Tag: Gmail

White Paper: Email Throttling and Strategies to Combat it

email-throttling

Whenever it comes to Email Marketing, marketers face a whole bunch of difficulties in terms of deliverability, list hygiene problems, monitoring glitches and many more. A seamless email marketing strategy is difficult to achieve unless these problems are properly addressed. ‘Email Deferral’-a critical case of Email deliverability, arises when some ISPs limit the amount of Emails sent out by a particular sender during a specified period of time. This happens due to a pre-defined threshold in the number of sendouts inflicted by the ISPs.

In most of the time, this is a 400 class error. Due to bouncebacks of the excessive number of emails, the email campaigns face significant drawbacks in terms of deliverability and performance. This can also lead to diminution of email reputation of the senders and can possess a bigger threat furthermore.

This white paper interprets the technical aspects of this issue and how email marketers can avoid the problem of Email Throttling. Although, Email Throttling seems to be too intriguing for Email Marketers to avoid, appropriate strategies can help marketers get rid of this problem.

Read more about it by downloading the White Paper from the link: www.kenscio.com/resources

The White Paper is authored by Mr. Ziaul Hussain, Client Success Manager, Kenscio.

 

 

Share

Gmail says – Get Engaged or get BLOCKED!!

Yesterday Gmail took a BOLD new step asking email marketers to get engaged and dead serious about:

(a) their recipient’s preferences, stated and implied, and

( b) Relevance of their communication.

In a blog post, Sri Harsha Somanchi, Product Manager @ Gmail has empowered it’s users to  “Never see messages from this person again”.

What happens once you do that?

You can now block specific email addresses in Gmail—starting today on the web, and over the next week on Android. Future mail will go to the spam folder (and you can always unblock in Settings).

Gmail Screenshot

Further, the blog post described how it would help Unsubscribers.

On Android,  you’ll be able to opt out of eligible mailing lists directly from the Gmail app. It’s perfect for those newsletters you subscribed to a while back but don’t read any more.

image(1)

More Power to subscribers, more care from marketers, more control to Gmail !!

Should Gmail users say Yahoo! < No Pun Intended >

(with direct quotes & images from Gmail Blog http://gmailblog.blogspot.in/2015/09/stay-in-control-with-block-and.html )

(Contributed by: Mr. Amit Sarna, Vice President-Client Success & Partnerships, Kenscio Digital)

Share

Inbox by Gmail: 6 implicit facts for Marketers

Inbox by Gmail

Inbox by Gmail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“It’s a better way to get back to what matters… ” (Official Blog, Google)

An Explicitly correct statement that reflects what Inbox by Gmail is intended to impart to the users. But, what are the implicit rationales for marketers?

“The Inbox that works for you” essentially points towards the horizon where Email marketing is heading to. After the recent introduction of Grid view of Gmail promotion tab, this new development re-emphasizes the need of redevising the strategy that facilitates the way your brands talk to customers.

A snapshot of the new features:

Bundle of Emails: That’s how it sounds, it’s more about “Segmentation” of the huge number of Emails on the basis of certain selected criteria such as promos, Purchases, Trips etc. So, this is more about segmenting the emails based on actionable points (promos), undergoing actions (Purchases/delivery status) and custom actions-as labelled by users.

Important Highlights: It highlights important “Updates” from Emails such as delivery status, flight status etc. without having to open the mail. It is the Real-time feature of the Email.

Reminder: You will be able set your priorities by having a reminder in your inbox so as to avoid missing them out in the stipulated time. It will also provide required information for the same. For example, if you plan to have your dinner in a nearby restaurant, you can keep it as reminder in Inbox. It will also tell you whether it is open at any point of time. Once you book your seat online, you will also see a locational map of the restaurant in your confirmation mail.

Snooze your messages and reminders: This will facilitate in setting up your priorities to a later time or location. It will highlight your message as reminder at the stop in the assigned time.

And here are 6 Implicit Facts:

1)      Contextual: All emails are not equally important, so Gmail intends to help users in automated ways. Contextual marketing is becoming more and more important for a successful Email Marketing program.

2)      Urgency: In a fast moving world, marketers have to address the time factor associated with any live promotion/campaign. Catch the attention of your consumers before time expires.

3)      Priority: Amidst hundreds of tasks, actions awaiting user’s attention the inbox, Emails will now get prioritised as per the user. Thriving to get maximum priority through well-strategized email marketing effort will be the trigger to success.

4)      Real-time Marketing: This one is interesting and perhaps, the most significant aspect of Inbox. Live information feed from external resources such as external websites, data-base etc. implies arrival of live, fresh and dynamic features in Email marketing. Future marketing communications will happen on the fly.

5)      Perfect Content: Email automation is becoming more and more important. In fact, these new features of Inbox will ask for new Email Content Mechanism. Google is yet to reveal any specifications (if there is, at all) to remain contextual with well-developed HTML content.

6)      Success Matrix: If the inbox itself reveals much of the information about the Email through Subject Lines/thumbnails, what will define the success rate? For example, if an E-commerce company runs a time bound campaign, subscribers will be able to see it on priority, or can snooze it for later. In that case, what will be the success matrix? One thing is for sure, open rate will be affected and would require additional information to assess the performance. After all, the inbox itself will reveal most of the important information for contextual mails.

