You’ve known all along that rumors of e-mail’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. It’s still the workhorse of online marketing. Check out our experts’ insights on everything from copywriting to deliverability.

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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 [...]


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. [...]


10 Ways To Cure The Post-Holiday Email Blues

sad-dog-computer-laptop-600 Now that we're beyond the volume increase around Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, are you suffering from the post-holiday email blues? After having sent so much volume to drive holiday sales, you may need to get back on track with relevancy in your email campaigns. Try these strategies for engaging your holiday subscribers in 2014. 1. Reward Subscribers That Purchased During Holiday Say thank you to your subscribers that purchased during holiday. Don't follow up with an automated post-purchase email; send an authentic, dedicated thank you message that includes a bounce-back offer [...]


Email Is The New Email

Untitled So many lessons that apply to digital marketing as a whole were learned in email. Email marketing encompasses everything from brand introductions and product recommendations to advanced content marketing strategies and purchase transaction confirmations. Despite email having the highest ROI of all digital marketing channels and being the most direct route to the customer, marketers don’t give it the attention or budget that it deserves. According to a recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, marketers spend significantly less on email marketing than other digital interactive [...]


Rise Of The Real-Time Inbox: The Opportunity For Email Marketers In 2014

email-marketing-globe-world-featured Before the advent of the internet, marketers relied on snail mail to reach audiences in mass quantities, not knowing for certain whether the people they targeted would even be interested in what they had to offer. Thankfully, the digital era has simplified the process of reaching audiences through other channels like email, social and mobile, and has provided the data necessary to know generally what that person will be interested in. Yet, even in this digital age, marketers are missing opportunities to provide targeted and relevant messages to each individual customer or prospect. As the s [...]


5 Ways To Kick Start Your Email Marketing This Year

email-marketing-globe-world-featured The new year is upon us -- and there is no better time than the start of the year to review your email marketing campaigns and make improvements. Here are five things you must review early this year to set your campaigns on the path to success! 1. Learn How To Maximise Your Subject Line If you open most modern email marketing clients (on the web or your mobile phone), you'll see something like this: What we're looking at here are the three components of the "modern" subject line: The From name (e.g., "ImpulseFlyer") The actual Subject line (e.g., "Last Few Days…") The message [...]


My Prediction For Email Open Rates In 2014

gmail-app-logo With Google's recent Gmail update significantly changing the way it handles cached images, they have also updated the desktop interface to display images by default. This is the most fundamental change in the default view of an email since Outlook and ISPs began blocking images by default more than five years ago. The primary reason for the initial change was for security purposes -- mainly to prevent viruses from being easily widespread. Now that Google has devised a platform for authenticating images and deeming them appropriate (virus-free) after the first rendering, they have minimized [...]


How Gmail Improved Security & Email Analytics by Caching Images

gmail inbox tabs Google officially announced that images in Gmail would be enabled for all webmail users on December 12th (with iOS and Android Gmail apps following suit sometime in January), regardless of whether or not the recipient clicked "display images below." This change should prove to be a boon for email marketers, but not without some tradeoffs. "Images Off" A Matter Of Security HTML emails -- specifically, scripts, images and links -- have been disabled in email clients for so long that it can be hard to remember why this is the norm. In the early days of HTML emails, many hackers took advantage o [...]


Top 11 Email Marketing Columns For 2013

ml-2013-email-featured What were the hot topics of discussion in email marketing in 2013? Video, social media, and responsive design were fairly new on the radar, while our perennial favorite topics of calls-to-action, landing pages and testing remained important tactics worth exploring further. Following, you'll find the top 11 columns -- this is our content contributed by expert practitioners of email marketing -- published in 2013, as measured by pageviews on Google Analytics. We think you'll find them worth a look (or a second look) as you formulate your email marketing plans for 2014. Many thanks to the [...]


A How-To Guide For eReceipts

Full wallet You've been there before, on the losing end of what seems like the world's longest receipt for the shortest order possible. It's the point-of-sale equivalent of an appliance box used to ship a tube of toothpaste. If you need further proof, just check out the Twitter parody account @CVS_Receipt. With the holidays in full swing, expect to hear a lot more requests for your email address at the register. More than ever, retailers are offering a digital receipt option to their customers. Some estimates show between 35 and 40 percent of retailers offer eReceipts as an option, with an increasin [...]


