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

The 5 Most Problematic Subscriber Acquisition SourcesBrands can attract new subscriber through a variety of sources that range from closely aligned with their operations to completely unassociated. Some of these subscriber acquisition sources are inherently much riskier and therefore less valuable than others.

In our 2017 State of Email Survey, we asked marketers about their use of 20 different subscriber acquisition sources, as well as whether their email program had been blocked or blacklisted in the past 12 months. We identified the most problematic subscriber acquisition sources by looking at which ones were used by email programs that were blocked or blacklisted and those that weren’t.

The subscriber acquisition sources that were at least 20% more likely to be used by email programs that were blocked or blacklisted include:

  1. Email list rental
  2. Purchased email list
  3. Promotion of signup via direct mail, catalog, etc.
  4. Co-registration
  5. Lead generation form for ebooks, reports, etc.

Surprised by some of those? Us, too. So we examined what might be going wrong with some of those subscriber acquisition sources and whether they can be fixed.

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

The Last Word on June 2017

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Why Mark Zuckerberg Was Wrong About Email (Inc.)

Growth in Digital Users in US (The Next 10,000 Hours)

How the top 100 US e-retailers are using welcome emails (and what marketers can learn) (ClickZ)

Government Responds to CMA with Suspension of CASL Private Right of Action (Canadian Marketing Association)

The Art of Emotional Honesty in Email Marketing (IBM)

B2C Marketing: How Airstream used lifestyle content to nurture top-of-the-funnel customers (MarketinSherpa)

Fear Of Advertising: Consumers Dislike Online Ads, But They Value Email (MediaPost)

12 Things All Marketers Can Learn from a Leader’s 40-Year Marketing Career (Salesforce)

In the AI Age, “Being Smart” Will Mean Something Completely Different (Harvard Business Review)

A brief history of email service provider mergers and acquisitions (Medium)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Jetsetter, 6/30 — 10 Reasons Why We Love the U.S.A
Ninety Nine Restaurants, 6/28 — Honoring Active Duty Military & Veterans This Independence Day
Morton’s, 6/28 — Celebrate this 4th of July with our 3-course menu for $40
Moosejaw, 6/30 — Can you cook a hot dog on a sparkler? | Up to 30% off our favorite brands
Wayfair, 6/2 — Weber grills and more, just in time for BBQ season
Costco, 6/14 — Be Ready for Summer! Playsets, Water Sports, Floats & More!
Clinique, 6/3 — This SPF doubles as makeup primer. FREE minis with purchase.
Horchow, 6/4 — 3 steps to the perfect staycation
ToysRUs & BabiesRUs, 6/4 — CANNONBALLLL into the Awe—summer Sale!
American Red Cross, 6/14 — Water safety quiz: Are you ready for summer?
Etsy, 6/8 — Channel your inner mermaid
Ann Taylor, 6/22 — Pool, Palm Tree & THIS Sale
ModCloth, 6/7 — To do: watch the clouds go by.
J.Crew, 6/22 — Summer Style Hacks: expert packing tips & free expedited shipping
Jetsetter, 6/28 — Top 10 Destinations of the Week
Neiman Marcus, 6/17 — Hot list: 7 summer essentials
Lululemon, 6/27 — Air-Conditioning Included
Boston Market, 6/8 — 6/8 is National BFF Day!
Epicurious, 6/14 — The 100 Greatest Cooks in America
Scotts, 6/1 — Meet Blossom – The Smart Watering Controller
Blue Nile, 6/15 — Introducing 360° Ring Videos
ModCloth, 6/1 — This way to your dream closet…
ModCloth, 6/3 — ‘Quirk’ Hard, Play Harder
Victoria’s Secret, 6/28 — Party in the back
Pier 1 Imports, 6/3 — June 3 only = 3X points + 3X sweepstakes entries.
ThinkGeek, 6/9 — Get our monthly box full of [redacted], [redacted] and [redacted]!
Lego, 6/8 — Batsignal alert! Unexpected entities approaching.
Olive Garden, 6/8 — Because best friends breadstick together.
ThinkGeek, 6/7 — Two guys walk into a bar, the third one ducks. (hey-o!)
Ann Taylor, 6/27 — 5,000 Dresses Donated.
ASPCA, 6/4 — Wild Horses on Trump’s Chopping Block
Threadless, 6/15 — Support the ACLU with Andy J. Pizza
Gilt, 6/19 — One Love: Get Our Exclusive LGBTQ Pride T-Shirt Benefiting The Trevor Project
Victoria’s Secret, 6/22 — You voted & the results are in…
Carnival Cruise Line, 6/14 — You Spoke, We Listened. Check Out Your #CARNIVALFOOD Snapshot
Sony Electronics, 6/22 — Don’t Forget to Share Your Sony Story: You Could Win a Camera

New posts on

The Fate of Yahoo Mail: Will Verizon Shut It Down?

Would You Describe Email Marketing as ‘Failure-Friendly’?

