Nov 17, 2016

Customer Care Request Form Confirmation Email

I've sent a request to customer care via a form on a website. Seconds later I've been checking my email and I found this:

This is an epic fail, isn't it?

And here's why:

  • Sender isn't recognizable. If I would check my inbox minutes or hours after request submission I'm likely to not understand where it's coming from.
  • There's no request ID or something similar that will allow me to check its status later.
  • Actually there's no content at all!

Aug 29, 2016

Finally I Understood Why Email Designs Frequently Are So Bad

Finally I've got a feeling of what happens when a company is sending out an email campaign with a poor design. At least it should be one of the most important cases.

I've been reading through web designers CVs lately. A lot of CVs as I'm looking for an email designer for a top 3 Russian cell phone operator. And I see a situation when web design is being done by designers with a printed design experience.

At first they're starting doing things for web - and it's a mistake #1 as they don't fully understand that media. And at some point some person asks such a designer to create a mockup for an email campaign. But email as a channel is different even comparing to web design! And here we go - the designer who totally doesn't understand email marketing is guiding the way email are going to look like.

Jul 1, 2016

iOS Mail is going to support List Unsubscribe method

Read more here:

DMARC, SPF and DKIM aren't what you expect them to be

I've been blogging recently about wrong picture of DMARC nature and abilities supported by DMARC-based solutions.

Here's a nice new post on the web regarding REAL goal of DMARC, SPF and DKIM technologies:

May 15, 2016

DMARC stops scam? No, it's scam itself

I was always sure that DMARC, advertised as a scam/phishing preventing solution, is a kind of scam itself. It's misleading for email marketers.

It's pretty straightforward - a scammer isn't really tied to the real sending domain of a company. Let's say there's a sending domain which identity I'd like to spoof. If I was a spammer I would be aware that:
- top mailbox providers are likely to filter out or land into Spam all the mail which isn't authenticated the same way as original emails coming from it
- most of email users see and care only about visible part of from email but not the real from address

So what's the reason for me to use "Company Name <>"? I would rather go with "Company Name <>".

And as soon as I'm not using the original domain name DMARC policy of becomes useless.

Couple years ago I had sales calls with a Agari and Return Path representatives in regard of their DMARC-based solutions. The only question I've asked them was "What's the point in your product if a spammer can easily avoid any DMARC-based defense?". I've got no real answer.

Today I've found the proof that I was right. Return Path whitepaper states DMARC is protecting brands from only 30% of email-borne attacks.

Apr 27, 2016

How To Waste Email Subject Line Opportunities

My bank started monthly email digest lately. As an email professional I'm carefully reading all their email. The last one was pretty appealing - up to 10% cash back on gas stations, discount on tickets to electronic music festival etc. Much effort spent on proposed opportunity, design and so on.

But the subject line was the worst possible - just "Our News In Short". What an opportunity wasted!

One Step Forward, One Step Back

I've been already blogging about not successful email marketing segmentation approach of French parking company Neoparking. In March they've sent me 2 more emails with a 5 days difference.

The first one gave me a hope they're going to make things better - the email was in English. But few days later I've got another email in French again. Come on guys, you almost did it!

Apr 13, 2016

Did You Know Gmail Has Security Warnings For Suspected State-Sponsored Attacks?

If not - take a look here. I wish you to never see this message on you Google Mail account:
We believe state-sponsored attackers may be attempting to compromise your account or computer.

Mar 30, 2016

Keeping Email Design Consistent Is A Struggle

This is a message for all the startups which feel superior to huge companies. Yes, it's a real struggle to keep email design patterns consistent across different departments or even sub businesses. Usually it requires a huge effort just to find out what are the email types you're sending out. And actually changing them to look alike is only step #2 or #3.

You can easily find examples for every corporation out there. Let's take a look at Apple which is definitely an iconic company in terms of design and keeping things updated. Each email type they've sent me looks different, only one one is optimized for smartphones.

