The State of Email Marketing Is…

View all of Chad's MediaPost column…strong, but could be stronger, according to the finding of our 2014 State of Marketing report, which surveyed more than 2,500 marketers. First, the testaments to email’s strength:

Eighty-eight percent of marketers use email marketing and another 9% said they plan to launch an email program this year. Only 3% said they don’t plan on using email marketing.

Sixty-eight percent of marketers believe that email marketing is core to their business. That’s an impressive endorsement of the channel.

Fifty-eight percent of marketers plan on increasing their spending on email marketing this year. Only data & analytics (61%) and marketing automation (60%) rated higher as spending priorities.

But marketers’ key priorities clearly revealed two chief opportunities…

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

100 Inspiring Email Marketing Subject Lines

The most effective subject lines are straightforward and predispose openers to engage with the content of an email. However, creativity has its place.

Whether you’re newsjacking, promoting a non-sales message or just conveying your brand’s attitude, creativity in less than half the length of a tweet can give your emails the edge—especially when your subject line is backed up with great email content.

To spark some ideas, here are our picks for 100 of the most inspiring subject lines since 2006, along with some notable trends and events through the years that have affected email subject lines.

Mother's Day, Graduation and Father's Day PromosWhy pitch your subscribers on buying one gift when you could be convincing them to buy two? A number of retailers have applied this thinking to their Mother’s Day, graduation and Father’s Day messaging in recent years.

In order to increase average order sizes and get sales where they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, retailers have use two key tactics: They’ve either:

(1) broadened the definition of mom, grad or dad; or

(2) targeted those associated closely with the mom, grad or dad.

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

>> View gallery of email examples on Pinterest

Email Evolution Conference in Miami Jan. 22-24Help us help you. Fellow email marketing book author Simms Jenkins and I want to answer YOUR questions during our All-Star Email Marketing Author Session at the Email Evolution Conference in Miami Jan. 24 at 10:20am.

Not attending? No problem. We’ll be answering some of the questions in future columns and blog posts as well, so please speak up.

>> Submit your own question or cast votes for the questions you want answered most

The Last Word on December 2013

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

Must-read articles, posts & whitepapers

What’s Your Post-Holiday Email Plan? (MediaPost)

4 Data-Fueled Insights On How People Are Using Gmail’s Tabbed Inbox This Holiday Season (Marketing Land)

Personal @instagram.com email addresses could be part of the app’s new messaging service (Digital Trends)

Big Data & Big Profits: The One Infographic That Will Show You How to Find $200 Billion (LinkedIn)

Insightful & entertaining tweets

@coskier: #emailmarketing RT @LorenMcDonald: At point of unsubscribe @LivingSocial able to salvage 30% of customers with opt-down option #mpeis

@coskier: My experience – avg list had about 75% Inactive. Mgmt freaked out when I said we should purge. Quality beats quantity in my mind. #mpeis

@jacaldwell: #testify RT @History_Pics: 1993 vs 2013: http://t.co/y4PEwX2PtO

@justinpremick: Nice example of relevant, timely #emailmarketing content from @pandora_radio #NewYearsEve pic.twitter.com/UsTSvL5DAm

Great additions to the Swipe File pinboards

Twitter email sent on 12/15/13 >> View the pin

Warby Parker email sent on 11/27/13 >> View the pin

Moosejaw email sent on Moosejaw >> View the pin

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s email opt-out confirmation page >> View the pin

