Posted on September 9, 2021
Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection will have a broad range of effects on email marketers, impacting email analytics, design, deliverability, personalization, and optimization efforts. Sadly, subscribers who enable MPP will receive less relevant emails and more emails than they would have otherwise gotten if marketers could better measure their engagement through opens.
I also fear that Apple’s changes will cause marketers to change their messaging and design strategy to drive clicks more insistently, since opens will be unreliable for a substantial portion of their audience. This move would be understandable. With Apple generating false opens for the users of their Mail app that enable MPP, opens will become a meaningless sign for many subscribers. Marketers will want to compensate for the loss of their highest frequency engagement signal by boosting their second highest frequency engagement signal, clicks, which are currently about one-eighth as frequent as opens.
The adjustments that will be required for reengagement campaigns illustrate what may happen more broadly. For example, before MPP, the goal of a reengagement campaign was to simply get the subscriber to open the email, which would be a signal that the email address was still valid and that a live person was receiving the email. For people who enable MPP, that will be wholly inadequate, since Apple will be generating false opens for every email they receive. That means that marketers will need a stronger signal—a click—in order to be sure that the email address is safe to continue mailing to.
This need for more clicks more often could cause marketers to redesign many other emails, too. For example, companies may move valuable content from the body of their emails to landing pages in order to coax more clicks out of subscribers. This would reverse years of email design philosophy and send us backsliding toward a time when emails were postcard-style teasers to get people to visit website landing pages.
This would be bad for subscribers and marketers for three interrelated reasons…
Posted on September 8, 2021
Modular email design is on the rise. In this post by Terri Reid of Dyspatch, she talks about what modular email design is, what its benefits are, what it looks like in action, and much more.
Here at Oracle Marketing Consulting, we’re big fans of modular email architecture, so I was happy to contribute some of our learnings. For instance, our clients who implement it reduce email production time by 25% to 40%. That’s a huge time-saving. But that additional speed has been a real competitive advantage during the pandemic when business disruptions seem routine, consumer attitudes have been changing quickly, and marketing teams have become extra lean.
But as powerful as modular email design is right now, it will be even more so in the future because it will enable personalization at incredible scale. As I say in the post, “By having modular templates, marketers will be ready for a future where AI increasingly makes decisions about which content modules an individual subscriber will receive, as well as the content in them.”
For the full discussion…
Posted on September 3, 2021
A roundup of email marketing articles, posts, and tweets you might have missed last month…
Must-read articles, posts & reports
What Are Stores Even Thinking With All These Emails? (The Atlantic)
How the Pandemic Has Changed Marketing (MarketingProfs)
Why Does Microsoft Hate You? (Spam Resource)
Holiday Email Campaigns: What We Learned In 2020 & How to Prepare for 2021 (Only Influencers)
Insightful & entertaining tweets
— Avi Goldman (@theavigoldman) August 17, 2021
95% of millennials say their friends are the most credible source of product information.
— Jay Baer (@jaybaer) August 17, 2021
— Kirk Bentley (@VeryBentley) August 19, 2021
E tu, Reebok?? 😩
Re: this tactic sucks. pic.twitter.com/XCDl0q7c8p
— Val Geisler (@lovevalgeisler) August 6, 2021
Noteworthy subject lines
Burlington, 8/5 – Our Nationwide Hiring Event starts soon! Apply today.
CVS, 8/24 – Full FDA Approval for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.
Uncommon Goods, 8/28 – ⏰ Snag these gifts early—last year, they sold out
Target, 8/5 – Get the kids ready for school early ✏️
Gap, 8/27 – The teacher/style icon: MR JAMISON
Big Lots, 8/19 – Turn school to-do lists into TA-DA lists!
Target, 8/10 – Try out School List Assist to find & shop your class list.
Uncommon Goods, 8/17 – Dorm Style 101: How to have the coolest room at college
Bed Bath & Beyond, 8/10 – Pack & Hold: Shop online or locally. Pick up near campus!
Walgreens, 8/11 – Here’s what’s waiting @ Walgreens! A world of deals is a click away – same-day Delivery = the convenient choice.
Subway, 8/18 – FREE COOKIES. $0 DELIVERY FEE.
Uncommon Goods, 8/31 – Introducing Uncommon Experiences—a selection of hand-picked, virtual classes
Williams Sonoma, 8/24 – Now brewing: pumpkin lattes at home 🎃 ☕ (coffee makers ship FREE!)
Olive Garden, 8/26 – Your first course is always never-ending
Gap, 8/7 – Remember jeans? WE DO
Nordstrom Rack, 8/5 – Don’t miss The Denim Shop—up to 65% off
Quiksilver, 8/29 – New Rashguards Made For Chasing The Hoizon
Williams Sonoma, 8/19 – The patio bar is STILL open
REI, 8/19 – Camping Road Trips > Road Trips
Camping World RV, 8/25 – 🚨Used RV Markdown🚨
ModCloth, 8/4 – “Where’d you get that dress!?”
Express, 8/11 – New selfie-worthy Body Contour styles 🤳
Bass Pro Shops, 8/29 – Everything you need to prepare your meat
Uncommon Goods, 8/7 – A 🌟spotlight🌟 on favorites from our Black makers
Moosejaw, 8/26 – Meet our new friends at Black Outside, Inc.
Nintendo, 8/25 – My Nintendo and LEGO® VIP are teaming up!
Macy’s, 8/19 – Ta-da! Toys“R”Us is now at Macy’s!
Kohl’s Friends + Family, 8/27 – Shop Sephora at Kohl’s to find skincare for every age & every stage.
