Weekly Roundup #46 – Email Pre-headers, AMP and Home Page Carousels

Weekly roundup time! This week we’re going to be explaining Google’s accelerated mobile pages to you and how it applies to eCommerce. We’ll be spilling the beans on how younger internet users are more likely to implement ad blockers to avoid invasive advertising, offering email marketing tips and more. If you missed last week’s roundup, click right here and dwell on your FOMO.


Accelerated Mobile Pages for eCommerce

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages protocol is implemented to make mobile sites faster. Smartphone users are after speed and there’s ample data to back that up. Let’s start you off with some important stats we think you should know:


– 53% of visits are abandoned if a page takes more than 3 seconds to load
– half of users expect a page to load in less than 2 seconds
– 46% of consumers say that waiting for pages to load is what they dislike the most when it comes to browsing the mobile web.


Google’s AMP framework delivers speed; loading pages an average of four times faster than non-accelerated pages and uses a tenth of the cellular data. It’s an open technical standard that speeds mobile page load times to “dramatically improve performance of mobile web.” Support from the publishing world on this has been immense, with adoption by The Washington Post, Wired, Pinterest and many others.

That’s all very well and good, but does AMP apply to eCommerce? Shoppers have a deep desire for speedy web surfing and it doesn’t end with content publications. More complex eCommerce site adoption has been lagging behind. Stringent restrictions on the Javascript and other elements that can be used limit the functionality of AMP on eCommerce sites, making it a less attractive option to major brands. That being said, the relative importance of complex functionality and page speed is something no brand should ignore. Those who have smaller or less complex eCommerce sites should definitely consider using the AMP framework.

If you can, you should implement AMP on your blogs and other textual content rich pages to compete better with publishers for more valuable non-branded searches. Publications receive great results from it, and if you want to replicate that, consider who you’re competing against when it comes to your content or publishing and truly analyse their site’s rankings. Many brands are coming up against a publication with similar audiences – many of which have already implemented AMP.



Social Media

Facebook and LinkedIn Produce Best ROI on Social Media Ads

linkedin ads

Source: AdStage


More than two-thirds of B2B marketers worldwide are devoting dollars to social media advertising according to eMarketer’s September 2016 research. Regalix, the marketing and technology services agency surveyed 342 B2B marketers from a variety of industries about their social media objectives.

According to the data, 67% of respondents say they allocate a budget to social media ads. Of those who said their businesses buy paid placements on social media, almost three-fifths mentioned Facebook and LinkedIn as the platforms that are giving out the best returns. The research continues, and mentioned are Twitter and Youtube with 39% and 14% of social media advertisers respectively.

Worldwide, Facebook’s effectiveness seems to come out on top and not just with B2B marketers. Research from Social Fresh, Simply Measured and Firebrand Group revealed that a massive 95.8% of these marketers state the platform produces the best ROI. 63% of marketers believe Twitter has the best and 40.7% think Instagram. It’s interesting that earlier research on this topic has gathered that B2B marketers were most happy with LinkedIn, and had previously put Facebook towards the bottom of the list. Looks like anything can happen in one year.

Despite the fact that social media ad spend is growing, a lot of marketers are still measuring out its effectiveness. And due to this, a lot of them are ramping up investment in marketing analytics. Let’s see how it turns out.



Email Marketing

Email Pre-Header Tips to Boost Open Rates

The subject line and sender name are primary drivers of email open rates. If not more important is the pre-header – the text that appears just below the subject line in the inbox of mobile and desktop email clients. So we’ve got tips on how you can boost your open rates quite simply:

Pre-Headers Are Extensions of Subject Lines

You need to remember that writing subject lines is difficult. The objective of them is to get recipients interested enough to open the email and fortunately your pre-headers will help with this. You can convey more information including an entirely different topic of promotion copy to encourage an open.

boost open rates

In this example you can see that the pre-header is an extension of the subject line but trails off nicely with “Get your free guide to”. It raises curiosity and is still relevant to the subject line.

