Posted on May 11, 2020
Deliverability is one of the most misunderstood aspects of email marketing, often because of the outdated and flat out wrong information on the internet. Join Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s Daniel Deneweth and me as we dispel the myths and give marketers a true picture of how deliverability works. We’ll discuss:
- How mailbox providers make inbox placement decisions.
- Why it’s simply impossible for businesses to fool mailbox providers or run away from a poor sender reputation.
- How deliverability has evolved dramatically, including new factors added to filtering algorithms and how the weighting of factors has shifted radically over time.
- What information marketers need to properly benchmark their deliverability and understand the significant opportunities for improvement.
- Deliverability considerations during the current coronavirus crisis.
Understanding Email Deliverability: Key Factors & Key Performance Indicators
Date: May 20, 2020
Time: 1pm ET/10am PT
Duration: 1 hour
Chad S. White, Head of Research at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting and author of Email Marketing Rules
Daniel Deneweth, Head of Email Deliverability Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting
Posted on May 8, 2020
A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…
Must-read articles, posts & reports
How Retailers Can Reach Consumers Who Aren’t Spending (Harvard Business Review)
How Coronavirus Brings Out the Heart in Digital Marketing (Relative Insights)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
Talk about amazing customer-centric messaging from @WholeFoods! Why? It answers the questions we have before we even ask:
– how are we gonna brunch?
– how to deal with a cooking rut?
– what exactly are we doing with all the leftover Easter ham???https://t.co/XndcxS90hM
— Val Geisler 💌 (@lovevalgeisler) April 6, 2020
“We bought this bankrupt company’s list.”
That list couldn’t even keep the first company in business.
— Mickey Chandler (@mickc_pro) April 13, 2020
— Catherine Mears (@catmears) April 6, 2020
Name a worse trend in cold email outreach than the fake “Hey FNAME! Lol kidding! :)”
— Val Geisler 💌 (@lovevalgeisler) April 15, 2020
— Kristin Social Distancing Bond (@EmailSnarketing) April 8, 2020
Noteworthy subject lines
Everlane, 4/22 – An Earth Day To Remember
Eddie Bauer, 4/22 – You + American Forests = 8+ Million Trees Planted!
Patagonia, 4/22 – Every day is Earth Day
Banana Republic, 4/22 – Our love letter to nature
Uncommon Goods, 4/22 – Dear Mother Earth: Thank you for hosting us all these years.
MoMA Design Store, 4/29 – Gifts for Mom & Mother Figures
Macy’s, 4/22 – Mother’s Day gifts for every budget
Bass Pro Shops, 4/19 – LAST DAY: stretch your payments!
UncommonGoods, 4/29 – Florence Nightingale was born May 12. Who do you celebrate in May?
Staples, 4/7 – She turned her minivan into a mini photo studio.
Williams Sonoma, 4/28 – We miss dinner parties too. How to host one digitally.
Williams Sonoma, 4/25 – No flour? No problem. Here’s what to bake instead.
Olive Garden, 4/7 – Get a $1 Kids Meal ToGo.
Office Depot, 4/22 – Customize your home office and eliminate the clutter
Crate and Barrel, 4/7 – WFH 2.0: Save on top home office & storage
MoMA Design Store, 4/22 – What Our Staff Is Using at Home
Walgreens, 4/22 – Staying home doesn’t mean sacrificing self-care. Shop our DIY spa day essentials today.
Neiman Marcus, 4/4 – Your at-home spa awaits! Hours left for $50-$100 off beauty
Walmart, 4/19 – Ways to stay entertained at home
Saks Fifth Avenue, 4/22 – Everything you need to make things more homey
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 4/20 – Help keep your home safe and secure.
Nordstrom, 4/29 – All about that at-home life
Everlane, 4/29 – It’s All About Sweatshirts Right Now
VS Pink, 4/24 – Sport looks for your home workouts: in your fave neutrals!
Belk, 4/19 – Workout from home: 40% off Under Armour
Wegmans, 4/26 – Try These Ideas for Family Fun at Home
Michaels, 4/20 – Hey, parents: Check out these fun and creative projects for your kiddos.
Dollar General, 4/28 – Backyard activities starting at $1.
Big Lots, 4/26 – Essentials for family-fabulous back yard
West Elm, 4/26 – Up to 60% off! Step into your new dream backyard…
Sears, 4/19 – Together, we’ll build your outdoor oasis
Banana Republic, 4/29 – Introducing our Summer Collection ☀️
ModCloth, 4/20 – “Love this swimsuit! She looks amazing.”
REI, 4/27 – Final Day to Save During Our Inside/Outside Sale
Gap, 4/12 – Virtually best dressed
Banana Republic, 4/12 – Dress up to lift your spirits up
Walmart, 4/24 – Add some “feel good” to your Friday 🌤️
Omaha Steaks, 4/6 – Help someone be prepared.
Walmart, 4/27 – Together, we can help fight hunger in the U.S.
Omaha Steaks, 4/17 – Help American families. Donate with your order.
Petco, 4/29 – Adopt, Foster, Donate to Save Pet Lives!
