Why is email rendering so complex?Email rendering is significantly more complex than website rendering. In addition to operating system, browser, and screen size, email rendering is affected by the email service provider the marketer uses, the subscriber’s email client, and whether images are enabled or blocked.

If we bundle webmail clients together with browsers, there are five major layers in total affecting how an email renders:

  1. Email service providers
  2. Operating systems
  3. App and web-based email clients
  4. Screen sizes
  5. Images enabled/blocked

Let’s look at each of these layers as we build toward a big picture view of just how complex email rendering is…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

4 Signs Your Email Approval Process Is Hurting PerformanceProcess predicts success. That’s true across the entire email marketing workflow, including how brands handle the approval process for new emails.

Successful email programs are 32% more likely than less successful programs to say they have an appropriately rigorous approval process (68.6% vs. 52.1%) rather than a burdensome process or one that’s too lax, according to Litmus’ State of Email Survey. Marketers who describe their email programs as sophisticated are also significantly more likely than less sophisticated programs to say their approval process is appropriately rigorous (69.6% vs. 55.2%).

A number of factors can tip the balance of an email approval process toward being too cumbersome or too lax:

  1. Number of Approvals Needed
  2. High-Level Executive Signoff Needed
  3. Frequency of Last-Minutes Changes
  4. Approval Lead Time

For all the details, including survey results around current approval process practices,…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

The Last Word on March 2017

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Sending an email with no CSS. #EmailWeekly Redesign – Week 1 (Medium)

The Conversion Benchmark Report (Unbounce)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

The Swiss Colony, 3/21 – Make It a 24-Carrot Easter
The Swiss Colony, 3/28 – How to Have the Easiest Easter Ever
Uncommon Goods, 3/7 – Our Leprechauns Approve
Ann Taylor, 3/8 – Let’s Empower Women Around The World
J.Crew, 3/8 –25% off wear-to-work styles = a closet promotion
Vera Bradley, 3/7 – We have spirit, yes we do!
Honda, 3/7 – A first look at the 2017 Civic Type R
Jetsetter, 3/28 – 7 Secret Passenger Rights You Need to Know
eBags, 3/27 – No carry-on? No problem! Check out our top 5 underseaters.
IKEA, 3/28 – Chad, say goodbye to crammed closets!
Clinique, 3/25 – How to find the right foundation shade.
Threadless, 3/6 – Check out our Watercolor winner!
Art.com, 3/24 – The Today Show Loves It, You Will Too
Kate Spade, 3/10 – the unofficial official fabric of spring
RH, 3/28 – Introducing the 2017 Outdoor Source Book
Neiman Marcus, 3/5 – New shoe crush: Pool Slides
J.Crew, 3/7 – 3 new swim ideas + free shipping & returns = the best
Pier 1 Imports, 3/5 – Blue skies and palm trees.
ModCloth, 3/25 – Pool party. You in?!
Express, 3/27 – new this week: palm prints, sun hats & shoulder details
REI Adventures, 3/7 – Be Prepared to Feel Tired, a Little Dirty and Very Much Alive
Victoria’s Secret, 3/24 — Vacation mode ON
Lowe’s, 3/8 – Spring Is Here: Are You Ready?
Pier 1 Imports, 3/2 – Is that a butterfly?
Petco, 3/5 – Small pets make life a lot happier.
Gander Mountain, 3/5 – Turkey Season is Here–Get $20 Off Your $100 Purchase.
Barneys New York, 3/5 – This Menswear Trend Will Be Huge
Gap, 3/5 – For: Date night, Sunday brunch, running errands (basically, looking cute everywhere)
Brooks Brothers, 3/7 – re: your request for the best sweater ever
Ann Taylor, 3/2 – This Is Our Time…
Lululemon, 3/7 – Greatest HIITs
Under Armour, 3/10 – We Supply The Technology, You Supply The Will
Wayfair, 3/27 – We interrupt this broadcast with a TV STAND SALE
GNC, 3/21 – Try A New Free Quest Bar At GNC!
ToysRUs, 3/24 – IT’S BACK! Nintendo Switch in Stores Tomorrow!
Saks Fifth Avenue, 3/27 – New: Saks’ 1st-ever exclusive Prada dress collection.
Karmaloop, 3/24 – If You Don’t Have Our App, You Should…

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

3 Embarrassing Subject Line Mistakes to Avoid

Make Your Unsubscribe Survey More Actionable

Email Attention Spans Have Gradually Increased over Past 6 Years

The Last Word on February 2017

3 Embarrassing Subject Line Mistakes to AvoidSubject lines are incredibly powerful, and marketers know it. That’s why, for instance, subject lines are by far the most A/B tested email element, according to Litmus’ 2016 State of Email Design.