Try Capitalised Letters

Using all caps is a risk that can hurt your deliverability. All capital copy can flag an email and increase the spam score and cause your message to be filtered into a bulk or junk folder – which as you know is a total waste of your time. However, using all caps or partial caps in the pre-header can be effective. See this as an example:

boost open rates

Ticketmaster uses mostly caps as their pre-header to emphasise the live event but then trails off into partial upper-case again.

Avoid Repeated Words

There’s absolutely no need to repeat the “From” text in either the pre-header or the subject line. There’s also no need to repeat subject line text in the pre-header either. It seems pretty damn obvious but you can see in the example below that Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Seattle repeats its name in the subject line, and that’s a waste of some really meaningful space.

boost email open ratesIt doesn’t tell the reader anything new, and it certainly doesn’t inspire any curiosity. If recipients are already seeing your company name in the “From” section, then they already know it. In addition, many senders just repeat their subject line or a variation of it – again, a total waste of valuable space and opportunity.

Emails are a valuable part of your marketing campaign and every space and every character counts. For more open boosting tips head on over to Practical eCommerce.

Digital Marketing News

Younger Internet Users More Likely to Block Ads

Almost one in five internet users around the world block ads according to 2016 September research. Kantar TNS surveyed internet users in over 50 countries and reported that over all 18% of people are blocking ads. Ad blocking is more common among younger respondents, with 20% of 16-34 year olds using ad blockers. 55-65 year olds are unsurprisingly lacking with only 14% of them using the software.

The rates vary around the world but young people consistently seem to be the most likely to suppress ads served to their web browsers and even their mobile devices. In the US for example, ad blocking internet users say they do it to avoid intrusive and irritating ad placements that block content or follow them down the page or play audio and video automatically. Basically, young people are tired of being irritated by your ads.

Global WebIndex stated in Q2 2016 research that users around the world are looking to resolve similar complaints. More than half (55%) of users say they block ads because they’re irrelevant or there’s just too many of them. Forty-eight percent of people complain that ads that took up too much space and got in the way, and 44% were avoiding intrusive ads. What we have to remember is that blocking ads does not mean being closed off from marketing messages from brands. Respondents were nearly twice as likely to say they had a positive response to brand content on social media as they were to say they blocked ads. So what can we take from this? Expose yourself in less intrusive, innovative and low key ways. And make sure you’re targeting the right audience!




The Key Requirements of the eCommerce Homepage Carousel for the End User

ecommerce carousel

Source: Playful Promises


Carousels look really good on your homepage, let’s face it. But with homepage UX design comes create great responsibility. And there’s a lot of things that can go wrong with carousels. So, we’ve decided to let you know the key requirements for making them work for end users.


– Slide Sequence and Destinations – Most users won’t see all of the slides in a homepage carousel, even on one that auto-rotates. They just don’t stick around on the home page for long enough. During Smashing Magazine’s testing, their subjects would typically move onto another page or scroll past the carousel long before it had finished going through all the slides. This means that the sequence of your slides is incredibly important since the initial slide will get vastly more exposure than later ones. It’s not uncommon for the first side to get more than 50% of clicks. So what does this all mean? Choose the sequence of your slides carefully, putting the most important content on the first slide. Next, use the carousel as an additional highlight of important website features and information, never as the only path to that content.

– Everything is Different On Touch Devices – Smashing Magazine observed the following three implementation details to be important on touch devices: the lack of hover invalidates the use of auto-rotation, you need to optimise the carousel’s artwork for mobile screens, and always support swipe gestures. In essence, auto rotation isn’t appropriate for mobile websites or touch devices. While 53% of mobile eCommerce websites have a homepage carousel, 31% of them have one that auto rotates and 25% have a manual home page carousel. To sum it up, close to half of mobile websites with a carousel have the beginnings of an acceptable implementation of the feature because they don’t auto-rotate.


And now, we’re going to share the most important requirements for your carousel itself with you:


– Touch Devices – Due to the lack of hover state, never auto-rotate on mobile websites or for touch devices.
– All platforms – The carousel should never be the only way to access a website’s features and content.
– Desktop – Rotate slides at a moderate pace – for example, 5 to 7 seconds is usually enough time. If textual content differs, then adjust accordingly.


Lingerie brand Playful Promises are an example of a brand doing it right.

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