Need More Reviews? How to request (and receive) them with every email…

Reviews matter. They build customer trust, enhance your brand’s reputation, and boost your business’s ranking online. From purchase decisions to search results, reviews bring their own rewards.

Of course, you could just ask outright, in a dedicated email or a customer service phone call. But while it’s direct, doesn’t it seem a bit….pushy?

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get the army of brand advocates you need, without sounding ‘needy’? And even better if you could do it via an engaging addition to your business’s most used communication channel – everyday email.

With effective email signature marketing and banner campaigns you can. Requesting reviews via your email signature is recommended by software comparison and review site Capterra – and Rocketseed takes it further.

This short blog will show you how, by using interactive email banner campaigns, you can engage recipients to give you all levels of feedback, from running customer service surveys to nurturing brand advocates and generating reviews.

“How are we doing?” A single-click survey shows you.

It’s quick – just one click. Find out what customers think of your business – especially the service they’re receiving – simply by running a single-click survey banner on every email you send.

It gives you a good idea of what customers think of your business and lets you react accordingly…a review request and a possible up-sell message to your satisfied customers, or following up any less-than-satisfied ones personally to put the problem right.  There’s more detail on Rocketseed email signature survey banners here.

Rocketseed Tip:  Keep it simple. 3 options work well with a clear ‘Rate our service’ call-to-action.

“Would you recommend us?” – Build brand advocates with a banner.

To capitalise on the positive responses to your one-click survey, a follow-up email (or simply the next email you send to that recipient in the course of business) can feature a brand advocacy banner, simply asking “Would you recommend us?”. Recipients clicking a “Yes” are identifying themselves as perfect brand advocates who’ll write you glowing reviews…so now all you have to do is ask.

Rocketseed Tip:  With Rocketseed’s analytics tracking how many unique recipients receive these banners, recording the number of positive responses will give you your Net Promoter Score – a vital KPI for gauging brand advocacy amongst your customers.

“Please leave us a review” – Get customers writing…and rating.

The next stage is to ask your customers to write you a glowing review. Again an interactive email banner makes it oh-so-simple. Not only does the banner message do the asking but – in a single click on the call-to-action button – the recipient is taken direct to a review page to start writing, be it on your own website or a third-party review site such as Google Reviews or Capterra.

Rocketseed Tip

Add an incentive in the banner – anything from an Amazon voucher to a free cup of coffee – to make the reviewer even more engaged. Or, if you need your reviews in hurry,  create a sense of urgency by offering the incentive to the first 10 reviewers only.

Email signature marketing and banner campaigns are a simple, more subtle way of getting the reviews you need to boost your reputation and ranking. But you need the right email signature software and service. You need to be sure that your banners are

  • designed on-brand and feature a clear call-to-action
  • can feature multiple interactive buttons
  • can be targeted to reach the right recipients
  • can track all report all clicks
  • can automate triggered responses and alerts

With Rocketseed you can do all this easily and, if you wish, we can manage it all for you. It’s another reason why Rocketseed is loved by marketers and trusted by IT.

Talk to us today about generating survey feedback and customer reviews from every business email.

Jennifer Bassett |  Global Marketing Director

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn

7 ways a personalised demo ensures you choose the right email signature solution

So you’ve decided your business needs new email signatures. If your business is just you, then maybe it’s not the biggest decision you’ll ever make, but if there’s 50, 100 or 1,000 people in the business then suddenly the decision (and the risks) become bigger – especially when you think the new signature is going to appear on every email they send.

So…no pressure…but you’ve got to get it right.

You can’t afford to make an expensive mistake – not just in terms of your investment, but also potential disruption to your IT, damage to your brand image and missed marketing opportunities. So wouldn’t it be nice to talk to a real person (it might even be me!) about your exact email signature requirements or, even better, have them show you exactly what the right email signature solution can do for your business .

At Rocketseed we always give you a demo to help you decide. Here’s 7 reasons why…

1.Meet your exact requirements

What exactly are you looking for in an email signature solution? Great design? Brand consistency? Legal compliance? A new marketing channel? Stress-free tech set-up? Whatever it is (and whether you’re in IT, marketing, HR or sales), we take the time to understand your exact business requirements and ensure that you get the right solution from our Rocketseed plans.

2. Remove any risk

While some “self-service” signature providers make it sound oh-so-simple, what they don’t tell you could result in a nasty surprise later (with no support from them to help you sort it out). For example, is there a risk of your email signature images getting mangled on mobile devices? With mobile-optimised Rocketseed they’ll display perfectly on every device.  In a Rocketseed demo, we’ll show you everything you need to put your mind at rest.

