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Why your email campaigns might not be going directly to your subscriber’s inbox

Despite being one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, email marketing campaigns still boast one of the best returns for investment. The effectiveness of email campaigns really relies upon the success of your email deliverability and whether your email reaches the main subscriber inbox. This is something that is often overlooked by many email marketers. Email open rate and click-through rate are helpful, but if your email campaign isn’t delivered to a subscribers main inbox and ends up in spam or other email folders, it’s likely that these statistics might be distorted. It doesn’t matter how well-crafted your email is, if you’ve spent ages on the design or if you’ve got a really attractive offer. If it gets delivered but doesn’t even get seen by the email subscriber, you’re probably missing out on vital sales and revenue from the…

It's true: email deliverability best practice is not the most exciting topic, but it's a necessary evil

Ignore it and, by the time you've run into problems, it will take a very long time to fix. Pay attention to it and you'll have a better chance of landing in the inbox. Not a guarantee, just a better chance. One important thing to differentiate between is blocking and blacklisting, terms which are often used interchangeably although they have different levels of gravity. While no marketer wants their emails to be prevented from landing in the inbox, blocking is not worth panicking about as much as blacklisting.

What happens when your emails are blocked?

Blocking is something that happens at ISP level so your emails could be blocked in Outlook, but not Gmail, for example. All ISPs have different rules that determine which campaigns…

Chart of the Day: 2017 Deliverability Benchmark Report

The dreaded word

With Halloween on its way, you naturally start thinking about all things spooky. Things like clowns, vampires or toddlers who won't go to sleep. For email marketers, there is something far scarier that strikes fear deep in our hearts ... poor deliverability. Calm down my little email geeks. Finding out your inbox placement is a good thing. Once you find out your own, you can start strategizing how to improve it. And the chart below can let you know if you are within your industry benchmarks.

How does email get into the inbox?

"Email that is deemed malicious or untrustworthy is often blocked at the gateway, never reaching either the inbox or the spam folder. For messages that make it past the gateway, spam filters look at the reputation of the sender, subscriber engagement,…

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…

Chart of the Day: Finance, Manufacturing and Travel Industries reach the email inbox 9 out of 10 times

For email marketers, the prospect of your emails not reaching the inbox has been a consistent worry. Email services for consumers (Gmail, Outlook etc) are always trying to do the best for their users and have protection in place so spammy looking emails don't clog up their inboxes. This level of protection means that 1 in 5 emails don't reach the intended recipient. In a recent report by Return Path the email delivery experts on average, 85% of emails from all industries globally ever reach the recipient's email inbox. Banking & finance, distribution & manufacturing, and travel marketers are achieving the best inbox placement rate with 90% or more emails hitting the inbox On the flip side, automotive, education/nonprofit/government, and social & dating industries are having a harder time reaching their audience with inbox placement rates of less…

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 (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…

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…

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