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.

Campaign of the Week: 7 For All Mankind “Dreaming in Blue” Email with Video and Real-Time Instagram Feed

7 For All Mankind Dreaming in Blue Spring Collection 2014 Email with Video and Instagram

Click image to experience how the video plays within the email and to see how the latest Instagram photos using #DreamingInBlue are displayed.

One of our favorite examples of Agile Email Marketing we’ve seen recently comes from 7 For All Mankind, the international fashion brand best known for its premium denim jeans, popularly referred to as “Sevens.” This email tied into the company’s current broader marketing initiative around the spring line of denim, “Dreaming in Blue,” and used video and a real-time Instagram feed to create an eye-catching email experience.

The development and execution of this email campaign was a collaborative effort between the marketing team at 7 For All Mankind, their e-commerce partners at OneStop, and our Client Experience team at Movable Ink.

I caught up with Lyanne Loriz, E-commerce Analyst for 7 For All Mankind, to get more info on this “dreamy” campaign.

Brooke Burdge, Marketing Manager, Movable Ink: What was the main goal of this email?
Lyanne Loriz, E-commerce Analyst, 7 For All Mankind: We recently launched a new marketing initiative to promote our spring collection, “Dreaming in Blue,” which is now live on 7forallmankind.com. This email was an opportunity for us not only to increase awareness of the new spring collection, but also to broaden the reach of assets we’ve already developed, like the “Dreaming in Blue” video. (You can check out the video here).

BB: How were you sharing videos through email before using Movable Ink’s technology?
LL: Previously, we used a static video still with a “faux” play button in the center that linked over to YouTube when clicked. Using Movable Ink, we were able to power the full video and audio to play directly in the inbox. If subscribers opened the email on any clients that did not support HTML5, they saw either an animated gif which still offered a video-like experience, or in few cases, a static image that linked over to the full video. We were easily able to deliver the best video experience possible to each of our email subscribers, and simultaneously increase the ROI of the “Dreaming in Blue” video that we had already produced for other purposes.

BB: What inspired the use of a live Instagram feed in this email? Did you see any increase in your followers as a result of this campaign?
LL: We’re always looking out for opportunities to tie social media into email, and new ways to integrate all of our marketing channels. Our social media team has been busy publishing beautiful blue-themed photos on our Instagram channel, @7FAM, using the hashtag #DreamingInBlue and so have many of our fans. We felt the ability to add a real-time feed of the latest posts with that hashtag into the email was a great way to share those images, and also to hopefully increase our social media followers.

Typically, our Instagram followers increase by about 40 or so each day. In just the two-day period after this email campaign was launched, we gained 335 new Instagram followers, so our average daily increase in followers grew 320% immediately following the launch of this email.

Have questions about this campaign, or interested in learning more about the possibilities of Agile Email Marketing technology? Reach out to us at contact@movableink.com or request a demo of our platform.

The Future of Email Marketing: agileEMAIL

agileEMAIL by Movable Ink email marketing platform

On Monday, we officially announced agileEMAIL, our game-changing email marketing platform. You can read about agileEMAIL here in TechCrunch from the industry experts or download our one-page overview here.

We’re also pleased to offer our fans and industry insiders the chance to join our CEO, Vivek Sharma, and VP of Marketing, Jordan Cohen, in a webinar that will demo the new agileEMAIL platform live. We truly hope you can join us for the launch webinar this coming Wednesday, March 19th, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT.

Here are some additional details about what you’ll see Vivek and Jordan demo on Wednesday:
  • Workflow tools that allow you to spend more time being creative and less time with tedious tasks (convert image into bulletproof HTML in minutes!)
  • The ability to embed personalized content that updates in real-time
  • Advanced testing, targeting, and optimization capabilities that will take your campaigns to whole new levels
  • Enhanced insights and analytics

We’re pumped to share the news about agileEMAIL and looking forward to showing you how it works! Stay tuned!

Real-Time Content and Re-Open Tracking Return to Gmail

Gmail image caching updateBack in December, Gmail made a major overhaul to the way it processes email. Images started being proxied through Gmail’s servers, which changed the way that images are cached. As a result, images could now be immediately displayed to recipients (no more “click here to view images from this sender”), but at the same time, marketers lost the ability to track email re-opens and the ability to serve relevant, real-time content upon re-open was limited.

What Happened at Gmail?

Image caching on the web and in email is controlled through headers, which are sent back with images. The header informs the web browser or email client how long and under which conditions the image should be re-used before making another request to the server. In its initial rollout in December, Gmail respected the caching headers sent from the original server, but always served images to the user with instructions to re-use the same image for 24 hours.

