5 Blueprints for Smart Emails_coverTransforming your emails can be a daunting task. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start, and sometimes the gap between where you are and where you want to be just seems too large to leap.

In 5 Blueprints for Building Smarter Emails, we discuss how to make impactful, incremental improvements to several common types of emails:

  1. Welcome Emails
  2. Promotional Emails
  3. Event Registration Emails
  4. Transactional Emails
  5. Cart Abandonment Emails

In each case, we talk about high-return changes you can make, and illustrate how to turn these opportunities into action with an industry-specific example.

>> Download the free guide

I also spoke about this framework for incrementally improving emails at the Salesforce World Tour in Boston yesterday. Whereas the report looks at improving certain types of emails, my presentation focused on different design, personalization, and journey tactics that would be used to improve emails.

Together, the report and the presentation give you two different approaches to gradually making your emails smarter. Here’s the slide deck for that presentation:

Salesforce World Tour in BostonTired of “one size fits all” messaging, subscribers are raising the bar on relevance. They want brands to prove they’re paying attention by delivering the right content at the right time. In short, they expect smarter emails.

The good news is that marketers have the tools they need to rise to this challenge. In my session, “Blueprints for Smarter Emails,” at the Salesforce World Tour in Boston on Apr. 9, I’ll be presenting a framework for gradually turning up the IQ of your emails in several manageable steps. We’ll look at improving:

  1. The Design of emails and landing pages, including defensive design and responsive design
  2. The Content & Context provided by emails, including seasonality and social proof
  3. The Personalization of email, including dynamic content and predictive intelligence
  4. The Journeys that are guided by your emails, including the timing, length, and content of these journeys

As we explore all the different point improvements that you can make, we’ll be looking at the latest research and inspiring real-world examples from our award-winning Email Swipe File to bring the opportunities into focus. When this session ends, you’ll have all the tools you need to create an email improvement plan for the next 6 months.

I hope to see you in Boston this Thursday.

>> Register to attend the Salesforce World Tour

Internet_Retailer_logoRetailers are pros at leveraging seasonal hooks to promote products and sales. But April Fools’ Day is one of those holidays where retailers should tread carefully—or that they should just avoid altogether as most do.

Nowadays, if a retailer mentions April Fools’ Day it’s to half pun/half reassure subscribers that their email is “No Joke.” That’s because finding the right gag that does no harm and is on-brand for your company is tough.

This year, ThinkGeek showed us how to do an April Fools’ Day email right, and West Elm provided us with a cautionary tale. I spoke about this and more with Internet Retailer’s Matt Lindner.

>> Read the story on InternetRetailer.com

The Last Word on March 2015

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Why email marketing is still in style — and thriving (Venture Beat)

Symbolically Sinking – 10 Findings on Symbols in Subject Lines (Return Path)

Deliverability and engagement (Word to the Wise)

Context Changes Everything (StrongView)

Google Working on Project to Let You Receive and Pay Bills Directly Inside Gmail (Re/code)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@mparkerbyrd: Email peeps … Seen anything like this before? https://t.co/06EZceAfd4

@jeremywaite: “Content is King. Relevance is King Kong” <– Comment of the day #genius

@ddayman: More of us need these award ribbons. “I Survived Another Meeting That Should Have Been An Email” http://t.co/VsBjoj49Wm #emailhumour

@ExperianMkt: There’s no magic # for how many segments to target – but the “unmagic” # is 1. The more relevant you can get, the better! #customerlifecycle

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

Lego uses innovative “email carousel” to bring interactivity to email >> View the pin

BabyGap email uses easy-to-follow blue and pink color coding >> View the pin

The DNC uses a triptych of animated gifs in this mobile-friendly email >> View the pin

West Elm’s 3-email cart abandonment series uses predictive intelligence >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

