Burnt Hand Deliverability Practices

Burnt Hand Deliverability PracticesBrands tend not to spend much time thinking about their deliverability until it’s on fire and many or all of their emails are being blocked. Faced with huge losses of revenue and engagement, brands then rush to try to do the right things to get back in the good graces of inbox providers and blacklist operators.

Don’t wait until you have deliverability problems to do the right things. Instead, learn from your peers who neglected their email list and infrastructure and watched it go up in flames.

In the course of doing our 2017 State of Email Deliverability research, we noticed an interesting pattern: Many of the technologies and behaviors that are known to improve deliverability are actually used at higher rates by brands that have been blacklisted in the past 12 months than by brands that haven’t been.

For the list of practices and full details…

>> Read the entire post on the Litmus blog

Preview text is the third leg of the inbox stool, and a great many brands are delivering some rickety, off-balance inbox experiences because they’re not paying enough attention to their preview text.

In this SlideShare deck, we highlight eight preview text mistakes that are undermining customer experiences in the inbox, sharing real-world examples of each one:

  1. Having Unoptimized ALT Text Pulled into Your Preview Text
  2. Having Your Code Show
  3. Forgetting to Replace Preheader Placeholder Text
  4. Using Unsupported Characters
  5. Having Broken Personalization
  6. Having Your Preview Text Get Truncated Awkwardly
  7. Having Jarringly Poor Subject Line-Preview Text Alignment
  8. Not Even Trying to Optimize Your Preview Text

We also share a 4-point action list that can help you ensure that your brand always makes a great impression in the inbox and delivers a clear, distraction-free message.

>> Read the post and view the slides on the Litmus blog

Defensive design consists of design techniques that allow an email to communicate its message effectively when images are blocked.

The most common defensive design tactics include:

  1. HTML text, as opposed to graphical text that embedded in images
  2. ALT text, which is text that appears in the place of your images when they are blocked
  3. Styled ALT text, where you change the default size, color, style, and other attributes of your ALT text
  4. Background colors that you apply to table cells
  5. Mosaic pixel art, where you use background colors on elaborate table cell structures to create 8-bit art style images

This slide deck shares real-world examples of how to use these tactics to improve the email experience for those whose email clients block the images in their emails and those who choose to disable the images in the emails they receive.

The Last Word on July 2017

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Why no one has ‘re-invented’ email yet (Mashable)

Thou Shalt Not Rent Email Lists: An Interview with Adestra’s Ryan Phelan (MediaPost)

Amazon sent nearly 700 million promotion emails on Prime Day (Digital Commerce 360)

US shoppers are OK sharing data so retailers can improve personalization, but they have limits (Digital Commerce 360)

Why CMOs Never Last (Harvard Business Review)

Nearly Half of Consumers Feel They Receive Too Many Marketing Emails (Inc.)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Sony Electronics, 7/11 — Big Sony Savings this Amazon Prime Day | The Clock is Ticking
MAC Cosmetics, 7/11 — PRIME Your Makeup With These Essentials. Plus Free 2-Day Shipping!
Clinique, 7/11 — Prime picks: 4 FREE with purchase.
Jos. A. Bank, 7/11 — Super Tuesday: $199 Summer Suits & 2/$79 Traveler Dress Shirts
GapKids, 7/1 — Now open: The Uniform Shop
Neiman Marcus, 7/30 — Back-to-school prep starts now
RH, 7/2 — The Salvaged Wood Collection. Watch the Film Featuring Timothy Oulton.
Banana Republic, 7/ 26 — Introducing the new Rapid Movement Chino
Lands’ End, 7/20 — Our sunscreen won’t wash off + 40% off
Barney New York, 7/6 — 8 Essentials For Summer Skin
Nike, 7/29 — 5 Sandals for Summer
ToysRUs & BabiesRUs, 7/13 — Don’t Forget: July 15 is Geoffrey’s Day!
Hasbro, 7/26 — Join the FANmily at Hascon
Cold Stone Creamery, 7/1 — Hungry for Shark Week?
Wayfair, 7/15 — Looking at a lackluster space? This email is for you
The Container Store, 7/16 — Which Side Will You Choose?
ASPCA, 7/21 — Is Breaking the Window Breaking the Law?
Drs. Foster and Smith, 7/17 — Free Shipping No Minimum – Today Only! Use Code JULYFREE
JCPenney, 7/30 — Night owls, unite! Extra 30% off until 2 a.m.
Victoria’s Secret, 7/9 — How Josephine does the gym thing
Feeding America, 7/13 — A “lunch-shaming roll call”
NFLshop, 7/21 — Legendary Career = Legendary Gear
Woot, 7/26 — Our legal team said it was ok to send this…
Tiny Prints, 7/11 — Come Explore Our New Home!
Threadless, 7/11 — Your ideas need an online store.
Carnival Cruise Line, 7/22 — Your Vacation Snapshot: #EnsenadaMexico
Banana Republic, 7/17 — We love how YOU style this shirt
Ann Taylor, 7/17 — !!!!!!! YES !!!!!!!

