Email Rendering Continues to Grow in Complexity, Wildly So at the Fringes

The idea of a pixel-perfect email rendering across every email client died a long time ago. The challenge for most of the past decade has been to achieve platform-perfect rendering, where an email renders up to the fullest capabilities of a particular inbox provider.

But even that is an increasingly tall order for four main reasons:

  • The traditional landscape of email clients is still quite expansive
  • The viewing options selected by email recipients
  • The decision of senders to use email content and code that has limited support or inconsistent implementations
  • The growth of browserless email clients with limited rendering functionality and conversion ability

Let’s talk about each of them in turn, starting with…

>> Read the entire post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

The Last Word on November 2020

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

Must-read articles, posts & reports

What Consumers Want from Email (eMarketer)

30 Email Marketing Influencers to Follow in 2020 (Sendinblue)

Email Marketing Trends 2021 – 5 Trends to Watch (Smart Insights)

There’s Still Lackluster Enthusiasm for Shopping and Buying via Voice (eMarketer)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

Noteworthy subject lines

Inspire by Namecheap, 11/19 – What NOT TO DO on Black Friday
REI, 11/25 – We’re Closing on Black Friday—Again
Belk Black Friday Sale, 11/27 – Black Friday deals still going strong 💪 UP TO 75% OFF
Nordstrom, 11/27 – Don’t miss Black Friday Cyber Deals! Up to 50% off + get an extra 25% off Clearance
Banana Republic, 11/27 – Not 30. Not 40… 50% Off Everything
Moosejaw.com, 11/30 – 🚨FINAL HOURS – for 50% Back in Moosejaw Rewards
Victoria’s Secret, 11/27 – Wish list granted: BOGO 50% OFF
Gap Black Friday, 11/27 – *BEST PRICES OF THE YEAR* on our BEST GIFTS
Eddie Bauer, 11/27 – The best deals of the year are FLANNEL-Y here 🎉
Belk Black Friday, 11/26 – Alexa, how many calories are in stuffing? 🤔 $18.99 Amazon Echo Dot
Lane Bryant, 11/26 – $25 Bras Now. Pie later.
Office Depot, 11/26 – Still not full? Get a second serving of Black Friday deals
Macy’s Black Friday, 11/27 – Don’t miss 70-80% off 1250-thread count sheet sets & more + Free Ship at $25
Williams Sonoma, 11/26 – Top 5 gift lists + gifts that give back
Quiksilver, 11/15 – The best gifts for you – and for the planet
Petco Foundation, 11/15 – Gifts that give back to 🐶 🐱 🐰
Crate and Barrel, 11/27 – Black Friday: Free furniture delivery + 4 more ways to save
Applebee’s Grill + Bar, 11/27 – Black Friday Gift Card Offer!
Victoria’s Secret, 11/23 – Shop Black Friday *early*
Gap Black Friday, 11/23 – 🌟 Black Friday OFFICIALLY starts NOW 🌟
Bass Pro Shops, 11/22 – Black Friday Hot Deals are starting soon! Preview them NOW!
Sears, 11/23 – 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁 🎁
Sears, 11/16 – Today’s Black Friday Now deal 💦👚 💦 It’s laundry day
Big Lots, 11/16 – ⏰ It’s never too early to start gift shopping!
Zales, 11/13 – 🥳 We’re Celebrating Black Friday Early!
Crate & Barrel, 11/12 – BLACK FRIDAY STARTS NOW.
Bass Pro Shops, 11/5 – We’re got Black Friday deals all month long!
Dollar General, 11/4 – Bring on the turkey and thankful guests.
Bed Bath & Beyond, 11/24 – We’re making the holidays easy to celebrate from home.
Tractor Supply Co., 11/17 – NEW App Feature – Discover the Convenience of Life Out Here
Saks Fifth Avenue, 11/23 – Tune in tonight for our virtual holiday show & window unveiling
Macy’s, 11/23 – Holiday cheer is near: our new virtual Santaland is coming!
West Elm, 11/21 – Get a FREE design session AND gifting help
IKEA, 11/23 – Chad, get holiday cooking tips from a pro
Williams Sonoma, 11/14 – Best gravy EVER!
Wegmans, 11/12 – Thanksgiving Wines You’ll Love
Dollar General, 11/12 – 20% off for Veterans, Active Duty Military and their families.
Bass Pro Shops, 11/8 – Special Offer for our Military and Hometown Heroes
T.J.MAXX, 11/16 – Save BIG on home updates 🏡
Everlane, 11/12 – Our First Socks Are Here
Baby at Burlington, 11/10 – NEW PRODUCT ALERT: We now sell baby essentials!
Gap Friends & Family, 11/8 – Meet the coatigan
Uncommon Goods, 11/8 – Winter’s coming. Is your game closet prepared?
Kohl’s, 11/4 – Check out our Wellness Market + find what you need to live a little healthier.
IKEA, 11/13 – Chad, get a FREE day of child card at KinderCare
Kenneth Cole, 11/3 – TODAY IS ELECTION DAY
Foot Locker, 11/3 – Rock the Vote Today! 🗳️
Nordstrom, 11/3 – Make your voice heard on Election Day
Tattly Temporary Tattoos, 11/3 – We’re holding our breath.
Z Gallerie, 11/3 – Tell Your Friends & Family To Vote Today ✅

