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Email optimization and deliverability go hand-in-hand when it comes to sending emails, and that’s why MarTech Today created the very first resource for marketing professionals that encompasses the elements of both. The Periodic Table of Email Optimization and Deliverability is a comprehensive resource designed to guide you through the different elements required to keep your emails out of the spam folder and in front of your subscribers.

Explore this new resource with its architect, Jennifer Cannon, Senior Editor at MarTech Today, and April Mullen, Director of Strategic Insights at SparkPost, co-founder of Women of Email during this free webinar. They’ll be taking a look at some of the emerging elements and trends that brands and email marketers need to embrace in 2020, including:

  • What you need to know about BIMI (Brand Indicators for Messaging Identification)
  • Artificial Intelligence vs Machine Learning for email marketers
  • How Voice Assistants will play into how email marketers develop emails this year
  • Compliance — what you need to know about GDPR, CCPA and maintaining a compliant data set
  • The impact of AMP for Email on brands’ email marketing efforts

Don’t miss it! Register today for Emerging Elements for Email Marketers in 2020 from the Periodic Table of Email and Deliverability.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Marketing Land is a daily publication covering digital marketing industry news, trends, strategies and tactics for digital marketers. Special content features, site announcements and occasional sponsor messages are posted by Marketing Land.


managing automated email

Email automation management refers to the process of how you setup, manage, and update your automated email campaigns.

From idea to first iteration, we’re showing you how to get a handle on a task that still alludes so many marketers, business owners, and product teams.

It’s important that you manage your email automation effectively:

  • Triggered emails get 70% higher open rates and 152% higher CTRs than drip emails
  • Relevant emails drive 18X more revenue than broadcast emails
  • Only 51% of companies are currently implementing marketing automation of any kind (meaning there’s a good chance you can do better than your competition)

Best process for email automation management

processes for managing email automation

Email automation management should be as agile as possible. You shouldn’t strategise a big campaign and set up a complicated behemoth of email automation before first testing your results.

Instead, think like a SaaS developer, who would build one small feature at a time, frontend then backend (while working as agile as possible).

By the same token, you should strategise how to solve for one problem at a time, or a few related problems. This is in contrast to strategising a complex, robust email campaign that covers every possible use case.

You’ll have better results if you take one problem, figure out how to fix it, trigger that message, and then measure response than if you setup dozens and dozens of emails for different purposes all at once.

Here’s the email automation management process we recommend you follow:

  1. Strategy: Start with a problem and discover what you can do to solve it, such as a high rate of new subscribers not logging in after they start their free trial.
  2. Setup: Next, choose the correct Smart Group (or apply customer filters) to target the right people to receive this message, based on a specific action or even a lack of engagement.
  3. Write the copy: Then it’s time to craft a message that appeals to this group of customers or prospects, based on the targeting criteria and where they’re at in the customer journey.
  4. Updates & optimisations: Email automation management also includes the process of reviewing, updating, and optimising your emails to ensure that they’re effective and up-to-date.

Let’s take a look at all of these steps and stages in more detail.

1. Start with strategy

strategy for managing email automation

Clichés exist for a reason right? Right.

Starting with strategy might be a cliché, but you have to start with strategy if you want to you want to manage email automation in a way that’s truly effective and engages with the right customers at the right time.

We recommend that you start with a common problem or known problem. You can work together with your marketing, product, and/or digital teams to brainstorm some issues that email automation might be able to solve.

You can also take a look at these common issues and see if any apply to your business:

  • Not trying to save abandoned carts: If you’re an ecommerce company with no systems setup for saving abandoned carts, such as emails that remind shoppers over the course of three days, then that would be a great place to get started with email automation.
  • Not getting feedback on cart abandonment: Why do customers abandon your checkout? You could send an email asking for their feedback to find out if its something wrong with the product, or with your checkout experience.
  • Free trial churn for SaaS: You don’t want to bombard active free trial users with the wrong kinds of messages, however for users who haven’t logged in in the last couple of days, sending them helpful messages is a must.
  • Churn for digital publishers and content subscriptions: As a digital publisher offering a paid content subscription, if readers haven’t visited your site in 7 days, that could be a sign of churn. Catch them before it’s too late with an email sharing your best recent headlines.
  • Not engaging leads that are close to purchasing (B2B): With higher priced B2B offers, it’s essential to engage leads that are showing interest in your product or service. Maybe they’re downloading a white paper or viewing your pricing page. You can send a timely email to ask if they have questions or offer to schedule a time for a demo.

