Read all of Chad White's Convince & Convert blog postsThe social and email marketing channels are increasingly intertwined. So when I read this great collection of 30+ Social Media Predictions for 2015, it immediately had me thinking about how they affect email marketers.

Here are four of the predictions that jumped out at me as being particularly relevant to email marketers:

@MarjiJSherman: Personalized responses will be expected more than ever. Companies will need to invest in more targeted software in order to create unique conversations with their consumers. Knowing everything about a consumer will be required in order to create tailored conversations that hit on exactly what the consumer is talking about in their life, so the brand seamlessly enters the conversation. Also, one-on-one communication with consumers will become mandatory for brands.

@katadhin: In 2015, marketers will move from “platform centered” to “content centered” social media. Content that flows across social and digital platforms and is relevant to the platform being used. As social referral surpasses search, this approach will create higher levels of engagement and conversion for those who do it well.

@JasonFalls: All indications are that 2015 is going to be the year that social media becomes more paid media than earned, which is sad in a way. Certainly, brands with great content can break through the clutter organically, but Facebook has carved out a new model and other networks will follow. If you want your social content seen, you’re going to have to put a budget behind it. I’d love to predict brands will flip the scene and get great organic pick-up despite the new rules of the road, but most brand content sucks. That, in all likelihood, won’t change.

@EllyDeutch: “Marketers in 2015 will shift their focus to include a more ubiquitous mobile content strategy, in order to instantly reach more fans through the palms of their hands.”

For the full discussion of how these social media predictions affect email marketers…

>> Read the full article on the Convince & Convert blog

13 Charts from “Email Marketing Rules”

Email Marketing Rules (2nd Edition)Throughout the 2nd Edition of Email Marketing Rules, I have charts to help readers with various email marketing concepts including media types, permission strength, and email interactions. All of these charts are now available in the Email Marketing Dictionary on EmailMarketingRules.com, as well as on Pinterest.

>> View the charts in the Email Marketing Dictionary

>> Check out the charts on the Email Marketing Rules pinboard on Pinterest

Fig. 1: The 5 Types of Media

Fig. 2: Envelope Content

Fig. 3: Anatomy of a Typical Email

Fig. 4: Email Marketers Have 2 Masters, 2 Sets of Success Metrics

Fig. 5: Increasing Engagement by Mailing Inactives Less Often

Fig. 6: The Subscriber Lifecycle

Fig. 7: Permission Grant Matrix

Fig. 8: Subscriber Status

Fig. 9: Traditional Model of Email Interaction

Fig. 10: Stage-Bypass Model of Email Interaction

Fig. 11: Environment Layers Compound Email Rendering Complexity

Fig. 12: The Email Pyramid

Fig. 13: Subscriber Types by Email Volume

Download the free 2014 Email Marketing Holiday CalendarEvery month through January, we’ll be reviewing our predictions from the 2014 Email Marketing Holiday Calendar for the previous month and discussing what to expect this month in terms of holiday messaging trends.

For December, we predicted that major retailers would send their active subscribers 28 promotional emails. That prediction turned out to be just a smidge high, as our panel of more than 100 major retailers sent their subscribers 27.4 promotional emails on average last month.

In January, we’re expecting retailers to send their active subscribers around 19 promotional emails each. Holiday messaging falls off quickly in January, with a few of the common themes being holiday storage, gift card redemption, accessory buying for popular gifts, and Christmas clearance.

>> Read the entire post on the Salesforce Blog

The Last Word on December 2014

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Study Sheds New Light On ‘Dark’ Social, Finds Consumers Underestimate Their Own Behavior 2-to-1 (MediaPost)

For Retailers, Email Marketing Helped Boost Cyber Monday (The Street)

Gmail: Larger font sizes don’t mean media query support (Campaign Monitor)

Email Fraud Protection Needs to be on the CISO’s Agenda (Return Path)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@withoutgorms: He’s making a database,
He’s filtering twice
SELECT * FROM customers WHERE behaviour = Nice
Santa Clause is Coming to town.

