Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Gmail Tabs

As an email marketer we work each day to ensure our emails are properly received, viewed, and responded to by our recipients. So what happens when Gmail, now the world’s largest Email Provider, makes a decision that could change how we view deliverability to the inbox? We adapt. Below is what you need to know about Gmail's recent inbox formatting change: TABS.

What is it?
Gmail users now have the option to group incoming emails into tabs like Primary, Social, and Promotions. The primary tab is the first tab seen by users and holds all the important emails while all marketing emails are filtered into the Promotions tab, include Google’s own ads.

The Effect on Engagement
With the original inbox, Gmail’s open rates average at around 13% to 15% since 2012 (according to Mailchimp). Since the introduction and adoption of the new inbox, Gmail’s opens has dropped by about 18% (according to Litmus).

What can we do about this?
Email marketers have tested dozens of configurations and have yet to find a way to get their “Promotions” into the “Primary” tab. At the moment, the only solution is to ask your subscribers to drag your email into the Primary tab manually.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Email Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing

Email marketing and social media marketing appear similar for the following reasons:

1)    Both are online and can deliver messages directly to audiences who have expressed an interest in the company
2)    Both cost comparably less than other marketing tools
3)    Both produce high returns and beneficial results when executed properly

There are, however, numerous aspects that differentiate the two despite these similarities. In addition, there are many examples show that email marketing is still a lot more effective than social media marketing. The main reasons businesses often choose email marketing over social media is that Email marketing can provide real-time trackable numbers.

Email marketing provides a huge range of statistics—from number of emails sent, open rate, click through rate, bounce rate, etc. Although technological leaps are being made to measure user activity online in regards to social media, email marketing still provides the most definitive user statistics. With detailed statistics, email marketers can adjust and improve the marketing contents and strategies for better efficiency.

Check out this inforgraphic for more detailed information

Happy Mailing!

Author: Heejung Kim
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Email Marketing vs. Direct Mail Marketing

Used by companies large and small today, delivering mail to customers’ mailboxes is still the most popular way to reach your target market. Mail delivery, however, consist of two major types --  direct mail marketing and digital mail or email marketing. While both are a form of direct marketing and are cheaper marketing alternatives to buying a billboard space or running a television ad, the two have major differentiations in how they are sent and received.

Direct Mail

Direct mail marketing entails sending directly to your target audiences’ houses. Direct mail marketing mediums commonly include postcards, letters, catalogues and pamphlets. These materials need to be designed, printed, stamped, and sent through postal service.

One advantage to direct mail marketing is the lists available for purchase that can target the most niche markets out there. Data of households are collected which includes demographics such as age, gender, geography, income, and even their life styles by tracking what kind of magazines they are subscribed to. Another advantage to direct mail marketing is the ability to put a physical copy of a post card or catalogue in consumer’s hands.

However, direct mail marketing has its down side as well. The major one is the hefty cost which includes the design fee, the print fee, the postage fee, the mailing fee and the cost of buying a list. Another disadvantage to direct mail marketing is the lack of accuracy when it comes to tracking ROI (Return on Investment).

Digital Mail

Email marketing uses electronic mail to promote products or a message. Marketing emails can be used for many purposes such as automatically responding to customers, following up with customers, distributing newsletters, keeping in touch with customers and more.

One of the greatest advantages of email marketing is the convenience of delivering and tracking the campaigns. Unlike direct mail, emails can be almost instantly generated and be scheduled to go out as the email marketer sees fit. Also, email marketing enables the marketer to pin point and direct one batch of emails towards one group of audience and another batch to another group of audience. With the right program, it’s also relatively effortless to track opens and clicks which helps with calculating ROI.

While direct mail is great for sending your audience a hard copy of your marketing material, digital mail enables marketers to use more modern techniques, such as animations, in an email. Unlike direct mail marketing, email marketing is prominently more cost efficient. With an ROI of 28.5% compared to direct mail, at 7% (Direct Mail Association), it’s evident that email marketing is unparalleled in its own right.

Despite the wholesome advantages to email marketing, like any marketing strategy, it has its shortcomings. One major weakness for email marketing is the forbiddance of purchasing a consumer list due to the CAN SPAM Act which is intended to prevent email abuse. The appropriate way to go about deriving a list is to compile one by having customers submit their email address on a website or on a form in person which can eventually grow into a healthy, voluminous list.

