Well folks, the rumors are true: the Gmail inbox is getting a facelift!
The new inbox matches leaked screenshots that started floating around the Internet last week. The new looks seems to be more about helping users organize their inbox into categories using horizontal tabs across the top of the inbox instead of the current vertical setup on the left.
Clicking on one of the tabs will show all the messages from that view. Users can also customize the new tabs to always show certain senders in a particular tab or for starred messages to always appear in the primary tab.
As far as the mobile apps, iOS and Android will also now offer users easy access to preset “Smart Labels” for categories such as social, promotions and updates.
Google announced the new look on its Gmail Blog and says that it will be rolling out the update “gradually” on the desktop. Updates for iOS and Android apps will be available in the coming weeks. If you decide you don’t like the new look, you can always switch back to the classic view.
If you want to try it now, go ahead and see if you have a “Configure inbox” setting in the gear menu icon.
It will be interesting to see how tucking promotional email into a tab will affect the opens/clicks/reads of marketing emails. I’ll be testing and reporting. More to come!
IRCE 2013 in Chicago is just a few days away and Listrak’s looking forward to a record show…literally.
At booth #621, in addition to offering demonstrations of our proprietary Saas email marketing platform and services and having Listrak strategists on-hand to discuss email best practices, we will be giving away our new Monster Jams LP. Listrak is also the event’s wifi sponsor, and anyone connecting will be eligible to enter to win an authentic turntable to play it on!
IRCE 2013 promises to be a great show, and we’re eager to see you there! If you haven’t yet registered, contact us at marketing@listrak,com to find out how you can receive a discount if you register by June 2.
Email acquisition is a hot topic right now at Listrak. With Twitter’s release of the lead generation card and Listrak’s recent whitepaper on the importance of acquisition, I felt it relevant to talk about implementing a proper email subscription point on your website.
Beyond a modal popup solution, the subscription point should be a mini form in the header or footer of your site. By positioning it there, you’re ensuring that the mini form will be on all pages of your website. The most common placement is in the footer, but including it in both the header and footer certainly isn’t a bad idea. The bottom line is you want the mini form to be easily noticed. Don’t ask for lots of information. Keep the form short and sweet. Ask for email address only. You can work on acquiring more info later via a welcome message that points to your preference center.
Let’s take a look at a few examples.
Here’s a great example of what a subscription point should be. This example was located in the footer. It’s a mini form that only asks for your email address and it was very visible and easy to find. Well done.
This example has the subscription point located in the header. In this case it’s a text link that upon click displays a pop up mini form. The problem here is it’s hard to find. I really had to scan the page before I saw it. While this example does display a mini form, they would be better served having the mini form directly on the page.
In this example the subscription point was located in the footer. This one had several things going against it. It’s a text link that wasn’t easy to locate. This link directs you to another page that explains the benefits of receiving their email. You then have to click on yet another link that takes you to the account login page. So basically you need to create an account in order to receive their emails. Like it or not, people tend to be impatient, which is why a quick and easy solution is vital. Also, asking the visitor to create an account feels like a commitment. If it feels like a commitment, you’re surely going to scare some potential subscribers away.
Finally, let’s take a look at an example that has all the right things going for it. This is a great example for retailers to follow. There are three subscription points in this example, a link in the header, a modal pop up, and a mini form in the footer.
This could be a game changer because users do not need to fill out any lengthy forms. Their information (Name, email, and username) is already pulled into the card. They literally just have to hit “Submit” on the Card’s call-to-action. Currently, this is only available as a feature in Promoted Tweets — a paid feature of Twitter Ads.
As email marketers, we’re always looking for new ways to boost our acquisition. The launch of this new Twitter feature is exceptionally timely as Listrak recently published a whitepaper focused solely on the importance of acquisition.
This is a great tool to get more bang for your buck from your social media spend. With Twitter Ads, you pay for the Cost Per Engagement on retweets, replies to, clicks, or favorites your Promoted Tweet — and clicks count both on the URL in the tweet and anywhere in the tweet itself, so this is something you definitely want to test.
It’s important to treat this acquisition source as you would any others (website signup, modal/lightbox signup, etc.) and send new subscribers a welcome email/series.
