Category Archives: Movable Ink News

Gmail’s Recent Image Handling Changes

Gmail image caching changes

UPDATE: Since this post was originally published, real-time content and re-open tracking have returned to Gmail. Learn more in our latest post on how Gmail handles images.

Last week, Gmail implemented changes that impact the way the email service renders images that will impact real-time content for a segment of Gmail users.

Below, we hope to clarify the Gmail changes, summarize their impact, and share what actions Movable Ink has taken and is continuing to pursue to address any concerns.

1. What changes were made in Gmail, and what is the impact to Movable Ink?
Traditionally, when a recipient views an email, images are downloaded from the server that hosts the images. This allows information to be communicated back to the image’s host source—such as the user’s current location, device, and time of day.

a.) Gmail is now requesting all images from proxy servers (googleusercontent.com), which incorrectly situates users in its headquarters in Mountain View, California when images are downloaded. This impacts the ability to geo-target image content for those Gmail users who are affected by the changes. (Note: Local Maps using zip codes appended as query parameters are unaffected.)

b.) Gmail is stripping the user-agent headers from the client request, which eliminates the ability to determine the Gmail user’s device and target image content appropriately.

c.) Gmail is removing the cache-control headers from the responses, which forces the user’s images to be stored in their browser’s cache for up to a day. This only impacts live image content if a Gmail user re-opens the email after the first open.

In summary, a limited set of Movable Ink features will not work within a segment of Gmail accounts and, in those cases, will be replaced with default content.

2. What email users are affected by the changes? How big is the impact to my list?
After analyzing our data since the changes were implemented late last week, 2% – 5% of the average enterprise B2C email marketer’s subscriber list is affected by Gmail’s changes, since they only affect recipients that open emails through the Gmail.com desktop client, the Android Gmail app, and the iOS Gmail app.

Not all Gmail users are impacted.

The changes have no impact on Gmail users who access their accounts through Mac Mail, the native Mail app on iOS devices, non-Gmail Android apps, non-Gmail Windows apps, Gmail via Outlook, etc. Additionally, all email domains that are not @gmail.com are not impacted. (Update: As of 12/12, Gmail has rolled out the changes to custom domains as well.)

More Gmail recipients open email on iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) than through any other email service — including web-based Gmail itself, which greatly mitigates the impact of the changes, and is the reason why they only affect 2% – 5% of most email marketers’ subscribers.

Below is a summary of who is affected by the changes:

Gmail Image Caching Impact

3. How is Movable Ink responding to the affected features?
a.) Geo-targeting: We have made it possible for marketers to show default content to users that have images hosted within the Gmail proxy domain. This eliminates any concerns about displaying incorrectly geo-targeted content when a user is falsely identified as being in Mountain View, California.

b.) Device targeting: If a user’s device cannot be detected for any reason, a default version of an email will be rendered and is configurable within the Movable Ink dashboard.

c.) All other real-time content: Other types of real-time content such as countdown timers, social feeds, web crops, and video will appear as intended on the first open of an email. Subsequent opens from an individual recipient will display the original image due to Google’s caching which can last for up to a day.

Our team is in contact with representatives at Google to recommend and discuss alternatives to last week’s changes. We will be sure to share updates as we have more information. If you have any questions in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at contact@movableink.com.

Movable Ink Names Ali Byrd Chief Financial Officer

Ali Byrd CFO Movable Ink

We recently announced the appointment of finance and technology industry veteran, Ali Byrd, as our Chief Financial Officer. In this role, Byrd will assume a key position in the overall management of the company, leading finance and strategic planning efforts and managing investor relationships.

“With more than 100 major brands on our client roster and a headcount that has tripled in the past year, our company is growing at an incredible pace,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Movable Ink. “Ali brings a balance of finance, technology and business development experience to our executive team, and will be an invaluable resource as we continue to revolutionize the email marketing space and grow as a company.”

Mr. Byrd has nearly 20 years of experience in technology, corporate development and finance. Prior to joining Movable Ink, Byrd served as Senior Vice President at SecondMarket, where he was responsible for the origination and execution of secondary transactions in the U.S. and Europe. Previous to his role at SecondMarket, Byrd was a Vice President at LimeWire, where he drove monetization of the company’s user base and helped lead the company’s expansion into the paid digital music market. Earlier in his career, Byrd was an investment banker at Lehman Brothers and before that, he spent nearly a decade at Microsoft.

“I believe that Movable Ink’s technology is unmatched in the marketplace, and as brands continue to seek new ways to break through the inbox clutter, we have a tremendous opportunity ahead of us,” said Byrd. “I couldn’t be more excited to be part of this team, and to help this innovative company continue to grow.”

