Altaf Shaikh

About Me

Altaf Shaikh is the founder and CEO of ListEngage.com - a full-service interactive marketing firm that helps organizations harness the power of email & social media to acquire, engage and convert prospects faster — and to retain existing customers better using data-driven marketing concepts.

Under Altaf’s leadership ListEngage assists clients on almost every aspect of e-marketing including but not limited to best practices; effective email designs; increasing email deliverability; triggered email campaigns; drip marketing automations; attracting and engaging visitors using social media channels like Twitter, Linkedin & Facebook.

ListEngage’s clients include companies like Parametric Technologies, Alpha Software, Fidelity Investor, Brandsmart, Liberty Mutual, IDC, Nova Chemicals, Demandware, Classy-Kid, Jessica London, J.Jill, Response Insurance, Green Giant, Chadwick’s and more.

Altaf is passionate about digital marketing and has more than a decade of experience purely in this field. Previously he was the CEO of hitechlcub.com and prior to that held senior engineering and consulting positions at Bell Labs, PictureTel, and the European Commission Brussels. Altaf graduated with a degree in Computer Science which gives him a unique vantage point to also view marketing challenges from a technological and analytical perspective.
 

(0) Comments

The 02 Release Is Now Live in the Marketing Cloud

Kudos to Audra Zechman from ExactTarget for this great article.

journey_8

As we jump in to Salesforce Marketing Cloud's second release of the new year, we are excited to announce the unveiling of a new product, more exciting features, and talk about how we are getting back to our strength in email marketing with Predictive Decisions. 

We are giving our customers all the power they need to make better business decisions like never before. We are now putting more actionable data right in the hands of our customers. 

02 Release Top Ten Feature List: 

 

  1. Active Audiences is now GA — Marketers can now more effectively reach their email subscribers with 1:1 targeted advertising. This product allows marketers to leverage their own data in order to target...
Read More » »
(0) Comments

The Rise of Subject Line Designers?

Chad White from ExactTarget gives us a good insight to the thought process behind subject lines

Almost all messages are more effective when they include an image. Tweets with images see substantially higher engagement and retweets. Having at least one image in a blog post is now standard practice. And it’s rare to see a promotional email that doesn’t include at least one image — if not several.

The newest frontier for images is in subject lines. As I discuss in Salesforce’s 100 Inspiring Subject Lines, special characters like stars and hearts started appearing in the subject lines of marketers’ emails in early 2012, and then emojis began appearing in subject lines last year.

Currently around 2% of B2C emails include a special character or...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

A Glimpse of Email’s Rich Content Future: Email Carousels

Kudos to Chad White for a great article

“The emails of the future will be much more like sending subscribers a microsite than a static message,” I say at the end of my book, Email Marketing Rules. Watching videos, browsing product assortments, and even making product purchases will also be possible without leaving the inbox.

The email industry has taken another step toward this future in recent months with the discovery of a WebKit hack that lets marketers create a fully functional tabbed box or content carousel, where subscribers can click the tabs or buttons in the content block in the email to flip through different images. Our friends over at Litmus discuss how this hack is used in an email sent by UK home improvement retailer B&Q in...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

6 Retail Email Marketing Priorities for 2015

Chad White from ExactTarget presented well outlined marketing priorities for 2015.

For retailers, the holiday season is omnipresent. You’re either neck deep in it or you’re preparing for it.

This presentation—which includes supplemental links to research reports, articles, and real-world examples—discusses the 6 things retailers need to work on to get their email programs ready for the upcoming holiday season:

  1. Reassessing program goals, because the last thing you want is to achieve all of your goals and discover that you have not achieved success.
  2. Getting mobile-friendly, because consumers are way out ahead of retailers on using mobile and it’s time to do some serious catch-up.
  3. Optimizing snippet text, because marketers recognize...
Read More » »
(0) Comments

In the Third Age of Email Deliverability, Engagement Matters

Great article written by Chad White

Unlike in the First Age of Email Deliverability when there were no rules or in the Second Age when negative metrics like complaints determined inbox placement, in the Third Age senders’ emails must not only be tolerated by subscribers but occasionally engaged with to avoid being junked or blocked at either the individual or global level. In other words, the need for list quality now keeps list size ambitions in check.

However, an ISP panel at the Email Evolution Conference earlier this month seems to have muddied the water on whether email engagement affects deliverability and inbox placement. The two quasi-revelations from the panel — which included representatives from Gmail, Outlook.com, AOL, and...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

Top Trends from 2014’s Email Client Market Share

Drew Beechler does a great job bringing our attention to what is important for email marketers.
 
 

Every month, Litmus, an email marketing testing and analytics software, analyzes and publishes the latest data on email client market share from their system. They've been tracking email opens across a different devices and clients for over four years.