Holiday Email Marketing: Will You Be On Santa’s Naughty List?

holidays-christmas-featured This holiday shopping season, we anticipate record growth for online sales, with Thanksgiving expected to reach $1.1 billion, Black Friday at $1.6 billion and Cyber Monday at $2.27 billion, up 15% year-over-year. With retailers opening their doors and flipping the switches for online sales earlier, your email inbox is likely already a digital deluge of email promotions and coupons for "incredible savings!" Consumers know what they're interested in and what to trash -- but many emails never even make it to the inbox. As the end-of-year approaches, email marketers spread holiday savings and che [...]


Four Ways to Segment Email Subscribers for the Holidays

Opt In to Additional Holiday Emails The last two months of the year bring an increase in email frequency as retailers try to drive revenue during the busiest shopping season of the year. To help you make the most of your opportunities, here are four ways to segment your email subscribers, optimize your email content, and avoid subscriber fatigue. 1. Your Best Customers Your best customers will make your best segment. In most cases, your best customers may make up less than 10 percent of your list. But if you are using a quintile method to segment, this is your top twenty percent. You should reward your best customers for th [...]


The Most Overlooked Email Marketing Strategy: Segmentation

email-featured I get questions all the time from marketers looking for advice on their email campaigns. How can we run better campaigns? How can we improve opens and clicks? Should we use HTML templates or plain text? How often should we email? …and so on. Time and again, I've noticed that email marketers rarely focus on the one thing that always helps to increase conversions: segmentation. Here is a question: Do you like personal attention? So do your recipients! Segmenting your emails means sending each individual customer the right email for them at this moment. Fortunately, segmentati [...]


Responsive Email: Avoid Defections By Improving Mobile Experiences

mobile-email-featured As many articles have noted, mobile email opens are on the rise; some predict that mobile opens will surpass desktop opens by the end of this year. The rise of the mobile market has been relatively quick, and not all marketers have grasped how this market affects them. One study reports 40% of consumers leave a brand following a poor mobile experience, with another 23% losing interest over time due to poor experience. Another study reports that 75% of smartphone owners claim they will delete their emails if they can't read them on their phone.  Given the increasing mobile interaction an [...]


Why Responsive Email? Making A Case Internally

Image via Shutterstock Even though industry statistics indicate that more than 50% of email opens occur on a mobile device, a brand's desire to provide an optimal customer experience isn't always strong enough to convince it to move to a responsive email design. According to BlueHornet, 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device. If that statistic isn't compelling enough to shift your company's internal mindset, then consider this: it's faster to build an email from a responsive email template than to build an email from a traditional HTML template. Efficiency is key [...]


Bring Life To Your Email Campaigns: 5 Tips For Live Email Content

mail-email-icon To get the biggest bang for your marketing buck, invest in channels that consumers prefer most. While email marketing is often neglected in the face of trendier marketing channels, consumers still heavily rely on it. A recent study by the Economist Intelligence Unit found that consumers ranked email as the most important channel for both pre-purchase and post-purchase information. So how can you spice up this tried and true marketing channel? With dynamic, real-time email content, you can ensure higher levels of relevance. Check out these five types of live email content and how to incorpo [...]


How To Collect Email Subscribers With Landing Pages That Convert At 50%

vero-remarketing-ad Using a dedicated landing page for an email marketing list can lift conversion rates up to 50%. That's an impressive figure! Better yet, a landing page per list, or per campaign, gives you the power to maximize the effectiveness of each individual funnel. This means you can play with all of the elements from the moment the customer hits your landing page to the moment they receive and react to your emails. Perhaps best of all, dedicated email landing pages allow you to use all of the great conversion optimization techniques that usually apply to your landing pages, so you can use the [...]


Conducting A Multi-Point Inspection On Your Email Program

inspection-tuneup-mechanic-featured [caption id="attachment_21484" align="alignright" width="206"] Stock image used with permission of Shutterstock.[/caption] I like lists. Okay, that's not quite true. I LOVE lists. Growing up, one of my favorite book series was The Book of Lists. So it's no surprise then that when it comes to email marketing, I seek out opportunities to use them. One great combination of marketing and lists takes place at any car service center. Through an offering often called a "multi-point inspection," the auto shop conducts a laundry list of maintenance checks as a diagnostic tool to see if anything [...]


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