email acquisition

The Relevancy Group: Email Acquisition at Scale: Strategies, Tactics and Benchmarks for Growth 2019

Email is driving a greater percentage of revenue for brands and marketers, learn how to stay relevant with new email acquisition strategies. 

Email is more important for marketers today than ever before. Consumers are responding to email from brands and marketers at higher rates this year than last year. In addition, email is driving a greater percentage of revenue as well – over 20 percent for mean survey respondents. Adding new emails to the top of the funnel is a top priority for marketers across business verticals who rely on a wide variety of tactics to drive acquisition. Marketers who focus on driving true email opt-ins with affirmative consent to join a program are better positioned than those who rely on lower quality sources like coregistration and list purchase. Brands and marketers must actively manage email acquisition programs. Many would benefit by following The Relevancy Group’s M-A-P [Measure, Align, Partner] process to develop more efficient and effective programs. 

Learn more by downloading this report below. 

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Gartner’s Market Guide for Email Marketing

[Whitepaper] 2019 Marketing Trends — The Rise of Individualization

Written by The Relevancy Group’s David Daniels and Nicholas Einstein & sponsored by Zeta Global

Published in February 2019, The Relevancy Group explores the top marketing trends of 2019 and shows how individualization adoption will rise to replace basic personalization techniques. The paper explores tactics and provides data that supports that email is not being replaced.

Key Questions:
• Will email continue to dominate in 2019?
• What to expect from martech in 2019?
• Which technologies will most directly impact marketers in 2019?
• How will the adoption of key marketing tactics impact the customer experience in 2019?

Marketers Will be Laser Focused on Driving Positive Customer Experiences

Marketers will focus on improving the quality of the customer experience by adopting individualized marketing. In 2019, marketers will begin to truly capitalize on the significant opportunities presented by the increased velocity of marketing data. In 2019, we expect meaningful AI/ML advancements for marketers that will create efficiency and reduce the need for production staff to execute repetitive tasks. Brands will continue their digital transformation journey, but more will rely on outside experts. They will also embrace certification such as SOC 2. Identity matching will reach critical mass, propelling advancements in relevancy, individualization, and revenue optimization.

Avoid spam traps

Real-time Blacklist: SPAMHAUS

By: Jennifer Nespola

The SPAMHAUS Project is an international organization, founded in 1998 to track email spammers and spam-related activity. Spamhaus Block List (SBL) posts IPs that have sent Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) to one or more of Spamhaus’ honeypot addresses.

IPs listed because of poor mailing practices are highly visible to ISPs and experience significant deliverability issues. Remediation is required to remove the listing, but can only occur after a thorough review of current strategies takes place and changes are implemented.

This whitepaper by the Deliverability team at Zeta Global will help you steer clear from SPAMHAUS’ radar.

Download the whitepaper below.

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Reputation Warming

Email Deliverability: Reputation Warming

Ideal Inbox Placement

By: Jennifer Nespola

The process of reputation warming is all about establishing a relationship (and reputation) with ISPs so they view a sender as a legitimate mailer and not only accept the mail, but, ideally, place it into the inbox.

Successful IP and domain warmups are the result of a thorough review of the program, careful planning, and flexibility throughout execution. No two warmups will look the same, even within the one client’s umbrella.

Zeta Global’s Email Deliverability team has put together this whitepaper, to prepare you for a warmup. Read on for more on planning, timing, and what to expect while warming a new IP/domain.

Contact us to learn more about email deliverability best practices.

Download the whitepaper below. 

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email deliverability best practices

Email Deliverability 101: Best Practices

by: Jennifer Nespola

Ideal Inbox Placement for your Email Marketing Campaigns

In this whitepaper, we highlight email deliverability best practices to ensure the maximum email deliveries for your brand’s email marketing efforts.

Achieving successful email deliverability is an arduous endeavor and is rarely ever straightforward. Deliverability touches nearly all aspects of an email program: content, reputation, customer engagement, scheduling, list hygiene, privacy and the ability to deliver mail successfully. We try to cover all these facets and more in the whitepaper.

