Author Archives: Jordan Cohen

Jordan Cohen

About Jordan Cohen

VP of Marketing for Movable Ink

Movable Ink Enables Marketers to Optimize Email Campaigns for Gmail’s New Promotions Folder “Grid View”

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Movable Ink today announced the industry’s first solution for boosting open rates in Gmail’s new Promotions tab “grid view”.  New features within the agileEMAIL platform will enable marketers to auto-optimize and personalize featured images on every open of the Promotions tab with the visual grid view enabled, resulting in higher open rates and more conversion opportunities.

Key features include:

  • Automated A/B testing. Test multiple versions of featured grid view images on the fly, and automatically set campaigns to display the best performing images to the majority of recipients.
  • Image personalization. Include a recipient’s name, birthday, anniversary, or other personalized content into the featured image to make messages stand out from other promotional emails. (This information cannot be viewed in grid view images as plain system text – it must be embedded in the image itself).
  • Contextually relevant content. Display featured images that are contextually relevant to a recipient’s time, location, device, or local weather conditions.
  • Countdown clocks. Display time remaining to take advantage of special sales.

Gmail’s elegant new ‘grid view’ format presents email marketers with an unprecedented opportunity to engage with recipients, and the new features we are announcing today will give them the ability to move the needle on boosting open rates in a way that was never before possible!

To learn more about Movable Ink’s agileEMAIL platform and our new Gmail grid view optimization capabilities, visit www.movableink.com/request-demo.

Four Tips for Better Video Emails

Vince PeGan, self-proclaimed “email magician” and senior account manager at Movable Ink, works with dozens of leading brands to develop and execute agile email marketing programs that cut through the clutter and stand out in the inbox. One increasingly used technique is leveraging embedded video in email to breath life into the inbox. Below are Vince’s top 4 tips for making the most out of video in email campaigns.

1. Have a Clear CTA. ”Include a clear CTA so subscribers have an action to take besides viewing the video.”

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2. Use a “View Online” Link. “Including a link to an online version of the video so those not receiving the full video experience have a way to engage.”

3. Consider a Teaser Video. “Use a teaser version of the video to entice subscribers to click through to view full video on the web so your click through rates aren’t cannibalized.”

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4. Use a Secondary CTA. “Engage subscribers with a supporting CTA that gives further context to the video and allows them to engage online.”

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Interested in learning more about video-in-email? Download our fact sheet, or give us a shout at contact@movableink.com.

Movable Ink Opens London Office

Movable Ink London office

Movable Ink’s new London office. Source: Gilmoora House

Today we announced the opening of our new office in London!

Investment in email marketing continues to grow at a rapid pace in the UK and Europe, and we have seen increasing demand in the region for Agile Email Marketing technology and services. According to Econsultancy, the UK market for email marketing platforms and services alone was worth an estimated £495 million by the end of 2013, and has been growing at 13 percent year-over-year.

The new office is located at Gilmoora House, 57-61 Mortimer St, London, W1W 8HS and establishes a base for us in Europe to better serve European marketing leaders. If you’re in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello!

Off Topic: Oracle Acquires Responsys

Oracke at Delphi

Earlier today, Oracle announced that it entered into an agreement to acquire Responsys in a deal worth nearly $1.5 billion.  Predictably — no pun intended (maybe) — this set off some classic Movable Ink geek banter:

  • Vivek Sharma, CEO: I called it! http://www.cnbc.com/id/101289244
  • Jordan Cohen, VP of Marketing: It took an Oracle to call that one.
  • Vince PeGan, Sr. Account Manager: Great Responsys, Jordan!
  • Adam Stambleck, VP of Client Experience: Seeing the news this morning, put a big Springer in my step.
  • Vivek Sharma: I have been gifted with ESP to make calls like that.

Huge congrats to our friends at Responsys!

-The Movable Ink Team

Gmail’s “New Inbox” Heightens Urgency to Adopt Real-Time Email Technology

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The email marketing industry is all abuzz over the announcement of Gmail’s “New Inbox”.  According to Gmail Product Manager Itamar Gilad, “the new inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. You simply choose which categories you want and voilà! Your inbox is organized in a way that lets you see what’s new at a glance and decide which emails you want to read when.”

Based on this promotional video, it appears that those tabs will include “Primary” (personal emails), “Social” (Facebook and Twitter notifications), “Promotional” (marketing), and “Updates” (transactional messages, e.g., order confirmations).

Gilad’s post states that “The new inbox is rolling out gradually” and “If the new inbox isn’t quite your style, you can simply switch off all optional tabs to go back to classic view, or switch to any of your other favorite inbox types.”

There are conflicting messages in Gilad’s “New Inbox” post. Specifically, the big question is whether users will in fact “choose which categories” they want and tag messages, or if the tabs and sorting will be done for them, with the option to then “switch off” the new tabs.

The New Inbox X Factor

Marketers should keep in mind that this isn’t the first time Gmail has rolled out a “sorting” feature. “Priority Inbox” was rolled out 3 years ago, which classified some messages as more important than others. I can’t find data to back it up, but my sense is that most “regular folks” opted to not use Priority.

