Read all of Chad's Marketing Land columnsMainly driven by increases in broadcast messages, per subscriber email volume has increased at more than a 15% compound annual growth rate over the past decade. It’s an impressive growth streak—and a testament to consumers’ strong preference for brands to communicate with them via email versus other channels. It’s also a streak I think is about to end.

In my latest Marketing Land column, I discuss how the sea change that’s occurring in email marketing is that triggered and transactional emails are accounting for more and more of channel revenue. For some brands, revenue from these emails—which include welcome, browse and cart abandonment, birthday, post-purchase, and order confirmation emails—already account for the majority of their email marketing revenue. In the not-too-distant future, great email marketing programs will be defined by passing this milestone.

There’s just one thing holding back more brands from achieving this: an over-reliance on broadcast emails.

Here are 4 reasons an over-emphasis on broadcast emails may be impeding your ability to transition to an email program where your revenue is driven by triggered emails…

>> Read the entire column on

The Email Opportunist“Email’s greatest strengths often double as its greatest weaknesses,” says DM News’ Ginger Conlon in the introduction to The Email Opportunist. “Fortunately, savvy marketers can overcome the latter to capitalize on the former.”

I was among the 16 experts interviewed for this report on the channel’s greatest strengths and weaknesses. In a nutshell, I said that “Email’s greatest strength is that it’s the most used one-to-one marketing channel” and that “email’s greatest weakness is that it’s an open platform controlled by many companies.”

Check out the report for my full thoughts on how to capitalize on email marketing’s strength and minimize its weakness. Also check out the thoughts of the other 15 experts, in particular those of Daniel Burstein of MECLABS Institute, Loren McDonald of Silverpop, and Ben Ardito of Epsilon.

>> Download “The Email Opportunist”

The Last Word on September 2015

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

3 Market Forces to Master in the Pursuit of the Individual Customer (Adweek)

How The New York Times Gets 70% Email Open Rates (Contently)

How Much Revenue Does Email Drive? (eMarketer)

Consumers Refuse to Be Part of the Same Crop [Infographic] (DM News)

5 Holiday Shopping Trends to Watch in 2015 (Think with Google)

Hybrid Collapsible Menu For Email (FreshInbox)

DMARC: Monitor & secure your email delivery (Postmark)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@iamacyborg: Data-shamed, economists are turning an influential email into an experiment about bias #Emailgeeks #Emaildesign

@EmailSnarketing: The pope’s visit is really just a segmented lapsed members re-engagement campaign

@LisaMDick: Spend 10-15% of your time exploring new things to do. Love the encouragement to really think! #CUG15

Noteworthy subject lines

Expedia, 9/1 — Labor Day car-rental deals, 9/2 — September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Show Your Support and Save 20% OFF Sitewide!
Pier 1 Imports, 9/2 — Because Santa can’t do it alone.
Tiny Prints, 9/20 — Introducing Our 2015 Holiday Collection
Lego, 9/2 — Count down to the holidays with Lego® Advent Calendars!
Victoria’s Secret, 9/14 — Flash sale! 9-11pm EST tonight
Hayneedle, 9/11 — Office-bedroom ideas + porch seating, wine racks & more.
Express, 9/14 — 1 red suit, 5 ways to wear it.
Gander Mountain, 9/11 — Columbia – Gear That Is Versatabulous.
Barneys New York, 9/17 — Spend and You Shall Receive: Purple Card is Happening Now
Drs. Foster & Smith, 9/11 — Is your pet at risk for Urinary Incontinence?
Walmart, 9/17 — Which college has the most spirit? Watch the video.
GNC, 9/2 — Are You in the 90%? Find Out & Save BIG on Top Brands
AutoAnything, 9/1 — Products You Love + Free Shipping = No Regrets
The Museum of Modern Art, 9/9 — Be the first to see Picasso Sculpture
Restoration Hardware, 9/3 — Introducting RH TEEN. Arriving Soon.
Apple, 9/24 — iPhone 6s. Get it at the Apple Store tomorrow.
Horchow, 9/9 — OOPS! We’ve fixed the problem. Don’t miss 25%-30% off entire site!
Neiman Marcus, 9/11 — Oops! The site is back up: Up to 75% OFF is now extended!
Neiman Marcus, 9/12 — Be one of our Spring 2016 Faces of Beauty!
Applebee’s, 9/16 — Chad, Will you be featured on our Instagram?
Gander Mountain, 9/2 — Sign Up for Text Alerts from Gander Mountain – Special In-Store Offer!
Express, 9/17 — Street style inspired by #NYFW + 20% off just for texting us!
Dunkin’ Donuts, 9/2 — Chad, Update Your Dunkin’ app
Ann Taylor, 9/14 — Don’t Skip This Email…

New posts on

Email Is Vital to a Sharing Strategy

Infographic: Creating Memorable, Shareworthy Email Experiences

The Pros & Cons of the New ‘Block’ Button from Gmail

4 Characteristics of Contextually Aware Emails

‘The Email Episode’ of Salesforce’s new Marketing Cloudcast

The Benefits and Challenges of Interactive Emails

The Last Word on August 2015

How Our Live Twitter Feed Email ImplodedYou may have heard the triumphant story of how we embedded a live dynamic Twitter feed in our “Save the Date” email for The Email Design Conference (TEDC), but what you haven’t heard is the story about how it all went wrong when we pressed “send” the first time.

