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  • [August] PPC & Ads News: What Caught Our Attention Aug 20, 2019 at 4:44 PM

    In this PPC and Ads news roundup, we cover Facebook’s ads placement feature in search results, LinkedIn helping advertisers choose the right objectives for their objective-based advertising and an advertising report for the second quarter of 2019.

    “What really decides consumers to buy or not to buy is the content of your advertising, not its form.” – David Ogilvy


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent PPC and Ads news:
    1. ‘Facebook search’ placement now available when setting up ad campaigns
    2. LinkedIn providing tips on choosing ad campaign objectives
    3. Report: product advertising is driving spend growth in search – social marketplace
    Let’s dig in.

    Facebook Lets More Advertisers Place Ads in Search Results
    Placing ads in Facebook’s search results has been something the company has been testing since last year. Now, it’s finally here and it seems like it has also been significantly expanded.
    upload_2019-8-20_16-46-19.png

    A great number of advertisers are seeing ‘Facebook search’ show up as a placement option when setting up ad campaigns.
    upload_2019-8-20_16-47-2.png

    upload_2019-8-20_16-47-27.png

    What do you need to know about Facebook Search Ads? It is an additional placement option when creating newsfeed campaigns. Meaning, businesses cannot place ads in Facebook search results without placing them in the news feed. They are clearly labelled with a ‘Sponsored’ tag and can appear either as a static image or in a carousel format. Unlike Google ads, there is no option to target specific keywords or phrases here. Hence the best way to show up for various keywords is to ensure they appear somewhere – anywhere – on your business’s Facebook page.

    LinkedIn’s Tips On Choosing The Best Objective For Your Ad Campaign
    Last month we told you about LinkedIn’s update to the Campaign Manager. Now, we’d like to elaborate on that – with LinkedIn’s help of course – by telling you how to choose the right objective for your ad campaign from the three top-level categories.

    Here’s a general summary of the three top-level targets:
    • Awareness campaigns seek to maximise your brand’s share of voice.
    • Consideration campaigns encourage your target audience to engage with your brand and gain a better understanding of what is it exactly that you’re all about.
    • Conversion campaigns focus on generating leads and using conversion tracking to measure the true impact of your ads in order for you to be able to optimise for even better performance.
    Why are we telling you about this? The idea behind the objective-based advertising approach is that, similar to Facebook’s ad process, it’ll guide advertisers decisions by first enabling them to choose the top-level objective for their campaigns. Then, by knowing what it is you’re trying to accomplish, LinkedIn’s system will point you to the key ad formats and features which will best support that outcome.

    For those of you interested to find out more, you can either read the article or watch the video here.

    Report On Ad Spending Across Digital Advertising Channels
    According to Kenshoo’s second-quarter report, paid search spending has increased 10% year on year. Search product ad spend grew by 30% year on year which far outpaces text ad growth. The reported data aligns with what Merkle reported in her DMR for Q2 2019.

    The data also shows that Google Shopping spend grew by 38% in Q2, compared to the overall Google search spend growth of 15% year on year. Here are some more stats:
    • Paid social commerce ad growth. It seems product ads on social platforms are booming, too. Kenshoo’s report states that social product ad spend increased by 38% year on year in Q2.
    • Amazon spend growth. Retailers who run their Amazon sponsored ads through Kenshoo spent nearly as mich in Q2 as they did in the holiday of Q4 2018.
    • Long-tail product search. It seems product and mobile ads continued to put downward pressure on search click costs. CPCs were off 10% year on year, as click volume increased 23% on an impression jump of 40% in Q2.
    • Mobile surpassed the 50% milestone. Mobile search click and impression share had hovered around 70% and whilst mobile spend share has been roughly 50% for several quarters on the Kenshoo platform, in Q2 they’ve finally accounted for the majority of search spend at 51%.
    Why should you care? Platforms are making a significant investment in order to court commerce advertising. Google is revamping Shopping with continued innovation regarding ad formats and capabilities. Amazon is just getting started on all the innovations they want to introduce. For all the retailers out there, that adds up to a host of new marketing opportunities. You can see more report stats here.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas about what PPC and ads news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 6 August by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [August] Search Engine News: What Caught Our Attention Aug 20, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    In this search engine news roundup, we cover a Google bug causing search results to not fully render, Search Console not logging voice search data (at all) and an awesome new feature for business listings in search results (but there’s a small catch).

    “Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. A strange bug caused rendering issues to search results in Google
    2. Which voice searches get logged into Google Search Console, which don’t and why?
    3. Eligible business listings in search results are getting a flashy new button
    Let’s dig in.

    Search Glitch In Google Keeps Pages From Fully Rendering
    Another day, another Google search bug of one kind or another.

    At the end of last month, Google forums were flooded with complaints about search results not fully rendering when well… a search was done. However, this seems to have happened only for some people and on mobile.
    upload_2019-8-20_10-49-14.png
    Google has confirmed they know about the bug and are, of course, working on fixing it.
    upload_2019-8-20_10-50-18.png
    What did the bug look like? Basically, it looks like a chunk of the results was cut out or covered in a whiteout (if you can recall what a whiteout is).

    [​IMG]
    Why should you care? Well, if searchers cannot see the search results, even if that’s a small percentage of Google searchers, that can lead to a drop in traffic to one’s website, which may lead to fewer leads and sales and less revenue for the company. Therefore, no matter how big or small the glitch might be, it will always have a significant impact on your business. You can read more on the topic here.

    Google Search Console Doesn’t Capture Voice Searches At All
    You may, or may not, know that there’s no way in GSC to distinguish which search queries came in via voice search and which were typed. Did you even know that some data from voice search is not even being captured – at all?

    Since we are very, very interested (and curious) about Google Search, tools and policies, we’re carefully monitoring Google Webmasters #AskGoogleWebmasters series. And it was exactly there where we found the answer to what the different types of voice searches are, whether and how voice searches are shown in the GSC and how using the Google Assistant can affect it.

    Here is an overview of what John Mueller – Webmaster Trends Analyst – explained:
    • Using voice to search vs. voice search on Google Assistant. There are multiple ways to search by voice. You can use voice as a keyboard by tapping the microphone icon which is equivalent to a regular web search. “These queries are already logged in GSC in the same way as all others are, just like you’d see queries that are entered by swiping on a mobile keyboard”, Muller states. However, it’s slightly different when you use Google Assistant to ask a question that is answered through a snippet of text from the page. It’s exactly those snippets for which impressions are currently not logged in GSC.
    Why should you care? A user viewing a featured snippet on mobile or desktop browser will result in an impression within the publisher’s Search Console. Snippets read out loud by Google Assistant are not counted as impressions. Despite the fact, a URL is sent to a user’s device when they search via Assistant, the user may not be inclined to click-through simply because the answer they were looking for has already been provided. Watch the full episode here.

