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New Smartphones Outnumber New Babies 5 to 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.50.53 PM

We truly are in the golden age of mobile. If you read this blog regularly, you know that to be true. But if you’re not convinced, just check out this jam-packed infographic from PennyStocks about mobile usage and prevalence. Here are some of the most interesting data points:

  • 5x as many smartphones are sold per day as babies born.
  • Over 5x as much data is used downloading apps as posting to Facebook every day in the US, and more emails are sent/received via mobile in 1 day than letters in a whole year.
  • Americans spend almost as much time in mobile apps as they do watching TV, and 88% use their phones while they watch TV.
  • 75% of Americans bring their phones into the bathroom with them.
  • 1 in 4 mobile users in the US will redeem a mobile coupon this year.

the-golden-age-of-mobile-infographic-final

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

The post New Smartphones Outnumber New Babies 5 to 1 [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on @AskJamieTurner.

New Smartphones Outnumber New Babies 5 to 1 [INFOGRAPHIC]

Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.50.53 PM

We truly are in the golden age of mobile. If you read this blog regularly, you know that to be true. But if you’re not convinced, just check out this jam-packed infographic from PennyStocks about mobile usage and prevalence. Here are some of the most interesting data points:

  • 5x as many smartphones are sold per day as babies born.
  • Over 5x as much data is used downloading apps as posting to Facebook every day in the US, and more emails are sent/received via mobile in 1 day than letters in a whole year.
  • Americans spend almost as much time in mobile apps as they do watching TV, and 88% use their phones while they watch TV.
  • 75% of Americans bring their phones into the bathroom with them.
  • 1 in 4 mobile users in the US will redeem a mobile coupon this year.

the-golden-age-of-mobile-infographic-final

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

The post New Smartphones Outnumber New Babies 5 to 1 [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on @AskJamieTurner.

Introducing eMarketer Retail, Powerful Intelligence on Major US Retailers

Today we’re excited to launch eMarketer Retail, a new platform containing powerful benchmarks and indicators about major US retailers and store brands. Companies across many sectors—including retail, commercial real estate [...]

How Do Email Marketing Companies Track Email Opens?

“How can someone read an email without opening it?”

No, it’s not a Zen koan.

It’s a common question that we get from customers, because it happens.

The fact is, people read your emails, but you don’t get a record of them opening the email.

So how does this happen?

It has to do with how opens are tracked and reported, and how your subscribers use their email programs.

 
 
 
How Are Email Opens Tracked

How Are Email Opens Tracked?

Whenever your email marketing campaigns are sent out, your email marketing software (such as AWeber) adds a tiny invisible image to the body of your email. This is often called a “web beacon” or tracking pixel.

Your email marketing software hosts the tracking pixel. For your subscriber’s email program to load that image, it must contact your email marketing software. When this happens, your email marketing software records an open for that subscriber.

The assumption behind this system is “when the subscriber’s email program loads that image, it’s because the subscriber has opened the email.”

While this assumption is often true, it’s not always the case:

  • It’s possible for a subscriber to read your emails, but for your email marketing software to not know.
  • It’s also possible for your email marketing software to record an open when your subscriber hasn’t actually opened your email.

How can this be?

 
 
 
How Emails Get Read Without Being Opened

How Emails Get Read Without Being “Opened”

Think about your own email program for a minute (whether that’s Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, or whatever you happen to use).

You’ve probably seen a button labeled “Show Images” or “Display Images” or something similar. Right? It shows up when you open an email that has images in it.

Sure, some email clients have made the jump to turning on all images. And people can tell their email program to always turn on images, or to always turn them on for individual senders. But for many of your subscribers, the images in your email only appear if they click a link or button.

If your subscriber doesn’t click that button? Then their email program doesn’t load the tracking pixel, and your email marketing software doesn’t record an open.

 
 
 
Why Do Opens Happen When The Email Isn't Read

Why Do Opens “Happen” When The Email Isn’t Read?

As you can see in the example above, sometimes the number of opens your email marketing software records is less than the number of subscribers who actually did read your email.

It’s also possible for the number of opens to be greater than the number of subscribers who actually did read your email, too. Here’s a simple example:

Let’s say your subscriber has told their email program to always turn on images for your emails – perhaps because they’ve done this for all emails, or for all emails from their contacts (and you’re a contact), or because they happen to like and trust your emails.

If they click on your emails accidentally, or if they open them in a preview pane (maybe while scrolling through emails in their inbox), your email marketing software will record an open, even though the subscriber didn’t really stop and read your email.

