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  • News From The Email World Jan 27, 2020 at 9:52 AM

    A study reveals 39% of users are falling for phishing emails with subject lines regarding password checks, 55% fall for subject lines referencing LinkedIn and 28% referencing Facebook. We’ve also summarised the three big email marketing trends for 2020.

    “Your subject line is just like a movie trailer. It gives your recipients a preview so they know what to expect.” – EmailOut

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. Security training firms reveals the phishing email subject lines that get the most clicks
    2. Three big email marketing trends to watch out for in 2020
    Let’s dig in.

    Subject Lines That Swindle
    Want to scam people? Or, instal some malware?

    In Q4 2019, KnowBe4 analysed tens of thousands of email subject lines from simulated phishing tests along with ‘in-the-wild’ subject lines from actual emails that people received and reported to their IT departments as suspicious.

    Here are the top 10 general topics:
    • Change of Password Required Immediately – 26%
    • Microsoft/Office 365: De-activation of Email in Process – 14%
    • Password Check Required Immediately – 13%
    • HR: Employees Raises – 8%
    • Dropbox: Document Shared With You – 8%
    • IT: Scheduled Server Maintenance – No Internet Access – 7%
    • Office 365: Change Your Password Immediately – 6%
    • Avertissement des RH au sujet de l’usage des ordinateurs personnels – 6%
    • Airbnb: New device login – 6%
    • Slack: Password Reset for Account – 6%
    When examining ‘in-the-wild’ email subject lines, the company found that the most common ones are:
    • SharePoint: Approaching SharePoint Site Storage Limit
    • Microsoft: Anderson Hauck has shared a Whiteboard with you
    • Office 365: Medium-severity alert: Unusual volume of file deletion
    • FedEx: Correct address needed for your package delivery on [[current_date_0]]
    • USPS: Your digital receipt is ready
    • Twitter: Your Twitter account has been locked
    • Google: Please Complete the Required Steps
    • Cash App: Your Account Has Been Closed
    • Coinbase: Important Please Resolve Error Now
    • Would you mind taking a look at this invoice?
    KnowBe4 also reports that 39% of users have been falling for simulated phishing tests saying a password should be checked immediately.

    The most-clicked social media subject lines referenced LinkedIn (55%) and Facebook (28%).

    Email users should be “especially cautious if an email seems too good to be true, such as a giveaway,” states Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4.

    Three Big Email Marketing Trends For 2020
    Based on what went down in the email marketing industry in 2019, here are three significant email marketing trends that you need to watch out for in 2020:
    • Compliance. With the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) already on board, the PDPA in Thailand coming up in May 2020 and LGPD in Brasil in August 2020, marketers have little choice but to act as if they were headquartered in Europe and under the control of Brussels. In general, that means limiting data transfers, securing data, providing access to consumers and allowing people to be forgotten. More tough state bills are in store as well.
    • Interactivity. Wiseguys used to joke that email hasn’t changed in 20 years. Well, who’s laughing now? Google announced AMP (accelerated mobile pages) for Email in 2018 and brought it online in late 2019 with support for Android and iOS. And it is beginning to attract big players, like Adobe Campaign. You can presume to see more vendors signing on for AMP in 2020, even if most email marketers haven’t latched onto it yet.
    • BIMI. BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) is a security standard that allows brands with DMARC protection to display their logos in email subject lines. This addresses the larger issue of security and the use of email to deliver malware, but it can also be an effective brand-building tool. Preliminary data from Yahoo shows that displaying the logo increases open rates by around 10%. In 2020, expect to see more big names going public with their support – Google will be running a pilot, and CNN will probably do the same.
    However, it might be a while until both businesses and consumers grasp the idea around these trends. Especially, when it comes to compliance considering GDPR compliance rate remains low and it’s been quite a while since the regulation was announced.

    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 21 January 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.
    Steve112253 likes this.
  • News From The Digital Marketing Universe Jan 7, 2020

    A new GIF creation feature on Twitter, Google Search Console’s coverage report gets an update, a bug in the latest Google Search app, SEO trends for 2020, CMA’s concern over Google and Facebook’s ad dominance and a report on the digital marketing trends in 2020.

    “Business has only two functions: marketing and innovation.” – Milan Kundera

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent digital marketing news:
    1. Users will be able to convert iOS Live Photos into GIFs on Twitter
    2. Instagram finally launched its new Layout mode for Stories
    3. Coverage report within Google Search Console has been updated
    4. Google Search app latest beta version seems to have a bug
    5. SEO experts share their insight on SEO trends in 2020
    6. The CMA suggests Google and Facebook’s ad dominance should be curbed
    7. 2020 Digital Marketing Trends – the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing
    Let’s dig in.

    Social Media News

    Twitter
    Twitter has announced a new GIF creation functionality. It allows users to convert their iOS Live Photos into looping GIFs – and all directly from the compose window.
    upload_2020-1-7_10-36-40.png

    When a user uploads a photo from their iOS device, which they’ve taken with Live Photo enabled, they will have the opportunity to convert that photo into a GIF in one simple step – tapping the GIF icon on the preview. A workaround of converting Live Photos to GIFs has existed for some time now. However, building this functionality directly into the upload process could make it a much more appealing and utilised option among Twitter users. The functionality is available in the latest version of the app and anywhere you can upload an image to Twitter – tweets, retweets with comments, replies, DMs.

    Instagram
    After initially being spotted in testing back in August, Instagram has officially launched its new Layout mode for Stories.

    upload_2020-1-7_10-37-12.png

    The new layout option, which will be among your Stories camera modes, provides a range of presentation styles – six different grids, to be exact – to choose from. You can simply scroll through them and then take shots accordingly.

    We aren’t really surprised by the official launch of the tool. Especially considering it’s been in testing since August and has been spotted, more recently, in the live app by researcher Satyam Sinha. So, are you going to take advantage of it and let your creative juices flowing? With the holidays just around the corner, it would be an awesome opportunity to spread some ‘cheer’ and get a bit more traffic.

    Search Engine and SEO News

    Google Search Console (GSC)
    Google posted both on Twitter and its data anomalies page that the coverage report within the GSC has been updated. As a result, users might see more non-indexed pages being reported as of December 15, 2019. Basically, some pages that were “crawled – currently not indexed” are now known to be indexed.

    So, the index coverage report has been wrong for quite some time. Should we assume that with this update the report is now correct? Or is it simply just less wrong?

    Google Search App
    The latest beta version (10.89.9) of the Google app seems like a pretty routine update. However, a user on Reddit, spotted a bug when searching message-related queries that cause the Search app to crash.

    Judging by the number of users reporting the same problem, it seems the pattern of devices that were affected is inconsistent. If you type “what are my messages” or simply “my messages” the app simply crashes.

    Currently, there’s no known workaround for the crash, so we hope a patch is sent out soon. For now, you can still use the Assistant to achieve the same goal by asking, “what are my messages?”.

    Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
    It’s that time of year where we should take a look at what lies ahead for SEO in 2020. What strategies and tactics will work? What will help businesses dominate the SERPs and earn more revenue?

    Our friends at SEJ asked 58 of today’s top SEO professionals and here are the top 10 trends you need to know in 2020:
    1. BERT and user-focused optimisation
    2. Hight-quality optimised content
    3. E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) and your unfair advantage
    4. UX (user experience) and technical SEO
    5. Mobile SEO
    6. Structured data
    7. Entity and knowledge graph optimisation
    8. Link building and brand building
    9. Focus on visibility, not just blue links
    10. Programming
    These only scratch the surface. For more SEO trends and insights for 2020, download SEJ’s SEO Trends 2020 free e-book.

    PPC and Ads News
    The Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) has raised concerns about the market power of digital ad platform giants Google and Facebook in an interim report, opening up a discussion on a range of potential inventions – from breaking up platform giants to limiting their ability to set self-serving defaults and enforcing data sharing and/or feature interoperability to help rivals compete.

    According to the report, “Google and Facebook are the largest such platforms by far, with over a third of UK internet users’ time online spent on their sites. Google enjoys a more than 90% share of the £6 billion search advertising market in the UK, while Facebook has a share of almost 50% of the £5 billion display advertising market. Both companies have been highly profitable for many years.

    The CMA said that in order to solve competition problems, there is a “strong argument” to create a regulator that would monitor online platforms funded by digital advertising.

    For Google, this could mean tackling the source of its market power in search by including third-party access to click-and-query data, as well as intervening in how phone manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung decide which default search engines appear on internet browsers.

    For Facebook, the CMA is considering tackling the source of its power by increasing its interoperability with other platforms.

    You can read CMA’s full “Online Platforms and Digital Advertising” interim report – all 283 pages of it – here.

    Digital Marketing News
    MarTech company Vivial released its 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report which is a look into the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing.

    MarTech company Vivial released its 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report which is a look into the next chapter of online, mobile and social marketing.

    In a survey of more than 500 SMBs, Vivial found that while 41% say they are doing enough marketing to get by, more than a quarter state that their lack of knowledge about marketing is hindering their current marketing efforts.

    Here are some highlights from the report:
    • Content marketing. The survey found that nearly a quarter of small business owners struggle with generating engaging content on a consistent basis. Yet in 2020 and beyond, content marketing will continue to play a fundamental role in digital marketing. Thus, SMBs will need to up their content game.
    • Social media. While 62% of the surveys SMBs state social media has the highest ROI for their business, only 40% are running any paid ads on social media. Using a mix of organic and paid content is key to building a follower base on social platforms.
    • Search engine marketing (SEM). Multi-platform advertising will be a must in 2020, including variety in both the platforms for advertising (Google, social media, etc.) as well as the type of ads (video, carousel, etc.).
    • Search engine optimisation (SEO). As voice-based search is quickly becoming “the next big thing”, it’s crucial for businesses to have accurate listings, content keywords and search rankings to be found with voice queries.
    • Mobile marketing (SMS). 75% of people prefer offers via SMS than adverts in mobile apps. In order to capitalise on this platform, it will be key for businesses to keep messages simple and personal and find ways to differentiate not only products but customer service.
    • Omni-channel approach. Customers expect a seamless experience and businesses have seconds to keep their attention. Therefore, whether they arrive on a landing page or step through the front door to redeem an SMS coupon, the messaging must be consistent and the process fluid.
    You can get the full 2020 Digital Marketing Trends report here. It’s free.

    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 31 December 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.
  • News From The Email Multiverse Jan 6, 2020

    The state of email marketing in 2019, Gmail getting an upgrade to allow users to send emails as attachments without having to forward or download them and Microsoft developing an Office 365 tool to combat “Reply All” mail storm attacks.