    Eligible Business Listings In Search Results Are Getting a ‘Request a Quote’ Button
    Google is automatically adding a huge ‘Request a Quote’ button to eligible business listings. The first person to spot this was Joy Hawkins
    upload_2019-8-20_10-55-22.png
    Some users were able to replicate this result which can only mean it’s not a test. However, it is limited to certain business listings. Specifically, businesses that have opted into the Google My Business messaging feature.

    Why should you care? This feature has the potential to generate more leads for businesses. Although it also does what Google has been often criticised for doing – keeping people in Google. On the other hand, that’s not great for traffic. But, the purpose of a business website – for the most part – is to generate leads. So, is it a bad thing if Google only sends leads without the actual traffic? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 5 August by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [August] Social Media News: What Caught Our Attention Aug 19, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    In this social media news roundup, we cover Facebook launching new design and navigation for Business Manager, Instagram testing a new Stories listings notification tool and Pinterest launching a new mobile ad tool to help create campaigns on the go.

    “Focus on how to BE social, not on how to DO social.” – Jay Baer


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent social media news:
    1. Facebook rolling out a new design for its Business Manager which will make things faster and easier
    2. Instagram adds new notification tools and options for Stories
    3. Pinterest’s new mobile app ad tool to help you create ads in 4 steps
    Let’s dig in.

    Facebook Redesigns Its Business Manager
    Facebook’s new design for its Business Manager is phasing in and it includes changes to permissions management for agencies.
    [​IMG]
    According to Graham Mudd, the changes are “around making our platform easier and more consistent to use”. The redesign includes:
    • Business Manager UI updates. There will be a new navigation menu on the left after a user logs in which will include links to key management areas such as Ads Manager, Audiences, Ads Reporting and settings. There’s also a new ‘Create Ad’ shortcut at the very top on the menu.
    [​IMG]
    • Business Manager bulk permissions management. In your Business Settings, under Users, you’ll notice a Partners section. In it, agencies will be able to see the list of their clients that have provided access and the assets they’ve shared.
    [​IMG]
    The changes supposedly should make it easier to control access as well as get and grant access to pixels, ad accounts, pages, product catalogues and more.

    It’s important to note there will be some basic info users will still need to get. Also, permissions for specific people will continue to be managed at the asset level. Most importantly, if you’re granting access, your partner or agency needs to have a Business Manager account and they’ll need to give you they Business ID and contact’s name and email address.

    Why should you care? If you’ve used Business Manager in the past, you probably agree it wasn’t very intuitive. Granting and receiving access to accounts has been not only a time-consuming process but a bit frustrating, too. In our opinion, these new updates are a much welcomed changed making our work – and life – much easier. Of course, there’s still a learning curve, but with so many products housed under one roof, simplicity in no longer feasible. You can find out more on Facebook’s Business page.

    Instagram Is Testing a New ‘Stories About You’ Listing Tool
    Instagram Stories have been on the rise for quite some time. Therefore, it’s really not a surprise to see that the company is now looking to add new notification tools and options to help boost users engagement; and, to ensure people are aware of relevant mentions, too.

    The latest tool about this comes in the form of a new ‘Stories About you’ listing which was spotted by none other than our favourite reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong.

    The new section will list all the Stories in which a user’s been @metioned (or tagged) by the Story creator, separating these notifications from your general stream.

    Why should you care? The option could be particularly beneficial for high-profile users who see a lot of mentions. It will help them to understand their notification list better as well as respond to relevant alerts. It’ll also be beneficial for brands, alerting them to mentions in Stories and helping them categorise their streams in order to gauge related activity.

    At this stage, the option is in test mode so we don’t really have a lot of details on how it might work specifically. However, most of Wong’s back-end discoveries go on to become actual feature announcements within a few months. Therefore, you can expect to see more about this in the near future. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your opinions on the matter – pop them in our comment section.

    Pinterest Launches A News Tool To Help Brands Create Ads From Mobile Devices
    Pinterest launched a new process which will enable advertisers to create Pin ad campaigns, with streamline targeting options to simplify the process, directly from their mobile devices.

    Up until this point, businesses have had to set up their campaigns from the desktop website. The new options will facilitate the whole process on mobile: “Businesses start advertising on mobile by choosing a Pin from their business profile and then selecting from automated and custom targeting options. After choosing Pins and targeting options, they can pick the duration and daily budget of the campaign, complete billing information and then publish the ad – all from a mobile device” said Pinterest.
    [​IMG]
    Campaign controls and editing options, performance metrics, including advertising spend, remaining campaign duration, impressions, clicks, click-through rates and saves will all be available via the mobile app. Businesses like FOUNT and Little Blue Olive are already seeing results from earlier testing.

    The new mobile ad tools should already be available to US businesses, with global expansion to follow soon. More on the topic here.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what social media news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 5 August by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [August] Email Industry News: What Caught Our Attention Aug 8, 2019

    In this email industry news roundup, we cover MailChimp issues with outbound emails and scheduling campaigns, phishing emails sent from Constant Contact users and Google joining the BIMI initiative to fight email fraud.

    “An email can make or break a potential opportunity for you, so send and respond to them wisely.” – Leila Lewis


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. Ongoing issues with MailChimp’s service – no test emails, no scheduled campaigns and lots of server troubles
    2. Constant Contact’s home page defaulting to Spanish(?), increased prices and users sending phishing emails
    3. Google’s involvement in the BIMI initiative to battle fraudulent emails
    Let’s dig in.

    MailChimp Is Still Causing Trouble For Its Users
    After quoting one of the most prominent email marketing consultants in the industry in an email tips and tricks post, he reached out to us to express not only his gratitude but also discuss future collaboration. Needless to say, we were very pleased and excited.

    However, when we tried to sign up to his newsletter – he uses MailChimp – we couldn’t. Why? MailChimp servers were down.

    [​IMG]
    As we work in the same industry, we’re well aware such things might happen – rarely with us but they do for some. So, we decided to wait for a bit and give it another try. And also, give MailChimp the chance to sort it out but… our second attempt was as unsuccessful as our first. It even gave us a completely different error. The server couldn’t understand our request. Say what now?

    [​IMG]

    The issues the platform’s been having don’t stop there. A user reported they were having problems receiving test emails and scheduled campaigns have not been sent.

    In the meantime, another user said MailChimp’s mobile app is not working properly as it kept closing every time the user attempted to open it.

    You might think the troubles end there, but they don’t. It appears MailChimp’s Mandrill app doesn’t like Mondays much. The fact that the app is consistently down on the first working day of the week is making one user – that we know of – reconsider his subscription to the service.

    Lastly, it seems the company’s support is still lacking and, even worse, users are not even able to send.

    Needless to say, MailChimp is hitting a rough patch after a rough patch. The troublesome thing is – why aren’t they improving? If you come across any similar issues, pop them in our comment section.

    Constant Contact and Unhappy Customers
    It appears MailChimp is not the only email marketing service provider experiencing issues or having an unhappy customer base.

    A Constant Contact user expressed his dissatisfaction of the platform’s increased prices.

    On the other hand, another user seems to be using the platform to send phishing emails in an attempt to steal the recipient’s card details.

