The Last Word on March 2016

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Email use continues to grow worldwide with users expected to reach 230 billion by 2020 (The Drum)

Webinar Replay: Top takeaways of MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 (MarketingSherpa)

Pow Pow – Gaming within Emails (1973)

The Dispute Continues Over Email Privacy Rules (Direct Marketing News)

Email Deliverability Crash Course: Message Acceptance, Seed Lists & Panel Data (SparkPost blog)

Interactive Carousels in Email: HP ENVY & B&Q Outdoor Furniture (FreshInbox)

ESPs and Purchased lists: 9 months later (LinkedIn)

Emoji Marketing On The Rise (MediaPost)

What Happened to Our Metrics After We Stopped Sending So Much Email (HubSpot)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@krudz: And today all of a sudden I speak spanish? #email #data #Verizon

@becskr: I really wish I wasn’t getting targeted with baby ads just because I’m “of a certain age”. Show me puppies, ALL TEH PUPPEHS

@DerekBHarding: In a stunning turn of events a marketer just said that martech belongs with marketing not IT (IT unconvinced) #dmu16 #martech

@EmailKarma: My wife sent me this – Do you perhaps mean .cat? Email address verification software fail! #EmailHumour #EmailGeeks

@unmarketing: Our @emmaemail friends must love this. Saying email is dead and to see why, just submit your email!

@TedGoas: ~ leans back in chair and tilts head skyward ~ Can I have just one day where someone doesn’t call an email an Email Blast? Just. One. Day.

Noteworthy subject lines

Pier 1 Imports, 3/6 — Hunting for that perfect Easter table?
Lego, 3/13 — Fill their baskets with creativity!
J.Crew, 3/13 — Reset your clocks, then shop this 23-hour sale
Chico’s, 3/13 — New Tops For Longer Days + 50% Off Sale (Ends Today)
ASPCA, 3/16 — Some Animals Aren’t So Lucky
Clinique, 3/31 — All the makeup Mom needs—in one pretty bag. Plus, FREE tote with purchase.
Tiny Prints, 3/27 — Just In! Our 2016 Graduation Collection
J.Crew, 3/4 — Cute new swimsuits: free shipping, free returns, zero dressing-room mirrors
J.Jill, 3/27 — Signs of spring—our new floral prints are here. Plus, extra 30% off all sale ends today., 3/30 — Gardening up to 45% off – grow get it!
Horchow, 3/4 — The RUG Sale: 25% off. Start your room here.
West Elm, 3/31 — Rug SALE! 30% off ALL jutes, dhurries, kilims..oh my!
Clinique, 3/4 — Say ‘I do’ to big day beauty. Free Vow to Wow Kit with purchase
Walmart, 3/27 — 4K Ultra HD TVs at super low prices, 3/30 — Check out the world’s thinnest and lightest…
JCPenney, 3/6 — Buy 1 Get 1 for 1¢ select JCPenney Home items
Tempur-Pedic, 3/2 — Get a mattress, and we’ll give one away.
The North Face, 3/2 — Grown and Sewn in the USA
Moosejaw, 3/25 — The Patagonia Charity Thing is back
Clinique, 3/19 — A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Art
Jetsetter, 3/27 — 30 Trips of a Lifetime (How many have you taken?)
American Red Cross, 3/25 — How well do you know Clara Barton?
Gap, 3/25 — you + these jeans (insert compliments here)
Threadless, 3/16 — INTRODUCING: Lounge Pants!, 3/10 — See what everyone’s talking about > > > > > > > >
Express, 3/12 — Choose-your-own-adventure packing lists
Neiman Marcus, 3/25 — Insta-glam favorites + cocktail dresses under $500
Fans Edge, 3/3 — #TBT Retro is ALWAYS IN.
Under Armour, 3/10 — Batman or Superman?
Feeding America, 3/3 — Hunger has no political party
Drs. Foster & Smith, 3/16 — How to Stretch Your Pet’s Healthcare Budget