If you’re not quite sure where to start with email automation, and you’re not aware of any problems that could be solved with email, then you can start by taking a look at different customer filters and see if that sparks any ideas.

Here are just a few of the top customer/prospect filters:

  1. Downloaded a white paper
  2. Downloaded a white paper X times
  3. Last seen on site X days ago
  4. Recently purchased
  5. Viewed pricing page
  6. Viewed blog
  7. Abandoned cart

There are dozens and dozens of different customer and website user filters to choose from. GoSquared includes a Customer Data Hub alongside web analytics so you can understand who are your most loyal customers and users, who’s about to buy, and who’s at risk of churning.

email automation set up

It’s the combination of the Customer Data Hub and our email automation management that makes GoSquared so powerful.

You can check out those customer filters inside of the Customer Data Hub to view the people that match that criteria.

You can also setup email automation for these different customer filters as well. You can combine customer filters to create your own Smart Group or choose from some pre-existing Smart Group criteria.

When you create a new automated message, you can choose from these different filters:

setting up email automation

Here are some additional filters you can choose from when triggering an automated email:

email automation management

While it’s best to start with some known issues you’re experiencing with website visitors and customers, you can also use the above drop down lists for inspiration.

2. Email automation management setup

set up automated emails

Once you know what group of customers you want to target in your email, setting up the messages is fairly simple.

There are a few things you need to be aware of:

  • Give your automated email message a descriptive title. Make sure it’s clear, so when you get to the ongoing review stage, you’ll remember what this email is for.
  • Select the relevant Smart Group (customer filter criteria). For most messages, you’ll select entering the Smart Group as the trigger, but leaving a Smart Group could also be a trigger. For example, let’s say you have a Smart Group of people who have visited your website in the last 10 days. When someone leaves that Smart Group, they might be at risk of churning, and need to receive a re-engagement email.
  • manage automated email

    Selecting the Smart Group is the most important thing when setting up your messages.

    But there are other options to be aware of too.

    You can choose to send the message during your business’s office hours, so that if you use the email to invite someone to chat with your team on your website, you make sure someone is actually there! You can also utilise this setting to make the email timing a bit more natural. This is great for B2B companies, but probably not needed for ecommerce sites.

    If you have Live Chat representatives who are active, you can select to not send a message that would interrupt an ongoing conversation.

    manage email automation

    You can also make sure that messages are not repeated too often. You can set messages to not repeat in intervals of hours, days, or months. This is important if customers or website visitors could possibly enter and exit a Smart Group frequently.

    For example, you might count viewing your blog as a form of engagement and want to send a prospect follow up content when they view your blog. But you wouldn’t want to do this daily, or possibly even weekly, depending on your business.

    managing email automation

    3. Email automation copywriting

    copywriting for automated emails

    The next step in email automation management is writing the copy.

    Often times, the software and setup is the simplest part, but knowing what to say is hard. The very best thing you can do is to look at examples to spark your creativity. Even professional copywriters do this. They can them “swipe files” and they save different emails so that they can later templatise them and follow a similar structure or style.

    We’ve put together a few different posts with email examples that you might want to check out:

    Each of those posts has plenty of real life examples.

    Inside of GoSquared, you can craft your automated emails super easily.

    Here’s what you’ll need to include:

    • The sender
    • The style (CTA button to any webpage or an invitation to chat)
    • Email subject
    • Message
    • Button text and link (for CTA-button emails)

    managing email automation

    What you write in the email comes down to what action you want the reader to take. Email management automation is all about efficiency. What do you want users to take action on, and how can you automate that request?

    For invitation-to-chat emails, you can keep the content pretty simple. Here’s an example:

    Hi there! I noticed that you didn’t complete your order. Do you have any questions for us? We’re available right now to answer your questions via chat.

    For CTA-button emails though, what you say depends on where the button link is sending traffic. You might use that button to send users to:

    • Your homepage
    • The page on your site that they viewed recently which triggered you to send the email (such as viewing your pricing page or contact form)
    • The shopping cart
    • A recent blog post
    • Another piece of content that relates to a whitepaper they just downloaded

    When you know what you want readers to click on, then the entire point of that email becomes getting as many people as possible to click on that button.