Contact us to learn more about email deliverability best pracrtices.

Download the whitepaper below.

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good email copy

What Makes a Good Email Copy? Characteristics of Compelling Templates

Drafting a good email copy is not everyone’s cup of tea. Just like writing, for some people it just comes naturally whereas some of us have to hunch over the keyboard and scratch our heads for eternity before we figure out the tone, structure and visual elements that would go in the email. While there is no strict recipe for a perfect email copy, there are a few guidelines which when followed would make for compelling reads. In this post, we’re going to discuss these guidelines along with interesting real world examples for the same. Let’s jump right into it:

1. The readers shouldn’t have to be superheroes to scan through the copy

People today are busier than ever. While some may argue that this is just a perception problem (studies have shown that people today have more leisure time than before), you can’t help but notice how everyone seems to be in a hurry today. In such a time-is-money mindset, most of us would hate to focus and concentrate to read a long unstructured marketing email. Whether it is an email about an offer or about a new product launch, we want to go through it fast. That’s why, your email copy should be easily scannable. Break up the copy with headings, subheadings, images, bullet pointers, etc to make them easily readable. Here’s a nice example by Evernote:

evernote email2. The placement and messaging of the CTAs

No matter how enticing the subject line of the email is or how compelling the content copy is, unless the receivers know how to act on the message, the email is a failure. That’s why it is imperative that the email template has the right number of CTAs, placed at the right spots within the copy. Apart from the placement of the CTAs, the messaging should also be perfectly aligned with the content that aides it. Remember that ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Sign Up Today’ don’t work all the time. Here’s a nice example by Shutterstock to inspire you:

3. Talk more about the uses and benefits than the features

What’s in it for me? That’s the question that your prospects or customers will have when they receive an email. This is especially true for customers/prospects of product companies. That’s why, the content of the email copy should talk about how the customers would benefit from a feature rather than harping on and on about the feature and how it works. Here’s a good example by Dropbox:

dropbox email
4. Be succinct — Avoid unnecessary information

At times, you don’t even have to say much in the email copy. Just tie together important pieces of information and lay them out neat and clean. Check out this beautiful design of the password reset email by visual language app Lingo:

lingo app email
5. Be friendly and assertive in the tone

The tone of your email should be friendly and assertive so that the readers take an action on their own accord. However, be careful because there is a thin line that separates friendly and assertive from creepy and cocky. Custom apparel platform Teespring does it nice with its nudge email here:

teespring email

Useful read: 6 Advanced Ways to Personalize Your Emails

6. Add a personality

Add a dash of personality to your emails. Try to come up with a character or a phrase that would set your brand apart from the rest. Something that would stick with the customer even after reading the email. Email delivery service Sendgrid does it really well in their emails. Most of their emails are signed off with the phrase ‘Happy sending’ – a relevant and clever wordplay that will be stuck in your head.

sendgrid email

What do you think?

What makes a good email copy? Have you ever received an email so incredible that it left an indelible mark on your mind? Please share it with us and we’ll add it to our repository of good email template examples.

email spam

Emails Reaching Recipients’ Spam Folder? Here’s How To Avoid It

Note: This guest post has been authored by Reuben Yonatan. Reuben is the founder and CEO of GetVoIP and GetCRM, trusted VoIP and CRM comparison guides that help companies understand and choose a business communication solution for their specific needs.

One of the most maddening frustrations for email marketers is to spend time crafting detailed content that can help their leads, only to have it reliably end up in spam folders. There are many different factors that contribute to marketing emails being flagged as spam, so it’s crucial to know what mistakes you might be making right this moment.

Following are the common reasons why business emails land in the spam folder and ways to avoid that:

The recipient hasn’t opted in for your emails

Many marketers don’t see the problem with sending email messages to people who haven’t given their express permission to receive them, but this practice can be actively harmful to your email marketing campaign for several reasons. First and foremost, anyone who hasn’t expressed interest in your content is unlikely to engage with you, and chasing these kinds of leads is a waste of resources (no matter how small).

