6 Ways that Subject Line Writing Has Changed

Have your subject line writing strategies and tactics kept up with the times? Check and see if you’re accounting for these six changes in subject line writing, going from the oldest to the newest trend:

  1. Subject lines need to work with preview text.
  2. Subject lines can include many more visual elements.
  3. Subject lines need to demonstrate contextuality, when it exists.
  4. Machine learning can help write subject lines.
  5. Voice-assistants are now reading our subject lines.
  6. Brands may need to write alternative subject lines, if they’re using Email Annotations.

Some of Oracle Marketing Cloud Consultings copywriters—including Lizette Resendez, Monica McClure, and Kelly Moran—help break down each of these trends. They share examples and advice on how marketers can adapt their subject line writing to each of these trends.

>> Read the fully post on Oracles Modern Marketing Blog

The California Consumer Privacy Act and the Increasing Pressure for a New National Standard

First there was the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), which went into effect in 2014. Then there was the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018. Now, after years of major corporate data breaches and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, stronger privacy and data protection laws are taking hold in the US, with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) being the most impactful.

Passed in 2018 and due to go into effect on July 1, 2020, CCPA will add significant privacy protections for Californians and place new burdens on businesses. While the law applies only to residents of California, most businesses have customers in the state and collect private information from customers, so it has broad implications for marketers nationwide.

CCPA is the most sweeping consumer privacy legislation ever passed in the US and gives consumers broad control over personal information collected by businesses. The law is not specific to any one digital channel, but spans all channels where personal information is collected, stored, and used by marketers.

Californians will have the following rights under the law:

  • Right to know what personal information is being collected and whether it is sold or disclosed and to whom
  • The right to say no to the sale of personal information
  • The right to access their personal information
  • The right to equal service and price when privacy rights are exercised

In this blog post, Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Brian Sullivan explains how the California Consumer Privacy Act affects marketers, in addition to discussing the actions being taken by others states besides California.

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Email Annotations in the Gmail Promotions Tab: Opportunities and Concerns

Google’s mission is to sift through the ocean of data out there and bubble up the most critical information so you can find it more easily. They do that in their search results and they increasingly do that in Gmail, whether it’s through Gmail Highlights, featuring the “Top Deals” in the Promotions tab, or through their latest feature, Email Annotations.

What do Email Annotations do? Let’s break this down: (1) Gmail will display Email Annotations in the place of traditional preview text in the inbox (2) under certain circumstances for emails in Gmail’s Promotional Tab (3) when those emails have had Email Annotations coded into them.

In this post, Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Nick Cantu, James Wurm, and Heather Goof look at all three elements of that statement in turn, including providing the code that you’d need to add to each of your emails to enable Email Annotations. We’ll also pause and ask the most critical question: Even if I can enable them, should I?

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

The Last Word on July 2019

The Last WordA roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…

Must-read articles, posts & reports

British Airways faces record £183m fine for data breach (BBC)

Cultivate Lasting Customer Relationships Through Loyalty Programs (CMS Wire)

Tinder Inspired Interactive Email: Interview With Penguin Random House (Email on Acid)

Email Marketers are Currently Crushing it (Rockstar CMO)

Mat Sweezey’s List of 103 Marketing Thought Leaders, by Category (Marketing Profs)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Express, 7/31 – Hit PAUSE on your show – EVERYTHING is 30% off online
Best Buy Weekly Ad, 7/21 – OMG. It’s an e-mail from Best Buy – Apple offers are here for this week!
Bed Bath & Beyond, 7/13 – Please open for summer’s BLACK FRIDAY! We’re giving you this $180 off deal and a 20% or $20 off coupon.
Fossil, 7/5 – Cue the Celebratory Music!
J.Crew, 7/5 – Hold on to your hot dog buns: Shop 40% off full-price styles!
West Elm, 7/5 – HBD America! THIS awesome deal ends TONIGHT in stores + online!
Harley-Davidson, 7/5 — *** Forever Riding Free ***
Zales, 7/5 – Open for Black Friday In July Savings
Banana Republic, 7/12 – T.G.I. 40% OFF
VS PINK, 7/30 – This PINK FRIDAY will be CRAZY! 🤯 SEE WHAT’S ON SALE!
Saks Fifth Avenue, 7/20 – The subtle way to do scent this summer
Staples, 7/21 – Style + savings: 20% off school supplies when you buy a backpack.
Hobby Lobby, 7/15 – Fall is what you make it™
Wegmans Meals 2GO, 7/20 – Weekends Are Meant for Less Work
Neiman Marcus, 7/20 – 25 free samples & metallic clutch when you shop beauty
Gap, 7/10 – Our latest collabs just dropped
T.J.Maxx, 7/22 – Made in Italy. Unbelievable prices.
Patagonia, 7/12 – Recycled T-shirts that save resources
Petco Foundation, 7/5 – Save Lives with a Click!
Subway, 7/31 – Our app does it all
VS PINK, 7/31 – Our Crush Of The Week is 🍑 approved!
Lane Bryant, 7/31 – A little ooh-la-la for your lingerie drawer
Epicurious, 7/3 – 11 things you should know before you throw that 4th of July BBQ
Banana Republic, 7/3 – Introducing: BR STYLE ITINERARY ISSUE #1
Walmart, 7/6 – Achieve backyard bliss this summer
Express, 7/12—A cheat sheet to finding your perfect rise

