Posted on July 16, 2019
Email deliverability is constantly changing, as inbox providers adjust their filtering algorithms, blacklists tweak their listing criteria, and consumers evolve their definition of spam. That’s why even the best email marketing programs suffer deliverability problems sometimes.
To help you avoid trouble, the deliverability practice at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting (OMCC) shares the latest news and tips for what to watch out for in our inaugural Email Deliverability Quarterly.
In this post, Dan Deneweth, Heather Goff, Clea Moore, and Kent McGovern explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:
- Validity Acquires Return Path
- CCPA Likely Won’t Be Replaced by Stronger PAA
- More State Consumer Privacy Bills Brewing
- Verizon Completes Merger of Yahoo Mail and AOL Infrastructure
- Apple Mail Adds Tabs
- ‘Sign In with Apple’ Announced
For the full discussion of each of these issues…
Posted on July 8, 2019
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Is This Common Mistake Affecting Your GDPR Opt-In Rate? (Smart Insights)
Dynamic Email in Gmail Becoming Generally Available on July 2, 2019 (G Suite Updates)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
I unsubscribe from any email that fakes “Re:” or “FWD:” in the subject line. No ifs ands or buts.
— 𝔸𝕃𝔼𝕏 (@alexcwilliams) June 3, 2019
Accessibility is not a nice to have pic.twitter.com/xuVSP0ET7F
— Cher (@codehitchhiker) June 3, 2019
I’ve walked into a position that used 3rd party data… The first thing they said “we don’t know if we can trust our data”. I proved that they couldn’t trust it and it never got used. Take the time to collect first party data in a transparent way and those efforts will pay off.
— Tony Zupancic (@TonyZupancic) June 12, 2019
Remove all the links from your email newsletter–is it still valuable and informative?
No? You’ve got some work to do.
Yes? Great. You’ve earned the right to add the links back.
— John Bonini (@Bonini84) June 24, 2019
Today’s words of wisdom: Opt-outs do not expire! Do not send mail to people who opted out. You can’t decide it’s time to try mailing them again just because you want to. That’s not how this works.
— Laura Atkins (@wise_laura) June 26, 2019
Noteworthy subject lines
Everlane, 6/13 – New Styles Added: Choose What You Pay
Eddie Bauer, 6/13 – Dad Jokes + Great Gifts = Win-Win
Williams Sonoma, 6/2 – Great Gifts for Every Dad – The Griller, The Gardener, The Cook & Much More!
Walgreens Photo, 6/4 – Last chance to ship your Dad’s Day gifts!
Quiksilver, 6/2 – Your 4th Of July Get-Up Just Got Better
Williams Sonoma, 6/25 – Celebrate the 4th with Hot Dogs, Patriotic Cakes & More
Bed Bath & Beyond, 6/4 – Deck out your dorm room with all things UGG.
West Elm, 6/21 – Happy 1st day of summer! Up to 40% off outdoor furniture + decor
Ann Taylor, 6/8 – Tis The Season For White Pants
Neiman Marcus, 6/27 – Up to 30% off sunglasses! Celebrate National Sunglasses Day
J.Crew, 6/8 – What to wear to work this summer…
Banana Republic, 6/9 – The fool-proof shirt of summer
Barneys New York, 6/2 – Where To Wear: Your Vacation To-Do List
Petco, 6/22 – Bark if you need a vacation!
ASPCA, 6/18 – LIVE VOTE: Pick The Best Kitten Name!
Hayneedle, 6/18 – We polled our staff – and here are their absolute favorites for outdoor this season.
Neiman Marcus, 6/18 – Carolina Herrera’s artful new prints
Hayneedle, 6/15 – 4 design rules you can totally break.
Gap, 6/18 – Got growing kids? We’ve got tees
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/2 – Add to cart ASAP: Up to 50% off top designer picks
Target, 6/27 – Beauty deal: Spend $20, get a $5 gift card.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/6 – New beauty + complimentary yoga mat = Bring on summer
Petco, 6/6 – Whale, whale, whale, here’s 30% off
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on July 2, 2019
Build or buy? When it comes to email marketing platforms, it’s a question that brands rarely bother to ask themselves anymore because nearly everyone buys. And when brands do seriously ask themselves this question, it’s exceedingly rare for them to actually choose to go down the build road.
According to Litmus’s State of Email Survey of thousands of marketers worldwide, the percentage of brands using custom, homegrown email platforms to send marketing emails fell to just 6.1% in 2018, down from 10.9% in 2016.
