“Today it’s important to be present, be relevant and add value.” – Nick Besbeas

Our digital marketing news roundup will deliver the most essential updates and changes straight to your inbox.

In this digital marketing news roundup, we’ll cover MailChimp Mandrill app going bang; Litmus’s 2019 State of Email Report; Facebook’s unsend feature and new ad targeting layer; Instagram’s aggressive push towards engaging more people with IGTV; Twitter’s quiet experiments with a set of features and how they store user’s deleted DMs.

DDG’s warning about the ‘Do Not Track’ setting on web browsers; the come back of Opera’s VPN app for Android; Google’s ‘hidden’ features for GSC; the new Chrome add-on Password Checker; Skype’s blur feature; and, who did the ICO fine £120,000?

In this article, we’ll cover the most recent digital marketing news on the following topics:

  1. Email
  2. Social Media
  3. Search Engines and SEO
  4. PPC and Advertising
  5. Other stuff we found interesting

Let’s dig in!

EMAIL

“Email may well be your most productive marketing tool.” – Dan Zarrella

Earlier this month, MailChimp’s Mandrill app – a transactional email API – suffered a service outage. The outage affected about 20% of outbound and a majority of inbound emails and webhooks. According to MailChimp, “the impact to users could come in the form of not tracking opens, clicks, bounces, email sends, inbound email, webhook events and more.” The company apologised for the disruption; and, moreover, it offered a refund to all affected customers.

The issue was resolved, a few days later, however, due to the complexity of the problem MailChimp/Mandrill is not entirely sure how many users have been affected; the company opted to lose some customer data in order to get the service back up and fully running.

When the firm began charging for the service in 2016, Mandrill users were pretty angered about it. So, we ask you this, if they promised a refund to all affected users but have no clue how many are there what’s going to happen? Do you think customers will be happy about losing data and, on top of that, not being compensated for the disruption of their businesses?

The email scene changes constantly, every day. Therefore, Litmus decided to put together the 2019 State of Email Report to help businesses get a comprehensive look at the trends, data and innovations which will shape the email industry in 2019; as well as assist them in building a successful email program.

SOCIAL MEDIA

“LinkedIn is for the people you know. Facebook is for the people you used to know. Twitter is for the people you want to know.” – Seth Godin

Facebook

We’ve all written missives we regret or made ridiculous typos or had the autocorrect nanny twisting our intentions. Sometimes all we wanted was a mulligan. Well, Facebook made one available earlier this month. Initially, the “unsend feature” was promised over a year ago; but, now, Messenger users can easily remove a message within 10 minutes of sending it. Here’s what we think, an unsend feature seemed like a no-brainer (and it only took Facebook 10 months to make it happen) but, it doesn’t matter that you can remove the message just for you or for everyone. Why? Well, the content won’t be there but they can still see you’ve removed a message and, if they want, report it; or, worse, pester you about what it was.

Instagram

Do you recall the video service Instagram launched last year to take on YouTube? What was it called? Ah, yes, IGTV. You can recognise it as the rarely used icon (with a constant red dot) you accidentally tap when attempting to get to your direct messages.

Well, Instagram is trying to make IGTV a bit more difficult to ignore. How? By placing IGTV “preview” videos right in your main feed. When someone you follow posts a new video to IGTV, the app will automatically add a clip from that video to your feed; with a link to watch the full one.

Code hacker – Jane Manchun Wong – spotted Instagram testing the capability for users to access their direct messages from the web version of its app. Given the amid discussion of Facebook’s planned messaging merge, doesn’t it make you think about what the real driver behind this new capability is?

Twitter

According to Mashable, Matt Navarra discovered a whole other set of features Twitter’s been quietly experimenting with in the iOS app. Twitter’s spokesperson declined to comment on specifics, but here’s what Matt discovered: 1) improved night mode; 2) encrypted direct messages; 3) new ways to use GIFs; 4) new additions to the side navigation bar; 5) new drag and drop interface.

No one knows which of these features – if any – will be launched publicly, but considering Twitter is planning to test more of it new features out in the open, it gives us an interesting look into the way the company experiments.

Ah, one more thing, Twitter’s been storing your deleted DMs for years, according to The Verge. It doesn’t matter if you deleted the DM or the recipient did; it doesn’t even matter if it was sent to or from a deactivated or suspended account – Twitter still stores them.

