Posted on February 16, 2021
In the ever-changing world of email marketing, it can be difficult to know where to invest your time and energy. It’s extra challenging in turbulent times like these, when consumer behaviors and business goals are shifting. To help you prioritize your email marketing efforts this year, we surveyed Oracle Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts, asking them to rate the current adoption of a range of email marketing technologies and tactics, as well as their predicted impact during 2021. We then mapped the results into adoption-impact quadrants.
In this post, we’re looking at the Unproven Opportunities in the low adoption–low impact quadrant. The technologies and tactics in this quadrant are not fully vetted and may not generate long-term adoption or impact. There are significant risks that could undermine your investment in part or entirely—including rejection by consumers, inadequate inbox provider support, inadequate digital marketing platform support, the passage of legislative impediments, and other issues.
Because of those risks, most brands will find that the best strategy is likely to wait…and let others work out all the details, uncover the best practices, and stress-test the technology. However, the pioneering companies who embrace these trends at this early stage may seize a sizable competitive advantage.
Of the 26 trends we surveyed our digital marketing consultants about, three of them were rated as being in the low adoption–low impact quadrant for 2021. Let’s talk about each of them in turn…
Posted on February 9, 2021
To sketch an accurate depiction of a person takes a good understanding of human anatomy. Similarly, the art of email marketing requires understanding the anatomy of an email.
This anatomy is broken up into two major content groups:
- The envelope content, which is the part of an email that’s visible in the inbox before it’s opened
- The body content, which is the part of an email that’s visible after it’s opened
Understanding all the elements that make up an email’s envelope content and its body content allows you to design more effectively, personalize more thoughtfully, and test with greater purpose. For a deep dive into all the elements of each of these…
Posted on February 4, 2021
Must-read articles, posts & reports
Email Design Trends for 2021 (Really Good Emails)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
Emails are like billboards.
They get seen at 75mph. If you can grab them in about 1 second, they’ll take the next exit and then you can tell them more.
Say less, better.
— Whale (@whale) January 22, 2021
Hi @ClubMonaco, your subject-line gave me a heart attack!
SL: Your Custom Edit has shipped
— Nadja Cada (@NadjaCada) January 6, 2021
— Nicole Merlin (@moonstrips) January 12, 2021
I’d love to get in touch with Emilio Esteves. Does anyone have his emailio addressteves?
— Séamas It Ever Was (@shockproofbeats) November 16, 2012
Good morning to everyone except the people who start their emails with “FWD:” or “RE:” just to trick you into opening their sales pitch.
— Ross Simmonds (@TheCoolestCool) January 19, 2021
Noteworthy subject lines
ModCloth, 1/20 – Madam. Vice. President. 🇺🇸
Burlington, 1/18 – “Life’s most persistent and urgent question…What are you doing for others?” by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
West Elm, 1/11 – Join us as we honor the MLK Day of Service, now thru 1/18
Michaels, 1/20 – See what’s in store for 2021. 🔮 This year’s top DIY trends are here!
Sephora Insider, 1/19 – It’s finally 2021—celebrate with new beauty 🎉
Schwan’s Home Delivery, 1/28 – 🏀🏈 SAVE $1.00 on these Game Day All-Stars!
Panera Bread, 1/29 – Plan your Game Day order now, Henry! 🏈
Sears, 1/14 – CONTROVERSIAL OPINION 🏈 Football on TV is better
The Nuts.com Family, 1/28 – Touchdown Treats for Super Bowl Sunday!
DICK’S Sporting Goods, 1/12 – Roll, Champions, Roll 🏆 🏈 Shop Alabama Crimson Tide Gear
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 1/31 – Plan now for an EPIC Valentine’s Day at home!
Evite, 1/29 – A Galentine’s Day to remember
Zales, 1/24 – 💞 Love BOLDLY
Michaels, 1/18 – 💌 Heart it? Cart it! All you need is live… and these Valentine DIYs.