    “Email may well be your most productive marketing tool.” – Dan Zarrella

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. Research about the state of email marketing in 2019
    2. Send emails as attachments in Gmail
    3. Microsoft wants to kill off “reply all” email chains
    Let’s dig in.

    The State Of Email Marketing in 2019
    With 2020 just around the corner, it’s time to take a look at the state of email marketing in 2019; and, of course, plan accordingly.

    A research conducted by Demand Metric and Return Path by Validity uncover the tactics email marketers have been using, how well they’re working, brands’ top objectives; and, what challenges prevent greater success in email.

    Here are some of the key findings for 2019:
    • The top email marketing objectives are communicating with customers (74 %), building brand awareness (64 %) and communicating with prospects (63 %).
    • Over one-third of study participants (37 %) report that email marketing effectiveness is increasing, down from 44 %in 2018.
    • Firms that report increasing email marketing effectiveness are more likely to also report annual revenue growth.
    • The biggest email marketing challenge is competition for attention in the inbox (45 %).
    • Email deliverability ranked third on the list of challenges and saw a 12 % increase compared to 2018.
    • Email personalisation was the top email marketing tactic in use (72 %), a slight increase from 2018.
    • One-third of the study participants have no formal subject-line optimisation process.
    Download “The State of Email Marketing 2019” report and start evaluating your email marketing efforts so far. Whilst some businesses might be doing an exceptional job, others are still struggling to achieve a return on their email marketing investment. Don’t be one of them.

    Email Your Emails In Gmail
    Google’s emailing system is getting an upgrade. Forget about forwarding emails. Come January 13, 2020, Gmail users will be allowed to send emails as attachments. Without having to forward or download them first.

    [​IMG]

    Enthusiastic emailers can attach as many emails as they want which will appear as a .eml file. Simply select the emails and then drag-drop them. Alternatively, you can right-click on the selected emails and use the ‘forward as attachment’ function. For those of you, who love having multiple tabs open, you’ll be pleased to know that the attachment will open in a new window.

    Why would someone want this? Well, let’s allow Google to answer this directly –

    “We’ve heard from you that there are situations where attaching emails makes more sense than forwarding separate emails. Like wanting to forward multiple messages related to a single topic. With this new functionality, you can do exactly that. Sending emails as attachments allows you to write a summary email message to your recipients; and, attach the set of supporting emails that recipients can directly open in their mail client.”

    So, there – you have it. However, be advised the feature is rolling out gradually. Thus, you’ll know when it’s available when you see the ‘forward as attachment’ option in the menu.

    Microsoft Office 365 to Add Reply-All Mail Storm Protection
    Microsoft is planning to add protection against Reply-All email storms to Office 365, an issue affecting customers that are members of improperly locked down mail distribution lists.

    A Reply-All storm (a.k.a reply-allpocalypse) is a huge chain reaction sequence of emails that usually starts when one of the members of a large email distribution list replies to the entire list using the “Reply All” feature.

    A possible outcome of such an event is an inadvertent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that can potentially take down one or more email servers used to deliver the huge amounts of replies exchanged.

    Here’s what Microsoft says about the Reply-All Storm Protection

    “When a Reply-All mail storm happens in your organization it can disrupt business continuity and even cause unexpected throttling of your organization’s mail flow within Office 365. While Exchange Online has several features designed to help prevent Reply-All storms (e.g. Distribution List (DL) allowed-sender lists and recipient limits) that reduce the severity and impact of reply-all storms, they can still happen; especially if the DLs haven’t been locked down tightly. Reply-All Storm Protection in Exchange Online will detect when a Reply-All storm is happening (or likely to happen) and will temporarily block users from replying to everyone on the thread. During this “cool down” period the service will send anyone who tries to reply to everyone a bounce message (or NDR); that will effectively tell them to not try to reply all to the message. The temporary block will be active for several hours. Usually enough time to dampen end-user enthusiasm to reply to the thread, and thus curtail the storm before it gets started or before it gains much momentum.”

    The feature is currently in development and is scheduled to launch during the third quarter of 2020, says Microsoft.

    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 31 December 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.
  • Email Marketing ROI: 42 the answer to life, the universe and everything Dec 24, 2019

    How do you feel about your current email marketing budget? Why invest in email marketing at all with so many other marketing channels out there? Deciding where to invest your money isn’t a decision to take lightly.

    “If social media is the cocktail party, then email marketing is the ‘meet up for coffee’. The original 1 to 1 channel.” – Erik Harbison

    Email marketing has been around for a very long time. In fact, the first email campaign was sent in the 1970s – long before there was Twitter or Facebook (both of which you will need an email address to fully access). Businesses have to make decisions about which marketing channels to use and how much of the budget will be allocated to them. Thus, we’d like to explain why investing in email marketing is so important now more than ever.

    In this article, we’ll cover the following reasons why investing in email marketing is a good idea:
    1. Email marketing has an ROI of 42:1
    2. 3.9 billion people (in 2019) use email with an expected increase to 4.3 billion in 2023
    3. Email engagement times have gone up 21%
    4. People spend approximately 5 hours a day checking emails (really!)
    5. 49.5% of marketers plan to increase their email marketing budgets
    6. Email is direct and easy to personalise
    7. Email marketing integrates well with other marketing tactics
    8. Businesses get results within minutes of sending an email campaign
    Let’s dive in.

    Remember the movie “You’ve Got Mail”? You know… the one where Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks fell in love with each other after exchanging emails.

    [​IMG]

    Even though the film hit theatres in 1998, it’s a clear demonstration of why email remains one of the most important communication tools in today’s world.

    Well… small businesses are certainly not looking for love online. However, they are definitely looking for ways to connect and build relationships with their leads, attract new customers and keep existing clients coming back. Therefore, not using email marketing to do all that may result in missing out on a powerful opportunity.

    We know there’s a lot of noise in the marketing world. Between SEO, content marketing, paid social and more, there’s no shortage of competition for a business’s marketing budget. So, why invest in email marketing?

    Email marketing has a solid ROI
    In 2018 the average return on email spend was $38 for every $1 invested in the channel. By 2019, that number has increased to $42 to $1. Essentially, just when we thought the average email return on investment is high, it went higher.

    In order to put the above in perspective, we want to note that a good marketing ROI is 5:1. However, a 10:1 ratio is considered exceptional. So with a ratio of 42:1, businesses should be over the moon and give email marketing a premium place in their marketing budget. Especially if they choose email marketing software that will help them bring the costs down even further.

    Over half of the world’s population uses email
    According to a report by Radicati Group, the number of worldwide email users will top 3.9 billion in 2019 – and it’s expected to increase to more than 4.3 billion in 2023. With these stats in mind, investing in email marketing presents a great opportunity for businesses of all sizes to reach their target market – no matter what their audience looks like.

    By adding email marketing to the list of digital marketing tactics, businesses can improve their reach and visibility as well as have the opportunity to engage and convert more leads on a consistent basis.

    Bottom line, email marketing isn’t going anywhere. So take advantage of it.

    Email engagement times have gone up
    As much as an email ROI of 42:1 seems too good to be true there is a reason why companies are seeing revenue growth from email marketing. One of them being that email engagement times went up 21% in the last two years, according to Litmus’s ‘The State of Email Engagement’ report.

    What does this mean for your email campaigns? On average, people are spending more time looking at emails now than a few years ago. People pick up their phones and check their emails in all sorts of strange places and situations: watching TV, waiting for the tube, during events such as weddings, while walking and even, whilst using the bathroom. Our director, for example, goes through his emails at the pub with a pint.

    Casually checking emails has driven people to view each email for more than 8s for 66% of the emails opened on a mobile device. Thus, email is a medium that consumers like to engage with. The proof: engagement times most marketers working with other marketing channels can only dream of.

    Users spend 5 hours per day checking emails
    According to the 2019 Adobe Email Usage study, people check work emails 3+ hours a day and personal ones 2+ hours a day. Overall, this comes around to spending around 5 hours per day checking emails – and people think that it’s just the right amount of time.

    [​IMG]

    The study also shows that 43% of users are checking their work emails – every few hours – outside of working hours. Respectively, 10% check their work emails every hour, 13% check them multiple times per hour, 10% do it constantly and 24% never check emails outside of working hours.

    On the other hand, 52% check their personal email whilst at work. 15% check them every hour, 14% do it multiple times per hour, 11% do it constantly and 8% never check personal emails while at work.

    Did these stats manage to convince you investing in email marketing is a good idea? No? Keep reading. By the end of this article, we’ll have changed your mind.

    Marketers plan to increase their email marketing budget
    Email marketing isn’t going anywhere. It’s not slowing down anytime soon – either. So why not put your money where the stats are?

    Out friends at Litmus released a survey which revealed that 49.5% of marketers are planning to raise their email marketing budget investing in tools, teams and resources that will help businesses bring their email programs to the next level. Thus, companies who don’t at least make the effort to match what their competitors are planning could risk falling behind and missing out on a powerful opportunity to reach their audience and increase their profits.

    Email marketing is direct and personalisation is key
    Email marketing is direct marketing. It goes straight to the people on your lists. Unlike social media, you won’t keep your fingers crossed hoping people would come across your post. Your email will land directly in the subscribers’ inbox, waiting for them to read it.

    Digital consumers want marketing to be more personal and tailored to their specific needs and preference. In fact, learning what your audience wants is the key factor in making it big in email marketing. Jill LeMaire Redo, VP of Digital Strategy and Insights at Epsilon, even predicts that “by 2020, hyper-personalisation will reach a significant level, along with rules-based triggers, assimilation of the mobile channel and connecting data from other channels and platforms.

    Email marketing makes it easy to personalise. Thus, by using the data you’ve collected from your subscribers and leads (in compliance to current legislation, of course), you will be able not only to personalise your email campaigns but also, deliver relevant content that your subscribers are more likely to enjoy and engage with. This can improve both your open and clickthrough rates as well as the overall conversion rates.

    In fact, something as simple as using a subscriber’s first name can make all the difference. For example, an email that includes the first name of the subscriber in the subject line will have considerably higher clickthrough rate than just a generic subject line without any personalisation.

    Segmentation, for example, is an effective way of increasing personalisation. By segmenting your email lists, you’ll be ensuring your subscribers are getting the type of content and offers that appeal to them most.

    Learn more about personalising your marketing emails here >>>

    Email marketing is versatile
    Another key reason why investing in email marketing is a good idea is the fact it integrates well with other marketing tactics. Businesses can create marketing emails to meet numerous marketing goals as well as use email to support a number of other campaigns. Hence, it allows companies to get the most out of their marketing budget.

