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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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 [...]


Budgeting For Email Marketing: How To Invest In The “Killer App”

Holiday Emails Last week at the ExactTarget Connections Conference, I had that the opportunity to meet Forrester analyst Shar vanBoskirk. Like most in our industry, I was interested in her point of view on a question I often ponder, so I approached after her presentation and asked for it: “If email consistently has the highest conversion rate of all channels (search, social, etc.) why does it consistently receive the least amount of budget?” We see this with our clients, and it's something that Forrester Research reported on in their US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016 that was recently fea [...]


Three Tricks One Site Used To Increase Subscribers 150% In A Month

rabbit-hat-trick-featured If you are aiming to use email marketing effectively, then one of your primary focuses should always be to increase your subscribers. There are a myriad of ways to optimise your site for email subscription, but practical advice can be hard to come by. Here are 3 practical approaches you can use for inspiration to increase the subscribe rate for your blog, eCommerce store or Internet product. 1. Personalize Your Calls-To-Action Based On Customers' On-Site Actions Using behavior data to adjust what your customers see is a sure-fire way to increase your conversion rate. There are a lot [...]


Is Your Email Program Experiencing That 2:30 Feeling?

tired guy at work [caption id="attachment_57759" align="alignright" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] That 2:30 feeling doesn't just hit people. Think about your email program and how energized it is. If email marketers are honest with themselves, many would admit their programs have hit a lull. They've become sluggish, struggling to make it over the afternoon hump and burst with life again. Fatigue has set in and productivity has plateaued. The program needs an energy boost, and fortunately there are a lot of flavors to choose from. Flavor 1: Triggerlicious No doubt your email program has a [...]


10 Holiday Gift Guide Ideas For Email

Pottery Barn - Parties Planning your holiday email campaigns? You should be. There are any number of tried and true approaches to engaging your subscribers over the holiday season. Gift guides, in particular, tend to be high performers. In fact, I strongly recommend that, rather than running just one gift guide campaign, you consider the following ideas to extend your gift guide campaigns throughout the season. Even better, several of the examples below combine multiple concepts into one campaign! 1. Price The most straightforward gift guide is to offer by price. Gift givers generally have a threshold in mind f [...]


7 Issues That Will Kill Your Email Conversions

Many posts list ways to increase the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns... but what about the things you shouldn't do? Here's a list of seven things that will actively decrease the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. You can improve your emails conversions by avoiding these issues! 1. Incorrectly Tracking Conversions When it comes to online marketing optimisation, it's important not to focus on too many metrics at once. Opens, clicks and subscribes tell you a lot about the various aspects of your campaign and can help you determine whether you should work on [...]


What The New Gmail Inbox Means For Your Email Campaign

Used with permission from MailChimp Like many other well-intentioned Google updates before it, the new Gmail inbox has set off a bout of angry and confused complaints from users. Also like many other updates, this one has sparked criticism from marketers who are certain the email-sky is falling. But keep the faith, Marketing Chicken Little -- there just may be hope yet. In case you are not a Gmail user and have managed to avoid the wave of blogger grumblings, this Gmail update was released in late May and has been rolling out to users over the past two months. A new "tabbed" inbox allows users to enable up to five tabs (Prima [...]


Oops! Email Mistakes Happen

Lee Email 1 Let's face it: humans aren't perfect. And there is definitely a human element to email marketing. From the designer who creates the graphics, to the front-line associate that clicks "Send," there is a risk of something going wrong. So, on occasion, an email makes it to the inbox that isn't 100% right. Unfortunately, it can be a highly visible mistake. After all, most executives of a brand receive their own emails, not to mention the thousands or millions of subscribers. And unlike a webpage that can be replaced with new code relatively quickly or a Facebook post that can be deleted and re-p [...]


Updating Your Email Campaign? Tips To Avoid Subscriber Whiplash!

modcloth-weekly-wow You want to keep your emails fresh. Follow the latest trends. Stand out in the inbox. Freshening up your email campaign gives you the opportunity to try out new things -- maybe a new call-to-action will increase conversions, or a new sidebar will bring more clicks to your website. A new look can also relieve subscriber fatigue. Looking at the same old thing all the time might get boring for your subscribers. Whether you're doing a full redesign, tweaking some minor design/layout elements, or even just altering the frequency of your emails, updating your campaign will mean making noticeab [...]


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