Posted on August 13, 2018
Email marketing has changed profoundly over the last 10 years, but I don’t know that the email marketing industry has fully recognized the impact. We still talk a lot about “email service providers” and “email marketers,” which may be limiting our audience and limiting our ability to educate and rally the industry.
That’s because many companies that enable brands to send email may not think of themselves as email service providers. And many people who send marketing emails may not think of themselves as email marketers. I know for sure that many marketers define an ESP much more broadly than we as an industry tend to.
The results of Litmus’ 2018 State of Email Survey really drove this reality home for me…
Posted on August 9, 2018
At Litmus, we pride ourselves on having lots of first-time speakers at our Litmus Live conferences in Boston, San Francisco, and London. To help put these very talented—but often very nervous—email marketing experts at ease, we do everything we can to provide them with the information they need to make their sessions successful. Along the way, we introduce speakers to each other, give them plenty of opportunities to get feedback from Litmus staff, and even run one-on-one calls where speakers can pick our brains, throw around ideas, and even present a complete dry run of their talk.
The advice we offer our Litmus Live speakers is based on producing more than a dozen Litmus Live conferences, as well as our personal experiences. Between Justine Jordan, Jason Rodriquez, and me, we’ve given well over a hundred presentations and webinars. There have been high points and there have been low points along the way.
A recent personal low point reminded me that I still have improvements to make, and spurred me to reach out to Justine and Jason so the three of us could share some of those lessons learned.
Posted on August 7, 2018
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Email Design for Subscribers with ADHD (iContact)
The Great Email Escape (Return Path)
Get the Attention and Investment Your Email Program Deserves (OnlyInfluencers)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
I love this email from local boutique Lockwood. The closest subway is closed for construction until February, and they sent an email promoting making a day of shopping near their stores at other local businesses on Broadway in #astoria https://t.co/5UolxLtVUH #SmallBusiness
— Kristin B (@EmailSnarketing) July 17, 2018
Noteworthy subject lines
Victoria’s Secret, 7/3 – Firework it in sequins, rhinestones & so. much. shine.
Fossil, 7/4 – HBD, America!
PersonalizationMall.com, 7/8 – Last Chance – 70% Off Christmas In July Clearance Sale Ends At Midnight
JCPenney, 7/18 – Hurry! Don’t miss Cyber in July
Lenovo, 7/20 – Final Black Friday in July Doorbusters are Live Now!
Epicurious, 7/14 – 10 kitchen tools we can’t wait to buy on Prime Day
PepsiCo, 7/16 – Amazon Prime Day Deals on Pepsi products
JCPenney, 7/17 – School days ahead! 40% off juniors’ Arizona denim
The Container Store, 7/23 – Locker Organization: Back To School Basics With A Twist
Moosejaw.com, 7/27 – Our Fave Backpacks – Just in Time for Back to School
Hasbro, 7/19 – These San Diego Convention items are #TRENDING
ThinkGeek, 7/18 – No con badge required for these exclusives!
ModCloth, 7/6 – AC-approved and outfitted to perfection.
Banana Republic, 7/3 – Here for sheer: wearable, light-as-air shirts.
Victoria’s Secret, 7/8 – Summer essential: an ultra lightweight layer!
Miracle-Gro, 7/20 – Five Mosquito Repelling Plants
Feeding America, 7/23 – It’s summer vacation. So why don’t these kids have anything to eat?
UncommonGoods, 7/6 – This Just In: Birth Month Flower Grow Kits
FansEdge, 7/24 – Football Is Coming…Here’s What’s Trending
The Container Store, 7/3 – “Wow! That Was Easy.”
Sony Electronics, 7/21 – They Can Do That? You Won’t Believe What Goes Into Our TVs
PepsiCo, 7/11 – Cap’n Crunch’s NEW SLURPEE is at 7-Eleven
Aeropostale, 7/27 – Try our new jeans in 18 fits & 81 washes
Petco, 7/11 – Want the simple life? Sign up for Repeat Delivery
ThinkGeek, 7/27 – They know when you last logged in, what you did, and for how long
Kate Spade, 7/10 – what to give the bride
Kate Spade, 7/19 – open this for good luck
Gap, 7/3 – Open ASAP to redeem your codes before they expire
Barneys New York, 7/10 – Read This Before Your Next Trip To The Barber
ASPCA, 7/13 – Is Breaking the Window Breaking the Law?