Additionally, people who keep receiving emails which they don’t want are likely to manually mark them as spam. This, in turn, can harm your deliverability with the rest of your audience.

Your content is getting flagged due to low open rates

ISPs rely on algorithms that evaluate email senders by reputation in order to determine what goes in a spam folder. Senders with low open rates and high bounce rates are often flagged as potential sources of spam.

At first glance, this seems like a catch-22: your emails aren’t getting to the recipient because you have low open rates, but you can’t improve your open rates without making sure they receive your emails! So how do you get yourself on the right track?

There are two proven strategies that can help. First, follow the advice above and only target people who have given their consent to receive your emails. Don’t waste your time with purchased email lists. Second, work to lower your hard bounce rate by removing addresses that have bounced more than once.

Your emails don’t include a valid address

At some point during email marketing’s rise to prominence in the digital sphere, many people began to equate all forms of promotional email with spam. But nothing could be further from the truth. People actually want to receive promotional marketing emails from companies that have potential value to offer, because they are a great way for nurturing relationships.

The problem for spam filters has been learning to distinguish between the legitimate companies and the armies of bots and spammers. One way to do this is to check for a valid street address, which every legitimate business has. Make sure your company’s address is included in every email you send.

You aren’t giving the reader an easy way to unsubscribe

People don’t like feeling trapped, and that’s exactly the sensation that is conveyed when they end up on an email list and can’t figure out how to remove themselves. Not only is it a good practice to include a clear, easy-to-access unsubscribe button on your marketing emails, but failing to do so is actually illegal in the U.S. and many other countries.

Periodically pruning your email lists is always a good idea, and manual unsubscribes act as an aid in this task. These unsubscribes come from people who have indicated that they aren’t interested in engaging any longer, and their presence on your list will only contribute to lower open rates.

Your subjects feature spam trigger words

One of the most common causes of emails ending up in the spam folder is the presence of certain words, phrases, or symbols that instantly trigger spam filters. Many potential leads and repeat customers who actually want to engage with you could be missing out on important content, and it could all be because you’re using words that you don’t realize are problematic.

There are numerous categories of spam trigger words, including those like “sale,” “% off!,” and certain hyperbolic adjectives. It’s best to keep several lists on hand and consult them for every subject line you write.

You are ignoring HTML best practices

HTML formatting has been a boon for marketers because it allows them to connect to audiences using high-quality imagery and visual data. However, that doesn’t mean that you have carte blanche to do anything with HTML formatting—there are still several rules that should be adhered to.

For instance, you should keep your images as small as possible, and also limit the number of total images you include in one email. Make sure to include appropriate alt-text for email clients that block images altogether, and always offer a plain-text version so that your content will be readable on any client’s platform.

Build a variety of spam protection measures into your strategy

While there’s no single way to ensure your emails make it to your readers, following these guidelines will help protect you against most spam filters. Seek engagement with your readers by getting their permission to send content, and fight to improve your open rates by pruning with strategic unsubscribes.

Ensure the filters recognize you as a legitimate entity by including your physical address, avoiding common spam triggers, and proofreading carefully (one study shows that 80% of recipients believe spelling and grammatical errors are unacceptable). Finally, put the power of HTML formatting to good use by showing restraint and focusing on readability. Implementing these simple measures will help you reach your audience more consistently and improve your email marketing ROI.

Wrapping Up

Marketers don’t like watching their skillfully-crafted emails ending up in spam folders. Following a set of best practices, marketers can significantly reduce the number of emails that are being considered spam not only by email clients but also by users.

Unsubscribes – Learning from Love Lost

Email marketers watch unsubscribe rates as closely as open or click through rates, breathing a sigh of relief when the number of opt-outs hold steady or decline. Seeing the numbers stack up can induce panic, although having it increase is not the end of the email world.  Marketers can embrace this as an opportunity to learn if you analyze the past, take action in the present and ultimately make an impact for the future.  Special thanks to Zeta Global Planner, Marta Sloan, for her expertise on the topic.