New posts on

Using Task Runners & Static Site Generators in Your Email Production Process

Report: 2016 State of Email Production

The Limits of Email Marketing Automation

The 3 Kinds of Inactive Email Subscribers and How to Manage Each of Them

How to Prepare for that Inevitable Apology Email

20 Predictions from 20 Experts about Email Marketing in 2020

The Future of Email Marketing Design & Development

The Last Word on February 2016

Lee Munroe discusses task runners and static site generatorsWhile small now, there’s a growing trend of email developers using web development tools to build emails. For instance, 6.7% of email marketers are using task runners as part of their email production workflow, according to our 2016 State of Email Production report. And more than 5% of email marketers are using static site generators.

Lee Monroe, Product Design Lead at Mailgun by Rackspace, is a big believer in the role that traditional web development tools can play in email production. At The Email Design Conference, I had the opportunity to sit down and interview Lee about how email designers and developers can use these kinds of tools in their email production workflows.

“There’s lots of great front end developer tools that you can use to improve your workflow,” he says. “So static site generators is one. These have historically been used as web development tools, but using them for email you can set up a framework that includes layouts, variables, partials—that type of thing—to help you optimize your workflow from end to end.”

>> Read the full post on the Litmus Blog

Report: 2016 State of Email Production

Download the 2016 State of Email ProductionAre you missing out on software and tools that could improve your email production process? Does your company spend enough time on email coding? On the QA process? On analytics? Are you planning email content far enough in advance? Is your approval process too burdensome or too lax?

To get solid answers to these questions, Litmus surveyed more than 900 marketers, asking about all facets of their email production workflow, including:

  • How email teams are built
  • How peak-season and off-season email content is planned
  • How teams allocate time among various production tasks
  • How technology is used in email production workflows
  • How quality assurance and approvals are handled
  • How emails are sent
  • How email mistakes are dealt with

We share the results of that survey in the inaugural State of Email Production report. Use these results to help benchmark your own process, identifying opportunities for improvement and using this evidence to make a compelling argument for more resources or process streamlining.

>> Download the free report

The Limits of Email Marketing Automation

Read all of Chad's Marketing Land columnsTwo-thirds of marketers expect machine learning, AI, and predictive software to determine the majority of the content (subject lines, images, copy, etc.) in marketing emails at some point, according to research published in our Email Marketing in 2020 report. And that’s very understandable considering the massive scale of email marketing and the increasing need to create relevance on the individual subscriber level. Humans simply cannot achieve that on their own. Email marketing automation will undoubtedly become more vital to success.

That said, people will still have a major role to play in email marketing for several critical reasons:

  1. Machines are pretty horrible at creativity.
  2. Marketers will need to supply AIs with the right data.
  3. People will need to set the goals and parameters for their automation.
  4. Machines excel at logic, but human beings excel at being illogical.
  5. Because machines rely on historic performance for a lot of their “intuition,” they don’t handle shocks well.

For a full discussion of each of these points, plus more on the role of machine intelligence in email marketing,…

>> Read my full column on

Register for the Webinar: 8 Trends That Will Define the Future of Email MarketingEmail marketing has experienced great shifts in recent years, and is poised to undergo dramatic changes before the end of the decade.

We explored the future of the channel in our recent “Email Marketing in 2020” report, where we asked 20 experts to share their vision for how email will change over the next several years. Their thought-provoking predictions touch on the subscriber experience, inbox functionality, deliverability, design and coding, the technology provider landscape, and much more.

In this webinar, Litmus VP of Marketing Justine Jordan and I will discuss 8 major themes from “Email Marketing in 2020”:

  1. Channel Stability
  2. A Single View of the Customer
  3. Hyper-personalization
  4. Machine Learning & Automation
  5. Inbox Landscape & Functionality
  6. Interactivity
  7. Minimalism
  8. Compliance & Privacy

Along the way, we’ll share the perspective of our amazing contributors, whose advice will help you get ready for the changes ahead. Justine and I will also share the results from our surveys of thousands of consumers and marketers about key trends. Join us to get a head start on preparing for the future of email marketing!