    Lastly, we couldn’t not mention the fact that a user reported Constant Contact’s home page defaulting to Spanish in the U.S. with no way for switching to English.

    We have to say, experiencing minor glitches is not something as unexpected as one might think. However, good customer service, timely support and, of course, security are amongst the top things an email marketing service provider should care for. Especially if they want to keep their customers. Don’t you think?

    Google and BIMI Join Forces In The Battle Against Email Fraud
    The list of email technology companies working on Brand Indicators for Messaging Identification (BIMI) is growing fast – and Google will be one of the companies to join.

    Next year, Google will be joining the growing BIMI initiative in order to help combat email security issues and fraudulent emails which account for a growing number of cybercrimes each year. You can find out more about BIMI here.

    Why should you care? BIMI provides a standard for a more secure global framework that will enable inboxes to display sender-designed logos. As a marketer, particularly, email is all about trust. Therefore, ensuring subscribes know an email they’ve received is coming from a verified brand is imperative. The multi-step verification process will help end-users recognise emails from verified bands as well as identify phishing emails from bad actors.

    The initiative is being driven by a vendor-agnostic committee – The AuthIndicators Working Group – and member include Agari, Comcast, Google, LinkedIn, ReturnPath from Validity, Valimail and, also, Verizon Media. More on the topic can be found here.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what email industry news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful email advice, tips and tricks. Last, but certainly not least, we’ll keep you up-to-date with the most recent social media news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 5 August by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • The 4 Most Important Metrics to Measure Your Startup’s Growth Aug 6, 2019

    Metrics aren’t about vanity. They’re about monitoring what’s working and what isn’t so you can adapt and evolve as you go.

    “Mistakes will not end your business. If you are nimble and willing to listen to constructive criticism you can excel by learning and evolving.” – Meridith Valiando Rojas


    Here are our top 4 startup growth metrics that every new business should measure in order to track growth and protect their success.

    Read on to learn about the 4 key startup growth metrics as well as:
    • Which metrics to get started with
    • Why you need them
    • How to calculate them
    • How they fit with other metrics
    Let’s dig in.

    1. Revenue
    Never lose sight of the fact that cash flow is king. If you’re not making money, well, you don’t have a viable business. That starts with keeping a close eye on how much money is actually coming in; and, whether that’s going up or down.

    As a metric, revenue is simple – it’s your total sales or invoice value for a given period. The time frame you use depends on your type of business, though.

    If you offer a subscription-based service, for example, it will be much more meaningful to calculate this monthly, as it gives you a clear idea of whether sales are growing.

    If this sounds like your business model, you should be sure to measure your Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) on a monthly basis, too. This divides your monthly revenue by your total number of users, so you can tell how much each customer is worth to you and which subscription drives or deals prove most valuable. Learn more about that here.

    If, on the other hand, you sell high-value products or services, work with a relatively small roster of clients, or work on big consecutive contracts, it will likely make more sense for you to focus on your quarterly or even yearly revenue. Otherwise, you could end up with misleading or unhelpful values that make it look like you’re struggling when you’re actually working on a huge contract that can’t be billed until the end.

    That said, if you do fall into the latter category, it can be helpful to check in on revenue metrics at smaller intervals. This is because, if your bigger contracts mean you have whole months where you’re not billing, you could be facing serious cashflow problems. After all, in the meantime, you still need to pay regular salaries, operational costs and so on.

    Getting on top of the figures will alert you to potential problems on the horizon, so you can start to figure out possible solutions. For example, asking clients to pay a percentage upfront for big commissions, or breaking down hefty projects into smaller, billable chunks.

    2. Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
    This is one of the startup growth metrics that measures how much it costs your business to bring in each new customer. You calculate it by taking the total sales for a particular time period, subtracting your marketing expenses (salaries, tools, spend, etc) for the same period, and then dividing by the number of customers you acquired during that time.

    For this metric to be truly meaningful, you need to cross-reference it with your Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). The LTV tells you how much revenue you bring in from each person over the entire time they remain your customer.

    Ultimately, for your business model to be successful, you need your CAC to be substantially higher than your LTV. However, for early-stage startups, there’s a high chance that won’t be the case – and you don’t need to panic.

    Remember this is a lifetime value, so if you’re just starting out you wouldn’t have had time to recoup your investment in every customer just yet. Plus, you may have splashed out on all kinds of marketing tools and platforms, or on expanding your team, and it will take a while for this to even out.

    Just keep a very close eye on this metric as your business matures; and, work on keeping it below your LTV. Learn more about calculating your CAC here.

    3. Customer Retention Rate
    Monitoring (and improving) retention is vital because it costs so much more to bring in a new customer than to resell or upsell to an existing one.

    This means that focusing on retaining and upselling to your current customer base will be more valuable than attracting new ones.

    Here’s a formula you can use to calculate your customer retention rate over a particular period; be that monthly, quarterly or otherwise:

    A = How many customers you have at the start of the period
    B = How many customers you have at the end of the period
    C = How many new customers you onboarded during the period


    Customer Retention Rate (CRR) = ((B-C)/A) x 100

    Learn more about calculating and improving your customer retention rate here.

    Alternatively, you could look at your Churn Rate, which tells you how quickly you shed customers. Pay attention to the trend as well as the absolute value. Learn more about Churn Rate here.

    4. Operational Efficiency
    This calculates the ratio between your selling, general and administrative (SGA) expenses and your sales figures. It’s incredibly important because it essentially reveals whether the cost of running your business is comfortably higher than the revenue you bring in.

    There are a few different ways you can calculate this (more on that here). The simplest way is to divide the total of all your outgoings for any given period by the total revenue for that period.

    Related metrics include Gross Margins (your sales revenue minus the cost of goods sold, or COGS, which tells you how much money you keep hold of for each pound you earn in sales) and Burn Rate (how soon you’ll run out of money, at what point you’ll break even, and when you’ll become profitable).

    There you have it: 4 key startup growth metrics to get you started. Just bear in mind that monitoring and assessing how these factors interplay is just as important than tracking them individually. Viewing them side by side will give you a complete picture of the health of your business.

    This article was originally published on 31 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [end-July] Digital Marketing News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 31, 2019

    In this digital marketing news roundup, we cover the suspension of GMB listings after adding a short name, a Google employee violated data-security policies by leaking voice assistant recordings and a new way to share files up to 100GB without having to worry about the different email client’s size restrictions on attachments.

    “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” – Tom Fishburne


    In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
    1. Google My Business suspends listings after businesses add a short name
    2. ‘OK Google’ voice recordings of thousands of users leaked
    3. A new Dropbox feature allowing users to share files up to 100GB
    Let’s dig in.

    Adding a Short Name to Your GMB Listing Might Result In Suspension
    Short names were first introduced back in April. The purpose was to allow businesses to create custom URLs for their Google My Business listing.

    However, it seems like legitimate business listings are getting suspended and removed from the SERPs after adding a short name.

