Step into the fast-paced world of ‘Real Marketing Real Fast’ with me, Doug Morneau. Each episode is a power-packed journey through the twists and turns of digital marketing and website acquisition. Expect unfiltered insights, expert interviews, and a healthy dose of sarcasm. This isn’t just another marketing podcast; it’s your front-row seat to the strategies shaping the digital landscape.


Matt Vernhout – takeaways –

  • Improving your email deliverability by even a slight margin can improve sales a great deal
  • 250ok provides a tool that allows you to track the deliverability of your email on multiple platforms and Email Service Providers
  • Matt enjoyed working with 250ok so much that when the chance to work for them came up he jumped at the chance




Doug: Welcome back, listeners. We’ve got joining us today, Matthew Vernhout. He is the Director and the Privacy and Industry Relations at a company called 250ok. He’s also a Certified International Privacy Professional in Canada with more than 17 years experience in email. He actively shares his thoughts and his industry trends via his own social media blog, emailkarma.net, which was recognized in 2010 as one of Canada’s Top 40 Marketing Blogs.

Matthew has also contributed to several benchmark publications during his career, including “The Marketer’s Guide to Successful Email,” “The EEC’s Global Email Marketing Compliance Guide,” “The Impact of CASL on Email Marketing” and many others. Matthew is also active in various organizations and a Director-at-large of the Coalition Against Unsolicited Email, The Email Experience Council Advocacies Subcommittee Chair and a Senior Administrator for both Email Marketer Club and Email Roundtable. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences and covers topics in this area. Matthew graduated from St. Clair College in 2000 with a diploma in Computer Science and Information.

We’re looking forward to Matthew explaining and helping us do a better job with our email deliverability, or at least our tracking. Welcome to the show, Matthew.

Matt Vernhout: Thank you very much for having me.

Doug: Do you wanna fill in the blanks? Is there anything that’s missing or anything new that you wanna update us on?

Matt Vernhout: Sure. Just some forward-looking. In the new year, once the Email Experience Council’s Annual Conference happens, I will actually be stepping up from my role as the Advocacy Chair and actually becoming the Vice Chair of the organization. That’s a pretty exciting thing that’s gonna be happening in the next couple of months for myself.

Doug: Well, good for you. I’m familiar with both the EEC and I’m also familiar with the product or the company that you work with, 250ok, as a user of the tool through a third party email provider I use. Could you just give us the highlights of what is 250ok and basically what it does for people?

Matt Vernhout: Sure. Here at 250ok, we’re really looking at email analytics from a holistic point of view: pre-deployment, testing. How does your message look? How does it render? What is the expectation in regards to getting messages to the inbox for subscribers you’re looking to contact? If you’re having problems, we offer a number of suggestions on things you could modify or change within your message to increase the deliverability rates for those.

We also offer tools that monitor reputation. How is your blacklistings if you have any? Are you having any rather types of reputation issues in regards to spam traps that you might be delivering mail to? We host our own spam trap network that receives several million messages every month. We work with clients to report on that. We have an external analytics platform. This comes in really handy for clients that may be using multiple email service providers but wanna have a centralized, consistent analytics platform.

Then on top of that, we also offer DMARC reporting and analytics tools. DMARC is the latest in anti-fraud, anti-phishing type solutions. We have a platform that works with the open source DMARC community to ingest the reports. Turn around and display them in a way that’s meaningful and useful for either IT security people or marketing professionals that are trying to monitor their brand for abuse and take control of any type of malicious activity that may be happening impacting their company.

Doug: That’s quite a broad offering. I mean, my experience with using your tool has really been around the deliverability and blacklisting working with Marapost. I was really happy to use the tool because it integrated as a third party to, like you mentioned, to a tool I was already using. I didn’t have to move all my data someplace else. We just had the ability to use your system to improve our tracking. Then dive into the issues with a few clients’ data that we were managing when they did have a blacklist, or they did hit a spam trap.