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Email Deliverability Problems Ahead: 11 Red Flashing Warning Signs

When Good Enough Shouldn’t Be: Optimizing Automated Emails

Email Deliverability Quarterly: Return Path Acquired, CCPA Update, Yahoo-AOL Merged, and More

Why Building Homegrown Email Platforms Is So Out of Favor

The Last Word on June 2019

11 Red Flashing Warning Signs of Email Deliverability Problems Ahead

Nothing can destroy your email marketing performance quite like email deliverability problems. Whether it’s the slow slip of inbox placement due to diminishing engagement or the sudden collapse due to a block or blacklisting, it’s always devastating and usually a shock. But, honestly, email deliverability problems are rarely a surprise if you know what to look out for.

In this post, Clea Moore, Director of Deliverability Strategy at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting, shares a list of events that often precede email deliverability problems:

  1. Changing Email Service Providers
  2. Warming Up a New IP Address
  3. Warming Up a New Sending Subdomain
  4. When Doing High-Volume Ad-Hoc Sends
  5. During Peak Season Sending
  6. When Bounce Rates Start to Exceed 3%-5%
  7. When Opening Up a New Subscriber Acquisition Source
  8. During Periods of Faster-than-Usual List Growth
  9. When Email Complaint Rates Start to Exceed 0.2%
  10. When Your Open Rates Drop Dramatically at a Particular Mailbox Provider
  11. When Your Open Rates Average 5% or Less at a Particular Mailbox Provider

For a detailed discussion of each of these, plus more advice on when to seek the help of a deliverability expert…

>> Read the full post on the Modern Marketing Blog

When Good Enough Shouldn't Be - Optimizing Automated Emails

Email marketing is so effective and has such a high return on investment that brands often settle for good enough when they could be achieving much higher returns. In this blog post series, we’ll be examining several overlooked opportunities to increase your email marketing performance.

One of the biggest opportunities is around optimizing your triggered or automated emails. These high-performing, workhorse emails reliably perform hour after hour, day after day. They include cart abandonment, browse abandonment, and post-purchase cross-sell emails, amongst others.

Automated emails have been unfortunately lauded as “set it and forget it” emails. If you’ve consciously or unconsciously embraced that approach, then you’re settling for slowly diminishing returns and possibly deteriorating customer experiences.

These are living emails, and as such require ongoing attention to ensure that they’re healthy and thriving. With that in mind…

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Email Deliverability Quarterly: Return Path Acquired, CCPA Update, Yahoo-AOL Merged, and More

Email deliverability is constantly changing, as inbox providers adjust their filtering algorithms, blacklists tweak their listing criteria, and consumers evolve their definition of spam. That’s why even the best email marketing programs suffer deliverability problems sometimes.

To help you avoid trouble, the deliverability practice at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting (OMCC) shares the latest news and tips for what to watch out for in our inaugural Email Deliverability Quarterly.

In this post, Dan Deneweth, Heather Goff, Clea Moore, and Kent McGovern explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:

  • Validity Acquires Return Path
  • CCPA Likely Won’t Be Replaced by Stronger PAA
  • More State Consumer Privacy Bills Brewing
  • Verizon Completes Merger of Yahoo Mail and AOL Infrastructure
  • Apple Mail Adds Tabs
  • ‘Sign In with Apple’ Announced

For the full discussion of each of these issues…

>> Read the entire post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

The Last Word on June 2019

The Last WordA roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…

Must-read articles, posts & reports

It’s Probably Time to Stop Announcing the Death of Email (Forbes)

Is This Common Mistake Affecting Your GDPR Opt-In Rate? (Smart Insights)

