Tag Archives: agile email marketing

Email is Dead…Think Again!

You’ve heard it many times before – the claim that “email is dead.”  But that’s just not true.  In fact, TechCrunch says that email newsletters are hot right now.  They’ve seen a shift in websites encouraging readers from “liking” them on Facebook, to now getting them to sign-up for an email subscription.

So you keep hearing that email is dead, but why are publishers trying so hard to grow their eNewsletter subscription lists?  And why are readers continuing to invite email into their inboxes?  TechCrunch gives five reasons for this:

  • 1.  Email gives publishers more control: As opposed to social media where you are subject to Facebook’s algorithm or breaking through the noise of someone’s Twitter feed, email will get through to those that have made the conscious choice to sign up for your newsletter.
  • 2.  Readers pay more attention to email: Just do your own comparison.  How many email opens do you receive vs. clicks on a link you tweet about?
  • 3.  Email is cross platform: Email works on everything, even if you’re still on dial-up internet.
  • 4.  Email keeps all your clutter in one place: If you were given the choice to receive all your information in one place (your inbox) or search 12 different (social media) platforms for updates, which would you choose?  Case closed.
  • 5.  Email is the original social media: What social measurements really count when measuring engagement?  Comments and shares!  And wait, email has that too – they’re just called “reply” and “forward.”

Here you have it, email is very much alive and kicking and here to stay.  Now it’s time to be faster, smarter and more measurable about your email marketing.

The Electoral College Map of Email Opens: Q1, 2014

CDPR_MapChartsBlog

We’ve been hard at work poring over billions of data points to prepare our soon-to-be-released “US Consumer Device Preference Report: Q1 2014″, and wanted to share a sneak peak of one of the charts we’ll be sharing examining how device preferences vary by geography.

Our state-by-state analysis reveals the continued trend towards smartphone dominance. New additions to the smartphone state club in Q1 2014 included Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wyoming. Also, new in Q1, Mississippi overtook Texas as the nation’s top smartphone state, approaching 60% of all opens.

This map has gotten progressively pinker over the 4 quarters that we’ve been issuing the report, and now only 13 desktop states are left standing. For a bit of perspective, when we issued our first US Consumer Device Preference Report just 8 months ago (which looked at Q2 2013), 23 states were either heavy or leaning desktop, so the landscape is shifting towards mobile at an amazingly fast pace, and the “Electoral College of Email Opens” can now safely be described as a landslide for smartphones.

To download our past research reports, visit our Resource Center.

Methodology

The map is based on data collected through Movable Ink’s agileEMAIL platform between January 1 – March 31, 2014. It reflects aggregate statistics across Movable Ink’s customer base, which includes more than 150 enterprise B2C marketers from the retail, travel, financial, media, and telecommunication industries. Because determining email opens requires images to load, the percentages for some devices might be over or underrepresented.

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


Spring is finally here, and with it comes a brand new edition of The Inkredible Five, featuring some of the most inspiring examples of agile email marketing yet!

  • 7 For All Mankind’s gorgeous and immersive “Dreaming in Blue” campaign
  • The Wall Street Journal’s magic email that always displayed the latest news
  • Lilly Pulitzer’s “Lunch at Lilly” campaign that made purchasing online or over the phone easier than ever

Get your copy today to see how these top brands and others combined their ingenuity with Movable Ink’s technology to create memorable and engaging email experiences that stood out in the inbox.

Ready to be inspired?

See Our Top Five

Making the Most Out of Gmail’s Visual Promotions Tab: 5 Things Marketers Need to Know

Gmail Visual Promotions Tab

Contributed by Eric Szuhany, Senior Account Manager, Movable Ink

With the dust still settling from Gmail’s recent image proxy changes, and last summer’s roll-out of the Promotions tab not yet forgotten, Google has done it again. Last week, Gmail announced on its blog the launch of “a new grid view [which] will bring to the top of your inbox key images from deals, offers, and other marketing emails if you have the Promotions tab enabled.” The update is still in beta, and requires users to opt-in to take part, but it is sure to shake up the email marketing world if and when it is rolled out to all users. To help marketers prepare for the changes, we have put together a list of 5 things you need to know.

1.   You can (and should) choose the image to display as the featured image
If you are like most marketers, you meticulously craft and test your subject lines in hopes of optimizing open rates. Would you let Gmail use an algorithm to choose one line from your email to use as the subject line (while cutting out a few words from each end)? Don’t leave it up to chance—you may end up with no image, an off-centered image, or a visually unappealing one (some examples below):

Gmail New Visual Promotions Tab Example

Ensure your recipients have the best experience by defining which image Gmail should feature image. The recommended size is 580 x 400 pixels. To ease the demand on your creative resources, consider cropping and resizing your hero image to fit the recommended dimensions. Check Gmail’s developer resources for more information on implementation. While you’re there, also check out the section on Google+ verification to include your brand’s logo as your sender image – otherwise Gmail will default to display the first letter of your brand’s name.

2.   Use live content to power the featured image
Don’t go changing up your entire email template just to fit in a 580 x 400 hero image – the featured image does NOT need to be a part of the actual email. This gives you greater freedom to design specifically for the Promotions tab without sacrificing the designs and templates you have created. The creative that works best in your emails may not be optimized for the Promotions tab. Consider going bigger and bolder to stand out and get your message read by using Movable Ink content in the featured image, such as image personalization, countdown timers (non-animated), time-sensitive content, and more.

3.   Subject lines are now second (or third) in the email open formula
In the new grid view, the subject line is dropped all the way to the bottom of the section, and is also below your sender name which is displayed in a bigger, more prominent font. The subject line now becomes a caption for the featured image – read only when a user’s attention is first grabbed by the image. Ensure these two elements are working in tandem to create a cohesive, relevant experience for your consumers.

Gmail New Visual Promotions Tab Overview

4.   You don’t have to guess if your email landed in Gmail’s spam folder or if recipients saw, but passed over your email
With new functionality comes new reporting. Movable Ink provides the unique ability to measure opens on any image. As a result, we can track how many users saw your email in their Promotions tab, even if they didn’t open it. Use this data to update your sending habits:

  • Change the way you message those who view but don’t open
  • Determine the best time to send emails to avoid being buried in the inbox
  • Get a better sense of when an email address is truly inactive (and not just ignoring you)

 5.   Testing and optimizing are critical
This one doesn’t come as a surprise to any email marketer, but it is always worth reinforcing how important it is to test. According to a Fall 2012 study by MarketingSherpa, 72% of marketers test subject lines – making it the most popular email element to test.  With the diminished importance of the subject line in Gmail’s new grid view, the focus of testing should shift to the featured image. Take what you have learned from your subject line tests to begin optimizing your featured image to improve open rates. Keep an eye out for new Movable Ink features allowing you to make the most of your image testing and optimization in real-time!

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!

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.