The big X factor around yesterday’s announcement will be whether users actually adopt the “New Inbox” or say “No thanks, keep me on Classic”.  People who use email have their own, age-old systems for organizing and managing it, and in general the human condition is resistant to change. But, we’ll have to wait and see.

What Happens if the “New Inbox” Takes Hold?

If the New Inbox does, in fact, become widely adopted, marketers would be right to be concerned about declining Gmail open rates. But, at the same time, opens in the “Promotions” folder will likely be more engaged, higher intent opens.

The other thing to consider is that opens in the Promotions folder will likely occur well after marketers click the “send” button. “One day only” sales might expire by the time a recipient views the email. Inventory might no longer be available. The urgency around adopting agile, real-time email technology will heighten in order to ensure that messages are relevant at the moment of open, as opposed to the moment of send.

The inbox will continue to evolve. The tough question marketers have to ask themselves is whether they’re up to the challenge of evolving with it.

Deep Linking in Email Marketing: How it Works, and Why it Rocks!

We were excited to hear that Twitter unveiled new “Twitter Card” types at its latest developer conference last week. These cards enable “deeper linking and engagement into other apps you may have on your phone.”

According to a post on Twitter’s blog:

“One of the most important features in the new Cards is the ability to allow users to download your app (if the user doesn’t already have it installed), or deep-link into your own app (if the app is already installed on the user’s mobile device). The ability to enable app installs and deep-linking is globally available across all Twitter Card types…”

The beauty of deep linking is that it eliminates extra clicks, brings content closer to consumers, and enables people to more easily take the actions they intend on taking. This eliminates friction from the process of taking action (for example, launching and using a mobile app), resulting in more people actually taking the action that you’d like them to.

We’ve been a big fan of deep linking at Movable Ink for a long time now, and proudly offer it as a core feature of our Agile Email Marketing platform.  Below, Movable Ink’s Co-Founder and CTO Michael Nutt explains how the technology works:

“Deep linking in email works like so: When you create an app and submit it to the app store, you can register what are called “protocol handlers” that are name spaced to your company, for example Facebook’s is fb://.  Anytime someone clicks on a URL using the protocol handler and they have your app installed, the app will open and receive instructions within the URL to launch a specific action – for example, opening a Facebook message composer with a pre-written note. However, if someone clicks on the URL and your app is NOT installed, they will receive an error message indicating that there are no registered handlers for that protocol.

Movable Ink enables deep linking in email while avoiding the error-message problem using an iframe technique in a web page. When an email link is clicked, a web page is loaded, and the iframe’s source is set to the protocol handler URL. If the app is already installed, it launches immediately. If the app is not installed, the click – rather than returning an error message – automatically directs the user to download the app. Failing both those conditions, a timer will trigger after half a second in order to seamlessly redirect the user to a mobile web page.  This creates an optimal user experience across all possible situations.”

Here are some recent examples of emails that leveraged device detection with deep linking from Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” Seamless (the food delivery experts), and American Eagle Outfitters.   You can also read a case study about Seamless’s use of deep linking to increase app downloads by 50% and food delivery orders by 90% here: http://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/email-mobile-app-downloads.

If you’d like to learn more about deep linking in email, give us a shout!

ISP Support for Video-in-Email

Here’s a chart showing major ISPs/email clients and their support-level for video-in-email — from full “true” video, to animated gifs that closely mimic video, to static images with play buttons that launch video players in a web browser when clicked.

The chart is accurate as of its posting date (January 29, 2013) — we’ll make updates as the highly fluid ISP landscape continues to evolve.

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Realizing Agile Email Marketing: The Future of Video, Content, and Context

Movable Ink was featured in ClickZ today. In an interview with veteran email marketing industry analyst David Daniels, our VP of Marketing Jordan Cohen explained the benefits of Agile Email Marketing, Movable Ink’s new Video in Email solution, and the impact of mobile on email marketing campaigns.

Agile email marketing is different than the current waterfall process of email marketing campaign production. The current linear process of email marketing production assumes a certain level of rework, particularly as it relates to how testing is achieved in most email marketing applications. The agile approach is centered around the subscriber including up-to-the-minute contextual information, such as their location, time of day, and device. This is married with unlimited variations of content, historical subscriber data, and optimization rules to ensure that the right message is delivered to the right person at the right time. Such an idea is not new, but Movable Ink, a fast-growing New York-based company, has made this a reality for top retailers and brands. What makes its approach even more compelling is that it’s not an ESP; the company makes it easy to cut and paste its capabilities into the marketer’s existing email marketing solution.

Read the full article here: http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/2239284/realizing-agile-email-marketing-the-future-of-video-content-and-context

Thank You

Thanks to all of our friends and supporters who have checked in with us these past few difficult days.

Not everyone on the team has power yet, and some of our loved ones have had to leave their homes and may not be able to return anytime soon, but the most important thing is that we are all accounted for, and are safe and sound.

Our hearts go out to all who have been affected by this week’s horrible storm. Wishing everyone a speedy recovery, and a return to “normal” as soon as possible.

- The Movable Ink Team