Read all of Chad's Marketing Land columnsAnyone who says email hasn’t changed much in the past few decades is simply demonstrating that they don’t know much about email.

It’s a dangerous mistake for brands to underestimate the evolution of email marketing over the past couple of decades, as it sets them up to not be agile enough to cope with the coming changes—some of which are tectonic.

The major stages of email’s evolution so far include…

Email 1.0: Closed Platform
Email 2.0: Open Platform
Email 3.0: Spam-Complaint Filtering
Email 4.0: HTML Emails
Email 5.0: Mobile Emails
Email 6.0: Mobile HTML Emails
Email 7.0: Engagement-Based Filtering

And the next stages likely include…

Email 8.0: Big Data Personalization & Machine Learning
Email 9.0: Interactivity & Rich Content
Email 10.0: Wearables
Email 11.0: Internet of Things
Email 12.0: Voice Interfaces

For an explanation of all of those stages, especially those next stages that are starting to make a big impact on marketers…

>> Read the entire column on

Happy Holidays from My Family to Yours

’Twas two nights before Christmas, and as I slept in my bed,
Not a worry was stirring inside my tired head.
For our stockings were hung by our chimney with care,
And our tree was adored so that no spot was bare,
With popcorn on string and balls made of glass
And pictures of kids and bells made of brass.
There were presents all stacked underneath our grand tree,
For Kate and for Ben, Zach, Dex, and for me—
And even for Piper, our new faithful friend,
Who slept in the kitchen inside her dog pen.
Then from deep in my sleep, I heard a faint jingle,
A jingle that made all my fingers and toes tingle.
I knew in a moment it wasn’t St. Nick.
I threw back my covers and got to my feet quick.
I grabbed my bed lamp in lieu of a broom,
And quietly crept into the next room.
There in the darkness, I squinted to see,
Two beady eyes staring right back at me.
I took a step back, then stepped right back up,
Realizing those eyes were the eyes of a pup.
“Piper?” I said, then I turned on a light,
And saw her cute face, plus a terrible fright,
For all around Piper were things from our tree—
A snowman dismembered, a reindeer’s left ski,
The stripes off a zebra, the hat from a bear,
And a gingerbread man ripped off his red chair.
But for all the destruction, she ate not one present
(Though she left her own that was terribly fragrant).
So I scooped her right up and went into the kitchen,
Where I saw that the door to her pen was wide open.
With the mystery solved and true disaster averted,
I tided up, relieved that no policed were alerted.
Then I went back to bed and muttered as I turned out the light,
“Happy Almost-Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Happy Holidays to You and Yours

Watch the State of Email Webinar recordingTo understand how email marketing is changing and to identify opportunities for brands, Litmus surveyed more than 900 marketers worldwide. Those extensive results powered our State of Email research series, which included:

In the State of Email webinar, we shared the most interesting and actionable insights from that research series—and also told you about the 2017 State of Email Survey and the opportunity to win a ticket to The Email Design Conference.

To watch the recording, download the slides, and read the Q&A from the webinar…

>> Get the full recap on the Litmus blog

3 Reasons to Take the 2017 State of Email Survey

Take the 2017 State of Email SurveyFor the 2nd year, we’re surveying savvy marketers like you to find out how you plan, create, and send your email campaigns.

Here are three reasons why you should participate in the 2017 State of Email Survey:

  1. The survey will get you thinking critically about every facet of your email marketing program—from team composition and approval process to email design and software used.
  2. The results will power the 2017 State of Email research series, which will help you benchmark yourself against your peers and identify opportunities for improvement.
  3. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing to win a free ticket to The Email Design Conference 2017 or a Mystery Litmus Swag Pack.

>> Start the survey

Apple's "easy unsubscribe" banner in a Zappos emailApple’s iOS 10 Mail added support for list-unsubscribe, but the large “easy unsubscribe” banners that appear in marketers emails appear to be driving up opt-outs. Here are 5 reasons why marketers shouldn’t panic…

  1. Unsubscribes are not inherently bad, since they don’t harm deliverability and may not harm revenue.
  2. Brands have made it too difficult to unsubscribe and don’t honor opt-outs quickly enough.
  3. Email users trust native opt-out mechanisms more than the ones supplied directly by brands.
  4. Enabling list-unsubscribe reduces spam complaints, which in turn improves deliverability.
  5. List-unsubscribe isn’t new. Apple’s adoption follows Gmail (2009) and Microsoft (2007).

