Posted on September 3, 2019
When is the best time to send email? This question has been one of the most-asked in the email marketing industry for well over a decade. And the urgency to answer this question correctly has only grown.
That’s because we live in a time-strapped world where we only want things when we want them. But when we’re ready, we want them immediately. In the meantime, email messages are coming in all day, every day—largely without regard to when customers are most interested in reading and responding to them. It’s a mismatch that leads to frustration, disengagement, and opt-outs.
Thankfully, this doesn’t need to be the case. Brands have more data and tools at their disposal than ever to answer the question of the best time to send emails. Patterns in historical open, click, and conversion behaviors are readily available for your each of your subscribers. Taking advantage of that known behavior offers a competitive advantage that will boost performance of your program. In fact, Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Head of Strategic Services, Clint Kaiser, says that in all of his years of working with clients, he has yet to see it fail to deliver material lifts in a program. Ever.
However, there are several ways to determine “the best time to send emails,” says Kaiser. They vary in terms of the level of impact that they’ll have, but they’re all better than an arbitrary deployment time for your emails based solely upon hunches or how you’ve done it historically. Let’s look at a few data-based approaches to picking deployment times…
On-Demand Webinar: The Future…Delayed – The Forces that Keep Brands from Being Aligned with Consumer Behaviors
Posted on August 27, 2019
The goal of every brand is to be relevant to consumers and aligned with consumer behaviors. That’s why brands launched ecommerce sites as the internet became an increasingly common place to shop. That’s why brands made their emails mobile-friendly as smartphones became an increasingly common way to read emails. And that’s why brands created Facebook pages and started running ads on Facebook as that social media site became increasingly popular.
Brands chase audiences.
But the speed at which individual brands pursue consumers and align themselves with consumer behaviors varies wildly. Some are on the bleeding edge. Some wait for a solid critical mass. Some wait as long as they can. And some never get on board—sometimes much to their detriment.
In this on-demand webinar, we discuss the forces that keep brands from aligning with consumer behaviors more quickly. Plus, you’ll hear advice on how to overcome those forces from some of our more than 500 experts at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting, including Clint Kaiser, Cristal Foster, Kim Roman, Autumn Coleman, and Otilia Antipa.
Let’s limit the delay in adapting to consumer behaviors, so we’re serving our customers better and minimizing how much of the future we cede to our competitors.
Posted on August 20, 2019
Have your subject line writing strategies and tactics kept up with the times? Check and see if you’re accounting for these six changes in subject line writing, going from the oldest to the newest trend:
- Subject lines need to work with preview text.
- Subject lines can include many more visual elements.
- Subject lines need to demonstrate contextuality, when it exists.
- Machine learning can help write subject lines.
- Voice-assistants are now reading our subject lines.
- Brands may need to write alternative subject lines, if they’re using Email Annotations.
Some of Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s copywriters—including Lizette Resendez, Monica McClure, and Kelly Moran—help break down each of these trends. They share examples and advice on how marketers can adapt their subject line writing to each of these trends.
Posted on August 13, 2019
First there was the Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL), which went into effect in 2014. Then there was the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect in 2018. Now, after years of major corporate data breaches and the Cambridge Analytica scandal, stronger privacy and data protection laws are taking hold in the US, with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) being the most impactful.
Passed in 2018 and due to go into effect on July 1, 2020, CCPA will add significant privacy protections for Californians and place new burdens on businesses. While the law applies only to residents of California, most businesses have customers in the state and collect private information from customers, so it has broad implications for marketers nationwide.
CCPA is the most sweeping consumer privacy legislation ever passed in the US and gives consumers broad control over personal information collected by businesses. The law is not specific to any one digital channel, but spans all channels where personal information is collected, stored, and used by marketers.
Californians will have the following rights under the law:
- Right to know what personal information is being collected and whether it is sold or disclosed and to whom
- The right to say no to the sale of personal information
- The right to access their personal information
- The right to equal service and price when privacy rights are exercised
In this blog post, Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Brian Sullivan explains how the California Consumer Privacy Act affects marketers, in addition to discussing the actions being taken by others states besides California.
Posted on August 6, 2019
Google’s mission is to sift through the ocean of data out there and bubble up the most critical information so you can find it more easily. They do that in their search results and they increasingly do that in Gmail, whether it’s through Gmail Highlights, featuring the “Top Deals” in the Promotions tab, or through their latest feature, Email Annotations.
What do Email Annotations do? Let’s break this down: (1) Gmail will display Email Annotations in the place of traditional preview text in the inbox (2) under certain circumstances for emails in Gmail’s Promotional Tab (3) when those emails have had Email Annotations coded into them.
