.

Michael Weisel, Chief Technology Office of Gold Lasso, commented, “It is obvious that email is helping to drive the growth of Internet videos and video podcasts, and in most instances, my team has found that by posting links to video in emails, you will get far more viewers than if you send video clips embedded in the email.”

Other issues that will surely impact the way marketers use email in 2007 are email deliverability and the continued growth of online ad spending.

“Not every marketing or sales professional has the time or resources to attend an expensive conference just to network and keep up with the latest electronic marketing trends,” Ashery said. “But anyone can find the time to visit Dot Email each week in order to make new contacts, learn new marketing strategies and keep up with the latest industry news. This free website represents our effort to give back to the marketing community, but like anything communal, you will get out of it what you put into it.”


Gold Lasso, LLC, located in Gaithersburg, MD, is an interactive technology marketing firm that started operations in 2001. The company primarily services the association, publishing, retail, education and hospitality industries. For more information, visit the Gold Lasso Web site at or call 301-990-9857.

Ouch! Branding Really Hurts

No, this isn’t a PETA blog, but if your ESP (Email Service Provider) enjoys putting THEIR logo and information at the bottom of YOUR correspondences, YOU have been branded. Are you forced to have your ESP’s annoying logo (which maybe you didn’t know but most likely has a link back to their website coded in) at the bottom of every email transmission that you send out through their system? Most of the ESP’s out there today don’t give their clients any choice in the matter, until now. When eLoop 4.0 became available back in early September, Gold Lasso, LLC did away with email branding for all of their clients. Some ESP’s will allow their “higher paying, VIP” clients to remove the branding, but not the little guys. Gold Lasso doesn’t discriminate. If you are sending 5 emails or 5 million emails a month, the story is the same, NO BRANDING.

Why should you as the client be forced to market your ESP’s services? Just think about it, if you send out a million emails in a month, you have actively marketed a million times for your ESP. You as the client are actually paying them to market their product, how ironic.

The more you make your correspondences look as though they are coming from your organization, the better chance you have of your email being delivered and the recipient actually reading it. With SPAM rates going up and an industry wide 75% deliverability rate, it’s important to legitimize your messages as much as possible to better your chances of not just getting them delivered but more importantly getting them read. The whole idea is to make the communication look and feel like it is coming from your organization and with your ESP’s logo plastered at the bottom, it’s kind of hard. I have personally received emails with so much branding at the bottom that I forgot who sent it to me and was almost mesmerized in to going to the ESP’s website.

The bottom line to this branding issue, is not necessarily the brand itself, it’s all about having a choice. If the ESP’s aren’t giving their clients a choice, that’s bad. Some people, who partner with them, may want to have the branding at the bottom, who knows. Maybe it’s like flaunting the fact that you drive a Bentley and you want people to know, “Hey I’m with Joe Schmo ESP and I’m darn proud of it” but my guess is that there are more organizations out there that just want to send out an email without advertising for the ESP. If you’re unhappy with the branding, you’re probably not alone. In fact, the industry says that 40% of you will be frustrated enough this year to switch ESP’s, so if you are shopping around, make sure you have your Tylenol ready, because branding can really hurt your bottom. Line that is, bottom line.