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. It’s been great that way. We integrate in both directions I would say for multiple ESPs, either a direct integration where the data flows into our system. Then that’s where it works really well if you’re on say Marapost and SendGrid and maybe on SparkPost. You could have a centralized dashboard for all your reporting in one location as opposed to having to look on three different platforms potentially even.

Doug: Yeah. I guess the best thing is it’s one platform so you’re not wondering how does each platform measure the deliverability? I’m using a constant in terms of reporting and tracking.

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. That’s actually really something that I’ve seen in the past has worked at multiple different ESPs. Each one has a slightly different spin on how they calculate different metrics. Or in some cases, the metrics are actually calculating or the reporting they’re showing and making available in this situation, you could have one centralized dashboard that’s independent of all of that.

Doug: Well, that used to be an issue for us when we were deploying a lot of third party emails. We would rent data for clients from the brand. A brand, for example, like zacks.com. It’s a financial company in Chicago. We’d rent their data. We knew they were serving their email on Silverpop. Silverpop’s reporting was gonna be different than EmailLabs or any of the other companies at that point that was in there. It was really tough to get an accurate view by looking at all … the ESPs, the individual reporting. Can you share with us maybe a case study or an example of somebody that your company brought on as a client? Obviously, you don’t need to share their details of who they are, but where they took your tools, used your tools and what the result was for them?

Matt Vernhout: Sure. I guess there are a few different use cases so just from the inbox point of view so I actually used to be a client. I enjoyed working with the company so much that when there was an opportunity to work with them and I’ve known the team for a very long time, I was excited to take the opportunity. I had the actual user experience. I can talk to that. We would use the inbox tool as a pre-deployment testing solution to evaluate whether we had potential coding issues that maybe would cause messages to not render appropriately in one location or had a deliverability problem, which would then engage with the deliverability team to help resolve pre-deployment. We’d be able to catch a certain number of issues upfront through the seed deployment testing. It really allowed us to be proactive working with clients that way.

In some cases, if a client wanted to do it all on their own, the way the tool works is you can have a parent account managed by an ESP and then an individual client account underneath of that. It allows you to segment data separately between clients as opposed to having a holistic view, as well, for an ESP platform. But what it allowed us to do was it really allowed us to take some of our clients, specifically say, in the onboarding situation. You have new domains, new domain keys, new IP addresses, data that has an ESP I’ve never seen before. It allows me to actively monitor over the onboarding period and the warm-up process, how things are improving, the program changes, tweak certain things within the messaging. Then really drive from maybe a lower Inbox Placement Rate to significantly higher Inbox Placement Rates for a client that’s onboarding.

Doug: Well, it’s interesting because that’s one of the aspects that we enjoyed of the tool was for inboxing. This client had purchased a company and the company they purchased, the brand reputation had some issues online. By us segmenting the data and sending the data out to be cleaned, and then using your toolset, we were able to actually measure and we could actually see our inbox deliverability across all of the email providers, Gmail included, increasing a little bit time after time after time, as we started to clean things up and get them working better.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. It’s a great tool for monitoring program changes and you can see the impact almost immediately.

Doug: What type of companies would you typically work with? Is there a certain sized company that is an ideal client of yours? Our listeners are saying, “Hey, I’m a 10 person company. I’m 10 staffed or 20 staffed. Or do you need to be 500 staffed?” Where do you need to be?

Matt Vernhout: We work with companies of all sizes. The beauty of the tool is you don’t necessarily buy in and say, “It’s going to be a flat rate forever at one price.” You could actually just buy one piece of the tool so everything’s offered individually: the inbox, the reputation, analytics. There are all separate. They’re all really event based so if you only need five or 10 events a month, we can offer that at a very affordable price. Or if you want to test everything that you’re going to do and you want a hundred or a thousand events a month, those things are also available. There’s no real size requirement from a business point of view ’cause it does come down to a lot of times, how active you are, how many tests you wanna do. Then building that into your process and making sure that it works with your process and getting a message from development out the door and then delivered to a consumer as the best possible chance of making it to their inbox.