3. Realise the full potential

Chances are, email signatures can do more than you think. Sure, they can update employee details automatically by syncing with Active Directory and drive traffic to your website and social channels, but did you realise you can also run precision-targeted, interactive banner campaigns through them? Or that these campaigns can be integrated with your CRM and send real-time click-alerts to your sales team? In a Rocketseed demo, you’ll see the full potential of email signatures and how they can become your new hero marketing channel.

4. See it in action

Want to see how your brand might look on a new signature? Or how the interface gives you company-wide control? Or maybe explore the reporting and analytics that show how recipients are interacting with your signatures? Well, you can – it’s all in the demo! You’re in control, with a hands-on opportunity to experience Rocketseed in action!

5. Talk tech

You need an email signature solution that’s simple to set-up, 100% secure and stress-free for your IT staff. That’s why we talk tech from the outset. Rocketseed is optimised for Office 365, G Suite and Exchange, with a range of installation options dependent on your server type – on-premise, cloud-based or hybrid. We’ll talk you through exactly how it works.

6. No obligation

Of course there’s no obligation, and there’s no hard sell. So if you need time to think it over, discuss it with your team, or maybe it’s not quite the right time yet for you, that’s no problem. When you’re ready to go ahead, we’ll be ready to make it happen!

7. Ask away

We never finish a demo until we’ve answered all your questions – whether you’ve got 1 or 21! And if you think of anything afterwards, just drop us an email, give us a call or take a look at our videos, one-pagers and tech pack.

Ask away Make the right decision – book a demo!

If you’ve got to make the decision on your business’s new email signatures, don’t do anything until you’ve had a Rocketseed demo. It only takes 20 minutes, there’s no obligation or hard-sell, and booking it couldn’t be easier….just click the button!

Bruce Borrie |  Sales Manager

Connect with Bruce on LinkedIn

You’ve got a great business. So why haven’t you got a great email signature?

We see them all the time. Emails from professional people at top-brand businesses that sign off with email signatures that leave us exasperated – distorted logos, off-brand fonts, empty fields, missing images (just little red corner crosses) and nothing to engage the recipient.

Don’t let your email signature be the weak link in your business. You and your employees deserve better. Need convincing? Here’s 5 good reasons why…

You’re a professional (so why don’t your email signatures look professional?)

You didn’t choose your company logo from clip-art, so why settle for a one-size-fits all email signature template? There are many ways an email signature can make you look amateurish: off-brand fonts, empty fields and cluttered layouts (do you really need to mention every award?). It might be a cliché, but first impressions really do count and for your email signatures to make an immediate professional impact you need a professional design. Rocketseed’s expert email signature designers work with your brand guidelines to create a bespoke professional email signature template for your business that displays perfectly on every device.

You’ve got a great brand (so why aren’t your email signatures consistently branded?)

Your brand is far more than just your logo, it’s consistent set of values you deliver at every customer touch-point. Even once you’ve got a professional email signature design in place, it’s vital that it’s rolled out consistently on every employee email across your business. And the only way to achieve this is by having centralised control. We give you centralised control so you can update all your employee signatures (whether that’s 10 or 10,000) company-wide at the click of a button. What’s more, Rocketseed signatures are totally tamper-proof so it’s impossible for any employee to get ‘creative’ with their own signature independently.

You want real marketing results (so why are you missing out on a ‘hero’ marketing channel?)

An interactive email signature creates so many engagement opportunities. Consider the numbers for a second. The average employee sends 1,000 emails a month, with an open rate of 99%. That’s a lot of opportunities for their email signatures to drive visitors to your website, document downloads and social channels for very little investment. Add a compellingly clickable call-to action and suddenly you’ve got a new marketing channel to promote everything from exclusive offers to ebooks and events. And with Rocketseed every recipient click is tracked and reported.  Want to see a snapshot of your email signature marketing success? Here’s how

You need tech you can trust (so choose trusted email signature software that’s continually tested)

We get just as many enquiries from IT managers as we do from marketers, so we understand the IT challenges that email signatures can cause. We continually test our tech to ensure that email signatures render correctly on the broadest range of email clients and mobile devices. Our SMTP relay makes Rocketseed simple to set up (unlike plug-in solutions, there’s no need for every user to download their software to set up their signature) and integrates with Active Directory so that any changes to employee details will update in their signatures automatically. Using Office 365? Find out the answers to the 7 key questions IT managers ask about Rocketseed email signatures for Office 365 here.

You give great customer service (so shouldn’t you expect the same from your email signature provider?)

You know the difference great service makes, but somehow people don’t associate service with email signatures. Perhaps it’s because so many email signature providers’ service stops straight after set-up. Not Rocketseed. We give you full training on the Rocketseed interface, provide 24-hour technical support with a real expert to speak to, and give you an Account Manager who will work with you to make sure your email signatures are on-brand, engaging and achieving real results for your business. Want to know exactly what our Account Managers can do for you? It’s all here.