Due to the 24-hour caching header, web browsers would see real-time content initially but not on subsequent re-opens until one day later. Since open tracking also relies on images, the initial opens registered properly but re-opens were cached and could not be tracked. There were some reported workarounds for re-open tracking, but they involved sending malformed data to the Gmail proxy and were not guaranteed to work.

The Return of Real-Time Content and Re-Open Tracking

Last week, the Movable Ink team noticed that Gmail had begun deploying updates to address the issues caused by its 24-hour caching. The cache still exists, but it is now overridable if you pass a no-cache header (example below).

HTTP 200 OK
Content-Type: image/png
Cache-Control: no-cache, max-age=0

This means that re-open tracking now works as it did before December’s changes. In addition, these changes fix a long-standing issue of Gmail temporarily caching entire emails when navigating between emails in Gmail. When using Movable Ink, these updates mean that whenever you open an email in Gmail, you can be sure that you are seeing the most up-to-date, real-time content on every open and re-open.

Top Takeaways from the MarketingSherpa Email Summit – Day 2

MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2014 Las VegasLast week, we shared a few of our top takeaways from day 1 of the MarketingSherpa Email Summit. After spending another day with email marketing’s brightest minds, we left the summit feeling energized and ready to take new ideas and put them into action. So that you can do the same, below is a recap of a few more of our biggest takeaways from the event:

1. Test, learn, adapt, repeat.
To discover what factors make someone say “yes” and convert—whether that conversion action is opening an email, a click-through, or making a purchase—marketers must “always be testing” along every stage of the sales funnel. With each campaign we launch, we’re faced with two options: go with our gut instinct and do what we think will appeal best to our audience, or conduct tests so that we can let our customers tell us what actually interests them.

During a few presentations, the audience was asked to guess “which test won” and vote for which image, call to action, subject line, etc. would outperform another. Sometimes we guessed correctly, and sometimes we learned that our hypothesis, for whatever reason, turned out to be incorrect.

The only way to know for sure whether a hunch is right or wrong is to test. Every test is a learning opportunity to fill a particular knowledge gap you have about your customers. A/B testing doesn’t have to be time-consuming. With real-time creative optimization, marketers can test and optimize emails on the fly. Check out this case study to see how The Taunton Press was able to double click-through rates using real-time creative optimization.

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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!

Top Takeaways from the MarketingSherpa Email Summit – Day 1

MarketingSherpa Email Summit email marketing conference

The Movable Ink team headed out west to Las Vegas this week to join nearly 1,000 email marketers for the 2014 MarketingSherpa Email Summit. We’ve been surrounded by some of the brightest influencers in the industry—so it’s no surprise that our minds are jam-packed full of fresh, new ideas.

Below is a recap of our thoughts from the first day of sessions. We’ll continue to post updates as the summit goes on, so be sure to check back!

1.    Although the face of email continues to evolve, the core philosophy of marketing remains the same.
Marketing is driven by psychology, centered on the ability to appeal to unique aspects of human motivation. What exactly is it that makes us say “yes” and commit to a buying decision, especially when we’re faced with a number of competing options? In his keynote presentation, Dr. Dan Ariely, professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of the bestseller “Predictably Irrational,” talked about the concept of “choice architecture” and how our environment determines the decisions we make every day.

So how does this relate to email marketing? Think of every email as an environment, and every click as a decision. In order to motivate someone to take that next step—such as clicking on a specific call to action—a marketer must not only make that choice crystal clear by minimizing any conflicting choices or distractions, but also by ensuring that each message is as relevant and valuable to every consumer as possible.

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Emails We Love: Lilly Pulitzer’s #hoorayforspring Campaign with Social Media and Local Maps

Display images to show real-time content and test out deep linking to Twitter!

Ready to trade in your snow boots for sandals, and dark colors for warm pastels? Although spring weather may not be here just yet (at least not here at Movable Ink headquarters in New York!), it’s never too early to start getting excited about the warmer months ahead.

We love how this agile email marketing campaign from Lilly Pulitzer made clever use of social media to create excitement around the new Spring 2014 collection, and also incorporated real-time geo-targeting to show each subscriber the nearest store location.

Lilly Pulitzer encouraged recipients to share what they love about the new spring collection by using #hoorayforspring on Instagram and Twitter. The latest tweets using that hashtag were displayed directly in the email. To make it as easy as possible for subscribers to engage with the campaign, a click on the “Tweet Now” button prompted a tweet with the hashtag pre-populated and ready to send. If a subscriber opened the email on mobile, the tweet loaded directly in the Twitter mobile app using deep linkingWant to test out deep linking to Twitter for yourself? Just click the email image here to share this post!