Connect with us and explore in-depth about how Email Innovations are delivering excellence through real-time Email Marketing and Contextual Marketing.

Share

Gmail Inbox Issues and what you need to know

Gmail, since yesterday has been sending bug fix notifications to selected users, whose in-boxes might have experienced involuntary fits in the form of mails getting deleted or being marked as spam. It seems that the notice is only being sent to affected Gmail iOS app users, and these users have been requested to scrutinize their Spam and Trash folders.

The official Notice Says:

“You may have been impacted by a recent issue in Gmail that inadvertently caused some actions (e.g. delete, report spam) taken while viewing a message to be applied to a different message,” Google wrote. “The issue occurred between January 15 and January 22 and is now fixed.”

“We encourage you to check your Trash and Spam folders before February 14, 2014 for any items you did not intend to delete or mark as spam and move them back to your inbox,” Google wrote. “We apologize for any inconvenience.”

 

It must be noted that this bug is different from the “Plagued by emails” bug that was reported earlier this month. This specific bug would kick in when Gmail was accessed via Google search; and flood the user’s mailbox with thousands of unwanted emails. Gmail labeled this as a “Technical Glitch” and seems to have resolved this issue now.

Recommendation for Gmail Users:

If you are a Gmail user we suggest you to verify all the several tabs and folders within Gmail to make sure you don’t miss out any important communication (due to incorrect placement of emails). In case you did receive a big fix notification from Gmail; we would suggest you verify other Gmails apps (reported b Gmail to have possible issues) as well for inconsistencies:

Google Apps status screenshot

Recommendation for Marketers:

In light of such issues, we suggest marketers to reach out to their Gmail recipients, and request them to ensure their communication was not accidentally delivered to Trash or Spam. If such is the case, you should give clear and simple instructions on how your recipients can rectify this. Reach out to us, if you need help with such instructions.

 

Share

The death of “Display all Images” and what it means for you

Last week Google took a bold step by letting images load by default (no more “Display all Images”). One might wonder why the option existed in the first place and there is (or was) a very good reason why it did.

Images used in an email message are most commonly stored at a hosting server; which serves the images on request i.e. when a reader opens the message. This mechanism however can be exploited by spammers to plant malicious code on the reader’s machine, making it a very good reason to block images from all senders by default, and letting the reader decide which ones to load.

Google claims to have found a way to close this loophole by creating a filtering layer between the reader’s machine and the image hosting server. In other words, Google will now use internal proxy servers to request for images, host these images on Google Servers and finally serve images to the customer via Google’s internal network (in case nothing fishy is returned from the original hosting server)

As a Gmail User, this means that your inbox will now load images in all messages on its own and you’ll no longer have to click on “Display all Images”. If you are an Email Marketer, the repercussions may be a slightly different.

For starters, customers will now immediately see the entire email content (and not bits of it as before), since both text and images will load automatically. This in theory should translate into a better email experience for customers and create more opportunities for marketers to further improve email engagement.

On the other hand, Google will now intercept all interaction between the customer and marketer’s server; and effectively create a layer between the marketer and the customer. As a result it will no longer be possible to identify the geographic location, device information or multiple open behaviors of customers.

While this may prevent marketers to dynamically change the email content after sending the email, it will still allow them to target customer with geographic and device friendly content. As far as basic email tracking goes; open, click and conversion tracking will continue to work as before, with an exception to tracking multiple opens, which may no longer be possible. However, this would also mean that all opens are actually tracked (and not left out if someone did not select “Display all Images”) removing the discrepancy in numbers of unique openers & clickers.

While these changes in how Google delivers emails to customers may restrict marketers; it also creates opportunities for marketers to improve engagement, by making clever use of text and images.

Get in touch with us to find how you can make the most out of engagement with Gmail based customers.

Share

Gmail Tab and Email Open Rates

Recent changes in the gmail inbox and how it may affect your email marketing open rates (courtesy Litmus.com).

Share

The New Gmail Tabbed Inbox. How is it going to affect email marketers?

As Google started rolling out the new tabbed inbox feature, promotional mails from marketers started reaching a new inbox meant for all such mails called “Promotions” and not the default inbox now called “Primary”.

Gmail created 5 new tabs to route emails depending on their intent.  Gmail has not published on how it is doing, but they are doing a pretty good job of classifying the emails on the intent. Hence we feel it would be wasted effort to spend too much of a time investigating on how to reach a different inbox tab, by modifying content, sender address, sending domain, switching email provider, and such tactics. It may harm marketer’s reputation with gmail which may lead to mails landing in spam or being blocked.  Some marketers might have escaped from Google’s new feature for the moment, but believe that Google is pretty good at what they do, and eventually no one escape, from whatever tactics the marketers may use by using Amazon SES or own SMTP infrastructure to send emails or altering the email headers or subject lines.