Doug: In terms of workflow, what’s the additional work for someone that’s gonna display a campaign if they say, “Hey, this sounds like a great tool. I’m using fill in the blanks. I’m using this ESP. I’m using a Fusion Software. I’m using,” whatever they’re using for their CRM and their backend? “I’d like to obviously get better inbox delivery or I’d like to be able to make sure that my online reputation is doing well and moving forward.” What would that look like for a marketer?

Matt Vernhout: Depending on the tool so their reputation tool, it’s passive. There’s nothing really proactive that needs to get done, other than imputing IP addresses and domains that you want to monitor into the tool. It will then passively check the system for blacklistings or any type of reputation issues or significant spam trap hits and then return those back as reports. That system’s gonna do that work for you.

With regards to say, the design tools, what that’s gonna require is that you send a message to the design system. Similar to how other tools like this work. You send a message in. It then takes that message, processes it, renders it in all the different clients. It allows you stay in one spot, “What is this gonna look like in Outlook? What is this gonna look like in AOL? What is this gonna look like in Hotmail?” But then it also breaks it down even to what does this look like in Hotmail, in Internet Explorer versus Mozilla versus Chrome.

There’s a whole wide variety of options to view the message, even including mobile, but what that adds in to the process is you may need to make tweaks. You’re gonna have to work with your email developers a little more proactively in order to build the right templates, to build the right process, but also if you see problems or encounter issues to give them that feedback so they can go in and make changes and then test again. It may add a couple extra steps, but those benefits, as you’ve mentioned even those benefits, really help increase inbox placement and user engagement.

Doug: Well … it’s like a one time thing. If there’s some issues right now with your current design templates, with whoever’s designing your HTML email, I’m assuming once you clean them up, providing that you continue to use the same base template, you’re really not gonna go back and have to do a lot of other work, other than like you said, send it to the system. Then get in there and take a look and make sure that it’s rendering and is viewing correctly.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. Yeah. You’re absolutely right so the use case is a lot of tests when you’re designing a new template or launching a new program or maybe even sending a holiday greeting that’s not using your current template. You may do a lot more testing then and then you may just use a weekly heartbeat to say, “Does my template still look right? Did I break anything when I was modifying the template?” Those types of things ’cause that happens a lot.

Matt Vernhout: Actually, there was an email that was widely discussed in some groups this week from a very well-known Canadian brand that sent out and halfway through the message, their table split. The message wasn’t aligning in a vertical column. It was actually two columns, but it had broken apart. Yeah, so it …

Doug: I’m always surprised and maybe I shouldn’t be. I’m always surprised that that sort of stuff happens with big companies and brands. They obviously right now more than any time of year, this is a busy time to be sending messages. It’s like why wouldn’t you do just a little bit of testing. Yes, email, I guess, often is perceived as well, it doesn’t cost anything. Let’s just send it. Well, it does cost a lot when you send out a message like that that embarrasses you and your brand.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. It happens quite frequently and often times, the experience that I’ve seen is that as you’re copying and pasting something, you delete a table tag or you delete a div tag. All of a sudden, it looks fine in one client, but it doesn’t look fine in another. That’s really, I think, the challenge that a lot of places have is I’m just testing this in my Outlook. It looks fine.

Doug: Yeah.

Matt Vernhout: Or I’m just testing it in AOL and it looks fine, but with the tool that allows you to test it all places at once, it allows you to catch those anomalies of oh, this broke in Gmail because Gmail doesn’t support a certain media call or it doesn’t support a certain CSS tag or something like that. It allows you to go back and proactively try to catch those in advance.

Doug: Yeah. That’s the survey of one. This is how I see it so everyone else must see it the same way.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. That happens frequently, especially in times like this week where we have Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up, where you’re pushing your teams harder to deliver more content, more creative. You’re maybe doubling your message volume for the week so things get missed, unfortunately. Then, like you said, you walk away with a little egg on your face.

Doug: Yeah. I mean you don’t know. I mean if you’re paying attention to your analytics, you’ll what the users are viewing your content on. Now knowing that most of it’s on mobile and not necessarily on a desktop.