This campaign also used real-time geo-targeting to display a local map and address information of the nearest retail location where subscribers could shop the spring collection. The store information and map is determined and populated instantaneously at the moment of every email open.

Interested in learning more about how Agile Email Marketing technology from Movable Ink made this campaign possible? Reach out to us at contact@movableink.com or request a demo.

New Research Shows Mobile Dominates Desktops with 65% of Total Email Opens in Q4 2013

Movable Ink US Consumer Device Preference Report Q4 2013Americans are ditching desktops, viewing marketing emails on their smartphones and tablets more than ever, according to Movable Ink’s latest research, the US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q4 2013. The data reveals that 65% of marketing emails were opened on a smartphone or tablet in the fourth quarter, up four percentage points from the previous quarter, while desktop opens slowed to a new low of 35%, down from 39% in the previous quarter.

The report provides deep insight into the popularity of various devices, examines differences in consumer engagement based on the devices they use, and shows how device preferences vary across the nation. This quarter’s report also include an exclusive look at device usage over the course of the critical 2013 holiday shopping season. Unlike other studies, this data set exclusively includes results from large, enterprise B2C marketers.

Key findings include:

  • Movable Ink Agile Email Marketing research mobile opensNearly two-thirds of all email opens took place on mobile devices. 65% of emails were opened on either
 a smartphone or tablet device, up from 61% in Q3 2013. Desktop accounted for just 35% of email opens, a decline from 39% in the previous quarter.
  • Tablet popularity continued to grow. Over 16% of emails were opened on a tablet, up from 15% in Q3 2013, and slightly under 14% in Q2 2013. Although Android tablets comprise only 1.8% of total email opens, this figure was twice as high as the previous quarter when they accounted for .9% of total email opens.
  • Android gained market share. Consistent with Q3, Apple smartphones and tablets accounted for 50% of total email opens. But Android smartphones and tablets represented 14% of all email opens, up from 10% in the previous quarter.
  • iPhone users spent the most time viewing emails. 38% of iPhone users spent 15 seconds or more viewing each message. Android smartphone users came in at a close second, with 35% spending 15 seconds or more viewing an email.
  • This is the first time that no US states were “heavy” desktop users. Texas remained the most smartphone friendly state, now with over 57% of emails opened on a smartphone (up from 53% last quarter). Although Maine and Vermont maintained their positions as the top two states for desktop use, the percentage of total emails opened on desktops in these states declined to under 50%, as smartphone popularity continued to spread across the nation.
  • Thanksgiving was the biggest day for smartphone use over the holiday season, whereas Cyber Monday was the biggest day for desktops. On Thanksgiving, nearly 60% of marketing email opens occurred on smartphones. While still beat by smartphone opens (45.5%), Cyber Monday showed the strongest showing for desktops, with 40% of all marketing email opens.

“This quarter’s report shows that we are in the midst of a mobile takeover,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Movable Ink. “In the new year, we expect marketers to continue to place high priority on mobile optimization which will allow them to better engage consumers who are on-the-go with relevant, real-time offers.”

Download the free report here to access all of our findings and analysis.

Movable Ink Strengthens Technology Portfolio and Development Team with Acquisitions of Mailrox and Eastmedia

Movable Ink acquires Mailrox and EastmediaWe’re excited to announce our recent acquisitions of technology company, Mailrox, and the digital product studio, Eastmedia. The acquisitions were completed as two separate transactions in the fourth quarter of 2013 and serve to bolster Movable Ink’s technology portfolio and development team.

Mailrox, which allows marketers to easily turn graphic designs into email marketing messages, will be added to Movable Ink’s powerful portfolio of agile email marketing solutions. The London-based company was launched in 2011 and is used by marketers around the globe to quickly create HTML emails in an intuitive, cost-effective and streamlined manner.

“Thousands of email marketers, designers, agencies, and developers have already used Mailrox to spend less time coding and more time being creative, and we are thrilled to add this simple but powerful technology to our portfolio,” said Vivek Sharma, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Movable Ink.

Eastmedia is a digital product studio with strong focus on user experience design and product development. The company, which was founded in 1999, has worked with leading brands including Dish Networks, ESPN and LinkedIn.

“Eastmedia is one of the best software design and development studios in New York City,” Sharma continued. “Having this incredibly talented team of developers on board adds velocity and creativity to our product development efforts, positioning our company for further growth and innovation.”

Full press release is available here. Welcome to the Movable Ink family, Mailrox and Eastmedia!