Analyze the Past

There is a reason for every unsubscribe. And while you can’t go back to your historical records and ask people why they opted-out, you can still learn by:
  • Examining Unsubscribes: Are there commonalities you can find that would speak to a specific ‘unsubscribe profile’?
  • Investigating the Timing: Can you pinpoint a timeframe between signing up and unsubscribing?
  • Reviewing Previous Engagement Behavior: Were consumers opening / clicking through or were they never really engaged with the email program?
  • Purchasing Behavior Patterns: Were they previous buyers who disengaged? Were they never buying? Or, perhaps they continue buying after unsubscribing?

Collect all the information you can glean from past unsubscribes, and let it help you with current ones. Based on the collected information, you can make some assumptions about the reasons for unsubscribes. To further investigate and confirm your predictions, analyze present behavior.

Act in the Present

  • Survey: Create a short unsubscribe survey that includes basic questions that will help uncover the reasons why customers decided to unsubscribe.
  • Analyze Responses: Using a statistically significant number of answers, analyze the stated reasons for unsubscribes and plan changes that will make an impact. Responses may justify a business case to put in place frequency measures, or drive you to revisit segmentation, targeting and messaging if customers tell you the communications they receive are irrelevant.

All the analysis of past unsubscribes and fact-finding actions you take in the present should lead to a better understanding of your customers and to an improved email program moving forward. Once you have the answers, both data-based and customer-provided, there is only one thing to do.

Impact the Future

  • Optimize the Future: Continue to learn from unsubscribes and optimize the process to help make changes that will reduce unsubscribe rates.
  • Provide Opt-Down Options: Consider incorporating an opt-down feature, allowing customers to decide how often they receive emails and/or what topics the emails cover.
  • Maximize Social Channels: Direct customers to social channels or apps on unsubscribe. Email may be a bit too intense and personal. It’s okay to be friend-zoned in other channels.
  • Know Your Customers: Combine customer information provided during sign up with transactional data, browsing patterns and interactions with different channels, to be able to talk to the right customers, at the right time, on the right device, through the right channel, all while focusing on the right message.
  • Welcome Them Back: Let them subscribe again. A customer might just need a short break from your brand. The inbox can be a cluttered and overwhelming place. Welcome them back and rekindle the relationship, getting it right this time.

Whether you make one small change or revamp your entire messaging strategy, most likely you will reduce the number of unsubscribes, but you will not stop them completely. Sometimes the email subscriber relationship is just not going to work. There will always be customers who unsubscribe even from the most personalized, smartly targeted, well-segmented email program.  At the end of the day, that is not a bad thing. Your metrics and engagement will grow from it.  Your reputation will be less likely to be tarnished with spam reports and unsubscribing helps you keep a clean and current database, so every upcoming email will reach the right person.

video email marketing

Using Video in Email Marketing – Best Practices and Examples

Many people say that video is the future of content marketing. Well, I beg to differ. It is not the future, but it is already here and now! Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat, video has already conquered most of the content that you see on social media. And predictably enough, other channels of marketing have also started to embrace video. Savvy brands of today use it in all stages of a customer lifecycle. From generating leads, to educating their prospects and engaging customers, video is being used almost everywhere. However, using video in emails is still a tricky proposition for most marketers. Even though many studies have shown the effectiveness of video emails, a substantial percentage of them tend to shy away from it. While lack of quality videos in their content libraries is the primary reason for most; lack of awareness about the benefits and best practices of using videos in emails is another major deterrent. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to list down different ways of leveraging video emails, along with examples. Before we get going, let’s take a look at some interesting numbers to reinforce the importance of video.

Why use videos in email? Some interesting statistics

  • According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, the global consumer Internet video traffic will account for 80 percent of all consumer Internet traffic by 2019! This essentially reflects how fast internet users are adopting and embracing video. Pretty soon, we will be expecting all forms of communication directed towards us to be in the form of video. Who has the time to read through a long email or a blog post right?

  • According to a research report by Aberdeen, marketers who use video are seeing 49% faster growth in revenue than their counterparts.

