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At the 2015 edition of the Golden Hammer conference – a premiere international marketing festival – industry thought leader Thomas Le Thierry d’Ennequin offered up a unique address to the assembled members of the email marketing community that has caused quite a bit of buzz across a variety of digital channels. In an effort to bring you up to speed with this groundbreaking line of thought and ensure that your brand always remains on the cutting edge of the inbox outreach process, let’s spend a few minutes covering each of d’Ennequin’s five “D’s” of email marketing and their various applications in greater detail.


The first facet of this list, according to Marketing Profs’ Liga Bizune, comes in the form of mental disruption. Essentially, d’Ennequin posits that the greater email marketing world is simply too stuck on constantly worrying about the competition, and therefore unable to think outside the box.

The solution to this dilemma? Disrupt your outlook on inbox operations and become willing to unlearn everything you know about email marketing. It sounds scary at first, but adopting a freethinking mentality and a propensity to attack this process from a variety of different angles is the perfect way to come across as fresh and innovative to your target audience.


Up next on d’Ennequin’s list is the concept of deconstructing the perceived barriers between your digital marketing channels. Considering how interconnected today’s digital experience is – as well as the already established overlap between social media and email marketing – this approach makes plenty of sense from a “big picture” perspective.

Naturally, the actual deconstruction of these barriers depends entirely on the current standing of your email marketing operations. Are you already including social share buttons in your emails? What about incorporating sign-up opportunities via your weekly blog posts and network profiles? If you’re not already enacting these basic integration strategies, you’ll want to catch up with the rest of the more progressive sect of your industry before you start searching out new ways to build better bonds between these once isolated channels.


Do you have a rigid five year plan in place for your email and other marketing practices? If so, it’s time to say goodbye to this structured take on the process and embrace the chaotic and constantly shifting world of inbox outreach that exists today. The truth of the matter is that having such a solid long term plan in place merely inhibits the flexibility of your brand, as well as its ability to react in real-time to changing customer needs and preferences.

Instead, D’ennequin suggests utilizing a five year vision instead. The foresight and expectations found within an overarching vision are far less rigid and considerably more malleable, thus giving your brand a better chance at thriving in the inbox as the parameters of quality content and acceptable interaction shift and evolve.


In their look at D’ennequin’s 5 D’s, the team from Global Perspectives notes that one of the biggest trends requiring your attention is the apparent “dematerialization” of the customer experience. Simply put, everything that happens within the modern digital world occurs from the customer’s pocket – specifically their mobile devices.

Gone are the days of wallets, day planners, and even personal computers. Now, building a full-service, responsive mobile experience – with email marketing as the centerpiece – is the only way to capitalize on today’s digital customer expectations. From real-time alerts related to purchases and requests, to mobile-friendly regular inbox content, it’s beyond imperative that you give your audience a comprehensive digital experience.


The final entry on this list – de-creativity – is all about realizing that the developers deserve a spot in the creative process too. These masters of all things coding and programming have the vision needed to bring innovative and cutting edge takes on email marketing practices and procedures to life, so incorporating a team of experts into your greater marketing strategy sessions is the first step toward embracing a more effective take on the creative process.

At the end of the day, d’Ennequin’s five D’s of the email marketing world are clearly a lot to digest in one sitting. From letting go of rigid planning, to working hand in hand with technology-savvy experts who formerly had no spot reserved in the traditional marketing process, it’s safe to say that this type of approach is definitely coming from an outside-of-the-box perspective. However, now that you’re up to speed with these intriguing concepts, you can move forward with a broader – and fresher – outlook regarding what your brand needs to do to in order to win over the people that matter most in the inbox.



The digital world has always known that the attention spans of target customers is fleeting at best. However, a new report from Jess Nelson of Media Post’s Email Marketing Daily blog explains that the average time a reader spends perusing a marketed message sits at around three seconds.

While this small window of opportunity might seem like a daunting obstacle that’s simply too hard to overcome, the truth of the matter is that with the right approach, three seconds is more than enough time to capture the attention of your readers and truly build a lasting – and profitable – bond with these audience members. To help ensure that you never waste another crucial moment in the inbox, join us as we talk about the best ways to make the most of this three second email marketing window.