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

Sending Remarkable Email: A SendGrid Interview with Chad White

How to Nurture Email Marketing Innovation

Infographic: 2017 Shopping Cart Abandonment Email Trends

Report: 2017 State of Email Deliverability

I’m a Who in Phrasee’s ‘Who to Follow’ Series

Many Marketers Feel Under-Supported and Disrespected

The 5 Most Problematic Subscriber Acquisition Sources

The Marketing Book Podcast: “Email Marketing Rules” by Chad S. White

Webinar Recording + Q&A: Building Successful Email Workflows

How to Get Buy-In for Email Marketing Projects

The Last Word on June 2017

Read the SendGrid interviewThe great folks at SendGrid have been longtime supporters of my books, so I was extra thrilled to sit down and chat with SendGrid CMO Scott Heimes about the 3rd Edition of “Email Marketing Rules.” During our chat, we discussed:

  • Our mutual background in journalism
  • What inspired me to write the 1st Edition of “Email Marketing Rules”
  • What has changed from the 1st to the 3rd Edition
  • How marketers can fulfill the Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs
  • How brands can create remarkable email experiences

For all of the details,…

>> Read the interview on the SendGrid blog

How to Nurture Email Marketing Innovation

5 Tactics for Nuturing Email InnovationIt’s not enough just to find and retain talented email marketers. To create successful email marketing programs, brands also need to create an environment that fosters email marketing innovation, so you can avoid falling behind.

Brands can do that through a variety of methods. Litmus spoke to email veterans at Adobe, Barkley, RAPP, Shaw + Scott, and Yes Lifecycle Marketing about this issue. They had some great advice for structural and operational changes that support email marketing innovation, including:

  1. Making data-driven decisions
  2. Having a culture of testing
  3. Rewarding performance increases
  4. Fostering accountability and ownership
  5. Encouraging inter-departmental collaboration

For all the details on each of these tactics,…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

2017 Shopping Cart Abandonment Email TrendsThe majority of online shoppers abandon their shopping baskets. Some return on their own and convert, and some will never convert no matter what. However, some of those cart abandoners benefit from a nudge from a well-timed and smartly messaged shopping cart abandonment email.

Whether you currently have a cart abandonment email or not, you probably wonder exactly what you should put in it and how quickly after abandonment should you send it.

Multi-year joint research between Litmus and Salesforce Marketing Cloud answers all of your questions about the trends around:

  • The post-trigger delay in sending these emails
  • The use of a series of cart abandonment emails
  • Highlighting the item(s) abandoned in the email and its subject line
  • The recommendation of alternative products
  • The inclusion of seasonal messaging

We summarize our findings in an infographic that we hope will help inform you on how you build out your shopping cart abandonment email so it effectively serves your customers and generates stellar returns.

>> View the infographic on the Litmus Blog

Report: 2017 State of Email Deliverability

2017 State of Email DeliverabilityEmail marketers can be successful in spite of deliverability problems, but why take the hard path? Make your life easier by avoiding the behaviors that lead to trouble in the first place.

After surveying more than 3,500 marketers, we’ve identified the practices that clearly lower email marketers’ risks of being blocked or blacklisted, as well as those that absolutely raise those risks—sometimes dramatically.

In our first annual State of Email Deliverability report, we look at the deliverability ramifications of marketers’:

  • Subscriber acquisition sources
  • Permission practices
  • Authentication
  • List-unsubscribe and encryption usage
  • Deliverability and list hygiene tools
  • Inactivity management
  • Deliverability monitoring and analytics

The 29-page ebook explores each of these findings and much more, with 25 charts providing data-based evidence of current practices and trends that impact email deliverability.

Use the results to benchmark your own acquisition, list hygiene, and deliverability practices, and to identify opportunities to improve your program. Share this report’s findings with your company’s leadership to help advocate for more resources or changes in practices.

>> Download the free report

Phrasee's Who to FollowI’m excited to be the latest to be interviewed for Phrasee’s fun ‘Who to Follow’ Series. We talk about the new edition of my book, Email Marketing Rules, and where email marketers go wrong with metrics and subject lines. We also talk about what the future holds for email marketers and how AI will impact their jobs.

In addition to all that serious stuff, I reveal a little trivia about myself, including:

  • My dream job as a child
  • My favorite food
  • My guilty pleasure
  • The story behind my kids’ super-awesome middle names

Go for the valuable insights, stay for the Chad trivia.

>> Read the interview on the Phrasee blog

Many Marketers Feel Under-Supported and DisrespectedWhile most brands have been steadily increasing their investments in their email marketing programs, many email marketers don’t feel adequately supported. That’s unfortunate for both marketers and brands, because resourcing levels are highly predictive of email program success.

But the concerns go beyond email marketers just feeling under-supported. In some cases, they feel disrespected by the management at their companies. Too many have been forced to do things in their email program that they strongly disagree with, and a shocking number personally know someone who has been fired over an email marketing mistake.

In exploring this issue, we polled marketers about how well resourced their email programs are, how well staffed they are, whether they’d been forced by management to do things they strongly disagreed with, and how well leadership at their company understands email marketing. Plus, we spoke with marketing experts from Adesta, Email Optimization Shop, Merkle, and Shaw + Scott to try to better understand the causes of these problems and how they can be fixed.

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

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