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. We’re still seeing about 50%, just over 50% penetration into mobile so it certainly is a large number of users. Even there’s a good number of users that are looking at multiple devices. That might actually be an indicator of maybe your email on mobile intrigued someone, but they couldn’t do the completion of the action on the device so they had to switch to a PC. Those are types of things that people should look for as well. Or maybe the consumer is just not comfortable making the retail purchase on their mobile so they went to their PC to complete that. There’s a lot of different pieces to look at it. It gets complicated very quickly.

Doug: Well, I think the ability to be able to view what your message is gonna look like a mobile is so important. I just finished doing some research on a book that’s coming out next year on email and I was really surprised at the numbers in terms of mobile. The mobile users will often report your email as spam if they think that your message is either A) irrelevant or B) it doesn’t display correctly in mobile. That’s a whole different issue than talking about spam traps. It’s like, “Hey, you guys can’t format your message right. I don’t like you so I’m just gonna report you as spam and you’re gone.”

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. I would say even if you do get the formatting and rendering right on a mobile, if your website’s not mobile optimized, that will turn off a lot of consumers as well.

Doug: Yeah. I don’t wanna get in that conversation. I just had that conversation with a client yesterday. I’m going, “Your website looks horrible on mobile.” But anyhow moving along. Can you share a little bit with us around the spam trap network? I wasn’t aware that you guys had a proprietary spam trap network. Obviously, we try to clean our data a couple times a year. We use a number of different vendors to do that, but how does your system help marketers in that way?

Matt Vernhout: Sure. A lot of it comes down to like you’re saying, if you potentially have bad hygiene or poor hygiene issues, the system will help you identify that, but if you’re also looking at using partner data or if you’re using … Maybe you’re like, “Oh, I have this list that I haven’t mailed to in a long time,” and you don’t properly clean it, you’ll be able to actually log in to the system. We will return things like the from address, the subject, the date. Not the actual recipient, of course, ’cause what good’s the span trap network if you give away what all your traps are.

However, we will help people identify where there are potential data issues. In some cases, if you are on a shared infrastructure maybe … This is where this type of situation works really well for an ESP. If you’re on a shared infrastructure with multiple clients using the same IP address as you, you could potentially identify your problem client in all the noise of all your other clients and work with them. Or if you have to take action under your AUP or something along that lines to help them clean up, that’s where this tool comes in really handy for someone like an email service provider to identify potential problems if they may get buried in all the noise.

Doug: Well, that’s funny because I often hear the conversation where people think they can sneak this data in and they can mail to it and it’s not gonna affect their mailer. Nobody’s gonna notice. When you forget that the ESP has aggregate data against all their clients so as soon as yours doesn’t look like everybody else’s, they know. You’re not fooling anyone.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. ESPs across the board have different ways of doing it, but they’re all looking at it. Machine language is coming or machine learning, I should say. AI is coming to help them identify those outliers. Probably the most well-known of that is the eMailChimp Omnivore tool that looks at lists and past behavior and consumer and who’s uploading what and the types of content that are getting sent out. They’re getting really good at it. I think you’re gonna start to see other platforms catching up or looking to utilize similar machine technology to catch those outliers.

Doug: Yep. Totally agree. Not to mention, even if you do sneak it past, we’re really forgetting the really most important thing is why are we sending the message, right? We’re trying to, yeah, add value to our clients or subscribers. At some point, we want to sell them something.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. I frequently receive lots of spam and I can’t tell you I’ve never purchased the message from something that was sent to me unsolicited. Regard-

Doug: Well, that’s what they don’t understand. I mean the statistics I looked at this week said that still over 50% of the emails around the world that’s sent is sent as spam. Most of it comes from America. It’s just ridiculous to think that they keep sending it because then they say that the numbers are falling. Well, quit clicking on the links and don’t buy stuff and the people will stop sending spam.

Matt Vernhout: It’s much easier said than done, especially if you look at the similar offers that happened today, right? Like 70% off, the hottest item of the winter or the hottest item of summer that you’ve been looking all summer for. That’s a really tempting offer for a lot of people. However, it is that. You encourage bad behavior by supporting it.