>> Register for this free webinar

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
1pm-2pm ET

How to Manage the 3 Kinds of Inactive Email SubscribersYour inactive email subscribers are not all the same, so you need different strategies for addressing them. By my count, there are 3 different kinds of inactives:

  1. Never-Actives, who are new subscribers who have never engaged
  2. Lapsed Customer Inactives, who are inactive subscribers who have also become inactive customers
  3. Current Customer Inactives, who are inactive subscribers who are known to be active customers

You should have different strategies for each of those groups of inactives, and your overall inactive strategy will vary depending on your company’s individual tolerance for deliverability risk.

>> Read the full post on the Litmus Blog

Why companies apologize (and how to be ready to do it)Sending an apology email is unavoidable. It’s also true that sending one is a lot less painful when you’re prepared.

In this guest post for SmartBlogs, I discuss the three main reasons that brands send apology emails:

  1. A website outage blocked users from accessing information or completing transactions.
  2. An email contained a significant error.
  3. A public relations situation arose in another channel.

And then I talk about laying the required groundwork for smooth responses.

>> Read the full post on

How will email marketing change by the end of the decade?”

That’s the question we posed to 20 experts for our Email Marketing in 2020 report. Their answers predict dramatic changes in personalization, automation, interactivity, compliance, and much more.

In this SlideShare, we’ve selected our favorite prediction from each of our 20 contributors, and made it easy for you to tweet the ones you find intriguing or agree with. Enjoy this peek at the future of email marketing!

Watch The Future of Email Marketing videoThe rise of mobile has had a profound effect on email design over the past 5 years, but what will be the drivers of change over the next 5 years?

We asked 6 of our speakers from The Email Design Conference how they saw email marketing design and development changing in the coming years:

  • Brian Graves, UI Team Lead, DEG
  • Fabio Carneiro, Lead Email Developer & UX Designer, MailChimp
  • Lee Munroe, Product Design Lead, Mailgun by Rackspace
  • Mark Robbins, Email Developer, Rebelmail
  • Dan Denney, Front-End Developer, Code School
  • Mike Ragan, Designer, Action Rocket

Their answers focused on email production workflow, coding support, the subscriber experience, and interactive elements.

>> Watch the interviews on the Litmus Blog

The Last Word on February 2016

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Scale Trust, Not Lists (

Tracking Actions in Interactive Email (FreshInbox)

Making email safer for you (Official Gmail Blog)

How to Re-Engage a Dormant Subscriber List (ReachMail)

E.U. and U.S. Release Details on Trans-Atlantic Data Transfer Deal (New York Times)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@becskr: LOLs at LinkedIn requests. Someone wants to talk to me about reducing my printing costs…I’m an email marketer, it doesn’t get much cheaper.

@EmailSnarketing: Lane Bryant sent out this email. (Subject line “Show us your…”) You know that your customers are women, right?

@Chrisgoldson90: So shall we try sending the same message again? It won’t annoy anyone, they won’t notice. #emailgeeks

@bos31337: Today in novel approaches to honesty in email marketing…

@adwordslessons: Today is the day when retailers show off their ignorance by sending #PresidentsDay emails with “Save some Franklins”.

@LenShneyder: How do I want to be marketed too? With compassion, understanding and restraint. #Sherpa16 Just me. #emailmarketing

@wise_laura: Dear autocorrect: I do not mean spoonable, I mean spoofable. Authentication note taking is hard.


