Posted on May 9, 2016
At its core, the job of inbox providers is to protect their users from bad senders. To accomplish this, they have created filters, algorithms, spam traps, and user tools that attack spam on three fronts: (1) bad recipients, (2) bad content, and (3) bad infrastructure.
To say they’ve succeeded is an understatement. They’ve been so successful at blocking traditional malicious spam that consumers’ definition of “spam” has changed drastically. As I say in my book, “Irrelevant and unwanted email is the new spam in the eyes of both consumers and internet service providers.”
With spam redefined to incorporate poorly executed permission-based email, the mission of inbox providers has changed as well. As a result, inbox providers have now opened a new front in the battle against spam… bad design.
Posted on May 4, 2016
In the inaugural State of Email Salaries & Jobs in the US report, which is based on responses from more than 500 US-based marketers, we provide strong guidance on how to answer that question. The report provides an overall email marketing salary breakdown, but also gives details on how salaries vary by:
- Geographic region
- Industry vertical
- Company size
- Team size
- Agency and freelancer usage
- Email program sophistication
If you’re an executive or email marketer manager, use these results to make sure that you’re offering competitive salaries for each of your email positions. And if you’re an email marketer, use the results to gauge if you’re being paid well at your current job. You can also evaluate future job opportunities, because this report reveals the characteristics of companies that value email and thus value email marketers.
Posted on May 3, 2016
A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…
Hidden factors impacting your email subscriber lists (iMedia Connection)
New 2016 State of Marketing Research Report (Salesforce)
Email Deliverability: Guide for Modern Marketers (Oracle Marketing Cloud)
The Politics of Email Deliverability (Oracle Marketing Cloud)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
@jvanrijn: Guy walks into a bar, says: “give me a couple of million $’s” Bartenders asks: What #MarketingAutomation platform are you building?
Noteworthy subject lines
Fossil, 4/1 — Introducing: Fossil Scratch-N-Sniff
ThinkGeek, 4/1 — Explosive backyard chemistry: Vertical Landing Mentos & Diet Coke Rocket!
Lenovo, 4/1 — Lenovo Announces World’s First Cat-Top PCs
Gucci, 4/1 — Introducing #GucciGram Tian
GNC, 4/1 — New: Fat-Incinerating Doughcuts
Overstock.com, 4/1 — The Bad News: We’re Out of Deals. The Good News: It’s April Fools Day…
Lowe’s, 4/1 — No Joke – It’s Spring Black Friday
J.Crew, 4/1 — We’ve got a few style tricks up our sleeve today
Zulily, 4/15 — Refund = me fund
Urban Outfitters, 4/27 — Introducing the UO Souvenir Shop
REI, 4/27 — Let’s Celebrate the Women Who Scaled Mountains for Us
Williams-Sonoma, 4/19 — The Gift Guide is here! 75+ Top Picks for Moms, Dads, Grads & More
The Container Store, 4/1 — You can WIN when you sign-up for our College Savings Weekends
Banana Republic, 4/28 — The checklist: 5 spring essentials
Jetsetter, 4/26 — Let’s Pretend It’s Summer
Walmart, 4/1 — Patio furniture ships FREE
Williams-Sonoma, 4/2 — Cook EVERYTHING Outdoors with the NEWEST in NONSTICK Grillware + 20% Off Any 1 Item
Gucci, 4/1 — Nautical-inspired pieces for summer
Victoria’s Secret, 4/6 — Your vacay is handled: Free beach tote!
Pier 1 Imports, 4/6 — Your very own backyard getaway.
Crutchfield, 4/28 — FREE 40″ TV with select Samsung TVs
Neiman Marcus, 4/13 — Your invite: alice + Olivia live runway at 9:30 PM CT tonight
Sesame Place, 4/13 — Show us your priceless #Gobeforetheygrow moments
Fans Edge, 4/14 — #DubsUp To 73. Shop GSW Record Gear Now.
Victoria’s Secret, 4/7 — A total #TBT
Zappos, 4/10 — By Popular Vote…
National Football League, 4/28 — Ways to watch the 2016 NFL Draft
Fans Edge, 4/26 — 20% Off So You Can Look Like The #1 Pick
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on May 2, 2016
How many email service providers a brand uses to send its emails reveals a lot about their email program—how sophisticated it is, the size of their email team, and much more. Whether they use a homegrown email platform is equally revealing.
In Litmus’ State of Email Production report, we asked more than 900 email marketers which platforms they use to send their emails, among many other things. Digging into the data, we found that these three groups—users of 1 ESP, users of 2+ ESPs, and users of homegrown platforms—had some interesting differences.
For instance, we found that using two or more ESPs tends to be a marker of a more sophisticated (and more complex) production process. Brands using multiple ESPs generally have larger email teams, have more emails in production at once, and have longer production cycles compared to brands using just one email service provider.
Users of homegrown email platforms are a bit of a mixed bag. In some ways they seemed less sophisticated, but other ways there were the most sophisticated.