Target, 8/7 – Hearth & Hand with Magnolia: Fall collection 🍁
Saks Fifth Avenue, 8/10 – Hours left: Get 20% off when you create an account
New posts on EmailMarketingRules.com
Posted on September 1, 2021
While some think that Google giving marketers two more years to prepare for the depreciation of third-party cookies will lead to complacency, I hope that brands maintain the momentum of recent months. Without a doubt, this change across the entire online advertising industry is causing a major shift in digital advertising targeting and identity management. Every marketer would be wise to use this extra time to collect alternative IDs and more zero- and first-party data assets so they can continue to create effective ad campaigns. Email marketing will have a role to play in addressing both of those needs.
Let’s look at five ways that email marketing’s role will grow as priorities shift to cope with the sunsetting of third-party cookies…
Posted on August 26, 2021
Email metrics are confusing and can be easily misunderstood and misused. To help marketers avoid mistakes, Only Influencers has launched The Email Metrics Project at oimetrics.com. This website is home to definitions, articles, and videos to educate marketers on how to calculate and appropriately use email marketing metrics.
I’m honored to have contributed several of my articles about email metrics, as well as recorded a video with Lauren Meyer about how marketers need to Ask The Right Email Questions when using email metrics. In that 26-minute video, we talk about:
- Common questions that email marketers ask that can lead to the wrong tactics and strategies
- The differences between business metrics and email metrics, and the differences between campaign, channels, and customer metrics
- How having a super-high ROI means you’re leaving tons of money on the table
- What marketers really want are insights, not data
- Why open rates are the most misunderstood email metric
- The usefulness of external benchmarks
- How to use internal benchmarks effectively
- And much more
And for a much deeper dive into asking the right email questions, watch…
Posted on August 20, 2021
I talk about all things MPP with LiveIntent’s Kerel Cooper and Jessica Muñoz. We discuss:
- What exactly is Mail Privacy Protection?
- How will Mail Privacy Protection affect testing within email?
- What metrics should marketers hone in on during this time?
- How should marketers approach data hygiene with these changes?
- What do these changes mean for consumers?
- Will the industry be ready in time for Mail Privacy Protection?
LiveIntent gives you two ways to watch our conversation—either listen to the full 37-minute podcast or dip into the answer to each of those 6 questions.
Posted on August 18, 2021
Checklists can inspire you, help you identify gaps, allow you to take inventory, and provide an easy-to-follow action plan. At Oracle Marketing Consulting, we use checklists all the time with our clients. In fact, we love them so much that we wanted to share some of our most useful checklists, including this one about audience acquisition source ideas.
Whether you’re building your audience in email, SMS, mobile push, web push, direct mail, or another channel, where you attract those subscribers or followers from can have a profound impact on your performance. While more acquisition sources generally equals faster audience growth, not all audience growth is created equal. Some acquisition sources will generate healthy engagement and revenue increases for you, while others may generate little—or, worse, waste time and money, while also harming your deliverability, reputation, or brand image.
On the pages that follow, we list major audience acquisition sources. In addition to having our digital marketing consultants share advice about optimizing each of these acquisition sources, we also organize them into three groups to help you better understand the risk profile of the sources you’re using:
- Low-risk sources, where you’re recruiting subscribers or followers during or after transactions in owned channels who are very familiar with your brand
- Medium-risk sources, where you’re recruiting subscribers or followers before transactions in owned or leased channels who are generally somewhat familiar with your brand
- High-risk sources, where you’re recruiting subscribers or followers in paid channels who are generally unfamiliar with your brand, or where you’re using handwritten or verbal data collection methods
We hope this checklist helps you inventory the audience acquisition sources you already have, understand the risk profile of those sources, make improvements, and explore other promising sources.
Posted on August 16, 2021
Marketers now realize that Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection will impact a wide range of email marketing functions. By generating false opens, distorting open times, and obscuring IP addresses and device information, Apple’s changes will affect everything from email analytics and deliverability to email strategy and design in a significant way. However, some marketers are unclear exactly how big the impact will be on those aspects of their email programs.
Here are five aspects that are critical to understanding the reach of Apple’s new privacy protections:
- Mail Privacy Protection won’t affect Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, and other email apps that run on Apple’s operating systems.
- Apple email clients are extremely popular.
- Mail Privacy Protection affects any emails received in Apple Mail apps.
- Any email account can be affected by Mail Privacy Protection.
- The majority of Apple users will likely turn on Mail Privacy Protection within months of availability.
For more details on each of those elements, and to watch a 3-minute explainer video…
Posted on August 10, 2021
Lead-generation forms and promotional email signups are a value exchange between B2B marketers and their intended audiences. In exchange for research and other content, B2B brands hope to:
- Improve how form-completers think of their brand, hopefully nudging them toward an eventual conversion
- Identify the form-completer and the company they represent, and then connect this form completion to other actions to understand their level of interest through lead scoring
- Form an ongoing relationship with the form-completer, if they opt-in to receive promotional messages from the brand
However, when people enter a non-corporate email address into a lead-gen or email signup form, that can undermine those last two goals. That puts B2B marketers in the position of having to decide if it’s still worth enough to them to accept those email addresses. Some have decided that it’s not, and that camp is likely to grow as Apple rolls out a new and improved Hide My Email feature this fall.
Posted on August 9, 2021
Poor email deliverability can be costly, causing a brand’s emails to end up in the spam folder or blocked entirely instead of reaching their subscribers. While deliverability can sometimes feel out of a business’s control, inbox placement is actually governed by seven factors, all of which are directly or indirectly under their control:
- Bounces & Spam Traps
- Spam Complaints
For a discussion of each of these factors…