The Design ToolkitEmail design is like nothing else. To ensure that you have a solid design foundation, we’ve created the Design Toolkit, a 3-part report will help you create email that…

Look good. In Email Design Basics, I give you a crash course in the essentials.

Work well. Get a general guide to writing HTML for emails in Email Coding Fundamentals.

Get results. Data for Designers shares exactly how to take a strategic, data-based approach to the way you design.

>> Download the Design Toolkit

100 Inspiring Subject Lines has some fantastic examples of various subject line strategies, from newsjacking to puns, and personalization to special characters. However, for me there were four that really stood out as the best of the best. I share them in this short video:

So those are the ones at the top of my list of my personal favorites, but I’d love to know which ones you thought were the best. View the collection and use the “Click to Tweet” link to let us know which ones are your favorites. We’ll tally those up and share them in a future post.

100 Inspiring Subject LinesWhile first-name personalization of subject lines can still be effective when used prudently, it has become clear that subject line personalization has moved beyond first names. At this point, knowing a subscriber’s name is just not very impressive, and not a convincing indicator that the content of the email is personalized and targeted.

Subject line personalization needs to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the subscriber. Our 100 Inspiring Subject Lines includes some great examples of subject line personalization taken to the next level:

Subject Line #50
LinkedIn, 1/13/11: Chad, 118 of your connections changed jobs in 2010.
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #51
FetchDog, 8/9/11: Add more fun to your walks with Suki
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #86
Kiva, 10/10/13: $62.14
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #87
Moosejaw, 12/6/13: You have $37.90 in Moosejaw Rewards Points Waiting to be Spent
[Click to Tweet]

For a discussion of each of these subject lines…

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

100 Inspiring Subject LinesThe practice of leveraging the popularity of a news story, event or cultural phenomena to promote yourself or your company, newsjacking is one of many ways to boost the relevance of your emails. Our 100 Inspiring Subject Lines includes some great examples of newsjacking in action:

Subject Line #21
Bluefly, 10/23/08 — Rock the Coat
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #24
AbeBooks, 8/8/08 — Crisis at the Olympics
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #30
AbeBooks, 1/19/09 — Join the Barack Obama Book Club
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #35
GameStop, 3/9/10 — We know when Tiger is coming back.
[Click to Tweet]

Subject Line #93
Moosejaw, 1/7/13 — It worked for Obama…
[Click to Tweet]

For a discussion of each of these subject lines…

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

Get Email Marketing Rules on Amazon.comWow! It was just last year on Mar. 4 that Email Marketing Rules hit book shelves. What a year it’s been!

First, my most sincere thanks go out to the thousands of you that picked up a copy. I hope it’s helping you improve your email marketing programs.

I’d also like to thank the following folks for their continued support:

  • Jay Baer, who wrote a fantastic foreword;
  • Don Davis, Aaron Oppliger, Simms Jenkins, Jeff Rohrs, Loren McDonald, Andrew Bonar, and Anna Yeaman for their kind testimonials in support of the book; and last but not least
  • ExactTarget and salesforce.com for their generous support.

If you haven’t yet grabbed a copy, I hope you’ll consider it. Remember that there are 6 Ways to Get Email Marketing Rules, ranging from discounted to free.

Thanks again, everyone!

The Last Word on February 2014

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

Email Blows Social Media Out the Door — Any More Questions? (ClickZ)

Content Considerations For Your Automated Email Program (MediaPost)

11 A/B Split Testing Mistakes I See Businesses Make All The Time (Conversion XL)

ISPs speak at M3AAWG (Word to the Wise)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@brianclark: Successful people see an example and think “How can I do that my way?” Others say “That’s different because of x, y, and z, so I can’t.”

@delivery_kitty: Dear companies sending data breach notifications: please let an email expert help you authenticate your email so it doesn’t look fake/forged

@iamelliot: Roses are red, Violets are blue, images are disabled, sucks to be you. #emaildesign

@Dries: OH: “I want to make a font joke, but I’m just not bold enough.”

