Enter MarketingSherpa's Weekly Book Giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Email Marketing RulesMarketingSherpa has been giving away great marketing books since 2002 and this week I’m excited that they’ll be giving away copies of Email Marketing Rules.

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Read all of Chad White's Convince & Convert blog postsEveryone wants to send more “relevant” emails, right? That’s been the buzzword of the email industry for a few years now. However, typically relevance is discussed in narrow terms, generally in regards to content.

But relevance is much more than that. Just think about all the reasons that people mark your emails as spam or unsubscribe from them:

  • I never subscribed.
  • I received emails too often.
  • The emails were too hard to read.
  • The emails didn’t work well on my mobile device.
  • The emails were frustrating because they had too many errors and bad links.
  • I didn’t find the content valuable.
  • The emails made me feel like a number rather than an individual.
  • I can easily find the content elsewhere.

Spanning everything from permission to quality assurance, accessibility to legibility, and content to frequency, all of these speak to the quality of the subscriber experience and how relevant the messages were to the individual.

The Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs, which we debuted in The Viral Email report, provides this big picture view of relevance. In this guest post for Convince & Convert, I discuss all four subscriber needs, including how to fulfill them and how to measure them.

>> Read the entire post at ConvinceAndConvert.com

2015 Mobile-Friendly Email & Landing Page TrendsWe’ve been beating the drum on the need to be more mobile-friendly for years as email reading has shifted from desktop and webmail to mobile devices.

According to data from Litmus Email Analytics, mobile email reading has plateaued at around 50%. However, new joint research from Litmus and Salesforce shows that marketers still have significant room to improve, despite advances over the past 12 months.

Our new infographic, 2015 Mobile-Friendly Email & Landing Page Trends, highlights where B2C brands are in terms of adjusting to the new mobile marketplace with their email and landing page designs. It also offers some advice on how to fix the disconnects that currently exist in the subscriber experience.

>> View the infographic on Salesforce.com

Tactics Used by the Top 1% of Viral Emails

Read the full article on MarketingSherpa.com“One of the key drivers of sharing is social capital. Sharing something of interest to our network is a way of showing that we’re in the know. It is a means to build our professional, cultural or social standing among our circles,” said Alfred Hermida, Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia and author of Tell Everyone: Why We Share and Why It Matters.

In this article, MarketingSherpa applies Prof. Hermida’s experiences to the findings of our Viral Email report, in addition to bringing their own sharp analysis of the research to bear. They ultimately distilled the report into four takeaways for creating viral emails:

Tip #1. Help your customers share their passions
Tip #2. Plan remarkable experiences in your email marketing calendar
Tip #3. Respect your subscribers and give them a functional experience
Tip #4. Measure success

>> Read the full article on MarketingSherpa.com

Read all of Chad's Marketing Land columnsSocial sharing gets a lot of attention—in large part, because it’s relatively easy to measure—but the all but invisible email forward can be just as powerful for brands. Whereas social sharing is public, diffuse, and powerful at driving top-of-the-funnel awareness, email forwards are private, targeted, and excel at driving bottom-of-the-funnel action.

To better understand email forwarding behavior, Litmus used its Email Analytics tool to measure the forwarding activity from more than 400,000 email campaigns. We then analyzed more than 200 campaigns from the most forwarded 1% of emails and compared them to an equal number of campaigns from the middle-of-the-pack median, looking at differences in tactics and email topics.

The findings, detailed in The Viral Email report, sometimes reinforced common sense but other times revealed counterintuitive approaches. In my first monthly column for Marketing Land, I reveal five key tactics for spurring email forwards, including two not included in the report.

>> Read the entire article on MarketingLand.com

Register for this free webinarWe tend to associate “going viral” with social media—in part because it’s relatively easy to see and measure the very public noise of social sharing in terms of likes, favorites, and retweets. However, the much quieter email forward is often a considerably more powerful influencer because its sharing is more targeted, personal, and urgent.

In this free webinar, Justine Jordan, Marketing Director at Litmus, and I will share insights gained from examining the forwards generated by more than 400,000 email sends. We’ll cover benchmarks for forward-to-open rates, discuss different email tactics for spurring email forwards, and share real-world examples of highly viral emails.

