Mailbox
Experian said email volume climbed in the last quarter of 2016. PHOTO: Basheer Tome

The reports of the death of email are apparently exaggerated.

Email volume rose 14 percent in the last quarter of 2016 year-over-year, according to Experian, a Dublin-based global information services group. In its quarterly Email Benchmark Report, Experian also found open rates, click and transaction rates, revenue per email and average order volumes all remained relatively stable during the same period.

The survey analyzes data from Experian clients brands within the United States and Canada to assess email marketing trends and key performance indicators across six verticals: business products and services, consumer products and services, media and entertainment, multi-channel retailers, publishers and travel. Experian researchers also found:

  • 56 percent of total email opens occurred on mobile phones or tablets in the last quarter of 2016, the same rate reported during the same quarter of 2015.
  • Quarter-to-quarter revenue per email rose from $0.06 in the third quarter of 2016 to $0.08 in the fourth quarter. Department stores and shoe retailers had the highest quarter-quarter gains in revenue per email.

Some marketers are successfully implementing kinetic email, the report found. Experian noted kinetic email design acts as the next stage of responsive, giving the user multiple ways to interact with the content and layout before he or she takes a committed action.

Kinetic email enables them to develop content that is more interactive and dynamic, officials said.

For example, retail marketers can use carousel navigation to showcase color and size choices within the email.

In the latest Email Benchmark Report, Experian found kinetic emails increased unique click rates by as much as 18.3 percent, and click-to-open rates by more than 10 percent.

In other technology news …

Kentico Creates Single CMS Product

Kentico has merged Kentico Draft, Deliver, and Engage into a single product — Kentico Cloud.

The web content management (WCM) and digital experience platform provider released the Kentico Cloud, an "API-first," multitenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offering at its annual 404 Conference in Las Vegas in November.

Kentico Cloud is composed of three parts: Kentico Draft for authoring, Kentico Deliver for content delivery via an API and Kentico Engage for marketing and experience optimization.

The components originally could be licensed separately or as a bundle. Based on customer feedback, Kentico is merging the three components.

The change will provide a better user experience and simplified pricing while supporting the same scenarios provided in the individual products, Kentico officials said.

“Our original plan was to provide a set of products that can be used individually or together,” Kentico CEO Petr Palas wrote in a note to customers. “However, we found that the user experience, as well as the pricing model, were confusing for our customers. So we decided to simplify it significantly while preserving the option to use Kentico Cloud for various scenarios.”

Sitecore Experience Winners

Copenhagen-based digital experience provider Sitecore has announced its Americas winners of the Sitecore Experience Awards 2016.

The categories and associated winners for the 2016 awards are:

Best Content Strategy: Microsoft, which showcased a digital content marketing strategy that “transformed its site serving the Microsoft Partner Network.” Microsoft partnered with Avanade to help with the migration from its legacy platform to Sitecore.

Marketing Agility: Procter & Gamble, which set out to build a new platform for all of its brands. Sitecore partner Mindtree developed a multi-tenant and multi-channel digital marketing platform built on Sitecore 7.2.

Real-time Engagement: American Standard Brands, which was in need of a design facelift and capability upgrade. Sitecore partner Delphic Digital managed the Sitecore Experience Platform implementation.

Best Ecommerce Experience: Dow Chemical, which was able to create a single data repository and expand its focus on product families.

Digital Innovation: Herschend Family Entertainment, which uses Sitecore for multiple sites including Dollywood. The company worked with Atlanta-based Arke Systems.

Best Data-Driven Website: ExxonMobil Fuels and Lubricants (F&L), which requires websites that enable its customers to easily navigate their digital purchase journey. The company worked with Avanade.

The Ultimate Experience: Benjamin Moore, a paint brand with more than 130 years of history, worked with Sitecore partner Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM). It identified with its website an outdated design, a cluttered information architecture, a less-optimal mobile site compared to the desktop, and less consumer content on the professional portion than professionals want.

In other Sitecore news, the company announced the appointment of two new VPs: Denise Parker as EVP of operations, and former Adobe executive Monte Wilson as SVP of Americas.

It's the second Adobe executive Sitecore has hired in the last month. In February, it tapped former Adobe executive Mark Zablan as its new chief revenue officer.

Parker will be accountable for global commercial operations. She was most recently VP, global channel sales at K2, a business application software company. Prior to that, she managed the top 15 global alliances for Microsoft.

Wilson will be responsible for overseeing Sitecore's Americas sales organization. Wilson was previously head of the Americas Field Operations for Adobe's Digital Media organization where he spearheaded the company's move to subscription software.

WP Engine Moves Users to PHP 7

Austin-based WP Engine, a WordPress digital experience platform, has announced the availability and upgrade of the PHP 7 environment.

WP Engine has 60,000 customers. PHP 7 offers improved website performance and a better overall experience for visitors to a site, officials claim.

PHP is an open source server-side web development language.