Build Around Different Platforms

Sticking with Nelson’s coverage of this revelation shows that the first step toward maximizing this opportunity revolves around understanding which platforms resonate with the various segments of your target audience. Specifically, mobile users are far more likely than desktop audience members to dip below the three second attention span mark. The following percentages represent the portion of users of each platform that are less than willing to devote the entire three seconds to the average email marketing offering:

  • Kindle Fire – 64.5 percent
  • iPhone – 53.9 percent
  • Android phones – 50.2 percent
  • Android tablet – 48.8 percent
  • iPad – 42.4 percent

In contrast, the average desktop reading experience lasts for 15 seconds, thereby confirming that if you want to win on the mobile front, you’re going to need subject lines and content that get to the point in a hurry. Digging a little deeper, having unique messages for each mobile platform – and offering something a little bit more in-depth for your desktop contingency – is key to maximizing your impact within each of these segments.

Skip the Subject Line Fluff

Speaking of subject lines, Econsultancy’s Jack Simpson suggests trimming the fluff and getting straight to the point if you plan on keeping the wandering eyes of these viewers from straying to the next message in the inbox. As you start to craft these representations of the content within, keeping things short and punchy is a mantra that should become second nature.

Can you impart the same message in fewer words? Will this impact the clarity of your offer or content? Would you bother opening this email if you were on the other side of the equation? Answering these questions during the development of your email content might seem exhausting at first, but putting in the extra work is still far more desirable than receiving a less than stellar response from your brand’s highly coveted target audience.

Play to Your Strengths above the Fold

Another useful method of optimizing this limited opportunity for exposure, according to the HubSpot Blog’s Olivia Allen, is by working a little magic in the preview pane. With virtually every major email service provider incorporating message previews on both mobile and desktop platforms, it’s imperative that your brand leverage the power of this “above the fold” section via poignant and engaging content.

Whether you’re leading off with a powerful limited time offer or a stat, fact, or figure that leaves your audience floored, having your first two to three lines of content jump off the screen and in front of your audience is the best way to harness the potential of the preview pane. Naturally, you’ll need to keep the hits rolling once the viewer opens the message, but it’s safe to say that getting your foot in the door with great preview content is the ideal first step in this process.

Lure Your Readers in with a Question

Finally, Allen notes that if you’re able to sneak a question into the subject line or the preview panel, then you stand a much greater chance of piquing the interest of your viewers in the inbox. Even something as simple as a “Did you know?” or “Have you heard?” lead-in increases open rates dramatically thanks to the inherent curiosity found within most audiences. The big point here is that you engage the reader via a conversational take on the email marketing experience and talk with – not at – him or her.

There’s no denying that this three second window of opportunity can feel like a tight squeeze at times for even the most seasoned email marketers. However, with what you’ve learned here leading the way, there’s no reason why your brand can’t generate an impactful and interactive inbox experience that makes the most out of the fleeting attention of these valued viewers.



As hard as it is to believe for some, 2016 and another year of email marketing growth and prosperity is waiting just beyond the horizon. While others might take the time leading up to Christmas and the New Year to sit back and enjoy a job well done, now is the perfect time to get a leg up on the competition via a look at the hottest trends and predictions that are sure to define the email marketing world in 2016. To help you along in this endeavor, we’ve compiled an in-depth review of all of the rising stories and practices that you simply can’t afford to miss during the lead-up to the coming calendar year.

Growing Your Mailing List via Lightbox Pop-ups

The first trend to keep an eye on, according to Adam Baetu of Business 2 Community, is all about growing your email marketing contact list via a better on-site experience; specifically with the help of lightbox pop-ups. While this type of pop-up reminder isn’t exactly new to online marketplace, Baetu suggests that the practice of leveraging the power of these overlays is considerably underutilized.

If you’re interested in maximizing the impact of lightbox pop-ups on your branded website, consider the role of timing within this process. Triggering this event not when a user first engages your site content, but rather later on during their visit is the perfect way to create a pleasing customer experience and give your contact list sign-up rate a healthy boost at the same time.

Incorporating Hashtags in Your Email Content

The past couple of years have seen a meteoric rise in hashtag usage on Twitter, Facebook, and other social networks, so it should come as no surprise that experts like Baetu predict a similar rise in popularity for this conversation labeling tool in the inbox. Adding in the already strong bond between these two platforms further cements the credibility of this claim.

Whether you’re simply trying to “speak the lingo” of your audience, or you plan on integrating hashtags as anchor text for social share buttons and links, getting a head start on using the “#” symbol in your upcoming inbox offerings is a great method of getting in on the ground floor of this impending trend and fostering a deeper connection between your email marketing and social media content.