For a full discussion of each of these reasons…

>> Read the entire post on the Litmus blog

How the Pros Turn Marketing Analytics into Effective Marketing StrategiesAn understanding of marketing analytics is key for brands to get the answers they need to attract and serve customers well.

To get a holistic perspective on how marketers can use analytics wisely for email marketing, SEO, conversion, pay-per-click advertising, social media marketing, Alexa spoke with me and:

  • Eric Enge, CEO at Stone Temple Consulting Corporation, Co-author of The Art of SEO
  • Andy Crestodina, Co-founder of Orbit Media Studios, Author of Content Chemistry
  • Larry Kim, Founder of WordStream, Top columnist at
  • Steve Rayson, Director at BuzzSumo

This ebook is great for email marketers who want to better understand what’s driving decisions in other channels and the larger marketing goals across channels.

>> Download “How the Pros Turn Marketing Analytics into Effective Marketing Strategies”

The post on the AWeber blogWith email lists losing generally around one-third of their subscribers every year, brands must be rebuilding their lists constantly—ideally adding new subscribers at a faster rate than they’re losing them, and ideally adding subscribers with a lifetime value that’s at least as high as the subscribers they’re losing.

With list building being so critical, AWeber asked me and 14 other email marketing experts for our top tip for growing email lists wisely. This blog post includes tips on forms, incentives, acquisition sources, and more from:

  • Erin King, Sr. Email Marketing Manager at Litmus
  • Kristen Dunleavy, Content Marketing Manager at Movable Ink
  • Amy Schmittauer, Founder of Savvy Sexy Social
  • Noah Kagan, Chief Sumo at SumoMe
  • Nick Loper, Chief Side Hustler at Side Hustle Nation
  • Carl Sednaoui, Director of Marketing at MailCharts
  • Mike Nelson, Email Geek at Really Good Emails
  • Rachel Moffatt, Social Media Manager at Express Writers
  • Brian Dean, Founder of Backlinko
  • Nick Westergaard, Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital
  • Henneke Duistermaat, Founder of Enchanting Marketing
  • Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder and Strategic Director at Orbit Media Studios
  • Jenna Kutcher, Founder of the Jenna Kutcher Course and Host of The Goal Digger Podcast
  • Tom Tate, Marketing Product Manager at AWeber

>> See all the list-building tips on the AWeber blog

17 Ecommerce Marketing Trends for 2017

2017 Ecommerce Marketing TrendsOmetria asked me and 16 other experts what we thought would be big in ecommerce marketing in 2017.

Predicted trends included a focus on content, understanding customer journeys, the rise of social commerce, a consolidation of retailers’ technology stack, and more.

My prediction about e-commerce marketing next year centers around broadcast vs. triggered emails and how marketers are investing their time and energy and the kinds of returns they’re getting:

Broadcast promotional emails are consuming most of email marketing programs’ resources, but are delivering diminishing returns and cause nearly all email fatigue, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. In 2017, we’re going to see a big shift in resources toward triggered emails, which are already generating the majority of email marketing revenue for some brands. There’s huge potential in welcome emails, cart abandonment emails, browse abandonment emails, back-in-stock notifications, reengagement emails, and other action-, inaction-, date-, and IoT-triggered emails. However, they require care and feeding to ensure they’re up to date, seasonally relevant, optimized, and continually improved.

>> Read about all the trends

The Last Word on November 2016

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Study finds e-retailers are making it more difficult to unsubscribe from emails (Marketing Land)

Why People Open Emails (Backed by Research) (MailMunch)

Measuring success in email – we’re doing it wrong (Medium)

What Email Marketers Can Do to Stop Unsubscribes (MarketingProfs)

Have We Forgotten How To Market? (MediaPost)

Our Favorite Examples of Live Polling in Email Marketing (Movable Ink)

Is the new “easy” list unsubscribe a big problem? (Hive)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