Uncommon Goods, 1/4 – We’re with Cupid 💘 💖
Tractor Supply Company, 1/23 – Shopping Made Easy with Curbside Pick Up on Cold Weather Supplies
Starbucks, 1/15 – Brew a cup of mindfulness with Headspace
IKEA, 1/26 – Chad, stressed about working from home?
MoMA Design Store, 1/11 – WFH? Transform Your Space with These
Lowe’s Home Improvement, 1/7 – Turn your bath into a spa.
Bed Bath & Beyond, 1/21 – 🥧 Baking buys UNDER $100! Get the scoop —-> Plus, take these coupons!
Williams Sonoma, 1/7 – More home baked bread, please
Great Gap Sale, 1/18 – Joggers go with everything (trust us!)
JCPenney, 1/12 – Your activewear just got upgraded
Sephora, 1/5 – New self-tanner for glowy, hydrated skin 🌴 ✨
Banana Republic, 1/20 – Better Together: Dresses & Sneakers
Target, 1/15 – Levi’s jeans, now in more sizes.
Target, 1/8 – Weighted blankets: 20% off + bonus 10% off.
Express, 1/12 – Like wearing your fave blanket, only cuter | + $45 ALL DENIM
Victoria’s Secret, 1/31 – Cuddle Up with Lounge Bras
Eddie Bauer, 1/20 – Polar Vortex-Ready Parkas – $99
Saks Fifth Avenue, 1/31 – Results are in: our best-selling shoes & bags
Nordstrom, 1/15 – Trending now and only here
Crate & Barrel, 1/25 – ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ | Top-rated pieces, back in stock.
Petco, 1/2 – Is your dog at a healthy weight?
Uncommon Goods, 1/8 – New: Adventure awaits with our scratch-off scrapbooking challenge 📷
Patagonia, 1/19 – A new story about an old shirt
Bass Pro Shops, 1/26 – 19 days until Daytona!
Bass Pro Shops, 1/31 – Don’t miss the BIGGEST announcement in fishing history!
IKEA, 1/18 – Chad, get the 2021 Catalog at IKEA Stoughton
RV Magazine, 1/21 – The ALL new RV Magazine eNewsletter is Here!
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on February 2, 2021
Classic email templates are becoming obsolete. They are difficult to maintain, don’t offer enough flexibility, make personalization cumbersome, and take too much time to turn into a final email campaign that’s ready to send. Because of all of those weaknesses, more companies are migrating to modular email architecture and reaping significant improvements.
In this 49-minute on-demand webinar, Jason Witt and Nick Cantu from Oracle Marketing Consulting’s Creative Services team join me to discuss:
- How modular email architecture differs from traditional email templates
- The benefits of having a modular email architecture
- The popularity and adoption rate of this way of creating emails
- What’s involved in building a modular email architecture
- How Oracle Marketing Consulting and our clients use modular email architecture
To learn about all of those issues…
Posted on February 1, 2021
From technological advances to the impact of Covid-19, the future of email marketing will bring both opportunities and challenges. To make sure you’re prepared, Sendinblue asked me and 14 other email marketing experts which trends we think will have the biggest impact this year.
My advice centers on the fact that changing consumer behaviors, as well as civil unrest and political sensitivities, drove brands to try to reduce the number of days in their email production cycles. I say:
“2020 highlighted a need for brands to be more nimble and responsive with their email marketing. In 2021, that will translate into a push to automate more content using personalization and AI-driven recommendations. But even more than that, email programs will seek to simplify and speed up their email builds, leading to a surge in adoption of modular email architecture.”
My fellow contributors offer great advice on adjusting to post-pandemic changes, the tactics and tools to focus on now, and the most-urgent trends in email design and copywriting. For all of our advice…
Posted on January 28, 2021
I join 9 other email marketing experts in sharing my advice about how to succeed with email in the year ahead in this post on the ZeroBounce blog. My advice centers on how open time behaviors have changed during the pandemic and how adoption of send time optimization has increased significantly in response to those changes.