The Rise of Big Data and Enhanced Consumer Insight

Knowing as much as possible about your audience is key to creating a winning take on the email marketing process; no one can deny this fact. However, Code Fear’s Ravi Ahuja explains that this pursuit will continue to learn toward the raw power provided by Big Data sets in 2016.

With the help of countless gigabytes of consumer information and statistics guiding the way, brands like your own will have more insight into the lives and habits of its target viewers than ever before. Naturally, maintaining updated and relevant iterations of this content, as well as utilizing the insight held within in an ethnically responsible manner, will be key pieces of the puzzle as your organization continues to meet – and exceed – the needs and desires of these viewers in the coming year.

Implementing Real-Time Personalization

Finally, Ahuja notes that as cross-channel services and integration grows stronger and more interconnected with each passing day, 2016 stands as the perfect backdrop for the emergence of real-time personalization. Essentially, this practice pulls insight and activity from related channels – search result pages, social media likes and interaction, etc. – to augment inbox content automatically.

In other words, no two emails sent out to members of your audience will be the same again thanks to targeted real-time content. Instead of hoping for the best and relying upon the “painting with a broad brush” approach, your content will incorporate little touches that create a highly personalized, and engaging, experience for the person on the other side of the screen. The question still waiting to be answered on this front isn’t if real-time personalization goes live in 2016, but when exactly it will become a key part of your brand’s upcoming campaigns.

Needless to say, there’s plenty of reasons to be excited about your email marketing operations in the upcoming months. From a better on-site experience that compliments your inbox offerings, to real-time personalization and email customization, there’s plenty of opportunities for the quality – and effectiveness – of your marketed messages to take a sharp jump in 2016. All that’s left to do now is put this information to good use and take advantage of these predictions and trends while your industry competition continues to waste time looking back at the year that’s currently coming to a close.



Last week, we spent a little bit of time talking about exactly what it takes to win over your audience in the inbox this coming Black Friday – feel free to catch up on that post here if you happened to miss it. However, discussing email marketing tactics during this immensely important shopping event is really only half of the equation. With this in mind, let’s dig into how implementing the following five powerful SMS marketing tips can help you truly excel on every channel as this year’s Black Friday inches ever closer.

Announce Your Intentions ASAP

The first tip on this list is all about identifying your brand before jumping into the offer and sales pitch. As Veronica Maria Jarski of Marketing Profs explains in her look at powerful SMS tactics, starting off with a declaration of your brand is vital to standing out in a crowded text message inbox.

There’s a large chance that your target audience will be swamped over by a deluge of texts leading up to and during the Black Friday rush, so the sooner your let these viewers know who you are, the less likely they are to dismiss this message as spam. If you can’t be bothered to start off with this simple introductory greeting, don’t be surprised when the response to your SMS initiative is less than stellar.

Implement an Attention Grabber

Additionally, Jarski goes on to point out that leveraging an attention grabbing word or phrase at the start of your message can help drum up interest among your target audience. Naturally, with the focus of this campaign being oriented toward Black Friday, selections like “sale,” and “one night only” are premium choices on this front.

Once you’ve honed in on the right “attention grabber,” consider typing out this inclusion in all capitals or with an exclamation point tacked on at the end. These little additions might not seem like much, but they help this vital content jump off of the small screen and direct viewers to the meat and potatoes of your marketed text message.

Value Trumps Fluff

Speaking of the core of your SMS offering, Megan Totka of Small Business Trends suggests going all-in on value this Black Friday. With so many brands vying for the attention of a limited number of consumers, it’s beyond imperative that you find a way to differentiate your organization.

Whether you incorporate giveaways and contests into this process, or you knock the socks off of your viewership with a powerful limited time Black Friday discount, the message stays the same; skip the fluff and fill your SMS offerings to the brim with value if you really want to generate a response from your audience.

Keep Things as Short as Possible

Another key tip that takes into account the unique constraints of the Black Friday environment comes in the form of keeping your texts short, sweet, and to the point. Your valued contact list members only have so much time to peruse SMS messages during this hectic holiday event, so writing out a novel is far from an ideal approach.

Instead, try to limit your messages to a 160 character cap if possible. Anything over this character limit will not only cause the message to split into multiple parts and lead to a clunky or negative viewing experience for your audience, it also steps dangerously close to the line that separates quality texts from those that are simply too longwinded to make an impact.