    An example. Email marketing integrates great with social media marketing. Let’s say you are running a social media contest or a giveaway. You can increase the excitement for the campaign via email. Additionally, you can also use email marketing as a tool to increase and grow your social media audience by including social share buttons or CTAs within your email content.

    Another way email marketing can be integrated with other marketing tactics is by offering businesses a platform to promote new content. As we know, content marketing is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. It allows businesses to educate, entertain and connect with leads and existing customers. Therefore, by investing in email marketing and using it as an effective way to promote content across your target market, you’ll get more eyes on your email campaign and also drive more traffic back to your website. It’s a win-win for all.

    You get results minutes after dispatching a campaign
    What is the best way to know if your email marketing efforts are working? Well, by measuring results, of course.

    With email marketing analytics, businesses can begin to see results within minutes of sending out their campaigns. They can see which users opened the email, if they clicked on any of the links or if they took the desired action – or converted. The analytics will also show how many people decided they no longer find your content interesting and unsubscribed from your list. All of these results are extremely valuable for businesses whilst they are working on analysing their marketing strategy and making the necessary improvement adjustments.

    With the right email marketing software, you can even perform A/B tests to see which specific elements of your email campaign provide the best results and resonate with your subscribers the most.

    Final Thoughts
    Did we manage to convince you why investing in email marketing is a good idea? Are you ready to get your team the resources needed so they can run a flawless email program?

    Businesses love Facebook Ads. However, the average clickthrough rates for FB ads are actually pretty terrible – 0.89% across all industries. Paid search ads perform better but that’s only because nearly 60% of people don’t recognise them as ads. Out of the 42.5% who do, 41% actively avoid clicking on them.

    So, as you can see from the numbers, it’s pretty obvious people often don’t interact with paid marketing. Still, if they’re going to get marketing content, they want it to be the type of content they want – when and where they want it – and having it personalised to them is even better.

    Bottom line, don’t let the hype circling other marketing channels turn you off from email marketing. Whilst each channel has its pros and cons, the simple fact is that email has been tested and proven time and time again.

    As marketers, we are always looking for shiny, new solutions and exciting ways to get a quick overnight “win”. However, email marketing doesn’t work that way. It takes time and effort to establish and maintain a sustainable process in order to grow, but if you keep at it, email marketing will become your most profitable online marketing channel.

    This article was originally published on 19 December 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.
  • Email Design Best Practices: Turn Your Emails From Good To Great Dec 23, 2019

    Do you want an email designed to look awesome and convert like crazy? You might be thinking “I’m not a designer, I’m a small business owner” but we promise, designing emails is easy and it can actually be fun (honestly) once you’ve got an idea of what you are looking for.

    “An email without clarity is like an annoying mime: Just say what you want or get out the way.” – Jordie van Rijn

    When starting with the design of your email campaign, you’re juggling a lot of balls in the air at once. You have to think – and worry – about things like branding, memorable messaging, proofreading the copy, creating compelling CTAs, designing the email so it works for multiple inboxes and devices, choosing impactful imagery, avoiding any spam triggers and think about awesome, engaging subject lines. All while staying within the confines of email laws. Don’t worry though, we have the most comprehensive email design best practices guide to share with you that will surely turn your emails from good to great. Ah, we also have a bonus checklist for you at the end.

    In this article, we’ll cover email design best practices such as:
    1. Defining the type of email you’ll be sending
    2. The essential elements for designing an email campaign
    3. Email layout
    4. Branding
    5. The subject line, preheader and personalisation
    6. Email copy (contextual marketing/humanisation)
    7. Responsive design
    8. Images and animation
    9. White space
    10. Clear CTAs plus bulletproof buttons
    11. Web fonts and fallback options
    12. Links
    13. Spelling/ Grammar
    14. A/B testing
    15. Footer
    16. Compliance
    Let’s dive in.

    Even after its inception 4 decades ago, email marketing is still the most popular tool of communication for businesses in order for them to build meaningful relations with their customers. If you take apart the layers, the core of a successful email campaign is a well-designed and attractive email template. However, in order to achieve that you’ll need to follow a few email design best practices. So, we are here to make sure you know everything you need to.

    Before you even think about typing a single word, make sure you have clearly defined the goals of your email campaign. Is it supposed to help you generate leads? Or help you get more email subscribers? Send traffic to your website? Once you have a clear objective, let the email design draw from it.

    Keep in mind that your goal should be something more than “how many people opened your email campaign”. Instead, it must be more closely tied to your overall business goals. Obviously, your email’s open rate would give an indication of the campaign’s performance, however, it shouldn’t be the only number you care about each month. Here are some email marketing metrics to consider as well.

    Now, it’s time for action. You need to plan the design of your email. However, before you start planning, you need to define what type of email you’ll be sending and what goals it will fulfil.

    Which type of email will you be sending? What goals will it satisfy?
    In an email subscriber’s journey, there is a minimum of 5 (or 6, if you’re an e-commerce brand) email types you need to send them and they are:

    1. Welcome email
    The goal is to thank your subscribers for, well… subscribing. The email copy should introduce your brand and the CTA should prompt the subscriber to either complete their profile, update their preferences and/or order a product.

    2. Newsletter email
    This is a periodic email whose goal is to educate and inform your subscribers about your brand and its products/services in order to make the subscribers interested in making a purchase. This type of email can also provide interesting, valuable content as well as product/service updates to keep your subscribers informed.

    3. Sale promotions / Announcement emails
    The goal of this type of email is to convert the subscriber into a customer. It’s purely marketing in tone and should make the subscriber believe that this purchase will ‘get the job done’ or solve the problem that brought them to your brand in the first place.

    4. Order receipt emails
    The goal here is to confirm a purchase made by the subscriber. This email should be triggered when a subscriber makes a purchase and can be used to promote other relevant products. However, the ratio needs to be 80% transactional and 20% promotional.

    5. Re-engagement emails
    Not all of your subscribers are going to remain active and keep opening your emails. The goal of these emails is to give your dormant subscribers a little nudge and, hopefully, bring them back to your sales cycle.

    6. (For e-commerce) Cart abandonment emails
    There are many reasons as to why a well-nurtured subscriber may abandon their purchase mid-way. The goal here is to try and draw such “abandoners” back and reunite them with their carts. This is a must-have email for e-commerce businesses.

    Of course, depending on the industry your brand belongs to, there will be more emails that you are going to need such as birthday/anniversary emails, survey/review emails and re-order anniversary emails – to name just a few.

    What are the essentials for designing an email campaign?
    The design of your email is one of the most important stages as it creates the visual identity and defines your brand’s personality. Therefore, before you rush off, consider the following prerequisites:
    • Email layout
    • Branding
    • The subject line, preheader and personalisation
    • Memorable, relevant email content (contextual marketing/humanisation)
    • Responsive design
    • Impactful imagery and animation
    • White space
    • Clear CTAs plus bulletproof buttons
    • Web Fonts and fallback options
    • Links
    • Spelling/ Grammar
    • A/B testing
    • Footer
    • Compliance
    1. Email Layout
    The layout of your email campaign should help your recipients know what they should be checking out first and where to go from there. They should be able to scan the email quickly using a logical hierarchy with large headlines and images focusing the attention. Below you can see 3 examples of email layouts.

    Inverted Pyramid

    This type of email structure is very simple but effective. You start with a bold image or header that fills the whole width of the email, followed by a narrower image, header, title or button that draws the eye towards the centre of the email, and finishing with your CTA, usually a button or link, which is even narrower (and also centred). Here is a really great example from InVision:

    [​IMG]

    In other words, the design is like an upside-down triangle pointing straight to the final CTA.

    Zig-Zag

    Another attractive design grid is an angular one with a zig-zag layout. According to graphic designer Mary Stribley, “an angular layout is both enticing to look at as well as functional to order lots of information and imagery.

    You can create these angles by using imagery or colour blocking in order to guide the reader through each step of the email. This not only creates a visually pleasing layout, but it also helps to simplify each section of the email so that it is easy to read. Here is an example from Sephora:

    [​IMG]

    One Column

    For mobile devices, it’s best to stick to single column layouts of no more than 500 – 600 pixels wide. Your emails will a) fit properly in the screen without scrolling sideways and b) they’ll be much easier to read that way. Here is an example:

    [​IMG]

    2. Branding
    Hearing horror stories of people engaging with email scams, audiences can be cautious of opening and interacting with emails if they don’t know who they came from. Therefore, you must ensure your email is branded accordingly in order to make it clear who’s sending the message. Make sure your logo is prominent in the design to gain the trust of the recipient.

    3. Subject Line, Preheader and Personalisation

    Subject Line
    Whilst not being a traditional “design element”, your subject line is considered one of the most important factors in getting your email opened so your subscriber can see the sweet email design you’ve been working on. Therefore, make it engaging, personal and, of course, relevant. After all, according to Email Monks, 80% of email opens depend on your subject line.

    However, you must remember not to overdo it. The overuse of CAPS and unnecessary punctuation, as well as some words, can trigger spam filters. So, respect your subscribers and don’t go there.

    One of the important email design best practices to remember when crafting the perfect subject line is that longer is not necessarily better. According to data from our friends at Return Path, 65 characters seems to be a sweet spot for subject lines. Which is about 15 characters more than the average subject line.

    [​IMG]

    The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” may have never been truer than when it comes to emoji. An emoji in email subject lines can have a major impact. Not only can they take the place of words, be attention-grabbing and add a definite charm, but they can also increase your open rates.

    A report by Experian noted that 56% of brands using emoji in their email subject lines had a higher unique open rate. However, keep in mind not all email clients support emoji. Therefore, if an emoji isn’t supported by the email client, your recipient may see a box (☐) character instead. If that happens, the whole purpose of using an emoji in your subject line would fail, you might not achieve the set goal of further enticing your recipients and the intention of the remaining text may not be clear.

    Take a look at some ideas for irresistible subject lines here.

    Preheader
    The preheader, also known as the ‘Johnson Box’, is the visible part in the inbox preview – and in the body of your email – which adds valuable content to your subject line and can help your open rates. Its purpose is to draw the recipient’s attention to the key message first in order for them to understand why the email campaign is useful to them. It’s important to note that your subject line and preheader text should work together. So consider them joined at the hip.

    Personalisation
    Emails that are highly segmented have the tendency to have higher performance levels (such as open rate and click-through rate) than emails that are not personalised.

    According to Experian, emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Hence, go beyond just injecting the subscriber’s first name in the subject line and use other data – especially in the email body – in order to fuel super relevant messaging.