Noteworthy subject lines

Feeding America, 12/31 — Give before midnight tonight‏
Walgreens, 12/23 — Have FSA Dollars? Don’t lose them, shop now! | 20% OFF Contacts‏
Furniture.com, 12/29 — Our Top 5 Blog Posts of 2013‏
Express, 12/30 — Be the hottest girl at the party‏
Epicurious, 12/25 — Best New Year’s Recipes Ever: Tasty Hors d’Oeuvres, Party Punches, and Day-One Brunches‏
Morton’s, 12/20 — Count Down to a New Year with Morton’s!
Etsy, 12/20 —3…2…1…
Saks Fifth Avenue, 12/15 — New Year’s Dresses: Countdown to WOW
The Container Store, 12/28 — Make storing Christmas toys child’s play‏
Nikon, 12/27 — Genuine Nikon accessories for your D-SLR‏
Target, 12/30 — Fun ways to use that gift card.
Lenovo, 12/27 — Holiday gift cash to spend? Save up to $580 on PCs.
J.Crew, 12/27 — New arrivals: permission to shop for yourself again‏
Apple, 12/26 — Do a little more receiving.
Aeropostale, 12/26 — Time to Gift Yourself! $5 Tee, $10 Hoodies + Up To 70% Off Everything!
SkyMall, 12/26 — Spend Your Holiday Cash at SkyMall‏
Monterey Bay Aquarium, 12/19 — Best Fishes and a Happy New Year!
Southwest, 12/24 — Ho-Ho-Hold Onto Your Sleigh, More Low Fares Just Arrived Today. Book Now & Save!
Urban Outfitters, 12/24 — It’s not too late: Get to your local UO Store or Send an E-Gift Card Instantly!
Fossil, 12/24 — Need a last-minute gift? Send a Fossil E-Gift Card‏
Anthropologie, 12/23 — Our stores are glowing; stop by & warm up!
MAC Cosmetics, 12/23 — There’s still time for Free Overnight delivery!
Daily Candy, 12/21 — Giftable Apps Worth the Thank-You E-Card‏
Petco, 12/22 — Gift yourself: Buy one $25 eGift Card & get a $5 eGift Card FREE!
Zazzle, 12/22 — Holiday shopping done? Here’s 50% off just for you!
Karmaloop, 12/22 — NEWS FLASH: Santa is Too Drunk to Drive His Sleigh (Save XMas with FREE Overnight Ship + 40% Off)
WebMD, 12/17 — Sick? 10 Tips to Get Through the Day‏
Subway, 12/17 — Take a break from holiday shopping. Stop in to get your $2 sub! (P&P may vary. $ higher in AK and HI)
Coldstone Creamery, 12/12 — Free Bonus $5 eGift with purchase of $30 or more‏
Adidas, 12/14 — #adidasmutombo is back in black‏
Threadless, 12/12 — Adorable with a side of WTF.
Pier 1 Imports, 12/12 — The lights are up, the tree is trimmed—it’s your table’s turn.
The Container Store, 12/11 — Spoiler Alert! We’re on Ellen Today!
Victoria’s Secret, 12/10 — It’s showtime! VS rocks the runway TONIGHT.
Apple, 12/10 — Give an engraved iPad Air. Order by Dec. 11.
J.Crew, 12/10 — A six-letter word for holiday…
Walmart, 12/9 — Green means go! Start saving on Green Monday.
eBags, 12/9 — It’s Green Monday! Hot Holiday Deals + Save 20% Sitewide & Free Shipping!
Toys “R” Us, 12/9 — Green Monday = Savings! Here’s a 15% OFF Coupon!
Uncommon Goods, 12/9 — WARNING: Glitter and Tiny Animals Inside‏
Wayfair, 12/9 — Holiday hosting made easy? It’s a Christmas miracle‏
Michael’s, 12/18 — What’s the #1 Gift of the Year?
Wine.com, 12/4 — And our #1 wine is… The Wine.com 100 is here!
Sony, 12/4 — Need Gift Ideas? Check out Our Top Pinned Products‏
Neiman Marcus, 12/5 — 12 Days of Handbags Sweeps!
Costco, 12/4 — 12 Days of Christmas Deals Start Today! Day 1: Gift Baskets!
Horchow, 12/4 — 12 Deals of Christmas + up to 25% off Decor + FREE shipping sitewide‏
eBags, 12/4 — 12 Days of Deals Starts Now! Today – Carry-On Luggage – Take 20% Off 1 Item + Free Shipping!
Threadless, 12/5 — Mmmm…Simpsons Tees.
Uncommon Goods, 12/7 — Happy Krampusnacht!
Godiva Chocolatier, 12/3 — RSVP Now: Save 25% when you host a GODIVA Shopping Party!
Walgreens, 12/3 — Our Gift to You: 40% OFF Holiday Photo Cards + New Mobile App Features‏
Banana Republic, 12/3 — You asked, we listened: Try Reserve in Store today.
American Red Cross, 12/3 — Did you know it’s #GivingTuesday?
Feeding America, 12/3 — How will you give back? #GivingTuesday‏
Make-a-Wish Foundation, 12/3 — Wish of the Month: Aaron’s Wish + today is GivingTuesday!
ASPCA, 12/3 — Giving Tuesday: Make a Difference for Animals‏
Earth Day Network, 12/3 — Giving Tuesday: Your Chance to Save the Asian Elephant‏
St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 12/3 — Be part of Giving Tuesday with gifts that give‏
J.Crew, 12/2 — Even your boss is shopping today‏
Dunkin’ Donuts, 12/2 — Free shipping today only, use code FSCYBER‏
DailyCandy, 12/1 — 14 Post-Tryptophan Pick-Me-Ups‏