    Use teaser bullet points to show what they might learn in a new blog post, include testimonials that will make them want to dive back into your pricing page, or remind them of the benefits of the product that they had added to their cart.

    4. Updates & optimisations: ongoing email automation management:

    optimising email automation

    Email automation management is an ongoing task.

    Review your emails at the end of every month. (Do it sooner if you’re launching a lot of different email campaigns based on previous performance).

    Look for number of sends: if the number seems lower than you expected, consider changing the Smart Group to be just a little more broad, or removing one criteria. For example, you might switch from downloading 2 white papers to downloading just 1 for the email criteria.

    email automation management

    You might also want to add different emails for different criteria every month as well.

    Too many companies fail at email automation management because they turn it into one big project. When you break it down into individual emails that solve problems and target different customer groups, it becomes simpler.

    Plan on reviewing, editing, and adding emails monthly.

    Email automation management is still an underutilized digital strategy. It can help win back customers, close deals, and increase LTV. When you’re setting up your emails, Tweet us and let us know how it goes!


    It has been a heck of a year for email marketers – not just professionally but for the industry at large. I’ve worked with an amazing collection of clients from disparate industries, from a direct-mail firm to a massive health care business to start-ups and established businesses.

    They all have one thing in common: a continuing, constant yearning to get better at email for their companies and their customers. This gives me hope for 2020, not just in the email space but in our professions as marketers.

    I’m closing the books on the year with two thoughts.

    1. Thank you for being a marketer!

    This year, I’ve spoken with hundreds of marketers across the United States. What continues to impress me is that we are a dedicated, driven and insightful group of people. 

    Whether you’re in email or social media, direct marketing or programmatic, a trainee or the CMO, pat yourself or a fellow marketer on the back for the life direction you chose.

    It’s not easy being a marketer. We’re all dedicated to advancing our companies’ goals and brands and that takes a special kind of person. You can create something great, like an amazing abandoned-cart program, a tweet that goes viral beyond expectations or a video that elicits compliments from your CMO.

    And then the next time you send an email campaign, you misspell the subject line. You’re down one day, then up the next when you see that the flawed campaign generated 20% more revenue than you expected.

    You can feel proud of the job you’re doing. Keep doing it, and you will keep getting better at it.

    I’m not all “email’s great, rah, rah, rah” here. We all have to check ourselves no matter where we are in the corporate structure. We need to keep learning, whether it’s by finding a podcast that inspires us, a conference that connects us to each other, or an article with new viewpoints.

    Don’t go into this thinking you need to find the time to improve your skills. You have to make the time to learn. The only way you’ll do better is to admit you have to learn from others.

    And that leads me to my second thought.

    2. Share what you learned with those who come after you

    That’s one of the things that makes a great marketer: the willingness to pass on what you’ve learned to people whose shoes you were in not too long ago.

    Teach others what made you successful and what you failed at. One thing I do as a fractional CMO is to point my clients in the right direction so they don’t keep making the same mistakes or find themselves going down the wrong path. That’s all done by teaching.

    This isn’t just about personal gain or helping your company grow. Everything you do to educate yourself and push harder to do email better also helps our industry grow.

    I don’t have hard data to prove this, but I’ve believed for a long time that email has not innovated as fast as other channels because an email marketer’s lifespan in the job is one to three years. When people leave those front-line marketer positions, they’re ready to get out and move on to another company or take another position within the company.

    When they move on, all that institutional knowledge gets lost. That means our industry resets itself every one to three years.

    I can’t blame anybody for getting into email and then aspiring to greatness. It’s a responsibility to our craft and to the industry at large for email marketers to take on more responsibility and assume authority.

    Congratulations if you just landed a new job. But, do one thing before you pop that farewell champagne or head out to your going-away party: Document everything!

    Write down which tests worked, what you learned and how you used it. What shortcuts, workarounds and tricks have you learned about working with your various marketing platforms? What do they need to know that they won’t learn from the employee handbook?

    Start a master document called “Mentorship,” and write things down as they occur to you. This is not a long, drawn-out report or an FAQ. Think of it like a page full of tweets or Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat posts where you communicate what you’ve learned, the goals you achieved and anything else that will help your successors get up to speed quickly.

    Maybe you’re thinking, “Nobody did this for me. If I had to learn everything on the job, so should they.” Now, remember your first six months on the job. How scared were you to push the “Send” button on your early email campaigns? How scared are you still?