But despite the recognition of their importance, subject lines mistakes are not uncommon. These mistakes are devastating to email performance because they distract subscribers and undermine your message at the very beginning of a potential email interaction and at a point when you have only a few seconds to grab their attention.

Some of these mistakes can also be quite embarrassing and…off-brand. In our latest SlideShare, we discuss three such mistakes and share numerous real-world examples.

>> View the full post and slidedeck on the Litmus blog

How to Make Your Unsubscribe Survey More ActionableSubscribers opt out for a variety of reasons and you don’t know which reason drove a particular person to unsubscribe unless you ask. That’s why some brands conclude their opt-out process with an unsubscribe survey that asks in one form or another: Why did you unsubscribe?

Understanding why your subscribers opt out can give you valuable insights to drive improvements in your email marketing program—but only if you ask the right questions.

Most of the unsubscribe surveys we’ve seen haven’t kept up with the growing number of reasons that consumers unsubscribe, as we revealed in our Adapting to Consumers’ New Definition of Spam ebook. That means that unsubscribe surveys have become increasingly less actionable over time.

However, these surveys can be easily fixed by reviewing the questions you’re asking and how you intend to act if you get a critical mass of a particular response. Here’s how…

>> Read the entire post on the Litmus blog

Email Attention Spans IncreasingMobile phones, Twitter, texting, video games, and other digital era trappings have been blamed for shortening our attention spans to less than that of goldfish. You might be tempted to throw email in that bucket…but you’d be wrong. According to an analysis of billions of emails using Litmus Email Analytics

The average time spent reading an email increased by nearly 7% to 11.1 seconds between 2011 and 2016.

Honestly, we were more than a little surprised by this. We expected to find that email attention spans were shrinking. Instead, we found that the percentage of emails read for more than 18 seconds grew to 44.4% in 2016 from 38.4% in 2011.

For all the details and for advice on how to optimize your emails for short attention spans…

>> Read the full post on the Litmus blog

The Last Word on February 2017

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

Should we stop inlining styles in emails? (Medium)

Gmail promotions tab inbox delivery stats (Zettasphere)

America Loves Email (Relevancy Group)

Email, LinkedIn and white papers remain key strategies in lead gen for B2B marketers, study suggests (The Drum)

Is there a replacement for email? (The Guardian)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

J.Crew, 2/2 — Groundhog, schmoundhog. 20% off & free shipping starts now.
Brooks Brothers, 2/2 — Too late Phil, spring is already here
Brooks Brothers, 2/6 — Spring cleaning starts in your closet.
FansEdge, 2/6 — 5-Time Champs – Get the Latest Pats Championship Gear Now!
Under Armour, 2/6 — M-V-P: Brady Does It Again
Jetsetter, 2/5 — The Most Affordable Hotels in the Caribbean – Because We ALL Need a Vacay Right Now
Pier 1 Imports, 2/17 — We cannot tell a lie.
West Elm, 2/19 — A sale to trump them all 😉 (ends tomorrow!)
Victoria’s Secret, 2/13 — “Get your girls, break some hearts…” XOXO, VICTORIA
Banana Republic, 2/14 — You have a secret admirer (hint: it’s us)!
Lululemon athletica, 2/14 — Sweaty Staples
Neiman Marcus, 2/27 — Red-carpet recap: Shop winning looks now
Hayneedle.com, 2/6 — you deserve a promotion: up to 60% OFF home office!
West Elm, 2/2 — Up to 30% off “Oooh, where’d-ya-get-that?!” style
Sears, 2/13 — (1) new message: You’ve scored up to 40% off appliances
katespade, 2/6 — meet the babe bag. (and a french bulldog, too.)
ToysRUs, 2/13 — This Promo Coe Wil Self Destruct TODAY!
Sakes Fifth Avenue, 2/20 — Be the 1st: shop Burberry straight off the runway.
eBags, 2/13 — Flight Delayed? This Sales is Right on Time!
ASPCA, 2/17 — Spay/Neuter Myths BUSTED: Think You Know the Truth?
ModCloth, 2/20 — Which print?! The struggle is real…
Vera Bradley, 2/17 — Everybody’s talking about Vivian …
The Home Depot, 2/20 — • O • V • E • R • S • T • O • C • K •
Anthropologie, 2/20 — The best reason to turn on your OOO today.
Clinique, 2/25 — How-To: An easy cat eye with major wow factor.
Dell, 2/5 — Quality Bose sound without wires. Find it all on Dell.com
Chipotle, 2/15 — Chipotle Online Ordering: Instant Gratification