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

Levi’s subscriber anniversary email sent in 1/2014 >> View the pin

Applebee’s responsive social crowdsourcing email sent on 1/21/14 >> View the pin

Best Buy trending gifts email sent on 12/18/13 >> View the pin

Urban Outfitters emails sent in 11/2013 >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Democrats, 2/28 — Please do not give us $1 million
Lands’ End, 2/24 — #Friends #Family 25% off!
Earth Day Network, 2/6 — #EnvirossupportCVS‏
Carnival Cruise Lines, 2/21 — The clock is ticking… the #nowisthetime sale ends today!
J.Crew, 2/9 — Ignore the weatherman: 25% off select spring styles
Pier 1 Imports, 2/24 — Shop now and thank us later–there really will be a summer this year
Gap, 2/22 — Growth spurt? Start stocking up…
Ann Taylor, 2/22 — Your Legs Will Love This…
Sephora, 2/22 — Our 5 top layering tips
Furniture.com, 2/23 — Struggling with a super small dining space?
OnlineShoes.com, 2/21 — Hard to fit feet? Try us on for size.
Threadless, 2/20 — “I like knives.” – our newest MADE artist. Who could it be?
Gucci, 2/20 — On the Runway: Video and photos from our Women’s F/W ’14-15 fashion show‏
Vera Bradley, 2/16 — Open and scroll… Keep scrolling… Keep scrolling…
Horchow, 2/21 — 25% off + free shipping: Lighting Event starts NOW! Plus join the fun on Facebook!
ThinkGeek, 2/11 — ThinkGeek’s new bag comes with leather armor and +1 CHA bonus‏
Crate & Barrel, 2/9 — Good morning. Breakfast is served.
J.Crew, 2/16 — Toothpick, boyfriend, matchstick…
Lego, 2/ — Recreate your favorite scenes from THE LEGO® MOVIE™!
Walmart, 2/21 — Tax Refund ONLINE SPECIALS are here
Threadless, 2/17 — Direct orders from the president: save 30% now!
Walmart, 2/14 — Watch the Winter Games — save on TVs, tablets, recliners & more
Lenovo, 2/22 — Ask us about our gold medalist
Sephora, 2/18 — The medal goes to…
Anthropologie, 2/3 — Just in: BHLDN’s customizable bridesmaid dress.
Ninety Nine Restaurants, 2/15 — It’s Not Too Late to Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Ninety Nine!
Michaels, 2/14 — Will You Be Our Valentine? □Yes □No □Maybe‏
Uncommon Goods, 2/14 — Tired of Cupid?
Toys “R” Us, 2/3 — 3 Days to Save on Toys for Your Little Valentine! Online Only
Michael’s, 2/4 — Deals to Help You Put the “Best” in BFF
Honda, 2/3 — Honda News – Bruce Willis knows hugs. We know safety.
Walgreens, 2/1 — Game Day! Are you ready? We have your last-minute snacks!
Discovery Store, 2/2 — Watch Puppy Bowl + Get 20% Off!
The Container Store, 2/2 — Groundhog predicts: A LONG WINTER‏
Lenovo, 2/4 — What does the groundhog say?

Most popular posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

1. 100 Inspiring Email Marketing Subject Lines

2. The One-Two Punch of Subject Lines and Preheaders

3. The 1, 2, 3 of Defensive Design

4. The Many Uses (and 2 Drawbacks) of Animated Gifs

5. Infographic: Shopping Cart Abandonment Email Opportunities

Gmail's native unsubscribe linkGmail has made their native unsubscribe functionality much more prominent, moving their “unsubscribe” link so that it’s right after the “from” name in the inbox. Previously, it was usually hidden behind a dropdown menu.

As before, Gmail only adds the native “unsubscribe” link to emails that include the list-unsubscribe header and—critically—only if the sender already has a great sender reputation. If that describes you, the question you’re asking yourself is: Should I use this feature?

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

5 Ways to Improve Your Cart Abandonment Emails

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnShopping cart abandonment emails are among the most powerful messages a marketer can send, but they could be even more powerful. Our most recent research into cart abandonment emails shows that there are five clear opportunities to strengthen them:

1. Send Quickly.

For most consumer purchases, the effectiveness of cart abandonment emails diminishes the longer the delay between the abandonment of the cart and the arrival of the triggered message. This is particularly true during the holiday season and during the run-up to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other holidays, when the time of consideration of much shorter than usual.

Our research found that 52% of cart abandonment emails…

>> Read my entire Email Insider column on MediaPost.com

View this 2/14/13 HP email on PinterestWhile creating mobile-friendly landing pages, it’s important not to forget to maintain a smooth handoff from email to landing page. That email click should take you to a webpage where you immediately find what you’re expecting.

Here is a telling example of how mobile can cause this kind of landing page disconnect…

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

>> View HP example on Pinterest

During the key shopping month of December, we clicked through the promotional emails sent by more than 100 major online retailers and filled our shopping carts with more than $100 of merchandise. Then we walked away, closing our browser after each shopping session.

What happened next shows that there are great opportunities for not only more brands to use cart abandonment emails, but for existing users to further optimize their programs. Here are all the details about current trends, along with advice on how to increase the performance of your cart abandonment emails:

Cart Abandonment Email Opportunities

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