Nikon, 7/3 – Manhattanhenge: A Rare Photo Opportunity this Month
Ikea USA, 7/30 – No need to wait. The 2019 IKEA catalog is here!
Gucci, 7/24 – Presenting #TimeToParr: A Photographic Journey
Victoria’s Secret, 7/10 – CRUSHING YOUR INSTA
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on August 2, 2018
Email content planning is becoming more sophisticated and more of a focus at many email marketing programs, according to the findings of Litmus’ 2018 State of Email Workflows report. Krystle Vermes of KoMarketing and I recently spoke about this trend. She asks me…
- More than half of marketers now say they use a content calendar year-round. Do you see this percentage increasing or decreasing in the near future?
- About 69% use software other than (or in addition to) spreadsheets, calendars, and docs specifically to plan out email content. Do you see marketers turning to additional software for planning other types of campaigns in the future?
- Less than 20% of marketers create a brief for every email to set goals and establish KPIs – why do you think this is the case?
- Only 17% of companies plan their content for more than three months out for peak season campaigns. Are marketers missing out on opportunities by failing to plan ahead?
- What was the most interesting finding in the report?
For my answers to those questions and more…
Posted on July 30, 2018
That seems like a simple question, but it’s not—at least certainly not anymore. The meaning of the term “email service provider,” or “ESP” for short, has evolved along with the email marketing industry.
A decade or so ago, most ESPs were standalone services that largely did one thing: send email. Pricing was almost entirely done on a CPM model of the cost per thousand emails sent. Back then, people distinguished between mail transfer agents (MTAs), which were the back-end engines that actually sent the email, and ESPs, which were the front-end user interfaces that provided marketer-friendly tools to load lists, set up templates, and ultimately press send.
Flash forward… There’s been roughly $10 billion in mergers and acquisitions in the ESP industry, as we note in Litmus’ first-ever State of Email Service Providers report. While there are still many standalone email service providers, lots of ESP functionality now resides within customer relationship management (CRM) systems. As the name implies, CRMs manage the entirety of a customer relationship, including communications via email and other channels.
And then things got even more complicated…
Posted on July 27, 2018
Email personalization has come along way from the days of simple first name merges, but is great because subscribers now expect brands to know much more than their name. Consumers expect emails tailored to their interests and past actions. Along with segmentation and automation, personation is a key tool to achieve that goal.
The Email Marketing Personalization report from Holistic Email Marketing and Pure360 has great insights into the use and evolution of personalization in email, based on a survey of more than 200 marketers.
A couple of key findings from the report include:
- Only 6% of marketers said that they can do only “one size fits all” email marketing. Nearly half (49%) have access to tools for basic personalisation, while 36% are using advanced tactics such as dynamic content to keep email material unique and relevant to subscribers. Another 8% are way out in front with AI, machine learning, and other technologies to create true one-to-one experiences.
- Nearly half of marketers have moved beyond simply personalising names and subject lines. They’re using data from email behaviour (56%), purchase history (41%), lifecycle stage (29%) and even contextual data (12%) to add relevant content, meaningful to individual recipients.
The report also includes insights from me, Komal Helyer of Pure360, Jordie van Rijn of Emailmonday, Karen Talavera of Synchronicity, and Dela Quist of Touchstone Tests. For the 72% of marketers who told Litmus that personalization was a priority for 2018, I recommend that you check out this report.
Posted on July 25, 2018
A marketer’s email service provider is the cornerstone of their email program. It’s their most critical tool and a major budget item.
But frustrations run high. Marketers told Litmus that limitations with their ESP was third on their list of biggest challenges for 2018. And 16% of brands said that changing ESPs was on their list of email marketing priorities for 2018.
Based on our State of Email Survey of 3,000 marketers, our first-ever State of Email Service Providers report takes a detailed look at the ESP marketplace to better understand the pace of consolidation in the industry and its causes; the most popular ESPs across various sectors; and the functionality provided by ESPs.
