How to Recover from Email Marketing Mistakes webinar recordingMistakes in email marketing are pretty much inevitable, so you need to have a plan of action in place so you can react quickly and appropriately to errors.

In our latest webinar we share a decision framework for how to recover as gracefully as possible from email marketing mistakes, and then put that framework into action, applying it to 10 real-life case studies of email marketing errors made in recent years.

If you missed the webinar, we’ve now posted the full recording of the webinar along with the slides. I’ve also answered all the questions from the Q&A portion of the webinar.

>> View webinar recording, slides, and Q&A

Will We Ever Have Email Coding Standards?

Will We Ever Have Email Standards?This has been burning question for email marketers for a long time. Web developers have standards, but email developers don’t. Will this ever change? And what will be the catalyst for change?

We polled nearly 4,000 marketers about whether we’d ever have email coding standards, and they were significantly more optimistic than we thought they’d be—which is to say, they are more optimistic than we are here at Litmus.

We also asked 5 of our speakers from The Email Design Conference about this issue:

  • Dan Denney, Front-End Developer, Code School
  • Fabio Carneiro, Lead Email Developer and UX Designer, MailChimp
  • Mike Ragan, Designer, ActionRocket
  • Mark Robbins, Email Developer, RebelMail
  • Brian Graves, UI Team Lead, DEG

For the results of our poll and to see what our experts thought…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

The Shadow War for Holiday Email Marketing VictoryRetailers have long been concerned about tipping their hands to competitors, particularly during the critical holiday season. Using more personalization, segmentation, and triggered messaging increases the fog of war, making it more difficult for competitors to broadly know what you’re doing, especially when these strategies account for a majority of program revenue.

In this guest post for the Salesforce blog, I discuss 6 hard-to-see shadow tactics that can give you the advantage this holiday season and in the years to come:

  1. Progressive Profiling & Preference Update Emails
  2. Abandonment Emails
  3. Conditional Series
  4. Personalized Recommendations
  5. Reengagement, Re-permission, & Win-Back Emails
  6. Seasonal Adjustments to Triggered Emails

For the full discussion of each of these tactics…

>> Read the full post on the Salesforce blog

Go from Panic to Recovery with This Email Marketing Mistakes Decision TreeOh, no. You’ve just realized that you made a mistake with your latest email marketing campaign and the panic is starting to set in. What do you do next?

Take a deep breath and refer to this decision tree from our latest report, How to Recover from Email Marketing Mistakes. This decision tree will take you step-by-step through 6 questions that will help you decide how to recover from this mistake quickly and with as much grace as possible.

>> View the decision tree on the Litmus blog

How to Recover from Email Marketing Mistakes webinar“I’ve made an email marketing mistake. Now what?”

That’s not a question you want to answer on the fly and in a panic with your boss standing at your desk. You want to have a plan in place so you know exactly how to respond in a variety of circumstances.

In this webinar, I’ll share a decision framework for how to recover as gracefully as possible from email marketing mistakes. Join me as I put this framework into action, applying it to 10 real-life case studies of email marketing errors made in recent years.

This webinar is ideal for email marketers responsible for pressing “send” and for anyone involved in the email marketing QA process.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and all registrants will receive the slides and recording post-event.

“How to Recover from Email Marketing Mistakes”
Wed., Nov. 18, 2015, 1-2 PM ET

>> Register for this free webinar

Email Marketing in the Age of Data Breaches & Tightening RegulationsThe email marketing, privacy, and security landscapes have changed significantly since 2003, when the CAN-SPAM Act was passed. Email marketing has heated up, while privacy and security have melted down.

While at The Email Design Conference, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview James Koons, dotmailer’s chief privacy officer. We discussed how email marketers can help minimize the damage from data breaches and why they should care about CASL. James also made the case that marketers shouldn’t be so sure that CAN-SPAM won’t be overhauled in the years ahead.