Connect Your Texts with Other Marketing Channels

Finally, don’t be afraid to cross promote your content and offerings across multiple channels. Social media, email marketing, and SMS outreach all share plenty of common ground, so retooling and reworking your discounts and promotions for each channel can help boost the response to your brand’s offerings this Black Friday.

Applying this approach also has the added benefit of bolstering your contact list numbers and following on each channel significantly; something that can keep the good vibes flowing for your brand long after the holiday season comes to a close.

By implementing these tips into your upcoming SMS marketing campaigns, there’s truly nothing that can stand between your company and its ability to forge a lasting – and lucrative – bond with its target audience. The only question left to answer now is whether you’re ready or not to seize this opportunity and give the people that matter most to your brand what they want during the exciting build up to this year’s Black Friday festivities.



Like virtually any other portion of the digital world, the email marketing industry is home to its fair share of misconceptions and incorrect assumptions. For most established members of the community, it’s easy to see through these misguided lines of thought and understand the underlying truth and facts that lurk below.

However, this process isn’t so simple if you’re inexperienced or new to the email marketing scene. With this in mind, we’ve set out to dispel the biggest misconceptions facing the email marketing world. After reading over this insight, you’ll have all the tools you need to move forward with an educated – and accurate – view of how to properly leverage the inherent power held within the inbox.

Size Is the Most Important Piece of the Puzzle

As Entrepreneur magazine’s Paul Ford explains, the best way to kick this discussion off right is by tackling the issue of contact list size. Yes, growing your email marketing list is important, but it’s vital that your brand doesn’t subscribe exclusively to the “size matters” mindset.

The truth of the matter is that quality is far more desired than quantity. Having a 100,000 people signed up for your contact list is definitely a nice number to toss around, but this figure doesn’t mean much if only a handful of these customers respond to your offerings. Instead, you’re better off keeping this list refined to a smaller, more active audience. Over time, you can continue to add even more of these quality viewers to your list – thus reaching the gaudy numbers touted by other organizations – all while actually boosting the return generated by this marketing investment.

The More Images the Better

With visual content blowing up social media and the vast majority of web pages relying upon flashy and vibrant design layouts, it makes plenty of sense to assume that dumping a bunch of images into your content is a great way to wow your audience. However, taking this approach is an easy way to alienate these viewers in a hurry.

Too many images and visuals can slow load times to a crawl, as well as make the mobile viewing experience unwieldy and frustrating. If you really want to give your audience what they want, avoid including graphics arbitrarily and only use these offerings when it actually elevates the quality of your content and the potency of your message.

Customers Are “Trigger Happy” Thanks to the Rise of Spam Buttons

As Gmail and other leading members of the email service provider world continue to give customers more and more power via inbox tools and controls, it comes as no big surprise that brands and marketers alike fear the rise of the “trigger happy” viewer. Even though this viewpoint definitely comes across as logical, there’s really no reason to fear your audience and the collective finger they hold over the spam reporting button – so long as you play by the rules.

In his look at this misconception, Sam Kusinitz of The HubSpot Blog points out most users actually don’t want to want to flag your content as spam. In fact, only one in every 2,000 customers ends up notifying Google and the other major players of a spam issue. The primary cause of these incidents arises from brands that actually do engage in shady tactics, so staying on the straight and narrow with your content and campaign practices pretty much eliminates the menace presented by this phantom issue.

CASL and Other Regulatory Bodies Are Slow to Punish Spam Offenders

When you think of government agencies and authoritative groups, chances are thoughts of inactivity and being bogged down in bureaucratic red tape are the first things that pop up. Unfortunately for offenders of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) and other marketing laws, this outlook couldn’t be farther from the reality of the situation.

A quick review of the $1.1 million fine for non-compliance levied by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) shows that not only are these regulators more than willing to drop the hammer in an expedient manner, they also have no problem issuing severe penalties to those who step out of line. If this isn’t a situation you want to find your brand in, then learning as much as you can about compliance via our CASL Survival Guide is a good way to right the ship before things get too out of hand.

The moral of the story here is that there’s no shortage of misconceptions floating around in today’s email marketing landscape. Thankfully, with your new insight into these myths cutting through the misinformation that surrounds these inaccurate claims, you can move forward with confidence as your brand lays out a powerful plan to take the inbox by storm.