J.Crew, 3/23 — Thaw out your closet! You’ve got 2 days to shop 30% off warmer-weather styles.
Hayneedle, 3/9 — Serve up Easter brunch outdoors!
Babies “R” Us, 3/11 — Need Ideas For Baby’s Easter Basket? Start Here!
Sephora, 3/25 — Confused by contouring? Start here
Clinique, 3/17 — Trending: Green & gold for eyes + 2 FREE minis.
J.Crew, 3/8 — #nowtrending on Instagram & Pinterest (plus, our sale ends today)
Under Armour, 3/17 — March Is Here. Gear Up Before Tip-Off
eBags, 3/8 — Daylight isn’t your only savings this weekend…
Gap, 3/8 — what goes with daylight savings? savings.
Victoria’s Secret, 3/8 — Lose an hour. Gain a Bonus Secret Reward.
Lands’ End, 3/6 — Gabi’s top 3 trends for the beach + 20% off swim
Lands’ End, 3/13 — See what real women are saying about our swimwear
Clinique, 3/6 — Know a bride? Show her this + FREE bag & minis.
Anthropologie, 3/11 — We’re putting our LBDs on pause.
Anthropologie, 3/18 — That party? These dresses.
Threadless, 3/5 — Tinder – not the only way to score.
American Apparel, 3/5 — Meet the Women Making It Happen
babyGap, 3/5 — new new new new new new
MoMA Store, 3/21 — Kick It Up Another Notch: Meet the Amish Scooters
The Container Store, 3/5 — Why is confetti flying?
P&G everyday, 3/30 — Smell that?
Subway, 3/24 — Your inbox is full (of flavor)

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Is Email Marketing Cheap or Does It Have a High ROI?

On the Horizon: Subject Line Designers?

6 Retail Email Marketing Priorities for 2015

Email Carousels: Another Step toward Email’s Rich Content Future

6-Month Anniversary of “Email Marketing Rules”: Thank You!

The Last Word on February 2015

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsHow you and—more importantly—your boss answer that question easily predicts the future success of your email marketing program.

In this Email Insider column for MediaPost, talk about:

  • The behaviors that indicate an “email marketing is cheap” mentality vs. an “email marketing’s ROI is high” mentality
  • The results of these two lines of thinking on marketplace adoption of marketing automation and mobile-friendly email design and trends in deliverability
  • The disconnect between what marketing leaders say is important and those marketplace realities
  • Why it’s time to acknowledge that email marketing is no longer cheap and that trying to compress email marketing costs is a losing long-term strategy

>> Read the full column on the MediaPost blog

On the Horizon: Subject Line Designers?

2015 100 Inspiring Subject Lines - 92sGiven the lift in message engagement that’s seen in nearly every channel when you add an image to a message, it’s exciting that we now have limited use of images in subject lines. As I discuss in Salesforce’s 100 Inspiring Subject Lines, special characters like stars and hearts started appearing in the subject lines of marketers’ emails in early 2012, and then emojis began appearing in subject lines last year.

Currently around 2% of B2C emails include a special character or an emoji. Over the next two years or so I expect their usage to slowly rise—perhaps settling in around the 4% mark—as marketers become more comfortable with these new subject line elements and become assured that they don’t negatively affect deliverability.

While not a blank canvas, there are hundreds and hundreds of special characters and emojis that are appropriate for marketing use. That gives you a wide range of expression.

Let’s look at the three ways that visual elements can be used in subject lines and see them in action in some real-life examples…

>> Read the entire post on the Salesforce blog

Getting ready for the holiday season is almost a year-round effort—which is to say you’re preparing for November and December the other 10 months of the year.

To help you prep, I discuss 6 retail email marketing priorities in this slide deck, which includes supplemental links to research reports, articles, and real-world examples that allow you to take a deep-dive into the topics that are most important to you:

  1. Reassessing program goals
  2. Getting mobile-friendly
  3. Optimizing snippet text
  4. Increasing targeting and personalization
  5. Building out triggered emails
  6. Keeping inactivity in check.

Check out this slide deck and see why making progress on each of these priorities between now and October will get your email program in excellent shape for the upcoming holiday season.

Lego email carouselAt the end of Email Marketing Rules, I say, “The emails of the future will be much more like sending subscribers a microsite than a static message. People will be able to watch videos, browse product assortments, and make purchases—all without leaving their inboxes.”

Following decent progress on video in email over the past few years, in recent months we’ve also made progress on browsable rich content thanks to the discovery of a WebKit hack that lets marketers create a fully functional tabbed box or content carousel, where subscribers can click the tabs or buttons in the content block in the email to flip through different images.

Emails from B&Q and Lego show off just how engaging these “email carousels” can be, especially since the hack is compatible with responsive design.