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

#AlternativeEmailFacts and the Truth

Join Me in Kansas City on Mar. 14: KCDMA luncheon, Litmus Live workshop, and Networking reception

The Last Word on January 2017

The Email Professional: A Snapshot

A Snapshot of the Email ProfessionalMore than 3,500 marketers completed our State of Email Survey, which closed at the end of January and explores how brands plan, build, approve, send, and ensure the deliverability of their email campaigns.

We’ll be releasing the findings of that survey in the weeks and months ahead, but in the meantime we’d like to give you a snapshot of the email professional, based on those responses.

Here are a few details from the full snapshot that’s available on the Litmus blog:

  • While more of them are men (52.7%), women (47.3%) are well represented, especially compared to other technology, advertising, and marketing fields.
  • The vast majority (72.4%) of them have three or more years of email marketing experience.
  • On average, they do 4.4 of the 10 tasks we asked about.
  • The vast majority (78.4%) of them work full-time on email marketing, but a significant portion are part-time (21.6%).
  • A strong majority (68.6%) of them work at a company with fewer than 500 employees.

> See the full snapshot on the Litmus blog

#AlternativeEmailFacts and the Truth

Read all of Chad's Marketing Land columnsAs a former journalist and long-time researcher, I’m profoundly troubled by our national struggles with the value of science, the need for evidence, and the meaning of the word “fact.” With the US government currently imposing gag orders on research, making executive decisions without proof and then disparaging judges who demand proof, and coining new terms like “alternative facts” to try to justify their rejection of the truth, it’s dark times.

My colleague Kevin Mandeville lightened things up a little by poking some fun at Kellyanne Conway counselor to the president, by creating the #AlternativeEmailFacts hashtag. He used the hashtag on some dubious statements about email marketing, and encouraged others to join in. And join in they did, with nearly 100 alternative email facts served up over the course of a few days.

In my column for Marketing Land, I shine some light on the truth hiding in these “alternative facts”…

>> Read my full column on MarketingLand.com

Litmus WorkshopsI’m going to be in Kansas City, Mo., on Mar. 14 for the following events. For those of you in the area, I hope you can join me.

Kansas City DMA Luncheon, Mar. 14, 11:45am-1:00pm, BRIO Tuscan Grille
I’ll be speaking to members of the KCDMA about “Adapting to Consumers’ New Definition of Spam.” Learn more >>

Fundamentals of Email Marketing Strategy Workshop, Mar. 14, 2pm-6pm, Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza
Previously only available at our annual conferences in Boston, London, and San Francisco, our Litmus Live workshops are now offered as standalone events. In this workshop, I’ll provide a crash course in email marketing strategy, explaining how to build an effective email program and create emails that are respectful, functional, valuable, and remarkable. Space is limited. Learn more >>

Networking Reception, Mar. 14, 6pm-7:30pm, Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza
Immediately following the workshop, we are hosting an informal networking reception with the KCDMA. It will have an open bar, snacks, and a chance to connect with the community! Feel free to stop by even if you are unable to join us for the luncheon or the workshop.

I’m really excited to be visiting Kansas City! I hope to see you there.


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