Gmail goes all Pinterest.

We recently signed up for a preview of a new toggle feature Gmail is testing. They’ve made an option to view their “Promotions” tab in a grid view. Making it much more image heavy. To the point where it closely resembles the layout of Pinterest.

Most of the emails that will fall into the Promotions tab are your typical email newsletter campaigns. Which we think is pretty cool, as most of the time it’s the imagery that’s so vital to a campaign.

However, this new feature will also have to be coded into the html of your email if you really want to control the presentation of it. Right now most aren’t accounting for this change, as it’s still in a testing phase, but just to give you an idea of how it can make or break things:



As you can see, some things work out well, and

The Oxford Comma.

Here at the agency we like to joke around a bit about the use of the Oxford Comma. While we know it’s perfectly acceptable to use it or not, it’s still a fun issue to play around with. It’s definitely dependent on how a person was originally taught. Whether they were ingrained with learning the AP style or MLA seems to make all the difference.

Recently, TEDEd published this video to address the issue once and for all!

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So basically…

Well, it’s optional. Still. :p

Email Marketing: Mobile First.

In the world of email marketing, it’s amazing just how much as evolved over the last couple of years.

Even we were surprised to learn that 51% of all emails are now opened on mobile devices. (Source: Litmus: Email Testing and Email Marketing Analytics ) What does this mean when it comes to planning your email marketing campaigns?

You need to think about mobile FIRST.

The solution? Responsive email design. Which will look good and be effective on both mobile and desktop clients alike. We still see a lot of emails only being built with traditional email clients in mind.  They look great in most desktop email clients, but they usually are very image heavy and not all that reader friendly when it comes to viewing on mobile devices. Image heavy campaigns also limit the way your user can interact with your email.

This is all old news to industry experts, but sometimes it can be confusing. So we wanted to share exactly what responsive email design is.

The basic premise: Content will resize and optimize itself based on the device it is being viewed on.

Your content will render

Social Media Update (Facebook)

One of our favorite research sites, Pew Internet, has just released their 2013 Social Media Update. And amid the flurry of articles about how Facebook is “so uncool” and “dead and buried.” Pew Internet opens strongly with:

“42% of online adults use multiple social networking sites, but Facebook remains the platform of choice.”


Facebook may be “uncool.” But with 79% of 30-49 year-olds and 60% of 50-64 year-olds using Facebook, it’s feeling very cool for our clients in real estate.

Yes – Social is constantly changing, but for 2014 this is something that can’t be ignored.


Facebook is becoming even more like a ‘traditional’ media channel.


Looking at Facebook Insights data for our clients over the past few months, we’ve seen

6 ways to be ‘Social’ in Social Media.

Effective social media is rooted in being thankful and kind.

Social media is by definition ‘social’. Manners matter. To be successful in the social space, start by having a perspective of being thankful and kind. This is at the soul of social engagement whether it is virtual on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. or in real life. (For reference here is our Google+ page to show what engagement can look like.)


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Here are 6 foundational guidelines that apply across social channels.

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3 Ways to be Kind

1. Speak when spoken to.

If someone asks you a question on Twitter or comments on your Facebook page – respond. They were kind enough to spend time on your content– be kind enough to notice. [TIP: Hootesuite is great for listening.]

2. If you can’t say something nice – don’t say anything at all.

Being negative on anything is a turn off. It’s fine to have an evocative point of view or respectfully disagree, just don’t be negative.

3. Be helpful.

Social media is about

Google’s Hummingbird: What It Is & How It Impacts Marketing.

The Short Answer.

In September 2013, Google announced it had launched it’s new search algorithm called Hummingbird.

Currently, Google accounts for 67% of total US online searches1Considering that 90% of home buyers searched online during their home buying process, how search engines select the information people receive is important to new home marketers.

When Hummingbird flew onto our radar, we headed over to one of our favorite blogs, Search Engine Land to get the low-down. They didn’t disappoint with two excellent posts. Our favorite highlights are below starting with first things first.

What is a Search Algorithm?

A search algorithm is ‘tech-speak’ for the recipe that a search engine, like  Google, uses to sort through billions of web pages and return what it thinks are the most helpful answers to users.

Google has tweaked its recipe over the years calling the changes by cute, non-threatening names such as Penguin and Panda. This time the name is still cute, but Hummingbird represents more than a “tweak” to a recipe. It’s a completely rebuilt engine that

Storytelling and Technology

The art of storytelling has remained unchanged. And for the most part, the stories are recycled.

But the way that humans tell the stories has always evolved with pure, consistent novelty.  – Joe Sabia

TAKEAWAY:  Marketing begins with a genuine story that tugs at the heart and sparks the imagination.  Where and how we tell that story is more expansive than ever before in history, but it still all starts with the story.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)


A Social State of Mind

A new study released by the Pew Research Center focuses on the demographics of social media users. Many of the results were as expected, however there were some surprising nuggets of information:

People from household incomes of $30,000 or less use social networking sites the most – 72%
Hispanics represent the largest ethnic group using social sites – 72%
Only 15% and 13% of respondents say they use Pinterest and Instagram, respectively (I expected the numbers to be a little higher)

Facebook News Feed Redesign and Why It Matters

There is always something to dislike about Facebook. The mobile experience needs serious improvement, the current news feed is convoluted and many teens no longer think it’s cool, to name a few. As Zuckerberg and company roll out their updated news feed in the coming weeks, however, it’s worth noting that the redesign takes a cue from Pinterest and Instagram (which Facebook owns). The experience will focus on larger visuals; images and links will be prominent and front and center.