September 2012

Read Our September Newsletter

Our September newsletter is fresh off the presses and on its way to our subscribers. Read this month’s issue for a primer on holiday email marketing, tips on how to share your email campaigns on Facebook, and an update on our iOS app, Stamps.

If you’re not a subscriber, join our list at the bottom of this page!

Smart Email Marketing for the Holiday Season

With the back-to-school rush behind us, the email marketer’s attention now turns to the fast-approaching holiday season. We consulted Responsys’ yearly Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season for some great suggestions on how to maximize your email marketing efforts as we head into prime retailing months. In this blog post, we’ll share some of the highlights that apply to businesses both large and small.

Start Early

Consumers start their holiday shopping early. According to the National Retail Federation, 40% of consumers begin gift shopping before Halloween (October 31), another 40% begin in November, and the remaining 20% in December. As a result, many of the top retailers start their email campaigns early to capitalize on these shoppers.

Black Friday is often recognized as the “official” start of the holiday shopping season, but data from Responsys shows that increasing numbers of retailers are kicking off the season on Thanksgiving Day itself:

This move to Thanksgiving Day is driven, in part, by the rise of mobile email.

Focus on Mobile

Ubiquitous mobile devices (smartphones, iPads, etc.) mean that more people are checking their email more often. The holiday season affords mobile device users plenty of opportunities to kill time checking email. For example:

  • Airport-related or other delays while traveling on the day before Thanksgiving (the busiest travel day of the year)
  • Watching a football game on Thanksgiving with the remote control in one hand and phone in the other
  • Standing in line at the register on Black Friday

Since odds are your email will be read on a mobile device, take the time to make sure it looks good on the small screen. Email templates that come with Direct Mail are designed to look great no matter what device they are read on, but take advantage of our Design Test and Send to iPhone features to make sure your content (and subject lines) work great on mobile.

Pre-Holiday Messaging

Getting an early start to holiday marketing does not mean barraging your customers with calls to buy right away. Since we’re still on the leading edge of the holiday season, use this time to send email campaigns that will set you up for success during peak buying time. Here are some ideas:

  • Offer loyalty or other incentive programs that will increase the chance of repeat sales later. Consider something as simple as offering discounts to fans of your Facebook page.
  • Request reviews of your products. Large numbers of positive reviews for your product will drive later sales.
  • Survey customers in order to gather valuable data for targeted campaigns later on.
  • Encourage opt-ins for other marketing channels like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Messaging the same customers over multiple channels can help drive sales.
  • Announce a website relaunch or a new feature.

Use the above mentioned ideas during this preseason time to set up a successful buying season down the road.


Responsys’ 2012 Retail Email Guide to the Holiday Season is full of great information and suggestions for email marketers. Smart retailers are learning to match consumers move to shopping earlier in the year with early email campaigns. The exponential growth of iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices is signaling to email marketers the importance of making sure their designs look great on a small screen. Lastly, appropriate messaging during the holiday preseason can pay off big during the final two months of the year. Take advantage of this knowledge, these tips, and Direct Mail to make the most of your email marketing this holiday season!

A Tour of New Stamps Features

The latest and greatest update to Stamps has been out a few weeks now, so we wanted to take a moment and highlight some of the great new features you can find inside. In case you don’t already know, Stamps is our companion app for iPhone that brings you your campaign reports on the go. Here’s what’s new:

Subscribe Forms on the Go

Now you can access all of your subscribe forms right from inside Stamps. They’ve been optimized to look and work great on the small screen, too:

Now it’s a cinch to sign up people for your mailing list no matter where you are!

Mobile Previews

This summer we added a great new feature to Direct Mail we call Design Tests. Design Tests show you full-size screenshots of what your email looks like in all of the top email clients (including mobile email clients). Since mobile email usage is set to surpass desktop email usage by the end of the year, we wanted to make designing for mobile even easier. Now you can instantly send previews of your message straight from Direct Mail to your iPhone. Here’s how it works:

Just click the “Preview on iPhone” button in the Preview window and you’re message will instantly appear on your iPhone.

Delivery Notifications

If you schedule a delivery to send at a later date, it’s nice to know when your emails have actually been sent. Now you can (optionally) receive a notification on your phone when your delivery completes:

Improved Layout

We’ve reworked the layout of the history report screen in Stamps to show you more information and a larger thumbnail of your email. Tap on the thumbnail to expand the image, or tap on the arrow to view the web version of your message.

We hope you like these improvements to Stamps. Please let us know what you think in the comments (or on our support page), and stay tuned for more enhancements in the coming weeks!

Direct Mail 3.3.1 now available in the App Store!

Great news for our App Store customers! Apple has just approved the 3.3.1 update to Direct Mail. To update, just open the App Store and click the Updates tab.

If you downloaded Direct Mail directly from our website (i.e. not from the App Store), then you don’t need to worry—you likely already have version 3.3.1, which was released for direct download a few weeks ago.

View Direct Mail in the App Store

New: Share Your Campaign on Facebook!

Those of you who have upgraded to the latest version of OS X (released yesterday) may have noticed that your copy of Direct Mail just gained a new feature overnight, totally for free! Now you can share your email campaigns to Facebook without ever leaving Direct Mail!

Share your email campaigns to Facebook by clicking the Share Message button in the toolbar

To enable this feature, make sure you’re running the latest version of Direct Mail, and OS X 10.8.2 or newer. You’ll need to sign in to your Facebook account by choosing  > System Preferences > Mail, Contacts, & Calendars, and then following the on-screen instructions.

To share, head back to the Direct Mail app and click the Share Message button in the toolbar (make sure you’ve selected the sent email campaign you want to share). You can add a brief message, select the friends you want to share it with, then click Post. That’s it!

Add a comment and click Post to share your campaign

We love this easy integration with Facebook. Try sharing your next email campaign on Facebook to broaden the reach of your newsletter, promotion, or announcement. As always, let us know what you think in the comments!

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