Everything you need to know about email marketing. Browse our most recent news stories about how changes in user email services may impact traditional email marketing tactics. Learn about new trends in email marketing, best practices for leveraging email platforms and get tips for increasing email response rates, email engagement and ROI. Refer to our library of How To Guides for email marketers.

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Email Win-Back Programs: Do They Work?

email-marketing-globe-world-featured For any marketer, not just email marketers, retaining customers is an important yet challenging task. Inactive subscribers present two problems to email marketers: one is obviously the lack of conversions or purchases that are the lifeblood of businesses; the other is reduced deliverability. As spam filters rely more and more on subscriber engagement, having a high number of inactive accounts can cause a business’s emails to be delivered to spam, which further depresses response and conversion rates. Win-back campaigns are used to combat inactive addresses, and they allow marketers to [...]


AOL Changes Email Security Policy To Fight A Wave Of Spoofing

spoof AOL Mail, battling a wave of email spoofing, Tuesday announced a security change to guard against unauthorized use of AOL email accounts. The move was a reaction to the recent proliferation of spam that appeared to originate from AOL accounts, many that hadn't been used for years. You can see some of the anger -- and quite a few jokes -- on the #aolhacked hashtag stream on Twitter. AOL acknowledged the issue and adjusted its DMARC policy to stop delivery of "what previously would have been considered authorized mail sent on behalf of AOL Mail users via non-AOL servers." The DMARC [...]


The Disconnect Between Transactional & Promotional Emails

shutterstock_158342063-disconnect Many major retailers do not send their transactional emails from the same email service provider (ESP) as their promotional emails. In fact, transactional emails are often delivered via an in-house solution or via the company's e-commerce platform. Brands cite a variety of reasons for this, including: Transactional and promotional emails typically originate from two distinct systems They are managed from two different departments (marketing and IT) It is "free" to send transactional emails from the current solution They don't see a value proposition that justifies moving the tran [...]


At 20 Years Old, Email Spam Is Alive & Well & Proving Bill Gates Wrong

email-spam-600 It's probably not the kind of anniversary anyone will celebrate. Commercial internet spam turned 20 years old this month. The industry uses April 12, 1994 as spam's birthday -- the day that a "Green Card Lawyers" solicitation was sent to more than 6,000 Usenet newsgroups across the web. Today, there's plenty of spam on social networks and in other types of online marketing, but most of us probably think of email when talking about spam. If you're like me, battling email spam is a never-ending game of cat and mouse -- tweaking spam filter settings, blacklisting and whitelisting domain [...]


4 Tips To Survive Your Email Subscriber’s Digital Spring Cleaning

email-marketing-600 Spring is here -- that time of year when everyone starts cleaning out all the "stuff" they've accumulated. But while the spring cleaning ritual will undoubtedly include some heavy dusting, house-wide reorganization and purging of clutter, it's no longer limited to people's physical lives. With today's digital lifestyle, that clutter invariably lives on PCs, tablets and mobile phones, so expect consumers to "spring clean" their devices, too. Why should this matter to us as marketers? Because if we're not careful, our communications will get tossed out with the junk. Now is the time to [...]


Google Tells Users It Scans Their Email As Microsoft Puts “Scroogled” To Bed

gmail inbox tabs Google updated its terms of service (TOS) yesterday to make more explicit the fact that it scans Gmail for the purpose of matching email content with ads. The relevant part of the updated TOS reads: Our automated systems analyze your content (including emails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored. Google has been sued for the practice as an alleged violation of the Federal Wiretap Act. The case survived Google' [...]


Updated: Email Senders Stymied By Yahoo’s Adoption Of Anti-Spoofing Measure

yahoo-mail-600 Note: since this story was originally published, we received a response from Yahoo regarding this change, and we have incorporated the additional information below. Small businesses using Yahoo.com email addresses to send to their customers or prospects have run into significant trouble getting messages delivered this week, since Yahoo Mail instituted a security change that's resulted in an untold number of bounces. And the problem isn't likely to be short-lived, as these bounces may result in recipients being removed from email lists entirely, due to their addresses' bouncing. This coul [...]