  • According to a Syndacast report, just using the word video in an email subject line resulted in 19% increase in open rates and 65% increase in click-through rates!

  • Popular video technology platform Vidyard noted that businesses see a 500% lift in Email Conversion with personalized video!

Video Email Best Practices

In marketing, there are no strict predefined best practices that fit the needs of all kinds of businesses. Be it social media content, website visuals or email subject lines, everything has to be tested out multiple times before you zero in on a formula that works the best for your brand’s audience. However, there are certain guidelines that you can adhere to, to make the progress faster and smoother. Let’s take a look at them one by one:

Create a video library

The first thing that you should have before planning video email marketing campaigns is a well defined video content library. Note down the type of videos that you would need to embed in the emails. Here are some example use cases:

  • Product tutorial videos: Product companies  can use short and crisp videos explaining the different features of the software.

  • Company culture videos: Service companies can showcase the human side of their business using creative videos that highlight how they work.

  • Customer testimonials: Short videos of customers explaining how they benefited from your product/service.

These are just a few examples. You can come up with any kind of video content depending on the lifecycle stage of the customer to whom the email is being sent to. This insightful article on Digital Agency Network lists down types of videos that a business can use in different stages of the marketing funnel.

After noting down the different types of videos that your business would need, come up with strategies to make such videos on scale. You can setup a small video team in-house or outsource it to creative agencies that can help you out. I would personally recommend that you setup an in-house team which understands your business and your customers from the inside.

Always keep them short and to the point

Always try to keep your videos short and crisp. Preferably not more than 3 minutes. The whole point of using emails is to cater to people who do not have the time and patience to read long form text content. Sending videos that are long would defeat this fundamental purpose of using videos in emails.

notegraphy video in email

Text design application Notegraphy does it well in this example. A 71 second explainer video is embedded in the first email that is sent to all new users. The video is crisp and accomplishes what it set out to do i.e., tell the user what Notegraphy is all about.

Experiment with subject lines and video embed

According to a recent study, just mentioning the word video in the email subject line increases the click-through rates by a solid 20%! So, experiment with the subject lines and see if there is an improvement in the performance of your emails. However, do ensure that you do not forcefully insert the word.

Free eBook: 7 Tips and 7 Tactics for Writing Email Subject Lines that People Want to Open

Now that we’ve seen how different studies have pointed out the effectiveness of video in emails, let’s move on to a tricky topic – how exactly should you use video in emails? Should you embed the video inside the content of the email using HTML5? Or insert an image with a play button over it and link it to the video? Well, it’s hard to come up with the right answer for this. Embedding an HTML5 video sounds like the most logical option since the receiver can watch it right then and there without leaving the inbox. However, some of the major email clients still do not support HTML5 video embed. I would recommend that you go for the image with the play button workaround until HTML5 embed becomes the norm.

Clothing retailer Everlane does it well in this example:

everlane video in email

Placement is important too

An important factor that decides the success of video emails is the placement of the video. Where you insert the video in the email copy decides its effectiveness. Always place it above the fold in the email to capture the attention of the readers immediately. However, the email should include supporting text that says what the video is all about, to set the expectations for the readers.

patagonia video email

(Image source)

Free tool: Answer these questions and find out how effective your email strategies are

Don’t forget the end goal

When you’re trying to implement something new, it is easy to get distracted with the what’s and the how’s and forget about the why. This question should be always at the back of your mind – Why am I using videos in my emails?

The video used in the email should have a CTA that guides the viewer to the next step.

  • If it is a product tutorial video, it should link to the signin page of the product.

  • If it is a company culture video, it should link to the About Us page.

  • If it is an explainer video, it should link to the Demo Request page.

If the video does not have any particular goal, you can always include social share buttons to let the users share it with their friends and peers.

Wrap up

Including video in the marketing mix can be a game changer for any kind of business today. Email marketing performance in particular can get a substantial boost if videos are incorporated in the strategy. Have you tried your hands at video email marketing? If you have, what were your learnings from it? Do share them with us in the comments below.


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