We put the question of a CAN-SPAM revamp to marketers and they were almost evenly split between those who think it will be strengthened and those who think it will stay largely unchanged.

>> See the interview and poll results on the Litmus Blog

How to Recover from Email Marketing MistakesEmail marketing mistakes are not a matter of “if,” but “when.” Email is too dynamic, too complex, and too quick of a medium to avoid mistakes completely. The best you can hope for is to keep mistakes infrequent and small, and then to manage them quickly and recover with a degree of grace when they do happen.

In our How to Recover from Email Marketing Mistakes report, we discuss a decision framework that will guide you to a response that’s appropriate for the error made, so you can minimize the impact of mistakes while also avoiding overreacting and potentially making the situation worse.

We’ll walk you through each step of the framework and along the way share real-life stories of email marketing mishaps. Some of these stories received media attention; some are incidences we’ve noticed over the years; and others are from brave members of the Litmus Community who have come forward to share their battle scars and lessons learned.

We hope the insights and stories in this report help you learn from the mistakes of others and put better systems and checks in place at your company to minimize the frequency and scope of future email marketing mistakes.

>> Download this free report

When Does the Holiday Season Start?

Read the full article on InternetRetailer.comEvery year there’s handwringing over Christmas creep, the idea that holiday shopping starts earlier and earlier. The issue over whether retailers should open their stores on Thanksgiving has been a catalyst for discussions about this in recent years. That’s a complicated issue, but what’s not is whether consumers are interested in buying gifts and seasonal goods before Thanksgiving or even before Halloween. They are.

According to the National Retail Federation’s Holiday Consumer Spending Survey:

“For the 14th year in a row, NRF’s holiday spending survey found that approximately 40 percent of holiday shoppers say they begin their holiday shopping before Halloween. Another 41.5 percent say they begin their holiday shopping in November, and 18.7 will begin sometime in December.

When asked why they begin shopping early, most of those that responded that they shop before or in September or October say it’s to spread out their budget (61.4%). Another 48 percent say they want to avoid the November and December crowds and 46 percent do so to avoid the stress of last-minute shopping.”

I was recently asked on Twitter when the holiday season starts for major retailers. My response was: “The holiday season is whenever you can sell seasonal products and Christmas gifts.”

The question reminded me of this June 5, 2012 Norm Thompson email, where they’d updated images to indicate which products had sold out:

June 5, 2012 email from Norm Thompson

Four of the eight products in that content block had sold out, including a snowman ornament and two other seasonal items.

I recently spoke to Internet Retailer about the start of the email marketing holiday season and issues around email messaging and frequency.

>> Read the entire article on

10 Tips to Get Your Email Marketing Program Ready for the Holiday SeasonIt’s November, which means that it’s official: The holiday season is here!

Retailers, hopefully you’ve been warming up your subscribers and generating some early holiday sales over the past month or two, but now things start getting serious. To help you make the most of the holiday season, here are 10 tips that will make your email marketing results merrier:

  1. Use progressive profiling to send segmented offers.
  2. Add seasonal content to your triggered emails.
  3. Ensure your emails are rendering properly, particularly after the launch of iOS 9 Mail.
  4. Have an apology email templated and ready to go.
  5. Use preview text to support your subject lines.
  6. Use social media for aspirational discovery, and site search and purchase data for more practical discovery.
  7. Return to what has worked in the past.
  8. Resist the urge to email chronically inactive subscribers.
  9. Send mobile-friendly emails.
  10. Have a plan for Last Sleigh Day.

For a full discussion of each of these…

>> Read the full column on

The Last Word on October 2015

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

The Triumphant Return of the Email Newsletter (Harvard Business Review)

Which three channels are the biggest priorities for marketers? (Econsultancy)

Email Marketing Data – Can You Trust It? (Emarketeers)

Building the Optimal Transactional Email (Infographic) (Silverpop)

Yahoo Mail’s Mobile App Gets A Whole Lot Slicker And Speedier (Fast Company)

HTML Emails: Improving workflow and process (Jono Milnes)

Data Is Friend Who Might Just Kill Us (MediaPost)

Role Addresses and Their Effect on Email Deliverability (SendGrid)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@Snowden: I forgot to turn off notifications. Twitter sent me an email for each: Follow Favorite Retweet DM 47 gigs of notifications. #lessonlearned

@chiefmartec: In the short-term, investing in innovation seems sub-optimal — but only if you assume the status quo will continue.