    4. Memorable Messaging
    One of the most important email design practices is ensuring that the content (email body) of your email is concise and straight to the point. After all, the “meat” of your email is the body copy. Therefore, make sure there is a cohesive story between your email’s subject line, (pre)header and, you guessed it, content. Each one should provide just a little more information than the previous element of your email campaign.

    Email Copy
    So, you sat down and started writing the body of your email campaign but you are drawing blanks. You are thinking “what am I supposed to write?”, “how do I make a new product or feature appealing to my audience?” or “what topics should I cover in my next newsletter?”.

    Writing a great email copy can be difficult. However, the key to writing awesome content isn’t a big secret known only to copywriting experts. The key is simplicity. By presenting the benefits of your product/service, giving advice or providing relevant and interesting content, you are definitely about to make much more impact to your audience and ultimately drive more conversions than by simply bombarding them with irrelevant emails attempting to achieve higher results and better exposure merely through volume.

    Thus, if you’ve already enticed your subscribers to open your email, it’s imperative to retain their attention and interest by proving what you have to say is important and valuable in order to prompt them to take action. The first step is to decide what type of content you want to include in your email campaign – active or passive. Then, your second step would be to ensure your email body is “humanised” – write it as if you’re talking to a buddy instead of making your subscribers feel like they are conversing to an automated machine. Finally, make sure that your message won’t be as long as “War and Peace”. People allocate very little time reading emails. Your copy should be kept short, clear, simple and direct. If you have a lot to say, you can include links to specifically designed landing pages that have more information on the topic. Just don’t overload your audience. It won’t do any good.

    Active vs Passive Content
    At the beginning of the article, we mentioned that defining the goal of your email campaign – before you begin with anything else – is one of the most imperative email design best practices. Depending on what that goal is and how often you plan on emailing your subscribers, you will be able to either actively or passively create content for your subscribers in the time between two (or more) email sends.

    Active content builds customer acquisition and lead generation tools directly into the body copy’s presentation and design. These tools may be a simple email subscription request or a social network follow, or they may be more detailed such a lead form or deeper-funnel call-to-action.

    Whether they are best implemented in front of the content or as optional next steps surrounding or embedded beneath the content depends on the content, the audience, the context and the desired outcome.

    Active content means that something is required from the recipient, who needs to participate with the content and your brand. The prospects provide you with information and, consequently, you provide them with something of value. It also helps your business be more interactive with your recipients.

    Passive content is easy to spot. Things such as whitepapers, e-books, slide decks and even most infographics are a clear example of passive content because there is nothing for you to interact with. You read them (or watch) and then you move on. Basically, this type of content is not attached to an explicit “next step” for the audience. If someone consumes your content and likes it, it’s up to them to figure out what to do next.

    Humanisation/Contextual Marketing
    Have you heard of contextual marketing (or humanisation)? No. Don’t worry. It’s a term that is just beginning to get popular.

    Its main focus is making emails more of a one-to-one engagement rather than a one-to-many type email where one size fits all.

    Making your emails feel more “humanised” and feel like they were built for each subscriber individually has many benefits including increased engagement, better relationships with your subscribers and even getting people excited about receiving and opening your emails.

    5. Responsive Design
    It’s essential for your email’s design to work on multiple devices. Roughly 42% of emails are being opened on smartphones or tablets. So, make sure your design will render flawlessly for all screen sizes.

    Remember emails are not webpages, so you should definitely not position things anywhere you like. For example, wrapping text around objects is a no-no and also using strange shapes, angles and curves. This is because these examples can’t easily respond to different displays. Overall, the more display widths you consider the better.

    As a minimum, according to email design best practices, you should design your email campaign for the following widths:
    • Desktop display – 600px
    • Mobile display – 320 px
    For example, in the example below you can see how a two-column layout for desktop (on the left) responds into a one-column layout for mobile (on the right):

    [​IMG]

    Just keep in mind that a lot of email clients don’t use the full width of your screen to display an email message. Some show ads or have navigation or a menu, so there are limitations to the real estate on the recipient’s screen.

    6. Impactful (Hero) Imagery and Animation
    When you are using (hero) images and/or animation in your emails, it’s important to ensure they will visually convey the main point of your message. Using large photography, GIFs or CSS animation can help customers engage with your products – despite not being able to interact with them in real life – and it’s also a great way to catch your audiences’ attention.

    Wondering what a hero image is?
    Well, it certainly doesn’t fly around saving damsels in distress or fights against crime. The term is given to an image that prominently covers the entire width of the page. It’s usually placed at the beginning of the email to act as an introduction.

    Photographs as a hero image are mostly used in online retail, e-commerce, travel & hospitality. Whilst, illustrations as a hero image are mostly used in industries providing I.T., SaaS or a digital experience/service.

    When it comes to animation, being it GIFs or CSS animation, you must keep the file size to a minimum. We’ve seen fantastic animations in large GIFs that are under 1MB. However, we’ve also seen more complex ones which come over 10MB. If your GIF is too large in size it’ll take too long for it to load and your subscribers, some of which will probably view your emails on mobile devices, won’t even get to see it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to keep the file size as close to 1MB as possible. Under that size is perfect and a little over it is still alright, too. But don’t go crazy.

    Another factor to take into consideration is that not all email clients can display GIFs and CSS animation. Thus, make sure you have a suitable fallback image for those clients that represent your animation as a static image. In some cases, the first frame of a GIF is displayed, but you need to make sure it is suitable – and not a blank screen.

    Learn more about adding a video to your emails here >>>

    When using images in emails, keep the following email design best practices in mind:

    Dimension.
    Most emails are 600 to 640px wide. However, in order to keep your image crisp on high-resolution displays, you need to make sure it is 2 times the size – i.e. 1200px – and use the image attributes and CSS to keep the image at the width you want.

    File size. You can easily forget about file size in an email but you want to make sure your images are optimised. The bigger the email, the longer it’ll take for mobile subscribers to view and thus create a negative email experience.

    Alt Text. If your image doesn’t load or breaks somewhere along the sending process, alt text is what will be displayed in its place. This is another area that many email marketers overlook. We advise you to add helpful alt text that compliments your message in the case that your image doesn’t load. Also, alt text also makes your email more accessible.

    Use images that complement the email. Your email definitely shouldn’t be a bunch of images placed together. The purpose of an image is to add to the email design and the message – not be the message. Therefore, the easiest and simplest way to test this is to view the email with images turned off. Does it still make sense? Is the message still clear? If the answer is ‘no’, you need to have a re-think of the image’s text and/or alt text description.

    Stock and royalty-free images. On occasion, stock imagery may divert your audience away from the message. Thus, keep your images on brand and genuine. Why not even create specific imagery if you have the time and opportunity? But, if you don’t have the time you can use stock and royalty-free images from sites like Unsplash, Pexel and Pixabay.

    7. White Space
    No one likes clutter. A jam-packed email design with too many columns and images – or too much text, can be off-putting and annoying. It is no longer essential for all your content to appear within the email client preview window as audiences are used to scrolling, however, ensure your key message is ‘above the line’ ie seen in the preview pane.

    So, make sure you space out your content into easily digestible sections. Trust us, it will be much more appealing to the eye.

    By simply adding ample white space around the elements in your email, you will be encouraging click-throughs and helping the subscribers focus their attention on each element at the right time. It can also increase the legibility of your email and improve the recipient’s ability to follow the content. You can use your best judgment to ensure your copy and CTA buttons are separated enough in order to stand out and prompt actions, but also, close enough that your readers know the elements are connected.

    8. Clear Call-To-Action + Bulletproof Buttons
    Ensuring your CTAs stand out and look clickable is essential for effective conversions. It’s also the most obvious point where you try to convert your recipients. Use bright colours, create button shapes and/or bold fonts. Consider placing plenty of white space or block colour around the CTA to isolate and emphasise it.

    The ideal CTA button has three main aspects that work together:
    • Copy – be specific and focused on the benefits.
    • Design – it should stand out, be appropriately sized and have enough white space around it. Placing your CTAs in a button design makes them easily identifiable.
    • Placement – the ideal placement for your CTA button is relative to the complexity of the email copy. If you are offering something to your subscribers, you may need to add more explanation copy before the CTA.
      Learn more about how to pick the best CTA button colours here >>
    Another great email design best practice is to have a couple of different button types for different priorities. For example, having a red button with white text for your main CTAs (which will most certainly draw the attention) and light grey with dark text for secondary elements (like additional product/service info).

    However, it is very important to keep the number of CTAs to a minimum. Focus on where you want people to go and remove any unneeded clutter.

    Here are a few things you should consider when crafting a button:
    • Size. Keep your buttons big enough in order for people to notice and click on them – even on mobile. Typically that means around 50 px tall.
    • Colour. Most businesses match the colour of their CTAs to the colour of their brand, contrasting against the background colour and the space around it. A nice design could be ‘hover effect’ which is supported by most email clients and allows the button to change colour when one scroll over it.
    • Frequency. The number of buttons you have is determined by how many actions are possible to take. Hence, be mindful as to how many you add to your email. For retailers with multiple products, they may add a button for each one. For others, there may be just one button to focus on the most important message.
    • Language. The goal of a button is to ‘spark’ subscribers to take action. So, an active verb is typically what’s used to give them a nudge.
    Many email clients will block images loading by default, therefore, designing your buttons as images can have a negative effect. Our advice is to use “bulletproof buttons” (a small snippet of HTML or in-line CSS) which will ensure that your button is rendered when images are turned off. Our dear friends at Litmus have a special guide on the matter which we recommend for you to take a look at.

    9. Web Fonts and Fallback Options
    Think back to the early days of the internet where you’d find the web filled with very basic fonts that made both designers and marketers cringe. The reason: marketers were forced to use a handful of web-safe fonts that were most common – at the time. However, things have changed.

    Whilst your email copy conveys the message of your email, how that message is presented also plays a fundamental role. Enter web fonts.

    There are two different types of fonts available to marketers for their emails: web fonts and web-safe fonts. However, do you know the difference?

    Web fonts are fonts generally designed specifically for use on the web. This means they don’t usually come included in operating systems or devices. However, some notable email clients such as Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Outlook 2000, Outlook.com app, Thunderbird and the default Android mail client (not the Gmail app) support web fonts.

    Web-safe fonts are the default fonts that are included with most operating systems. Hence why they are called web-safe fonts and we can assume that these fonts will work regardless of the device – or operating system – your recipients are using to view your email. This includes fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman and Courier New. They are all considered to be web-safe fonts that can be used for live text in an email.

