Smart InsightsEmail marketing veteran Mark Brownlow knows more about email than just about anyone else. That’s why he was one of the people I turned to help edit both editions of my book. In his latest post for Smart Insights, he shares which of the 120 rules in my book he thinks are the most important.

In addition to sharing some exclusive quotes, he adds some of his own perspective based on what he’s seen and extensive client work he’s done. Don’t miss his thoughts on what are the most important best practices to follow, including one that’s especially relevant as we head into the heart of the holiday season.

>> See his top 5 picks

>> Check out all 120 email marketing rules and tweet your favorites

Your sender name has the biggest impact on whether subscribers open and engage with your emails or not. The vast majority of marketers do a great job of using the same sender name consistently to ensure they’re recognized in the inbox.

Your subject line has the second largest impact. Because of its importance, subject lines are the most tested of any email element.

However, there is a third element of an email’s envelope content that impacts subscriber engagement: snippet text. This appears beside or beneath the subject line of an email in the inbox view of the native iPhone email app, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and other email clients. In most regards, it acts like a second subject line.

I looked at how well 148 B2C brands were optimizing this important email element and found that there are clear opportunities for marketers to do better, especially since optimizing it is as simple as writing a subject line. Here’s what you need to know:

Optimizing the Second Subject Line infographic

Read the full interview on ClickZInbox by Gmail is the latest email innovation by Google to get marketers wringing their hands and worrying about how their programs will be affected. To help determine its impact on marketers, BrightWave CEO Simms Jenkins interviewed Ryan Phelan of Acxiom, Jay Jhun of BrightWave, and myself about the new app.

In this second in a two-part series, Simms asks us:

What advice do you have for email marketers that may be panicking because of Inbox or ready to seize the new opportunities presented?

After a decade of inbox staleness, the email channel has evolved quite a bit over the past few years – what’s next?

>> Read our answers on

>> Check out Part 1 of the interview.

120 Email Marketing Rules to Live By

Email marketing offers unparalleled reach, acceptance, and effectiveness. Going hand-in-hand with that, however, is that it’s a well-established channel with well-defined norms and behaviors.

In Part 1 of my book, Email Marketing Rules, I break down email marketing into 120 easy-to-understand rules, the first 11 of which are essential to follow while the remaining 109 are highly recommended. While I go into detail about each rule in the book, I’ve pulled out the top-line rules here in this presentation.  Use it as a checklist to see if your program is on the right track and tweet your favorite rules.

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 October, we predicted that major retailers would send their active subscribers 19 promotional emails. That prediction was extremely close to the actual, as our panel of more than 100 major retailers sent their subscribers 18.9 emails on average last month.

In November, we’re expecting retailers to send their active subscribers around 22 promotional emails each. The amount of holiday messaging has already accelerated very noticeably in the early days of this month and by the week of Black Friday it will be dominant.

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

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsIn my latest Email Insider column for MediaPost, I argue that it’s time to expand the paid-owned-earned (POE) media model to include granted media and leased media, creating new categories for channels like email, SMS/MMS, and social media.

Currently those digital channels are slotted under owned media, which is content created by the brand that’s distributed to an audience developed by the brand via a closed platform controlled by the brand. That doesn’t accurately describe those channels.

Social media is better defined as leased media, which is content created by the brand that’s distributed to an audience developed by the brand via a closed platform controlled by a single third party.

And, as I argue in Email Marketing Rules, SMS/MMS and in particular email marketing are better classified as granted media, which is content created by the brand that’s distributed to an audience developed by the brand via an open platform controlled by multiple third parties.

>> Read my entire column on

The Last Word for October 2014

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus: How will email be affected? (Alchemy Worx)

Google’s responsive email moment, #letsfixemail and more at Inbox Love 2014 (Campaign Monitor)

‘I’m Mad as Hell…': My Top Email Marketing Pet Peeves (MediaPost)

How does email file size affect deliverability? (Email on Acid)

2014 Only Influencers Email Marketing Salary Guide Results (Only Influencers)

Two Critical But Often Overlooked Email Marketing Metrics (ClickZ)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@iamelliot: if you put Windows 95 on a smartwatch, I think it knocks off the word ‘smart’

@SandiSolow: I have a new first name! Thanks, @klout!  #hellonull

@DirectIQ: When asked to opt-in to receive updates from a company, 10% elected to do so through Facebook, 90% through #email newsletters. Via: @NNgroup

@jeremywaite: Big data is like oil used to be. It’s a new asset class and like oil; once it is refined, it can be used to do many wonderful things #GDS14