It’s time to sort out your email signatures… so let’s talk

A great business like yours deserves a great email signature – professional, on-brand, engaging, with tech you can trust and great customer service – just like your business. To get your new email signature started, just upload your current signature or send us an email with it on, we’ll give it a quick review and then we can talk.

You’ve got a great business – it’s time you got a great email signature.

Jennifer Bassett | Marketing Director

Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn

Rocketseed Launch Brand New User Interface…

7 ways Rocketseed’s new interface will make email signature management easier…

You’ll find it easier than ever to manage your email signatures and banner campaigns…with the new Rocketseed interface.

In designing the new interface to make email signature management simpler, we’ve listened to our busy users. The elements you love, we’ve kept. The elements you highlighted for improvement, we’ve improved. The result? An easier, clearer, more intuitive, customised user experience, focused on achieving even better email signatures and banner campaign results for you.

So, what’s new?

1. See your stats in a single screen snapshot

With the new interface, as soon as you log in, you’ll see a single-screen snapshot of your campaign success. Our new reporting dashboard shows your statistics for the last 7 days highlighting all the performance metrics that matter, giving you clear actionable insights to run data-driven campaigns and achieve even better results. You can find out more about the improved data dashboard here.

2. See the difference with our cleaner, clearer (and more colourful) new look

They say looks aren’t everything but our ‘new look’ interface makes a big difference. Everything’s been refreshed to be cleaner and clearer and we’ve injected more colour so that calls-to-action stand out and help boxes catch your eye at the just the right time to make things run smoothly.

3. Find your way intuitively to using more functions

It’s not just about looks, we’ve made the interface more intuitive. We’ve moved the main menu from the top to the left-hand side to make better use of wide screens, and the menu content has been simplified to make it easier for you to use all of the available functionality. And by using the new ‘hamburger-style’ collapse menu buttons throughout, you can keep your view clean, clear and compact.

4. Enjoy enhanced user-friendly functionality

Don’t worry, we’ve kept all the functionality you know and love and increased its user-friendliness with some exciting additions. For example, with the new interface you can select a predefined email signature template with an intuitive editor to customise in line with your brand guidelines.  There’s a range of layouts to choose from, all tested to render correctly on all major email clients and mobile devices, to give you the best results possible.

5. Populate fields right first time with ‘pop up’ help boxes

With new pop-up help boxes on the email signature sender page, you can easily see what is required in each field. And because this is the content that will populate your email signature, it’s crucial that the information is correct. This way you’ll get it all right first time!

6. Feel completely secure with improved system software

We take our system software and your security extremely seriously, so interface updates include (tech bits ahead…) updates to the Operating System (Ubuntu from 14.04 to 16.04), the Database (PostgreSQL from 9.3 to 9.5), the Content Management System (Drupal from 6.42 to 7.61) and the Mail Transfer Agent (Exim from 4.82 to 4.86_2).  The Apache web service has also been replaced with the more robust Nginx

7. ‘How to…’ help is always at hand

To accompany the new interface, we’re producing a full suite of 2-minute ‘how to’ videos along with ‘one-pager’ support documents and, once your account has been upgraded, you’ll also have the opportunity to join interactive training sessions. And of course, all the usual Rocketseed support will still be available – so don’t worry, we’ve got your back!

All Rocketseed users will be upgraded and, to keep Rocketseed at the forefront of email signature management, were always keen to hear your feedback.

Rocketseed’s new interface is on its way. Stay tuned.

Tracey Adams | Managing Director

Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn

7 Questions IT managers ask about Rocketseed email signatures for Office 365

You’re in IT. You’re responsible for managing your company’s Office 365 email signatures. And you’re fed up. Fed up with the limitations of Office 365 and Exchange online. Fed up with the hassle of trying to keep employees from tampering with their signatures. And fed up with the marketing team always on your back (something about email signatures being an engaging campaign channel, but can you please help set it up for them)? Whatever happened to the idea that managing email signatures should be simple?

Thankfully, with Rocketseed it is. We understand the challenges that Office 365 email signatures cause IT managers. Why? Because we get just as many enquiries from IT managers like you as we do from marketers.