Webinar Recording + Q&A: 2017 State of Email Report

LiveIntent’s Everything Email Podcast: The 6 Stages of the Subscriber Lifecycle and More

More Email Marketing Workflows Incorporating Task Runners & Static Site Generators

What People Are Saying about the 3rd Edition of ‘Email Marketing Rules’

The 3rd Edition of ‘Email Marketing Rules’ Is Now Available!

The Last Word on May 2017

Listen to The Marketing Book PodcastI had the honor of being the very first email marketing book author on The Marketing Book Podcast, which is hosted by Douglas Burdett. During episode #130, Douglas and I talk about:

  • How email marketing is de-siloing and being integrated with other channels and business functions
  • How email is granted media, not owned media
  • The role of inbox providers like Gmail and Outlook
  • The Hierarchy of Subscriber Needs
  • How email deliverability now hinges on both negative feedback and positive engagement
  • Why buying email lists is so dangerous
  • Why brands focus too much on open rates
  • Misconceptions around subject lines
  • Optimizing your preview text
  • Mobile-optimizing your emails
  • Defensive email design and the use of fallbacks
  • How subscriber expectations are rising
  • The books that have influenced me and what I’m reading now

For all the details and lively discussion…

>> Listen to the Marketing Book Podcast

Building Successful Email WorkflowsBased on our 2017 State of Email Survey of more than 3,500 marketers, our second annual State of Email Workflows report takes a detailed look at every stage of email creation—from planning and creation to quality assurance and sending. The report is focused on industry averages, but what does the exceptional email workflow look like?

In this webinar, Product Manager Kevin Mandeville and I answer that question, sharing insights about the behaviors and processes that separate successful email programs from less successful ones. Some of those behaviors include the use of a year-round content calendar, the creation of email briefs for every email, the use of partials to speed up email development, and utilizing an extensive pre-send checklist.

If you didn’t make the webinar, there’s no need to worry. You can watch the whole thing, plus see the answers to the questions we didn’t get to during the live webinar.

>> Watch the webinar on the Litmus blog

8 Ways to Get Executive Buy-In for Email Marketing Projects, Besides ROIAlthough being data-driven is the aspiration, the majority of companies are pretty far off from that due to a myriad of challenges, from bad data to poor integration to cultural issues. The result is that budgets and projects are driven by many factors other than any kind of return on investment calculation or forecast.

Litmus reached out to marketing experts at eMailMonday, Shaw + Scott, Adobe, Merkle, Barkley, Oracle, RAPP, and Red Pill Email for their advice on how to get buy-in for email marketing projects and they recommended:

  1. Promoting sexier adjacent activities
  2. Positioning email more broadly
  3. Leveraging transformative initiatives
  4. Leveraging regulatory and brand compliance requirements
  5. Collecting case studies
  6. Establishing proof of concept
  7. Celebrating your successes
  8. Finding champions

For all the details on each of those tactics…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

Building Successful Email WorkflowsBased on our 2017 State of Email Survey of more than 3,500 marketers, our second annual State of Email Workflows report takes a detailed look at every stage of email creation—from planning and creation to quality assurance and sending. It gives you a great idea of what the average email marketing workflow looks like. But what does the exceptional email workflow look like?

During this webinar, Litmus Product Manager Kevin Mandeville and I will share the behaviors and processes that separate successful email programs from less successful ones. We’ll discuss:

  • Content planning
  • Production cycles
  • Email design and development tools
  • Quality assurance
  • Approvals
  • Interventions and apology emails
  • And more

Building Successful Email Workflows
June 27, 2017
10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET / 5:00pm GMT

Can’t make it on June 27? Don’t worry. Register and you’ll receive the recording of the webinar.

>> Register for the free webinar

What Will Happen to Yahoo Mail?In the wake of a rocky transition of email accounts over to AOL, which included many accounts simply being shut down, there are now questions about how Verizon will handle Yahoo Mail. Will Yahoo Mail users also be migrated over to AOL accounts? Will these users lose their email addresses?

I recently spoke with Jess Nelson of MediaPost, who wanted to know: What Will Happen to Yahoo Mail? This is what I told her:

“The Verizon email service didn’t have a lot of features or good spam filtering. It also didn’t have many users, compared to AOL Mail and Yahoo Mail, which are now both part of Verizon. So it made a lot of sense to migrate email accounts to AOL, which delivers a much better user experience. That said, the transition could have been much smoother and less threatening for users.

Yahoo Mail should be a completely different story. While neglected and tainted by being hacked in recent years, Yahoo Mail has decent capabilities, a ton of brand recognition, and a much larger user base of accounts. I would be shocked if Verizon did a forced migration of Yahoo Mail accounts.

Instead, I expect Verizon to consolidate backend systems, merging the systems of AOL Mail and Yahoo Mail into one email system and user interface. They will then use that single backend system to service both AOL and Yahoo email accounts. On the surface, those will have different branding, but under the hood, they’ll be one system.

Although Verizon says there won’t be email addresses, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did just that once that consolidation of email infrastructure is complete—perhaps as part of an effort to service corporate email needs to match Gmail’s success with business users. But even then, I expect Yahoo Mail to live on for a long time.”

For all the details and additional perspective…

>> Read the full article on


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