    If you’re staying at your company but moving into a new job, offer to become a mentor to your successor. Help them as needed but also give them space to make their own successes.

    When we all band together, we’ll accelerate the learning curve.

    Wrapping up

    In previous Marketing Land articles, I have urged you to celebrate your successes with your team. This time of year, email is a slog. You’re in a fierce battle for the success of your program and the goals you have achieved.

    We’re close to the end now, but don’t forget to encourage everyone you work with. Go out for a drink after work or for dinner. Celebrate all the good things that happened in 2019, and let your ideas for 2020 creep in during your moments of rest.

    You can do it. I believe in you!

    Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

    About The Author

    Ryan Phelan is co-founder of Origin Email and brings nearly two decades of worldwide online marketing and email experience. Ryan is a respected thought leader and nationally distinguished speaker with a history of experience from Adestra, Acxiom, BlueHornet, Sears Holdings, Responsys and infoUSA. In 2013 he was named one of the top 30 strategists in online marketing and is the Chairman Emeritus of the EEC Advisory Board. Ryan also works with start-up companies as an advisor, board member and investor.


    Email marketing and analytics provider Twilio SendGrid has published its third Global Email Benchmark Report, with a portion of the study dedicated to analyzing email recipients and senders. The report found that 95% of Gen Z and Millennial respondents stated that their personal email — notably not their work email — is essential to their daily lives.

    The study also examines factors including open rates, send frequency, personalization and different media types to provides monthly engagement data from over 60 billion emails.

    Why we care

    Over the past couple of years, you  have likely heard — or become familiar with — the phrase “email is dead.” A quick Google search for phrase populates nearly 2 billion links to predictions that the channel is dying. The reality is quite the opposite; email notoriously averages strong return rates and helps brands establish relationships with their customers.

    Across all age groups in the U.S. and the U.K., 84% of respondents check their email at least once a day, with the majority of people checking messages numerous times throughout the day.

    Source: Twilio SendGrid

    “Emails help people track what they’ve bought online, when orders will ship, alert them to sales and discounts, remind them what bills they have to pay, and provide updates about the brands they love. Email has become a part of their morning rituals and routines. Some even say they’re addicted to their email,” the study says.

    On average, brands increased the average number of emails they sent. The increased number of messages sent corresponds with the drops in metrics including aggregate open and click rates and click-to-open rates.

    Source: Twilio SendGrid

    More on the news

    • In 2019, the number of clicks on mobile vs. non-mobile increased from 55.6% to 61.9% on mobile devices.
    • Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail were the top three most predominant inbox providers used by U.S. participants.
    • In both the U.S. and the U.K., respondents indicated that personalization is an important factor in creating memorable emails.

    More about the Managed Inbox

    About The Author

    Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.


    Thanksgiving Day is upon us, and with it, the busiest shopping week of the year. The five-day stretch between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday poses a unique challenge this year for retailers — 2019’s “Cyber 5” will kick-off a shorter-than-usual holiday shopping season with six fewer days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

    Fortunately for e-commerce brands and online retailers, the shorter season is not likely to impact how much consumers plan to spend during the next month. eMarketer reports 2019 will be the first year holiday revenue will surpass $1 trillion, a 3.8% jump over last year.

    So what can online retailers expect over the next five days? We’ve assembled the following rundown this year’s holiday shopping forecasts so you know what’s coming.

    Cyber Monday to see record sales

    Adobe reports this year’s holiday season will bring in $143 billion in online revenue, with $30 billion coming in between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. Both Adobe and the National Retail Foundation (NRF) predict online holiday sales could see as much as a 14% lift over last year’s numbers.

    The NRF expects 70 million consumers will shop online during Cyber Monday. At the same time, Adobe predicts those shoppers will spend $9.4 billion that day, nearly a 20% increase over last year’s Cyber Monday sales.

    “Cyber Monday is once again expected to be the biggest online shopping day in US history, with a total that could approach — or even surpass — $10 billion,” reports eMarketer.

    Consumer spending habits

    Shoppers are expected to spend $892 on their holiday shopping, according to a holiday shopping survey of 2,000 consumers by The Harris Poll and OpenX. Half of these consumers already started their holiday gift buying back in September, with a majority of dollars spent during the holidays happening in online sales (desktop, mobile or tablet). Deloitte’s survey of 4,400 U.S. adults found the same — that most spending (59%) would happen online — but, the participants in Deloitte’s survey reported a much higher average holiday spend: $1,500 with $879 happening online.