So here are the 7 questions we get asked most by IT managers – an IT FAQ if you like of Rocketseed email signatures for Office 365 – and we’ll start with the big one…

1. How does it work?

Rocketseed Office 365 email signature manager is an SMTP relay with a secure, access-controlled, web-based user interface. Connectors within Office 365 route your emails to the Rocketseed server, which applies the signature and any banner campaign required), and the branded email is then securely resubmitted to Office 365 via a closed SMTP loop. This means that even though your email is being branded by Rocketseed, it doesn’t leave the secure Azure cloud environment before final delivery to the recipient. So the ‘mailflow’ looks like this

2. How easy is it to set up, and how long does it take?

Using an SMTP relay centralises the whole process, making Rocketseed for Office 365 very easy to set up. Unlike plug-in solutions, there’s no need for every user to download software to set up their signature. As for setup time, you can get started with Rocketseed in just days. Rocketseed can be enabled for individual senders or groups during testing and then easily extended to the entire organisation.

3. How secure is it?

It’s super secure! The user interface has role-based access levels using secure (https) connections and all email conversations are TLS encrypted between Office 365 and Rocketseed. Once installed in your Azure cloud it should be emphasised that at no point can we at Rocketseed view any of your email content.

You can rest assured that the Rocketseed Azure-hosted branding appliances are kept up to the most recent patch levels, and the software is security audited and penetration tested regularly. Throughout the installation and maintenance process we will only undertake work with approval from your information security team.

4. Who’s in control?

That’s up to you. IT? Marketing? Multiple administrators? Whoever it is, on-brand email signature consistency across your company requires full control. Rocketseed Office 365 email signature manager gives administrators central control via our browser-based interface (no installations or downloads required).

Admins can update employee signatures at the click of a button, whether it’s one, a hundred, or ten thousand, ensuring individual employees can’t ‘creatively personalise’ their own off-brand signature. It’s easy to assign signature variants to different departments and individuals when required. By synching with Azure Active Directory, any changes to employee details are automatically updated in their email signatures.

5. Does it work on mobile devices?

Of course. Rocketseed email signatures perform perfectly when email is sent or received on any device. Our signature templates use responsive HTML mark-up, so signatures are sized automatically, ensuring easy readability and consistent design when viewed on PC, tablet or smartphone. Rocketseed Office 365 email signature manager can embed all branding images so there’s no danger of them being blocked, appearing as corner red-crosses. What’s more, we continually test to ensure that email signatures render correctly on the broadest range of email clients and on the most popular mobile devices.

6. Will it keep the marketing department happy and off my back?

Oh yes. For two main reasons…

Firstly, by giving them an ‘administrator’ role with central control of your Office 365 signature management, they can be effective ‘brand guardians’ again, ensuring all email signatures are professionally on-brand, consistent and compliant company-wide.

Secondly, by choosing Rocketseed you’re giving your marketing colleagues the new ‘hero’ marketing channel. After all, it’s a noisy world out there and effectively-branded one-to-one employee emails cut through the noise – achieving real engagement, with click-through rates that bulkmailers can only dream of!

7. Once it’s set up, am I on my own?

Not at all. Something that really sets Rocketseed apart is that we take our support service (and we mean real ‘human’ support) very seriously. We give you full training on the Rocketseed interface so that you can get the most from the tool and there’s 24-hour technical support with a real expert to speak to. What’s more you’ll get a dedicated account manager (Here’s 7 reasons why they come in handy) who can take care of your design, updates and campaign management. So whether it’s IT or marketing, you’ve got the Office 365 email signature support you need.

So there you are. An Office 365 email signature management solution that’s simple to deploy, super-secure, saves you time and effort and gives you complete control and great-looking results. Your marketing department will thank you for it (and stay off your back).

Want to get started? Let’s talk. Simply contact me to arrange a demo and see exactly what Rocketseed signature management for Office 365 can do for you.

Oliver Howe | IT Director

Connect with Oliver on LinkedIn

Want a snapshot of your email signature success?

The new Rocketseed reporting dash has arrived!

Learn what this means for you…

We’ve kept things simple with the new Rocketseed reporting dashboard – the easiest way to see the email signature marketing performance data you need to make the right decisions.

It’s a single-screen snapshot of your campaign success featuring all the metrics that really matter, giving you clear actionable insights to achieve even better results.

Every email analysed

Our market leading email marketing analytics gather data on every ‘branded’ (with signature and/or banner campaign) one-to-one email your business sends and every recipient interaction with it, so you can see which senders, recipients and campaigns are driving success.

So what are the key metrics on the dash? Let’s take it from the top…

Top line figures

Once you’ve selected your desired campaign date range, the top line shows you the total number of active email users, the total number of emails sent and, most importantly, how many of these were branded. You’ll be notified of any ‘unbranded’ emails – each one’s a missed marketing opportunity!

What a performance

How are your top 10 campaigns performing? This is important when you consider the variety of campaign themes, creatives and calls-to- action your banners can carry (See our 7 Essential banners to boost your business). Top Banner Performance clearly shows the all-important Click through rate – the higher the CTR, the stronger the banner’s engagement.

