Buy >> Email Marketing RulesOne of the great things about Kindle Books is that Amazon tells you the passages in your book that have been highlighted by readers the most. I was fascinated—and very pleased—by the passages that readers are finding most important and wanted to share them here.

The 5 most highlighted passages of Email Marketing Rules:

5. “Relevance means sending subscribers emails they routinely find valuable or engaging.” (Tweet This)

4. “The key is to avoid a campaign-by-campaign mentality when looking at data, because that can cause you to misunderstand how subscribers are reacting to your overall messaging and to unintentionally make campaign-specific decisions that reduce the overall effectiveness of your email program.” (Tweet This)

3. “The control that consumers have over these new channels is increasing the expectation of control that they have when using email.” (Tweet This)

2. “Marketers earn access to inboxes through permission and maintain it by sending valuable emails.” (Tweet This)

1. “Best practices are those practices that generally produce the best results or minimize risk.” (Tweet This)

The three top passages are all from the introduction, which you can read on Amazon using their LOOK INSIDE feature by clicking on the book cover.

Download the Email Marketing Holiday Calendar InfographicEvery month I’ll be previewing holiday email marketing activity for the current month, as well as reviewing last month’s, as laid out in our 2013 Email Marketing Holiday Calendar.

>> Read the August preview & July review on the ExactTarget Blog

Infographic: Email Opt-In Audit Imperative

There are now many more ways to grow your list of subscribers than ever before, but the downside to that is that all those additional sources of subscribers have created a lot more complexity, which can make it difficult to see how each is performing and to see problems when they arise.

In a “tip of the iceberg” research study, we tested the homepage email signup process of more than 160 B2C brands, including retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, travel and hospitality, and nonprofits. For most brands, this is their best source of high-quality subscribers, so the breakdowns and delays that we discovered there are likely an indication of more troubles beneath the surface—and untapped opportunities to improve list growth.

Email Opt-In Audit Imperative Infographic

The Last Word on July 2013

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Increase the Value Of Your Abandoned Cart Emails (MediaPost)

Personalized digital marketing is your ticket to the relationship era (Responsys)

The death of IP based reputation (Word to the Wise)

Consumers Are Underwhelmed By Mobile Email (MediaPost)

Meet a Community Champion: Anna Yeaman (Campaign Monitor)

Which subject line words boost response rates? (+ infographic) (Smart Insights)

Royal baby ignored—at least in U.S. marketing e-mail. (Internet Retailer)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@nadee_guy: Time inc. cut 4.5 million inactive subscribers from email & actually saw an increase in sales. The power of good #deliverability. #EMSSummit

@martinlieberman: @chadswhite Especially important to start marketing early this year because Hanukkah and Thanksgiving overlap. #ETCafe

@levarburton: “No comment…” MT @DustanSheehan: I made this, hope you like it. #Glass #startrek #levarburton

Great additions to the Email Swipe File pinboard

Jonathan Adler email sent 7/22/13 >> View the pin

Anthropologie email sent on 6/11/13 >> View the pin

ModCloth triggered email sent 7/2013 >> View the pin

AT&T email sent 5/23/13 >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Zulily, 7/25 — Merry Christmas (in July)!
TigerDirect, 7/25 — 3-Day Christmas in July Event – See the Savings!
Walgreens, 7/24 — Ends Saturday! 15% OFF Holly Days in July | 20% OFF Contacts‏
Zazzle, 7/23 — Save up to 65% during Zazzle’s Christmas In July sale!
Zulily, 7/22 — Up to 85% off | tag: Christmas servingware & décor, Classic Christmas: Décor & Decorations, SlimMe by MeMoi seamless shapewear and more‏
SkyMall, 7/15 — Save 20% at the Christmas in July Sale‏
Target, 7/12 — Black Friday in July. Exclusive offers just for you.
Michael’s, 7/29 — 3 Trendiest Back-to-School Pins & 20% Off Your Entire Purchase‏
Brooks Brothers, 7/29 — Back to Campus – The Fall Red Fleece Collection‏
Pier 1 Imports, 7/29 — We’ll help you ace your college care package.
Under Armour, 7/25 — Ready To Get Back At It?
Levi’s, 7/22 — Earn extra credit on back-to-school‏
Vera Bradley, 7/22 — College gals in the pinning spirit …
IKEA, 7/17 — Design your college space with our online flyer!
TigerDirect, 7/7 — Up to 50% Off Back to School Tech + You could WIN $2500 in Prizes‏
ModCloth, 7/23 — Everyone’s a ‘wiener’ with 15% off on National Hot Dog Day!
Cold Stone Creamery, 7/21 — Celebrate National Ice Cream Day – Coupon‏
ThinkGeek, 7/31 — We solemnly swear we are up to no good… [celebrating J.K. Rowling’s birthday]
ModCloth, 7/28 — Connect your ModCloth & Facebook accounts for a birthday treat!
Anthropologie, 7/30 — The Rx for A/C.
The Container Store, 7/16 — #ShoesdayTuesday Savings!
Sony, 7/16 — Reserve the All-new PlayStation4 System Today + Join the #PS4 Conversation‏
Pepsi Cola, 7/9 — ❶ Register NOW-Last Chance ❷ Get points ❸ Enter for a chance to see Beyoncé!
Pepsi Cola, 7/5 — ❶ Register NOW ❷Get points ❸ Enter for a chance to see Beyoncé!
Vera Bradley, 7/1 — Summer checklist: ✓ Sarong ✓Beach Towel…
ThinkGeek, 7/3 — 20% off and 433 broken bones!
Jos. A Bank, 7/1 — Buy 1 Suit, Get 2 FREE + ‘Give’ 1 to a Returning Veteran‏
Threadless, 7/23 — You Buy One, We Give One‏
Uncommon Goods, 7/1 — Made in the U.S.A.
Chipotle, 7/1 — How do 20 years of free burritos sound to you?