Like most consumer-brand relationships, it’s only natural for this digital connection to cool off from time to time. Whether it’s because these valued customers have experienced life changes, or your brand hasn’t been as active in the inbox as it should be, there’s plenty of reasons for a drop off in interaction.

However, just because your company isn’t as close to its target audience as it once was, that doesn’t mean that you can’t reinvigorate this relationship via a smart re-engagement plan. To help you down this path, here’s a few quick and effective tips for creating the perfect “we miss you!” email.

Understand Why Your Audience Isn’t Responding

According to the experts over at the Marketing Sherpa research firm, the first step toward crafting an email that truly shows your audience that you miss them starts by understanding why you need a re-engagement plan in the first place. While this might be a hard pill to swallow at first, getting to the root of the problem before you start building a solution actually makes a lot of sense.

Naturally, learning about what went wrong requires dipping into your consumer data to tell the true story. From looking over the response to individual pieces, to requesting feedback via surveys and other interaction, putting on your detective hat and delving into this information is vital to constructing an inbox offering that truly conveys your brand’s desire to reignite this important relationship.

Pick out the Right Type of Incentive for Your Email Copy

Once you’ve uncovered the cause of this faltering connection, it’s time to put your digital pen to virtual paper and craft an email that not only addresses these concerns, complaints, or other issues, but also gives them a reason to take up your latest offer. As Pamella Neely of Web Marketing Today explains, this requires pairing up a strong incentive with the need for urgency from your audience.

In terms of incentives, you have three primary tools at your disposal – free gifts, discounts on the next purchase, and reward programs. Each offer helps show that you truly miss this wayward audience member, all while giving him or her a strong reason to come back into the fold. Naturally, you’ll need to make this pitch worth their while regardless of the route you choose, so don’t be afraid to go all-in with a truly valuable and intriguing re-engagement offer.

For the second half of this equation, it’s important to generate urgency within these viewers. Otherwise, you run the risk of giving your audience too much flexibility to sit on the fence indefinitely. By incorporating time limits and deadlines into your calls-to-action (CTAs), you ensure that these potential customers understand that time is of the essence, thereby reducing the threat of inactivity that can stymie even the best inbox proposals.

Create the Right Content for Each Engagement Phase

While creating a single great offer is a good first step, the truth of the matter is that not every member of this segment of your audience is in the same stage of lapsed interaction with your brand. This means that you’ll need to go a step farther and tailor this message to each phase of the re-engagement process if you really want to maximize your impact on this front.

Specifically, there are three different time slots you need to consider as you craft these offerings – short term, mid-term, and long term lapses. Consumers that fall into the short term category technically haven’t actually reached the lapsed designation, but they are right on the edge. Moderate deals and discounts work best when reaching out to this group.

Mid-term offerings should get a little juicer, as these viewers have been inactive for three or more months. Sweepstakes and contests, as well as sizeable sales (25 to 30 percent off), fit this billing. For the final group – the long-term non-respondents – you’re looking at throwing up an email marketing “Hail Mary.” Bold offerings (flash sales, major price reductions, etc.) are the only things that can get the people who haven’t interacted with your brand over the past six months back on track.

As you can see, the perfect “We Miss You!” email isn’t actually one email at all; it’s a combination of multiple approaches and specialized responses to the issue. However, by keying in on all of these different angles of attack – and putting what you’ve learned here to good use – there’s no reason why you can’t reconnect with these valued customers and show them just how much they mean to your brand.



The past several days have been a veritable nightmare for the Swiss encrypted email service provider, ProtonMail. Amidst a constant and unrelenting Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, this company has quickly been educated in one of the harshest lessons found in the digital world: Secure practices and systems aren’t just a good idea, they are vital to the success of an organization. To learn more about this attack, as well as what this event means for the rest of the email service provider and marketing industries, let’s spend a few minutes looking into the particulars of the Armada Collective’s assault on the digital infrastructure of ProtonMail.

Recapping the Events of the Attack

As Jess Nelson of Media Post’s Email Marketing Daily blog explains, ProtonMail’s virtual nightmare began on the morning of Nov. 3rd. As part of a complete DDoS attack, the hacker group Armada Collective brought the services offered by this Swiss email provider to a grinding halt via a continuous barrage of bandwidth-sapping traffic, ultimately bringing the servers of this organization offline for nearly 24 hours.

