In December 2013, Google announced that images within emails would be displayed automatically for all Gmail users, regardless of whether or not they clicked “Display Images Below.” Google will now cache images and serve them through their own secure proxy servers to protect users from viruses or malware that could be associated with externally hosted images. The change was also made to speed up the open time for each message and make the user experience more consistent with mobile email.
How will this impact email marketing?
The biggest change for marketers will be with unique open rate data for Gmail messages. Since the image cache will only serve the first image, email marketers will only be able to track unique opens for Gmail users.
Google says the change will have a positive impact on open rates since marketers will no longer have to depend on users both opening the message and loading the images. This may in fact lead to Gmail open rates increasing, as well as boosting total opens.
However, while open rates may increase, Gmail will no longer be sending the IP address information of their users, effectively limiting the amount of data collected from opens. Tracking geolocation and whether users view it on mobile, desktop or web could prove to be a challenge.
Gmail is reported to have over 425 million users, so this change is definitely worth noting, especially if it starts a trend within the email industry. It also means email marketers should focus on the appearance of their design more than ever. Gmail recipients will no longer have to click to see images, so the message will be front and center upon first viewing. Placing emphasis on email best practices and strong email design can help you maximize the increased visibility and make a great first impression.
Posted in Email, Email Design, Email Marketing, Gmail | Tagged Email, Email Marketing, Gmail, Google+ | Leave a Comment »
If you’ve been sending the same email messages to your list and have noticed a decline in performance, it might be time to consider a few changes to reignite the response.
Simple A/B testing can identify elements within the email campaign that can be improved or adjusted to boost overall performance. These changes can optimize your content and jump start your marketing efforts.
Here are some good examples of things you can test within your email marketing strategy:
- Message subject lines: Shorter vs. Longer? Question vs. Urgency?
- Text copy: Wording, fonts, headline, length
- Design elements: Colors, images, buttons, layout
- Send time: Afternoon vs. Morning?
- List segmentation: Location, activity, time zone
- Call-to-action: Wording, placement, size, visibility
- Day of send: Weekday vs. Weekend?
You can also add personal customizations like First Name and Birthday messages to provide additional relevancy. If you’re sending clicks to a landing page, be sure to test elements on there as well.
Whether you’re looking at one item or larger, multi-layered changes, testing can keep your email content fresh, relevant, and better positioned for continued success. Even minor changes can have a big impact, but you’ll never know unless you test.
Posted in Email, Email Design, Email Marketing | Tagged Email, Email Design, Email Marketing | Leave a Comment »
The online sales numbers for the 2012 holiday season are setting new records for eCommerce. According to comScore, Cyber Monday garnered over 1.4 billion in sales, setting the record for the largest online spending day in history.
However, Cyber Monday wasn’t the only day with over $1 billion in online sales; Black Friday sales increased 26% from 2011 to bring in $1.042 billion for the first time in history.
Mobile has also played a growing role in online sales this year. According to IBM, mobile sales on Cyber Monday accounted for roughly 13% of total sales, and almost 1 in 5 visitors to retailer sites came from mobile devices.
Consumers are becoming savvier when it comes to finding the best deals online. Social networks have proven to be a valuable resource for trusted referrals, and search engines have become an essential channel for locating sales, researching products, and informing buying decisions.
The evolution of Internet shopping behavior is creating new opportunities for businesses to connect with consumers and succeed with forward thinking online marketing strategies.
Overall, more than $16 billion has been spent online this holiday season. The surge in smartphone, tablet, and mobile device ownership combined with improved Internet connectivity and a growing familiarity with online shopping has resulted in substantial eCommerce growth in 2012.
Is your business taking advantage of the popularity of online shopping?
Posted in e-commerce, ecommerce, online shopping | Tagged e-commerce, ecommerce, online shopping | Leave a Comment »