Their research has seen the entire industry changed as mobile opens grew from 8% of email opens in 2011 to 48% at the end of 2014. Desktop opens also decreased from 58% in 2011 to 22% at the end of 2014. Below is their graph on the environment growth over the past four years. 

 

Litmus recently published their 2014 year-end review of email client market share. 2014 saw a number of key developments...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

Top 5 Advantages Of Email Marketing

Kudos to the author of this article: Laura Noll from business2community.com. She brings our attention to very important advantages of email marketing in this article.

Even with the rise of social media, programmatic ad buying, native advertising, and more, email marketing continues to make a splash as one of the most effective solutions for reaching your target audience. Add in automated solutions for buying reach to email audiences and you’re sure to see a rise in your ROI and greater success in your campaigns. Why? Because email offers five huge advantages over other media:

1. Tremendous Reach

According to the Radicati Group, the total number of worldwide email accounts is expected to reach more than 4.9 billion by the end of 2017. In...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

How Do You Select Which Emails You Read?

Emails You ReadAt ListEngage, we are in the business of enticing people to read messages (email, social, mobile).  Of course we know the ways to avoid spam filters, blocked IP addresses, etc., however this article is about the messages that get through all that.  I am yet to find anyone who reads every one of their messages all of the time; we all have a personal scheme to decide what gets opened and what gets read.

Since I consider myself typical, I have tried to observe my email reading habits as if I was a birdie sitting on my shoulder, taking notes as to which emails I open and which I read.  Here is what I have found by observing myself (other than that I am a boring person):

 

  1. The “From” is my first step in the decision process.  If I recognize the...
Read More » »
(0) Comments

The Noreply@ Mailbox Should Be Purged

Noreply mailbox I consider myself to be a marketing professional, having been at it for 20 years, and working closely with others with as much as 45 years of marketing.  One of the absolutes regarding marketing which I learned many years ago is that YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS with the first corollary being that you have to listen to your customers in a way that it is easy for them to express their desires.  That is why, for the 20 years that I have seen noreplies, I have been adamant that “do not reply to this email” messages was a bad idea.

I understand, matter of fact I am an expert at, transactional messages saying something to a prospect or customer.  These emails are an important component of digital marketing.  However, more than 30 years...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

1. Email Will Increase Ecommerce – Introduction

Introduction

Email Will Increase EcommerceListEngage has been helping our customers enhance their ecommerce since our inception 10 years ago.  We are proud to have helped companies such as Filson, BrandsMart, and Alimed set up automated messages that bring customers to buy.  If you look at this chart from ExactTarget, you can see that by sending more relevant emails, based on data you already have regarding your customers, will help generate revenue.

The objective of this series of four articles is to make you aware of the ways that automated emails can help you, and for a low cost.

All of us involved in ecommerce abhor abandoned shopping carts, inactive customers and decreasing conversion rates.  These evils can be purged by sending automated, personalized,...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

2. Email Will Increase Ecommerce – Transactional

This is Part two of ListEngage ecommerce series and concentrates on how to increase sales by using data driven emails and helping customers track their orders

Targeted, automated email offers significantly more value than what one accomplishes through a blast to your “list”.  Your website has collected a lot of customer information, and this data can be used easily and wisely through automated event driven emails.  Event driven emails are prepared using a set of triggers, giving you the opportunity to set up and fine tune your communication and response optimally based on the behavior of your customers.

One should consider using event driven emails such as:

  • Welcome emails for new visitors and customers, with an incentive to return quickly
  • Birthd...
Read More » »
(0) Comments

3. Email will increase Ecommerce - Order info and device

Motivate customers to help improve product information

You should use email to ask your customers to rate products and write reviews. These reviews offer invaluable customer insights into your products and descriptions as well as providing you with insights on the performance of your site.  Motivate your customers with an incentive (e.g. discount on future purchase) after they have written a review.

We would suggest that you invite them to write a review around two weeks after they’ve made a purchase. If there is no response from the customer, send a reminder mentioning the incentive again, and encouraging them by letting them know how they will be helping others.

The feedback given by the customer can be used to update the product information...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

4. Email will increase Ecommerce - Reactivate and Reward

Reactivate customers via email

You, like every other ecommerce site, have customers whom you have not seen for a long time and/or no longer open your emails.  They represent a missed opportunity! Think about checking their email address (look for an email change of address) and sending a reactivation email to customers with an incentive.  If they react be sure to welcome them back with an (automated) personal message. 