FansEdge, 11/4 — Everything Cubs. Everything Championship. While Supplies Last.
Under Armour, 11/4 — Cubs Fans: It’s Time To Celebrate!
AutoAnything, 11/11 — Thank You, Veterans.
The Swiss Colony, 11/8 — Serve and Give Our Best for Thanksgiving
P&G everyday, 11/14 — Simple Thanksgiving place settings
Net-a-Porter, 11/15 — Your stylish Thanksgiving starts here
Vera Bradley, 11/4 — The trick(s) to tackling holiday travel …
Costco Wholesale, 11/4 —Home For the Holidays! Save Up to $600 OFF on Modern Furniture for Every Room!
Pier 1 Imports, 11/3 — Give your guests the best.
Pier 1 Imports, 11/9 — Make an entrance they won’t forget.
LifeWay, 11/3 — Prepare Your Heart and Home for Christmas
Sears, 11/9 — ! Special Annoucement: Black Friday deals NOW on the Sears app >>
Sears, 11/4 — One holiday, TWO sales! Veterans Day savings + Black Friday deals!
Clinique, 11/4 — Let’s get merry! Our Holiday Shop has some big surprises.
Neiman Marcus, 11/3 — Gifts that give back: Our Love To Give Collection
Gucci, 11/14 — From the Gucci Garden: the New Campaign for the Holidays
Ikea, 11/11 — Introducing our new holiday collection for 2016!, 11/3 — Give Nike: The Ultimate Gift List
ThinkGeek, 11/3 — Insert Coin. Receive gift. Continue? Browse our Holiday Giftcade.
Nike, 11/14 — Customize Your Holiday Gifts with NIKEiD
Costco, 11/14 — Top Electronics & Gifts Too Big to Wrap – Don’t Miss These Costco-Sized Savings!
Gap, 11/21 — $25 and under stocking stuffers are here!
Harley-Davidson, 11/3 — If You’re on the Naughty List, You Better Enjoy It
ToysRUs, 11/14 — Save Like It’s Cyber Monday! 1-Day Online Only Sale!
Victoria’s Secret, 11/24 — Post-Dinner Plans = Shop With PINK!
Lands’ End, 11/24 — We are thankful for friends, family, elastic waistbands and this…
FansEdge, 11/24 — Today We Are Thankful. For Style. And Football.
Dell, 11/24 — Time to be thankful. DOORBUSTERS have arrived early!
ThinkGeek, 11/24 — Stop fixing the WiFi at your aunt’s house: 40-60% off over 100 products!
Lowe’s, 11/24 — Happy Thanksgiving! Start Your Holiday Off Right With These Black Friday Savings
REI, 11/24 — This Holiday Is About Family
Target, 11/24 — 6 pm: Black Friday starts at your Target store.
Blue Nile, 11/28 — Better Than Friday, 50% Off New Cyber Monday
Sears, 11/28 — ☺ Use code: CYBER (we’re giving you an EXTRA 25% off!)
Walmart, 11/14 — Apply for a Walmart Credit Card today!, 11/14 — Holiday How-To: Get dressed up with Lucy Hale!
Lands’ End, 11/13 — Here’s how to build a beautiful winter look & save 40%
Anthropologie, 11/21 — THIS jacket: required.
Etsy, 11/13 — It’s engagement season
Southwest, 11/15 — The slopes are calling. Open now for sale fares.
AutoAnything, 11/13 — You have 9 unread deals, 11/15 — Don’t open if you love your job

New posts on

6 Email Marketing Manipulations that Should Stop

Webinar Recording + Q&A: Adapting to Consumers’ New Spam Definition

Millennials Driven to Opt-out and Report Spam Largely by Same Factors as Everyone Else

The Last Word on October 2016

7 Email Marketing Predictions for 2017

7 Email Marketing Predictions for 2017With 2017 just around the corner, Campaign Monitor sought predictions for the New Year from me and six other email marketing experts:

  • Alex Williams, Trendline Interactive
  • Matthew Smith, Really Good Emails
  • Daniel Codella, ZURB
  • Andrea Wildt, Campaign Monitor
  • Jordie Van Rijn, Email Monday
  • Ros Hodgekiss, Campaign Monitor

My prediction centers around automation and data-driven messaging, which was a theme echoed by a couple of the other contributors. Others focused on mobile payments, email design, email metrics, and new internet-connected devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Despite being well-established, email marketing is constantly evolving. That means that email marketers need to be constantly evolving too.

>> See the email marketing predictions for 2017


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