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

American Apparel sends segmented email to night owls >> View the pin

Barcelona FC segments welcome emails by country >> View the pin

Broad Ripple Animal Clinic personalizes email with pet’s name >> View the pin

Mazda sends post-purchase email to drive app downloads and increase customer satisfaction >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Tiny Prints, 10/30 — 50% Off Address Labels & Gift Tags All Weekend
MoMA Store, 10/24 — Top accessories for holiday travel
Home Depot, 10/23 — Holiday Updates: Budget-Friendly Edition
SkyMall, 10/24 — Holiday Entertaining Made Easy!
West Elm, 10/10 — Company coming? Save on sleepers!
The Container Store, 10/24 — Gift Wrap Wonderland is in store!
Restoration Hardware, 10/24 — The 2014 Holiday Collection. 200+ Pages of Inspired Ideas.
Home Depot, 10/30 — NEW! Trees | Décor | Wreaths | And More!
Peet’s Coffee & Tea, 10/8 — A Preview of Holiday Blend is Here for a Limited Time
Horchow, 10/2 — NEW finds for your dream bedroom + NEW MacKenzie-Childs for the holidays‏
Pier 1 Imports, 10/1 — It’s our ornament sale—we trimmed the price on tree trimmings.‏
Clinique, 10/2 — Sneak Peek: Holiday Gift Sets
Sephora, 10/1 — Holiday sets are here + a deluxe tarte mini‏
TigerDirect, 10/31 — 50 Eye-popping Black Friday Deals‏, 10/24 — Black Friday Starts Now…Wait, What?
Lenovo, 10/3 — Black Friday (in October) starts now.‏
Lenovo, 10/30 — Doorbusters – no knocking required.
Michaels, 10/7 — Make a Spooky Tulle Wreath in 3 Simple Steps
Blue Nile, 10/16 — Mrs + Mrs / Mr + Mr / Mr + Mrs‏
Adidas, 10/22 — Movember is Coming‏
J.Crew, 10/19 — The 1,440-minute sale starts now‏
REI, 10/24 — Train Through Shorter Days with Lighting Gear
Lululemon, 10/24 — your own personal flash mob‏
Lego, 10/14 — Join the LEGO® VIP Program today!
Walgreens, 10/22 — Apple Pay is here.‏

New posts on

Inbox by Gmail: 3 Experts Share Their Thoughts on Its Impact

6 Winning Email Marketing Best Practices

Google’s New Inbox App: What It Means for Marketers

Tweetables from Dreamforce 2014

Holiday Predictions: This Year’s Email Marketing Twists

September Review & October Preview for the 2014 Email Marketing Holiday Calendar

The Last Word on September 2014

Read the full interview on ClickZGoogle has been innovating furiously around its email products over the past two years with their latest release being Inbox by Gmail, which is a new mobile email app. To help determine its impact on marketers, BrightWave CEO Simms Jenkins interviewed Ryan Phelan of Acxiom, Jay Jhun of BrightWave, and myself about the new app.

In this first of a two-part series, Simms asks us:

What is your impression of inbox? Major game changer to all who use and love email or cute enhancements that won’t change many things on marketing or consumer side?

Bundles and Highlights seem pretty cool for the end user? What do you think these mean for the email marketer?

>> Read our answers on

6 Winning Email Marketing Best Practices

Smart InsightsOffering up copies of my book to the winners, Dave Chaffey of Smart Insights asked marketers to share their favorite email marketing best practices. We got a lot of great submissions, but after some deliberation Dave and I, along with Tim Watson of Zettasphere, were able to narrow the field down to our three favorites, plus three honorable mentions.

The best practices we selected were focused around personalization, email design, testing, onboarding, and inactivity—all of which are important aspects of email marketing. Check out these tips and let them inspire your next initiative or next test.

>> See our picks along with our reasoning

Thanks to everyone who participated.

Google Inbox appGoogle continues to place a huge emphasis on innovating around the email inbox, announcing a new email app simply called Inbox. This move follows the wider rollout of a native unsubscribe link, turning on images by default with image caching, introducing grid view, and launching Gmail Tabs—all in the last year and a half.

The Inbox app’s two most compelling elements are Bundles and Highlights. Bundles allows users to group emails together for viewing. That apparently also includes grouping emails—such as promotional emails—so that they only arrive once a week, for instance.

Highlights is Google’s new, highly disruptive spin on snippet or preview text. When appropriate, it will show images, not just text—and more importantly, it will show content that’s not actually in the email in some cases. For example, using Google’s search expertise, an email about a package delivery could show you the real-time status of that delivery, even if the email doesn’t contain that information. Given this change, we should probably start calling it snippet content or preview content, not text.

For a full discussion of what these features mean for email marketers…

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


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