Most of these homegrown email platforms are only used to send transactional emails, with traditional email service providers used to send the promotional emails that make up the vast, vast majority of their email volume. Only 34% of brands rely exclusively on a homegrown email platform to send all of their marketing emails, according to Litmus. That means that just 2% of brands use in-house email platforms to support all their email needs.
As you might expect, many of the companies that do choose to go this route are tech giants like Amazon and Uber. In fact, it’s become a not-so-funny joke that if you hire an email marketer from Amazon that they’ll want to build their own email platform. Since most companies don’t have Amazon’s scale, resources, and culture, this is a recipe for plenty of pain and suffering, if not disaster.
Let’s better understand why homegrown email platforms are dwindling and becoming the exclusive pet projects of unicorn companies by looking at the major dangers associated with homegrown email platforms…
Posted on July 1, 2019
During the 51-minute interview, we talked about a wide range of email marketing topics, including:
- The Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs
- How the paid-owned-earned (POE) media model has become outdated and doesn’t account for email marketing, as well as several other popular channels
- How to best include promotional content in transactional emails
- The need to have promotional emails, transactional emails, and corporate emails on different IP addresses and sender domains
- The recommended minimal email frequency
- Where to find your most valuable subscribers
- Sender name best practices
- Different approaches to mobile-friendly email design
- The advantages of maintaining a content calendar
- And much, much more.
Or listen wherever you get your podcasts
Posted on June 25, 2019
As a 13-year veteran of content marketing, I’m biased, but I think it’s fair to say that content marketing is a powerful way to:
- Demonstrate that your company is composed of experts in their field
- Start, shape, and contribute to valuable and important industry conversations
- Help your customers maximize their positive outcomes and avoid negative ones
- Attract and engage prospects and familiarize them with your brand
As great as content marketing is, a “build it and they will come” philosophy only gets you so far nowadays…and that’s where email marketing comes in.
Email marketing helps get your content in front of more people—specifically, your most loyal customers and most interested prospects. But email is about so much more than just content amplification. Here are some ways that email marketing makes your content marketing work harder for you…
Posted on June 18, 2019
Email marketing programs are complex three-dimensional objects. If you don’t look at them from all angles and shine a light into the nooks, you simply can’t see it all. And if you can’t fully see it, you have little hope of fully understanding it, much less optimizing and mastering it.
Unfortunately, there’s significant evidence that many brands have poor visibility into their email performance. That’s jeopardizing both customer experiences and email profitability for those brands.
In this on-demand webinar, we discuss how poor performance visibility is affecting email marketing quality assurance, return on investment, and deliverability. Along the way, we share research as well as advice from a few of the more than 500 consultants at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting—including our Senior Director of QA and Campaign Services, Simone Edmonds; Senior Strategic Consultant for Deliverability Services, Kent McGovern; and Director of Strategic Services, Kaiti Livermore. Break the cycle of your email marketing status quo.
Posted on June 4, 2019
A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Do recent changes in the ESP landscape benefit clients? IBM, Epsilon, Yes Marketing (Email Vendor Selection)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
— Beyond the Envelope™ (@Paul_Airy) May 2, 2019
If you’re sending messages from a financial institution, you shouldn’t EVER be failing authentication. ESPECIALLY if you’re asking recipients TO CLICK A LINK.
— Mickey Chandler (@mickc_pro) May 3, 2019
“I want to break up”
“OK, but do you want to get back together” pic.twitter.com/PKbymsELMP
— Kristina Halvorson (@halvorson) May 7, 2019
Marketers are changing. Students majoring in #marketing are now learning technical skills as well including #coding. The “Marketechers” as @IBMWatson’s @LorenMcDonald calls them, are the #futureofmarketing work. @TiEcon #FutureofWork pic.twitter.com/d3TVDrWm0x
— Localized (@Localizedworld) May 10, 2019
🖐Tips for Writing Alt Text:
1️⃣Use different alt text for each image
2️⃣Be descriptive but watch the length
3️⃣Don’t use title text as alt text
4️⃣Use empty alt text for design elements
5️⃣ Style alt text for users with blocked images#emailaccessibility #emaildesign #emailmarketing pic.twitter.com/UkwqXX1YCA
— Email on Acid (@EmailonAcid) May 20, 2019
Noteworthy subject lines
Monterey Bay Aquarium, 5/23 – Summer is coming
Burlington, 5/1 – Give Mom what she really wants
Belk, 5/1 – Spoil Mom, Spoil YOU: Up to 70% Off
Barneys New York, 5/5 – 12 Gift Ideas For Mother’s Day
Clinique, 5/5 – Make sure Mom’s gifts arrive on time.