Some of the key findings from the State of Email Service Providers include:
- At the current rate of consolidation, the top 10 email service providers will control more than two-thirds of the overall market by the end of 2019.
- The percentage of brands using a homegrown email platform has fallen 44% over the past two years to just 6%.
- The most popular ESPs can vary considerably when looking across geography, company size, industry vertical, and more.
- Third-party tools that supplement ESP functionality have a huge impact on ESP satisfaction.
This 26-page report analyzes and explores each of these findings and much more, with over 20 charts providing data-based evidence of current ESP trends. Use the results to better understand the marketplace and your options, as well as the ways that you can boost the functionality of your current ESP.
Posted on July 23, 2018
While there are clear market share leaders in the email service provider industry, brands still have a long list of ESPs from which to choose. How long? Respondents to Litmus’ 2018 State of Email Survey mentioned more than 240 ESPs when asked which platforms they use to send marketing emails.
Twenty email service providers were used by at least 1% of respondents. In this post, we list those in order of popularity among our respondents, all well as the other 220+ ESPs.
Posted on July 11, 2018
Must-read articles, posts & reports
GDPR Aftershocks: What Happened to Deliverability? (ClickDimensions)
4 Common but Serious Email RFP Mistakes (Only Influencers)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
“Trust is no longer just an industry issue, it’s a societal issue. We’re focusing on responsible platforms, responsible content, and responsible infrastructure.” –@keithweed at #CannesLIons #OgilvyCannes
— Ogilvy (@Ogilvy) June 20, 2018
Noteworthy subject lines
Pier 1 Imports, 6/7 – For when Dad says, “Don’t get me anything.”
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/4 – Here’s what we’re getting Dad
Michaels, 6/17 – Last-Minute Gifts for Dad are a Snap with Same-Day Pick Up!
Anthropologie, 6/25 – These outfits? Cue the fireworks.
Gap, 6/13 – Use code GETMORE and do just that (everything’s included)
West Elm, 6/13 – Because you deserve it: Complimentary shipping with code HUMPDAY
RH, 6/17 – The Maxwell Sofa Collection. Choose from 180 Fabrics & 65 Leathers
White House Black Market, 6/17 – TWO Looks in ONE Dress
Petco, 6/2 – Calling all smarty cats…this one’s fur you!
Hayneedle, 6/4 – Dining out? We’re in.
Southwest, 6/12 – Memories on sale now.
Banana Republic, 6/17 – “Chic in 60 seconds.”
Crutchfield, 6/17 – Expert advice meets awesome 4th of July deals
Aeropostale, 6/20 – Swim + Shorts = Beach Ready
Miracle-Gro, 6/7 – The Best “Mulch Hack” for Summer
Victoria’s Secret, 6/24 – How to show off your shoulders this summer
Barneys New York, 6/24 – The 5 Swimsuit Trends to Know
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/20 – Here come the weddings: perfect picks for every event
Jetsetter, 6/30 – What’s Your Travel Style?
Samuel Adams, 6/7 – Like Whiskey? Give us your thoughts on our collaboration with Boston Harbor Distillery
Gilt, 6/2 – #Instaworthy: New Summer Arrivals
Barneys New York, 6/20 – 8 Reasons to Listen to This Podcast
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on July 9, 2018
Email analytics are powerful… and also dangerous. Used correctly, analytics can inform both wise strategic decisions and smart tactical improvements. Used incorrectly, analytics give you complete confidence to make bad decisions.
Unfortunately, there are lots of ways to reach the wrong conclusions with analytics, including:
- Being overly focused on campaign metrics like opens and clicks, and failing to look at performance over time
- Not recognizing the influence of your email marketing efforts on the performance of other channels like direct mail and social media
- Focusing too much on company-centric metrics like email marketing revenue and not enough on metrics that indicate how subscribers and inbox providers feel about your emails
All three of those are symptoms of not seeing the big picture when it comes to email marketing metrics. Our Holistic Email Metrics Matrix provides that perspective.