Join Justine Jordan and me at Salesforce Connections on June 17 at 2:45pm where we’ll be sharing insights from our upcoming report on The Viral Email. We’ll be sharing benchmarks on email forwarding behavior, insights into what causes subscribers to forward emails, and real-world examples of emails from the top 1% of viral emails.

We hope to see you in New York City on June 17!

>> Register for Connections

Litmus speaking at Salesforce Connections

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsWhile all of the buzz around the $4.4 billion Verizon-AOL deal is about adding more content, video, and ad generation to the mobile company’s distribution platform, the acquisition will also likely affect email marketers.

AOL is one of the oldest and most experienced inbox providers and, in terms of webmail rendering, is one of the absolute best. Verizon also operates email inboxes under the Verizon and FiOS brand names. Expect consolidation of these systems.

However, on the mobile email side of the equation, AOL is not very strong. Expect Verizon to fix that by bringing their mobile savvy to the table.

With a little investment and some smart marketing, Verizon could likely double AOL’s current email client market share and start to get into the race with Google and Microsoft.

>> Read the entire column on MediaPost.com

Read this entire post on the Cloud.IQ blogDespite being highly effective, adoption of shopping cart abandonment emails is still low and growing slowly. Only 23% of major retailers sent a shopping cart abandonment email, as of December 2014, according to Salesforce Marketing Cloud research. That’s up from 20% adoption in December 2013.

However, what is growing very quickly is the adoption of cart abandonment email series. Among those retailers using cart abandonment emails in December 2014, 50% sent a series of emails, up from just 19% the previous year.

Sending a series of cart abandonment emails gives brands more opportunities to convert carts into orders. However, many brands are largely sending the same messaging over and over.

In this guest post for Cloud.IQ, I recommend using the additional touches of a cart abandonment email series to try to address different needs and desires that are keeping customers from checking out—and in particular, I encourage you to swap out the middle message in your 3-email cart abandonment series and create what I call the cart abandonment email “sandwich.” To make one of these sandwiches…

>> Read the entire article on the Cloud.IQ blog

Chad White on InternetRetailer.comEmail marketing excels at driving sales. That’s in large part due to consumers’ overwhelmingly preference to receive deals, discounts, and other promotions via email rather than through other channels. However, there are very real dangers to being overly promotional with your email messaging mix.

In this column for Internet Retailer, I discuss what’s driving these risks up and what the consequences are. I also talk about the following soft-sell tactics and share real-world examples of each:

  • Education. For many products, consumers don’t know they need it until they’re educated about the product or about the circumstances that drive its need.
  • How-To. Similar to education, how-to advice is rather critical for suppliers of raw materials, like home improvement stores and art supplies stores.
  • News & Information. News and other updates can keep subscribers engaged with the product category that’s key to your business.
  • Social Interactions. Part of what becomes grating about promotional emails is that it’s always the brand talking at the subscriber. By leveraging social interactions, you can bring the voice of your customers into your messaging.
  • Cause Marketing & Branding Building. What does your company care about besides selling things?

>> Read the entire article on InternetRetailer.com

The Last Word on April 2015

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Email Marketers Are Failing to Engage New Subscribers (Direct Marketing News)

Use Email To Overcome The Customer ‘Experience Void’ (MediaPost)

On the dubious merits of email verification services (Spamhaus)

The Ultimate Guide to Preview Text Support (Litmus)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@emailskinny: .@Intuit @TurboTax playing fast & loose with CAN SPAM prohibition of misleading subject lines. #FAIL http://t.co/d4wNJmabN4

@stylecampaign: Gmail doing a number on Hillary’s welcome… pic.twitter.com/4Xxkyh9YKK

@SalesforceDeliv: Which ISPs have FBLs, postmaster pages, etc? @wise_laura covers that here: sforce.co/1cvOEhS ^Al

@wise_laura: .@hajududat @litmusapp Using any public URL shortener in an email means trusting your delivery reputation to a 3rd party you don’t control

@jvanrijn: Can’t sleep because of something that is too awesome? #Awesomnia.

Noteworthy subject lines

Vera Bradley, 4/29 — Pick a Straw, any Straw…
Blue Nile, 4/22 — Power Couple: Your Love. Our Rings.
Godiva Chocolatier, 4/22 — Redeem Your Rewards Before They Expire!
Horchow, 4/13 — Annie Selke redefines luxury & shares her faves on Pinterest
NFLshop, 4/30 — With the 32nd pick, the New England Patriots select Malcolm Brown!
NFL, 4/22 — Don’t Miss the 2015 NFL Draft. Set Reminders Now!
NFLshop, 4/22 — Patriots 2015 Schedule RELEASED + All Orders over $50 Ship Free!
Golfsmith, 4/13 — Celebrate Jordan Spieth’s Win with 15% Off!
Barneys New York, 4/29 — Mum’s the Word: Shop the Chicest Mother’s Day Gifts
Zulily, 4/22 — Give Earth a hug with Seventh Generation, Burt’s Bees Baby, Green Toys and more!
Lands’ End, 4/22 — Join us in recognizing Earth’s big day
Threadless, 4/22 — Buy a tee, we’ll plant a tree
Banana Republic, 4/13 — Hate taxes? Open this ASAP.
Overstock, 4/1 — Are You the Victim of an April Fools’ Prank?
Zulily, 4/1 — Last-minute 30-second prank inside‏
ModCloth, 4/1 — In the pursuit of cute, we’re changing our name to “ModSloth.”

