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What were email’s big headlines this year? As many of you out there prepare to pack up your desks for the holidays, we thought we’d take a moment to reflect on a what’s been a massive 12 months, by sharing some of our favorite articles.

From learning to use storytelling to create more compelling campaigns, to the launch of our Canvas email builder, there’s been a lot of big changes to how we work as email marketers and designers. We’ve highlighted the focus of each of the following posts, to help you line up your holiday reads from our selection:

A free Google Analytics dashboard to measure your email marketing

The dashboard at work

Just as critical as email campaign planning, is interpreting the results – what worked, what didn’t and what you can learn for your next send. In this popular post, we shared a free Google Analytics dashboard that you can add to your own account, then went through each step for using it to measure your email marketing, beyond the click. You can see how people navigated your landing pages, set goals and all around, take your email marketing analysis to the next level. Seriously useful stuff if you’re looking to skill up for the new year. Read the post.

Reporting Freebies

8 subject line formulas you can use in your next email campaign

Coming up with a compelling subject line is hard. To help you, we’ve presented 8 research-backed subject line formulas, to provide a framework and inspiration for writing a great subject line that will get your email campaigns opened. An easy read, with advice to live by. Read the post.

Copywriting

How to use email to A/B test blog post headlines

If you’re like us, you likely use your email newsletter, or RSS-to-email updates to drive people to your blog. The thing is, A/B testing shouldn’t be limited to simply testing the content of these emails – it’s also great for creating more effective headlines for your blog posts. We share with you our internal process for using email to test headlines – and show you how it has helped increase readership of our blog content. Read the post.

Reporting Optimization

Create the perfect call to action button for your email campaign

A pretty good button, yeah?

Did you know that using button-based call-to-action (CTA) can really increase your click-through rate? In our A/B tests, it generated 28% more clicks than simply using a link-based CTA. We show you the 3 elements of a great CTA button, backed by research and complete with case studies and examples you can learn from. Read the post.

Optimization

An email campaign checklist for sending error-free email campaigns

If you’re like me, the anxiety that comes with sending an email to either 18, or 180,000 people can be absolutely crippling. It’s so bad, that I ask my friends to hit “send” these days:

Too nervous to send the @campaignmonitor email newsletter to 180k people? Get @akingkiwi to do it! @inboxlove

A photo posted by Ros Hodgekiss (@yarrcat) on Oct 10, 2014 at 3:37pm PDT

When you can’t have your friends over, having a “pre-flight checklist” sure comes in handy. Is it your resolution to send flawless email marketing campaigns in the new year? Read the post.

Planning Optimization Freebies

At Inbox Love: Standing up for email design

When we presented at Inbox Love this year at Microsoft’s campus in Mountain View, CA, we didn’t realize how strongly our talk on CSS support in email clients (#letsfixemail) would resound with the audience of product managers in attendance. Product managers from you know, small companies like Google and Yahoo! There were a couple of great moments like this:

And yes, there were announcements. Like, that Inbox by Gmail would be supporting… Don’t let me spoil it for you, read the post.

Email design Email software

Code no more: Canvas changes how we create email templates

Back in June, we released Canvas, a new drag-and-drop email editor that allows you to customize a selection of 10 templates with your own logos, colors, layouts and more. Since then, we’ve been hard at work refining the Canvas experience, adding text-alignment options and more. I now use Canvas everyday for my work – perhaps you want to give it a look, too?

Email design Email templates Freebies

Creating center-aligned email designs without media queries

Create this elegant, centered layout!

For the traditionalists who still code their HTML templates by hand, I can’t recommend Nicole Merlin’s article on creating center-aligned email layouts enough. Her technique is Gmail-ready, doesn’t add lots of overhead and well, who doesn’t love a good fluid layout? Read the post.

Email design Code

Designing and coding an animated banner ad with no images

Our ad for CodePen… In GIF form

When our friend Chris Coyier put us to the task of designing a banner ad for his site, CodePen, we set ourselves a challenge – to create not only a mind-blowing animation, but without any images! Make a cup of tea and take a look at both the code and steps it took to go from sketch to screen. Read the post.

Design Code Advertising

Why BuzzFeed’s emails could change everything

Finally, let’s end this round-up on a happy note – with cats!

LOL cat!

Yes, cool customers BuzzFeed did have some great email marketing advice to share – and as a result, this was one of the most enduringly popular posts of 2014. And upfront, you don’t have to publish 10 listicles a day to be a terrific email marketer. Read the post.

Email design Email strategy Content


And that’s it for our email marketing holiday reading round-up. Is there an article, or resource that really changed how you send campaigns this year? Please share it with us in the comments below.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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