@M_J_Robbins: Looks like @yahoomail is now supporting border-radius: position: absolute; and z-index: #emailgeeks That’s cool 🙂

Noteworthy subject lines

National Football League, 2/1 — What’s Your Super Bowl IQ?
Aeropostale, 2/4 — SUPER 50% off everything + get $10 off $50 – game on!
Fans Edge, 2/2 — Panthers. Broncos. Rep Your Pick With New Gear!
Williams-Sonoma, 2/2 — Your Recipe for Game Day Success + Great Savings You Don’t Want to Miss – In Stores & Online
Target, 2/2 — Ready for Sunday? TV deals you can pick up today.
Toys “R” Us, 2/6 — Everybody Saves at our Super Weekend Sale!
Levi’s, 2/6 — Alicia Keys. Live. Tonight.
Banana Republic, 2/4 — 8 for a great Valentine’s date
Anthropologie, 2/3 — Resend to your sweetie.
Blue Nile, 2/2 — We Have Your Ring In Time For Valentine’s Day
Clinique, 2/2 — Prep before you pucker this Valentine’s + 4 FREE lip shades with purchase., 2/6 — First Comes Love…then 2 great deals!
Victoria’s Secret, 2/4 — Free 2-day shipping! No Valentine’s gift? No problem., 2/4 — Cupid’s Counting Down! 10 Days Left to Find the Perfect Gift!
MAC Cosmetics, 2/10 — Just in Time for Valentine’s Day — Free Overnight Shipping!
Olive Garden, 2/12 — You + Us = Happy Valentine’s Day
ASPCA, 2/12 — Cutest. Valentine’s Day Card. Ever.
Brooks Brothers, 2/11 — Up to 50% off. Balance the budget.
Pier 1 Imports, 2/10 — Easter—it’s a good hare day.
Petco, 2/20 — Free Shipping for National Love Your Pet Day!
Petco, 2/29 — Leap into savings! 29% off pet supplies!
Lands’ End, 2/29 — This only happens once every four years…
Zulily, 2/29 —This only happens once every four years!
Neiman Marcus, 2/29 — About last night… Our award-worthy eveningwear
Barneys New York, 2/29 — Eveningwear Inspired by Red Carpet Trends
Brooks Brothers, 2/2 — Why wait 6 more weeks for spring?
Pier 1 Imports, 2/3 — New warming trends.
Victoria’s Secret, 2/3 — FREE Shipping & Returns on Swim! (You’re getting warmer…)
Saks Fifth Avenue, 2/20 — Spring 2016 Runway Report Vol. 1
Express, 2/29 — Yes, you can rock a plunging bodysuit
Vera Bradley, 2/2 — An ode to your inner girly girl
Ann Taylor, 2/6 — The Fluid Ankle Pant x 3 Ways
Brooks Brothers, 2/5 — Thanks a million. (More like $2 million.)
Kate Spade, 2/12 — this just in from NYFW…
Urban Outfitters, 2/12 — This is why cheaters always win.
Nikon, 2/6 — Nikon School is coming to the Boston area
Zulily, 2/6 — Super girls and Wonder women, assemble!
The Shopping Channel, 2/6 — Need A Little Art Therapy?
ThinkGeek, 2/19 — This BB-8 is our new B-FF: new Life-Size LED Floor Lamp!
MoMA Store, 2/6 — Most Popular Pinterest Products + 20% Off
Gap, 2/13 — insta-style: share your denim
Clinique, 2/19 — #NowTrending on Instagram + 2 free treats with purchase.
Clinique, 2/20 — New On The Wink: Secrets of an Instagram superstar.
Anthropologie, 2/29 — It’s Feb. 29: #MakeALeap

New posts on

How to Write an Effective Apology Email

My Predictions for What Email Marketing Will Look Like in the Year 2020

Email Marketing in 2020 Report

Valentines for Email Marketers

How to Build a Twitter Following

Following the Big Data Breadcrumbs to Email Insights

Mobile Holiday Shopping Surge Benefited Mobile-Friendly Retailers

The Last Word on January 2016


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