Archive for: April 2011

Email news: Nook Color, email design tips, UK law changes

I hope Easter was fun for everyone: I’ve seen quite some nice emails coming in, like this one. Furthermore it seems the industry is really getting to grips with mobile/touch and how to design emails for those new shiny platforms. Read on below:

Email designs / webmail clients / browsers

GMail: sending email in the background
Mediapost Email Insider: The next wave affecting email design
MailingManager: how to design emails for touch
ExactTarget: changes to GMail and Hotmail
Sips of Copy: video and your email newsletter

Deliverability / (anti) spam / security / law

MarketingWeek: Nuisance email marketers face 500,000 pound fine
Mailchannels: Botnet spam rankings: holding steady

Mobile

Barnes & Noble: promoting full featured email in Nook email (via Stylecampaign)

Other email marketing news and posts

Benchmarkemail: How to punch above your weight class
ClickZ: The renaissance of email

Social media vs email vs …

eMarketer: Are consumers interested in finding deals on social sites?

Also, follow Emailblog on Twitter for more daily email marketing bits and bytes.

 

Email winner: Easter email from Hotel Chocolat

Easter is here, so I’ve been looking out for some greatly designed (or worded) emails here and there. I’ve seen cheesy emails and clumsy emails, but wanted to share the below email from Hotel Chocolat: it’s marvellous.

Subject line: Avoid the last minute Easter scramble and shop online at Hotel Chocolat.

Full version can be found here.

Aesthetic design has been taken quite seriously here, and it works really well. Some winner points:

– Fluid style and user experience compared to the website.
– Humour:  trouble viewing the full cocoa content of this email?
– Great balance of text vs images
– Works well in all email clients, except for the background in Outlook 2007/2010
– Share to social in pre-header text
– Breakout frame for design variation

That’s no less than six winner points for you Hotel Chocolat: congrats!

Email news: botnet takedown, art of email, Google Analytics and email timing

It seems as US federal government is really pushing forward on taking down botnets. After Rustock it’s now Coreflood being taken out of business. Also on deliverability: dead email addresses becoming spam traps by Benchmarkemail. Lastly the ClickZ article on risk vs reward of ESPs is definitely worth a read.

Corporate news

Trendline Interactive: Mike Bloxham joins as Lead insights practice
smartFOCUS: Emailvision acquires smartFOCUS

Email designs / webmail clients / browsers

Kissmetrics: The evolution of webdesign
The relevant marketer: The art of email: our new series

Deliverability / (anti) spam / security

Benchmarkemail: How your dead email addresses get turned into spam traps
Deliverability: Email Mythology Part II: Gods of Deliverability
Cauce: An updated list of breached companies (over a 100 now)
Word to the wise: another botnet taken down (Coreflood)

Mobile

DMA email blog: Upwardly mobile, email for the mobile consumer

Other email marketing news and posts

iMediaconnection: why email marketing deserves more respect by Simms Jenkins

iMediaconnection: Why your subject line is more important than you think (I said the same thing on Monday as well)
eConsultancy: how to use Google Analytics to find the best time to send your emails
Famous inboxes: Count Dracula (humor) by Mark Brownlow
Email marketing reports: When expert knowledge hurts your email marketing: 5 examples
ClickZ: Risk vs reward of ESPs

Social media vs email vs …

Tamebay: Introduction to email marketing & social media
Fusion Marketing Experience: Dela Quist: Social media marketing suicide?

Also, follow Emailblog on Twitter for more daily email marketing bits and bytes.

For this weeks video, it’s time to dive into what social media actually is: people seem to have many varying concepts about that. Enjoy!

Email insight: subject line, most important conversion factor?

Could it be that the subject line of an email is the most important open factor? I believe it is ranked in the top three, together with the sender name and reply address. Loren McDonald made a post on sender name over at the Silverpop blog, in which he describes that he received an email with ‘Thanks for staying!’ as the sender name. Was it a mistake, done on purpose, just an experiment? Who knows, I agreed with Loren that it was weird to say the least.

Back to subject lines. What would you say if I told you a big Dutch retailer uses several Twitter hashtags with product groups in their subject lines? For instance #camera, #videocamera, #hifi and such? It’s very strange and shouldn’t belong in the subject line. Here’s another one: ++ official message +++. Seriously, I’m not joking. From Gucci: ‘Lighten up’. Last one, from WE Fashion: ‘Spring brings a lot of discounts’. Well great! What’s new?

The trouble with the above examples is that they don’t tell what’s inside. A subject line should be used what it’s meant for: tell the receiver what the email is about. No more, no less. Humor and teasing is allowed of course, word play is fun: but don’t overdo it. How informative should a subject line be? Just last month a Marketingexperiments post noted that longer subject lines increased opens 8,2%. But are big open rates really your target? Might making money be more important than open percentages?

Avoid these words in subject lines: they come from a 100 Junk mailed Mac emails, by Thomas Hawk.

At his presentation at Fusion Marketing Experience in Brussels, Dela Quist noted that one of his company’s clients used a subject line telling people that they’d get very nice discounts in-store the next day. The discounts were only communicated through email, but open rates were actually low. However the stores did see a surge in customers the next day. What happened? People saw the email, saw the subject line, and knew enough. No open or clickthrough necessary: just the mindset that they could go to the store the next day, buy stuff, get discounts. Very effective I’d say.

Is your subject line still something like: ‘ Newsletter 14 – April 2011′ ? Welcome to 2011 and forget that type of subject lines: it tells nothing. You need to inform your audience about what’s inside the email, or what message in its most basic form you are trying to convey. Have an event for which you want people to register? Tell the name, date and location in the subject line, and maybe cost if applicable. The most important message is conveyed to the subscriber, so you have already scored points there.

Don’t get too creative (or too boring – see the Win an iPad subject line post) in subject line creation. Only make the subject line after your email is finished, because only then you’ll know the overall tone of voice of the email, and the total content. If you really want great results, get your subject line thinking in gear: you’ll see the rewards soon enough.

PS: have a great or crappy subject line example? Let us know in the comments.