But what to do with those who do not respond to your reactivation request? The answer is simply to stop sending ignored emails.  Put these customers on a separate list, and work to get them to respond again.  Send them an email from a person rather than your site.  See if they are back on your site with a new email address...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

The Lobby is Empty – What Works Better Than SEO?

email marketingThe B2B world has changed, that was never clearer to me than the other day.  I was in the lobby of the main office of a large manufacturer, large room with lots of tables, chairs, couches, and a very nice, older, well dressed receptionist.  I went to the desk to meet my appointment (it was actually to see a friend) and the receptionist was excited to help me.  While I was waiting, I noticed that this large lobby was totally empty (except for me).  To pass the time, I asked the receptionist if it was always like this, and her response was affirmative, but that it used to be filled with outside salespeople meeting with purchasing folks.  She said that the salespeople just don’t come any more; she thought it has something to do with the...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

How Do You Select Which Emails You Read?

select_email_to_readAt ListEngage, we are in the business of enticing people to read messages (email, social, mobile).  Of course we know all the tricks -- how to avoid spam filters, blocked IP addresses, etc., however this article is about the messages that get through all that.  I am yet to find anyone who reads every one of their messages all of the time, so we all have a personal scheme to decide what gets opened and what gets read.

Since I consider myself typical, I have tried to observe my email reading habits as if I was a birdie sitting on my shoulder, taking notes as to which emails I open and which I read.  Here is what I have found by observing myself (other than that I am a boring person):

 

  1. The “From” is my first step in the decision process.  If...
Read More » »
(0) Comments

Holiday Message (Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!)

       

                  holiday message from Engager

This issue of our newsletter “The Engager” looks very different from previous versions, instead of sharing best practices, tips and tricks on email, mobile and social we felt it is the perfect time to wish you:
 

Best Wishes for a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year


We also want to thank our clients, friends, fans and followers for your business, support, constructive feedback, and suggestions that you have so willingly shared with us.

So who are all these vibrant and fun folks in the photos below?

All of us at ListEngage have great fun doing what we do on a daily basis. In doing so we talk to many of our clients and contacts regularly and if we are lucky we get to meet some of you in-person; so we wanted to be...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

Google Hummingbird Overpowers SEO

I would like to applaud Google for continuing to improve their search algorithms and degrade the impact of those trying to outGoogle Hummingbirdsmart the searcher via what is termed Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  The latest update from Google, termed Hummingbird, appears to be a significant upgrade.  However, with every improvement there are intrinsic problems, and in this case I would like to call the problem “the rich get richer and the new guy is invisible”.

Google’s success, and my personal love of the search engine, is because I can quickly find what I am looking for in the cornucopia of information on the worldwide web.  I have a feeling, as a user you feel the same way.  SEO exists to move a lesser known (but perhaps better qualified) product in...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

Is Your Attention Span Long Enough to Read this Email Marketing Article?

email marketingIn a recent radio interview, Doris Kearns Goodwin was discussing her new 900 page book "The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism" especially the differences between news journalism in the early 20th century versus today.  In the early 20th century, newspapers would publish entire speeches and they would be read by their subscribers.  The point Goodwin makes is that our attention span has gone down enormously since then.

There is no arguing the significant reduction in our attention spans (even within our lifetime), and I believe it continues to decrease every year.  However, in marketing and especially in email marketing we are fully cognizant of reality, and the much shorter attention makes...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

ListEngage wins ExactTarget’s Global Services Award

ExactTarget Connections 2013As the Founder & CEO of ListEngage, I am very proud and excited to announce that ListEngage has been presented with ExactTarget’s “Global Services Partner Award” at ExactTarget Connections 2013 annual conference. This is the highest award presented to ExactTarget’s Partners.

While presenting the award, Danielle du Toit - Director, Global Centre of Services Excellence at ExactTarget stated “List Engage was selected as the recipient for the Services Partner Award at Connections 2013 for their hard work, their commitment to the Orange Partner Network and their dedication to embodying ExactTarget’s Core Values.  List Engage consultants are easy to do business with and have consistent high client satisfaction ratings.”
 

ExactTarget – Email & 1:1...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

Responsive Email Design (RED) is all the rage but what is it really?

Responsive Email Design

Part "1" of Three Part Series on Responsive Email Design (RED)

More email is read “mobile” than on a desktop email client or via webmail. Stats say that higher than 43% of email is now opened on a mobile device. With Email still being the main marketing workhorse, businesses today large or small have few choices but to assure that all their emails are mobile-friendly and designed with Responsive Email Design (RED) considerations, the alternatives are far from acceptable.

Responsive Email Design requires dynamically detecting the visitor’s screen size and orientation and adapting content and layout for nicely rendered messages. Previously one had three choices on how to create an email that would render readably on devices from Smartphones, to...

Read More » »
(0) Comments

Newsletter Sign Up

Stay on top of the latest online marketing trends.
Sign up for The Engager and get it all in one place each month!
We respect your privacy