Doug: I think my favorite offer is I get all these emails all the time through a variety of my different websites and it’s like, “Hey,” and they don’t put my name. “We sell databases. Do you wanna buy a customized database with your ideal target audience?” I’m thinking you could’ve taken my name off my website. You could’ve looked at my email. No, I don’t wanna buy your data ’cause clearly well, there’s a whole bunch of reasons, but [inaudible 00:21:00] starts the fact that, you couldn’t even personalize it.

Matt Vernhout: Right. Yeah. That’s absolutely one piece. The other part I would say for us, both being in Canada, is the Canadian Anti-Span Legislation plays a big impact in regards to do I wanna buy data and use it? Then next year, GDPR makes that even more unsavory and more dangerous for companies to act on.

Doug: Yeah. Absolutely. I was just over in the UK at a conference in London and there were a number of us in the email space having that discussion of how that’s gonna affect business and businesses moving forward with the existing data that they’ve already got.

Matt Vernhout: Sure. Existing data is one thing, right? We saw that under CASL with existing data. There was like the grace period that people were allowed to use existing data for. When that grace period ended, there’s was still some significant email list shrinkage that happened, but overall, all of the metrics I’ve seen over the last three years that have shown that the law worked and that people are happier with the email they are receiving. They’re engaging more.

Doug: Yep. That makes sense. You gotta date a little bit before you get married so make sure you’ve gotta relationship with the people you’re sending to. You’ll get a better response.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. Send people what they ask for and that just is the starting point.

Doug: There you go. Sign up for my list when what I really wanna do is I wanna send you advertising every single day and hope you buy something [crosstalk 00:22:27]. Go ahead.

Matt Vernhout: Which is absolutely acceptable if that’s what you tell them you’re going to do.

Doug: Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever seen disclosure like that before though.

Matt Vernhout: Sure, but think of a retailer that sends seven or in some cases, more than seven emails in a week. That’s what you sign up for I suppose.

Doug: Yep. I mean, like you said, it’s just really meeting expectations. I mean I’ve signed up for lots of emails where I’ll get an email every day for seven to 10 days from someone. In most cases, they’re trying to build a relationship. They’re offering value and not every email is a put your credit card here. It’s just really about developing that relationship before you ask people to pull out their credit card and plunck it in online.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely.

Doug: In terms of your technology and what you guys do and working with marketers, what do you think the biggest myth is out there? With all the email guys and all VP’s of marketing that are being audited and held to account to get higher ROI for their company? What do you think the myth is about what you guys do in terms of deliverability and tracking and blacklisting?

Matt Vernhout: Well, it’s not necessarily cliché, but the phrasing is. It’s one that I’ve used for over 10 years writing Emailkarma. It really is it’s not the size of your email list, but it’s how well you communicate with it. I would much rather have a list that is full of very responsive people that is much smaller than a gigantic, large list that gets a 5% open rate and a half a percent click-through rate all the time.

Email is king, but permission trumps everything so if you’re sending to people and you’re just abusing their trust, I do see the idea of press send to make money, but in a world where your competitor is sending something that is permission-based and much more targeted and much more relevant to a consumer, you could send them 10 messages when your competitor sends one that is more relevant, more targeted. I would imagine that, at least from my experience, value n equals one. I’m gonna buy from someone who sends me something that’s really targeted and really relevant over someone who just mails me the 20% off every day offer.

Doug: Yeah. Fair enough. Fair comment. What are you most excited about today as it relates to email and technology and the space that you’re working in?

Matt Vernhout: For me, I personally love the idea of DMARC. What it does … Like everything, it’s not perfect, but it’s significantly better than not having it. There is a small portion of the email population, if you will, that does not authenticate email. I believe the last stats I saw from Gmail were somewhere less than 2% of email is not being authenticated at all. Email authentication, if you’re not doing it at some point, will hamper your deliverability. As a starting point, I think that’s really where people need to be.

