Author: Adrian Nabarro

Adrian has been doing email longer than he cares to admit, likes video games, electronic music and anything made by Apple.



Some of the best apps for building HTML emails

Having the right tools for the job is essential. Luckily we live in an era when there are more tools than ever to help us build and test the emails we work on every day. Like with so many other things opinions on software are subjective, so my preferences don’t necessarily align with some of my colleagues, but here’s a look at apps I could never leave home without. Windows users, apologies in advance, there’s a very strong Mac bias to this blog. BBEdit Price: $49.99 Download trial When I first switched to Mac, I struggled to find a worthy replacement to my then default text editor TextPad. After months of working my way through all the available options I…

Sender best practices

In February, the M3AAWG (Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group) released version 3.0 of their “Sender Best Common Practices”, the first time this document has been updated since 2011. This document is primarily aimed at delivery and compliance professionals at ESPs (Email Service Providers), but there’s a lot of important information and guidelines which I hope to summarise here for a broader audience looking to improve their email marketing practices. Who? The M3AAWG is a consortium founded in 2004 to bring the messaging community together to fight against abuse of the various messaging platforms, specifically things like spam, malware, bots and denial of service attacks. The group’s leaders and members represent some of the largest network providers (Comcast, Time…

You had me at hello – the art of a good Welcome programme

Having recently spent some time looking into the unsubscribe process and how best to optimise it (read here if you’ve missed it), I thought it would be worth looking at the other side (and the very first step) of the relationship: the welcome. It probably goes without saying, but getting new subscribers is crucial in keeping your database fresh and conversions coming in because newer customers are far more engaged and are therefore more likely to purchase. So, it’s essential to make the most of the sign up process and subsequent user journey. I selected 25 of America’s top retailers and signed-up to their email marketing to observe what these brands are doing in this area. I’ve gone through the…

If you love them, let them go (or how I learned to love unsubscribes)

Unsubscribing is part and parcel of email marketing. As hard as it may be accept, it’s important to realise that no matter how much effort goes into your emails, some customers may eventually have had enough. By letting people go, you’re protecting yourself from complaints and other issues which might be a much bigger problem in the long run than just a shrinking list. That said, all is not lost and the unsubscribe process doesn’t have to be a dead end. Giving subscribers choices may encourage them to stay on the list. Here are some of my favourite examples of some of the different ways to make the most of your unsubscribe process: Product choices As much as I’d like…

A roundup of responsive support in 3rd party email apps – Windows Phone 8 edition

There are certainly strengths and limitations of default email clients on various mobile devices we use all the time, but what about the constantly growing list of 3rd party email clients available in the App Store, Google Play or Windows Phone marketplace? The Window Phone store doesn’t have nearly the breadth of software available as either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store, but lets take a look at what’s currently available. If you missed either of the other posts in the series you can catch up on iOS or Android. Two templates were tested, each using non-standard Google fonts as well as a CSS3 trick (rotation) to see whether those technologies were supported. One template was responsive, with break…

A roundup of responsive email support in 3rd party email apps – Android edition

There are certainly strengths and limitations of default email clients on various mobile devices we use all the time, but what about the constantly growing list of 3rd party email clients available in the App Store or the Google Play marketplace? In the second in a series of blogs on the topic, I’ve run some tests on a selection of the more popular ones available in Google’s Play Store. If you missed the first blog that gave a round up of the iOS 3rd party email clients, you can read it here. Two templates were tested, each using non-standard Google fonts as well as a CSS3 trick (rotation) to see whether those technologies were supported. One template was responsive, with…

A roundup of responsive support in 3rd party email apps – iOS edition

There are certainly strengths and limitations of default email clients on various mobile devices we use all the time, but what about the constantly growing list of 3rd party email clients available in the App Store or the Google Play marketplace? In the first in a series of blogs on the topic, I’ve run some tests on a selection of the more popular ones available in Apple’s App Store. Two templates were tested, each using non-standard Google fonts as well as a CSS3 trick (rotation) to see whether those technologies were supported. One template was responsive, with break points for certain screen sizes and the other was fluid, where everything in the email adjusts according to the width of the…

It's a trap!

Spamtraps: What are they and how to deal with them

Spamtraps have been a part of email marketing for some time now and they’re not going away. Like a virus, if untreated, it can kill your email marketing in no time. So what are they? How do you get them? And what can be done about them? What are spamtraps? Spamtraps are email addresses which are monitored but not used. Any email sent to these addresses is considered to be spam as these addresses should not receive any email. They can be old email addresses which have been dormant for years, email addresses specifically setup to catch spammers (also know as honey pots) or addresses commonly used when people signup for things without wanting to give away their real details,…

DDoS attacks. What are they and how can they hurt my email campaign?

I’m sure most of you will be familiar with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks and might have even been affected by one, but if not, here’s a quick break down. A DDoS attack works by flooding a network / server / router with so much traffic that it can’t respond to regular requests, essentially clogging up the line and preventing it from functioning as expected. This type of scenario can happen when small sites are listed on high traffic sites like Slashdot or Reddit and then crumble under the weight of massively increased traffic, but more commonly it’s the result of a coordinated network of zombie computers, or a botnet, under the control of hackers or criminal organisations deliberately…

Quick Tip Guide: 5 Basic Tips to a good landing page

There is an art and a science to making your landing page stand out from the crowd. It is imperative that you do something to capture your audience and ultimately make them follow the call to action that you have established. It is so much more cost effective to capture and engage your target market time and again that it is to buy them with SEO, Banner Ads, PPC or any other paid for advertising. Your brilliantly designed landing page can have all the results that these marketing tactics can do and more. Here are our 5 basic tips to designing a good landing page: Headline It You used to have just two seconds to make a good first impression…