For a full discussion of these differences, including lots of stats,…
Posted on April 29, 2016
We love email marketing here at Litmus, and are frankly often frustrated that some companies don’t see its value. To try to convince them, we frequently tout email marketing’s stellar return on investment, which is 38-to-1, according to research by the Direct Marketing Association.
We’ve mentioned it in this report and this blog post and this one and this one too—and that’s just in the past few months. And plenty of other email marketing companies have done the same over the years.
Heck, I’ve gone so far as to argue that email marketing’s ROI is closer to 130-to-1.
But despite our collective rah-rah around the ROI opportunity, companies still significantly underinvest in email marketing. For example, brands spend 15% of their marketing budget on email marketing on average, while the channel generates 23% of total sales, according to a study by Adestra and Econsultancy.
As much as we’d like email marketing’s ROI to matter to more brands, it simply doesn’t. Here are some reasons why that’s the case…
Posted on April 19, 2016
Email marketing teams and email production workflows are incredibly diverse. That’s what we found when we surveyed more than 900 email marketers for our 2016 State of Email Production report.
Most of the report’s findings serve simply to raise questions about whether a brand should consider changing their team composition, planning process, tool usage, and approval process to make their workflow more effective. However, some of the findings point to areas where marketers can clearly improve.
Here are four of those areas:
1. Use a “pre-flight” checklist.
2. Explore the web development tools that are migrating over to email development.
3. Identify tasks where you can safely speed things up.
4. Use email preview software.
For a full discussion of each of these…
Posted on April 18, 2016
To get a sense of what lay ahead, Litmus asked 20 experts: “How will email marketing and the subscriber experience change by the year 2020?”
Collected in our Email Marketing in 2020 report, their predictions cover inbox functionality, email service provider functionality, email design, production workflows, organizational structures, deliverability, regulations, and more.
While every prediction is interesting and thought-provoking, five of them are particularly big disruptors to email marketing and how it works today:
- Brands will stop creating email campaigns because machine learning and automation will completely redefine what a “campaign” is.
- Subscribers will be able to opt out of tracking.
- Marketers will have to cater to an entirely new audience: machines.
- Email messages will morph into push notifications.
- Email messages will morph into mailable microsites.
For a full discussion of each of these disruptions,…
Posted on April 7, 2016
The logistics and mixed subscriber experience is the chief reason that few brands have even tried video in email. However, despite all the hype and false starts over the years, video in email still holds great promise and marketers are excited about the idea of it, as much as the reality of it lets them down.
In addition to polling marketers about their usage of video in email, we interviewed three email experts, asking them what they see as the challenges and opportunities around this email element.
Posted on April 6, 2016
The right email marketing workflow is a mix of three P’s: people, process, and products. That’s how Elyse Dupre of DM News put it after I spoke with her about our 2016 State of Email Production report. I think that’s a great way to look at what it takes to build a great email marketing machine.
For the People component, we talked about team sizes and about skill sets. I also shared findings from our yet-to-be-released report on email marketing salaries that marketers with more specialized skills tend to earn higher salaries.
For Process, we discussed email content planning—and the lack there of in some instances. We also talked about the approval process and QA, including the counterintuitive finding that more sophisticated marketers halt more email sends and send more apology emails. I explain that it comes down to visibility: “It’s hard to correct a mistake if you don’t know you made one.”
And for Products, we discussed the availability of a lot of email production tools that few marketers are actually using. That’s an opportunity for marketers to try out some of these and see if they make sense for their workflow. We also discussed ESP usage and the fact that there’s a clear split between marketers using just one ESP and those using two or more.
Posted on April 5, 2016
We recently hosted a webinar where Justine Jordan and I discussed the 8 most impactful trends from our Email Marketing in 2020 report, which touches on everything from personalization and automation to inbox functionality and privacy.
The recording of that hour-long webinar is now freely available.
Attendees of the live webinar had some great questions about the future of email marketing, not all of which we had time to answer during the webinar. However, we were able to answer all of the following questions in a follow-up blog post:
- Can you define “Single View of the Customer”?
- How do you balance the trends of interactivity and minimalism? Or put another way: How can emails of the future be both short, consumable emails and microsites?
- Is there currently a way to track email opens from wearables? Is there any plans for Litmus to add “wearables” into Email Analytics?
- Microsoft Outlook notoriously drags down email evolution. How do you see it affecting these predictions?
- There have been constant talks about personalization, mapping the customer journey, etc. but the majority of ecommerce companies still do batch and blast and one-size-fits-all emails. Who actually is utilizing all of these technologies and being an exemplary email marketer?
- In light of recent issues surrounding artificial intelligence, will those types of examples deter this type of technology?
- I find it interesting that as Millennials come into play, with their assumptions of less privacy, that the belief is that anti-spam laws will strengthen. Who drives this strengthening and in what ways?
- Typically we’ve measured email success by click-through and open rates. With the changes in email moving forward, how should we be measuring success?