Tag Archives: Jordan Cohen

The Impact of Gmail’s New Inbox: Top Three Considerations for Email Marketers

Gmail's new "Promotions" tab

At the end of May, Gmail announced a “new inbox” that automatically sorts users’ email into three different tabs: “Primary,” “Social,” and “Promotions.” Now that Gmail’s redesigned inbox has started to roll out—what have we observed so far, and what key considerations should email marketers keep in mind for future promotional campaigns?

Our VP of Marketing, Jordan Cohen, shared his perspective on this subject in a few different publications recently. Below are his top three considerations for email marketers:

1.    Send-time optimization will be an exercise in futility.
“Is Gmail’s New Inbox an Email Marketing Killer?” July 19, 2013, EContent Magazine
“Marketers do need to account for the greater length of time that will take place between the moment they hit the send button, and the moment the recipient actually opens the email. A marketer’s ever-popular ‘One Day Only Sale’ email might be expired by the time the recipient gets around to visiting the Promotions tab. Travel and event tickets, and limited availability inventory might be sold out.”

2. When users do check the “Promotions” tab, they will be in a buying mode.
“Gmail Inbox revamp spells trouble for time-sensitive mobile offers,” July 23, 2013, Mobile Marketer
“If people click on the promotions tab, it means they are in a higher-intent buying mode… It means they are clicking the tab thinking I want to go and see what commercial offers are waiting for me in my email inbox as opposed to having all email in a single inbox and missing some stuff there.”

3. The macro-trend of rising smartphone adoption may offset the impact of Gmail’s new inbox, but this change cannot be ignored.
“Coping With The New Gmail Inbox,” July 24, 2013, MediaPost
By last count (June 2012), there were 425 million Gmail users in the world, and it may be up to half a billion by now—so the effect can potentially be substantial. That said, the larger macro-trend of rising smartphone adoption means that the number of consumers who actually use the tabbed Gmail interface will be smaller.

BUT even though not all Gmail users will be using the new, tabbed inbox system, there will still be millions — if not hundreds of millions — who will, representing anywhere from 10% to 20% of an average B2C email marketer’s list. Marketers will have to rise to the occasion and adopt new strategies and technologies if they want to stay relevant with their Gmail-using recipients.”


Have questions on Gmail’s new inbox? Leave a comment below, or reach out to us directly at contact@movableink.com.

Interested in learning more about how agile email marketing can benefit your email marketing goals? Get started with Movable Ink here.

Reactions to our “Shock Study”: Mobile Opens & the Android Surge


Earlier this week, a new study from Movable Ink was featured in The Magill Report, “Shock Study Reveals 69 Percent Email Opens on Mobile.” Here’s the link to the article, and here’s the link to our original study and infographics.

As we mentioned in our interview with The Magill Report – other companies have reported on mobile opens before, but our numbers reflect a special data given our enterprise B2C marketer focus (others’ reports haven’t necessarily broken out B2B vs. B2C or enterprise vs. SMB). We’d also characterize our dataset as heavily drawn from very well known and trusted retail and apparel brands, with consumer financial, travel, media, and telco brands included in the mix.

A lot of things stood out to us when looking at the numbers, but one thing that stood out the most which wasn’t a focus in the article was how high Android smartphones showed up: almost 24% of total opens. Recipients have to proactively enable images in most, if not all, Android smartphone email clients—as opposed to iOS, which loads images by default—which has historically resulted in Android opens being dwarfed by iOS, not under by the mere net 10% we found in our March 2013 study.

To get to the bottom of this, we asked some of the email marketing industry’s best and brightest minds to share their thoughts on why our Android smartphone numbers were so strong.  Below is a round up of what they said.

Manny Ju, Director of Product Management, BlueHornet

“I’ve never believed that the primary role of reading emails on smartphones was to triage them. How did people triage their emails before smartphones were invented? By reading the subject lines. Do people suddenly overnight change their email reading habits of the past ten years just because they bought a smartphone? No; people triage their emails the way they always have been even before smartphones. People do use their smartphones to read emails and use it as their primary email reading device. Glad to see that more studies such as those from Knotice, ReturnPath and now Movable Ink are dispelling that urban myth.”

Anna Yeaman, Creative Director, StyleCampaign:

“I’d planned to email you to get your take on the Android numbers. I don’t doubt them or the ~70% findings especially for enterprise B2C, we’ve many clients over 50% and I just did some work for a client with 71% mobile. 

Are users more likely to enable images from enterprise retailers – giving you more accurate Droid stats – as there’s so little HTML text so it’s enable or get nothing? Also the dynamic nature of the content might play a small role, in that designers made a bigger effort to get users to enable images or users have come to anticipate the dynamic content.

As you mentioned Galaxy S3 is going head to head with the iPhone (as is the HTC One X amongst my dev friends) so this brings more affluent – possibly female – shoppers to Android (not just techies and people looking for a cheap phone).”

Jay Jhun, Vice President of Strategic Services, BrightWave Marketing:

“With so many people reading email on smartphones, I’m wondering whether people using Gmail for Android are finally getting tired of tapping the ‘Show Pictures’ or ‘Display Images’ for every email that they open.  Each tap is becoming more valuable as people spend more time using their smartphones.

There’s also a select few retailers who’ve included a snippet of dynamic content for their gmail domain audience where recipients are encouraged to ‘star’ the email whereby the images come on by default.”


George DiGuido, Head of Email Marketing, Airbnb:

George asked, “Are these international mailers or primarily US domestic? I can tell you that our numbers vary pretty drastically when comparing countries against one another.”

George made a great point – and we would expect that smartphone vs. tablet vs. desktop email breakdowns will vary based on geography.The dataset in our March 2013 study was mostly composed of US-based (and focused) companies, with a handful of big brands based in the UK and EMEA.

Tom Sather, Director of Professional Services, ReturnPath:

Tom chimed in to echo George’s perspective: “When we looked at opens by region, we saw great variances across countries. Brazil, for example, overwhelmingly opens email through webmail and desktop, but only 14% do so on mobile, see: http://www.returnpath.com/resource/email-mostly-mobile/.

“It also varies greatly by industry (which we have broken out in the above infographic). We actually found similar results to Movable Ink when it came to B2C, specifically retailers. Where over half of subscribers check email on mobile, and in our last report on the holiday period, we saw mobile opens at about 60% for the top 100 retailers: http://landing.returnpath.com/email-intelligence-report. It doesn’t surprise me that the number is higher now considering more people probably received iPad Minis and iPhone 5s under the tree for Christmas.”

Tim Watson, Founder, Zettasphere:

“The default images-on for iOS skews open figures higher. I did some analysis of clicks by mobile device to remove the default images on/off question with opens. Android was under-represented in terms of opens based on the click analysis.”

We don’t doubt Tim’s findings, but would be interested to learn more about the dataset that he analyzed and what his findings were in terms of how many users actually clicked through on messages when images weren’t loaded.

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!

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