>> Read the full post on the Salesforce blog

The Last Word on February 2015

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Engagement Totally Matters (The Email Skinny)

Sender reputation and personalized deliverability: what inbox engagement really means (MailUp)

ISPs Live in the Age of the Customer, Do You? (Email Experience Council)

Under the hood of the new Outlook app (Display Block)

Episode 8: Our Top 5 Predictions for Email Design in 2015 (Litmus)

New Google Algorithm Hits Websites Lacking Responsive Design (Rival IQ)

Which ESPs Give Email Marketers ESP? (DM News)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@meladorri: I love my job. I love this industry. I love the email community. No, I’m not drunk. Just sentimental. @litmusapp #eec15 #emailgeeks

@asouers: Matt Moleski at Comcast says they identify users who use Spam as Delete and don’t allow them to impact your sender reputation. #EEC15

@SimmsJenkins: 90% of U.S. adults like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with. 69% have bought from an email. @MarketingSherpa

@meladorri: “Mobile ready emails are a huge improvement in company perception.” YES! And subscriber happiness/experience. @matty_caldwell #eec15

@iamelliot: Poop emoji is acceptable for subject line use, right?

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

Jack Spade email builds toward CTA and has responsive header and footer >> View the pin

American Apparel emails checks whether subscribers are thinking spring or winter >> View the pin

Blue Nile 3-email cart abandonment series >> View the pin

Kate Spade does year-long promotional email series >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

American Apparel, 2/5 — It’s #pantytime
American Red Cross, 2/24 — #GiveWhatFireTakes
Chili’s, 2/18 — Go Warm Up The Car- Chili’s is Open!
Clinique, 2/17 — Start the Lunar New Year in Style + FREE lipstick
Garnet Hill, 2/17 — The Presidents’ Day Sale — re-elected for one more day
FansEdge, 2/1 — The Patriots Are XLIX Champions!
Levi’s, 2/1 — TIMEOUT. These jeans are game-changers.
Clinique, 2/1 — Super Roll: NEW fragrance rollerballs + FREE body cream mini.
Zulily, 2/1 — Your Super Sunday Lineup: Buster Brown, AM PM, Hop to It toys, Spectrum home organization and more
eBags, 2/1 — Hut…Hut…SALE!
NFLshop, 2/1 — Patroits Fan, 9 Hrs. to Kickoff! Get Ready for Super Bowl XLIX!
Uncommon Goods, 2/3 — We Found 10 Matches For Your Valentine
MoMA Store, 2/1 — Give Back to All Your Valentines! + Free Shipping Over $50
ModCloth, 2/23 — Real ModCloth employees model your fave swimsuits!
ThinkGeek, 2/17 — 10 months to go: suit up with new Star Wars exclusives!
Anthropologie, 2/7 — Is this the end of skinny jeans?
Ann Taylor, 2/2 — Will Spring Come Early? We’ve Got A Dress For That!
Clinique, 2/2 — 20 shades of flawless + FREE Superprimer mini

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Infographic: Shopping Cart Abandonment Email Trends

Opens, Clicks, Junks, and Blocks in the Third Age of Email Deliverability

10 Experts on How to Use Email Marketing for Events

4 Key Subject Line Trends Driven by Mobile and Social

Disconnects on Metrics: Health vs. Optimization vs. Success Metrics

Valentines for Email Marketers

January Review & Season Wrap-Up for the 2014 Email Marketing Holiday Calendar

Trends for 2015: Views from 10 Email Marketing Experts

The Last Word on January 2015

Email Marketing Rules (2nd Edition)The 2nd Edition of “Email Marketing Rules” was published 6 months ago today and I just want to say, Thank You! Thanks to everyone who has bought it. Thanks to everyone who has tweeted, blogged, and otherwise said nice things about. And an extra big thanks to everyone who has reviewed it on Amazon—each new review really makes my day.

As a sign of my appreciation, I’ve permanently cut the paperback list price by 17% to $14.99 and the Kindle price by 25% to $5.99. I hope this allows even more people to benefit from “Email Marketing Rules.”

>> Buy print edition—and afterward get the digital version for FREE via Kindle Matchbook

>> Buy Kindle edition (which is readable on any device with the free Kindle Reader app)

I’d also like to once again thank my awesome editors, Mark Brownlow and Aaron Smith; Jay Baer, who wrote the insightful foreword; Andrea Smith, who designed the cool cover and illustrations; my copyeditor, Brian Walls; and all the folks who generously wrote blurbs for the book: Jeff Rohrs, Don Davis, Simms Jenkins, Kyle Lacy, Loren McDonald, Andrew Bonar, Dave Chaffey, and Justine Jordan. And last, but certainly not least, thanks again to my wonderful wife, Kate, who has supported me all the way.


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