 
 
 
How Should You Use Open Rates

How Should You Use Open Rates?

So if some opens are missed, and other ones don’t mean that someone actually read your email, what’s the value in even tracking opens? Or using them to decide if your email campaigns are doing well?

You might think, “there is no value. Tracking opens is pointless.”

If that’s you… I get where you’re coming from. But to me, there’s still value in tracking opens, as long as you’re doing so for the right reasons.

Here are two ways that you can get value from tracking your opens:

1. Measure Relative Performance of Your Emails

OK, so an open rate of 20% doesn’t mean that 20% of people actually read your email.

But even so, knowing that the recorded open rate for a given email is 20% still tells you something.

All of those things that can impact how open tracking works, and skew your open rates? They tend to happen slowly.

Your subscribers don’t all start or stop turning images on all at once, and for the most part, neither do the programs they use to read your emails.

If you send two emails a week apart, if one has a 15% open rate and the other has a 20% one, you probably did a better job on the subject line of the one with a 20% open rate.

I wouldn’t use this to do a one-to-one comparison of two emails sent a year apart – even gradual changes pile up after a while. But for tracking performance over a short period of time? Or tracking how your email performance is trending? Open rates will work just fine.

2. Identify Inactive Groups of Subscribers

If your email marketing software offers it (AWeber does), you can search your list to see who hasn’t been opening any emails from you for a while.

You may want to send this group of subscribers one or more of the following:

  • A reactivation campaign
  • An email asking what you can help with (what do they want to get from you?) – have them reply to you directly or send them to a link to submit a form/survey
  • A special offer

Tracking opens makes sending these messages to the right people easier.

Open For Discussion…

Hopefully this helps you better understand how email opens work.

Do you look at your open rates? How do you use them to improve your marketing or business?

Are there any other metrics that you’d like to understand better? If so, what are they?

Share your thoughts and questions below.

Mobile Email Marketing in a Nutshell

Mobile Email Marketing Stats and Tactics

The entire mobile marketing landscape, well, almost.

In order to navigate the world of mobile email marketing, you need chart your course by paying attention to these compass points:

  • Mobile ads, mobile search
  • Mobile websites and landing pages
  • Mobile commerce, mobile payments
  • So-Lo-Mo (social + local + mobile)
  • QR codes (they’re not going away just yet, but almost)
  • SMS/MMS
  • Mobile apps, app ads
  • Mobile emails

This post focuses on mobile email marketing, with the caveat that all your marketing programs must be integrated for consistency.

Why is mobile email marketing such a big deal?

Mobile is a must for today’s email marketers and, like any new territory; it has both a tempting and terrifying allure of the unknown. The best way to demystify mobile email marketing is to understand its components.

You’ll find that mobile devices run the gamut from feature phones, with limited functionality, to portable gaming and MP3 players. Email marketers, however, should focus on smartphones and tablets, with accessibility to the web. While these two categories of devices seem quite manageable, keep in mind that you’ve got to account for various devices, including iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows.

If you still doubt the importance of mobile email marketing, here’s a statistic for you: According to Forrester research, 78% of U.S. email users will also access their emails via mobile by 2017. And don’t assume that smartphone use is limited to the younger generation. Emarketer predicts that this year mobile web and smartphone penetration for baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) will pass 50%.

Here are a few mobile email marketing tips.

Smartphones offer 24/7 accessibility and instant gratification, known as “snacking,” for users. So it’s helpful to think “bite size” in terms of mobile email marketing.

Adaptive and responsive are two types of design for mobile-friendly emails. Adaptive design triggers content changes and reformatting to optimize for typical screen sizes for smartphones, tablets and desktops. In responsive design, the design format and content dynamically changes based on the screen size. Here are a few best practices:

  • Use a vertical, single-column layout (350 pixels max)
  • Keep subject lines to under 75 characters (shoot for under 35)
  • Make your text larger, preferably 16-pixel, since most mobile email applications automatically resize smaller text
  • Embedded links are more difficult to click than large buttons (44 x 44 pixels)

Consumers have high expectations regarding mobile. Strangeloop Networks reports that 85% of mobile users expect sites to load as fast or faster than on their desktops. In reality, however, median load time for 3G smartphones is 40% slower than on desktop. It’s not enough to build mobile-friendly emails. You’ve got to build mobile-friendly landing pages and sites, too.

The mobile email takeaway?