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on May 1, 2020
When your business’s promotional email frequency is high during its peak season, chances are that your email program is almost exclusively focused on getting that next email out the door. However, you generally have more time to think about your strategy and invest in lasting improvements during your off-season—as well as during slow periods like the one that some businesses are experiencing now because of coronavirus.
“View slow periods as opportunities to reinvent your business,” says Kyle Sjoberg, Senior Strategic Consultant for Strategic & Analytic Services at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting. “Focus on projects that are typically pushed aside in the day-to-day hustle and bustle.”
Not sure which improvements your organization should focus on? To help you out, we surveyed Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts, asking them which of 16 email marketing improvements they’d recommend most right now.
Here’s a countdown of the top 8 email marketing improvements recommended by our consultants to make during slow periods:
8. Improve Data Governance & Hygiene
7. Improve Email Production Workflow
6. Improve Email Design
5. Improve Signup Process
4. Improve Data Centralization & Availability
For the full countdown and full details on each of these improvements, plus advice from our consultants…
Posted on April 20, 2020
The coronavirus has disrupted most people’s lives, changing how they work, socialize, eat, and educate their children. It has also changed email behavior in profound and sometimes surprising ways.
Let’s look at some of the changes in email behavior that we’ve seen in aggregated data from some of our Oracle CX Marketing clients:
- Open times have shifted.
- Email volume has dipped overall.
- Email engagement is up, but revenue is down.
- Unsubscribe rates are much, much lower.
- Mobile email viewing has morphed—but only slightly.
For all the details on each of these changes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, plus our advice on what marketers should do in response to these changes…
Posted on April 16, 2020
Marketers have been concerned about their promotional emails landing in Gmail’s Promotions tab since Google launched Tabs in 2013. Back then, the concern was almost a hysteria, with rampant fears of Tabs causing a crash in email engagement and email revenues.
Thankfully, concerns have cooled, with marketers seeing little to no bottom line impact from Tabs. However, we still see marketers asking about how to get their promotional emails into the Primary tab and our clients occasionally see tabbing as a deliverability issue in need of a fix. Since December, our Email Deliverability Services team has experienced a spike in questions about Tabs due to inconsistent placement of emails.
“We’ve had a number of our clients ask, What’s going on?” says Clea Moore, Director of Deliverability Strategy for Email Deliverability Services, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting. “We’re seeing our promotional emails in the Primary tab, our promotional emails in the Social tab, and our transactional emails in the Promotions tab.”
She added that all the inconsistencies have caused a few clients to ask, “Is there a way for our promotional emails to continue going to the Primary tab?”
Comments like that make us hope that this episode at Gmail won’t encourage marketers to try to manipulate their tab placement, because we believe concerns over Gmail’s Promotions tab are overblown. Here’s why:
- Email users are incredibly comfortable and familiar with how Tabs work.
- Every tab is part of the inbox, so tab placement issues are not a sign of deliverability problems.
- You want your emails to be where your subscribers expect them to be.
- When consumers spend time in the Promotions tab, it’s a sign of higher shopping intent.
- Email Annotations can help your emails stand out in Gmail, but only work in the Promotions tab.
- Google doesn’t appreciate gamesmanship or being manipulated.
For a full discussion of each of those reasons…
Posted on April 14, 2020
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 Email Deliverability Services team at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting shares the latest news and tips for what to watch out for in our latest Email Deliverability Quarterly.
In this post, Daniel Deneweth, Clea Moore, and Heather Goff explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:
- Verizon Launches Email Deliverability and Performance Feeds for AOL and Yahoo Mail
- Validity to Acquire 250ok
- Gmail Promoting Unsubscribes with Active Subscribers
- BIMI Standard Makes Advances
- Did GDPR Give Email Marketing a Massive Engagement Boost?
- A Sign of the CCPA Suits to Come
For the full discussion of each of these issues…
Posted on April 8, 2020
The dot-com bubble. 9/11. The Great Recession of 2009. And now COVID-19. When extreme shocks such as these occur, business as usual ceases. These shocks cause prolonged changes in consumer behavior, forcing smart businesses and marketers to adjust, too.
While these adjustments typically start with crisis messaging, that’s just the beginning. Brands need to make changes to their future messaging, and that can be hard to do when many brands plan their messaging out months in advance, coordinating it across marketing channels and synching it up with advertising efforts. After all the time that’s been invested in that strategy, it can be emotionally hard to reevaluate that—or completely reboot it, which may be necessary in some cases.
Let’s discuss some of the ways in which marketers may need to change their messaging and strategy in the weeks and months following a major systemic shock. We’ll start with a look at automated campaigns and then talk about promotional broadcast and segmented campaigns.
Posted on April 1, 2020
Must-read articles, posts & reports
What We See With Email Rates During COVID-19 (MessageGears)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
PSA: To all the delivery consultants spreading nonsense about using the words “Covid-19” in email subject line impacting inbox placement – Please stop – That is not what is impacting delivery of emails, negative reputation changes are. #EmailGeeks
— Matthew Vernhout (@EmailKarma) March 25, 2020
Since 2008 we’ve learned a lot of lessons about how to manage teams + stay productive in a virtual world. We rolled our advice into a free guide: 9 Ways to #WorkFromHome W/O Killing Your Company.