Throughout the attack the leaders of this illicit group demanded a ransom of 15 bitcoins – an amount of the purely digital currency that translates to roughly $6,000 USD. Unfortunately, despite paying this ransom in full, the ProtonMail servers are still offline as the attacks against this organization continue on unabated. In total, Andy Yen – CEO and found of ProtonMail – reports that this attack has caused lasting damage to the organization’s ISP and datacenter, thereby negatively affecting hundreds of companies and causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

The Latest in a Long Line of Attacks

Perhaps even more disconcerting than this attack on an email service provider is the realization that it is the latest in a long line of nefarious dealings by the Armada Collective and other hacker groups. In their look at this troubling series of events, the Swiss Government’s Computer Emergency Response Team explains that many high profile targets in Switzerland and abroad have faced the threat of blackmail and extortion from the less than savory portions of the digital world in recent months.

Exploring the Ramifications of This Event

As the largest such attack in Switzerland, this breaking story is turning plenty of heads in the email service provider and marketing worlds – and for good reason. With the demand for constant, safe, and secure access to email services and inbox communications with customers standing at an all-time high, the notion that a group of dissents or digital extortionists can bring such a vital function to its figurative knees is quite troubling.

Perhaps even more concerning is the fact that Nelson of Media Post goes a step further by surmising that such long-term and sustained attacks could be the result of highly organized or even state backed groups – and not just isolated pockets of wrongdoers like the members of Armada Collective. In other words, this could be one of the first politically motivated attacks within the global email industry.

Protecting Your Brand and Its Ability to Operate in the Inbox

Naturally, as a brand that’s just trying to connect with customers in the inbox, all of the fear and upheaval caused by the attack on ProtonMail can make you start second-guessing whether or not investing in this channel is really worth the risk. While there’s no denying that an attack against your preferred service provider can be a nightmare scenario, the truth of the matter is that these events are still rare, despite the notoriety generated by more recent examples.

Truly effective email marketing operations and professional email services offer up the potential to create a lasting – and lucrative – bond with your target audience, all while incorporating infrastructure and systems that are not only capable of withstanding these attacks, but also able to keep your vital consumer and organizational data safe and secure.

As you start dipping your toes into the world of email-related services, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the security features and worst-case scenario “fail-safes” implemented by the service provider in question. Not only can this conversation help reaffirm your confidence in the stability of this system, it can also ensure that you have a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the technology that facilitates and supports your operations in the inbox.

At the end of the day, there’s no way to completely eradicate the threat of digital attacks like the ones committed against ProtonMail. However, with this enhanced understanding of the nature of these events, as well as the ability to pick a service provider that can protect your brand, there’s no reason why you have to live in fear of unnecessary downtime and security breaches as you reach out to your target audience via the power of email marketing.



With Black Friday – and Cyber Monday – coming up later this month, now is the time start preparing for the first big shopping event of the holiday season. From optimizing your content, to figuring out the right time to fire off these marketed messages, there’s a lot to consider as you kick this preparation into high gear. To help you out on this front, here’s five crucial tips and suggestions that are sure to make this Black Friday your best yet.

Send out Your Emails on the Monday Before Black Friday

In her look at making the most out of Black Friday via inbox operations, Amy Gesenhues of Marketing Land notes that waiting until Thursday or Friday of this week to send out of your content is simply not the right call. While most brands actually subscribe to the end of the week approach, Gesenhues points out that the highest open rates actually occur on Monday. Tuesday comes in at a close second in terms of open rate potential, further supporting the notion that getting your content out early is a good idea.

The main reason for this “early bird” advantage is that consumers like to plan ahead before committing to a purchase. Giving them a few days to mull over your offering or discount is a powerful way to tap into this preference, all while gaining a decided advantage over competitors who are still sending out marketed messages later in the week.

Keep Things Consistent and Straightforward Across Every Channel

If you’re planning on supporting your email marketing operations via social media and other channels, it’s vital that you keep your message – and your specific offers and discounts – consistent across each platform. Otherwise, Web Pro News’ Chris Crum explains that you run the risk of serious backlash from your target audience.

Consumers are constantly checking in on brands via the inbox, Twitter, Facebook, branded blog posts, and other channels throughout the Black Friday sales cycle, so providing one deal to a certain portion of your audience and then following it up with a lesser offer to other shoppers can generate plenty of ill-will. An easy way to avoid this problem is by incorporating social share buttons as a way for your inbox audience to spread this content within their networks, thereby promoting consistency – and awareness – for your Black Friday promotions.