    Fallback fonts are fonts shown to your subscribers when their email client doesn’t support web fonts. Thus, it’s imperative to have a fallback web-safe font in place. It’s important to choose your fallback font first and then select the primary one rather than vice versa.

    To learn more about web fonts and how to embed them in your emails click here – web fonts in email marketing.

    This is not the FULL article, which was originally published on 19 December, as there are length restrictions on posts. You can finish reading it 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.
  • Web Fonts In Email Marketing Dec 20, 2019

    Fonts are a crucial part of your brand’s visual identity. Thus, naturally, you’d want to use the right web fonts in your emails.

    “The beauty of fonts lies in their utility. Prettiness without readability serves neither the author nor the reader.” – James Felici

    There are different elements which can greatly influence the performance of email marketing communication such as layout, colour, images, fonts and CTA buttons. Which web fonts are safe to use? Why can’t you simply use any font you want? What do you do when you want to use specific web fonts in email marketing?

    In this article, we’ll cover web fonts in email marketing focusing on:
    1. What are web fonts?
    2. Web-safe fonts
    3. How to embed web fonts in email?
    4. Fallback web fonts
    Let’s dive in.

    Let’s think back to the wild west days of the early internet where you’d find the web filled with very basic fonts that made both designers and marketers cringe. The reason for it was due to the fact that marketers were forced to use a handful of web-safe fonts that were most common at the time.

    However, things have changed. More and more email marketing designers are pushing the boundaries with the desire to do more. While the email copy conveys the message of your email, how you present that message also plays a vital role. Thus, the introduction of web fonts in email marketing.

    There are two different types of fonts available to marketers for their emails: web fonts and web-safe fonts. However, do you know the difference is?

    What are web fonts?
    Web fonts are unlikely to be found on your operating systems or different devices and they don’t have universal support. However, there are some notable email clients where web fonts are supported such as Apple Mail, iOS Mail, Outlook 2000, Outlook.com app, Thunderbird and the default Android mail client (not the Gmail app). A couple of web fonts you might be familiar with are Open Sans and Roboto.

    Keep in mind, web font support is dependent on the email client and how the web font is embedded in the email. If web fonts are NOT supported it is not a total buzz kill as there are fallback fonts that will be rendered instead.

    In most cases, the fallback font will be either Helvetica, Arial or a generic Sans Serif font. The reason is that these are the default fonts of the most popular email clients. However, each email client has a preferred or default font. For the three most popular desktop email clients, these are the defaults: (a) Apple Mail = Helvetica, (b) Gmail = Arial and (c) Microsoft Outlook = Calibri.

    Web fonts open up new roads of creativity in typography. They allow email designers to not only be creative but also accessible, as well as to stick to their brand’s look and feel, as they are not limited to choosing a font that comes pre-installed on a computer. One of the most popular and easy-to-use sources for web fonts is Google Fonts. Whilst you won’t find some of the more popular fonts there, you will find great alternatives which are available for free.

    What are web-safe fonts?
    They are the default fonts that are included with most operating systems. Hence why they are called web-safe fonts and we can assume that these fonts will work regardless of the device – or operating system – your recipients are using to view your email. This includes fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, Times New Roman and Courier New. They are all considered to be web-safe fonts that can be used for live text in an email.

    Its good email design best practice to use web-safe fonts wherever you can, however, do not use more than two different fonts in an email. Also, it’s important to keep in mind that as cool as custom fonts look in an email, they can lose their charm if they can’t render on different devices. At the end of this article, you’ll find a list of web-safe fonts.

    How to embed web fonts in email?
    If you are sporting some know-how about web fonts and you know a thing or two about coding then you’ll love this section. Especially, if you’re building your own email templates.

    There are three main approaches you can take to serve up web fonts in your HTML email. Just keep in mind all three have slightly different support levels in differing email clients.

    @IMPORT
    This approach is one of the simpler ones for importing web fonts to your emails. With this approach, you have to place a line of code in the <head> of your email. Usually, at the top of your <style>. In the example below, the name of the imported font-family is ‘Montserrat’.

    [​IMG]

    The URL you see in the example will be provided by the web font service you’re using (like Google Fonts). However, if you’re hosting the font yourself, you will need to point the URL to where the web font file is sitting.

    Most of the email clients we mentioned above support this method.

    <LINK>
    The href value will be defined by your web font service provider, just like the @import method. Though, if you’re hosting the font file yourself, change the URL to point to the location of the web font on your server. Below is an example of the line of code which will need to be placed in the <head> of your email.

    <link href=”https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Montserrat” rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css”>

    This method performs somewhat better than the @import one – with support from all of the email clients we listed previously.

    @FONT-FACE
    Think of this method as a direct-to-the-source method of importing web fonts. Since it allows you to specifically choose what file format you would like to import, it makes it the most bulletproof method for implementing web fonts.

    Online web font services generally offer five file formats to choose from: .eot, .woff, .woff2, .svg and .ttf. The .woff format has the best support when it comes to email. Therefore, we suggest using it when you can.

    If you have never used this method, here’s how you can get the code:
    1. Go to Google Fonts
    2. Select your preferred font
    3. Copy the font URL (highlighted in the image below) and paste it in either Safari or Internet Explorer (Google Chrome will give you the .woff2 type)
    4. Copy the code and paste it into the <style> section
    [​IMG]

    If you choose to use this method, make sure you test your email regularly in order to ensure web fonts continue to render over time.

    Choosing Fallback Fonts
    What is a fallback font?
    It’s the font shown to your subscribers when their email client doesn’t support web fonts. Thus, it’s imperative to have a fallback web-safe font in place.

    Every character has an x-height and has a space between two characters for differentiating (called Kerning). Hence, this plays a great role in the characters accommodated per line. Therefore, it’s necessary that your fallback font doesn’t occupy more space than your primary font.
    [​IMG]

    In the example above, you can see that despite the different fonts being the same font size, due to the difference between the x-height the text in Arial takes nine lines, whilst the same text in Calibri takes eight lines. So, it’s important to choose your fallback font first and then select the primary one rather than vice versa.

    Each email client has a default font if the one listed in the font-family stack is unavailable.For example: Gmail uses Arial (however if Chrome doesn’t support Arial, it changes to Helvetica)Apple Mail – HelveticaOutlook – Calibri.

    For a complete list, including operating system coverage, of web-safe fonts that can be used as fallback fonts click here.

    List of Web-Safe Fonts
    • Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
    • ‘Arial Black’, Gadget, sans-serif
    • ‘Bookman Old Style’, serif
    • ‘Comic Sans MS’, cursive
    • Courier, monospace
    • ‘Courier New’, Courier, monospace
    • Garamond, serif
    • Georgia, serif
    • Impact, Charcoal, sans-serif
    • ‘Lucida Console’, Monaco, monospace
    • ‘Lucida Sans Unicode’, ‘Lucida Grande’, sans-serif
    • ‘MS Sans Serif’, Geneva, sans-serif;
    • font-family: ‘MS Serif’, ‘New York’, sans-serif;
    • ‘Palatino Linotype’, ‘Book Antiqua’, Palatino, serif;
    • Symbol, sans-serif
    • Tahoma, Geneva, sans-serif
    • ‘Times New Roman’, Times, serif
    • ‘Trebuchet MS’, Helvetica, sans-serif
    • Verdana, Geneva, sans-serif
    • Webdings, sans-serif
    • Wingdings, ‘Zapf Dingbats’, sans-serif
    Final Thoughts
    If you don’t have strict brand guidelines to dictate which fonts you can use in the design of your emails, you have the freedom to experiment with web fonts.

    However, keep in mind that the use of web fonts in email marketing is still considered slightly experimental. Changes and updates to email clients’ rendering capacities are not usually announced and can occur sporadically. So, our recommendation would be to test your emails – often. Especially, if you have used web fonts in email templates that might not get updated regularly.

    Overall, creating a beautiful email design with modern web fonts is easier now that it was before. With repetitive testing and good fallback fonts, your email can turn from just being good to being great.

    This article was originally published on 18 December 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.
  • News Circulating The Digital Marketing World Dec 20, 2019

    A study reveals that British consumers are not ready for AI, want higher levels of personalisation and Microsoft found 44 million accounts were using breached passwords.

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

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent digital marketing news:
    1. UK consumers are not prepared for the introduction of AI
    2. 44 million Microsoft users reused passwords in the first three months of 2019
    Let’s dig in.

    British Consumers Are Not Ready For AI
    UK consumers are not prepared for the introduction of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and want brands to focus on delivering a seamless, personal digital experience instead, according to the results of a global survey commissioned by Acquia.

    Only two in five (44%) British consumers are looking forward to brands interacting with them via AI such as chatbots and voice assistant technology. With four in five (81%), stating automated experiences with brands are too impersonal.

    However, there is a distinct disconnect with the thoughts of consumers and marketers when it comes to AI, as more than seven in ten (72%) of UK marketers say that they are looking forward to the introduction of AI, while two-thirds (65%) say their customers want higher levels of personalisation than they currently offer.

    Other key findings from the report include:
    • Over two-thirds (68%) often abandon a brand for another when the online experience is poor
    • Three in five (61%) say when they think of their total experience with a brand, the marketing is mostly ineffective
    • More than nine in ten (93%) said when they engage with a brand online, they expect a convenient experience
    Acquia’s ‘Deliver the CX They Expect: Customer Experience Trends’ report surveyed 1,001 UK consumers and 100 marketers at director level and above. On a global scale, the report found that 90% of customers believe most brands fail to meet their expectations in delivering a good customer experience (CX).

    In addition, 80% of customers said they would be more loyal to a brand that showed they really understood them and what they were looking for, further highlighting the need for personalisation globally.

    Microsoft Accounts Using Breached Passwords
    Microsoft has discovered 44 million user accounts are using usernames and passwords that have been leaked through security breaches, as reported by ZDNet.

    The vulnerable account logins were discovered when Microsoft’s threat research team carried out a scan of all Microsoft accounts between January and March 2019. The accounts were compared to a database of over three billion sets of leaked credentials and resulted in the shocking 44 million matches.

    In response, Microsoft explained that “for the leaked credentials for which we found a match, we force a password reset. No additional action is required on the consumer side. On the enterprise side, Microsoft will elevate the user risk and alert the administrator so that a credential reset can be enforced.”

    While Microsoft did the right thing resetting the passwords on these accounts, it currently can’t stop a user selecting a new password that’s also been exposed as part of a past security breach. A positive next move would be to perform a check when a password is entered to see if it appears on a breach list and if it is, to reject it and request the user pick something else.