Mobile isn’t going away. On the contrary, it’s here to stay – and it’s a force to be reckoned with. Email marketers who embrace this technology will be ahead of the curve – and ahead of their competitors.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is Founder of Indiemark and Co-founder of BrightSpeed. Connect with him everywhere, here.


The Truth About Video Email Marketing

Look in your email inbox, and on any given day you’re likely to find several emails that feature videos. They can range from informational/educational to simply entertaining. But what is all the fuss about? Does video email marketing really lift response rates? Can anyone use video in their email marketing? What are the best tactics (or best practices for that matter)? Let’s find out!

Video Email Marketing Statistics and Reports

  • Simply including the word “video” in an email’s subject line saw an increase of 7%-13% in overall click-through rates (CTRs) in 2011, according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report. Embedding a video in an email generated an average conversion rate 21% higher than emails containing a static image alone.
  • And Videoretailer.org reported that using the word “video” in the subject line of helped achieve increases in open rates of up to 20% vs. no “video” in the subject line.
  • The 2010 Video Email Marketing Survey and Industry Trends Report revealed that video was used with email marketing by 50% of survey participants, and an additional 24% were considering the use of video in their email marketing programs.
  • Video in email can increase click-through rates by as much as two times to three times, according to David Daniels, former principal analyst at Forrester Research and current principle at Relevancy Group.
  • Holland America conducted an A/B test with an animated .gif video in email vs. a static image. The video segment resulted in 100% higher click-through rate, reported Liveclicker.
  • According to Marketing Vox, 63.9% of 5,000 people watched to completion a video sent by email.
  • In a Get Response study of 800,000 customer emails, those containing video received, on average, 5.6% higher open rates and 96.38% higher CTRs than non-video emails.

Video Email Marketing Tactics and Examples

Depending on your budget, several options exist for creating videos in emails:

  • Embedded video, which is provided by companies like Bomb Bomb. But keep in mind that embedded video will not work in all email clients.
  • Animated .gif videos. See this example from Style Campaign, which is executed brilliantly but this format also has its limitations.
  • A static callout linking to a web-hosted video, like the examples below, is by far the most common tactic.

The video featured in this Williams-Sonoma email demonstrates how to use a product (and clearly labels it as such):

Video Email Marketing Example

Cosmetics retailer Obagi creates continuity in its emails with a video series that touches the emotions, sharing one woman’s struggle with acne and how she overcame it – in time for her wedding – by using Obagi products.

Using Video in Emails

Video Email Marketing Best Practices

No matter what format you choose, if you decide to take the plunge, you should follow these best practices for video in emails:

  • Video expert Justin Foster, in a webinar for the Email Experience Council titled “Video Email: Why, When and How,” said it’s important to call out the video in the subject line, use a play button in the video player/player image, and highlight in the email what happens when the video is clicked.
  • Make the call to action a text link for subscribers who have blocked images.
  • Keep full video length with audio to less than 3 minutes, animated .gif videos to 30-45 seconds.
  • Make sure the first frame of the video is acceptable for email clients that show static images only.
  • Ensure that the amount of bandwidth required by the subscriber is not more than 150-200kB/second.

The key takeaway to using videos is email

You have to decide whether video in email is right for your brand, your subscribers, and your budget. Video can add a personal element (such as a message from the president), it makes your emails more interactive/engaging, and it can be repurposed for other channels, such as YouTube and social sharing sites.

If fear of the unknown is holding you back, many resources are available to guide you through the process. A few factors to consider before selecting an email video provider include video quality, video storage capacity, mobile video recording and mobile playback.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is Founder of Indiemark and Co-founder of BrightSpeed. Connect with him everywhere, here.


The Truth About Video Email Marketing

Look in your email inbox, and on any given day you’re likely to find several emails that feature videos. They can range from informational/educational to simply entertaining. But what is all the fuss about? Does video email marketing really lift response rates? Can anyone use video in their email marketing? What are the best tactics (or best practices for that matter)? Let’s find out!

Video Email Marketing Statistics and Reports

  • Simply including the word “video” in an email’s subject line saw an increase of 7%-13% in overall click-through rates (CTRs) in 2011, according to Experian’s 2012 Digital Marketer Benchmark and Trend Report. Embedding a video in an email generated an average conversion rate 21% higher than emails containing a static image alone.
  • And Videoretailer.org reported that using the word “video” in the subject line of helped achieve increases in open rates of up to 20% vs. no “video” in the subject line.
  • The 2010 Video Email Marketing Survey and Industry Trends Report revealed that video was used with email marketing by 50% of survey participants, and an additional 24% were considering the use of video in their email marketing programs.
  • Video in email can increase click-through rates by as much as two times to three times, according to David Daniels, former principal analyst at Forrester Research and current principle at Relevancy Group.
  • Holland America conducted an A/B test with an animated .gif video in email vs. a static image. The video segment resulted in 100% higher click-through rate, reported Liveclicker.
  • According to Marketing Vox, 63.9% of 5,000 people watched to completion a video sent by email.
  • In a Get Response study of 800,000 customer emails, those containing video received, on average, 5.6% higher open rates and 96.38% higher CTRs than non-video emails.

