Data from the latest Return Path Email Intelligence Report shows that top 100 internet retailers are handily beating the North American average in inbox placement rate. Only 6% of top retailers' messages fail to reach subscribers' inboxes, compared to 18% for North America overall. Inbox placement is no guarantee of engagement, however; senders in the shopping category saw read rates drop 15% year-over-year.
Aquent and the American Marketing Association have released a study where 54% of marketers say their teams are ill-equipped to handle new trends and technologies. However, 71% believe that their company's marketing strategy will have a positive impact the organization financially.
Researchers at Symantec have noticed that the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), which is an email validation system designed to prevent email spam, is being used by a new trojan, dubbed Spachanel. Ironically, the bug is used to hijack a web browser to serve up spam pop-ups.
Facebook's launched Custom Audiences tool in August, allowing marketers to upload email address lists to the site and target subscribers across Facebook. While CRM retargeting is not unique to Facebook, match rates on the site are higher than average, owing to the rich user data the site possesses. Facebook reports that it sees match rates above 50% and "sometimes as high as 95 percent."
ExactTarget announced today the launch of MobilePush, an application that delivers messages to mobile users within mobile apps. Messages can be standalone or integrated with email and social campaigns as part of the company's Interactive Marketing Hub.
Many marketers are flocking to responsive design as a way to provide a consistent user experience across platforms, and spend less time updating content across an increasingly fragmented device landscape. Some however, like Coca-Cola group director of mobile and search Tom Daly, believe that responsive design shortchanges customers and their preferences. Says Daly, "If you get into this HTML5, hybrid mindset and start pretending that a screen is a screen is a screen, you starting forgetting about the customer experience."
Microsoft is rumored to have completed internal testing of a version of Windows Outlook that runs on Windows RT devices, including the Surface tablet. A source reports that there still exists some internal debate about whether or not to release an RT version of Outlook. Windows RT already has a Mail client, though some users believe it is not robust enough.
Developers in San Francisco have created the MedFolio Electronic Pillbox, which helps consumers organize complex medication schedules using LED lights, and sends a reminder message by email or SMS when it is time to take a pill. A wireless version of the device is in the works, which would share the reminder alerts with other members of the family or household.
The 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act currently requires law enforcement officials to obtain a subpoena, issued without a judge's approval, to read emails, instant messages and other forms of digital communication that have been opened or that are more than 180 days old. An amendment to the ECPA written by Senator Patrick Leahy would require a search warrant as well. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook say they already require a search warrant before turning over any user information and argue that the Fourth Amendment, prohibiting unlawful search and seizure, already provides more legal protection than the ECPA.
The newly released 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer finds that consumers across all age groups trust traditional media and search engines as news sources more than owned or social media. Interestingly, the study found that younger consumers are generally more trusting of all media sources than older consumers.