    Not all businesses are getting suspended after adding short names, but it seems to be a common theme among a series of seemingly random suspensions.

    Google gave the following statement regarding the issue: “The recent concerns around the visibility of certain business listings are being corrected. The business listings were not suspended, but instead were not being shown as visible due to a technical issue. Business owners who experienced issues should be able to see their listings in Search soon. Some users may have experienced an improvement to the situation with the removal of their short name; however, the issue was not directly tied to the short name feature.

    Is Google Using the Voice Assitant as a Listening Device?
    Are you using ‘OK Google’? Maybe you should reconsider. Or, at least, check your settings and disable the saving of voice activity.

    Why? In a recent blog post, Google acknowledged that one of their language reviewers has violated its data-security policies by leaking confidential Dutch audio data.

    In another article, VRT NWS – a news organisation run by a public broadcaster in the Flemish region of Belgium – stated it was “able to listen to more than a thousand [Google Assitant] recordings” which they received through a Google subcontractor.

    Google states that the storing of voice and audio activity is set to OFF by default when people create Google accounts. However, if that’s the case, how did thousands of voice recording leak? I certainly changed the settings when I decided to use the voice assistant more often. And why would I? After all, a users’ first thought won’t be – ‘Oh my, let’s check the settings because Google employees might be eavesdropping.’

    You can read more about the leak on Ars Technica’s website.

    Send Copies of Files With Dropbox’s New Feature
    We’ve all been in a situation where we have to share a huge file with a co-worker, client or our boss. But all email clients have a size limit to attachments, so now what?

    Well, it seems Dropbox found the solution for sharing files up to 100GB. The company introduced Dropbox Transfer which is a new way for users to send files between each other rather than simply sharing access for collaboration.

    How does it work? Files can be dragged and, you guessed it, dropped directly from your computer or from within Dropbox storage. When the user is ready to send, Dropbox creates a link that can be shared with anyone so that they have their own copy. The original file will remain in your possession.

    And the best part, if you are a business using the new feature in a professional capacity, you can customise the download page to show your own uploaded image (e.g. company logo) or simply set a different background colour (e.g. company colour palette).

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as PPC & Ads news.

    This article was originally published on 23 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [end-July] PPC & Ads News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 31, 2019

    In this PPC and Ads news roundup, we cover the reason Google is discontinuing AdSense app on iOS and Android, Facebook pulling the curtain about the data used to target ads and LinkedIn’s upgrade to the Campaign Manager.

    “Stopping advertising to save money is like stopping your watch to save time.” – Henry Ford


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent PPC and Ads news:
    1. Google is deprecating the AdSense app for iOS and Android
    2. Facebook’s “Why Am I Seeing This” feature will give users more details on how and why they were targeted
    3. LinkedIn is adding three new objectives to their Campaign Manager
    Let’s dig in.

    Google is Sunsetting the AdSense App for iOS and Android
    Google will be deprecating the AdSense app for iOS and Android in the upcoming months. And, by the end of 2019, the app will be completely removed from all app stores.

    However, as the company discontinues the AdSense app, improvements will be rolling out to the AdSense mobile web interface. Why? So there can be a better mobile browser experience to switch over to when the app is no longer available, of course.

    Google stated the decision to sunset the app was made after the company conducted a review of its mobile strategy. And, in a recent announcement, the company stated that “by investing in a common web application that supports all platforms, we will be able to deliver AdSense features optimized for mobile much faster than we can today.

    By the look of it, these improvements will be helpful to current mobile users and may even appeal to those accessing AdSense on desktop only.

    This is all the available information we are privy to, at this point. However, more details are expected to be released in later months.

    ‘Why Am I Seeing This?’ Feature Is Getting a Revamp
    Facebook introduced new details to the “Why am I seeing this?” feature. They will allow users to see the interests and categories used to target the ads; and, also, how was the ad targeting information collected. The tools links to options to hide ads from an advertiser or remove ad targeting data from their profiles.

    In the past, the feature only highlighted one or two of the most relevant reasons – demographic info, for example.

    The company is also updating Ad Preferences with two new sections – one will display the advertisers who have uploaded a list with the user’s information and another, that will list businesses that have uploaded and shared lists with the user’s information.

    Why should you care? In short, in an effort to be more transparent regarding its advertising practices, the company had to pull back the curtain on many advertisers’ ad targeting strategies. The move means marketers need to be using legitimate resources to create data and create audience lists.

    LinkedIn Upgrades Campaign Manager
    LinkedIn announced three new objectives as options in Campaign Manager: brand awareness, website conversions and job applicants.
    [​IMG]
    Each objective aligns with a different pricing style. So, here is what the new objectives include:
    • Brand awareness – selecting this as a campaign objective will charge you by impressions (e.g. cost per thousand or CPM). This type of campaign will help advertisers get in front of a broader audience.
    • Website conversions – this tool has multiple layers. You can see how many people viewed your ad, how many clicked through and how many actually took action (conversion rate). By selecting this objective, you’ll be charged when someone clicks through to your landing page.
    • Job applicants – LinkedIn Talent Solutions customers who are attempting to drive applications on LinkedIn or their own site, can now create ads using Campaign Manager.
    These are just three of the most recent additions to the campaign objective options. However, if you want to learn more about objective-based advertising on LinkedIn, visit their help centre.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas about what PPC and ads news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 23 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • What’s In a Name? Why Does The Name of Your Email Lists Really Matter? Jul 30, 2019

    “Content builds relationships. Relationships are built on trust. Trust builds revenue.”– Andrew Davis

    Your marketing can only be as effective as you are.

    That means you need to be organised and strategic about everything you do, right down to your email lists names and how you segment them.

    Read on to learn about why email lists names matter as well as:
    • The importance of segmenting your lists
    • How naming your lists makes your job easier
    • How email list names can keep you on the right side of the law
    Let’s get started.

    Before we dive in, a word on why you need to have lists in the first place.
    List segmentation is the single most effective way to improve clickthrough rates and engagement. It helps you keep track of who your customers are and what they want as well as tailor your content to your audience. It also helps you ensure that you only send valuable information and offers to the relevant recipients.

    Simply put, email list segmentation is a vital tool – but you need to be smart about how you go about it.

    For starters, you need to segment your list in meaningful, organised ways. You need to know why you are separating your list in this particular way. You also need to know when to merge your lists and when to keep them separate.

    An important but frequently overlooked component in this is what names you assign to your lists internally, including on whichever email marketing platform you use.

    Here’s why.

    Why it Matters to You
    First of all, let’s consider how and why it makes your job easier to have strategically useful list names.

    Email lists should provide a quick shorthand to help you pick up the most appropriate audience for any given email or type of content. If you don’t name your lists something that helps you instantly identify them, it’s useless.

    For example, let’s say that for your June 2019 email campaign you were specifically targeting women who are interested in outdoor sports and adventure trips. You went through your list and carefully segmented it to focus on these subscribers.

    For the purpose of that newsletter, its doesn’t really matter if you called your list “June 2019 campaign”, but at some point in the future, it’s highly possible that you might need to target that segment again.