Hey big sender

Who are your business’s Top Email Senders? There’s a good chance they’re in your sales team, sending emails to prospects and existing customers all day. But are they getting the highest engagement rate? It’s essential that your top email senders are running the key banner campaigns to actively engage their target audiences. So when you’re prioritising your banner campaign designs, you know who to think of first.

On the receiving end

Top Receiver Domains tells you who receives most of your emails, so it’s important to prioritise them with targeted email banner campaigns that meet their specific needs.

Don’t be surprised if your own company domain ranks high – think of all those internal emails that get sent every day. You can find our tips for ‘7 Internal Marketing Ideas to Improve Employee Experiences’ here.

A picture of health

Click on the Account Health button and you can see what sort of shape your Rocketseed account is in.

Banners looking a bit dated? We show you your active banners that are over 3 months old which we’d recommend updating.

Not on track? Our dash alerts you to any active banners that aren’t being tracked. Without tracking you’ll never know their engagement.

No branding? The email health check flags up any email that’s being sent without any branding applied. There might be a good reason for this but make sure you’re not missing marketing opportunities!

Upgrade today

The new Rocketseed reporting dash makes it easier than ever for you to get the most from your Rocketseed email signatures and banner campaigns.

If you’re already using Rocketseed then you can upgrade for FREE here, and if you’re thinking of signing up, it will be yours from the word go. If you’re not yet using Rocketseed, our reporting dash is just one more reason why you should!

Tracey Adams | Managing Director

Connect with Tracey on LinkedIn

The Parrot has landed!

From 1 October Rocketseed’s Australasian business is re-branding as Parrot Digital and remains the exclusive reseller of Rocketseed email signature solutions in Australia and New Zealand.

Why the change? Not only will Parrot Digital meet the specific needs of the regional market but also market research showed that a more Australasian look and feel to the brand and marketing would reflect the unique ‘down under’ culture! And, of course, parrots are great communicators, intelligent, social and smart – just like Rocketseed email signature software.

The team remains the same, headed up by Robyn Woods-Child and, as the sales, customer service and tech staff have all ‘grown up’ with Rocketseed software,  their experience and expertise gives you the best solution for:

  • Email signatures for Office 365 and GSuite
  • Email banner campaigns for both external and internal marketing
  • Email legal disclaimers for complete compliance
  • A wide range of email integrations, including CRM
  • 24/7 technical support

So if you’re based in Australia or New Zealand and want to take centralised control of your company’s email signatures or transform your employee emails into a marketing channel that really engages in a noisy world, it’s time to talk to Parrot Digital.

Damian Hamp-Adams | CEO

Connect with Damian on LinkedIn

Don’t risk the temptation to tamper. Email signature security

Some signature providers make a big selling point of the fact that employees can see their signature on every email before they press send. But beware. By adding signatures ‘pre-send’ you risk not seeing the bigger picture – email signature security.

If you’re searching for an email signature solution, you’ll notice that no two providers are quite the same. And these differences can throw some dilemmas into your decision making, for example…

Pre-send vs post-send: technically speaking

Some solutions work by inserting your signature when you compose a new email. The signature is the first thing added, and it can be edited the same way as any other text. You can remove or alter it as you see fit. This requires the signature solution be installed individually on every device – each user’s PC, tablet and mobile phone must have the software installed to get consistent branding.

Rocketseed works differently. Signatures, legal disclaimers and banners are all added once you’ve pressed send. Rocketseed is situated between your mail provider and your email recipients, so all branding applied to emails from your company can be controlled centrally.

Who cares?

We do, and you should too. Because when you consider that the right email signature software will not only give you consistent branding but can drive thousands of visitors to your website and social channels for very little investment, you need to know the risks of  visible (and therefore editable) email signatures.

Ironically, most employees don’t seem to care. It’s not an attitude problem, it’s because they’re busy people each sending up to 1,000 emails a month who see email signatures as a hassle. “Email signatures? Someone in marketing deals with all that” – and that suits them just fine. They don’t need to see their signature on every email before they press send, so why take the email signature security risk?

So what is the ‘pre-send’ visible email signature risk?

That’s simple. Because when it comes to employees and email signatures…

Don’t risk your brand

Your people and your brand are your biggest assets. So take the worry of email signatures away from your employees to let them get on with what they do best, and give it to the “brand guardians” in your marketing department. This control of centrally applied email signatures gives you company-wide consistency. It’s Branding 101.

If employees can alter their signatures before sending then consistency is immediately compromised. With ‘post-send’ centralised control you can update employee signatures at the click of a button, whether it’s one, a hundred, or ten thousand, secure in the knowledge that your brand is consistent company-wide.  If you are making a company wide change, such a a re-brand or office move, you don’t need the additional hassle of relying on all employees making correct and timely amends. Rocketseed manages this for you.