    Adobe predicts 47% of online holiday revenue will happen via a smartphone, with U.S. consumers spending $14 billion more on their mobile device this holiday season compared to last year.

    What’s happening on Amazon?

    A recent Episerver survey polling more than 4,500 shoppers across the U.S., UK and other countries revealed 42% would be buying most or all of their holiday gifts on Amazon.

    Amazon also pulls more shoppers at the start of their shopping journey during the holidays — according to the survey, 32% of online shoppers who aren’t sure what they want to buy will start their gift search on Amazon compared to 18% who turn to Google. Amazon wins an even larger share when there’s a specific product being searched — for example, when searching for an apparel item, 43% of the shoppers surveyed by Episerver turn to Amazon versus 29% who turn to Google.

    Amazon gave shoppers an early look at the discounts it will be offering between November 30 and December 2, with more than 100 deals spanning across various categories — from Amazon devices and Amazon brands to fashion, electronics and toy products.

    Google Shopping ads will be key, even if growth is slow

    Marketing Land contributor Andy Taylor says retailers can expect Google Shopping to play a key role during the holiday season this year, but is on the fence about whether or not the platform will see the growth it experienced during the last quarter of 2019.

    “It’s unclear if Google Shopping has another big push like the one we saw last Q4 in it, or if Google has more or less used up its powder with respect to expanding these ad units to the extent observed at the end of 2018,” writes Taylor, who serves as the director of research for the search marketing firm Tinuiti, “As such, advertisers shouldn’t be shocked if Shopping growth is slower during the holidays this year than last year.”

    (Don’t miss the digital commerce marketing tract at SMX West 2020!)

    Taylor also noted Amazon’s appearance in Google Shopping ads, which has grown over the last year. In October, 2018, Amazon was barely visible in Shopping results for apparel, but this year tells a different story. “Amazon’s impression share is now more than double what apparel retailers saw last December and has held steady for the last three months,” reports Taylor.

    Email marketing: “Free shipping” and “% off” discounts win

    Last year’s holiday email marketing results were less than inspiring. After sending more holiday-themed campaigns than any previous year during the fourth quarter of 2018, brands saw average open rates at 10.5% and click rates at 1%, according to Yes Marketing’s 2018 holiday report. The holiday-themed email performance rates scored lower than non-themed emails sent during the same time period, which delivered a 12.6% open rate and 1.1% click rate.

    For brands wanting to offer discounts via their email messaging, Yes Marketing’s Senior Director of Client Service Kyle Henderick said “% off” promotions performed best last year, delivering more than double the conversion rates of a business-as-usual message. He also says “Free Shipping” offers are an effective way to stand-out during the Cyber Monday email surge: “When subscribers are sorting through hundreds of Cyber Monday emails, ensuring free shipping is prominent is almost a sure-fire way to capture their attention.”

    More about retail for the winter holidays

    About The Author

    Amy Gesenhues is a senior editor for Third Door Media, covering the latest news and updates for Marketing Land, Search Engine Land and MarTech Today. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including MarketingProfs, SoftwareCEO, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy’s articles.

    The holiday season remains the hottest battle of the year between brands for shoppers’ dollars. This coming season is already heating up, with the National Retail Federation (NRF) forecasting 3.8-4.2% growth. While every marketer with a stake in the game meticulously plans this season, are they wasting their efforts at one of the most critical points in the year?

    Based on my own employer’s holiday report, more brands sent holiday-themed campaigns in Q4 2018 than in the year prior, but the performance metrics were lackluster. Average open rates for holiday-themed emails were 10.5%, whereas average click rates were 1% – both falling short of non-themed emails from the same period (12.6% average open rate and 1.1% click rate).

    So what does this mean? That the holiday strategies and content from 2018 aren’t cutting it. It’s time to rethink your holiday strategy before it’s too late. Here are a few data-backed ways to refresh your messaging for each holiday this year.