    Are you going to remember off the top of your head that you last used it in June 2019? Probably not. Better to call it something evergreen, like “Adventure Ladies” or whatever works for you.

    Also, consider the fact that people move on and new employees will join your team, too. The clearer you label these things, the easier it will be for others to find what they need and pick up the slack without having to start from scratch each time.

    This is also a good moment to mention how important it is to be respectful. You might think these are just internal list names, but there is always the chance that something might get shared; or, displayed somewhere public by accident. Never name a list anything you would be horrified for a customer to see.

    Why It Matters to Your Customers
    Clear and detailed email list names also help you to be transparent, especially when it comes to regulations like GDPR.

    If a subscriber contacts you asking how they ended up on your list, it’s infinitely better for both of you if you can pinpoint the answer based on which subscriber list they are on.

    For example, if they feature in a list called “Marketing webinar signups” you can remind them that they subscribed in order to access that particular webinar. If they’re on a list called “Fashion Show November 2017” you can explain that it seems they signed up during that event.

    This shows that you can be trusted and prevents potential complaints (or even lawsuits) arising from misunderstandings or confusion.

    Final Thoughts
    Great email marketing is all about tracking what works, analysing the data and improving your strategy over time. To do that, the raw material needs to be accurate, up-to-date and easy to navigate. Properly naming your email lists might only be one small part of that – but it’s a great place to start.

    This article was originally posted on 24 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [end-July] Search Engine News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 30, 2019

    In this search engine news roundup, we cover a new feature in Google search results which will allow users to share their – well, search results, another Search Ranking Algorithm Update that resulted in plummeting traffic and a new JavaScript SEO section which will help developers increase organic visibility and bring more traffic to their websites.

    “Rankings are not the goal. They are the trophy of a job well done.” – Stoney deGeyter


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. A new SERP feature from Google
    2. Was there yet another Search Ranking Algorithm Update we didn’t hear about?
    3. JavaScript SEO basics added to Google’s Search developer guide
    Let’s dig in.


    Google Is At It – Again
    Google might be testing a new feature in the core search results. According to several people, the new feature will allow users to share search results. There are three icons available – share, open cache page and open the result in a new window. You can check what people are sharing on Twitter - here and here.

    How does it work? If you are on the Beta test list, you’ll be able to access the feature via the three dots on the top right of the search results.

    Why should you care? In the past, Google has tried sharing search results through Google+. And here they are again – trying out the same thing. Will this new UI launch? We can neither confirm nor deny, yet. It’s really hard to say. Can this new feature lead to people interacting with search results differently? There is a probable possibility. However, keep in mind that any change to the Google search result interface can impact traffic from Google to your website. As this seems to be just a test, we don’t believe the introduction of this particular feature would impact traffic.

    Another Search Ranking Algorithm Update
    Three updates in a week. What is happening?

    We’ve seen an increased chatter in WebmasterWorld regarding yet another Google search ranking algorithm update. It seems that the talks are spiking up as users are noticing a huge fluctuation in Google rankings. Here is what users are saying:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    However, like with any other update, some users are not being affected. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    So far there’s been no actual update from Google regarding this. Are you seeing any changes – big or small – with your traffic and ranking?

    You can see what SEO tools are showing regarding this update here.

    Google’s New JavaScript SEO Basics Section in the Search Developer’s Guide
    Last week, Google added a JavaScript SEO basics section to its Search developer’s guide. Its aim is to provide beginners with an overview of how GoogleBot processes JavaScript.
    [​IMG]
    The new section covers not only descriptions of how Google processes JavaScript but also, some best practices which are always good to have at hand.

    What does the section cover?
    In addition to the overview of the way the GoogleBot crawls, renders and indexes JavaScript web apps, the guide also provides basic tips, accompanied by links to more detailed resources – courtesy of Google, of course – and this is what it includes:
    • Describing your page with unique titles and snippets. You can use JavaScript to set or change not only meta descriptions but titles as well.
    • Writing compatible code. GoogleBot has some limitation regarding which APIs and JavaScript features it supports. Developers must ensure they are aware of what those limitations are.
    • Using meaningful HTTP status codes. The status codes inform the GoogleBot that a page has moved or that it should not be crawled or indexed.
    • Use meta robots tags but be careful. Meta robots tags allow you to prevent the GoogleBot from indexing a page or following links. However, Google warns developers that “Using JavaScript to change or remove the robots meta tag might not work as expected. Googlebot skips rendering and JavaScript execution if the meta robots tag initially contains “noindex”. If you want to use JavaScript to change the content of the robots meta tag, do not set the meta tag’s value to “noindex”.
    Why should you care?
    JavaScript is a powerful tool for developers which can enhance the user experience. By understanding how Google processes your JavaScript-powered web apps you can make them more discoverable. That alone may result in an increase in organic visibility and bring more traffic to your website.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what search engine news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 23 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [end-July] Social Media News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 29, 2019

    In this social media news roundup, we cover changes to Facebook posts and ads in mobile News Feed, new policies on disabling Instagram accounts, Pinterest’s new video features and yet another attempt from Google at creating a social network.

    “Social media creates kinship between companies and customers, and kinship equals purchase intent.” – Jay Baer


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent social media news:
    1. Facebook is rolling out changes to aspect ratio for mobile News Feed posts and ads
    2. Changes to Instagram’s Account Disable Policy
    3. New video features for Pinterest
    4. Google can’t quit trying to make new social media networks
    Let’s dig in.

    Facebook is Making Changes to Posts and Ads in Mobile News Feed
    Starting on August 19, Facebook will be making changes to the aspect ratio for posts and ads in the mobile News Feed. They will be displayed at a 4:5 aspect ratio meaning they will be shorter than the original 2:3 aspect ratio.
    [​IMG]
    What does it mean for advertisers? Ads will show fewer lines of text and the maximum height for photos or videos in the ads will be reduced in order to fit the new design: “The tallest supported aspect ratio for images without links and for video is now vertical (4:5). Media taller than 4:5 will be masked on Facebook mobile News Feed.

    Why should you care? The new layout for ads will only allow for three lines of text. Afterwards, users will be prompted (“See more”) to display more of the text. Previously, the layout displayed as many as seven lines of text before the “See more” prompt. Therefore, advertisers will have to dedicate more time and care when crafting the ad copy in order to get their message across and entice users to want to ‘see more’.

    No need to panic with aspect ratios though. Last month, Facebook rolled out new editing and resizing options to its Video Creation Kit which makes it easier for advertisers to create videos with multiple aspect ratios.

    Instagram is Making Changes to Account Disable Policy
    Instagram announced they’re making changes to their Account Disable Policy. One of the things the changes involve is warning the users before their account is deleted.
    [​IMG]
    Users will have the opportunity to appeal content that has been removed from the account for violation of community guidelines. In case the content is found to be removed in error, the company will restore the post and remove all records of the violation; or, should we say ‘supposed violation’.