Most popular posts on last month

1. Happy Birthday to Me, a Free Book for You

2. The One-Two Punch of Subject Lines and Preheaders

3. The Long and Short of Progressive Profiling

4. Minimalism Trend in Email Design

5. The Many Uses (and 2 Drawbacks) of Animated Gifs

Christmas in August - 31 Days of PinspirationThe Email Swipe File on Pinterest is already home to some email design gems from Christmases past—like these from Norm Thompson, Tiffany & Co., Bed Bath & Beyond, and Style Campaign. But those are just the beginning. Everyday this month we’ll be pinning new inspiring examples of holiday emails to get you in a festive mood and thinking about campaigns that you might create for this holiday season.

To kick things off, we’ve pinned a Nov. 11, 2011 email from Zappos.

We hope you use these pins along with the Email Marketing Holiday Calendar to start plotting out your email campaigns. Good luck with your holiday planning and stay tuned for more holiday help from ExactTarget.

>> Explore the Email Swipe File

#ETcafeI’ll be the guest for @ExactTarget’s #ETCafe Twitter chat this Thursday 11am-12pm EDT, where we’ll be discussing preparing for a successful 2013 holiday season. Here’s a preview of the questions that we’ll cover:

1. Have you reviewed the performance of your holiday email marketing campaigns from last year? What did that process entail?
2. Did you also review your campaign production and other processes to remove bottlenecks you hit last holiday season?
3. What surprised you most about last holiday season in terms of what you saw others doing or responses to your efforts?
4. What pre-holiday efforts (i.e., list hygiene, etc.) are you making to maximize the results of your holiday campaigns?
5. Are you testing any strategies or tactics during the back to school season in preparation for the holiday season?
6. How do you think mobile will affect your campaigns this holiday season?
7. How else do you think this holiday season will be different from last holiday season?
8. Do you have any favorite resources for holiday marketing insights and advice?

Follow the #ETCafe hashtag in your favorite Twitter application and be sure and add the hashtag to your tweet to participate.

Gmail’s New Inbox: Our Take on Tabs

Gmail's New InboxThe inbox is a dynamic place. The latest change comes from Gmail, which debuted its new tabbed interface two months ago and is now nearly done rolling it out to all their users. With every change that comes along, there’s understandable concern by marketers that their efforts will be undermined and, in particular, that their ability to reach their subscribers will be compromised.

To assess the risk posed by Gmail Tabs, a number of us got together and pooled our thoughts and findings under the direction of Al Iverson, ExactTarget’s director of deliverability products. The resulting 4-page whitepaper covers everything you need to know about this new Gmail functionality, including:

  • The potential subscriber impact
  • How it impacts mobile
  • Using branding to your advantage
  • What you can do to improve your marketing efforts

>> Download our report on Gmail’s New Inbox

My 15 Minutes with Google Glass

Chad White attempting to operate Google GlassI recently got my hands on a Google Glass, thanks to intrepid Glass Explorer and fellow ETer Jeff Rohrs, who has already written extensively about his experiences with the wearable device. I wanted to share some of my impressions as well, plus a cross-channel marketing takeaway.

First, this is clearly a beta product. Google Glass is not market-ready. The form factor is clumsy and the navigation is non-intuitive, limited and frustrating. It takes a combination of voice and hand and head movements to fully operate it; navigation can be hijacked by other voices nearby; and the using Glass can make you look pretty ridiculous—Exhibit A: This photo of me.

Second, the apps that it launched with are…

Read my entire post on the ExactTarget blog >>

Christmas Day is just a little over five months away!!! That means it’s time to put on your Santa thinking caps and start mapping out your holiday email campaign strategy.

Already the first signs of the holiday season are showing up in inboxes as some marketers deploy their “Christmas in July” campaigns—or the newer “Black Friday in July” and “Cyber Monday in July” campaigns.

To help you with your holiday campaign planning, we’ve created this helpful calendar that for each month includes:

  • A projection of the average number of promotional emails retailers will send each of their subscribers
  • The portion of that overall email volume that will be holiday messaging
  • Common holiday messaging themes
  • Key days to be aware of
  • And much more.

Email Marketing Holiday Calendar Infographic

It Should Have Never Been Social Vs. Email

Read my MediaPost Email Insider columnEmail marketers have endured years of misguided “email is dead” rants from folks whom believed social was superior, but it appears that the script has been flipped. Increasingly, headlines like Email Is Crushing Twitter, Facebook for Selling Stuff Online, Why Email Punches 100x Above Social Media and Stores Seeking Shoppers Find Email Outdraws Facebook are the norm.

It’s looking more and more like social—after reaching the Peak of Inflated Expectations with Facebook’s IPO—has plunged into the Trough of Disillusionment a la Gartner’s Hype Cycle. While I’m not immune to the schadenfreude of the role-reversal and appreciate that folks are acknowledging email for the sales powerhouse that it is, it has become abundantly clear that email vs. social was never a fair matchup.

Email and social each excel at communicating with consumers at different points in the sales funnel and for different purposes. Email vs. social makes no more sense than…

>> Read my entire Email Insider column on


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