Whether you take into account the cost, the effectiveness, or the convenience of, email marketing has rapidly surpassed direct mail marketing as a marketer’s must in direct marketing.

Happy Mailing!

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Email Marketing Mistakes

Crucial and Basic Rules that Startups needs to follow in Email Marketing
As a start up, you probably are very excited to send emails out to your customers and share your stories and products. A few crucial rules should be followed by businesses like yours to enhance overall effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. Here they are:  

1.    Don’t think you represent your target market
2.    Don’t market to “Everybody”
3.    Have a permission from your customers
4.    Don’t purchase email lists
5.    Know the difference between transactional emails and email marketing
6.    Focus on customer wants/needs rather than trying to beat the competitor
7.    Build relationships, rather than sending mass messages
8.    Don’t assume people want to hear from you or know who you are
9.    Test emails across multiple platforms 

Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for most details on each one of these great pieces of advice. Much more to come…

- The KobeMail Team

Friday, March 29, 2013

Color In Creatives

Colors evoke emotions, influence attitudes, and can ultimately influence behaviors. If you want to get readers to react to your emails, or any marketing material for that matter, you should be considering the colors scheme you are utilizing.

Below are the primary colors you may use, and a list of psychological emotions they may evoke. Keep this in mind while creating your next mailing template to make sure the theme of your message is conveyed through color:

YELLOW is a great color to draw attention to certain topic. It also conveys happiness and energy, but be careful -- too much yellow is difficult on the eyes and can overpower the rest of your content.

ORANGE is another color that embodies warmth and energy. Uniquely, including orange in your email is a great way to portray both creativity and wealth.

RED demands attention. More assertive than yellow, red conveys a boldness, sense of urgency, and power to your readers. Be cautious not to use too much of this color as to not come off as too aggressive.

GREEN represents cleanliness, health, and the environment. One of green’s best attributes is its easiness on the eyes. Use green to create a tranquil, optimistic email creative.

BLUE is one of the most commonly used colors. Blue evokes emotions ranging from confidence, security, cleanliness, and authoritativeness. (Most business apps use the color blue!)

PURPLE is the color of royalty and wealth. Spirituality, power, and luxury can always be depicted through the use of purple. Due to purple’s artificial nature, it is not widely used.

Happy Mailings!

Author: Kayla Sfiligoj
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, March 22, 2013

Optimizing Emails for Mobile Devices

Over the last 2 years, mobile device usage has shot through the roof with more and more users relying on their portable devices to open and read through emails. Have you considered this fact when optimizing your email campaigns? If you’ve never taken email optimizing for mobile devices seriously before, now is the time to start. According to Campaign Monitor, mobile email usage has grown from 4% of the market to 20% in two years.

So the question becomes - How can you optimize emails for mobile devices?
Subject line:  Use 15 characters max to ensure that recipients can read the full header upon opening

Layout: Use a simple, stacked layout as opposed to a multi-column layout

Width: Keep the width to 600px or less so portions of email are not cut off

Buttons and links:  Make buttons and links big and “clickable” by providing padding (whitespace) around them to eliminate “mis-clicks”  

Click-to-call: Use a plain text phone number or a click-to-call button.  It stands to reason that mobile users are likely to have a high conversion rate over the phone. The idea here is to make it as easy as possible for them to do that.

Ergonomics: Remember that ergonomically, you’re designing for people’s thumbs. Keep that in mind as you’re placing important elements such as call-to-action buttons.

General best practices: Most of the best practices for regular email design still apply. Use images wisely, balance images with plain text, use alt text.

 Happy Mailing!
Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Increasing Click Through Rates

Follow these tricks to obtain more clicks for your e-mail:
More Links
You can use the obvious linking of
call-to-actions such as “Click Here” but try linking your words within your article or pitch. You might find that people will respond better to more links.

Link Your Headlines
If you write a newsletter and you’ve got headlines for your articles, try linking the entire headline. If you sell a product link the product name.

Link Your Images
People are used to being taken somewhere when they click on an image. If you’ve got an image that relates to your product or cause, link it!

Include a Table of Contents
Let people get to the content they want to see fast by using
anchor tags in your table of contents at the top of your email. Make sure to implement anchor tags properly as programs like Outlook 2007 have strict specifications for proper anchoring.