Don’t risk the temptation to tamper

While ‘email signature security’ is the big issue, we like the phrase ‘tamper-proof’. It’s more evocative of the small but significant changes that individual employees might be tempted to make, which your business and brand can’t afford: everything from genuine mistakes to the mildly mischievous and, in some cases, the downright malicious.

Can you afford to have individual employees adding one of their favourite ‘motivational quotes’ to their signature? Giving themselves a phoney promotion with a jumped-up job title? Replacing the company’s social media links with their own personal ones? Or meddling with the email legal disclaimer?

Applying signatures ‘post-send’ takes tamper temptation out of the equation. Changes can only be made centrally. You’re in complete company-wide control.

Don’t risk your investment

Professional email signatures are the result of time and money invested. This covers everything from the creation of your brand’s logo, selection of  fonts and colours, through the layout of your email signature (you can see our email design guidelines here) and the legal expertise that drew up your disclaimer. Your investment needs to be secure. Just like a ‘post-send’ email signature.

Don’t risk your marketing channel

Adding an interactive banner to your email signature transforms it into a marketing channel that can deliver real engagement. But it needs to be smart.  Rocketseed brands each receiver’s email individually. Our smart segmentation and targeting rules let your marketers apply the right banners to the right emails at the right time to drive recipient click-through and conversion.

‘Pre-send’ signatures limit this targeting and engagement. For example, if an email is addressed to multiple receivers, a banner applied ‘pre-send’ will be the same for each recipient. With  Rocketseed ‘post-send’ applied banners, each recipient will be sent the banner most suited to them, based on the advanced segmenting and targeting rules. Therefore to run a really compelling campaign, it’s got to be ‘post-send’ every time.

Don’t risk your results reporting

You’ve created a compellingly-clickable signature for your company with a clear call-to-action (you’ll find plenty of top CTA tips here). You need to know how recipients are engaging with your employees’ email signatures so you can measure performance and gain actionable insights. You’re going to want to know who clicked what, and when. You need precise click reporting and real time engagement alerts. By applying signatures ‘post-send’, Rocketseed can report on exactly who clicked on which link. That’s not possible in tools that apply branding before the Send button’s pressed.

Want to see your signature?

No problem. Just because your signature is applied ‘post-send’ with Rocketseed, doesn’t mean you can’t check up on it whenever you want. Any individual user can see exactly how their signature appears to recipients at any time. Just send a mail to our test address, and check your inbox .You’ll receive an email back that will show your signature, just as it appears on every email you send.

Big brands in safe hands

Doubtless the ‘pre-send’/’post-send’ email signature debate will continue. Now a blog isn’t the place to big-up our own brand but the reasons above are exactly why companies such as Dell, the DMA, the Ritz and British Red Cross choose Rocketseed. You’ll find plenty of client success stories and testimonials on our website. Mehul Boricha from Tech Arrival says “Email signatures are not only used to solidify the brand of the entire company but it can also be used to create brand recognition” – we couldn’t agree more!

Email signatures are not only used to solidify the brand of the entire company but it can also be used to create brand recognition

If you’ve got any questions about email signature security, contact us today!

Mitchell Talisman  | VP Engineering

GDPR – a process in its infancy with growing pains – or a big bulge?

Rocketseed as GDPR-compliant Processors have tackled some of the complex issues regarding indemnity and thus, through our experience in shark-infested waters, let us help you to find your way to safe shores… in time for the BBQ.

Once upon a time there was GDPR…

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) was like a roaring ocean of regulations and novel definitions, under which horrible shark-like predators called “major fin(e)s” were swimming and threatening to swallow companies. Bobbing along this ocean and trying to make sense of it, I spoke to an expert who said the whole issue is like a “balloon”; you press one side to solve a problem and another bulges out. What has bulged out in the wake of GDPR is a heated discussion between Controllers and Processors in the context of contractual negotiations. In other words, law in theory versus law in practice, and avoiding to fall under the gavel whilst hammering out a legal bulge called “Indemnity” between the two bearing legs of a contract and leaving negotiations rather limp.

Before I jump into this zesty discussion on things to consider in contractual negotiations between Controllers and Processors, allow me to define a few concepts.

  1. Controller: Individual or company controlling and/or is responsible for the keeping and use of personal information; i.e. determining the purposes and means of processing personal data
  2. Processor: Individual or company responsible for processing personal data on behalf of a controller

Why should I read this?

Because you’re curious about hammering out this bulge!

Well, the first hiccup in the wake of the GDPR, has been the demand by Controllers for uncapped, open-ended indemnity clauses in contracts to cover for costs incurred if it is the fault of the Processor. But how realistic is this in practice?