Marketo Announces New Capabilities, Partnership With Acxiom For B2C Real-Time Personalization

Marketo Logo At Marketo Nation Summit, its annual customer conference this week, the company is introducing a new platform with several added capabilities and a big new partnership with third-party data giant Acxiom. The platform updates signal a market repositioning for Marketo as the provider of a powerful, yet simplified marketing platform - or more formally, a customer engagement platform -- that facilitates marketing automation, email and campaign management, real-time personalization and budgeting and planning. Jon Miller, VP, product marketing at Marketo discussed the market and Marketo's posi [...]


How Email Marketers Should Mark Up Messages For Gmail’s New Grid View

picture 3 Google just transformed the inbox again with Gmail Grid View that turns the Promotions tab into a visual shopping mall of marketing emails. For marketers, the question is: how do I get it to work, and what will my emails look like if I don’t do anything at all? I did some testing and noticed some interesting things. For grid view, Gmail is using “Actions in the Inbox,” which it announced in early 2013. Actions in the Inbox uses schema.org markup that takes information in an email, turns it into structured data, and then makes the structured data usable as an action. For example, t [...]


The Email That Microsoft’s Cortana Assistant Won’t & Can’t Read: Yahoo Mail

cortana big Microsoft's new cool Cortana personal assistant uses information from within your email to make recommendations and provide predictive suggestions. That is, unless you use Yahoo Mail. As it turns out, Microsoft is forbidden from  "reasoning" on Yahoo Mail for contractual reasons. I'm still gathering more of the details, but Microsoft representatives told me that the prohibition is tied some Microsoft-Yahoo contract that's old, that predates Windows Phone, but which is still in force. Part of how Cortana operates is by reading through email on a Windows Phone device, then extracting info [...]


Email Marketers Aren’t Ready For Gmail’s Grid View, Yet: What You Need To Know To Stand Out

gmail-cookies-600 Google is very good at forcing an issue. The company knows visuals are increasingly important for user engagement, so last week, it began testing a new image-rich grid view in the Gmail Promotions tab. The move to make images a key part of the email open rate equation should in turn compel marketers to pay more attention to the images they use in their campaigns. I described the new view as Pinterest for your inbox based on the beautifully styled preview Google provided. Not surprising, however, many marketers aren't quite prepared to show off their finery, and users aren't being treated to [...]


VIDEO + SLIDESHOW: Email Marketing & The Audience Imperative

Audience -Marketing In The Age Of Subscribers Fans Followers While we were posting, liking, tweeting and Instagramming, something funny happened. Marketers around the world reawakened to the revenue-driving power of our oldest digital marketing channel: email. What does the future hold for email marketing? That was the subject of a keynote presentation by Jeff Rohrs, author of Audience: Marketing in the Age of Subscribers, Fans and Followers, at the Marketing Land Digital Marketing Summit at SMX West 2014. If you were unable to join us, here's his talk. Email Marketing & The Audience Imperative Speaker: Jeffrey K. Rohrs - VP, Marketing In [...]


Happy Birthday Gmail! The Email Giant Turns 10 Today

gmail-logo Picture this. It's April 1st, 2004 -- April Fool's day. Google launches a press release announcing their new vertical: Gmail. In the press release the Google founders state that search is actually the number two online activity to email and that they'll offer users a full gig of storage. It had to be one of their famous April Fools pranks, right? Wrong. Ten years ago today Google released Gmail into the wild for a small test batch of users. 8 years later Gmail became the most popular email service, surpassing Hotmail. Initial stories (from Google themselves) stated that Gmail was born t [...]


