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In January 2014 I blogged about my seven super exciting predictions for boring old email marketing, which raised a lot of questions…
So now, in hindsight, how accurate was I?
A fresh approach to email or an unnecessary overhaul of something that doesn’t need fixing?
Of course it’s attitudes such as the latter which means we’ve been stuck with the same boring old umbrella design since the 18th century.
Gmail Inbox is a new email app that wants to hit the reset button in terms of what we expect from an email account. It’s a year zero if you will, or to use Gmail’s expression, ‘a fresh start’.
Inbox is still in beta testing at the moment and you can only access it if you have an invitation. You can request one here. In the meantime a very generous colleague let me have their spare invite over the weekend, so I could offer you this sneak peek.
Gmail clips HTML emails that are larger than 102 KB. And while this in itself of course isn't good news, it gets worse because it also hurts your email reputation.
Are your emails too large? Time to put them on a diet!
At Econsultancy’s recent Digital Transformation event it was suggested that businesses could improve productivity by getting rid of email for internal communications.
The theory is that doing away with email saves time as employees aren’t fighting a constant battle with their overflowing inboxes.
Also, your colleagues will think twice about sending frivolous messages or trying to kick tasks down the line if they have to get in touch by instant messenger, which is generally seen as a more personal form of communication.
And perhaps the most obvious benefit is that getting rid of email encourages face-to-face meetings, which can help to improve teamwork and ‘break down silos’ (yeah, I said it).
This is all very good in theory, but what are the alternatives to email? Well here are six alternatives for you to investigate...
I’ve only recently been thinking about Gmail and its trial of grid view, though the trial has been happening since the end of March 2014.
The announcement had passed me by until I chatted to someone from an email build company that specialises in creative use of imagery. See this post on agile creative in email.
If you’re not familiar with Gmail’s grid view, it’s the ‘Pinterest-isation’ of the promotions tab in Gmail’s tabbed inbox, currently only for addresses that end in gmail.com.
There’s an example of such a ‘Pinterested’ inbox further down this post.
The tabbed inbox itself is a bit of a mixed blessing for marketers. On the one hand, it encourages intent on the part of the consumer. She only engages with promotions when she feels inclined to do so, and your message is less likely to have disappeared into the morass of personal or social email in other tabs.
On the other hand, she, the user, may never click on that promotions tab. The implications of such tendencies, I’ll go into further down this post.
But what are the implications of Gmail’s grid view? Here are some ideas…
It’s all change again, Gmail rocks the world of email by apparently making it even easier for a recipient to unsubscribe from legitimate marketing email.
This is a shock to some, especially to those who thought they were safe by hiding the unsubscribe button, deep within the very small print at the bottom of the email.
So, is this going to be a disaster for some email marketers? Or is this new process just a little different from something that first saw the light of day in 2009…..
Caveats first: other email providers are available. There I think that covers everything.
As of August 2013 there were 425m Gmail users, but this won’t be the place where we discuss the dominance of Gmail over the providers that it quickly overtook, such as Hotmail or Yahoo.
Nor will we discuss the above figure, which although reported in The Guardian and other publications, is actually contradicted by comScore, who suggests Google still trails behind its two rivals.
This is the place where we’ll discuss little tips, tricks and hacks, as developed in the Gmail lab, that will hopefully make your life just a tiny bit easier and more interesting. At least when it comes to emailing.
I touched on Gmail hacks in my 16+ best things to happen to the internet in 2013 post last month where I suggested you go and spend a little time exploring the backrooms of Gmail to see what you can find.
Well now you don’t have to, as I’ve already sifted through the experiments, separating the prime specimens from the formaldehyde filled jars of yellowing mutants, to bring you the best Gmail hacks currently available.
Google likes surprising the world of email marketing. Priority inbox, google tabs and now the latest innovation to rock the world of email 'enabling images'.
Gmail, like many email providers, disables images by default to 'protect' users from potential harm. This creates an extra step for the user, in that they are required to 'enable images' to see the email in its full beauty.
Gmail have now decided to enable images by default, and to protect their users, they are going to be serving the images from Gmail servers.
That’s ok isn’t it? Then why is the world of email marketing going into meltdown over the subject?
Email marketers have always faced the technological challenge of having to quickly adapting to the unknown, often in a matter of hours.
This week is one of those, where we find that Gmail has made changes to the way it handles images. At first, I can appreciate that this may sound insignificant, but it affects all of us.
In this blog post, I will try to demystify these changes for you.
On May 29 this year, Gmail introduced the new tabbed layout. For many email marketers this was a major concern as this raised questions on the effectiveness and ROI of their email marketing activities.
Would the introduction of this new layout affect their open rates? Does this mean email marketing just got a lot harder?
Let’s have a look at what this means for email marketers.
The press release, the original tool of the PR pro, is broken.
It happened in stages. First there came email, prior to which press releases had been faxed or posted to editors, the laboriousness of the task forcing PR people to choose their targets with appropriate care and attention.
But with email, you can grab a list and not think twice about bunging it out to all and sundry. The result was laziness leading to abuse.
Then came the SEO industry. The press release’s power for generating link juice was spotted. Stick a press release on a wire and regardless of its quality or newsworthiness, its content and links will get replicated across the web, even on some authoritative domains.
Once again, the result was laziness leading to abuse.
It’s fitting that today is No Email Day since we all had a bit of practice after Monday’s Gmail outages and yesterday’s brief Facebook blip. Several audible gasps were heard throughout Econsultancy’s offices and it serves as a reminder that today’s marketing and digital media culture is obsessed with being ‘always on.’
I was happy to keep plugging away in the browser on my email pitching for Econsultancy’s latest best practice guide because I have installed Gmail Offline, but how many people are aware of its Chrome extension? This got me thinking of the other tricks and tools I use when not connected to stay productive.