SPF’s been around for over a decade. To consider that there’s a small portion of people not doing it, it’s already causing delivery issues, if you will, by not doing it. I’ve seen mail get rate limited that says your authentication records are wrong or broken so I’m not gonna accept this right now. Come back later, but with DMARC, it allows you to … From a compliance point of view, from a reputation point, from a security point of view, it allows you to see all of your legitimately authenticated mail. It allows you to see all of your legitimately authenticated mail. It allows you to see mail that is likely to be yours, but maybe is broken or it’s not aligned properly, which is not wrong, it’s just not authenticated as well as it could be. But what it really shows you is the mail that’s being sent under your brand that is not actually sent by you so it’s the malicious spam. It’s viruses. It’s forged mail. It could be the fake CEO email trying to get you to send money to an international bank account.

DMARC allows you to see your entire email universe from the receiver’s point of view almost. What was accepted? What was authenticated properly? What failed? It allows you to really get a good view of it. I’m actually thinking about it from the point of view from CASL Compliance as well. If I have a rogue sales guy in another location that’s not working at head office, may be remote, that opens up a MailChimp account that’s not approved. Well, how do I know that it’s not a violation of the anti-spam legislation?

Doug: Sure. Yeah. The laws are pretty clear. You’re gonna pay dearly for that mistake.

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. The company is still responsible, regardless of the actions of the individual. This type of tool will allow you to catch those things or notice those things. I’ve heard from several very large brands that when they turned on DMARC, that’s exactly what happened is we didn’t know we had a marketing guy in Atlanta doing that or something like that, right?

Doug: That’s scary.

Matt Vernhout: [crosstalk 00:28:02] Absolutely.

Doug: All the billing as well.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely, right?

Doug: Yeah.

Matt Vernhout: I think that’s the catch is you don’t always know. These turn on the lights and allows you to see your traffic in a slightly different manner.

Doug: What is a good way for our listeners that are in this space or marketers and wanting to do a better job to get started?

Matt Vernhout: Get started in email or get started with the technology?

Doug: Get started with the technology. I’m assuming that they’re in email. If they’re not in email, well then, maybe they should listen to a different podcast.

Matt Vernhout: Yeah.

Doug: But email … The reason we wrote the book was it was all the misnomers that email’s dead, doesn’t work, and is illegal.

Matt Vernhout: Right.

Doug: It’s … That could further from the truth. For the listeners who have email, have a list of whatever size and wanna do a better job and wanna get better ROI and wanna make sure they get delivered, how did they get started?

Matt Vernhout: Sure. I suppose there’s a couple of different ways. You could ask your email vendor if they’re working with us or if they have a partnership with us and you could get access to the tools that way. If they don’t, you can head over to 250ok.com and get some more details on each of the different tools and see, which ones might be relevant for you. You can reach out through our contact form there. One of our sales guys can certainly reach out and help understand the need and help understand what you’re looking for and then put a package together that that fits your needs and budget. You can reach out to me on Twitter at Emailkarma. It’s a great way to reach me. It’s always in my pocket in my phone. I’m pretty quick to respond. You can email us at [email protected]. That’s a good way to also get into the system for help.

Doug: What about onboarding? For technical sites, someone says, “Hey, this sounds good. I wanna take a look at this.”

Matt Vernhout: Yep.

Doug: “But I’m not a programmer,” so I’m assuming you’ve got an onboarding process where you help them, walk them through the process of getting started up and running and getting their first reports out.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. I think the only piece that may require some additional coding, if you will, would really be an integration with one of our tools if you wanted to be able to access the data from another source or feed us data potentially from an external mail platform. As an example, if we have a direct integration with SendGrid so if you are a SendGrid user, you could just put your API key in the system, which is real simple. It doesn’t take any coding. Then the system will start to work directly with the SendGrid platform that way.

It’s a little more complex than the way I just described it, but we have a team that walks you through that, but from the point of view of our inbox testing, our reputation services, it’s simple as you download the seed list that you wanna send mail to. You pick the geographical regions you’re trying to mail to, which is a bunch of checkboxes. Download the list. Upload it to your email platform and click send. Then the system will start building the reports for you.