This webinar is ideal for email marketers and designers alike in need of inspiration for getting their emails shared—and how to properly measure viral success.

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 Make Your Emails Go Viral”
July 14, 2015 at 11am ET (8am PT)

With Chad White, Research Director, Litmus (@chadswhite)
And Justine Jordan, Marketing Director, Litmus (@meladorri)

>> Register for this Free Webinar

Shopping Cart Abandonment Gamesmanship

Read the full article on InternetRetailer.comConsumers are smart. If you play games, they will figure them out, exploit them, and then tell their friends.

In this Internet Retailer article, Don Davis looks at the results of a Shop+ survey that shows that shoppers—especially millennials—are crafty deal-seekers. For instance, 47% of consumers ages 18-34, and 37% of all shoppers, intentionally leave items in an online shopping cart in hopes that the retailer will come back with a better offer.

I spoke with Don for that article, explaining why offering incentives in shopping cart abandonment emails is a bad practice:

“The biggest problems with including incentives in shopping cart abandonment emails is that they train customers to delay purchases and train them to be more price-sensitive,” I said. “The former causes you to lose sales to competitors, while the later causes you to give away margin needlessly.”

I recommend using cart abandonment emails as a service tool, rather than a promotional tool, in order to avoid teaching your customers bad habits that cost you money. For instance…

>> Read the full article on InternetRetailer.com

8 Keys to Making Your Emails Go Viral

Direct Marketing News“It’s the scatter shot of social versus that sniper bullet of the forward.” That’s how I described the difference between the reach-maximizing social share and the conversion-maximizing email forward in an interview with Elyse Dupré of Direct Marketing News about the findings of our Viral Email report.

We spoke at length about the report, which analyzed 400,000+ emails to uncover the secrets of email virality, and today Elyse shared her eight key takeaways for how to make your emails go viral:

  1. Start by taking a look at your email editorial calendar.
  2. Concentrate on subscribers’ hierarchy of needs.
  3. Know what kind of virality you’re hoping to achieve.
  4. Make it clear that you’re doing something special.
  5. Include a SWYN call-to-action button.
  6. Narrow down your audience.
  7. Keep your content simple.
  8. Know what types of email are most virality-prone.

>> Read the full article on DMNews.com

Read the full post on Litmus.comTriggered emails have a reputation for being ‘set it and forget it” programs. Unfortunately, that’s just not true, and it’s becoming less and less true every day.

As we discuss in our recent “Designed for Success” webinar, there are two compelling reasons to regularly update your triggered emails: (1) quality assurance and (2) optimization.

Because email operates in a dynamic environment of email clients, browsers, and devices and because business goals and assets routinely change, you need to regularly review your emails to avoid:

  • Broken links/redirects and old navigation links
  • Out-of-date logo and branding
  • Out-of-date messaging (benefits, options, etc.)
  • Faulty trigger logic
  • Broken rendering and functionality because of code support changes at ISPs

Optimization is always important, but it is particularly so right now with triggered emails because of the explosive trend of expanding single triggered emails into a series of emails. That means there’s now much more to test, optimize, and update, such as…

  • The number of emails in the series
  • The conditions in which the next email in the series is sent (or not sent)
  • The timing of not only the first email in the series, but of all the subsequent ones
  • The messaging in each email in the series and how they interact with each other

>> Read the entire post on Litmus.com

>> Watch our “Designed for Success” webinar now

Download The Viral Email reportWe tend to associate “going viral” with social media—in part because it’s relatively easy to see and measure the very public noise of social sharing in terms of likes, favorites, and retweets. However, the much quieter email forward is often a much more powerful influencer.

In our latest research report, The Viral Email, we used Litmus’ Email Analytics to better understand the quiet, often invisible influence of email forwards by analyzing the forwards generated by more than 400,000 email sends. Once we had a good view of the full spectrum of email forwarding and had constructed benchmarks around forward-to-open rates, we analyzed more than 200 emails from among the top 1% of viral emails and another 200-plus emails from around the 50th percentile.

We looked at the tactics and topics of these two groups of emails and compared them—identifying those elements that increase forward-to-open rates. The findings—some of which were truly surprising—highlight a number of opportunities that email marketers have to increase how much their emails are passed along.

>> Download The Viral Email report

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