Email on Tap Episode 11, with Dan Deneweth, Senior Director, Strategic Services, Oracle (250ok)

Email Deliverability: The Ultimate Guide to Avoid the Spam Folder (Moosend)

Dynamic Email in Gmail Becoming Generally Available on July 2, 2019 (G Suite Updates)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Everlane, 6/13 – New Styles Added: Choose What You Pay
Eddie Bauer, 6/13 – Dad Jokes + Great Gifts = Win-Win
Williams Sonoma, 6/2 – Great Gifts for Every Dad – The Griller, The Gardener, The Cook & Much More!
Walgreens Photo, 6/4 – Last chance to ship your Dad’s Day gifts!
Quiksilver, 6/2 – Your 4th Of July Get-Up Just Got Better
Williams Sonoma, 6/25 – Celebrate the 4th with Hot Dogs, Patriotic Cakes & More
Bed Bath & Beyond, 6/4 – Deck out your dorm room with all things UGG.
West Elm, 6/21 – Happy 1st day of summer! Up to 40% off outdoor furniture + decor
Ann Taylor, 6/8 – Tis The Season For White Pants
Neiman Marcus, 6/27 – Up to 30% off sunglasses! Celebrate National Sunglasses Day
J.Crew, 6/8 – What to wear to work this summer…
Banana Republic, 6/9 – The fool-proof shirt of summer
Barneys New York, 6/2 – Where To Wear: Your Vacation To-Do List
Petco, 6/22 – Bark if you need a vacation!
ASPCA, 6/18 – LIVE VOTE: Pick The Best Kitten Name!
Hayneedle, 6/18 – We polled our staff – and here are their absolute favorites for outdoor this season.
Neiman Marcus, 6/18 – Carolina Herrera’s artful new prints
Hayneedle, 6/15 – 4 design rules you can totally break.
Gap, 6/18 – Got growing kids? We’ve got tees
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/2 – Add to cart ASAP: Up to 50% off top designer picks
Target, 6/27 – Beauty deal: Spend $20, get a $5 gift card.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/6 – New beauty + complimentary yoga mat = Bring on summer
Petco, 6/6 – Whale, whale, whale, here’s 30% off

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Trends in Using Email Marketing to Amplify Content Marketing

On-Demand Webinar: Poor Email Performance Visibility – You Can’t Fix What You Can’t See

The Last Word on May 2019

Why Hardly Any Brands Ever Build Homegrown Email Platforms Anymore

Build or buy? When it comes to email marketing platforms, it’s a question that brands rarely bother to ask themselves anymore because nearly everyone buys. And when brands do seriously ask themselves this question, it’s exceedingly rare for them to actually choose to go down the build road.

According to Litmus’s State of Email Survey of thousands of marketers worldwide, the percentage of brands using custom, homegrown email platforms to send marketing emails fell to just 6.1% in 2018, down from 10.9% in 2016.

Most of these homegrown email platforms are only used to send transactional emails, with traditional email service providers used to send the promotional emails that make up the vast, vast majority of their email volume. Only 34% of brands rely exclusively on a homegrown email platform to send all of their marketing emails, according to Litmus. That means that just 2% of brands use in-house email platforms to support all their email needs.

As you might expect, many of the companies that do choose to go this route are tech giants like Amazon and Uber. In fact, it’s become a not-so-funny joke that if you hire an email marketer from Amazon that they’ll want to build their own email platform. Since most companies don’t have Amazon’s scale, resources, and culture, this is a recipe for plenty of pain and suffering, if not disaster.

Let’s better understand why homegrown email platforms are dwindling and becoming the exclusive pet projects of unicorn companies by looking at the major dangers associated with homegrown email platforms…

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Business Book of the Month Podcast - Email Marketing Rules

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with David Bain, the host of the Business Book of the Month Podcast, about my book, Email Marketing Rules.

During the 51-minute interview, we talked about a wide range of email marketing topics, including:

  • The Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs
  • How the paid-owned-earned (POE) media model has become outdated and doesn’t account for email marketing, as well as several other popular channels
  • How to best include promotional content in transactional emails
  • The need to have promotional emails, transactional emails, and corporate emails on different IP addresses and sender domains
  • The recommended minimal email frequency
  • Where to find your most valuable subscribers
  • Sender name best practices
  • Different approaches to mobile-friendly email design
  • The advantages of maintaining a content calendar
  • And much, much more.

>> Listen to the Business Book of the Month podcast online

Or listen wherever you get your podcasts

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