In this post, Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting’s Nick Cantu, James Wurm, and Heather Goof look at all three elements of that statement in turn, including providing the code that you’d need to add to each of your emails to enable Email Annotations. We’ll also pause and ask the most critical question: Even if I can enable them, should I?
Posted on August 5, 2019
A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Email Marketers are Currently Crushing it (Rockstar CMO)
Mat Sweezey’s List of 103 Marketing Thought Leaders, by Category (Marketing Profs)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
— Lauren Sinnott (@LSinnottHCB) July 31, 2019
A3: It’s such a bummer when brands use From Name tricks to confuse subscribers into opening. It can harm credibility. There are instances where it makes sense to use a person’s name in the From, but fooling folks into engagement can harm credibility and brand sentiment. #EOAChat https://t.co/2kDeTnOhls
— Jen Capstraw (@jencapstraw) July 9, 2019
When you open a Google doc and the only other person in the doc is… you from another tab. pic.twitter.com/TYnrXinrky
— Cap Watkins (@cap) July 11, 2019
— Harry Roberts (@csswizardry) July 15, 2019
Noteworthy subject lines
Express, 7/31 – Hit PAUSE on your show – EVERYTHING is 30% off online
Best Buy Weekly Ad, 7/21 – OMG. It’s an e-mail from Best Buy – Apple offers are here for this week!
Bed Bath & Beyond, 7/13 – Please open for summer’s BLACK FRIDAY! We’re giving you this $180 off deal and a 20% or $20 off coupon.
Fossil, 7/5 – Cue the Celebratory Music!
J.Crew, 7/5 – Hold on to your hot dog buns: Shop 40% off full-price styles!
West Elm, 7/5 – HBD America! THIS awesome deal ends TONIGHT in stores + online!
Harley-Davidson, 7/5 — *** Forever Riding Free ***
Zales, 7/5 – Open for Black Friday In July Savings
Banana Republic, 7/12 – T.G.I. 40% OFF
VS PINK, 7/30 – This PINK FRIDAY will be CRAZY! 🤯 SEE WHAT’S ON SALE!
Saks Fifth Avenue, 7/20 – The subtle way to do scent this summer
Staples, 7/21 – Style + savings: 20% off school supplies when you buy a backpack.
Hobby Lobby, 7/15 – Fall is what you make it™
Wegmans Meals 2GO, 7/20 – Weekends Are Meant for Less Work
Neiman Marcus, 7/20 – 25 free samples & metallic clutch when you shop beauty
Gap, 7/10 – Our latest collabs just dropped
T.J.Maxx, 7/22 – Made in Italy. Unbelievable prices.
Patagonia, 7/12 – Recycled T-shirts that save resources
Petco Foundation, 7/5 – Save Lives with a Click!
Subway, 7/31 – Our app does it all
VS PINK, 7/31 – Our Crush Of The Week is 🍑 approved!
Lane Bryant, 7/31 – A little ooh-la-la for your lingerie drawer
Epicurious, 7/3 – 11 things you should know before you throw that 4th of July BBQ
Banana Republic, 7/3 – Introducing: BR STYLE ITINERARY ISSUE #1
Walmart, 7/6 – Achieve backyard bliss this summer
Express, 7/12—A cheat sheet to finding your perfect rise
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on July 30, 2019
Nothing can destroy your email marketing performance quite like email deliverability problems. Whether it’s the slow slip of inbox placement due to diminishing engagement or the sudden collapse due to a block or blacklisting, it’s always devastating and usually a shock. But, honestly, email deliverability problems are rarely a surprise if you know what to look out for.
In this post, Clea Moore, Director of Deliverability Strategy at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting, shares a list of events that often precede email deliverability problems:
- Changing Email Service Providers
- Warming Up a New IP Address
- Warming Up a New Sending Subdomain
- When Doing High-Volume Ad-Hoc Sends
- During Peak Season Sending
- When Bounce Rates Start to Exceed 3%-5%
- When Opening Up a New Subscriber Acquisition Source
- During Periods of Faster-than-Usual List Growth
- When Email Complaint Rates Start to Exceed 0.2%
- When Your Open Rates Drop Dramatically at a Particular Mailbox Provider
- When Your Open Rates Average 5% or Less at a Particular Mailbox Provider
For a detailed discussion of each of these, plus more advice on when to seek the help of a deliverability expert…
Posted on July 23, 2019
Email marketing is so effective and has such a high return on investment that brands often settle for good enough when they could be achieving much higher returns. In this blog post series, we’ll be examining several overlooked opportunities to increase your email marketing performance.
