chicago_round_smaller.JPG Forget declining open rates and click-throughs… when I invited Chicago subscribers to a WordBiz roundtable last week, 100% of those who RSVP’d showed up. We crammed into a meeting room provided by, a B2B marketing agency with offices in Chicago’s cool River North neighborhood.

We had a lively discussion about email marketing and blogs. Yes, declining open rates for email are a big problem. Along with a corresponding decrease in conversion rates. Re blogs, several attendees expressed concerns about the time it would take to write and maintain a blog. Another topic was RSS feeds: will they provide a new venue for advertisers to push their messages?

Pictured from left to right are: Rickey Gold, Donna Beasley, Fred Faulkner, Debbie Weil, Frieda Curry, Philippe Matthews, Betsy Harman, Brent Brotine, Hilary Marsh and, standing in the doorway, Chris Whalen, B2BWork’s Senior Director of Client Solutions. Behind the camera is Rich Kraneis of The World’s Shortest Excel Book fame (highly recommended, BTW). Rich was a guest expert on my live tutorial, Understanding Online Conversion. You can order the enhanced PDF transcript, Audio CD & Web metrics calculator from this event. Quite apropos re the topic of improving conversion rates from emails or e-newsletters that do get opened. Missing from the photo is Julie Lohmeier of