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!

Movable Ink Moved! The Top 10 Things We Love About Our New Space

The Movable Ink team is starting the new year off fresh! This past week, we moved into our beautiful, brand new office at 636 Avenue of the Americas. We couldn’t be happier to call this space home, and we’re even more excited about the rapid growth of our company that required the move.

Movable Ink kicked off last year with a team of 17, and grew over 160% to finish out 2013 with a roster of 45 “Inkers.” If those numbers alone weren’t enough to suggest our need for a bigger space, this shot of our Director of Inside Sales, Cameron, taking a call in the printer room during the last day in our old office definitely drives the point home…

Movable Ink new office

We’re in love with our new office, and here are our top 10 reasons why:

1.    Conference rooms for everyone!
Cameron and the rest of the Inkers can now rejoice—with eight total conference rooms, taking calls in the printer room is a thing of the past.

Movable Ink new office conference room

2.    So many new ways to work.
Working on your posture? Swap out your chair for an exercise ball. Quick one-on-one meeting? Snag a pair of comfy swivel chairs. Need to stretch your legs? Head over to a stand-up desk or grab a raised laptop stand. With so many flexible, new ways to get our work done, we’re officially putting the “agile” in Agile Email Marketing.

Movable Ink new office ways to work

3.    The kitchen.
Funky lamps. Bright tile. Double microwaves. Fully stocked fridge. Beer on tap. Lots of seating. Need we say more?

Movable Ink new office kitchen

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The Inkredible Five, Winter 2014: Five Exceptional Examples of Agile Email Marketing

The Inkredible Five Agile Email Marketing Examples

The Inkredible Five Agile Email Marketing Look BookEach season, the Movable Ink team honors five innovative brands for creating agile email marketing campaigns that stood out in the inbox.

The Winter 2014 edition of The Inkredible Five highlights our five favorite emails of the past season that incorporate time-sensitive offers, real-time social media feeds, live geo-targeting, video, and image personalization to create eye-catching and relevant campaigns.

Find out how leading brands cut through the clutter during major holiday shopping events including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the final days before Christmas.

Ready to be inspired? Download the e-book.