There are many reasons that a welcome series is highly recommended. To begin, it validates the email address, which protects your sender reputation. It also reminds subscribers about their opt-in and confirms what they may expect as a result of signing up. In addition, welcome emails may be used to request more profile information while reinforcing your brand. And finally, a welcome series immediately engages new subscribers and keeps them engaged beginning at the moment they have shown interest in your brand.
Will you be testing the new Twitter Lead Generation cards? Would love to know your thoughts!
Listrak Team with Lyons Consulting Group to Offer Webinar on Preparing for the Holiday Season
Listrak,along with Lyons Consulting Group, will be presenting the webinar, “Early planning is key to holiday online success,” to help online retailers get a winning head start this holiday season. Register now.
When it comes to email subscriber lists, bigger is not necessarily better. While it may seem logical to think that the more addresses you have to email to, the better your results will be, that’s simply not the way it works.
One of the keys to successful email marketing is having a list of engaged subscribers who are actually interested in your brand, want to receive and open your emails and, ultimately, purchase your products. Listrak has just released a whitepaper, “eCommerce Customer Acquisition: Tips for Acquiring Subscribers Who Will Become Loyal Customers,” that not only outlines recommended tactics for acquiring ideal subscribers, but also best practices for implementing them.
You can download it here. Read it and let me know what you think!
This Thursday Listrak, along with Demac Media, Canada Post and Peer 1 Hosting, will present “Preparation is Everything - Best Practices, Tips and Tricks” in Toronto. During this Magento eCommerce Forum, Demac Media CEO Matthew Bertulli will highlight case studies from some of Canada’s top eCommerce merchants.
At its annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco, Google makes announcements that will expand Google Wallet far beyond its tap-and-go NFC roots. Read this article by Marguerite Reardon on CNET News.
You’d think that when retailers enhance their online shopping options, the goal would be increased online sales. Not so with Target, Gap and Rite Aid â which are adding new online tools with the hopes of boosting in-store sales.
If you haven’t yet registered for IRCE 2013, Listrak is happy to be able to offer you a generous discount until June 2. If you’re interested, just contact us at email@example.com to get your special discount code.
A huge congrats goes out to client JimmyJazz.com from their friends at Listrak. Details on their incredible 80.6% increase in sales and entry into the prestigious Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide were recently highlighted in this Internet Retailer article.
Email marketers should be aware that last week AOL announced on their POSTMASTER BLOG that they have made some changes to their spam filtering. In a POST from Lili Crowley, it was announced that based on customer feedback changes have been made to the handling of identified spam. As a result, some senders may be blocked with 544 CON:B1 Refuses. AOL’s Postmaster website defines a 554 CON:B1 as “The IP address has been blocked due to a spike in unfavorable e-mail statistics”.
This type of error message would indicate that the sender has been blocked due to a poor sending reputation. Senders should be aware that even tough they may have been able to deliver email in the past without any major deliverability issues, they might not be able to get delivered today.
One week from today, we’ll be at “the intersection of commerce and couture” for Fashion Digital Los Angeles! Excited to be co-sponsoring this exclusive fashion-Commerce conference with fellow industry partners like Magento, Corra, Digital Operative, Gorilla, Indaba Group and Lyons Consulting Group. If you haven’t registered yet, there’s still time: http://lafashiondigital.com/register.
The New York Times reports on the friction between industry and privacy advocates leading up to what will be the final face-to-face negotiations within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on establishing a Do-Not-Track (DNT) standard. On Friday, Mozilla posted a new report on the “State of Do Not Track in Firefox.” Yet, if the W3C cannot come to an agreement this week, the proposed standard may go the way of the dodo. Two main sticking points revolve around default settings and what data may be collected after a DNT signal is activated. Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford University graduate student and participant in the W3C talks, said, “I think it’s right to think about shutting down the process and saying we just can’t agree,” adding, “We gave it the old college try. But sometimes you can’t reach a negotiated deal.”
I’d like to introduce guest blogger Cherene Etemadi, marketing manager with EYEMAGINE, a full-service Magento and web development company based in sunny California. Below Cherene shares some tips for designing and building websites that create customer loyalty through the user experience.
Customer Loyalty through User Experience
People love things that make their lives simpler, and good online user experience will do just that for your customers.
Many merchants make the mistake of letting the convenience of eCommerce become an excuse for standardized, “out-of-the-box” user experience design and development; but the best online shopping experiences should deliver much more than just the ability to shop in your pajamas. Delivering a superior user experience is the fundamental key to turning your online store into a customer loyalty machine.