New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

7 Ways 5G Wireless Will Impact Digital Marketers

Modular Email Architectures: What They Are & How They Work

Welcome Email Best Practices

Smart Insights: Email Marketing Trends 2021 – 5 Trends to Watch

The Future of Travel: Long-Term & Short-Term Recommendations

Email Accessibility: Legal Issues & Audience Expansion

The Last Word on October 2020

Cyber Monday Email Marketing Activity & Sales Continue Weakening Trend

With consumers struggling financially and retailers having succeeded in pulling holiday sales into early November and even October, the downward trend in sales and email marketing activity during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend continued on Cyber Monday.

Oracle Marketing Consulting predicted a 10% increase in email volume on Cyber Monday during their Choosing the Best Days to Send Email Campaigns This Holiday Season webinar in August. However, official numbers show that B2C marketers sent 10.9% fewer emails on Cyber Monday compared to last year, 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.

On Cyber Monday, preliminary performance data shows that unique email open rates were down 13.1% year-over-year and revenue per email was down 35.6%, according to Oracle’s panel data.

For all the details…

>> Read the full article on SmarterCX.com

Our Top Learnings from Launching the Oracle CX Marketing Consulting Newsletter

We launched our first issue of the twice-monthly Oracle CX Marketing Consulting Newsletter on Oct. 15, 2019. Since then, we’ve sent 30 issues. We’ve learned a lot from launching it, as well as from running it for a year. Rather than keep these learnings to ourselves, the newsletter team and I wanted to share the highs and lows so everyone can benefit.

Our experiences were wildly different during the pre-launch phase compared to post-launch, so that’s how we’ve broken out our learnings.

To learn all about our successes and failures…

>> Read the entire post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Pandemic-Driven Early Holiday Promotions Cannibalize Email Marketing and Sales on Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Concerned about the effects of new pandemic-related restrictions on their operations and consumer optimism, retailers launched their “Black Friday” email promotions early—and the impact of that decision could plainly be seen in Thanksgiving and Black Friday email volume and retail sales.

Oracle CX Marketing Consulting predicted a 10% increase in email volume on Thanksgiving and a 3% increase on Black Friday during their Choosing the Best Days to Send Email Campaigns This Holiday Season webinar in August. Official numbers show that B2C marketers sent 3.6% more emails on Thanksgiving this year compared to last, and 6% less on Black Friday, according to data from Oracle CX Marketing Consulting based on a panel of more than 40 major national B2C brands using the Oracle Responsys platform.