SEARCH ENGINES AND SEO

“Depending entirely on Google or SEO is dangerous.” – Danny Sullivan

DuckDuckGo warns internet users that companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter, have no regards for the “Do Not Track” setting on web browsers. According to DDG, over 77% of US adults are not even aware of that fact. Are you?

Regardless of Opera’s low market share worldwide (2.91%) and despite discontinuing its free VPN app for Android (and iOS) in 2016, the company decided its time to bring it back, albeit in a slightly different format, and allow Opera browser users – once again – to chose their virtual location. The feature is currently undergoing testing and is slowly rolling out to Opera beta users.

Let’s not forget about our favourite Google Search Console (GSC), which – according to SEJ and JR Oakes – has a few new features on the way. The unannounced features were uncovered by Oakes whilst he was digging through GSC’s JavaScript code. Based on his discovery, the following reports/features  might soon be added to the Search Console:

  • Page Speed Report
  • AMP Articles Performace Report
  • Google Discover Performace
  • Child-Direct Content Report
  • Expanded support for Structure Data/Rich Cards
  • Opt-Out of Google Search Sections

We bet SEOs are really looking forward to seeing those features in the GSC.

PPC AND ADVERTISING

“Advertising is totally unnecessary. Unless you hope to make money.” – Jef I. Richards

Google

Google is making maximize conversions bidding (a strategy helping advertisers get as much conversion volume as possible) globally available to advertisers using TrueView for Action campaigns. TrueView for Action campaigns are designed to drive leads and conversions by adding prominent CTAs and headline text overlays to video ads on YouTube. Google says maximize conversions can be an effective strategy for those who are either new to TrueView for Action campaigns or are looking to run burst campaigns. Also, it’s an alternative option for advertisers who don’t meet the recommended threshold of 50 conversions per week for target cost-per-acquisition (CPA) bidding. The company also notes that target CPA may be a better option for advertisers who have a specific ROI goal for their video campaigns.

Facebook

Facebook announced, come September 2019, new and existing campaigns will be migrated to Facebook’s automated campaign budget allocation system that optimizes campaign budget across an advertiser’s ad set. Advertisers will have limited control over budgets at the ad-set level; only able to set minimum and maximum spend limits. The goal is to give advertisers better results at a lower cost by distributing a campaign budget based on the best performing ads.

Also, Facebook added a new layer of ad targeting focused on household income by U.S. ZIP code. The feature allows advertisers to target ads to U.S. users based on the average income levels in the ZIP code in which they say they reside. Advertisers can choose income levels based on where the user’s household income falls percentage-wise, e.g. top 5%, top 10 to 25%, etc. Facebook states the income level data is based on public information.

OTHER DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS WE FOUND INTERESTING

“The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of tomorrow.” – Bill Gates

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) imposed a fine – totalling £120,000 – on Leave.EU and Eldon Insurance (trading as Go Skippy Insurance) for using personal data to send emails without consent which is in direct violation of the Data Protection Act of 1998. Leave.EU used Eldon Insurance customers’ details to unlawfully send almost 300,000 political marketing messages; and, in turn, Eldon Insurance sent over 1 million emails to Leave.EU subscribers without adequate consent.

Keeping up with potential threats from breached passwords is difficult for everyone. Hence why Google, as part of its security efforts, released a new add-on for the Chrome browser that automatically and securely checks website credentials against known password breaches. The extension is called Password Checkup and is available today.

Skype users will be very happy with the new blur feature Microsoft is adding. Why? Imagine you had to work from home or is a busy cafe; this feature would be ideal if you wanted to magically remove distractions and clutter. The company says they’re using artificial intelligence to blur everything around you and keep you as the main focal point. Skype’s background should detect hands, arms, and hair to ensure it doesn’t blur out incorrect parts during your video calls. Incorrect part? That would be funny, wouldn’t it?

Believe it or not, there are still people out in the world using Internet Explorer – shocking we know – but, Microsoft would like them to stop. Say what now?

Microsoft’s security expert – Chris Jackson – published a post urging users to stop using its old web browser, which was officially discontinued in 2015. Ah, we get it – he just wants people to evolve and move with the changing times. Phew.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Let us know what digital marketing news topics and areas you would like us to look out for in the future. Write your requests below, we’ll keep an eye out (or two) so you don’t have to – and all for FREE, of course.

In the meantime, you can take a look at our blog for more digital marketing news, social media marketing, business growth tips and tricks plus, of course, all things email marketing.

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