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Gmail is Going To Warn You Over Unencrypted Connection


Soon, you may see a warning in Gmail that tells you that an email has arrived over an insecure connection.

Gmail already defaults to using HTTPS for the connections between your browser and its servers. However, for the longest time, the standard practice for sending email between providers was to leave them unencrypted. If somebody managed to intercept those messages, it was pretty trivial to snoop on them.

Over the last few years (especially after the Snowden leaks), Google and other email providers started to change this and today, 57 percent of messages that users on other email providers send to Gmail are encrypted. Moreover, 81 percent of outgoing messages from Gmail are, too. Gmail-to-Gmail traffic is always encrypted.

Why does all of this matter? Well, unencrypted email makes for a great target. The good news is that email security is getting better. A joint research project between Google, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois found that 94 percent of inbound messages to Gmail can now be authenticated, which makes life harder for phishers. But at the same time, these researchers also found that there are “regions of the Internet actively preventing message encryption by tampering with requests to initiate SSL connections.

The team also saw a number of malicious DNS servers that tried to intercept traffic. “These nefarious servers are like telephone directories that intentionally list misleading phone numbers for a given name,” the researchers write. “While this type of attack is rare, it’s very concerning as it could allow attackers to censor or alter messages before they are relayed to the email recipient.”

Given that there are still plenty of email servers that don’t support encryption, chances are you’ll see one or two of these warning labels in the next few months.


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Smart Reply: A Handy Replying Option For Gmail’s Inbox

Most professionals will know how frustrating (and overflowing) their inboxes can be. They are going to get excessive emails as the holidays approach.

Fortunately, Gmail is making it easier to respond to emails on the go with its new “Smart Reply” feature for its Inbox Android and iOS apps. With Smart Reply, Inbox suggests up to three responses based on the emails received. By leveraging the feature, users can save time on replying to messages that need just a quick response, and can also get a jump start on messages that require a bit more thought.

To make Smart Reply work, Inbox uses machine learning to recognize messages that need responses and to generate the natural language responses. What’s more, the responses that are chosen (and not chosen) help improve the feature’s future suggestions.

Smart Reply is going to be released this week to both Gmail’s Android and iOS apps.


How Timing Strategy Can Increase Your Email Open Rates


All holidays always lend themselves to one thing: an increase openings in promotional emails.

Though some marketers may assume consumers disregard a large volume of holiday emails, consumers’ behavior suggests otherwise. In fact, a survey conducted internally found that open rates for holiday-themed email actually increased in 2014 and consistently exceeded those of non-themed campaigns.

One of the most important factors in achieving an optimal open rate is the timing of these emails. For some holidays, it’s more effective to send promotional emails closer to the actual date, while for others, earlier emails perform better. As we approach Halloween, a major consumer holiday in the U.S., brands can learn a lot from looking at the 2014 holiday season open rates. Overall, it’s important to remember that themed campaigns generally do well when it comes to deliverability, but the timing can make a big difference when it comes to engagement.

Creating A Themed Campaign

Holiday-themed emails continue to increase year-over-year with 83 percent of retailers sent general “holiday” or winter-themed campaigns, making it the most popular ‘theme’ in 2014. Black Friday saw the second highest volume of emails at 80 percent, followed by Thanksgiving at 63 percent. Both of these themes also saw a significant increase from 2013.

While many within the industry may fear that an increase in marketing email volume could irritate consumers and drive response rates down, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Retailers during the last two quarters of 2014 actually saw consistent open rates (14.7 percent and 14.6 percent respectively), and these rates were also higher than they were during the same quarters of 2013 despite a significant increase in volume. This trend is likely due to marketers making a greater effort to provide better mobile experience, improve inboxing strategies and create more personalized email content.

So not only are marketers deploying more holiday-themed campaigns, but consumers are responding in a positive way. While it’s important to note that themed campaigns are crucial for many B2C brands during the holidays, it’s also worth paying attention to the timing of these campaigns. For some holidays, themed emails see lower open rates as the holiday approaches. Here’s a look at the most ideal email marketing timing for each holiday.

Early Deployment

Latest study revealed that consumers open Halloween-themed emails at a higher rate when they are sent within the first two weeks of October (15.2 percent) and at a lower rate when they are sent in the two weeks leading up to October 31st (12.5 percent). Like Halloween, Cyber Monday and Christmas campaigns benefited from earlier deployment in 2014.

If any retailers are just starting to send their Halloween-themed emails, they may have missed the boat. As most Halloween enthusiasts have long been prepared by the time October 31st arrives, it makes sense that earlier campaigns yield better results. This logic also applies to Christmas. It’s likely that as Christmas approaches, consumers become preoccupied with other life events and are less likely to pay attention to email. What’s more, consumers begin Christmas shopping earlier and earlier each year. Cyber Monday is no different. It’s the first day back to work or school after a long weekend. Additionally, many may have become numb to email marketing after a weekend full. So, deploy these campaigns early or risk being lost in the shuffle.

Late Deployment

While it makes sense that consumers are more likely to engage early for holidays like Christmas and Halloween, some holidays lend themselves well to later campaign deployment. Back-to-school, Black Friday, and Thanksgiving campaigns saw higher open rates when deployed closer to the holiday. These events require very little advanced planning (no more than a day or two), so it is likely that consumers are simply not thinking about them until they are fast approaching.

For example, back-to school campaigns that ran closer to the start of school saw open rates 32 percent higher than those deployed earlier in August or July. Parents and students are simply not shopping for school supplies until the days leading up to the start of the year. Similarly, Thanksgiving and Black Friday campaigns deployed in the two weeks leading up to the holiday saw higher open rates compared to those deployed further in advance, most likely due to the lack of advanced planning or gift-giving required. To get the most engagement from back-to-school, Thanksgiving, and Black Friday email campaigns, marketers should wait to deploy until a few days before the event.

So as the holidays approach, brands and retailers should pay close attention to the timing of themed campaigns. It’s important to understand how consumers operate at this time of the year and adjust campaigns accordingly. Consumers can ‘plan’ for some holidays on the day of, while they require advanced preparation for others. While all holiday-themed campaigns can drive revenue for brands and retailers, in order to ensure maximum engagement, timing is everything.

Want To Boost Email Open Rates? Start Personalising Your Prospects Now!


If you want to boost your email marketing open rates more, you need to really pay attention to recepient’s personalisation.

According to a recent study of more than 100 billion emails sent in 2014 and 2015, sending more personalised email campaigns can result in open rates being lifted by nearly 150 percent.

What’s more, the study implies that segmentation is a great way to customise email campaigns, with the data showing that campaigns sent to 35 subscribers or less saw the best average open rates of 55 percent. Conversely, campaigns sent to more than 7,500 subscribers, which suggests little personalisation, averaged a 14 percent open rate. For the sake of comparison, the average open rate is 22 percent.

This study provides conclusive proof that personalising the emails you send, so that you’re speaking directly to specific interests and wants of a subscriber, not only strengthens the relationship with subscribers, it results in better campaign performance. Small businesses tend to be great at developing authentic customer relationships and this data underscores the marketing value of those relationships.

Additional data shows that subscriber domain can also influence open rates. For instance, campaigns set to Comcast Cable, Verizon Wireless and Cox Communications email addresses saw the highest open rates, while AOL, Hotmail and Yahoo saw the lowest open rates. It is also important to note that nonprofits averaged higher open rates at 29 percent than both their business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) counterparts.

Mixing Email Campaign and Social Media Marketing (Infographic)


Email and social media are two major marketing tools that will increase in investment by business owners in 2015.

Many business owners employ either email marketing OR social media campaign. Still, companies are rarely integrating these two superb tools together.

Do you often think that email and social media marketing are not belong together? Think again! In today’s post, we share a great infographic that covers various benefits of integrating your social and email strategies together. It also covers both how to grow your email list through social media and vice versa. There is a bunch of cool data and useful statistics that back up the importance of integrating the two together. You’ll also find two really cool case studies that are highlighted in the graphic as well, reminding that integrating social and email is a win-win situation.

Keep in mind that both channels have a specific purpose but by integrating your email and social strategies together you can improve your brand’s reach while adding leads to your sales funnel.

For more detailed information, please take a look at the infographic below.


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Infographic credit: Reach Mail.

Email Marketing Best Practices From 15 Top Professionals (Infographic)

Mobile Email

Although it is considered as a “old” tool in marketing world, email is definitely one of the classic and dependable instrument when used properly.

If you have already managed your own newsletter, you might probably wondered:

  • When should I send it?
  • At what time?
  • What should I include on it?
  • What value should I provide?

and more.

To answer these, you can:

  1. Read about it on the internet. You’ll find hundreds of posts and studies that talk about this.
  2. Testing and testing and testing…
  3. See what others who have much more experience are doing.

Note that in the option number three, we said that you are ‘seeing’ what they are doing, not what they say you should do since that’s a completely different story. The following infographic provides the option number three plus more. It compared the email marketing tactics of 15 smart marketers, giving an in-depth analysis at your convenience. Take a look at it and start doing the correct email marketing strategy like a pro.


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Infographic credit:

7 Email Tips And Trick For Productive Entrepreneurs (Infographic)


Without doubt, email management is one of the most important skill every business executives must have.

Nowadays, email has become the go-to source of communication. Some of us have learned to handle it in ways that doesn’t stun our productivity, while some still have no idea. The following infographic contains some tips and tricks to help you manage the inbox madness and become an insanely productive entrepreneur in the process.

Here are some important points:

  • Unsubscribe from email lists. Are you on a lot of email newsletter lists? Use to remove yourself quickly, and breathe instantly.
  • Use the “One click” rule. Once opened, you either reply/forward, archive, or delete the email. That’s it. Never close and come back to it later!
  • Stop using your inbox as your to-do list. Your email inbox is for correspondence not for managing your workflow. Use post-it’s, a notepad, or a mobile app o create to-do lists, not your inbox.

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Infographic credit: Chris Ducker.

Five Fabulous Mobile Email Marketing Strategy For Aspiring Marketers (Infographic)

Nowadays, emails are being opened on mobile devices, not PC.

Most people generally bring their smartphone or tablet within reach at all times, so it stands to reason we’d prefer checking them for emails rather than log onto a desktop. This presents online marketers with a great opportunity for increasing open rates and ultimately boosting the success of their campaigns. Especially given that research found that just 34% of companies just have the ‘basics for mobile optimisation in place’. If you’re not optimising your campaigns for mobile devices, then you could be seriously falling behind the others.

With that in mind, here is the infographic containing five top tips which should help you optimise your email campaigns for mobile devices:


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Infographic credit: Salesforce.

Combining Email & Social Media Marketing to Get More Customers


There are mysterious forces in the world of marketing. The techniques that once stood alone are coming together to form powerful alliances.

Although some experts still proclaim that one has mastery over the other, the most savvy small businesses are seeking to harness the power of email marketing and social media marketing at the same time.

Well, the good news is you can do the same things. Just follow these simple steps you can do to maximize your marketing efforts using email and social media together.

1. Link back to your website from your social profiles and your newsletter

The smart way to do this is to link to a specific landing page on your site, rather than your homepage. Think about why your social follower wants to visit your site and give them what they’re looking for as soon as they arrive.

2. Post on social media about your newsletter or email update

Use a tool like our Simple Share function to automatically post to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts when your newsletter is published. It’s totally customisable and on LinkedIn and Facebook you can include a picture, too.

3. Encourage newsletter readers to share your email with their networks

You want more readers who are like your current readers, so tap into their networks by asking them to share your newsletter. Two great ways to do that are with our Sharebar and using Click To Tweet.

4. Include links to your social profiles in your newsletter

Don’t just shove a social icon on your newsletter, tell people why they should follow you. Is it for articles, quotes, discounts, jokes, or something else? They will want to know.

5. Invite your newsletter subscribers to connect with you on Facebook

When you launch a new social campaign, tell your subscribers with a single purpose email. Tell them why  they should “Like” your Page and give them a deadline for the freebie to be over.

6. Let social subscribers know when your email is coming out

The day before your email newsletter is due, post an update on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to let people know what’s going to be in it, and that there’s still time to sign up. Don’t forget to give them a link to your sign-up page (not your homepage).

7. Use a mailing list sign-up app on your Facebook Page

Constant Contact has an app called Join My Mailing List. If people come to your Facebook Page and they are interested in what you do, you can nab them for your email list whilst they’re there, by encouraging them to sign up on your Page itself. I recommend you customise the app thumbnail to match your brand and alter the default text to tell people WHY they should join (e.g. “Get Offers Here First”).

8. Pin your newsletters on Pinterest

Go to your newsletter archive and view your latest newsletter. Now pick out a key image from your newsletter and pin it to one of your Pinterest boards. THEN (and this is the important bit), link it back to your archived newsletter. It will give you extra exposure and some nice SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) benefits, too.

9. Use content snippets from your newsletter on Twitter and Facebook, and link them back to your email archive

Yes, here’s another one using your archive. The easiest way to post your content snippets is to schedule them using a tool like or MarketMeSuite. You can post several to go out over the next few days all in one go. To make the most of your archive, remember to include a nice clear “Join My List” button on your newsletter, so that if someone lands there from one of these snippets (or Pinterest, etc.), they can see how to sign up immediately.

10. Include social media snippets in your newsletter

If you really want to encourage newsletter subscribers to connect with you on social media, try taking screenshots of good engagement that you’ve had on social media channels (like Twitter and Facebook) and use the Microsoft Snipping Tool, or something like Snagit, to take a picture of some of those great messages and include them in your newsletter. This works particularly well if you pair it with a call to action, as call to action success rates are greatly increased if you pair them with a testimonial.

11. Put email and social media marketing plans on a common calendar, and create themes of content on all channels

The smart thing to do is to use your marketing emails (like your newsletter) and your social media updates to reinforce each other by running common themes through all channels. All this means is that you talk about related things on all your social media accounts and emails, during a set time period, e.g. your blog has a how-to article about your theme, on Facebook you post some client examples of how you’ve helped people do that thing, and on Twitter you post a daily fact about that topic.

You can get more useful hints about email marketing from The Website Marketing Group team here. If you want to get started with the email marketing without tears, feel free to enquire now.

15 Email Marketing Myths Debunked (Infographic)





Email marketing is one of the most favourable tools for most online marketers. Unfortunately, most of them are still trapped on the various old beliefs concerning email marketing.

There are many myths that surround email marketing. Adding “FREE” in the subject line will not impact your deliverability rate anymore. Same thing  with the assumption that Monday mornings are the best time to send your emails.

Email marketing works differently for different brands and industries. The following infographic will bust some of the most dominating myths of email marketing and proposes some practical tips that really work.


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Infographic credit: Email Monks.