    Nail your brand’s core beliefs and values during key holidays

    Thanksgiving: For some brands, there’s a direct logical tie-in to Thanksgiving promotions. For example, brands whose products or services cater to Thanksgiving shoppers – home goods, grocery stores, food prep, delivery services, etc. – can take advantage of this holiday by sending Thanksgiving-themed messages. If your brand is focused on offers this holiday, promoting a “% off” discount yielded the best results for brands last year, generating more than double the conversion rate of BAU (business as usual) messages.

    Now, if you’re able to sell it to your CMO or are the CMO, I prefer not taking the sales-driven approach for this holiday (at least until after dinner, aka pre-Black Friday purchasing). Instead, marketers who promote and drive goodwill get rewarded. Marketers should consider this holiday an opportunity to highlight their philanthropy and humanize their brand. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, not necessarily consumerism — so use this as a way to connect with your shoppers on a more emotional level while helping better the world. For example, since 2015 REI pre-empted Black Friday over the Thanksgiving holiday by encouraging its customers to #OptOutside instead of participating in the shopping rush.

    Black Friday: As tempting as it is to focus only on your in-store Black Friday deals during Cyber week, marketers should consider that this holiday is moving online. Shoppers are excited for the deals on this commerce holiday – with conversion jumping 37.5% YoY – and brands need to ensure their digital channels are not missing out on the online expansion.

    For many brands, promoting Black Friday deals earlier led to higher engagement with email marketing efforts. Last year, emails sent before Nov. 19 earned higher click rates and open rates than later emails, suggesting value in hyping the event earlier and getting customers thinking about their purchases long before the big day.

    Cyber Monday: We all think consumers know free shipping is table stakes. But when subscribers are sorting through hundreds of Cyber Monday emails, ensuring free shipping is prominent is almost a sure-fire way to capture their attention. With more brands flooding this event every year, a simple basic like this could win this day for your brand. Last year, attention was harder to get as brands saw open rates drop more than 10%. But the brands that managed to grab that attention saw a significant reward, with conversion jumping ~57% YOY.

    Christmas: Christmas emails often focus on building relationships with consumers over a holiday that focuses on togetherness – a strategy that continues to resonate. Christmas is ideal for marketers to focus on the human side of their brand by sharing stories from employees or customers or showcasing the charity work they do, and also by helping subscribers prep for the holidays through useful travel, gifting and decorating tips.

    Differentiate your brand by telling your story

    Your email marketing strategy can’t ignore any of the holidays mentioned above without wasting critical opportunities. Ensuring your brand stands out and is not just focused on sales will not only win this holiday season, but it will drive future success come 2020. Don’t forget to use this time to drive home the story of your brand by celebrating yourself and your relationship with your customers.

    • Make a New Year’s resolution. Focus on new releases, philanthropy or areas of improvement for your brand and share with your customers. That looks different for different brands. One idea: If you had any late deliveries throughout the year, admit it and layout a plan to eliminate or reduce late deliveries as your brand’s new resolution. This lets customers know you’re genuinely making an effort to improve their experience in the new year while showing a transparent human side.
    • Thank your customers. What’s a better way to celebrate your customers than a simple note saying thank you? Thank your customers and show them appreciation for their engagement with your brand. Highlight positive social posts about your brand while saying thank you. If you’re able, consider throwing in a gift card for those customers you highlight as an added gesture of thanks.
    • Tell your customer story. Highlight your customers’ journey with your brand. For instance, send a “year in review” email to remind your customers of the experiences they had throughout the year. For example, Lyft not only celebrates a year in review of its own accomplishments and goals, but also sends personalized emails to customers with details about the rides they took over the years. This works in every industry, so stop making excuses and get this on your calendar already!

    Remember: When building out a holiday marketing strategy, first consider whether or not you’re listening to your customers and providing them with the content they need during the holiday shopping season. Authentic and relevant messages personalized to holiday shoppers will help foster customer loyalty and retention. Brands that fail to deliver on consumer needs risk falling behind and getting lost in a sea of promotions throughout the holiday season.

    More about retail for the winter holidays

    Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

    About The Author

    Kyle Henderick is Senior Director of Client Services at Yes Marketing, a single solution provider who delivers relevant communications across all channels for mid and enterprise-sized companies. Kyle is responsible for helping major clients implement new programs, processes, and data-driven strategies to create campaigns that truly drive revenue. With a passion for technology implementation and a background in database, email, web, and social media marketing, Kyle turns his real-world experience into executable tactics to help clients see an incremental lift in revenue, subscriber engagement, and customer retention. A lover of all things Chicago, when Kyle is not reading up on latest marketing practices or focusing on improving client programs, he can be found enjoying the city’s great restaurants or wearing his heart on his sleeve while rooting for all Chicago-based sports teams. A curious individual willing to try any and every food that does not include raw onions, he is always looking for exciting dining options and new adventures around the city.