In July, WP Engine announced support for HTTP/2, the latest version of HTTP, which reduces web page latency, optimizes experiences for mobile users and improves SEO.

This past fall, WP Engine integrated support of Let’s Encrypt into its platform giving customers unlimited free SSL certificates for HTTPS.

VeloCloud Raises $35M

Mountain View, Calif.-based VeloCloud Networks, a cloud-delivered SD-WAN company, has announced that it has closed a $35 million Series D round of funding, led by Hermes Growth Partners.

Round participants included new investors Telstra Ventures and Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Government of Malaysia (“Khazanah”), in addition to existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Venrock, March Capital Partners, Cisco Investments and other undisclosed strategic investors.

The funding brings the company’s total funding to $84 million.

”We have been following the exploding SD-WAN space very closely and recognize its potential to transform enterprise WAN,” Bobby Yerramilli-Rao, founder and partner at Hermes Growth Partners, said.

Cradlepoint Secures $89 Million

Cradlepoint, a provider of cloud-based network solutions, has closed $89 million in Series C funding. TCV led the round.

Cradlepoint officials plan to use the money to expand product initiatives in Software Defined Networking (SDN), advanced 4G and 5G wireless connectivity and enterprise Internet of Things (IoT).

The company also appointed Ted Coons, general partner at TCV, and Doug Gilstrap, venture partner at TCV, to Cradlepoint’s board of directors.

TCV has invested in Netflix, GoDaddy, ExactTarget, Redback Networks and Splunk.

New Hires and Appointments

A lot of companies are hiring new executives and adding board members.

Cambridge Semantics Names Daniel Szot as VP 

Daniel Szot
Daniel Szot

Boston-based Cambridge Semantics, which provides graph-based data management and analytics solutions, appointed Daniel Szot as vice president of sales for the company’s life sciences division.   

Szot was formerly vice president of sales at PerkinElmer, where he managed the informatics organization for the Americas serving the life sciences, clinical informatics and broad material sciences industries. 

Before PerkinElmer, he was vice president of Sales at BIOVIA, a Dassault Systèmes brand, where he led scientific innovation solutions.

Alok Prasad, president of Cambridge Semantics, said Szot will help build out the Anzo Smart Data Lake, a solution that helps analyze business data. Szot has a bachelor’s degree in biology from William Patterson University of New Jersey.

PCH/Media Hires Head of Media Platforms

Spencer Scott
Spencer Scott

Portland, Maine-based PCH/Media, the digital advertising and data arm of Publishers Clearing House, hired Spencer Scott as its first head of media platforms. 

He will lead product development strategy and implement planning processes to advance the company's media and product offering.   

Scott comes to PCH/Media from Meed Mobile, where he served as CEO. Prior to his time at Meed Mobile, he was the chief revenue officer at Fiksu. He also held executive positions at OneScreen and Adverplex. 

He has served on the board of several companies acquired by Facebook and Groupon.

Vidyard Adds LinkedIn CMO to Board

Shannon Stubo
Shannon Stubo

Kitchener, Ontario-based video platform provider Vidyard has named LinkedIn CMO Shannon Stubo to its board of directors.

Stubo, also LinkedIn’s SVP of corporate communications, has worked at Intuit, Yahoo!, eBay and OpenTable before joining LinkedIn.

Stubo joined LinkedIn in 2010 as its first VP of corporate communications. In 2015, she was promoted to CMO and SVP of corporate communications, reporting directly into LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.

At eBay, she was VP of corporate communications, where she oversaw eBay’s global communications strategy.

CloudCraze Hires Four Execs

Chicago-based CloudCraze has added four new leadership positions to its executive team. It comes after a $20 million funding round from investors such as Salesforce Ventures and Insight Venture Partners.

New executive additions include:

  • Ray Grady, president and chief customer officer
  • Rob Christensen, chief technology officer
  • Jay Abraham, chief operating officer
  • Brian Wagner, vice president of sales

TideSmart Names Aaron Carpenter CEO

Aaron Carpenter
Aaron Carpenter

Falmouth, Maine-based TideSmart, a marketing and media solutions company, has named Aaron Carpenter its new CEO.

The former vice president of global marketing for The North Face and vice president of marketing of Levi Strauss & Co. Jeans will lead the newly-formed TideSmart West as President/CEO. 

Carpenter most recently served as the CEO of ACV Consulting, advising global brands and technology startups on brand strategy, digital marketing ecommerce, user experience, sales and demand generation. 

He was also the chief customer officer and co-founder of HubNami, a social media intelligence platform for global retailers. 

Altify Names Former SAP Executive as CEO

Anthony Reynolds
Anthony Reynolds

Altify, a sales performance management provider, has named Anthony Reynolds as CEO. The company’s previous leader, Donal Daly, will move to the position of executive chairman. 

Before joining Altify, Reynolds was executive vice president operations and chief customer officer at Anaplan.

He also held a number of general manager, operations and sales related roles as a former senior vice president and chief operating officer of SAP.