In addition to sharing this story, we highlight 5 things that email marketers can learn from our mistake:

  1. Recognize that your ESP is potentially an active player in how your emails render.
  2. Monitor other channels after sending an email.
  3. If you can recognize a serious mistake quickly, pause the campaign.
  4. Once you have a fix, double- and triple-check it.
  5. When a mistake seriously impacts conversions, brand image, or the subscriber experience, resend the email with a brief apology at the top.

>> Get the full story on the Litmus blog

>> Share an email marketing mistake you made and the lessons learned


Email Is Vital to a Sharing Strategy

Getting the Most from Your Email ContentWhen you want your customers to share their experiences with your brand, you should not just be thinking about social. You should think about email as well.

In Getting the Most from Your Email Content, ClickZ’s Susan Kuchinskas shares details from Sperry’s Odyssey Project, which created individually tailored adventures for nearly 80 people in exchange for them sharing their experiences with their followers via Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram, YouTube—and, yes, email.

In the article, I shared some tips from Litmus’ Viral Email report that marketers can use to increase the viral effectiveness of their messages, including advice about design, content, and the role of targeting.

>> Read the full article on


How-to-Create-Memorable-Shareworthy-Email-Experiences400All marketers want to create relevant experiences for their email subscribers, but unfortunately the vast majority are not succeeding on a regular basis, according to joint research by Litmus and Fluent. We asked US consumers if they’d received a memorable promotional email in the past 2 months from any of the brands they subscribed to and only 21% said that they had.

Our new infographic, Creating Memorable, Shareworthy Email Experiences, shares the full results of our consumer survey. It also identifies specific tactics that marketers can use to create more memorable, shareworthy emails, drawing upon our recent research into mobile-friendly email and landing page trends and into viral email behavior.

>> View the infographic on the Litmus Blog

Gmail’s New ‘Block’ Option: Pros and Cons for MarketersGmail rolled out new “block” functionality to all Gmail webmail users yesterday, giving consumers yet another option to rid their inboxes of email they don’t want. On the surface, that might not sound like a great thing for marketers, but it’s not as bad as it sounds.

This option is just one of many that Gmail users have for getting rid of emails they don’t want, which also include deleting, unsubscribing, reporting as spam, and reporting as phishing. “Block” sits right in between “Unsubscribe” and “Report Spam” on the severity spectrum.

For marketers, the upside is that the new “block” option should reduce spam complaints because some subscribers who would have previously clicked “report spam” will now click “block” instead. The downside is that the “block” button may have created a new lower bar for ISP intervention, so some subscribers who might have previously clicked “unsubscribe” will now click “block” instead.

There are 4 ways email marketers can minimize the downside of this new development…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus Blog

4 Characteristics of Contextually Aware Emails

Read all of Chad's Marketing Land columns“Email is the most contextual medium—much more than the web,” Kevin Mandeville, Litmus’ content designer, said during a targeting and hacks workshop at The Email Design Conference in Boston last week. “We know much more about our users.”

Kevin was speaking mostly about marketers’ ability to target email clients like Outlook and Yahoo with various coding hacks, but when you think about email marketing on a program level, what he said is even truer.

Contextually aware systems are ones that can sense their environment and adapt their behavior accordingly. Email does this extremely well.

In my latest Marketing Land column, I discuss the four characteristics of a contextually aware system…

  1. Identity & Activity
  2. Time
  3. Location
  4. Device and Email Client

…and explain how email marketers can take advantage of each characteristic to create more relevant emails. I also include several examples of brands that have used contextual awareness in their email programs.

>> Read the entire column on

Salesforce Marketing CloudcastI was honored to be one of the first guests on Salesforce’s new podcast, the Marketing Cloudcast, which is hosted by my friends Heike Young and Joel Book. The podcast is available on Soundcloud and via iTunes.

In “The Email Episode: Giving Email a Little Respect,” we talk about:

  • What I do at Litmus and how I got started in email marketing
  • Why marketers have struggled with mobile
  • How engagement-based filtering has changed deliverability
  • How marketers can use data to create more engaging subscriber experiences
  • Which brands I have a “brand crush” on
  • The awesome power of triggered messaging
  • Who has had the biggest influence on how I think about email marketing
  • And much more…

>> Listen to the Marketing Cloudcast

Fast Company - Shop, Play Games, And Check Twitter—From Your InboxHow to bring interactivity to email—and whether we should—was a major topic at The Email Design Conference last month. In this article, Fast Company talks with Justine Jordan and I and others in the industry about the benefits and challenges of interactive emails.

I summed up the benefits of bringing video, carousels, product browsing, checkout, and other web functionality to email in terms of reducing friction in the subscriber experience:

“Every year, people are in more and more of a hurry, and that definitely is the case with email users. If you can give them something actually in the email that’s actionable, they’re way more likely to engage with that, versus forcing them to click through to a website where they have to regain their bearings and find the things that they’re interested in.”

The challenges were much harder to sum up, but largely boil down to uneven support across email clients because of the lack of accepted email coding standards. To see what Mark Robbins of RebelMail, Justin Khoo of FreshInbox, Kraig Swensrud of Campaign Monitor, and others said…

>> Read the entire article on


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