Video Email Marketing Tactics and Examples

Depending on your budget, several options exist for creating videos in emails:

  • Embedded video, which is provided by companies like Bomb Bomb. But keep in mind that embedded video will not work in all email clients.
  • Animated .gif videos. See this example from Style Campaign, which is executed brilliantly but this format also has its limitations.
  • A static callout linking to a web-hosted video, like the examples below, is by far the most common tactic.

The video featured in this Williams-Sonoma email demonstrates how to use a product (and clearly labels it as such):

Video Email Marketing Example

Cosmetics retailer Obagi creates continuity in its emails with a video series that touches the emotions, sharing one woman’s struggle with acne and how she overcame it – in time for her wedding – by using Obagi products.

Using Video in Emails

Video Email Marketing Best Practices

No matter what format you choose, if you decide to take the plunge, you should follow these best practices for video in emails:

  • Video expert Justin Foster, in a webinar for the Email Experience Council titled “Video Email: Why, When and How,” said it’s important to call out the video in the subject line, use a play button in the video player/player image, and highlight in the email what happens when the video is clicked.
  • Make the call to action a text link for subscribers who have blocked images.
  • Keep full video length with audio to less than 3 minutes, animated .gif videos to 30-45 seconds.
  • Make sure the first frame of the video is acceptable for email clients that show static images only.
  • Ensure that the amount of bandwidth required by the subscriber is not more than 150-200kB/second.

The key takeaway to using videos is email

You have to decide whether video in email is right for your brand, your subscribers, and your budget. Video can add a personal element (such as a message from the president), it makes your emails more interactive/engaging, and it can be repurposed for other channels, such as YouTube and social sharing sites.

If fear of the unknown is holding you back, many resources are available to guide you through the process. A few factors to consider before selecting an email video provider include video quality, video storage capacity, mobile video recording and mobile playback.

About the Author: Scott Hardigree is Founder of Indiemark and Co-founder of BrightSpeed. Connect with him everywhere, here.


How Do Teens Communicate? Infographic and Marketing Analysis

Today’s youth are the next generation of loyal customers. Those with jobs tend to have fewer financial responsibilities and more disposable income than older generations. To sell to them, it’s important to speak their language.

This year’s scholarship contest included a survey asking teens about the social networks and technology they use to communicate daily. How do they consume media and connect with their friends? The more you know about the next generation of consumers, the more effectively you can reach them with your online campaigns.


You can share this image and post with others at http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/teens-communicate-infographic. You can copy and paste the HTML below to embed the image on your blog or website.

So What Does This Mean For My Marketing?

There are a few big takeaways from our survey:

Younger Generations are hyper-connected to social media.

That’s certainly not surprising! Connect with them on multiple networks to get the most mileage from your online marketing.

Timing doesn’t matter as much as you think.

Whatever time of the day you send your message, teens are likely to see it in their inbox by then end of the day – the most popular time for checking email. When they’re out with their friends, teens are more likely to use social networks than any other tool. Reach them in real-time by taking a multi-channel marketing approach.

Facebook and email are neck-and-neck in popularity.

Facebook is popular, but it only beats email by a thin margin. So social networks aren’t killing email as dramatically as you might think.

But it’s still important to engage younger generations in more than one channel. If you’re interacting with them strictly through email, you’re missing opportunities to connect with them throughout the rest of the day.

Finally, today’s younger generations expect innovation.

Nearly half of our essay submissions mentioned replacing a missing social network or technology with another existing one, or just waiting for someone else to create something better.

This generation lives in a world of evolving technology and expects that evolution to continue. To captivate them with your marketing message, keep your ideas fresh and creative. This is the perfect demographic to take risks with your marketing tactics.

Do these findings influence your future marketing plans? How do you plan to reach the future generation of customers?

Infographics Have Arrived for eMarketer Clients

Even the best information has little value if you can’t use it. That’s why eMarketer makes all of its information available in a variety of easy-to-use formats such as PowerPoint, [...]