One of the biggest opportunities is around optimizing your triggered or automated emails. These high-performing, workhorse emails reliably perform hour after hour, day after day. They include cart abandonment, browse abandonment, and post-purchase cross-sell emails, amongst others.
Automated emails have been unfortunately lauded as “set it and forget it” emails. If you’ve consciously or unconsciously embraced that approach, then you’re settling for slowly diminishing returns and possibly deteriorating customer experiences.
These are living emails, and as such require ongoing attention to ensure that they’re healthy and thriving. With that in mind…
Posted on July 16, 2019
Email deliverability is constantly changing, as inbox providers adjust their filtering algorithms, blacklists tweak their listing criteria, and consumers evolve their definition of spam. That’s why even the best email marketing programs suffer deliverability problems sometimes.
To help you avoid trouble, the deliverability practice at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting (OMCC) shares the latest news and tips for what to watch out for in our inaugural Email Deliverability Quarterly.
In this post, Dan Deneweth, Heather Goff, Clea Moore, and Kent McGovern explain how the following news and events will impact marketers’ email deliverability:
- Validity Acquires Return Path
- CCPA Likely Won’t Be Replaced by Stronger PAA
- More State Consumer Privacy Bills Brewing
- Verizon Completes Merger of Yahoo Mail and AOL Infrastructure
- Apple Mail Adds Tabs
- ‘Sign In with Apple’ Announced
For the full discussion of each of these issues…
Posted on July 8, 2019
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Is This Common Mistake Affecting Your GDPR Opt-In Rate? (Smart Insights)
Dynamic Email in Gmail Becoming Generally Available on July 2, 2019 (G Suite Updates)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
I unsubscribe from any email that fakes “Re:” or “FWD:” in the subject line. No ifs ands or buts.
— 𝔸𝕃𝔼𝕏 (@alexcwilliams) June 3, 2019
Accessibility is not a nice to have pic.twitter.com/xuVSP0ET7F
— Cher (@codehitchhiker) June 3, 2019
I’ve walked into a position that used 3rd party data… The first thing they said “we don’t know if we can trust our data”. I proved that they couldn’t trust it and it never got used. Take the time to collect first party data in a transparent way and those efforts will pay off.
— Tony Zupancic (@TonyZupancic) June 12, 2019
Remove all the links from your email newsletter–is it still valuable and informative?
No? You’ve got some work to do.
Yes? Great. You’ve earned the right to add the links back.
— John Bonini (@Bonini84) June 24, 2019
Today’s words of wisdom: Opt-outs do not expire! Do not send mail to people who opted out. You can’t decide it’s time to try mailing them again just because you want to. That’s not how this works.
— Laura Atkins (@wise_laura) June 26, 2019
Noteworthy subject lines
Everlane, 6/13 – New Styles Added: Choose What You Pay
Eddie Bauer, 6/13 – Dad Jokes + Great Gifts = Win-Win
Williams Sonoma, 6/2 – Great Gifts for Every Dad – The Griller, The Gardener, The Cook & Much More!
Walgreens Photo, 6/4 – Last chance to ship your Dad’s Day gifts!
Quiksilver, 6/2 – Your 4th Of July Get-Up Just Got Better
Williams Sonoma, 6/25 – Celebrate the 4th with Hot Dogs, Patriotic Cakes & More
Bed Bath & Beyond, 6/4 – Deck out your dorm room with all things UGG.
West Elm, 6/21 – Happy 1st day of summer! Up to 40% off outdoor furniture + decor
Ann Taylor, 6/8 – Tis The Season For White Pants
Neiman Marcus, 6/27 – Up to 30% off sunglasses! Celebrate National Sunglasses Day
J.Crew, 6/8 – What to wear to work this summer…
Banana Republic, 6/9 – The fool-proof shirt of summer
Barneys New York, 6/2 – Where To Wear: Your Vacation To-Do List
Petco, 6/22 – Bark if you need a vacation!
ASPCA, 6/18 – LIVE VOTE: Pick The Best Kitten Name!
Hayneedle, 6/18 – We polled our staff – and here are their absolute favorites for outdoor this season.
Neiman Marcus, 6/18 – Carolina Herrera’s artful new prints
Hayneedle, 6/15 – 4 design rules you can totally break.
Gap, 6/18 – Got growing kids? We’ve got tees
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/2 – Add to cart ASAP: Up to 50% off top designer picks
Target, 6/27 – Beauty deal: Spend $20, get a $5 gift card.
Saks Fifth Avenue, 6/6 – New beauty + complimentary yoga mat = Bring on summer
Petco, 6/6 – Whale, whale, whale, here’s 30% off