Ann Taylor, 5/12 – Final Hours For Our Mother’s Day Event!
Neiman Marcus, 5/19 – Dolce & Gabbana for you & your mini
ThinkGeek, 5/4 – May the Fourth Be With You (and this Coupon Code)
FansEdge, 5/4 – May The Fourth Be With You
Chico’s, 5/5 – Cinco DEAL Mayo: Final Deal
J.Crew, 5/30 – We’re bursting with pride
Fossil, 5/30 – Ace Grad Gifting
JCPenney, 5/29 – Dip your toes in…$5 flip flops!
Banana Republic, 5/26 – Summer starts now. Wear linen.
Hayneedle, 5/19 – The seagulls are impressed. Gorgeous coastal-style rooms.
MAC Cosmetics, 5/13 – The Disney Aladdin Collection by M•A•C is Going Fast!
Saks Fifth Avenue, 5/7 – These Met Gala-inspired pieces are pink carpet-approved…
Express, 5/1 – The May Edit: Rent this month’s top trending styles
Ann Taylor, 5/10 – 40% Off This Season’s Must-Have Hue
Sears, 5/5 – Please share! Extra 10-20% off + $60 CASHBACK in points
UncommonGoods, 5/15 – Up to 70% Off (still 100% Uncommon)
Applebee’s, 5/4 – Teachers + Applebee’s = Free Appetizer
Moosejaw, 5/23 – Limited Edition Collection — Moosejaw x Great Lakes Proud
MAC Cosmetics, 5/19 – Four Formulas to Master Your Ultimate Matte Lip!
Epicurious, 5/29 – Stop crying over chopped onions!
Jos. A. Bank, 5/16 – Maintain your Body’s Optimum Microclimate with Travel Tech
ModCloth, 5/3 – Add a little “je ne sais quoi” to your wardrobe.
ThinkGeek, 5/13 – Pika Pika?
Sony Electronics, 5/13 – Our Speaker is Famous | The XB41 is in a New Music Video
Feeding America, 5/22 – Endless summer… for all the wrong reasons
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on May 30, 2019
How can content marketing and email marketing work together? That was the central question that AWeber’s Jill Fanslau and I tried to answer when we appeared on the Season 2, Episode 33 of SEMrush’s Marketing Scoop podcast.
During the episode, we talked about:
- What’s changed in email marketing over the past few years
- How email marketing’s ROI is a double-edged sword, that both helps and hurts marketers
- How brands should adjust to GDPR and why the law is good for brands
- Why list purchases are a no-no and the confusion around list purchases and rentals
- List building across channels
- The role of subject lines and the right victory metrics to use for subject line A/B testing
- How it’s not email versus other channels and rather about email working with all your other channels and vice versa
- And much more
Listen to the episode of Marketing Scoop wherever you get your podcasts or…
Posted on May 29, 2019
Two years ago today, the 3rd Edition of “Email Marketing Rules” was published. Weighing in at 467 pages, many consider it the most comprehensive books on email marketing ever. I’ve been exceedingly proud that I’ve been able to provide marketers with a source of trusted advice on this critical marketing channel.
96% of reviewers have given “Email Marketing Rules” 5 stars on Amazon.com. If you’re one of the email geeks who has reviewed it, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Because it has been so well received, BookAuthority has named it one of the best Digital Marketing books of all time. It’s currently at No. 10, putting it in the company of David Meerman Scott’s “The New Rules of Marketing & PR” and Kyle Gray’s “The Story Engine.” That’s amazing!
Thanks again to everyone for your support. I feel exceedingly lucky to have stumbled—like so many of you—into this powerful and dynamic industry.
Posted on May 28, 2019
Brands are turning to AI and machine learning to answer extremely complex questions, including, “What words should I use to communicate most effectively?” Companies like Persado, Phrasee, Touchstone, and others have turned AI’s data-crunching and pattern-finding power onto email subject lines, as well as other marketing copy.
Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting has seen high interest in these tools among our clients. However, when our clients have tried them, the results have been mixed.
Among those brands that didn’t find enough success, the most common complaints that we’ve heard are that:
- The lift in email performance wasn’t sustainable beyond a few months,
- The results in general didn’t justify the expense.
If you’re considering these tools, we have some advice to get you on the path to success.