Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

DDoS attacks continue to be the center of media spotlight.

We’re showcasing more of the controversy around Spamhaus in this week’s digest, together with a mish-mash of actionable email marketing best practices that boost conversion (eg. subject lines, autoresponders, social sharing). Pretty much something to pique everyone’s interest!

Global internet slows after ‘biggest attack in history’

Spamhaus has been under siege for well over a week and this issue was thrown into international spotlight after the BBC picked this news nugget up with the controversial headline that it was slowing the “global internet”.

While this might have caused initial panic among limited circles and networks, it was pretty much business as usual for most people. Gizmodo has a detailed account of the Internet Apocalypse – that wasn’t.

What is a fact is that this is the biggest DDoS attack in Internet history with attacks peaking at 300Gbps (gigabits per second) versus the usual 50Gbps against banks.

The record for the biggest DDoS attack was previously held in 2010 at 100 Gbps.

Study: Nearly Two-Thirds of Companies Do Not Use Autoresponders

A study on 500 companies from the Inc. 5,000 list has revealed that nearly 25% of companies do not offer an online contact form. Other startling statistics:

  • Only 37% of companies use autoresponders and send follow-up emails after an online form submission.
  • Of companies that do use an autoresponder, 78% send follow-up emails within one hour of a form submission

Several best practices recommended by the study:

  • Follow up form submissions with a timely personalized email
  • Having an unsubscribe option
  • Having a call-to-action

Six email deliverability lessons that you can learn from SEO

Search engines do not index emails, but there are still some lessons from SEO that email marketers can learn.

  1. Keep Coding Simple – A majority of clients are not able to load emails laden with scripts.
  2. Use Pre Headers – This provides a meta description of your email
  3. Find a good balance between Images and Text – Using too many images can lead to delivery issues
  4. Choose Keywords Wisely – Certain words are used to determine if the sender is a spammer hence monitor deliverability when using words like “free”
  5. Be Recognisable – Ensure email authentication processes are properly set up for a good sender reputation
  6. Be Relevant – The more relevant your content is to a recipient the less likely they are to “mark as spam”

Case Study: Creativity vs. clarity in email subject lines

I’ve often wondered about this myself and the AWeber team provides the answer. Emails with clear subject lines had:

  • 1,107% more comments
  • 315% more tweets
  • 331% more Facebook likes
  • 617% more traffic
  • 366% more email subscriptions

On average, each channel had 541% more response. For a detailed analysis on why detailed emails work better do read the full article.

Social Sharing Boosts Email CTR By 158% [REPORT + INFOGRAPHIC]

61% more users have social sharing buttons in their emails than last year. That’s good news for the industry as emails with social sharing buttons had 158% more clickthrough rate than those that did not. The average email CTR is 2.4% without social sharing and 6.2% with social sharing.


On this topic of social sharing, if you like what you are reading, why not sign up for our newsletter? And if you like our newsletter, we’d appreciate a social share!

The Transactional Email News Digest

[UPDATE: Spamhaus is back online.]

The lead article in this week’s Transactional Email News was supposed to reference a recent article on the Spamhaus blog about the organization’s recently announced spam traps program and issues with transactional email. Yet as of press time here at the Transactional Email News world headquarters, the article isn’t available because the entire Spamhaus site is under a massive distributed denial of service (dDOS) attack. For any senders who might be adversely affected by the unavailability of Spamhaus blocking lists and services, Laura Atkins at the indispensable Word to the Wise blog has some helpful suggestions. Good luck to the Spamhaus team in getting back up and running soon.

Pitfalls of Point of Sale or Transactional Email Address Collection

Related to unavailable Spamhaus piece above: Point of sale collection of email addresses is a pretty popular way of adding to email lists. However, many marketers found themselves on the Spamhaus Black List over the holidays, as a result of POS collection and list quality issues. Due to customers providing incorrect addresses whether on purpose or by accident, businesses ended up sending large volumes of mail to spamtraps. Christine Borgia from ReturnPath warns of such pitfalls and re-emphasizes the need to confirm that such POS email addresses are accurate and that the recipients want the mail.

5 Rules for SaaS Email Marketing and Transactional Messages

The 5 rules for email marketing and transactional messages may seem like common sense:

  • Get Delivered
  • Get to the Inbox
  • Get Opened
  • Get Read
  • Get ‘Em to Take Action

However, this article provides in-depth actionable tips and insight to optimizing content for best results. Here’s a preview in images.

Confirmation Opt-in Checklist
Optimize Emails on Different Platforms
Call To Actions in Emails

Improve customer service & cut communications costs with Transactional Messaging

Last but definitely not least on the list are a couple of webinars of note.

First up from Tor Flatebo at govDELIVERY is a presentation targeted at government organizations looking to cut costs and improve customer service through transactional messaging. Sign up for the webinar if you are interested to learn more!


Second, our own Mike Hillyer, Senior Director of Global Solution Consulting helmed a deliverability webinar in conjunction with David Daniels, known email extraordinaire, CEO of The Relevancy Group and former VP and Principal Analyst at Forrester.  Watch the Six Secrets of Successful Sending webinar to learn how to increase your email deliverability today!

6 Secrets of Successful Sending