    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 10 December 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.
  • News From The PPC and Ads Universe Dec 19, 2019

    Google is expanding the Google Ads optimisation score to include display campaigns plus a new feature called Explanations which will, well… explain why changes in the performance of your ads occurred.

    “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 Ads optimisation score now includes display campaigns
    2. Understand Google Ads’ performance changes with Explanations
    Let’s dig in.

    Google Ads Expands Optimisation Score To Include Display Campaigns
    Google Ads optimisation score is getting an expansion which will now include display campaigns.

    Optimisation score ranges from 0% to 100% – with 100% meaning the campaign is following of all Google’s recommendations and no further optimisation can be made.

    The score is designed to help identify opportunities as well as prioritise recommendations in order for advertisers to know what to act on first.

    [​IMG]

    Google Ads’ optimisation score works the same way across search, shopping and display campaigns. However, the company notes that there are recommendations unique to display campaigns which could include creating smart display campaigns, using targeting expansion and adding responsive display ads.

    Google Ads To Explain Why Changes In Performance Occurred
    Google Ads will now provide explanations for why specific changes in performance likely occurred.

    Advertisers can request explanations by clicking on the new ‘See Explanations’ button. According to Google, “understanding why your performance changes are critical when optimising a campaign. However, it can be time-consuming to diagnose why your metrics can fluctuate. To help you understand some performance changes in your campaigns and ad groups faster, you can now request explanations.”
    [​IMG]

    Advertisers can view explanations for performance changes in impressions, clicks and cost. Google Ads will provide the most likely reason behind why the change occurred.

    [​IMG]

    With this new feature, advertisers can spend less time diagnosing performance changes and focus more on optimising their campaigns. Any significant changes will be emphasised in blue.

    Keep in mind. Google is asking advertisers, before getting started with explanations, to note that (a) explanations are currently available for manual CPC or eCPC Search campaigns, (b) explanations can compare two time periods of equal length within the last 90 days and (c) explanations may only show for campaigns with significant performance changes.

    Finally, Explanations is currently in Beta. Thus, its functionality will be expanded on over the coming months. You can learn more about explanations is Google Ads 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 10 December 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.
  • Search Engine and SEO News Dec 18, 2019

    Google Search Console messages can now be viewed without leaving reports plus Google working on integrating package tracking into search results and changes on how local search results are generated.

    “Relevance is a search engine’s holy grail. People want results that are closely connected to their queries.” – Marc Ostrofsky

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent search engine news:
    1. Viewing your GSC messages without leaving your reports
    2. Tracking packages on Google’s search results page is coming to more carriers
    3. Google changes how local search results are generated
    Let’s dig in.

    Google Introduces The New Search Console Messages
    Google Search Console (GSC) sends millions of messages every month. They are Google’s main way of letting users know when their website has a new issue; and, also, to make users aware of updates and opportunities to improve their presence on Google.

    Google has announced that messages are now accessed via the bell notification icon at the top of any page within the Search Console.

    [​IMG]

    Why should you care? The ability to reference messages without leaving the report a user is viewing makes information more accessible and improve the workflow which can facilitate better decision making. The categorised messages will also make it easier to locate communications pertaining to specific issues.

    Delivery Tracking on Google’s Search Results Page Coming To More Carriers
    People often use Google Search to find information on the status of their deliveries. Thus, the company announced, shipping companies across the world can now sign up to participate in Google’s package tracking early access program which will allow companies to show users the real-time status of their delivery right on the search results page.

    The early adopters program is open to all carriers that meet the eligibility requirements in countries where Google Search is available. Carriers must also provide a RESTful JSON and XML API that returns tracking information in order to participate.

    The updated interface now allows site owners to view their messages from anywhere within the tool without leaving the reports. Also, the messages will be categorised into types such as Performance, Coverage, Enhancement and so forth.

    [​IMG]
    Why should you care? This feature has been available to major domestic shipping companies for over a decade. However, the program’s extension of the feature to more companies around the world will ultimately make Google an extension of the companies own sites. This will also result in another zero-click search scenario with the exception that carriers have the option to participate.

    A Google Update Affecting Local Search Results
    In what has been called the November 2019 Local Search Update, Google is now applying neural matching to local search results. In order to explain neural matching, Google points to a tweet published earlier this year that describes it as a super-synonym system.
    upload_2019-12-18_15-0-19.png
    What does it mean though? Neural matching allows Google to better understand the meaning behind queries and match them to the most relevant local businesses. Even if the keywords in the query aren’t specifically included in the business name and/or description.

    In other words, some business listings might now be surfaced for queries they would not have shown up for; prior to this update. Let’s hope that proves to be a good thing.

    The company also points out that, although the update has been fully rolled out, local search results as they are displayed now are not set in stone by any means. Like regular web search, results can change over time.

    Final Thoughts
    Do you have any suggestions or ideas which 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 10 December 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 New In The World Of Social Media? Dec 18, 2019

    Reddit reports 30% increase in monthly active users (MAU), Twitter expands access to Brand Survey tools to help brands understand ad effectiveness and Facebook adds new performance measurement options in Ads Manager.

    “Social marketing eliminates the middlemen, providing brands with the unique opportunity to have a direct relationship with their customers.” – Bryan Wiener

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent digital marketing news:
    1. Reddit revealed a 30% increase in active monthly users
    2. Twitter making Brand Surveys available for all accounts
    3. New performance measurement options in Facebook’s Ads Manager
    Let’s dig in.

    Reddit Reports 30% Increase In MAU Eclipsing Twitter and Pinterest
    Last year, Reddit reported 330 million monthly active users (MAU) on its platform. This year, Reddit’s 2019 trend roundup reveals that number has grown by 30% – adding an additional 100 million MAU since 2018.

    Why should you care? This significant growth indicates Reddit now claims more monthly users than Twitter (321 million) and Pinterest (322 million). After undergoing a massive site redesign last year, the social network has reported an increase in page views and time spent on its website and app; along with user engagement growth. With the redesign complete, Reddit is focused on building out more comprehensive ad offerings. Something which the platform has been steadily accomplishing over the past year. This, coupled with a significant spike in users (this year), it is now prime time for advertisers looking to target niche audiences through a platform that keeps growing in terms of engagement.

    Twitter Brand Surveys Now Available For All Managed Accounts
    In order to help brands better understand their tweet campaign performance, Twitter is expanding access to its ad response survey tools, a.k.a Twitter Brand Surveys.

    According to Twitter, “to help marketers measure how their campaigns are driving brand lift, we are making Twitter Brand Surveys available for all managed accounts in the US, UK, Canada, Japan and Brazil. We developed Twitter Brand Surveys while keeping accessibility and actionability in mind; we wanted campaigns, small or large, to have access to survey studies and for brands to understand which specific tweets drove the highest lift.”

    You’ve probably seen Twitter’s surveys come up every now and then, with prompts like the example below, asking you opinion on recently run campaigns.
    [​IMG]
    According to the birdy, these surveys can provide “insights beyond topline results”. Including details into how specific elements of your campaign and creative re driving brand lift.

    The tool will give more brands an increased capacity to measure their ad performance – which can only be a good thing. However, its value will be relative to the questions asked, the initial ad, the brand itself and more. This can be hugely valuable in refining and improving tweet campaigns, though it may take some time to get down to the most effective approach of using the tool.

    The option is also not available to all advertisers. As noted, Twitter’s brand surveys will be made available to managed accounts in the US, Canada, UK, Japan and Brazil. Those interested in running brand surveys studies will need to contact their Twitter account rep to check if they qualify.

    As much as it doesn’t seem like a major data addition, the more insight the better – right?

    Facebook Launches Cross-Account Reporting and Custom Ad Metrics
    Facebook has added some new performance measurement options to Ads Manager, including cross-account reporting and custom metrics.

    Cross-account reporting. Now, when users are managing multiple Facebook ad accounts, they’ll be able to get a clearer, overall view of ad performance – all within the Ad Manager dashboard. As opposed to having to extract the data for each account.

    [​IMG]

    According to Facebook, “with cross-account reporting, you’ll be able to see metrics – such as reach, impressions, and conversions – across multiple ad accounts. This reporting surface serves as a one-stop-shop for a clear, concise report on your business’ performance; it will allow you to save time that was previously spent manually building reports.”

    As you can see on the screenshot above, this new option makes it easier to measure and compare specific performance metrics across each of the accounts you manage. As well as streamlining your ad management process.

    Additionally, the new listing will also display de-duped reach, a data option which is not available when you download the same reports manually.

    Custom metrics. This new feature will enable advertisers to build the metric formulas of most relevance to their goals and then save them for ongoing tracking.

    [​IMG]

    The option will unlock a more seamless process for accessing and optimising campaigns by allowing advertisers to build better reports that are more tailored to their business goals.

    You can read more about these new features 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 10 December 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 Happened In The Email Universe? Dec 17, 2019

    A study shows 43% of B2B prospect prefer to hear about companies via email, 49% plan to invest in email marketing systems by 2022 and a report revealing that the GDPR compliance rate remains low with only 42% of businesses, worldwide, being fully compliant.

    “Every study that’s been done on email marketing has shown that increased frequency brings better results. If you’re only emailing somebody once a month, they’ll forget you.” – Ian Brodie

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:

    1. B2B buyers prefer email over other communication channels
    2. Most firms lag in GDPR compliance
    Let’s dig in.

    Email Tops B2B Channel List For Customers
    According to the B2B Digital Experience Report – a study by Episerver, email is the highly preferred communication method for B2B decision-makers.

    Among B2B prospects, 43% prefer to hear about companies by email and email’s importance is reflected by the fact that 49% of vendor companies plan to invest in email systems.

    When conducting the research, it appeared email is preferred by 45% in the US and by 51% in the UK. In addition, 44% of German B2B customers choose email communications, along with 44% in Sweden and 29% in Australia.

    Furthermore, of the B2B leaders surveyed, 54% want brands to communicate more frequently by email than any other channel. The least desired option is phone calls.

    Marketers list the following channels as the most effective ones in regards to reaching customers (1) paid search – 21%, (2) website – 14%, (3) email marketing – 13% and (4) paid social media – 11%. At the same time, 48% provide personalised content on their websites and/or via email.

    By 2022, B2B companies plan to invest in:
    • Web analytics/business intelligence – 51%
    • Email marketing system – 49%
    • Ecommerce platform – 38%
    • AI-based technologies – 31%
    • Personalisation technologies – 24%
    • Marketing automation – 24%
    The survey was conducted among 700 decision-makers fro the US, UK, Germany, Sweden and Australia which represent enterprise manufacturing, distributing, retail and service providers organisations. You can download the full survey here.