No cost, no email address needed. We hope it helps. https://t.co/8RRNqCiYR1 pic.twitter.com/AI3TUlh8b2
— Jay Baer (@jaybaer) March 27, 2020
Interesting how #emailmarketing best practices for those with disabilities and impairments are also just good email marketing best practices. (Organize content, use contrasting colors, alt tags, etc) #unspam
— Adam Q. Holden-Bache (@AdamHoldenBache) March 13, 2020
Noteworthy subject lines
Dollar General, 3/25 – Dollar General is now hiring.
Lane Bryant, 3/25 – Status: Stir crazy but here for you (in your Lane)
UncommonGoods, 3/24 – 8+ ways to say “I miss you”
Williams Sonoma, 3/29 – 5 ingredients + a fry pan = dinner!
Crate & Barrel, 3/30 – Dining in = the new dining out | 20% OFF SALE
Express, 3/26 – Keep calm & boost your vibe with new spring shades
Eddie Bauer, 3/21 – Stay At Home Style 101
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 3/26 – Stay STRONG 💪 Up to 50% Off Cardio Equipment
Eddie Bauer, 3/30 – Upgrade Your Home Workouts
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 3/30 – Select GT Bikes $399.98 | Take a Fresh Air Break!
Big Lots, 3/30 – Kids still home? Keep them busy.
Michaels, 3/23 – Stock up on boredom busters for kids at our Lowest Prices of the Season!
UncommonGoods, 3/21 – Indoor fun for kids (that’s secretly educational, too)
Big Lots, 3/26 – Kid-Friendly Snacks & More!
Applebee’s, 3/21 – Family Style Meal options – available To Go!
Target, 3/24 – Entertainment for the whole fam ✨
UncommonGoods, 3/25 – Stuck inside? Play baseball in your living room.
Michaels, 3/26 – The best thing to do with your time at home? Make art! 🎨
AutoZone, 3/30 – Catch up on vehicle maintenance
Michael, 3/22 – Get in Some Spring Cleaning & Organizing While You’re Home (at Our Lowest Prices of the Season, Too!)
Camping World, 3/21 – Shop Deals on Outdoor Gear, Grills, Tents & More! #STAYCATION2020
Big Lots, 3/25 – Stay-at-home solutions!
West Elm, 3/28 – Let’s sort out your new home office.
Office Depot, 3/30 – PCs & Monitors to assist productivity
Express, 3/24 – Get your WFH essentials 40% OFF!
Nordstrom Rack, 3/30 – The Comfort at Home Shop starts now
Office Depot, 3/26 – Get comfy with today’s deal of the day.
ModCloth, 3/21 – Staying in? Stay cozy.
Nordstrom, 3/20 – A day at home done right
Neiman Marcus, 3/16 – Settle in & save 20% on your purchase!
Belk, 3/26 – Deal of the day: $100 e-gift card for $80
Dick’s Sporting Goods, 3/23 – Easy, Fast & FREE Curbside Contactless Pickup
Petco, 3/30 – Petco is now offering curbside pick-up
Best Buy Top Deals, 3/23 – New deals on great tech delivered curbside or to your doorstep.
Office Depot, 3/25 – Order Online. Free Curbside Pickup.
AutoZone, 3/25 – Curbside pickup now available
Applebee’s, 3/25 – Support your team, order takeout today!
Panera Bread, 3/26 – Chad, for you: free delivery through March.
Subway, 3/16 – Get all the benefits of ordering online
Camping World RV, 3/26 – Introducing Virtual Visits
VS Pink, 3/23 – 🐶 GOOD NEWS: It’s NATIONAL PUPPY DAY! 🐶
Zales, 3/23 – Your Happily Ever After Starts at The Bridal Sale
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on March 31, 2020
Disaster planning is all about preparing for rare events, whether they’re epidemics, hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or some other calamity. Crisis messaging should be a part of any disaster planning so you can communicate effectively with your customers and give them the essential information that they need.
Let’s talk about what that should look like in terms of messaging, subject line and preview text copy, tone, design, quality assurance, and segmentation…
Posted on March 24, 2020
The holiday season is a dangerous time to try to innovate. More than any other time of the year, it’s the most expensive time to have a failure. On the other hand, the second and third quarters are a great time to experiment with different tactics and strategies in a much lower-stakes environment. This is why Experimentation & Testing and is one of our six recommendation areas in our second quarter Holiday Marketing Quarterly checklist.
For retailers and other B2C brands, selling seasons like Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, back to school, and Labor Day offer opportunities to test out new messaging, designs, tactics, and strategies, as well as try out new capabilities and functionality. If they work, you can use them during the holiday season. If they don’t, well, you avoided them not working out in a much more costly way during November and December.
Here are several areas to consider exploring to set your company up for a more successful holiday season:
- Add more AI
- Make Your Customer Experience More Seamless
- Ramp Up Your A/B Testing
- Experiment with Competitive Differentiators
For more details on each of those recommendations to help you prepare for the holiday season…