During Thanksgiving Week, email volume was up substantially, just as it was during the second and third weeks of November. All of this is proof of a strong desire on the part of retailers to lock in more sales ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

By sending more campaigns earlier in November, retailers succeeded in driving substantially higher revenue per email during the second and third weeks of November. But during Thanksgiving week, revenue per email fell significantly year-over-year, even though it was up slightly week-over-week.

For all the details…

>> Read the entire article on SmarterCX.com

7 Ways 5G Wireless Will Impact Digital Marketers

7 Ways 5G Wireless Will Impact Digital Marketers

With Apple joining Samsung and others in officially announcing 5G-compatible phones, the next generation of mobile technology has truly arrived. This new age opens up a variety of opportunities for marketers because 5G wireless promises speeds that are roughly 10 times faster than today’s 4G.

In this post, Jonathan McClure says there are seven areas that marketers should focus on:

  1. More Video
  2. Richer Website Design
  3. Richer Email Design
  4. Precise Location-Triggered Messaging
  5. Mainstreaming of Virtual and Augmented Reality
  6. Tighter Omnichannel Orchestration
  7. Increased Privacy Concerns & Controls

For a discussion of each of those…

>> Read the entire post on SmarterCX.com

Modular Email Architectures-Efficient Workflow and Foundation for Personalization

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 architectures and reaping significant improvements.

In this post, Jason Witt, Senior Director for Creative Services at Oracle CX Marketing Consulting, breaks down the various components of a modular email architecture and discusses its benefits, which include:

  1. Quicker email builds
  2. Easier personalization
  3. Greater flexibility
  4. Lower maintenance
  5. More consistency and control
  6. Easier evolution of email design

He also shares an example of modular email architecture from the Oracle CX Marketing Newsletter, which has been using this build system since it was launched last fall.

For a full discussion of modular email architectures, its benefits, and Oracle CX Marketing Newsletter case study…

>> Read the entire post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Welcome Email Best Practices

Welcome Email Best Practices - Making a Great First Impression

When someone signs up to receive your promotional emails, it marks the start of what is hopefully a long and mutually beneficial relationship. Start it off right by sending the most effective welcome email possible.

Here are seven best practices to follow:

  1. Send welcomes immediately.
  2. Ask new subscribers to do something high-value.
  3. Keep your copy and design focused.
  4. Use a welcome email series.
  5. Send different welcome emails based on the acquisition source.
  6. QA and optimize your welcomes often.
  7. Seasonally update your welcomes.

For a full discussion of each of those recommendations, including advice from our digital marketing consultants…

>> Read the entire post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

Email Marketing Trends 2021

The pandemic upended email marketing plans during 2020 and Smart Insights wondered where our industry is headed in 2021. They asked me and four other email marketing experts for our predictions. Here are the key trends that we identified:

  • Email marketing through the K-shaped COVID-19 recovery
  • Strategy first, solution second
  • Bringing customer experience into email marketing
  • It’s time for real, authentic personalization
  • Rediscovering the value of the plain-text email

My prediction was the first, that the K-shaped recovery from COVID-19 would drive companies down two very different paths. For all the details about my prediction and those of my co-contributors…

>> Read the full post on the Smart Insights Blog

How to Prepare for the Future of Travel

No industry has been more heavily impacted by social distancing, government-mandated health and safety restrictions, and regional and countrywide lockdowns than travel and hospitality companies. Even once travel restrictions are completely lifted, marketers within these businesses will have the tricky job of messaging to consumers who are reluctant to take trips for either business or recreation. Because of his reluctance, Goldman Sachs doesn’t expect 2019 travel levels to be reached again until at least 2023.

However, that doesn’t mean travel companies should remain static. Rather, this time period is an opportunity to judiciously prioritize opportunities to meet travelers where they are today and will be tomorrow.

In this blog post, Oracle CX Marketing Consulting’s Head of Analytic & Strategic Services, Clint Kaiser, shares advice for what travel marketers should be doing to prepare for the long-term future of travel, as well as recommending more immediate, low-cost opportunities to pursue today.

>> Read the full post on Oracle’s Modern Marketing Blog

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