    Previously, the popular social media platform issued no warning before deleting an account. A person can just wake up, got to check their Instagram whilst sipping coffee and find they can no longer log in.

    Under the existing policy, Instagram disables accounts that have a certain percentage of violating content. With the new policy, in addition to removing accounts with a certain percentage of violating content, the company will also remove accounts with a certain number of violations within a specific timeframe.

    Pinterest Introduce New Video Features
    Brands like L’Oréal, Giada De Laurentiis’ Giadzy, Tastemade and PureWow are among the labels using video on Pinterest to spark inspiration but also, tell their story. Actually, according to Pinterest, there’s been a 31% increase in searches for ‘inspirational videos’ in the last year. Also, 54% of users are more likely to say they’ve been inspired to action by videos on Pinterest than any other social media platform.

    Now, with those stats in mind and the fact there is a growing demand for video content, Pinterest decided to roll out a new set of tools to help businesses keep up.

    The new video features include:
    • An improved uploader: businesses and creators will be able to seamlessly upload video directly to Pinterest.
    • A video tab: it gives brands the opportunity to feature all their videos in one place.
    • Lifetime analytics: businesses can get insights into the performance of a video over time.
    • Pin scheduling: creators and businesses will also be able to schedule video content in advance.
    Why should you care? Since going public in April, the company is shaping up its platform for marketers. And since we mentioned Tastemade, here’s what the CEO and Founder Larry Fitzgibbon had to say: “As early adopters to video on Pinterest, Tastemade has successfully driven over one billion video views and 200 million engagements year-to-date, while growing our following 100% year-over-year. It’s clear that Pinterest users are hungry for videos that are both entertaining and actionable.” More on the topic can be found here.

    What’s Google Shoelace?
    Google doesn’t have a successful history when it comes to creating social networks. Though, we got to give them some credit for being persistent and not giving up, right?

    After the downfall of platforms like Orkut, Google Buzz and Google+, ah – and let’s not forget the messaging services Allo and Google Wave, it seems like the company is yet again trying their luck with another social network. This one is called Shoelace.

    Here are some facts:
    • The testing of the new social networking app is invitation-only.
    • It aims at bringing people together not just digitally but in the real world too based on their activities and interests.
    • The app provides suggestions every day on nearby happenings. For example, free comedy shows or pick-up soccer games and it gives people a reason to meet up.
    • Google’s Area 120 which nurtures experimental technologies created the app and it piloting in New York City.
    • People wanting to bring the app to their communities can request a code to activate the app. Currently, Shoelace supports the latest versions of Android and iOS. Ah, and let’s not forget, users need to have an active Google account to sign in to the app.
    As fun as it might be to poke Google for past failures when it comes to social networks, amid the growing concerns of people spending too much time on social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram which has a negative impact on people’s lives, it’s refreshing to see Google’s attempt at a social network which main purpose is to encourage people to spend less time online and more time actually interacting face-to-face and doing things. More about Shoelace here.

    What are your thoughts?

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what social media news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published 23 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one – month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [end-July] Email Industry News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 29, 2019

    In this email industry news roundup, we cover the ongoing misery of MailChimp customers, user complaints about Constant Contact’s poor customer support and the service going down for nearly a whole day, Google is still tracking users purchase history and a string of phishing emails aimed at stealing people’s personal and financial details.

    “To not have an email address is the digital equivalent of being homeless. Without one, you can’t shop online, bank online or engage with social media.” – Dela Quist


    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. Are we about to witness the downfall of MailChimp?
    2. Constant Contact – service down and user complaints about poor customer support
    3. Gmail is still tracking your purchases and there’s no way to delete or opt-out
    4. Action Fraud’s scam warnings about phishing emails
    Let’s dig in.

    Things Don’t Look Good for MailChimp – Not In The Slightest
    Earlier this month we’ve mentioned some of the turbulent changes happening with MailChimp. Some, if not all of them, resulting in users regretting their choice in email marketing provider and subsequently, jumping ship. Others tried cancelling their subscription but… were still being charged despite no longer using the platform.

    One would hope when a company has so many people unhappy with their service, they’d do something about it. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case thus far.
    • One user complaint about a breach
    • Another had issues with image editing
    • A third user was unhappy with the lack of support
    • And let’s not forget about the multitude of unhappy users when MailChimp changed their pricing structure. It’s still ongoing
    • Last, but certainly not least, we’ve also noticed that some users even went as far as cursing on social media to express their frustration
    We will definitely be monitoring these ongoing issues and keep you posted. If you come across any updates please share them with us in the comment section.

    Constant Contact Went Down
    By the looks of it, MailChimp is not the only email marketing provider disappointing its clients. We’ve noticed Constant Contact has also had some tech issues and poor customer support.
    Constant Contact’s status page confirmed the service disruption on July 2. However, we decided to look into it a bit more and, according to Currently Down, there was a disruption on July 3 as well which the company’s status page didn’t even acknowledge. Based on the stats, on July 2 the service was down for approximately 20 hours and on July 3 – for over 37 hours. One user even noticed a more recent service disruption which happened today.

    At least this one didn’t take the company hours upon hours to resolve.

    Gmail Still Tracks Everything You Buy
    In May, we told you about Google tracking your purchase history through a little-known purchase page which pulls info from Gmail emails like order confirmations. It tracked not only physical but online purchases and there was no setting in the Data and Personalisation page to turn the feature off.

    Google claimed the data could be deleted if users didn’t want the company to keep track of their purchase history. One would only have the delete the email and it would clear the log. However, deleting the data was not as easy as Google claimed.

    Todd Haselton (CNBC), went through his Gmail Inbox to delete every single purchase email – one by one – in order to remove the purchases from his Purchase page. So far so good. Here is the bad news, Todd went back to check the page three weeks later and found that all of his purchases were still listed there (some going back years), even after he deleted the emails. You can read more on the topic here.

    We have to say, no way out of this feature is a breach of privacy that could potentially cause Google billions in fines if it’s not resolved. It is also a representation of how tech companies often treat user-privacy as a low priority afterthought.

    Phishing Emails Aimed At Stealing Your Personal and Financial Details
    The UK’s national fraud centre Action Fraud is warning users about scam emails aimed at stealing users personal and financial details by taking them to fraudulent websites specifically designed for that purpose.
    Make sure you know how to identify whether an email is from the entity/person it claims to be before taking any further actions. Amazon, for instance, offers a guide which can help users identify phishing emails.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what email industry news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful email advice, tips and tricks. Last, but certainly not least, we’ll keep you up-to-date with the most recent social media news, search engine news, PPC & Ads news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 23 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • How to Use Tables in HTML Emails Jul 22, 2019

    When it comes to designing your emails, you need to know they will display consistently no matter what email client or device your readers use.

    “Design adds value faster than it adds costs.” – Joel Spolsky

    One great way to do that is with HTML tables… but it’s fiddly. In this article, we’ll take a look at the best ways to tackle the problem of HTML tables in email.