    This is the sixth installment in our series on marketing to the managed inbox.

    Reaching the managed inbox is a multi-layered process that involves a growing number of marketing resources and is more challenging than ever before. Thanks to the rise of malicious email practices, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have doubled-down on email security practices.

    It always seems to come as a surprise, but Thanksgiving week is already here. The holiday that is traditionally celebrated by eating turkey and watching football is also the lead-in to the biggest retail sales events of the year. It has also evolved into one of the most important events for email marketers; many email marketers — particularly those in the retail space — are thinking about Black Friday and Cyber Monday all year long. From adhering to deliverability best practices to implementing precise segmentation strategies, marketers need to ensure their email programs in shape.

    “Black Friday/Cyber Monday is without a doubt the Super Bowl, World Series and Stanley Cup of email marketing all rolled into one,” said Len Shneyder, VP of industry relations at Twilio SendGrid. “And like the sporting events, it only happens once a year, but the good news is that there’s always next year.”

    Don’t disregard deliverability. If your brand is sending emails at a higher frequency and volume this week, deliverability should be a top priority. Don’t discount all of the work your team has done throughout the year to build a strong reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and subscribers by “spamming” them during this week.

    Take careful consideration when developing strategic segments to ensure you are delivering emails that your subscribers actually want to receive this week. Target individuals with products or services you know they want to purchase based on their past behaviors, use straightforward language in your subject lines and don’t send irrelevant emails.  

    Consider combining CTAs. Can you combine multiple calls-to-action (CTAs) into one email instead of sending separate emails? Research from Radicati indicates that the average person receives between 120 and 130 emails per day. That number will undoubtedly increase this week as brands and retailers ramp up with Black Friday and Cyber Monday messaging.

    “The saturation, if not total water-logging, of consumer inboxes during the holidays presents brands that exercise restraint with unique opportunities,” says Shneyder. “Consider combining a few emails and offer two to three CTAs with a compelling, value-driven subject line that isn’t screaming at recipients in all caps.”

    Tap into the results. Analyzing the results of your
    Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails is critical for informing your email
    marketing program for next year, and can help you identify different variables,
    outliers and even new opportunities to capitalize on throughout the year.

    If you can capture multiple opens of those emails, analyze which links were ultimately clicked,” Shneyder advised. “If conversions happened, you might uncover a new segment that responds to particular offers or is more inclined to transact during narrow windows of opportunity like the holiday shopping bonanza.”

    The holiday season is the time that brands need to stand out in their subscribers’ inboxes to catch — and retain — consumers’ attention. Before you finalize your emails and set them to “scheduled,” be sure that your email marketing campaigns don’t overlook any of the critical elements that keep your emails in the inbox year-round.

    “Email is iterative, thus think about how you can use data from this holiday season to inform not only next year’s Kentucky Derby, but every major holiday, and let’s face it, the days in between, through careful analysis,” said Shneyder.

    More about the Managed Inbox

    About The Author

    Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.


    As we’ve been exploring the Periodic Table of Email Optimization and Deliverability in recent weeks, we’ve looked at Permission, Trust, Infrastructure and Audience. This time, we will go into another critical set of elements — those involving Content.

    First and foremost, in this age of smartphones and tablets, it’s critical that your emails are designed in such a way that they are Responsive (Rd) – so they are optimized to look good on a wide variety of devices and in many different email clients. You can choose to send emails in HTML or in plain text, depending on the Structure (St) that you prefer or the purpose of the email. For example, you might choose plain text for a Transactional (Tr) email, one sent to confirm an online order or provide shipping information or otherwise facilitate an agreed upon transaction.   

    Whatever format you choose, you’ll want to carefully craft your Subject Line (Sj), the introduction that tells the recipient about the intent of the message and encourages the person to open it. Once it’s open, the email content should have a Personality (Hi), using images and text that reflect your brand, and it should strive for Readability (Re), speaking your audience’s language in scannable, easy-to-read sentences and paragraphs. 