Data protection liabilities, pre GDPR, have on average been capped at 2x-5x the value of a contract, but Controllers consider those caps insignificant in comparison to the [threat of] 4% of annual worldwide turnover, if found accountable by no fault of their own. The issue arises since GDPR sets out obligations from the perspective of a Controller (Art 5(2)) and includes accountability for failing Processors, and subsequently may also have to compensate individuals for damages suffered. But this is not entirely the case, although some lawyers do like scaremongering to spark lengthy, hard-to-resolve-discussions where the hourly payments quickly ramp up.

Processors can be held directly liable by Data Subjects for breach if they have either been non-compliant to GDPR or acted outside of the scope of a contract (Art.82(1)-(2)). Additionally, if Processors act outside of the scope of a contract, they are treated as Controllers in respect of that processing activity and are directly liable for any issues arising thereof (Art.28(10)). Also, if they transfer data outside of the EU, they are directly responsible to having appropriate transfer protocols in place (Art.44). Other obligations are set out further below.

A few things worth taking into consideration when negotiating

1. How to pacify the sharks… Have a conversation!

GDPR and Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) really have no solid answers to provide, since the legislation and surrounding issues are much too recent. Thus, one must proceed with sensible risk management and honest discussions between Controller and Processor. Curb the fear and smell the coffee over some Danish and engage in constructive negotiations.

2. More sharks or just bigger sharks?

One has to ask; is the perceived risk of being fined justified, or has it inflated along with concern? Although GDPR will require more than a few months of implementation to give a statistical value on the topic, it would not seem likely as many companies have exercised caution and will necessarily have to be more vigilant going forward. Everyone fears to be made an example of, but one would appreciate DPAs have more tasks on their agenda than scouting for a prospect to annihilate. If you’re reading this as a Controller, what is your take on it? Feel free to respond and let’s exchange knowledge.

3. Are the sharks really that big and do they always attack full force?

DPAs have a number of tools, and suite of sanctions, to help organisations comply before unleashing Jaws, and these include; i) warnings, ii) reprimands, iii) corrective orders, and lastly vi) fines. It will not go straight to pocket, but knowing Jaws is out there, may be uncomfortable enough to make businesses comply.

The recent maximum penalty of 500k GBP has been given to Facebook for major trust and data breach. But since Facebook makes about 400k USD every five minutes, some might say they got off easily. Overall, the ICO has been reasonable with regards to fines; below are a few, recent examples of shark-bitten organisations.

  • Medical centre in the UK fined ~£40,000 after it left highly sensitive medical information about patients (personal medical records) unsecured for nearly two years.
  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) fined £200,000 for revealing identities of abuse victims in mass email by not using BCC.
  • Lastly, Yahoo! was fined 250k for its security breach in November 2014 that affected 500 million users, but wasn’t reported until 2016. Yahoo! had been the subject of a very sophisticated attack, which led to Russian IP addresses.

As depicted above, there is a perspective to the fines; they depend on the type of data (personal, sensitive, or highly-sensitive), as well as the number of people affected or at risk.

4. What goes around comes around?

There are many other pertinent considerations to take into account during negotiations, such as i) the life of the contract, ii) the value of it and iii) the degree of exchange within it. Otherwise, there is the chance that the Processor may insist on unlimited liability from the Controller – counter-indemnity.

Exceeding the value of a contract and resorting to excessive figures may lead to the Processor simply filing for bankruptcy, leaving the Controller shouldering problems on its own. Hence, in some cases it may be worth bringing up the topic of Cyber Security Insurances and the scope it covers. If budget allows and specific conditions are needed, perhaps consider ringfencing contract for a particular client with included Cyber Security Insurance. These insurances are quite costly and need to be put into perspective of the contract value and risk of breach. Additionally, some Processing services also offer depersonalisation of data that may be an option for Controllers.

5. What triggers the shark?

Apart from previously mentioned examples of direct liability, Processors need to inform and ask for permission when appointing sub-processors (Art.28(2), (4)) and make sure these have proper procedures in place to be compliant with GDPR before appointing them. Processors also need to ensure that Controller requests/instructions comply with EU law (Art.28(3)(h)), strictly process data for purposes set out by Controller, and implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to protect personal data against accidental or unlawful destruction or loss alteration, unauthorised disclosure or access (Principle 7 in the Data Protection Act or Principle f in GDPR, Art.28(1), (3)(e), (4), and Art.32).