    Read on to learn more about HTML tables in email and more specifically:
    • Why it makes sense to use tables
    • Designing for different email clients
    • Padded cells (no, you’re not going crazy)
    • When to Use Nesting
    • Working with templates
    Let’s dig in.

    Why Use Tables in HTML Emails?
    There’s no sense in carefully designing and tweaking a beautiful email, only to have it display in a completely different way for everyone on your list, depending on the email client they’re using.

    One effective way to get around this challenge is to use HTML tables when coding your emails. That’s because HTML email tables are highly reliable, giving you a way to structure the email in such a way that nearly all rendering engines process and display them in the same way.

    Plus, all major email clients support HTML, which isn’t something you can say about CSS – another highly popular type of code used for web pages.

    While tables are an effective way to control the structure, you need to use them correctly. Any small mistakes in the code will lead to some pretty interesting results on the screen.

    Let’s take a look at some of the most important considerations.

    Close the Table Behind You
    Missing tags are a big problem when you’re creating HTML code, especially when using tables. You need to remember to use opening and closing tags, e.g. <table> / </table> (for the whole table), <td> / </td> (for table cells), and <tr> / </tr> (for table rows).

    Pay close attention to your lines of code and consider using a specialist tool that will help you detect and locate any missing tags.

    Keeping it Simple
    If your emails contain a lot of information or involve complicated layouts, you may end up in a situation where you’re putting tables inside other tables. This is known as nesting.

    Nesting is really confusing. Frankly, it’s difficult to trace through the code and make sure that every line is properly structured and rounded off, and you may well drive yourself nuts searching for the missing tag or whatever that’s causing the whole thing to break.

    As a general rule, avoid using more than about four or five nested tables in any one email, and make sure you aren’t using too many columns. The former is confusing and the latter can mess with the overall layout.

    Get more great tips on creating responsive email designs here >>

    Padding Your Cells
    Two things to remember here…

    Firstly, you need to set table width, cell spacing (as in, the space between individual cells) and cell padding (how much space there is between the content and the outer edges of each individual cell) in your tables to make sure that these display in neat, consistent ways.

    Your margins and paddings are extremely important as these are what stop text and any other content in your tables from looking squished or running into each other.

    Secondly, set your cell spacing and cell padding attributes to 0. This will override whatever default settings individual email clients have set up. Without it, the email client will apply its own styles to your HTML tables, which can cause all kinds of weird and not-so-wonderful results.

    Final Thoughts: Working with Templates
    Writing your own email HTML code gives you the freedom to create exactly the layout you want, but it’s not for the fainthearted. Especially once you bring tables into the mix.

    Unless you have something highly specific in mind, you may find that it cuts out a lot of stress to use a tried-and-tested, existing template. A platform like EmailOut, for example, comes with hundreds of options, and you can adapt them to your own branding and needs – all for free.

    This article was originally published on 18 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • The Quick & Easy Guide to Search Advertising Jul 18, 2019

    Confused by keywords? Addled by AdWords? Don’t know your PPCs from you CPMs?

    “We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” – Craig Davis

    In this brief, but a value-packed guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get started with search advertising.

    In this guide we’ll cover the following search advertising fields:
    • What search advertising is?
    • When and why you should use it?
    • How does keyword matching work?
    • How to structure an ad?
    Buckle up… there’s a lot of information coming your way.

    What is Search Advertising and How is it Different to Organic Search?
    Search advertising and organic search optimisation are both forms of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), but search advertising is, well, the part of SEM that you shell out money for. That’s why it’s also called “paid search”.

    Essentially, you pay a fee to ensure that your website is displayed on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when someone types in relevant keywords – and you also get to control how this is presented.

    PPC vs CPM
    The first decision you need to make with search advertising is whether you want to pay based on the number of clicks the link gets, called Pay Per Click (PPC) or how many impressions it gets (CPM).

    For the most part, PPC is a far better investment of resources, because you only have to pay for the eyeballs that actually reach your site.

    Why Do It?
    There are two major benefits to paid search advertising:
    • Getting to the Top of Google – you skip the queue to the top and ensure that people see the link to your site/landing page.
    • Split Testing Your Landing Pages – a less obvious draw is that you can create different versions of ads, or of the landing pages, they go to, helping you to refine your messaging and figure out what works best for you.
    How to Use Keywords in PPC
    The keyword combinations you choose are crucial to the success of your ads. These can be (loosely) divided into:
    • Branded keywords, i.e. company or product names, e.g. “Furniture4U” or “Bob’s Iguanas”.
    • Generic keywords, that refer to a type of item/thing, e.g. “filing cabinet” or “Angel Island Chuckwalla”.
    • Transactional keywords, implying some kind of purchasing intent. E.g. “cabinets for sale” or “iguana breeders”.
    • Locational keywords, e.g. “Cabinet makers near me” or “Pet store Mogadishu”.
    • Long-tail keywords, consisting of more than 3-4 words. E.g. “Sliding filing cabinets for office” or “Buy baby red iguana pet”.
    • Informational keywords, for when people are searching for a particular piece of information/trying to solve a particular problem. E.g. “Directions to Furniture4U Chicago branch” or “How to tell if your iguana is depressed”.
    Three important things to bear in mind when it comes to keywords:
    1. Different keywords will appeal to potential customers at different stages in their buyer journey

    Think very carefully about how this relates to what you offer and plan for plenty of ad variations.

    2. Don’t waste your keyword options on words that don’t add to your core keyword
    Focus on qualifying words that actually help you differentiate yourself. For example, “office filing cabinet shop” and “office filing cabinet store” might look like different keywords, but the core keyword is “office filing cabinet”, which is used in both cases. It’s more useful for you to stick with “office filing cabinet” plus words that actually add value, like “in Chicago” or “near me”.

    3. Decide if you need an exact keyword match
    Sometimes, only a precise set of words in a particular order is relevant. At other times, it’s better to use “phrase match” which allows the words to be used in a different order.

    For example, if you set the keyword “Red iguana for sale” to phrase match, it will still show up if someone types “for sale red iguana”. However, if you set “food for iguanas” as “exact match” only, it WON’T show up if someone searches “iguana for food”. Which is probably for the best.

    Structuring Your Ads: The Basics
    Okay, let’s get down to the specifics. When you’re crafting a Google search ad, you need to remember the numbers 25,37, 35, 35. In that order.

    That’s because you have 25 characters available for the title, 37 for the display URL or vanity URL (as in, it’s not the “destination” link people actually click, but it reiterates the site address), then two lines of 35 characters each to capture the reader’s attention and draw them into your site.

    For Example:
    Green Iguanas for Sale
    www.bobsiguanas.com
    No. 1 pet shop in Mogadishu
    Charming reptiles in verdant hues


    Final Thoughts
    There is, of course, so much more we could say on the subject of search advertising – especially when it comes to your grand strategy, keyword optimisation and so on. But we’ll come to all this in another post. In the meantime, use this guide as a handy introduction to launch your first search advertising campaign.