Here are some ways to begin thinking about how to deliver that optimal online shopping user experience:
A good user experience/user interface designer will focus on the “friction points” of the user experience. Friction points are the sticky areas of online shopping, where customers will often get bogged down and lost before they complete the checkout process. Your UI/UX designer will ask why you’re requiring customers to go through 5 steps to check out when only 3 would do, asking them to search for where they need to go next, or making them wait an eternity for a page to load.
Identifying friction points means empathizing with users. For a recent Magento custom development and design project, the design team at EYEMAGINE smoothed a shopping flow friction point by adding a “Details” tooltip when hovering over a product image — providing an instant, brief description of product features - as well as an “Add to Cart” button, without the need to click through to the product’s detail page.
Suddenly a friction point was eased and a process that may have taken minutes was reduced to seconds.
Persistency, or “stickiness,” pertains to the elements of a site’s layout that don’t vanish from the viewport of a browser no matter how far you scroll up or down a page. Creating persistent elements on an eCommerce website allows customers to have what they need at their fingertips at all times instead of needing to scroll up or down.
This can be particularly helpful when it comes to navigation — something you might want users to have access to at all times. For example, for the portable speaker site www.BRAVEN.com (another Magento custom development and design project), the EYEMAGINE design team created an extremely “tall” product details page, full of product information, but requiring an extremely long scroll by users. In order to ensure that customers don’t lose their way on the page, we also added a dark gray persistent navigation bar.
No matter where users scroll within the page, this black bar follows them and remains “stuck” to the top of their browser.
In addition to being responsive to your customers’ concerns, you must also embrace responsive web design. Not just an eCommerce trend, responsive design is here to stay because it fulfills the need to provide an optimal user experience on the multiplicity of user screen sizes, including tablet, phone, laptop, desktop, and every variety of each.
Embracing responsive design in eCommerce allows an online store to be tailored perfectly to all customers, no matter how they access the site. And while some larger and more trusted eCommerce developers find more success providing custom apps for their clients, for those without the resource to invest in a fully customized app, and those who want to target all platforms without worrying about particular device compatibility, responsive design is an ideal solution.
Being ruthlessly scientific is perhaps the most important trait an online storeowner can have, and isn’t easy to master. Being scientific means:
Being willing to constantly discard and refine elements of your site until you arrive at a model that truly works
Forgetting about what your competition is doing and learning for yourself what makes sense
Being able to put your site where it belongs — in users’ hands, instead of in your head
Websites aren’t static items to be designed, built and then left alone. The Internet is a living, breathing creation made with changeable code that provides the huge advantage of flexibility. Good online storeowners embrace flexibility, and use it to their advantage to slowly, over time, arrive at a model that truly works for their businesses.
This can be accomplished with A/B testing, the ultimate scientific method applied to eCommerce web design. When executed correctly, A/B testing can take the neurosis and guesswork out of running an online store by validating ideas with real results.
What It All Means
You don’t just want to redesign your site to look good. You want to redesign it to drive conversions, increase average order value, and create loyal customers.
The only way to effectively build eCommerce customer loyalty through good user experience is by having a deep knowledge of online consumer behavior; something EYEMAGINE’s expert team of designers and developers know better than your 16 year-old-nephew knows Call of Duty.
Listrak Attains EU Safe Harbor Status and Earns TRUSTe Certified Privacy Seal
Listrak Demonstrates Global Commitment to Consumer Privacy Protection and joins more than 5,000 Enterprise Companies in TRUSTe certification
On April 25, the email marketing solutions provider Listrak announced its participation in the TRUSTe® U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Program and its certification to display the TRUSTe Certified Privacy seal. This development demonstrates Listrak’s global commitment to transparency, accountability and consumer choice, the foundations of online privacy. Listrak joins thousands of TRUSTe-certified Web sites in recognizing privacy’s ability to accelerate online commerce and information exchange.
SkinCareRx's Email Marketing Program Gets a Makeover
In this just-released article from DMNews, Allison Schiff interviews client Mike Nelson of SkinCareRx.com and Ross about how the online skincare retailer increased revenue by sending fewer emails. It’s a great story on the power of list hygiene, modal popup, shopping cart abandonment and more!