If you look closer, gmail has not fundamentally anything with their approach. Gmail had always a feature called Labels, to categorise the mails, but it was user configurable. A user could set rules or filters to apply labels to incoming mails and classify them by Labels, which would be seen as a folder.  The new tabbed inbox is exactly similar, but done automatically by gmail using proprietary algorithms and history to route messages to tabbed inboxes as follows:

  Gmail Inbox Primary icon   Primary Messages from friends and family, as well as any other messages that don’t appear in other tabs.
  Gmail Inbox Promotions icon   Promotions Your deals, offers, and other promotional emails.
  Gmail Inbox Social icon   Social Messages from social networks, media-sharing sites, online dating services, gaming platforms, and other social websites.
  Gmail Inbox Updates icon   Updates Notifications such as confirmations, receipts, bills, and statements.
  Gmail Inbox Forums icon   Forums Messages from online groups, discussion boards, and mailing lists.

Marketers should live with their key stake holders that is ISPs like gmails, yahoo, hotmail, rediff, AOL and their customers and respect their decision or behaviour.  When marketer’s mails are relevant and engaging, their stakeholders will trust and do business with them.  Hence the fundamentals of marketing communications has not changed. We believe gmail has not changed any of the fundamentals in their approach.

Gmail has a given a new place for the mails belonging to a particular category a label. It would prevent mails from getting cluttered in one inbox. Now the customers knowing where they have to look for a particular kind of mails, they can look into the Tab. The tab provides the count of emails, the brands which are communicating with you and such.Hence it is easier now for customers to look at their marketer mails quite easily.

In order to gmail tabbed inbox, the rules of engagement and reputation still count. If  Marketers throw the pretty good things they followed so far in engaging with their customers, the mails will end in spam folder.

Knowing these, how could marketers being still worried about the impact of these new changes in gmail.

First if you can’t measure, you can’t put any control mechanism that can give a better result.

Start measuring from the end metric, which is conversions (not open rates or click rates, which are intermediary metrics). If you don’t have a mechanism to measure conversions from email campaigns, it is time to implement now, as it is the core metric.  Once the conversion metric in place, start measuring it every week by gmail customers, yahoo customers, hotmail customers and such.  If you see the numbers going down by ISPs, now you could think of strategies. You could further drill to abandon carts by ISP, click rate by ISP and open rate by ISP and try to optimise at each intermediary stage from backwards.

Now think of strategies understanding the issues if they are specific to gmail or across the entire customer base.

If they are specific to new gmail tabbed inbox, consider educating the customers on the new tabbed inboxes and how could the customers live with it and see their brand communications, how to identify them with the name. If their customers would like to see them in “Primary” tab, educate them on how to “Star” the mails and drag them to “Primary” tab from other tabs. Encourage your customers to reply to the emails for  interacting with the brand and run automations to trigger off actions on such reply emails.  Further ask your gmail customer to add your sender address to their contact list or address book.

For your customers to do those actions, don’t forget to make your emails look attractive, relevant and be compelling to open them, click the link and visit your site and buy things.  Understand each customer actions, and get to know them better by seeking more information. Identify the channels (email, SMS, Facebook, twitter, or direct) your customers best engage with and communicate smartly across channels. Use all history you have with your customers to send relevant and compelling offers.

Use dynamic content or serve content that is in real time directly from your CRM system or web site so that the customer can get the offer that is live now on your website.  You can also gamify the mailers by serving such content such as surprise coupons, free shipping, and etc. Reduce the steps from email open to buy.

Do you want to further know the impacts of new gmail tabbed inbox and the rules of  engagement, reach out to Kenscio’s Account Managers or drop an email to enquiries@kenscio.com for a detailed whitepaper.

 

 

 

Share

Found a Crystal Ball yet?

If you are an email marketer you might have started to believe in destiny. With ISPs headstrong to tighten their policies for bulk senders, rubbing the good ol crystal ball and hoping for the best might seem like a good option. We don’t know much about crystal balls but can sure share some good practices that can help you control the destiny of your email communication.

Gmail has listed a set of guidelines and best practices for Email Marketers, when followed should yield favorable results.

Guidelines for Email Marketers

“The way Gmail classifies spam depends heavily on reports from our users. Gmail users can mark and unmark any message as spam, at any time. To increase the inbox delivery rate of your messages, make sure that all recipients on your distribution lists actually want to receive the mail.” – GMAIL

Presuming you do everything by the book i.e. ensure users opt-in to receive your messages, honor un-subscription, follow the best practices for HTML design, monitor bounces, and ensure your subscribers engage with you and so on; you should not need a crystal ball (or Aladdin’s lamp for that matter). That being said, you can request your faithful subscribers to white-list you!

Being white-listed by subscribers ensures:

1. Your mails almost always lands in their in-boxes.

2. Your reputation with ISPs is significantly improved, so consequently your deliverability improves even for the subscribers who have not white-listed you.

We have listed a set of step by step instructions that you can email to your subscribers and request them to white-list you:

White-Listing Instructions

To ensure the success of this exercise you may consider offering incentives!

 

To learn more feel free to get in touch.

Geetika@kenscio.com

Share

Copyright © 2017 Kenscio Blog. All rights reserved.
iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress