image source: Marketo.com
No Guys, email is still alive and it seems it won’t die in the next ___ years. It is so far from dead that it is still growing thanks to the increasing number of internet connected devices, and number of web startups all over the world.
So it’s not a surprise that 2013 was an exciting year for businesses, agencies, service providers and for everybody who deals with email marketing. We would like to list the most important news, stats, and other stuff email marketers were talking about in 2013.
18 February – Microsoft Officially Launches Outlook.com
After six months of testing and 60 Million users, Microsoft launches Outlook.com officially, announces to “kill” Hotmail and upgrade each and every Hotmail account to Outlook.com seamlessly.
“A Vision for Modern Email
Email is a critical part of our everyday lives; email plays a crucial role in how we get things done. Outlook.com was designed as an email service focused on removing barriers and simply getting people going. Outlook.com gets people going in four key areas:
- Delivering a beautiful, fresh and intuitive experience on modern browsers and devices
- Keeping people connected with their friends and co-workers across the networks they really use
- Providing a smart and powerful inbox to handle today’s email needs including SkyDrive for sharing virtually anything in a single email
- Putting people in control by prioritizing their privacy“
Bluehornet conducted the Consumer Views of Email Marketing study for the second time this year. The report contains really valuable feedback from ordinary people, who tell how they feel about marketing emails.
- 95% of people sign up for emails to receive discounts.
- 76% do not want companies to send promotional emails if they did not request it.
- 72% have two or more email accounts. This means that there’s competition to get into the primary inbox.
- 76% expect to receive a welcome email after they’ve subscribed.
- 70% don’t add retailers to their address book.
- 37% share emails with their social networks. – Really?
- 69% have used their mobile devices to sort through their email before reading them on a desktop.
- 70% delete emails immediately that don’t render well on a mobile device.
- Over 50% use the “view online” link when reading emails from their mobile devices.
- 75% say a poorly designed email negatively affects their perception of a brand.
- 50% are open to purchasing products from an email they read on their mobile phone.
- Relevance and frequency are the primary reasons for unsubscribing.
- 41% would consider opting down if presented with the option when they go to unsubscribe.
Conclusion for us, as a company interested in email design, is to make sure that email messages are well designed and readable on each and every device. This is definitely the reason why we are building EDMdesigner, which helps everybody build truly responsive email templates in minutes.
6 Apr – [The Email Marketing Industry Census
The Email Marketing Industry Census report by Econsultancy /Adestra shows that only around 10 percent of companies have a strategy for optimizing email marketing for mobile devices. To sum up the findings of this report and Bluhornet’s study I can clearly state that Customers want messages which render properly on mobile but Companies do not care! – That’s all folks.
29 May – Gmail Tabs Introduced
The new Gmail inbox groups your mail into categories which appear as different tabs. On default there are 4 tabs, Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and users can add the Forum tab in the settings menu.
This new Gmail feature causes big headaches for all email marketers and the discussion starts about how it will influence the reach of marketing emails in Gmail. We all knew that it will hurt, but did it really hurt?
22 July – Email Trends and Benchmarks Report
image source: Clickz.com
The average open rate across all industries increased to a record height of 31.1%. We all know that open rate is not the most important success metric in email marketing. So if your open rate is lower than the industry benchmark you shouldn’t be so worried if you have a decent ROI on your email marketing efforts.
Industry benchmarks are good for comparison and to check if your open rates have changed in line with overall trends. For example if you see that your open rate didn’t really change in the past 2-3 years, you should put some extra effort in optimizing your emails.
image source: ExactTarget.com
According to an ExactTarget survey 91% of consumers use email at least daily! Why? Because we are connected to the internet all the time. It was a long time ago when you had to grab a computer at an internet cafe to check your emails. Now you can do so almost any time during the day.
Moreover email is the most accepted marketing channel in people’s life. We all prefer a marketing email over a text mesage or a Facebook Ad.
These facts make email marketing still the most successful online marketing channel. And no, email is not dying 🙂 maybe it has it’s golden era. Who knows?
October / November – Email Design Conference #TEDC13
Litmus is the leading email testing and analytics platform out there. Trusted by the biggest players of email marketing like Mailchimp, ExactTarget and other 100,000 email marketers, designers and agencies worldwide. We are fans of Litmus, so don’t expect me to be neutral (sorry for that).
They organized three #TEDC13 conferences. One in London, an other in San Francisco and the biggest one in Boston. I think most prominent faces of email marketing attended one of the events, if you didn’t manage to get there you should try next year.
- @cstudabaker for the inspirational start
- @alphacolin for your tips on how to get the most out of customer metrics and email marketing together
- @brendan for audience building ideas
- @iamelliot for your great tips on email design and yeah it’s really a pleasure to be an email designer
- @meladorri for all your hands on feedback on different email template designs discussed in live
- @swapnil It was interesting to hear how you test different emails in such a large scale, and we definitely liked the “agile” testing methdology
- @danoshinsky fro pointing out that email marketing is all about the right segmentation and content
- @yarrcat for praising responsive email
- @krudz for data mining and analyzation tips
- @mparkerbyrd for all those stylish weddign email designs
- @briangraves and @brent_walter for responsive design case studies and results
- Paul and the whole Litmus team for organizing the #TEDC13 series. I hope you will have the energy to set it up again next year. It was an honor to be there! 🙂
If you are interested in the official recap of the conference read on at the Litmus Blog.
November / December – How Did Gmail Tab Feature Influence Open Rates In Gmail?
image source: Litmus.com
According to Litmus opens have dropped by 27% since the end of May Gmail – which must be the result of Gmail’s Tab feature. I definitely believe that, because I have for example thousands of unread messages under the Promotions tab, and before this function I was the guy who opened each and every message in his inbox.
We know that reports, studies and statistics are usually a bit contrary so we should not be surprised that this is the situation right now as well, since **Returnpath’s study shows really different results **for the same topic. They state that “users are actively searching for marketing messages in the Promotions tab and reading them at almost the same rates as before the feature was inroduced. For some industry sectors, slight declines occurred in key email marketing metrics, but some large sectors maintained their performance levels, and a few even recorded higher read rates.”
You can decide which report you believe in, but generally I would advise you to make your own research on your own list.
6 December – Mobile Opens Hit 51%
image source: Litmus.com
The conclusion is that those people who used only Webmail clients are turning towards reading email on mobile, while companies still focus on designing emails for desktop screen sizes.
Hardcore email marketing service providers, businesses and agencies already optimize their email messages for mobile devices but everybody else should do so, if they want to keep their subscribers.
If you want to dive deeper to email client statistics check out emailclientmarketshare.com.
12 December – Images Now Showing In Gmail
image source: Gmailblog
Google officially announces to enable images by default in Gmail (first in the Gmail web client, and early next year also in Gmail mobile apps in early 2014.), since displaying images can’t cause any security issue any more since Google caches all your images automatically.
We as email marketers are happy with displaying the images by default, but the image caching makes us a bit nervous, since it will definitely mess up our email analytics. For more on this topic check out the Gmail Adds Image Caching: What You Need to Know article by Jason from Litmus.
Thank you all for reading this post! Do you miss something from the list? Please post it as a comment, we would be happy to update the article any time.
We wish you all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and if you happen to feel bored during the Christmas Holiday subscribe for a beta account at EDMdesigner.com – and start designing your responsive email template right now! We would love to have you on board!