View the full press release here. Welcome to the team, Ali!

It’s Mo Time! Movable Ink is Proud to Support Movember

Proud Mo GrowerThe “Mo Bros” and “Mo Sistas” of Movable Ink are proud to support Movember. Each year during the month of November, men and women join together to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues as part of the Movember movement.

Since Movember’s inception in 2003, over 3 million people have participated and nearly $150 million was raised in 2012 alone. Movember has helped fund more than 570 programs across the globe in the areas of education and awareness, living with and beyond cancer, prostate and testicular cancer research, and men’s mental health. We’re excited to take part in the movement this year.

Movable Ink Movember progress

After clean shaves on November 1st, we’re just getting started! Stay tuned for even more “mo” to come this Movember!

Why are the “Mo Bros” of Movable Ink growing moustaches as part of Movember? A moustache sparks conversation, and is a fun way to spread the important message of men’s health with others. The moustache is a catalyst for change, and gives men the opportunity and confidence to learn about and discuss their health more openly. The women on our team, also known as “Mo Sistas”, are championing the Movember movement for men’s health through fundraising efforts.

To learn more and to donate to Movember, visit Movable Ink’s Movember network page.

Movable Ink Appoints Adam Stambleck as Vice President of Client Experience

Adam Stambleck

We recently announced the appointment of Adam Stambleck as Vice President of Client Experience. With more than a decade of email marketing industry experience in progressive client services roles, he will lead our Client Experience team and program, and will work closely with the world’s leading brands to implement ROI-focused Agile Email Marketing campaigns.

“Adam is a stand-out Client Experience leader, who is not only immersed and experienced in the world of email marketing, but is also deeply passionate about delivering exceptional experiences to the marketers he works with every day,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO, Movable Ink. “We are thrilled to have an executive of Adam’s caliber join the team, and are excited about the contributions he will make to the success of our clients, his team, and the company.”

Mr. Stambleck joins Movable Ink from top ranked email service provider Yesmail Interactive, where as Vice President of Account Management, he was responsible for retaining and growing client accounts, and played a key role in the build out of the company’s New York office and operations. Stambleck’s client roster at Yesmail Interactive included household brands such as Google, Avon, eBay, Darden Restaurants, Scholastic, and Panasonic. Prior to Yesmail, Stambleck was Associate Director of Account Management for the direct marketing agency Paradysz.

“Movable Ink is bringing real innovation to email marketing, and I am thrilled to have this opportunity to work with the world’s elite brands to help them take the concept of personalization to a whole new level,” said Stambleck. “With Agile Email Marketing, brands have the ability to better reach, engage, and deliver value to their customers, ultimately creating memorable experiences and driving ROI for their companies.”

View the full press release here. Welcome to the team, Adam!

Upcoming Webinar: Everything You Need to Know About Gmail’s New Inbox, September 4

Gmail Webinar

You won’t want to miss this! Movable Ink, ReturnPath, and the EEC join forces to host a webinar on the hottest topic in email marketing today: Gmail’s new tabbed inbox.

Join us for “The No Hype, Get to the Root of It, Everything You Need to Know About Gmail’s Tabbed Inbox” webinar on Wednesday, September 4 at 2:00 PM EDT. In this 1-hour webinar, industry leaders from the EEC, ReturnPath, and Movable Ink, will explain how Gmail’s new inbox works, share the results of early research into its impact on open rates, and provide strategies and best practices for responding to the changes. Register today to join us on September 4.

To learn more about Gmail’s new tabbed inbox, check out our recent blog post, “The Impact of Gmail’s New Inbox: Top Three Considerations for Email Marketers” and article in Chief Marketer, “Did The Gmail Tabbed Inbox Reinvent Email Marketing?”

Join Movable Ink, Silverpop, and Invodo for “Bringing Email to Life with Video” Webinar on August 28

Video webinar

Join Movable Ink, Silverpop, and Invodo on Wednesday, August 28 at 1:00 EDT for a webinar on “Bringing Email to Life with Video.” This hour-long webinar will offer attendees an overview of why video is a highly valuable tool for creating engaging e-commerce campaigns, and what practical steps you can take to start incorporating video in your email marketing plans.

For more information and to register, please visit the registration page. We look forward to having you join us on August 28!

Can’t wait until August 28 to find out more? Download our video-in-email one-pager today.

Movable Ink Presents at the Experian Marketing Services 2013 Client Summit in Las Vegas

Ryan, Tim, Rachel, and Jason of the Movable Ink team at the Summit.

Ryan, Tim, Rachel, and Jason of the Movable Ink team at the Experian Marketing Services 2013 Client Summit on July 10- 12, 2013.