@ryanpphelan: Frequency rules should actually apply in triggered (non-trans) emails based on a value score for the behavior #mpeis

@SpencerKollas: How many blog posts will we see about optimizing email for watches? @DelaQuist #mpeis

@michaeljbarber: No doubt @mparkerbyrd gets the best slide of the day award. You get preheader text, and you, and you!!! http://t.co/UjfdN1w00Y

@mparkerbyrd: You know you’re an email marketer when your phone autocorrects “exact” to “ExactTarget”

@EmailKarma: Cute #email disclamer “Someone, hopefully you, has subscribed your email address to the following newsletters”

@iamelliot: 2015 will be the year we all run up on gmail’s html rendering dept and demand satisfaction

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

Sony asks subscribers what they want for Black Friday >> View the pin

Uncommon Goods’ email campaign ties clickthroughs to charity >> View the pin

Sephora joins personalization to persona-based shopping >> View the pin

Home Depot email creates urgency before and after offer expires >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Threadless, 12/31 — 10 Reasons to Open this Email
Lenovo, 12/30 — Drop a few PC lbs
American Red Cross, 12/30 — Tax deadline: Tomorrow
Vera Bradley, 12/29 — New tech feeling cold? We’re on the case!
Walmart, 12/28 — Have a gift card you don’t want?
Target, 12/30 — Undeck the halls & save up to 20% on storage items.
MAC Cosmetics, 12/30 — Shop The Top Rated New Products of 2014!
Wayfair, 12/29 — Feeling frosty? Save on throws, bedding, space heaters, and more
Home Depot, 12/24 — Forget a Gift? eGift Cards Have You Covered
Urban Outfitters, 12/24 — Still need gifts? UO IS OPEN!
Nike, 12/22 — Order Today. Get It Tomorrow.
Uncommon Goods, 12/22 — See You Tomorrow
Saks Fifth Avenue, 12/22 — Christmas delivery? Order TODAY before 6pm ET
Adidas, 12/22 — Q: procrastinate? A: $10 overnight shipping
Levi’s, 12/22 — FREE. OVERNIGHT. SHIPPING. (+ 30% off extended!)
Nike, 12/20 — Our Gift to You: Free Next-Day Delivery
J.Crew, 12/22 — You need to shop ASAP. Get your gifts tomorrow with $10 overnight shipping. Plus, 30% off full-price styles & extra 40% off sale.
ThinkGeek, 12/22 — HO3… up to 30% off your cart full o’ stuff!‏
Target, 12/22 — Order gifts online; pick ‘em up by Christmas time.
American Apparel, 12/21 — Holidays Shmolidays‏
FansEdge, 12/19 — The late bird gets the worm too! Up to 40% Off + FREE Shipping Over $60
Banana Republic, 12/18 — Life is short. Stop ironing.
Lululemon, 12/18 — no time like the present
Victoria’s Secret, 12/18 — $20 Reward Card with any $75 purchase in stores!
Uncommon Goods, 12/7 — 100 Great Gifts in 1 Email? Are We Crazy?
Sony, 12/11 — Check Gifts Off Your List | Under: $100  $200  $300 
Baby Gap, 12/11 — $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Zappos, 12/1 — $, $$, $$$ → You decide!
TigerDirect, 12/7 — Green Monday LEAKED: Samsung 55″ | Microsoft Surface Pro 3 | See Them All
eBags, 12/7 — Green means GO ► Shop Green Monday Deals Now + Save 20% & Free Shipping over $49‏
Overstock.com, 12/7 — GREEN MONDAY! LAST CHANCE 12% OFF COUPON!
Babies “R” Us, 12/7 — It’s Our Green Monday Sale – Let’s Go Gifting!
FansEdge, 12/7 — Green for 24-Hours! 30% off everything or Free Shipping‏
Costco, 12/3 — 15 Days of Christmas Deals Start Today! Day 1: Delicious Savings on Gift Baskets!
Horchow, 12/3 — WOW! 12 Deals of Christmas + 25% off decor + 30% off rugs + FREE shipping!‏
AJ Madison, 12/3 — Cyber Week Last Chance!‏
HP, 12/3 — ✫ Cyber week – lowest price ever on these bonus offers ✫
Toys “R” Us, 12/3 — Time’s Running Out! Hurry & Shop Cyber Week Savings
TigerDirect, 12/3 — Cyber Week Components: $44 1TB HD | $24 Windows 7 Bundle | Hundreds More Cyber Week Deals
Target, 12/2 — Come play with our Cyber Week toy deals.‏
Sears, 12/2 — Happy Cyber Week! Extra 25% off coupon inside!
Overstock, 12/2 — CYBER WEEK STARTS NOW!‏
Babies “R” Us, 12/2 — Cyber Week Savings on the Hottest Brands!
Northern Tool, 12/2 — New Deals For Cyber Week + Free Gift Card!
Nikon, 12/2 — Cyber Week Continues! 10% Off Refurbished Products‏
Clinique, 12/2 — Starts now: Pick 5 FREE for Cyber Week.
Walmart, 12/2 — Cyber Week: More top tech. More great deals.
Lenovo, 12/2 — Cyber Monday prices all week long
Lands’ End, 12/2 — Cyber Tuesday: extra day to save 40% off + free shipping & new markdowns
Lands’ End, 12/1 — 40% off + free shipping – even your boss is shopping today‏