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

#Webinar: Join Me for “Designed for Success” at CloudIQ Summit on 5/28

How Emails Are Evolving into Mailable Microsites

I’ve Joined Litmus as Research Director

How Would An Email Tax Change Email Marketing?

Build Smarter Emails with These 5 Blueprints

April Fools’ Day Emails: Wise or Foolish?

The Last Word on March 2015

summit-justine-jordan-and-chad-white-litmusOnce your cart abandonment email program is up and running, it can be easy to ‘set it and forget it,’ letting optimization strategy fall by the wayside. But email is truly one-of-a-kind, requiring unique technical, design and maintenance considerations to keep conversion and performance high.

In our CloudIQ Summit session, “Designed for Success: Optimizing the Email Experience,” Litmus Marketing Director Justine Jordan and I will discuss…

  • Best practices and principles for mobile email
  • How to optimise the six stages of the inbox experience
  • Tips and trends for incorporating timely, seasonal messaging in your emails

…all with an eye toward cart abandonment emails, which are among the most effective emails ecommerce brands can send.

“Designed for Success: Optimizing the Email Experience”
May 28, 2015 at 10am EST (3:00pm BST)
>> Register for this free webinar

Read all of Chad White's Convince & Convert blog posts“The emails of the future will be much more like sending subscribers a microsite than a static message,” I say at the end of my book, Email Marketing Rules. Watching videos, browsing product assortments, and even making product purchases will also be possible without leaving the inbox.

When the book was published last fall, there were some definite signs of email heading in the direction of becoming mailable microsites. But in recent months, developments have accelerated. These changes will have a serious impact on how emails are designed and how email success is measured. Let’s start by looking at the new email functionality, including…

  • Product & Content Browsing
  • Navigation
  • Video
  • Live Content
  • Payments

…and then we’ll discuss the effects of these changes.

>> Read the entire post on the Convince & Convert blog

I’ve Joined Litmus as Research Director

litmus-logoI’m excited to announce that I’ve joined Litmus as their Research Director. I’ll be heading up new research initiatives and creating content that inspires email marketers to be more creative, empowers them to make better decisions, and helps them understand new developments in the industry.

As a part of the stellar research and education team that already includes Justine Jordan, Jason Rodriguez, Lauren Smith, and Kevin Mandeville, I’ll be…

  • Performing original research about email marketing tactics and trends—including looking at mobile email trends, cart abandonment emails, and email virality in the upcoming weeks
  • Speaking at The Email Design Conference (TEDC) August 26–28 in Boston and September 28–29 in London (both of which will likely sell out well ahead of time)
  • Sharing the latest email marketing trends and best practices on the Litmus Blog
  • Collaborating with our ESP and agency partners on new research and great content

If you’re unfamiliar with Litmus and their email creation, preview, troubleshooting, and analytics tools, I humbly suggest you check them out. We’ve got exciting things planned, so stay tuned!

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnsOn April Fools’ Day, Forbes ran a story about how Congress was considering a tax on email by amending the Internet Tax Freedom Act the next time it comes up for renewal. It was a great gag, and while I think there’s zero chance of any kind of email tax coming into being, it’s interesting to think about how the email marketing industry would change if some kind of tax were levied.

  • How would a tax on email be implemented?
  • How would an email tax affect deliverability?
  • Would spam be eraticated by a tax on email?
  • How would our management of inactive subscribers be affected by an email tax?

>> Read the entire column on MediaPost.com

5 Blueprints for Smart Emails_coverTransforming your emails can be a daunting task. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start, and sometimes the gap between where you are and where you want to be just seems too large to leap.

In 5 Blueprints for Building Smarter Emails, we discuss how to make impactful, incremental improvements to several common types of emails:

  1. Welcome Emails
  2. Promotional Emails
  3. Event Registration Emails
  4. Transactional Emails
  5. Cart Abandonment Emails

In each case, we talk about high-return changes you can make, and illustrate how to turn these opportunities into action with an industry-specific example.

>> Download the free guide

I also spoke about this framework for incrementally improving emails at the Salesforce World Tour in Boston yesterday. Whereas the report looks at improving certain types of emails, my presentation focused on different design, personalization, and journey tactics that would be used to improve emails.

Together, the report and the presentation give you two different approaches to gradually making your emails smarter. Here’s the slide deck for that presentation:

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