    GDPR Compliance Rate Remains Low
    We are mere weeks away from the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) taking effect; and, that will be followed by the PDPA in Thailand in May 2020 and the LGPD in Brazil in August 2020. However, marketers have not yet learned to cope with the 18-month-old GDPR and we all know how crucial compliance is.

    According to a recent study, worldwide only 42% of businesses are fully compliant with GDPR’s data access rule. That means 58% of organisations are failing to meet the one-month requirement for addressing requests from consumers seeking a copy of their personal data. It’s definitely an improvement over 2018 when 70% were still not compliant. Still, it doesn’t say much for worldwide preparedness.

    The worst stragglers are public sector organisations – only 29% can provide the data within the one-month limit. Amid commercial enterprises, media and telecom businesses are the worst, with only 32% that can comply. However, the leaders are in the travel, transport and hospitality sector where 38% provide data in less than 16 days.

    It seems retail companies have improved their game with 46% that now comply, although the rate could still be better.

    The possible reasons for failing compliance are many. According to the study, one is the lack of automation and a consolidated view of data. Amidst the poor practices is also the failure to ask for proof of identification – with only 20% that do so.

    On the management level, 52% are “very optimistic” about being prepared for privacy regulations. However, only 39% of operational workers agree.

    Furthermore, 43% of managers say their business’s data is always accurate and up to date. Yet, only 29% of data practitioners would concur.

    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 10 December 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.
  • News From The Social Media Universe Dec 6, 2019

    Facebook’s Lookalike audiences now use the locations from ad sets eliminating an extra step in the targeting set up process, Twitter testing tweet scheduling and Instagram testing a new display for IGTV content.

    “Social Media is about the people. Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” – Matt Goulart

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent social media news:
    1. Facebook to pull location from ad sets when creating new Lookalike audiences
    2. Twitter is experimenting with a feature to schedule tweets
    3. Instagram is working a new IGTV layout
    Let’s dig in.

    Facebook Lookalikes Now Use Ad Set Locations
    Duane Brown – Head of digital agency Take Some Risk – spotted Facebook testing the removal of the location field that advertisers use to create Lookalike audiences – Facebook’s tool for reaching new audiences based on how they compare to existing customers.
    upload_2019-12-6_10-48-23.png

    When creating new lookalike lists, advertisers will see a notification stating that the tool now uses the locations pulled from your ad sets. Facebook will make copies of existing lookalikes with the locations removed to use in future campaigns. It’s important to note, active campaigns with previously created lookalike audiences will continue to run as normal. Why should you care? For brands that target audiences across multiple geographic locations, inputting locations to build a lookalike audience can be a time-consuming and duplicative effort. Pulling location data from ad sets can help advertisers speed up the Lookalike setup process and reduce missing potential key target location.

    Tweet Scheduling: Could It Be?
    Twitter is experimenting with a feature that will let users schedule tweets natively on Twitter.com. However, the company has not yet confirmed how widespread the feature is – at this point. The test was confirmed by Twitter’s standalone app TweetDeck, which enables users to manage, sort and schedule tweets across various Twitter accounts.
    upload_2019-12-6_10-48-49.png

    Why should you care? The vast majority of people (and businesses) do not use TweetDeck or another third-party tool to manage their activities. Therefore, having scheduling capabilities available on Twitter.com will make it easier for more marketers, influencers and social media managers to write and schedule tweets from their desks or even on-the-go via the mobile web. If Twitter rolls out the feature to all users, brands could end up relying less on third-party social management platforms to compose and schedule content.

    Instagram Working on New IGTV Feed and Explore
    It’s difficult to say what the future holds for Instagram’s dedicated video platform – IGTV. However, our favourite reverse engineering expert Jane Manchun Wong discovered Instagram is still working on new ways to get more people engaging with IGTV content.

    upload_2019-12-6_10-49-15.png
    As shown in Jane’s discovery, Instagram is working on a new format for IGTV content which would switch a user’s main feed into a vertical scrolling list, leading them through to the next video in the stream. The company is also looking to add categories into the IGTV discovery listings – for comparison.

    The new layout which, as noted, is only in test mode and may never be rolled out seems more aligned with the vertical scrolling of TikTok and less like the current clone of Snapchat’s discovery listings – which could point to where Instagram thinks users attention is shifting.

    As for splitting videos into categories, this could prove to be a better way to get users more engaged in new content. Rather than seeing generic listings of top content, providing topic-streams could help guide users to what they’re more interested in. Which Instagram can then optimise for based on each person’s activity.

    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 don 27 November 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.
  • Email Industry News: What Happened in the World of Email? Dec 3, 2019

    Microsoft is planning to integrate Gmail, Google Drive and Calendar into Outlook, dynamic email in Gmail available on Android and iOS plus business email compromise attacks being a $26 billion scam.

    “A bad email reputation is like a hangover: hard to get rid of and it makes everything else hurt.” – Chris Marriott

    In this article, we’ll cover the following most recent email industry news:
    1. Gmail app adds AMP for email support for Android and iOS
    2. Microsoft brings Gmail, Google Drive and Calendar to Outlook
    3. How to defend against BEC attacks?
    Let’s dive in.

    Dynamic Emails is Now Rolling Out to Gmail on Android and iOS
    Google has announced that the Gmail app for Android and iOS will be rolling out support for AMP for email (AMP4Email) – the dynamic content feature that allows users to interact directly within emails.

    The update is available to all G Suite users and will be set “on” by default. However, users viewing emails via a third-party app will receive a static version of the email.

    Why should you care? Dynamic emails allow marketers to extend the lifetime of their brands’ emails. Those who take advantage of AMP for email can keep their customers up-to-date without sending redundant emails by including dynamic content like the status of an e-commerce order. It allows recipients to take actions such as unsubscribing without having to leave the body of the email.


    [​IMG]
    With the Gmail app now supporting dynamic content, marketers have the opportunity to deliver an engaging mobile experience that doesn’t require the recipient to open another app or browser.

    To be able to send AMP versions of emails, users will need to register with Google and agree to meet its guidelines and requirements.

    Outlook is Getting Full Google Integration on the Web
    Have you ever had trouble flitting between personal and work emails? Well, Microsoft seems to have heard your humble requests.

    The company which runs Outlook.com webmail client recently started testing the integration of Google apps such as Gmail, Google Drive and Calendar with a small cohort of users.
    upload_2019-12-3_10-29-55.png
    Following a quick set up process, users are required to enter the credentials for their Google account whereby Gmail, Google Drive and Calendar will appear within the Outlook mail interface.

    It appears the revamped interface is similar to the existing design for Outlook for Android and iOS – featuring separate inboxes placed next to the calendar app.

    The Google Drive integration supports documents and files from Google’s service so you can swiftly attach them to Outlook or Gmail emails. It’s not clear how many Outlook.com users will get access to this, or when Microsoft will roll this out more broadly. While most people would simply visit Gmail for their mail, this new Outlook integration could be useful for those who use a personal Outlook.com account and a G Suite email account for work.

    [Report] Defending Against Business Email Compromise Attacks
    Business email compromise (BEC) is an exploit in which an attacker obtains access to a business email account and imitates the owner’s identity in order to defraud the company and its employees, customers and/or partners. Often, an attacker would create an account with an email address almost identical to the one on the corporate network relying on the assumed trust between the ‘victim’ and their email account. BEC is sometimes described as the “man-in-the-email-attack”.

    BEC makes up a comparatively small percentage of the overall number of spear-phishing attacks but they certainly pack a mean punch. According to a recent report from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, complaints filed between June 2016 and July 2019 about BEC had a total loss of more than $26 billion – yeah, with a B.

    Our friends at Barracuda recently took a look into these highly targeted and costly attacks, uncovering the latest tactics used by cybercriminals and the steps you can take to help defend your business. The report takes an in-depth look at how BEC attacks use impersonation, strategic targeting, careful timing and social engineering to steal personally identifiable information or money. It also covers the ways companies can use advanced detection techniques, security awareness training and other solutions to prevent such attacks.

    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 27 November 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.
  • Email Marketing Automation: Busting Common Myths Nov 25, 2019

    A lot of marketers judder when they hear the term ‘email marketing automation’. Implementing a successful email campaign can often feel like a daunting task. However, it needn’t be. You just need preparation.

    “To get the right message to the right person at the right time you first need to get the right data to the right data base at the right time.” – John Caldwell

    Have you automated your email marketing process already? Or, are you a beginner just discovering how automation can work for you? Either way, we are about to reveal a few impressive automation statistics as well as debunk some common email automation myths for you.

    In this article, we’ll cover the following marketing automation topics:
    1. What exactly is marketing automation?
    2. Marketing automation statistics
    3. Common email automation myths
    Let’s dive in.

    What is marketing automation?
    Marketing Automation refers to software and technologies that are designed to allow businesses to market to their client and prospects by automating repetitive tasks at scale, personalise communications, intelligently analyse recipient behaviour and act accordingly to a pre-defined marketing roadmap, supplying the right message at the right time to the right person. It may include multi-channel marketing such as email, social media and chatbots/messenger amongst other tools. It provides a streamlined way for teams to launch marketing campaigns as well as automate repetitive tasks. Picking the right solution depends – almost entirely – on a business’s individual needs. From industry and company size to environment and existing business practices, all will influence how useful marketing automation can be.

    Nevertheless, marketing automation can sometimes be misunderstood as a spammy, email-focused tool. Some marketers believe that it’s too expensive and impersonal. Others, that it’ll fix all your email marketing problems. We believe, that if done right, it will allow businesses to nurture prospects with highly personalised, useful content which in turn will convert them into delighted customers and therefore increase your profits.

    Marketing Automation Statistics
    The lure of marketing automation is clear: with 48% of marketers using marketing automation it is one of the 4 most popular methods of creating a personalised customer experience, according to House of Marketing’s “Yearly Marketing Survey 2019”.

    Statistics also point out that – on average – companies could increase sales productivity by 14.5% while reducing marketing overhead by 12.2%. Furthermore, 80% of marketers saw an increase in number of leads using marketing automation software; and, 77% had an increase in conversions.

    Additionally, 75% of marketers currently use at least one type of marketing automation tool. 55% of e-commerce businesses use software for their email marketing automation with another 25% planning on adopting the same practice.

    That’s not all. According to Forrester, spending for marketing automation tools will grow vigorously over the next few years reaching $25.1 (£19.6) billion annually by 2023.

    [​IMG]

    If these few stats don’t convince you that – if properly implemented – marketing automation can have an extraordinarily positive impact on your business’s revenue and efficiency, we don’t know what will.