Following GDPR, the pattern of breaches have not changed, but awareness has. According to the ICO data security incident trends are still dominated by breaches to Principle 7 and include the following:

  • Data posted, faxed or emailed to incorrect recipient
  • Loss or theft of paper work
  • Failure to redact data
  • Failure to BCC

6. “Please sir, I want some more…”

One of the most frustrating statements to be faced with, in any setting, is; “It needs to be reasonable.” This is often dealt with in processes involving property issues when trying to make sense out of fees, contracts or lease extension [trust me]. No one really knows what is reasonable at the moment just by looking at businesses with similar products or services, because it depends on so many various factors; size of business, type of data, instructions for processing, possible transfer outside the EU, value of contract, risk of breach etc. The best way to set the new rules is by creating them through honest discussions between Processors and Controllers. Bottom line is, it’s a two-way street and if Controllers like your service they are willing to work with you.

7. Be complaint as it’s your lifeboat!

A useful Lifeboat, which Rocketseed has utilised, for GDPR and future upcoming legislations, is GDPR365. This platform provides the necessary steps with guidance to become GDPR ready. Additionally, it also collects the data making it easy in case of audits to present your company profile. Register now!

We are all in the same boat, even if some Controllers may be in a large cruiser and Processors bobbing behind in a small dinghy. The bottom line is, We Can All Sink, so let’s try to help each other to stay afloat in this big ocean called GDPR.

Let’s go to the shores and throw a shrimp on the BBQ.

Don’t get clicked out of the market

Ever suspected a competitor is trying to ‘click you out of the market’? We have. And here’s what we think about it…

Clicks and ‘Clicks’

We’re no strangers to clicks at Rocketseed. Everything we do is geared to generating click-through engagement for our clients in the noisy worlds in which they operate. By transforming all their one-to-one emails into an engaging marketing channel, our success is measured by our clients’ emails getting clicked by their customers. You could say clicks are our business.

But as we’ve recently discovered there’s a big difference between engaged customer clicks and more sinister competitor ‘clicks’…

As a business where inbound is key, much of our demand gen is through the obvious channels – search, social, scraping, calling-we’re on it. As our partnerships grow so does our experience with them  and the understanding of what our partners are really after and what they need from us in order to make the relations both attractive and financially rewarding.

And It was one of these valued partners that alerted us to the fact that someone has been trying to ‘click us out of the market’ by intentionally and repeatedly (very repeatedly) clicking on our paid search terms.

‘Business is business’

Yes, we get that, so perhaps all’s fair in love, war and online marketing. But is it really as simple as that?

Part and parcel of normal search strategy is competitor bidding. It’s a relatively standard practice, with the key being what happens when you capture the attention of the audience who was actually searching on a competitor’s organic terms or brand. Evan Cummins from WordStream has written about it extensively, take a peak here if you want to see it.

Name and shame?

Do we know who’s been doing it? Yes, although here’s not the place for naming names, because although they’re significantly bigger than us, we like to think we’re ‘bigger’ than them.

Are we surprised? Well yes, we are really. After all, they’re a technology company selling primarily into the IT space who consider themselves to be the dominant market leader. So why focus so much on us and our marketing activities?

As someone closely associated mentioned to me ‘ Surely you’re just a blip on their radar’. Well, it doesn’t feel like that. It feels like their radar is tracking our marketing activity very closely. Perhaps we should be flattered (although it’s fair to say this kind of flattery will get them nowhere).

So what’s our issue? Well, of course there’s the cost. But it’s more than that. It’s the fact that their approach is just so ‘negative’ and, well, desperate. It just feels like they lack any original creativity or any desire to positively build their own brand, products and customer experience (and, in the process, help push the whole industry forward).

Perhaps, they need to ask themselves what their principal investors might say if they were to find out that (a) they’re paying someone a UK salary to spend time maliciously clicking a competitor’s paid search, and (b) if they had a better product would they need to be resorting to this?

I guess they just expect us to sit here and shut down our campaign because they’ve driven our search costs off the scale. Sure, they may be a big budget-wielding Goliath to our David…but we all know how that confrontation finished.

What are we doing about it?

As well as going public about it we’ve provided Google with a detailed IP range locator report which has precisely located the UK office of who’s been doing this. Google are currently investigating and we sense they’ll do the right thing (in fact they’ve already refunded us).  You can learn more on Invalid Clicks from Google here.

A lesson learned

Sure, it’s a lesson learned. But one more about competitive ethics than marketing techniques. We simply don’t have time to be so negative. We’re too busy making our product stronger and sharper, with more creativity and data-driving capability than our competitors, as well as delivering truly-stand-out client service. And looking to the future, we’ve got an incredible product pipeline.

Perhaps that’s what our click-happy competitor should be doing?

We’d be interested to hear your views on malicious clicks. Is it acceptable? Is it ethical? Is it actually effective? Or bound to backfire?

One thing’s for sure. No-one’s going to click Rocketseed out of the market.