Tease Your Recipients
Include half the story in your email and link off to the other half. Make sure in your link you tell them there is more to read. A good suggestion might be “Finish reading this fantastic article…” or something of that nature. Then on the page you direct them to, you can include offers that relate to your content.

Link Your Offer
 If you’ve discounted a product make sure you link either the text or the image you use.

Use a Free Gift as Incentive
Give a free gift with purchase or donation, but only tell them what it is if they click on the link. Then you’ve got more real estate on the page to tell your story.

Link to a Customer Video
Perhaps you’ve got a customer who made a video about your business. Why not link to it in your emails? Nothing sells you better than one of your customers plus your customer will tell all of his friends about it.

Personalize Your Links
If you’ve got a special offer, why not try including your recipients name in the link. “John, click here for your special discount” or “Stanley, click here to learn more about how you can save the Bay.”

Happy Mailing!

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, March 1, 2013

Increasing Opens Rates

An email campaign can only be as good as its open rates. The key to obtaining higher open rates is to let your customers know you value them and that the content in your email can benefit them. Follow the steps below to learn more on how you can increase open rates:

First Step: Grab Your Reader’s Attention
Emailing is an efficient marketing strategy that can help your company gain awareness. But like most other marketing strategies, research is a must. First, know what your customers want and define what your business can offer them. Next, turn that into the objective of your email which will grab your reader’s attention. This way, you will have an email campaign that will not only appeal to readers but ignite their curiosity just enough to open the email.
2nd Step: Make Subject Lines that Appeal to the recipient
Certain subject lines have been shown to produce more opens. Listed below are examples of some effective subject lines and its corresponding strategy:
  - Opposites Attract: Advertising NEVER Works. (If you disagree, click here)
  - Cliffhangers: Advertising never worked - until I did this one new thing.
  - Interest by Association: Oprah approved: Jane Smith book signing, Wed. at 12
  - Tendency to Belong: You are not alone…

To find out more about these Subject Line techniques look out for next week’s blog titled “Effective Subject Lines
3rd Step: Optimize the First Line
A subject line isn’t all that a receiver reads when they see an email in their inbox. Most ISPs display the first line of an email as a sneak peak of the email after or underneath the subject line.
In most cases, all people see is the line “If you are having trouble viewing this email…” or “If you have received this message in your Spam…” An easy fix to this is to place your logo at the very top of your creative and have the alt text as a line that gives an insight to the content of your email or at least something that is a more appealing.
4th Step: Build Customer Relationship with Content

Now that you’ve gotten your reader to open your email, satisfy them with your contents. Prove to them that you are a valuable source that can offer benefits, solve their problems, provide them with valuable information, etc. 
Consumer relationship management (CRM) is an important part of email marketing, for some it is the only function of email marketing. By inputting valuable content into your email campaign, you are able to effectively and efficiently retain a relationship with your customers and even increase future open rates.

Email marketing is one of the best and most efficient ways to promote your business but it can only work if the readers open the email. Once they do however, they’ve opened not only an email but a door of benefits that your business may be able to offer them.

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, February 22, 2013

Why Email Marketing Is Still Relevant

With all the hype that surrounds social media and mobile marketing, many may think email marketing is past its prime.  However, successful marketers know that email marketing is still one of the best tools for promoting your brand, keeping customer relationships, and building your business.

Outlined here, are a few reasons why email marketing is not dead, and in fact, can be more beneficial to companies now more than ever.  
  1. Email marketing allows you to understand your audience. By tracking open percentages, it is easy to see what specific content readers respond to. Keeping track of these reports are also valuable when creating future campaigns and calls-to-action.
  2. Email is a part of social media! Using email marketing allows you to connect with your readers just about as often as they are checking their Facebook and Twitter sites.
  3. The bottom line: email marketing creates results. With email marketing, you aren’t restricted to conventional advertising tactics. Emails allow you to communicate with readers, increase web traffic, customize content, and see direct results! 
  4. With all the different digital media forms out there, email is the best way to integrate all your marketing efforts. Rather than having distinct, non-cohesive messages between websites, in-person interactions, text messages, and social media sites, email marketing is a great tool for coordinating all your promotions and announcements
Author: Kayla Sfiligoj
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, February 8, 2013


They are two acronyms every marketer should know - SEO and SEM. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing are both important in their own right - but what exactly are they?

