2018 Marketing & Deliverability Predictions…Were We Right?
A Look into The Year So Far
Predictions We Made
In December of last year, we pulled two of our top strategists together to share their predictions for the email marketing and deliverability world for 2018. They each gave two predictions and we posted the video on our YouTube Channel. We thought we’d circle back around to see how our predictions are doing so far now that we’re halfway through the year.
Prediction 1: DMARC Implementation Among all ISPs
Prediction 2: Social Media Advertising Costs to Increase Significantly
Prediction 3: Compliance with GDPR
Prediction 4: Mobile User Emails Take Priority
The prediction we made with DMARC was that in 2018 all ISPs would require all domains that are sending marketing emails to enforce this email authentication tool on top of SPF and DKIM. This would mean ISPs adopting an ‘ARC Policy’ so that forwarding emails could pass from ISP to ISP.
Result: Spoofing and phishing attempts aren’t a thing of the past and when DMARC came along, businesses started to re-evaluate their email authentication tools they had in place. DMARC was introduced years ago but is now becoming more prevalent and is highly recommended as SPF and DKIM alone may not be enough anymore. As of May 22, 2017, WttW reported that AOL and Gmail were showing ARC results and Gmail, additionally, was adding ARC headers to mail they send or forward.
When I spoke with Alwin de Bruin, a Deployment Consultant at dmarcian, here’s what he had to say, “If we look at the Netherlands, for example, there is an increase of DMARC validation inbound. Local ISPs in the Netherlands have now somewhat 70-80% DMARC coverage.ISP’s are not even looking at ARC because ARC only seems to apply to Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.” So, while all ISPs may not require ARC for sending domains, DMARC is still steadily heavily implemented as well as recommended.
Social Media Advertising Cost Increase
This prediction came following the steady rise in companies using social media to advertise their business and services. Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter now use strict advertisements or a ‘Promoted” or “Boosted” advertisement option which is a normal update that has been chosen to be promoted and seen through specific filters for their targeted audience.
Result: Algorithms are changing and more social channels are implementing ads such as Instagram and even Snapchat. When there becomes a bigger competition to reach an audience the prices always go up. As ad costs rise, so do marketing budgets to allow for this type of advertising. According to an article published by Hootsuite, advertising budgets will increase by 32% this year due to this rise. Facebook’s cost per ad increased 39% but only had an increase 8% for ad impressions. Because you can “boost” your posts with Facebook using their CPM model (Cost Per Thousand), WebPageFX says you can expect to pay $6.35 per 1000 on boosted posts.
Twitter allows you to promote your tweets and cost is based off of engagement with replies, retweets, comments, etc. paying an average of $1.35 per promoted tweet. Linkedin, like Facebook, uses a CPM or CPC model (Cost Per Click). The CPC model is what it is. You pay everytime someone clicks your ad, similarly to Google AdWords. Here, you can set a daily budget and run it for a certain amount of time or for the length of a particular campaign. While the CPM model is a bidding system with a minimum bid of $2.00 although Linkedin will suggest you bid higher upward close to $5.00. We’ll have to wait for final numbers at the end of the year to see the true increase of ad costs.
Privacy and Compliance- GDPR
The prediction for GDPR came knowingly that it was going to take effect on May 25th. What we were trying to predict was if businesses would actually become compliant, if other compliance regulations would start to take place, and what would happen if they weren’t within regulation.
Result: GDPR went into effect and some companies immediately were finding themselves not in compliance with regulations. Facebook and Google were hit with $8.8 billion in lawsuits on day one of GDPR for not obtaining consent from people in the EU to collect their data. Then we all received tons of emails from various companies just days after informing us that they updated their Privacy Policies and our data was safe and/or not being stored. We knew that 100% of companies were not going to be compliant. GDPR was adopted in 2016 giving businesses two years to get it together but many were scrambling to get compliant within a month of it going live. An article posted by The Verge said that 60% of tech companies weren’t ready for it one month prior to GDPR and that 61% of companies hadn’t even began to start to prepare for the enforcement.
The first court ruling on GDPR took place this month in a German courtroom against ICANN, an American non-profit company overseeing the global WHOIS database of registered domain names. A company called EPAG, a German domain registrar, and ICANN were contracted together and EPAG refused to provide personal information on contacts to ICANN and were then slapped with a lawsuit for violating Article 5 of GDPR. Now we’re seeing companies in the US to be affected even more by new Privacy Acts taking place within the States. Earlier this month, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 that went into place impacts more than 500,000 U.S. companies and provides rights to the residents of California regarding their data, very similar to the rights of those in the EU.
Mobile Friendly Emails Take Priority
This prediction was given seeing as the amount of people who check their email on their phone is rapidly increasing. Our prediction would be that the amount of mobile users would grow sufficiently enough that the way marketers design their emails would take mobility usage into account first, creating content that would render correctly and efficiently on cell phones, iPads, and tablets a priority.
Results: Creating mobile friendly emails has been a part of email optimization for a while now but have desktop emails taken a back seat to mobile emails when it comes to rendering and creation? In all the reports I have looked at on email opens, all of them showed that at least 50% of those came from mobile users. Per Google, households own more smartphones than computers and spend almost 3 hours a day on our phones doing various activities such as checking our emails. Mobile users check their emails 3x more than desktop users with a morning peak time to do so.
According to Salesforce, 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall strategy while others might use a simple template that works for all devices. They also noted that 58% of companies they asked have an actual dedicated mobile team. Great email rendering resources are Email on Acid and Litmus that provide testing on over 50 devices to see how your emails look. While it’s still unsure if B2B and B2C companies are focusing on mobile friendly emails first or if they are all as equally dedicated to desktop and mobile the same, it’s clear that the rise in email opens and usage among mobile devices isn’t going anywhere.
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