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2016 State of Email Report: The Email Marketer’s Guide to Creating Successful Campaigns

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Check out the 2020 State of Email report for the latest stats, trends, and advice.

The email industry landscape is constantly changing. Between the introduction of new email apps and deliverability updates, email marketing has never presented more challenges—or opportunities. As an email marketer focused on success, it’s crucial to stay on top of every new development.

In our 2016 State of Email Report, we analyze the biggest email developments and provide tons of actionable tips and advice to keep you on top of your game.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the takeaways you’ll find inside.

Send relevant emails

In January 2015, Microsoft launched Outlook for Android and iOS phones and tablets. The Outlook app splits messages into two groups: Focused and Other.

With the organization of emails into Focused and Other, subscribers will find it even easier to
pass up marketing emails. Sending relevant, useful, and timely messages may be the only way around it. Relevant content engages subscribers, building trust in your brand and the emails you send. Over time, subscribers receiving valuable content scan their inboxes looking for messages from brands they trust.

And, if you’re sending relevant emails and have highly-engaged subscribers, then you may find your emails landing in the coveted Focus group. In contrast, marketers who aren’t sending relevant messaging might find that their emails are more easily ignored in the Other group.

Keep an eye on your iOS engagement rates

In September 2015, Apple released the latest version of their mobile operating system, iOS 9. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus feature 3D Touch, which adds pressure sensitivity to the latest iPhones and introduces two new interactions: peek and pop.

When scrolling through the inbox, users can now use a light press to “peek” at an email, which opens the email itself in a modal window. Using that same touch, they can then press harder to “pop” into the email itself and see the entire email, just like opening it normally.

Since “peeking” at an email loads the images contained within, peeks will count as opened emails. However, even though opens are registered, engagement could easily drop for campaigns if subscribers are just “peeking” at—and not reading—your campaigns. If you’re seeing your engagement rates dropping, consider revamping your content, optimizing your inbox view, and ensuring your messages are mobile-friendly.

Make your email preference center more visible + accessible

In September 2015, Gmail rolled out new “block” functionality to all Gmail webmail and Android Gmail app users, giving consumers yet another option to rid their inboxes of email they don’t want.

When a subscriber “blocks” a sender it means they’ll never see an email from that sender again. The upside is that the new “block” option should reduce spam complaints, since some subscribers who would have previously clicked “report spam” will now click “block” instead. The downside is that the “block” button may have created a new lower bar for ISP intervention, so some subscribers who might have previously clicked “unsubscribe” will now click “block” instead.

Often times, a subscriber would be happy to continue receiving emails if only they could receive messages less often or on different topics. Many opt-out processes are now managed in preference centers, but as more subscribers rely on ISP-provided opt-out methods, marketers can’t use their preference centers as a last resort anymore.

Be proactive with your preference centers. Key moments in the subscriber lifecycle are the perfect time to get your subscribers to update their preferences.

Use Gmail Postmaster Tools to your advantage

In July 2015, Google launched Gmail Postmaster Tools, which helps “qualified high-volume senders analyze their email, including data on delivery errors, spam reports, and reputation.” The goal of this tool is simple: get wanted mail to the inbox and put spam where it belongs.

Gmail Postmaster Tools gives email marketers a major advantage by allowing them to check on their email performance to monitor trends over time and ensure that their messages are hitting their subscribers’ inboxes. This gives marketers insights that they’ve never had before, and should be taken advantage of immediately.

To set up the Gmail Postmaster Tools, you have to add a CNAME or TXT DNS record. Google will then test these records on a recurring basis to verify ownership.

Once you’re up and running, you can analyze each dashboard to look for key trends that are negatively or positively impacting your deliverability. The Delivery Errors Dashboard is particularly useful—you’ll gain insights into exactly why your email was rejected, such as the email content is possibly spammy or the sending IP address has a low reputation.


Want even more information and actionable takeaways? Get up-to-date on the latest email updates and advances by downloading the free report today.

Get the 2016 State of Email Report →

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