    So, here’s what we want to ask you – is marketing automation a gamechanger or not?

    Myth-busting 101
    If you want to adapt to the changing times, as business owners (or employees), you must have your finger on the pulse of today’s technology and make sure you incorporate it into your marketing processes.

    However, not all technological innovations are worth your time, effort and – most importantly – money to incorporate. When it comes to email automation, there are plenty of misconceptions going around. So, we decided to explore the most common myths and shed some much need light on the matter.

    Myth 1: It’s Too Expensive
    There is some truth to this myth. It lies in the fact that automation technology was once primarily invented for large corporations to use. This meant that the customised solutions were indeed expensive.

    However, over the years, the technology has developed, and it became more affordable for smaller and mid-sized companies to use.

    If businesses define a budget and outline what features are important, they’ll be able to find an email automation tool which will address their needs. Just remember, there’s no need to purchase the most complex or feature-rich one you can find. It just needs to accomplish what you’ve set out as goals and it will have value.

    Additionally, automated email marketing is relatively inexpensive – if you’ve chosen the right ESP – in comparison to other forms of traditional marketing. Also, the return on investment (ROI) is easily measured and tracked whereas in other forms, it is not.

    [Basic email automation with EmailOut.com starts at £22.50 / $30 for unlimited automations]

    Myth 2: It’s Takes Too Much Time
    Learning to use new technology can be time-consuming and that holds true for all new processes when they are initially introduced.

    Email automation is highly scalable and can grow with you which means you can start small. Beginning your email automation processes on simple triggers – like welcome emails – doesn’t require a lot of time. However, if you want to produce significant results, it is imperative to learn the basic functionality of your chosen marketing automation solution.

    As with any other business process, you must invest some time in revising, adjusting and optimising your solution of choice. Nevertheless, once you’ve taken the process one step at a time, you’ll establish that it really isn’t as time-consuming as you thought.

    Myth 3: It’s Only for Email Marketing
    This is one of the most widespread myths about marketing automation, possibly the most popular one. Many business owners think that it’s only relevant for email marketing. However, they’d be wrong.

    Based on the solution businesses choose, marketing automation provides great tools for managing and, of course, automating aspects of their email campaigns. This includes, but is not limited to, segmentation, autoresponders, newsletter creation, collecting information on customers and much more.

    While email marketing is certainly one of the strongest channels for automation, there are many others where automation can be utilised – such as social media, landing pages, lead generation, management tasks and so forth.

    Myth 4: It’s Cold and Impersonal
    Let’s be honest, cold and impersonal email marketing is a result of negligent marketers, not the software they use. Most clients, both existing and potential ones, feel like marketers are not talking to them but rather, at them.

    There was a time when improper and inefficient use of marketing automation led to mass email blasts to unsegmented lists of leads. Which, consequently, led to the belief that email automation is cold and impersonal. This is not the case anymore.

    In this day and age, email automation tools – such as EmailOut – have evolved to tremendous levels allowing marketers to not only ensure their email campaigns will be sent to the correct subscribers but also, establish a more direct connection to potential (and existing) customers by personalising email blasts. This way, your clients won’t feel like you’re talking to a wall.

    Myth 5: It’s All Spam and No Glam
    Another dangerous email automation myth is that it’s just a different form of spam. However, it’s wrong to stigmatise an entire automation process just because of one negative use.

    Spam is spam because it’s irrelevant, annoying and – more often than not – inappropriate, not because it showed up in a subscriber’s inbox without warning. Regardless of how your content is delivered, if it doesn’t resonate with your audience in a personal way, they’ll consider it spam.

    Therefore, if you are concerned about spamming your contact lists with too many email campaigns, don’t be. Email automation allows for more intelligent segmentation of your lists which ensures the correct people are only seeing content designed for them, rather than sending all emails to everyone – which is unlikely to result in many conversions.

    Just make sure you are not blasting your clients too often. It’s possible to make too much of a good thing, so don’t overwhelm your audience with tons of emails.

    Myth 6: It’s Set and Forgotten
    A common myth is that marketers abuse email automation and leave engaged visitor’s responses hung out to dry. The reason for this is because many businesses rely on the automation to do all the work and neglect the fact it needs constant care and awareness in order to work effectively.

    It’s important to keep in mind that email automation works as a supplement to your marketing strategy and serves as an enhancement to your efforts. Therefore, you can’t be careless.

    Let’s take A/B testing (also known as split testing), for example. The benefit of choosing an ESP with a split testing feature build-in, is that you can utilise the feature in order to gain a better understanding of what resonates more powerfully with your customer base. By setting up two different email campaigns, you can gather data on what interests your subscribers and leads, as well as, ensuring the content you share with them is properly targeted and achieving your set goals.

    Additionally, people are more likely to engage with businesses that engage back. Thus, once you’ve established the content your clients find interesting, ensure that you are responding to your audience’s thoughts and queries, instead of only provoking them without following up on your initial contact. If you neglect to do that, customers will catch on quickly and will simply ignore any future email campaigns you send them.

    The Bottom Line
    Email automation can have an exceptionally positive effect on your business’s revenue and efficiency – if done right.

    There are many different advantages of adopting an email automation process (if you haven’t already). First and foremost, this marketing technique allows organisations to improve the customer experience since it sends behaviour-triggered emails and ensures you are creating a personalised experience for your customers – every single time. A few other advantages are saving money on staff by reducing the need for employees to go through repetitive tasks, recovering lost revenue, predicting and shaping customer behaviour as well as increasing customer lifetime value.

    Let’s face it, every company wants to ensure their work is simplified and easy. They want to guarantee processes will be quicker and their day-to-day activities will be smoother, get better results and promote their business’s growth.

    With email automation, companies will be able to maintain and scale their business profitably and successfully at very little cost. Just remember that not all marketing strategies are created equally. Therefore, email automation is just one piece of a greater puzzle which needs constant care in order to flourish.

    This article was originally published on 15 November 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.
  • News & Updates From The Digital Marketing Industry Nov 7, 2019

    A study on ad viewability vs ad memorability across digital ad formats and which one won? …and Magento finally starts to integrate more deeply into the Adobe stack after the latter acquired the e-commerce platform for $1.68 billion.

    “The great thing about digital marketing is that ingenuity and creativity can always win over big marketing budgets.” – Ann Smarty

    In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news:
    1. Which digital ad formats are most effective?
    2. Magento announces new integrations with Adobe
    Let’s dig in.

    [Study] Which Digital Ad Formats Are Most Effective?
    A new report published by mobile ad company Kargo found that ad viewability does not directly correlate to memorability. Similarly, the report also indicated that ad visibility does not necessarily yield higher user engagement.

    Kargo’s study distinguished the correlation between viewability of an ad unit and its memorability (ad effectiveness). They’ve examined the following formats: Instagram ads; large format in-article mobile ads; mobile gaming in-app ads; and desktop ads.
    [​IMG]
    Viewability vs. Memorability Across Digital Ad Formats
    Instagram is among the highest in ad effectiveness.
    Despite the low share of sessions reported at 1.9%, Instagram proved to be 8.3 times more effective than gaming and 5.4 times more than desktop with 77% of participants looking at an ad at some point during their session. Instagram generated an ad effectiveness score of 10.8%, which was also matched by large-format in-article mobile ads.

    Large-format in-article ads are just as effective as Instagram ads. These ads also scored 10.8% in ad effectiveness with a 4.1% share of sessions. The ads had a 50% viewability rate. The study determined that mobile web ads offer a lucrative format for amplifying social efforts within existing contextual environments.

    In-app gaming banner ads showed the lowest ad effectiveness. While in-app game banners were highly visible (90% viewability) according to Kargo’s study, they were rarely looked at and resulted in only 1.3% ad effectiveness. Almost 98.5% of the time that the ad was in-view, it was not being looked at and claimed only a 1.5% share of total sessions. Furthermore, ad recall for these ads was extremely low; with participants claiming there were no lasting impressions around the brands or products being advertised.

    Desktop banners second-lowest ad effectiveness of all platforms. Kargo exposed participants to sidebar banner ads on desktop. While these ads had an 80% viewability rate, they were only looked at an average of 1.9% of the total session time; and, represented 2% ad effectiveness.

    Ad recall by platform
    In addition to tracking viewability, Kargo also measured the effectiveness of each platform by how well respondents accurately recall the brands that were advertised.

    Among the respondents who were exposed to at least one ad, pinned mobile web ads and large format in-article ads outperformed the other platforms in ad recall by 29%.

    Additionally, participants in the mobile web group were tasked with selecting the brands they recall from a list, of which 60% selected at least one of the four brands tested.

    [​IMG]

    Why should you care? The study findings indicate that in-app gaming and pinned mobile web ads demonstrated the highest rate of viewability, despite in-app ads producing extremely low ad recall. In contrast, Instagram and in-article mobile ads yielded the highest ad effectiveness and ad recall; while not being considered the most viewable.

    Factors such as ad creative, messaging, and digital placement can greatly impact how consumers are exposed to ads, and whether or not they are memorable.

    The metric of viewability implies that an ad format has a greater opportunity to make an impression on audiences the longer it’s in-view. However, Kargo’s findings show that viewability alone isn’t a consistent indicator of the ad’s lasting effect. Digital advertisers should consider that while an ad may have been “viewable,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it was memorable.

    Magento Begins To Integrate More Deeply Into the Adobe Stack
    Magento, the e-commerce platform aimed at SMBs, has begun to integrate with Adobe technology powered by Sensei. The technology collects data to personalise recommendations, among other features.

    Starting in January, we will open an early access program for product recommendations for Magento Commerce customers,” said Peter Sheldon, senior director of strategy at Adobe.

    The product recommendations feature analyses shopper behaviour to help merchants generate personalised recommendations. It uses a tagging and targeting technology framework, which can be added to relevant store pages through widgets and APIs.

    Adobe, which acquired Magento in May 2018 for about $1.68 billion, announced updates to its commerce platform that brings Adobe’s enterprise commerce capabilities to SMBs; as well as mid-market merchants.

    Sheldon also announced Magento’s integration with Amazon in the U.K. Adobe made this capability available in the U.S. earlier this year.

    He also said the company added the ability for customers to run Magento Commerce on Microsoft Azure. It will allow advertisers to pick the cloud provider of choice - Amazon or Microsoft - beginning in early 2020.

    Then there’s the addition of integrating Adobe Stock with Magento Commerce and Open Source. The feature provides a searchable interface within the Magento admin to discover, preview and embed licensed stock images within the platform.

    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 30 October 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.