Make Your Message Mobile Friendly

Yes, the suggestion to make your emails mobile friendly is probably a tip that you’re tired of hearing if you regularly read up on inbox marketing via blogs and other industry sources. However, as Kim Speier of Business 2 Community notes, over twice as many emails are opened on mobile devices as desktops during the Black Friday season, so this is a message that is well worth repeating.

The patience of your audience is exceptionally low during the deluge of special promotions and discounts that flood their inbox, so keep things simple with straightforward text and easily clickable buttons. It might be a hard pill to swallow at first, but fast load times and simple navigational tools trump flashy graphics and visuals any day of the week when it comes to winning on Black Friday.

Have a Little Fun with Humor in Your Message

Aside from keeping things short and simple, it’s okay to show that your brand has a sense of humor this holiday season. Poking fun at the standard tropes and stereotypes of the season – staying up all night shopping, fighting through stampeding crowds, etc. – not only shows that your brand can be conversational and engaging in the inbox, it also service as the perfect avenue to promote online deals and discounts. After all, there’s no better way to sell the digital experience than by pointing out how hectic Black Friday can be in-store on the big night.

Plan to Keep the Good Deals Flowing to the New Year

Finally – and perhaps most importantly – is committing to the concept that Black Friday isn’t the culmination of your email marketing sales push, but rather the beginning. From now until the New Year, there are several major shopping events, so it’s vital to the sustained success of your brand to make sure that Black Friday serves as a springboard for even more success and conversions.

By taking note of consumer feedback, open and click-through rates, and any other metrics that tell the story of your audience response on Black Friday, you can continue to refine and optimize your content for the coming holidays and promotions. When paired with the rest of what you’ve learned here, it’s safe to say that you now have everything you need to keep the good times rolling from Black Friday all the way through Boxing Day.



Back in June, the team over at Pinterest announced the release of “buyable pins” that provide brands with the ability to market products and services via promoted pins that show up in the feeds of targeted consumers. As most predicted, this feature has quickly become one of the most powerful tools available to organizations that interact with audience members in the world of social media.

With a few recent changes to this buyable pin system going into effect, as well as the continued bond between email marketing and social media standing stronger than ever before, there’s never been a better time to delve into the world of marketed pins and see if any of the strategies and practices enacted on this front can also help you win in the inbox.

The Mobile Craze Is in Full Swing

The first lesson email marketers and brands alike can pull from Pinterest’s buyable pin program, according to the Kathleen Chaykowski of Forbes magazine, is that making the most out of the mobile craze is always a good idea. Specifically, Pinterest has doubled the number of buyable pins available for purchase by retailers to 60 million from the initial 30 million that hit the market at launch back in June.

So what’s the main reason for this influx in inventory? Chaykowski points to an ever-growing mobile audience that simply can’t get enough of this kind of content as they scroll through their feeds on smartphones and tablets.

As a brand that’s working in the inbox to connect with customers, the same concept surrounding the need for great mobile offerings holds true. From responsive designs that load fast and adapt to the smaller screens of these devices, to easily identifiable – and clickable – calls-to-action (CTAs), it’s beyond vital that you follow this lead and provide consumers with content that makes the most of the mobile craze.

Taking Note of Multiple Platforms

Going a step farther, the team behind Pinterest’s program has also provided service and support to Android platforms as part of this increase in buyable pin inventory. The message on this one should be pretty clear – optimizing and providing inbox content for only some of the major platforms simply isn’t the best way to make a splash with your audience.

While certain segments and slices of your audience might prefer iOS, Android, or any of the other major mobile platforms, the truth of the matter is that you need to provide support for each of this operating systems and their related apps as you continue to build toward a better relationship with the on-the-go members of your contact list. Failing to capitalize on this potential in the inbox because you’re not willing to create content that works on a variety of platforms is an open invitation for your more email-savvy competition to take advantage of this unnecessary shortcoming.

Playing by the Customer’s Rules

In her look at what email marketers and brands alike can learn from a sound Pinterest advertising strategy, Media Post’s Jess Nelson notes that it pays to play by the rules that your customers set. Specifically, this means offering up an inbox experience that is personalized and chock full of value and entertainment.

Much like the unique content that spreads like wildfire on Pinterest, your email marketing campaigns must find ways to break the mold if you want to have any chance of standing out in a crowded inbox. Human interest stories, interactive messages, and properly connecting the content of these emails to other interactive channels (social media, on-site feedback, etc.) fit the spirit of this approach in a powerful way.