Last week, Movable Ink joined digital marketers from the world’s leading brands at the Experian Marketing Services 2013 Client Summit in Las Vegas. This year’s Summit focused on the evolving consumer landscape and strategies for effective cross-channel marketing that create meaningful interactions.

Movable Ink’s first session was a roundtable on “Agile Email Marketing & the Future of the Inbox.” Our VP of Product, Jason Valdina, led an interactive discussion on next-generation technologies that are making email marketing campaigns, and the process of producing them, more agile.

Our second session, “Bringing Agility to the Inbox with Live Content,” offered an overview of how Movable Ink’s technology allows marketers to develop more agile and ROI-focused campaigns. Our Co-Founder and CEO, Vivek Sharma, gave attendees a first-look into the next step in the evolution of our agile email marketing platform. We were fortunate to be joined by some of our customers who shared various ways Movable Ink makes their emails stand out in the inbox.  Special thank you to Renee Adams, Director of Direct Marketing for RadioShack, Carri Urbanski, Email Marketing Manager for Express, and Grace Low, Digital Marketing Manager for Comedy Central, for joining us! (To see examples of agile email campaigns from RadioShack, Express, Comedy Central, and other leading brands, check out our Pinterest page).

We greatly enjoyed our time at the Experian Marketing Services 2013 Client Summit, and are already looking forward next year’s! If you have any questions about topics covered in our sessions at the Summit, feel free to reach out at contact@movableink.com.

Movable Ink Appoints Jason Valdina as Vice President of Product

Headshots for Movable Ink Inc. on June 6h, 2013 in New York City

Valdina brings customer-centric approach to the development of Movable Ink’s Agile Email Marketing platform.

Today we announced that product strategy and experience design veteran, Jason Valdina, has joined the company as Vice President of Product. In this new role, he will lead Movable Ink’s product strategy, design and development efforts, as well as further expand integration efforts with strategic partners.

“Movable Ink’s clients are on the leading edge of targeted brand marketing, so when it came to bolstering our executive team on the product front, we wanted someone as obsessed with customer experience as our clients are,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Movable Ink. “With his vast expertise in product user experience and a vision for the future of marketing technology, Jason fits that description to a T.”

Mr. Valdina has more than 15 years of experience as a customer-centric product leader devoted to some of the biggest names in the Fortune 500. Prior to Movable Ink, Valdina served as the Head of Customer Experience for LivePerson, a leading provider of online intelligent engagement solutions, where he was intimately involved with the design and development of the company’s next-generation behavioral marketing and analytics platform.

“Today’s customers are more dynamic than ever; they are constantly on the move and in this media-saturated landscape, it is getting harder and harder to get their attention. Movable Ink’s technology enables marketers to break through the noise by driving unprecedented levels of contextual relevancy to a staple of everyday communication—email,” said Valdina. “I’m inspired by what this company has already achieved and am honored to be a part of the next phase of growth.”

View the full press release here. Welcome, Jason!

Movable Ink Proudly Partners with Lean In

8505540813_11fdcd0497_zMovable Ink is proud to announce our partnership with Lean In, a non-profit organization committed to offering women the support needed to achieve their entrepreneurial goals.

Based on Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean In, which focuses on encouraging women to pursue their professional ambitions, the Lean In organization is the next chapter in this global initiative.

“At Movable Ink, we bring agility to marketing by being smarter, faster, and goal-oriented. We can’t achieve such a goal without diversity of thought, experiences and people. We support the Lean In movement to empower women to reach their own audacious goals,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Movable Ink.

Visit LeanIn.org’s partner page to view Movable Ink’s partner profile. While you’re there, we encourage you to read the various stories of women and men “leaning in” at different stages in their careers.

To learn more about the Lean In organization, visit leanin.org or follow them on Facebook.

NEW FEATURE: Mobile Carrier Targeting

mobile carrierWe’re excited to introduce a new feature on Movable Ink’s Agile Email Marketing platform—mobile carrier targeting. Marketers can now target their emails based on the specific mobile carrier network that an individual is using at the moment of email open.

For businesses that rely heavily on information about mobile carrier preferences (like telecommunications providers and mobile device retailers), the ability to access this information and act on it in real-time is crucial, and a competitive advantage. For example, marketers can choose to display different creative images or promotional offers depending on the recipient’s mobile carrier, powerfully increasing the relevancy of their campaign’s message.

It’s also possible to automatically serve lower resolution images once a mobile carrier is detected, in order to optimize the loading time and viewing experience since the email recipient is not connected to a WiFi network.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this new feature. Reach out to us at contact@movableink.com, or leave a comment below.