Most popular posts on EmailMarketingRules.com

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

2. Infographic: Email Insights & Trends from Thanksgiving, Black Friday & Cyber Monday

3. My Dreamforce Presentation: The Good, the Bad, and the Best

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

5. 10 Inspiring Holiday Header Email Designs

Download the Email Marketing Holiday Calendar InfographicDuring December, retailers sent each of their subscribers 25.9 promotional emails on average, up 26% from November. Non-retailers sent each of their subscribers 8.8 promotional emails on average, up 27% from the previous month.

This data is based on the anonymous tracking for nearly 150 B2C brands, including retailers, restaurants, manufacturers, travel and hospitality, political groups, and nonprofits.

Among both retailers and non-retailers, increases in per subscriber email volume were driven by holiday messaging, kicked off by a high-volume Cyber Monday and Cyber Week. For more on seasonal email marketing trends, check out the Email Marketing Holiday Calendar and this month’s update…

>> Email Marketing Holiday Calendar 2013: December Review & January Preview

The Last Word on 2013

The Last WordHappy New Year! As we say hello to 2014, I wanted to recap some of the best content from Email Marketing Rules and ExactTarget during 2013.

Of course, it all began with the publication of Email Marketing Rules (paperback/ebook). You can check out the Introduction and an exclusive excerpt for free.

To get you inspired about email design, we launched the Email Swipe File on Pinterest to share outstanding emails. We then built on that by publishing The Best of the Email Swipe File and Holiday Inspirations from the Email Swipe File reports.

Six Email Marketing Predictions For 2013 was my most popular Email Insider column last year, which I followed up on yesterday with An Email Carol: Ghosts Of Predictions Past, Present And Future. I’m also very proud to have been out in front on Gmail Tabs with Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Gmail Subscribers To Re-Tab Your Emails.

On EmailMarketingRules.com, the two most popular posts were The Many Uses (and 2 Drawbacks) of Animated Gifs and The One-Two Punch of Subject Lines and Preheaders.

And there was plenty of original research as well, including infographics on holiday trends, triggered birthday emails, opt-in failures, and welcome emails. Our most popular one was The Email Marketing Holiday Calendar.

We’ve got a lot of big plans for 2014—some great new research, plus updates to your favorites from 2013. We hope that it will all help you to DREAM BIG in 2014 and accomplish more than you thought possible.

View all of Chad's MediaPost columnIn my latest Email Insider column for MediaPost, I reluctantly cast myself in the role Emailnezer Scrooge and am visited by three ghosts that hold me accountable for my past email marketing predictions and press me for an assessment of the present and for predictions of the future.

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

E-Gift Cards Increasingly a Real-Time Gift

View Examples of E-Gift Card MessagingBetter delivery technology and the rise of mobile email reading has made e-gift cards, which have long been branded “the perfect last-minute gift,” into more of a real-time gift.

While eGift Card Day is officially on Dec. 23, email messaging about e-gift cards has actually been higher on Christmas Eve since the 2012 holiday season. This holiday season that shift was even more pronounced.

>> Read the entire post on the ExactTarget Blog

>> View gallery of e-gift card messaging examples

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of my family and the entire ExactTarget and Salesforce.com family, I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and hope that this holiday season has brought you many happy returns!

Chad

Merry Christmas!