Context Is Key

The final lesson learned via the fervor surrounding Pinterest’s buyable pins and the advertising strategies that have arisen from this service is that context is crucial to the success of any online outreach program. Buyable pins that relate to local events or offer up geographically targeted content provide a unique level of context and immersion to viewers on this platform. Naturally, honing in on the same tactics in the inbox can produce similar results.

Obviously, utilizing “geotargeting” methodology and optimizing your inbox content with local considerations in mind requires a keen understanding of the needs of each segment of your audience, as well as first-rate consumer data to support these decisions. However, if you’re willing to enact this kind of strategy, as well as the rest of what you’ve learned here, then you’re well on your way to taking a page out of Pinterest’s book and forging a bond with the members of your target audience that will leave the competition green with envy.



We all know that social media and email marketing can combine to do some powerful things when it comes to raising awareness about your brand. However, drumming up interest on a platform like Twitter requires so much more than just copying and pasting your inbox content into the 140 character tweet window. With this in mind, let’s spend a few minutes talking about how your actions and outreach on the world’s most sociable micro-blogging site can truly promote healthy and sustainable growth within your email marketing contact list.

Learn to #Tweetchat

According to Eric Griffith of PC magazine, there’s no better way to start growing your influence – and your contact list – on Twitter than by learning to #tweetchat. As the name implies, this method of interaction is all about reaching out to other industry voices or luminaries and sparking up an ongoing conversation.

Depending on the circumstances and your social media strategy, these #tweetchats can either occur spontaneously or as part of a planned event that kicks off at a certain time and with a prearranged series of topics. Either way, incorporating relevant hashtags to “brand” the event and ensuring that the conversation involves multiple names that resonate within the community is a powerful method for boosting your Twitter following.

From here, these newly claimed followers can interact with your bio page, older tweets, and other assets on this platform that encourage sign-ups for your contact list and promote awareness regarding exactly what your organization has to offer in the inbox.

Solve a Problem with a Series of Tweets

Even if you’re not quite able to line up a #tweetchat on demand, there’s always an opportunity to spark up a conversation with your target community by actively responding to the questions and problems of these consumers. In his look at this process, Business 2 Community’s Bill Faeth notes that being useful via this kind of interaction is one of the keys that can help differentiate your brand from others on this social platform.

Much like your inbox content, answering questions and addressing concerns in real time is all about adding value to this experience for your target audience. You might not be able to handle every query that comes your way, but at the very least people will know that your social channels and other offerings – in this case your weekly newsletter or periodic marketed messages – are chock full of insightful and helpful content.

Pin Tweets Related to Your Email Marketing Operations

If you’ve ever visited a well-maintained Twitter profile, then Lauren Dugan of Social Times points out that it should come as no surprise that the most relevant and important tweets stay at the top of the page via this platform’s “pinning” feature. In keeping with our theme of maximizing your ability to convert followers into contact list members, it makes sense to use this space to promote the finer points of your email marketing operations.

Whether you decide to showcase a contest that encourages individuals to join in on your latest inbox campaign, or you keep things simple with a direct link to a sign-up/survey page, the big point here is to have something in place that funnels viewers into a channel that can capture these memberships. Otherwise, you run the risk of letting countless potential inbox contacts end up as wayward customers and missed opportunities.

Learn and Grow with Analytics

The best email marketing campaigns rely upon a plethora of key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics to keep a finger on the pulse of target audiences, so it makes plenty of sense for the same concept to hold true in the “Twitterverse.” As your organization becomes a force on this network, you’ll need to grow and adapt your promotional content and interaction to keep the good vibes – and followers – flowing toward your email contact list.

Fortunately, Twitter’s analytics dashboard can provide you with a variety of tools and performance metrics that highlight the types of tweets that drive engagement. With this information on your side, you can continue to refine and optimize your offerings as the needs, desires, and preferences of your audience naturally shift and change.

By now, it should be fairly easy to see that working your way into the Twitter feeds of the people who will eventually sign up for your email marketing contact list requires plenty of effort and a keen understanding of how to navigate this platform. However, with these tips guiding the way, there’s nothing that can stand between you and a blossoming presence on this social network that helps increase your reach in the inbox.

© 2013 Elite Email Inc. Blog Admin