    This article was originally posted on 9 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [July] Digital Marketing News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 17, 2019

    In this digital marketing news roundup, we cover British Airways facing a record penalty of £184m for last year’s breach of its booking system, a call for a social media strike and forecasts on online advertising.

    “Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” – Chris Brogan


    In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
    1. ICO issues a notice of intention to fine BA a record fine due to a data breach
    2. Wikipedia’s co-founder calling for a social media strike
    3. Zenith report over 50% of advertising spend to be digital by 2021
    Let’s dig in.

    ICO Could Fine British Airways £184million!
    Following an extensive investigation, the ICO has issued a notice of its intention to fine British Airways (BA) £183.39 million ($228.63m) for infringement of GDPR. Initially, I thought the decimal point was in the wrong place? After all, the proposed penalty is 367 times higher than the previously imposed one, involving Facebook and the Cambridge Analytica data scandal (pre-GDPR). However, there’s no mistake. The amount of the proposed fine is correct.

    The fine relates to a cyber incident notified to the ICO by BA in September 2018. Part of the incident involved user traffic to the BA website being diverted to a fraudulent site. Through this false site, customer details were harvested by the cyber-attackers. The personal data of approximately 500,000 customers were compromised in the incident, which – according to the ICO – is believed to have begun in June 2018. The ICO’s investigation found that a variety of personal information was compromised by poor security arrangements at the company, including login, payment cards and travel booking details as well as name and address info.

    Fine Comparisons For Data Breaches
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    The proposed penalty to be imposed on BA is the first one to be made public since GDPR was introduced, which make it mandatory to report data security breaches to the information commissioner. The new rules also increased the maximum penalty to 4% of turnover. The BA penalty amounts to 1.5% of its worldwide turnover in 2017, less than the possible maximum. Until BA ‘s fine, the biggest penalty was £500k, imposed on Facebook for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. That was the maximum allowed under the old data protection rules that applied prior to GDPR. What’s the take-home from this story? You now have 184 million reasons to check and double-check your digital security.

    Wikipedia Founder Calls for Social Media Strike
    In a post on his blog titled ‘Declaration of Digital Independence’, one of Wikipedia co-founders – Larry Sanger – urged people to stop using social media for 2 days. The call to strike is an effort to pressure the networks into restoring control of personal data to users.

    The Declaration calls for social networks to be decentralised and turned into systems that respect the rights of free speech, privacy and security.

    In his call to action, Sanger said the strike – from 4 to 5 July – would show ‘massive demand’ for change. He called for users to not post on social media unless it was to post notices of being on strike. So, did anyone notice a social media strike on those dates?

    Wait a minute. Didn’t almost all major social media platforms go down around the strike dates? Coincidence or conspiracy? Tell me what your thoughts are in the comments.

    Online Advertising Will Exceed Half of Global Ad Spend 2021
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    According to Zenith’s Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, online advertising will account for 52% of global advertising expenditure in 2021, which exceeds the 50% mark for the first time. That’s up from 47% this year and 44% in 2018.

    However, the growth rate is falling rapidly as the internet ad market matures. Online ad spend grew 17% in 2018, but based on activity in the first half of 2019, the company said it’s expecting only 12% growth for the year – as a whole. By 2021, Zenith expects internet ad spend growth to have fallen to 9% year-on-year.

    The advertising game is again led by online video and social media which are predicted to enjoy double-digit rates of 18 and 17% through to 2021. With both sectors benefiting tremendously by the emergence of 5G mobile technology.

    You can purchase Zenith’s comprehensive forecasts here. It’ll only cost you a small amount of £495. But hey, you can file this as a forecasted ad expenditure, right?

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas what digital marketing news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as PPC & Ads news.

    This article was originally published on 8 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.
  • [July] PPC & Ads News: What Caught Our Attention Jul 16, 2019

    In this PPC and Ads news roundup, we cover a Facebook ads feature which makes a comeback, the reason Google Ads API went back to Beta and, of course, a comprehensive report giving you all the insights you need into paid social marketing.

    “Pay per click was just the beginning. The real evolution is pay per action.” – Bill Gross

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent PPC and Ads news:
    1. ‘Reach Estimates’ for Custom Audiences is coming back to Facebook Ads
    2. Why did Google Ads API go from GA back to Beta?
    3. A full, comprehensive report into the state of paid social marketing.
    Let’s dig in.

    Facebook’s Reach Estimates Makes a Comeback
    After research discovered a vulnerability which made it possible to infer attributes of Facebook users via the tool, the company removed it back in March 2018.

    However, since suspending the tool, which allows advertisers to estimate audience size for their Custom Audience campaigns, the company has been working with researchers to improve the security of custom audiences reach estimate feature. According to Facebook’s post, they’ve focused on three key areas to curb potential misuse: privacy, protection and new usage restrictions. Hence, with these updates in place, the company is reinstating custom audience reach estimate.


    Why should you care? With the feature making a comeback, businesses will – once more – have the opportunity to plan their advertising more efficiently and effectively by gaining a clearer understanding of the size of their audience and, also, manage budgets and bidding better.

    Google Ads API Goes Back To Beta
    Google decided to send its Ads API back to Beta.

    Why? According to feedback from developers, response times were slower when compared to those of the AdWords API. Hence, the company has determined the API is not yet ready for production usage.

    Also, there were a number of other complaints about the new API, which go beyond only the response times. You can find what they are here.

    Google has been actively trying to get developers to move from the AdWords API to the new Ads API – which was released in March. It’s currently unclear what percentage of AdWords API users had made the switch.

    Why should you care? If the API doesn’t work it would have a huge impact on campaign performance and reporting.

    Overall, Google is advising developers to go back – and continue to use – the AdWords API until the problems are remedied.

    The State of Paid Social 2019
    For the past two years, our friends at Hanapin Marketing have released a State of Paid Social report. The purpose of the report is to establish benchmarks, identify trends and help marketers understand what’s working and what’s not in the world of paid social marketing.

    Between Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, the slew of new updates on LinkedIn and the intro of Quora into the playing field, social advertising has become more complicated these days.

    Did you know that video and storytelling have become the talk of the social advertising landscape in 2019? How about the fact that Quora is rising fast as a social ad superstar?

    The report is full of trends and insights in the most popular social ad platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Quora, Snapchat and Reddit.
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    To download the full report and gain a comprehensive look at what platforms marketers are investing in, what ad formats are proving to be the most effective and how things will change in the next 12 months, click here.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas about what PPC and ads news topics you’d like us to look out for in the future? Write your requests below. We’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

    In the meantime, you can take a look at our email marketing blog for useful advice, tips and tricks. We will also keep you up-to-date with the most recent email news, social media news, search engine news as well as other digital marketing news we found interesting.

    This article was originally published on 8 July by EmailOut and can be found here.

    Open your Unlimited Sends one-month free trial today – after your first month with us you can switch to our FreeForever account giving you 12,500 sends to 2,500 contacts each and every month for free, forever. Corporate email marketing? Contact us.