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Quick Email Marketing Wins in 2015

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Free Shipping Day Email Marketing Insights

Green Monday Email Marketing Insights

Email Marketing in 2015: What’s In and What’s Out

Cyber Monday Email Marketing Insights

The Top 10 Pins from the Email Swipe File: 2014 Year in Review

The POGLE Media Model: Paid, Owned, Granted, Leased, and Earned

Crowd Favorites from the Swipe File: November 2014

November Review & December Preview for the 2014 Email Marketing Holiday Calendar

Black Friday Week Email Marketing Insights

Winter Edition of the Email Marketer’s Holiday Planning Checklist

The Last Word on November 2014

Quick Email Marketing Wins in 2015

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsGoing into the New Year, instead of focusing on the new, why not focus on the easy. Below are my picks for email marketing initiatives that are low-effort and high-return:

  • Optimize your snippet text
  • Implement predictive intelligence for personalized recommendations
  • Add defensive design elements to your email templates
  • Test special characters in your subject lines
  • Expand your A/B testing beyond subject lines
  • Selectively remarket to non-openers
  • Add the opt-down option to your unsubscribe page or preference center
  • Re-permission your chronically inactive subscribers
  • Take inventory of and review your triggered emails

>> Read the entire column on MediaPost.com

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Whatever you celebrate, I hope your holidays are filled with family and fun. Best wishes, Chad.

2014-12-01 10.58.44

Free Shipping Day Email Marketing Insights

121814 Vera BradleyThis holiday season we’ve examined email marketing activity and trends on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Green Monday. Now it’s time to look at Free Shipping Day.

This is a shopping occasion that’s in decline. Unlike last year when email activity on Free Shipping Day exceeded Green Monday and rivaled other important shopping days, this year email activity on Dec. 18 was very average. Of the more than 100 major retailers that we track, 73% sent their subscribers at least one promotional email on Free Shipping Day. That’s down from 77% last year.

Perhaps more importantly, only 9% of the promotional emails sent by retailers on Free Shipping Day mentioned it by name, which is a sign that the “Free Shipping Day” brand is weak. And it’s easy to understand why that would be the case.

Free shipping offers are plentiful throughout the holiday season—indeed, throughout the year. So a day that trumpets a promotion that’s very common on other days is surely confusing to consumers. Some retailers had extra special shipping offers available on Free Shipping Day, such as free shipping with no minimum, but these offers haven’t been able to clarify this shopping occasion with consumers, as evidenced by declining searches for “free shipping day.”

>> Read the entire post of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog

Green Monday Email Marketing Insights

120814 Babies R UsI’ve already shared insights from Black Friday Week and Cyber Week. Next up: Green Monday.

This newish shopping occasion is just getting going. It feels a lot like Cyber Monday did in 2006, when that was a new term that consumers were becoming familiar with. Retailers spent quite a while establishing the “Cyber Monday” brand—and clearly it was time well-spent.

Now some are trying to do the same thing with Green Monday, which is typically the second Monday in December.

This year, more than 10% of the email messages sent on Dec. 8 by the more than 100 major retailers that I track mentioned “Green Monday” by name. While we didn’t track mentions last year, anecdotally that’s a significant increase from a small base.

>> Read the entire post on the Salesforce blog

Direct Marketing NewsI recently spoke with Natasha Smith of DM News about which email marketing strategies, tactics, and tools will be more important next year and which will be less important.

WHAT’S OUT

Batch-and-blast
“One size fits all” static emails
Standard subject lines

WHAT’S IN

Predictive analytics
Responsive design
Subject lines with #hashtags
Real-time personalization

>> Read the full article on DMNews.com

Cyber Monday Email Marketing Insights

120214 SearsLast week we reviewed some of the noteworthy developments that came out of Black Friday Week. Now let’s look at a couple of interesting developments that occurred around Cyber Monday.

First, for the 8th straight year, Cyber Monday is the busiest email marketing day of the year. Although there have been some other busy days that follow it, it’s unlikely that any of them will come close to even matching Cyber Monday’s email activity level. Among the more than 100 major retailers that I track, 93% of them sent their active subscribers at least one promotional email on Cyber Monday.

And second, after overflowing into “Cyber Sunday” and “Cyber Tuesday” the past few years, Cyber Monday has exploded into a full-on “Cyber Week.” Roughly one in eight major retailers mentioned “Cyber Week” in their subject lines alone, and many more mentioned it in the body copy of their emails. I expect even more retailers to jump on the bandwagon next year.

>> Read the entire post on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog

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