I start my advice by saying:
“The ‘best time to send’ has forever been a moving target, but no more so than during 2020 when the pandemic caused a spike in unemployment and a shift to work from home that led to significant changes to subscriber behaviors. Some of our clients saw significant boosts in email engagement by changing their email send days to traditionally less popular days, such as Saturday and Sunday. Also, some experienced boosts from changing their send time or, better yet, adopting send time optimization, which sends your emails based on each subscriber’s previous open times.”
To read all of my advice, as well as the advice of the 9 other contributors…
Posted on January 26, 2021
The 2020 holiday season was chaotic and irregular because of the pandemic, a contentious election, and consumers’ financial challenges. Email marketers struggled with those issues, which led to mixed performance results, although email marketing still delivered a high return on investment.
Overall, email volume was up 9% year-over-year during the fourth quarter holiday period, according to data from Oracle Marketing Consulting based on a panel of more than 40 major national B2C brands using the Oracle Responsys Campaign Management platform. In fact, email volume was up every week except during election week, when now-proven-false allegations of election fraud and the threat of violence caused retailers to close stores and pull back on their marketing efforts.
Over the holiday period, email open rates trended nearly identical to last year, finishing up 0.8%. On the other hand, email click rates over the holiday season finished 6.3% below last year’s level, and revenue per email was down 5.8% year-over-year as well.
This blog post goes on to discuss…
- How demand was pulled forward earlier in the holiday season
- How marque shopping days underperformed
- How email churn has remained low
- Which sectors under- and over-performed
- How trends during the 2020 holiday season might affect this year’s holiday season
For a full discussion of each of those issues…
Posted on January 20, 2021
Oracle’s Holiday Marketing Quarterly gives B2C brands a quarter-by-quarter checklist for how to achieve more during the critical holiday season with their email marketing and other digital marketing channels. Along with guidance on planning, strategy, and prioritization, you’ll get advice and tips from some of Oracle Marketing Consulting’s more than 500 digital marketing experts.
Our first quarter guide contains a 27-point checklist and is focused on seizing opportunities, mitigating risks, learning from the just-passed holiday season, and starting to make the larger structural and programmatic changes necessary to succeed during the next holiday season. It covers six areas:
- Holiday Post-Mortems
- Seasonal Buyer Reactivations
- Email Deliverability Recoveries
- Automated Email Optimization & Growth
- Creative Refreshes
- Upgrades & Expansions of Your Tech Stack
For details on each of those areas…
Posted on January 19, 2021
Until there’s better support for animated PNGs, CSS animation, and video in email, animated gifs are the safest and easiest way to add motion to your campaigns. And once you’ve created an animated gif for an email, you can reuse it in social media and other digital marketing campaigns. We use them regularly with both our B2C and B2B clients to great success.
Animated gifs are effective for:
- Video previews
- Highlighting product options, such as different colors, patterns, sizes, or configurations
- Displaying an assortment of products
- Product demonstrations or service instructions, whether it’s showing how a dress flows or how a backhoe can remove a boulder
- Reveals, including before-and-afters and price/discount reveals
- Mobile app and software demonstrations or navigation instructions
- Conveying urgency (think: countdown clocks)
- Drawing attention to calls-to-action
- Atmospheric feel (think: fireworks, rain, falling snow)
However, there are some concerns you should be aware of when using animated gifs. For a full discussion of those…
Posted on January 15, 2021
I join Coherent Path CEO James Glover on the Coherent Thoughts podcast to talk about:
- The biggest misconceptions around email
- The value of having universal holdout groups
- Focusing on maximizing the value of a subscriber, not the value of a campaign
- How lobbying by merchants can distract email marketing from serving subscribers
- How AI and machine learning can help marketers focus on their customers
- How email marketers can be more efficient and save time
- Avoiding graphical text
- What marketers need to do differently compared to 12 months ago
- Which brands are sending me emails that I look forward to receiving
- Whether personalization is ruining America and making us more polarized
For a discussion of each of these issues…