From the integration point of view of inbox testing, it’s really that simple. Download an email list and hit send. It does get a little more complicated with some of the analytics pieces, but that’s again, more of an advanced solution that advanced marketers are looking for and-

Doug: Yeah. I found it really simple. You’re right on. I mean … because it was integrated with Marapost, it was very easy and even when we wanted to use a system for some stuff that was outside of Marapost with a different ESP, like you said, it was sent to the seed list. The analytics and the tracking and the reporting was there. It was pretty intuitive so if you’re using Google Analytics, this is even simpler than Google Analytics to get your reporting up.

Matt Vernhout: Yeah. Absolutely. We designed it that way. We wanted it to be simple because we knew we would have users in a situation where they’re not a team of 20 with four programmers and a data scientist on the team to look at everything. When we built this, that’s one of the things we looked at was how do you make it simple for people to understand and simple for people to use, but also offer an advanced level service such as our full integration through API?

Doug: Right. Yeah. Totally makes sense so one last question and we’ll let you get back to your day. That is who is one guest that you think we should have on our show?

Matt Vernhout: Oh, one guest. I probably have a list of … I could send you a long list of people who I think should be on the show, but I am gonna give you two ’cause I think they both stand out for different reasons.

One, I think, is John Caldwell from Red Pill Email. John has assembled for the last number of years a email service provider benchmark guide so if you’re looking for an [inaudible 00:33:01] ESP, he can help you do that. His guide has a list of, I believe, about 45 different ESPs in the small mid-range business and the enterprise-class to help you choose who would be the best vendor for your solution. Or at least, help you narrow it down. Then work with two or three vendors as opposed to looking sort of blindly for an email vendor.

I think the other person and you may know, Dela Quist, CEO of Alchemy Worx.

Doug: Yeah.

Matt Vernhout: Dela has some … Him and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but it’s a great debate all the time. We’re very good friends so it’s a great debate, but he’s a very bright guy. I think he has a lot of insight to bring. He’s actually developing some really great tools to help with subject line testing, content testing and just started something that we always talk about is test, test, test. Test everything in email. See what works best for you and that’s what his company really focus is on in regards to helping people get better performance out of their email.

Doug: That’s really cool. Yeah. I’m a huge fan of testing. We always have a testing budget with all the plans we work with. They don’t really understand why, but it’s like if we can get out one or two or 3% bump in any area, it can sometimes magnify to make a huge difference at the bottom line.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely. I think that’s something that people don’t do frequently enough. Much like what we were talking about earlier. You get a template and you stick with it. Then you kind of forget to test.

Doug: Yep. Yep. I get that. Yep. I’m a big fan of multi-variant testing and let the analytics fall where they lie. I don’t need to be right about which copy or image I like. What we need is the one that converts the highest.

Matt Vernhout: Absolutely.

Doug: Well, thank so much for taking time today and sharing with our listeners. I will make sure that all the details for Matthew are in the show notes. We’ll give out a link and a shout out to 250ok and emailkarma.net and all of his social media contacts so you can find him. Check back. Get the show notes. Download them. They’ll link to the website. Go take a look at the 250ok website. Check him out.

We’ve been using the tool. I’m super happy with the tool. It was really easy to use and so I just wanna say thanks for taking time out of your day, Matthew, to share with our audience.

Matt Vernhout: Thanks again for inviting me to come speak. Have a great afternoon.

Doug: You, too. There you go, listeners. We’ll have this posted soon enough. Tune in and we’ll see you on the next episode.


Website: 250ok

Mathhew’s Blog: emailkarma.net

Twitter at Emailkarma

Email: [email protected]




Related podcast episodes: 




Do you need help generating leads and sales?

Regardless of the economy, there are opportunities to generate leads and make sales.

Fill out the form to apply for a free consultation with our experts, 1-on-1!

Looking forward to meeting you!

"Innovation isn't just thinking outside the box; it's about setting the box on fire and building something extraordinary from the ashes."

Doug Morneau