@omgitsonlyalex: “Should we segment our list by location to give them the proper offer in the subject line?” “Nah throw it all in”

@jeremywaite: @antonyslumbers @om I prefer ~ “Marketing used to be about creating a myth and spreading it. Now it is about finding a truth and sharing it”

@nharhut: Most digital strategy is optimized for one night stands. Have something to say to those not ready to buy right now. @avinash #mpb2b

Noteworthy subject lines

The White House, 10/21 — Today, we’re in the future:
Threadless, 10/21 — Great Scott! BTTF tees on sale!
Michaels, 10/22 — Happy National Color Day!
Gerber, 10/31 — Voting has begun!
Drs. Foster & Smith, 10/31 — Halloween Treats Can Harm Pets
Jetsetter, 10/22 — Costume Idea: Be “On Vacation”
American Apparel, 10/22 — Have You Seen Our Costumes?, 10/14 — Open, if you dare…
AMP, 10/14 — Open this, get free stuff. Simple.
AJ Madison, 10/29 — Prepare for Cooking Season, 10/30 — Black Friday exclusive pre-sale
Moosejaw, 10/29 — The 3rd Greatest Gift Guide You’ll See This Year
eBags, 10/30 — Our Holiday Gift Guide is Here
Restoration Hardware, 10/29 — The 2015 Holiday Collection. Inspired Ideas for the Season.
MAC Cosmetics, 10/21 — Top of the List: Holiday. Plus Free Shipping.
Restoration Hardware, 10/20 — Introducing Baby & Child’s Holiday Gift Collection + Extra 10% Off All Sale Extended 1 Day
Clinique, 10/29 — This kiss-happy gift won’t last. Get yours now! FREE with purchase, 10/15 — Save 40% On Personalized Christmas Cards
Wayfair, 10/7 — The season of cheer is near! Merry Markdowns on thousands of must-haves, 10/7 — Christmas trees! Rustic dining, bathroom updates & pet stuff, too!
Jetsetter, 10/4 — Secrets to Saving BIG on Holiday Travel
Godiva Chocolatier, 10/22 — Chocolate favoritism is encouraged + 15% OFF Dark Chocolate
Barneys New York, 10/4 — Now This is How You Weather a Storm
Garnet Hill, 10/4 — WINTER FORECAST: Warm and beautiful
Anthropologie, 10/7 — 3 ideas you’ll warm up to quickly
MoMA Store, 10/4 — Shop now or pay for shipping
Under Armour, 10/1 — Support The Mars Mission…
NFLshop, 10/30 — Patriots Win Again! Shop the Latest Collections!
Wayfair, 10/3 — Bedroom giving you the snores? Try a quick bedding refreshing
Anthropologie, 10/4 — This is our kind of couch-surfing.
Gucci, 10/21 — Introducing the new, 10/21 — You asked – we answered. Frame Your Art by mail now available!
Neiman Marcus, 10/19 — Shop NM on Pinterest + Instagram!

New posts on

Improve Your Holiday Season Campaign Results by Sending These 3 Emails Now

5 Tips to Get Your Triggered Emails Ready for the Holiday Season

Improve Your Email Production Process by Taking the Email Production Survey

4 Reasons Broadcast Emails May Be Making Your Email Program Less Competitive in the Future

Email Marketing’s Greatest Strength & Greatest Weakness

How to Recover from an Email Marketing Mistake (or the Slow-Motion Meltdown and Rebirth of Our Live Twitter Feed Email)

The Last Word on September 2015


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