Mar 27, 2016

How to send an 'E mail' - Database TV Show From 1984

It definitely was fun to send and receive an email back in 80s :)

Mar 15, 2016

Litmus Isn't Able To Optimize Its Own Emails

Another email I've got yesterday came from Litmus - the most well known company providing services for email marketers aimed to help them optimize emails for different mail clients.

Take a look at almost invisible text in this promo email:

Mar 14, 2016

Another Leading Email Marketing Company Without Ignoring Best Practices

An email arrived into my inbox yesterday which clearly shows that even most valuable email marketing businesses aren't able to follow basic email practices around mobile optimization. I'm talking about unreadably small text on smartphones.

It's Gmail. I hope we all are on the same page - it's definitely a huge email marketing business, right?

So they send me an email campaign about a new version of their Gmail app. And of course I was viewing it in another incarnation of this email client - Google Inbox.

What a nice start:

But then something goes wrong and the rest of the email is basically unreadable:

Feb 13, 2016

Gmail Now Prominently Marks Emails Sent Without TLS

Now here's a prominent red mark in Gmail for each email sent by sender whose infrastructure doesn't support TLS:

What a smart move to efficiently promote using TLS among senders - as no one wants their emails to have that red mark.

Why You Should Always Store And Process Email Addresses In Lowercase

Feb 2, 2016

Emails Of Cell Phone Service Provider Marked With This: Be careful with this message. It contains content that's typically used to steal personal information.

Earlier I wrote about email authentication problems of one of my banks.

Now I've seen a pretty much similar problem with my cell phone provider monthly email:

Of course this problem can be solved. The question is if your business has a person in charge of email marketing or not. For a company with tens of thousands of employees it's a must.

Another wrong thing with this email is I can't see anything in an attached PDF file on my Mac:

Jan 27, 2016

Steam - Not So Good Email

I'm using Steam as a platform to install and play PC games. Today I've got an email about a huge discount on a game I was up to buying.

Of course I used a chance to get it with a reduced price, but it took me a while how to use actually move from email to the buying process. Take a look at the screenshot and try to tell what you're expected to click on if... there's no any big visible button or a link (no, the price tag isn't clickable!).

Correct answer is the big image. Yes, I had to click on it on order to get a web site. This email definitely can have a better conversion if there is but CTA.

Jan 7, 2016

Skype Has Failed To Keep Its Word In An Email

Back in November I've got an email from Skype saying there was a failure of their service and they're going to provide me with free calls in a few days after the email.

There were no details on when exactly to expect this, so I though I'm gonna get another email or in-Skype notification about it. It never arrived. I also checked Skype manually but never seen any evidence I've been given those free calls.

As a result I feel that Skype failed to keep its word given in an email. What an example to learn from!

Email Experience Is Not Only About Email Itself

Each email marketer has to remember overall email campaign experience is based not only on timing and content of emails themselves, but also landing experience.

Recently I've got a promotional email from an airline company saying they're opening a new destination with an extra cheap flight for a first few weeks. When I landed into their website I wasn't able to find this new destination in a destination field on a booking page. Basically they have failed to sync promotional email campaign with a website update.

Email marketers have to avoid such situations at any cost as they're ruining the rest of the efforts - all the timing, design, copywriting and management work.

A Well Known Mistake In An Email From FC Barcelona

I was expecting a flawless emails when subscribing to this media giant having its own TV channel and very useful online website.

But that's how the very first email from them looked like:

It's a pity to see such a 'classical' issue of email looking empty. Not showing images by default is very common on smartphones, but this happened to me on desktop - something went wrong, probably because of a weak WiFi signal. The issue might be fixed with easy by splitting the design into few images and providing useful alt texts for each of them.

Delivered vs Accepted

Again and again I hear '...but our ESP says over 95% of emails were successfully delivered!' when asking about deliverability situation. To be honest - this makes me sad. No, your ESP has no idea what has happened with an email since it was accepted by a mailbox provider. And it's really looking like scam - ESPs saying 'delivered' while it's really 'accepted'.

And there's a huge difference between delivered and accepted. Since an email has been accepted by MBP it might end up in Inbox or Spam. Or it might be discarded so a receiver will never see it. At the same time there might be a time lag between acceptance and show up in an inbox.