Chart of the Day: What is the comparison of segmented vs non-segmented campaigns

Segmentation is an important tactic every email marketer should be using. Firstly, what is list segmentation? List segmentation is when you segment (or split) your subscriber list based on your chosen criteria. E.g: if you want to only target clients in London, you would build your list, and instead of choosing everyone, you would only include those clients whose city was London. This means everyone outside of London wouldn't receive the email. You can make your list very specific and more relevant to your client (making sure that the email messaging reflects this, of course) but it will also make your dispatch list smaller. Segmentation is pretty standard with all Email Service Providers (ESPs) and they will have documentation of how to set them up for your campaigns. In the below chart, the results are unsurprising. We…

Chart of the Day: How is video being embedded into email marketing?

Email has limitations in what can be displayed correctly in email clients. But none more so than video playback. The safest route would be a static image, meaning that a static image would display for all clients. But as this chart shows, this has become rather old school, as only 2% use this method. A staggering 52% of the clients use fullscreen or inline video embedding. Animation (.gif animation), accounts for 46% of the total of sends. Before we all suddenly start to add inline video, there are a few points we need to remember: Fullscreen interaction only works correctly for iOS Inline only works on Apple Mail, Outlook for Mac and Outlook.com (non-preview) Gif animation doesn't work for Outlook 2007-2013 and Windows Phone 7 Email clients vary in how they accept videos playing in your inbox. So it comes down to…

Chart of the Day: Gmail inbox placement and read rates

In 2013, Google rolled out its restructure of the Gmail inbox and introduced their tabs layout. Back then email marketers believed it would be the "death of email marketing". So we are nearly 4 years since the launch, how are marketing emails performing in the Promotions tab? In the chart below, we see that Promotions has an Inbox Placement Rate (IPR) of 84.5%. We can also see that the read rate is the lowest of all the tabs, at a low 19.2%. This tells us that out of all the promotion emails, in the tab, only 19% are read. So 81% of marketing emails will be simply deleted/unread. So if you land in the Promotions tab, chances of getting read are very slim. What can i do? First, check if you need…

Chart of the Day: Why subscribers flag email as spam

If consumers mark your email as spam, then this is clearly unwelcome since not only has your brand been tarnished in their eyes, but even worse your delivery rates to existing subscribers could be harmed. So what triggers a 'mark as spam' click? Technology Advice Research asked 472 U.S. adults, "for what reasons have you marked a business' emails as spam?" The results show that nearly half of customers mark emails as spam because of the frequency of emails. There isn't a one rule fits all in regards to email marketing frequency because each list, segment or country is different and your frequency should match this. Almost a third of people claimed they hadn't purposefully subscribed to receive to the emails. This does not mean that they have been necessarily "spammed", it could be as simple as 'forced subscribe', which is the implicit…

We interviewed Paul Farnell, CEO and Co-founder of Litmus about their new partnership with Microsoft

If you work in email marketing you may well have heard of the new partnership Litmus have just announced with Microsoft. Because it's such a big industry first, we talked to Litmus' CEO to find out more about the workings of the deal and how it will affect both email marketers and the future of email itself.

Congratulations on the new partnership with Microsoft, can you give us an idea how this will affect how email marketers use Litmus? Will Litmus’ capabilities be changing?

Thank you! We’re very excited about the partnership and anticipate some great work with the Outlook team. There will not be any differences in how email marketers use and test in Litmus. The goal is that when viewing an Email…

A new tool from Gmail lets you see what Gmail and its users think of your email based on a reputation score and spam reporting levels. Follow Tim Watson's tutorial for how to use it.

It’s no secret to email marketers that the major ISPs create reputation scores for email senders and that a good reputation is fundamental to getting delivered to the inbox. Until now you had no way of knowing your Gmail reputation score. Getting to the inbox has felt like ten pin bowling with a curtain in front of the pins. But over the summer Gmail made available a free tool for senders to obtain data on their own reputation. Finally you can know what Gmail users think of your email. I’ll cover in a minute how to sign up to see your own stats, but first a quick summary of why you’ll want to do this. Access gives you reports for…

Plain text has proven impressively durable despite marketers preference for HTML

When it comes to email marketing, there’s only a few Email metrics that all marketers focus on: open rates and clickthroughs (although they should consider more, like the value generated). Without positive levels of KPIs, marketers often feel like they have wasted time and effort creating an email that no one has seen or interacted with, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. This is why marketers are constantly trying to find ways to improve on their email marketing campaigns in the hope that something – be it a subject line, content piece, image choice or header wording – will make a difference. But something that marketers generally don’t seem to change is the format of their email. Comfortable in the flashy world of HTML email design, marketers may be…

Surprisingly plain text often out performs HTML Emails

When it comes to email marketing, there’s only a few metrics that marketers really focus on: open rates and clickthroughs. Without positive levels of these, marketers often feel like they have wasted time and effort creating an email that no one has seen or interacted with, and that’s a hard pill to swallow. This is why marketers are constantly trying to find ways to improve on their email marketing campaigns in the hope that something – be it a subject line, content piece, image choice or header wording – will make a difference. But something that marketers generally don’t seem to change is the format of their email. Comfortable in the flashy world of HTML email design, marketers may be missing one very important point – the plain-text email usually performs better.

Which has better deliverability?

The plain-text vs. HTML debate is one that has been underway…

A briefing and ressearch on the impact of Google's new Tabbed Inbox

December 2013 update: Return Path have released a comprehensive study evaluating the impact of Gmail's tabbed inbox. We have added it to the end of Tim's post to enable readers to compare their open and delivery rates in Gmail. In August 2013, Google made two important changes to the Gmail inbox that all email marketers need to understand.

What has changed?

The two changes that Google have made are distinct, but have been introduced together. 1. Tabs added to the inbox separating promotional, social updates and other email 2. Ads that look like emails may be placed at the top of the promotional tab These changes are being automatically rolled out to all Gmail users. As Gmail users access their inbox they will see this popup to inform them about the inbox change: Then the Gmail web interface looks…

An introduction to factors that affect email deliverability and steps you can take to improve inbox delivery

When it comes to getting your emails into the inbox aka email deliverability, reputation is everything. In an ideal world, every email marketer would have good intentions, and there would be no need for email providers like Hotmail or Gmail to block any emails.

The reality however is that 70 percent of all emails that are sent worldwide is spam. Email providers have trust issues when it comes to parties that send a large amount of emails, and have every reason to.

To avoid being a "false positive" where your legitimate marketing mail is viewed as spam, there are plenty of techniques that help you gain trust of the various email providers and build a good email reputation. I will give an overview of these in this post.

What is email reputation…

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