    The frequency with which your email messages are delivered also has an important effect on how they are received. Adopt a well-thought-out email marketing Calendar (Ca) structured around your organization’s milestones. 

    More about the Managed Inbox

    About The Author

    Pamela Parker is Senior Editor and Projects Manager at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.


    Brands will be able to deliver emails with dynamic content such as RSVPing to events within the Gmail app.

    • More

    Google has announced that the Gmail app for Android and iOS will be rolling out support for AMP for Email, the dynamic content feature that allows users to interact directly within emails. The update is available to all G Suite editions and will be set to “on” by default. Users viewing emails through a third-party app will receive a static version of the email.

    Why we should care

    Serving dynamic emails allows marketers to extend the lifetime of their brands’ emails. Marketers who take advantage of AMP for Email can keep their customers up-to-date without sending redundant emails by including dynamic content like the status of an e-commerce order. It also allows recipients to take actions such as unsubscribing without having to leave the body of the email.

    Earlier this year, Google announced that it would be adding support for dynamic emails in Gmail on the web.  With the Gmail app now supporting dynamic content, marketers have the opportunity to deliver engaging mobile experiences that don’t require the recipient to open another app or browser.

    More on the news

    • Email marketers can experiment with AMP for Email in the “playground.”
    • To be able to send AMP versions of emails, you’ll need to register with Google and agree to meet its guidelines and requirements.
    • Two rollouts are scheduled to begin November 21, 2019: Rapid Release domains and Scheduled Release domains. Both extended rollouts could potentially take up to 15 days before all users have access.

    More about the Managed Inbox

    About The Author

    Jennifer Videtta Cannon serves as Third Door Media’s Senior Editor, covering topics from email marketing and analytics to CRM and project management. With over a decade of organizational digital marketing experience, she has overseen digital marketing operations for NHL franchises and held roles at tech companies including Salesforce, advising enterprise marketers on maximizing their martech capabilities. Jennifer formerly organized the Inbound Marketing Summit and holds a certificate in Digital Marketing Analytics from MIT Sloan School of Management.


    Finally, it’s time to discuss the people you’re trying to reach with your email messages – your Audience. Here we shift to the Optimization section of the Periodic Table of Email Optimization and Deliverability, which we’ve been exploring in recent weeks. 

    The most important element of all is the Email Address (At), the unique identifier for your subscriber. This is the most valuable piece of information that we can collect. 

    Email addresses are typically assembled into Lists (Ls) – groups of email addresses that are uploaded to distribute email messages to. Each List, however, can be divided into various cohorts — depending on the amount of data you have on them — via Segmentation (Sg). Segmentation allows marketers to choose smaller groups of customers, or potential customers, and communicate with them in a manner that is specifically tailored to their particular demographics, locations or behaviors. Personalization (Me) refers to the practice of using subscriber data to tailor-make content for individuals based upon the information you have about them. 

    This information can be collected and augmented through the use of an email Preference Center (Pc), which is an interface for subscribers that allows them to manage their subscription preferences. Preference Centers can be used to allow recipients to tell senders how best to serve them by expressing their interests or indicate how often they’d like to receive communications. 

    Beyond Preference Centers, marketers can learn a lot about subscribers’ likes and dislikes by observing how they interact with messages that are sent. Recipients use an email Client (Cl) to either download their email or access their email through a web interface. The first metric marketers look at is the Open (Op), which occurs when a recipient actually opens an email. Next, marketers can look at whether users Click (Ck), or interact with a link within the email, which demonstrates their Engagement (Eg) with the content. 

    When marketers are analyzing their Audience’s interaction with the emails they’ve sent, two of the metrics that often have an impact on engagement are Send Time (St), the time the email is sent (typically looked at in terms of the recipient’s time zone) and Send Frequency (Sf), how often a given email address or list receives emails from the brand.

    More about the Managed Inbox

    About The Author

    Pamela Parker is Senior Editor and Projects Manager at Third Door Media’s Content Studio, where she produces Martech Intelligence Reports and other in-depth content for digital marketers in conjunction with Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, MarTech Today and Digital Marketing Depot. Prior to taking on this role at TDM, she served as Content Manager and Executive Features Editor. Parker is a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since its beginning. She’s a former managing editor of ClickZ and has also worked on the business side helping independent publishers monetize their sites at Federated Media Publishing. Parker earned a masters degree in journalism from Columbia University.