SEO: Search Engine Optimization is the act of optimizing your website through key words and website development to boost your placement in the search engine listings.  Complex algorithms determine and match the words people search for with the content on websites.

SEM: Search Engine Marketing is the process of gaining website traffic from search engines. While SEO is primarily organic and there is very little that can be done to improve one’s standing, SEM encompasses the purchase of website placement on a search engine’s pages. As an example, companies pay for the ads at the top of, and on the right-hand side of, a Google search page. Obviously, the higher the bid, the better the placement.

So what does this mean for you and your business? Email marketing can be used as a key tool in driving traffic to your site and increasing click-through rates on your links. This can, in turn, improve your placement within the organic search section of a search engine. By understanding SEO and SEM you can adapt your marketing efforts to include these supportive strategies!

Happy Mailing!

Author: Kayla Sfiligoj
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Building a Strong Email List

The email subscriber is to an online business as the returning customer is to brick and mortar stores. It can be a daunting and time consuming task, but truly understanding your subscribers can lead to long-lasting and profitable relationships. The following techniques can help you to get started:

Easy Opt-In
Always propose a relationship with users past the initial visit by giving them the option to join your email list. The email opt-in option should be prevalent and easily accessible above the fold on all pages on your site. Without scrolling all the way to the bottom of the homepage, a visitor’s attention should be brought to the link to subscribe within the first few seconds on a page.

The ‘About Us’ page is also a very important location to give visitors the opportunity to subscribe to your list. The quest by a user for more information is a clue that the viewer is interested in your business and is more likely to opt-in to receive your emails.
Be Direct
More often than not, when someone views your business site, they are passively scanning through information. Amongst the plethora of information an Internet user goes through, your call to action should be a direct, indisputable statement. If you’re passively suggesting someone should subscribe to your email listing, they may just as passively scroll past. A strong and to the point call to action paired with a simple sign-up form (do not requested to much information) can help to engage prospects.
After the initial signup, the subscribers cannot go unnoticed – Contact via email should be immediate through a Welcome Email. It is suggested you add some sort of offer, or opportunity to gain more info via redirect links, in this email to influence purchase behavior and increase customer loyalty. Following this Welcome Autoresponder, curriculum mailings (drip campaigns) should be used to ensure that the user stays engaged. By taking the time and giving the attention to deliver quality newsletters to your subscribers, they will not only remain an active participant within your business, but may also become an advocate for your brand.
Happy Mailing!
Author: Kayla Sfiligoj
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Email Marketing & the Mobile Revolution

Return Path, “the Global Leader in Email Intelligence” provides insight into email marketing programs based on data driven insight. Via extensive research and case studies Return Path provides valuable insight into email marketing importance and solutions in this digital age.

A recent study conducted by the organization found that more individuals are now accessing emails through mobile devices than through a browser. Furthermore, “mobile open share has increased 300 percent since 2010 and shows no sign of slowing, with four out of 10 emails sent being read on a mobile device” -- Not only are consumers reading via mobile devices, they are sending almost half their emails through this platform as well.

These findings are extremely important to consider while formulating your email marketing campaigns. As email marketing professionals it necessary to realize that these statistics directly affect our client strategies on a multitude of levels. Emails must be optimized to render across multiple devices, simplified for mobile devices ease, and culminated around “on the go” ideals.

Check out the whole article here

and as always, happy mailing from all of us here at KobeMail!

Author & Editor: Caitlin Durand

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy Holidays from Kobemail!

As the New Year begins we must all evaluate company progression in 2012 and develop a plan for productivity in 2013. Setting goals and attempting to reach benchmarks is important in developing comprehensive marketing strategies that help to capture your audience and produce visible results.

Now that the Holiday rush is over and the in-pour of requests has slowed take time to evaluate your current email marketing position within the marketing place. Email marketing is, and will continue to be statistically, one of the most effective ways to reach your target and increase bottom line results.

Here at KobeMail we help to evaluate your needs, appeal to your target, and increase your reach through extensive deliverability testing and results analysis. If you, or someone you know, is looking to improve your email campaigns this year please feel free to reach out and speak with one of our highly trained Account Managers.

Wishing everyone prosperity and wellbeing in 2013!

Caitlin Durand
Account Manager, Client Services
KobeMail - http://kobemail.com/