UK Watchdog Clears Microsoft’s Scroogled-Style Radio Ad Against False Advertising Claims

msft-outlook-privacy The UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has cleared a radio ad attacking Google's privacy practices against complaints that it amounted to false advertising. In the decision announced yesterday, the ASA rejected two complaints about an ad promoting Microsoft's Outlook email that said it -- unlike Google's Gmail service -- doesn't scan the contents of emails to sell ads. The radio ad begins with a voice speaking in Pig-latin, followed by a narrator who says "Pig Latin may be hard to understand, but you probably need it if you use Gmail, because Gmail scans every word of your e-mail [...]


Gmail Promotions Tab Gets Visual Punch: Google Testing Image-Driven Grid View

gmail inbox tabs [caption id="attachment_77690" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Source: Google[/caption] It's like Pinterest for your inbox. Today, the Visual Web is coming to email with Google's latest test of a grid view in the Gmail Promotions tab. The grid presents marketing emails in a "pin-like," image-driven fashion by surfacing images within emails and displaying them right in the user's inbox. The images -- now cached and delivered from its own servers -- thanks to Google's move at the end of last year -- are displayed along with brand logos and names and the traditional email subject lines. T [...]


How Microsoft Scroogled Itself As The Defender Of Email Privacy Over Google

scroogled-store-mug-featured For just over a year, Microsoft has been attacking Google over email privacy. Consumers are getting "Scroogled" by a Google that doesn't respect privacy, it has said. Microsoft can now retire that Scroogled campaign. After violating the privacy of a third-party's email account, Microsoft's not in a position to be taking the high-road, any longer. The Privacy Invasion This week, a case against a former Microsoft employee made the news. The employee is accused of passing trade secrets -- software code and other information about Windows -- to an unidentified blogger. Some argue he (we do know [...]


Judge Denies Class Action Status To Gmail “Wiretapping” Suit, Effectively Killing It

computer-internet-legal-law-featured Google received a major win yesterday in the potentially massive Gmail "wiretapping" litigation. Class action status was denied to the litigation by US District Judge Lucy Koh. Had the case been permitted to go forward as a unified class action, as Bloomberg points out, "the amount at stake could have reached into the trillions of dollars if, as the plaintiffs argued, each person was eligible for damages of $100 a day for violations of federal wiretap law." Earlier, Judge Koh had refused to dismiss the case. In the wake of yesterday's ruling, however, plaintiffs must proceed individual [...]


How Email Marketers Can Make Birthdays Come More Than Once A Year

Happy Half Birthday As you evaluate your 2013 email programs and work on your 2014 initiatives, be sure to take a hard look at how much of your revenue from email is attributed to triggered programs, as compared with promotional emails. From my experience, 20% is a good, general target for the amount of overall revenue that should be attributed to triggered programs. Triggers are key to a successful email program; they have higher engagement metrics because they are based on user behaviors or data and higher ROI because they have minimal ongoing operational costs. Triggers With Opportunity Welcome email(s [...]


Everything You Need To Know About Gmail’s Auto-Unsubscribe

gmail-featured Gmail recently announced the addition of an auto-unsubscribe feature to promotional messages, making it easier for Gmail users to unsubscribe from messages they no longer want to receive. On most promotional messages with unsubscribe options, Gmail users are seeing a more prominent link at the top of the email beside the sender's name, allowing them to unsubscribe without looking around for the typical place at the bottom of the message. Marketers have asked if this is a good thing or bad thing for them, and others have asked how they need to get it implemented. In this post, I’ll explain [...]


6 Things To Watch For Better Gmail Deliverability

gmail-app-logo For most email marketers, reaching the inbox at Gmail is difficult, and trying to discover why emails aren’t reaching the inbox is downright confusing, if not nearly impossible. (Though Google is reportedly piloting a feedback loop program for email service providers (ESPs) that might help address this.) For now, Gmail’s Bulk Sender Guidelines offer general advice for marketers sending to Gmail subscribers, but they lack specifics. At Return Path, we recently analyzed hundreds of thousands of campaigns from thousands of senders to find out what marketers should be paying attention to. [...]


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