The keys to successful email marketing

Confirmation emails, calls to action and personalized, relevant content are vital to an email marketing strategy. A recent study found 89% of marketers use email as their primary lead-generation tool.

Do students need smartphones before 8th grade?
Today

More than 2,000 parents in 49 states have signed a Texas mother's social media pledge, "Wait Until 8th," that encourages parents to wait until eighth grade before giving their children a smartphone. The choice depends on each family's needs, but the pledge could help some parents distinguish when smartphones are age-appropriate, child development expert Deborah Gilboa said.

Global markets respond to Spanish attacks

Main stock indexes in Britain, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Japan dropped today after Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain, experienced terrorist attacks. The situation contrasts with earlier in the year when investors seemed to shrug off political risk.

Walmart sales increase on grocery, e-commerce

Walmart's same-store sales rose by 1.8% in the second quarter, and the retailer saw its strongest sales in grocery in five years, driven by efforts including improvements in fresh foods and lower prices, the company said Thursday. Walmart's online sales also jumped 60% during the period, which the retailer attributed to stronger e-commerce efforts and a recent string of acquisitions.

Study: Telemedicine may lead to more office visits

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin found a 6% increase in office visits among providers that have adopted electronic visit programs because many doctors feel the need to see telemedicine patients in person, causing them to spend an additional 45 minutes on those visits. The study, based on health care encounters between 90 providers and more than 140,000 patients over five years, said e-visit programs also reduced the number of new patients seen by providers each month by 15% and did not contribute any "observable improvement in patient health" between users and nonusers.

Why advertisers should be excited about Amazon's ad ambitions

Marketers should celebrate Amazon's foray into the advertising business because the company offers an unrivaled wealth of consumer data, the benefits of which brands are already seeing via the company's Advertiser Audiences self-serve platform, NewBase's Andy Vogel writes. Companies still trying to create brand awareness are better off elsewhere, however, because those seeking to improve audience targeting are most likely to benefit, Vogel writes.

Giant Food to roll out sustainable food rating system to all stores

Landover, Md.-based Giant Food will roll out the HowGood in-store sustainable food rating system to all of its locations, after piloting the program in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The system rates the sustainability of food items on a scale of "Good, Great, Best," and almost 90% of shoppers at Giant's test stores said they would use the system when looking for sustainable foods.

Anonymous pledges "Day to Denounce" for white supremacist sites

Members of the group Anonymous have released a video indicating that they will launch cyberattacks against white supremacist websites on Friday as part of a "Day to Denounce."

Mylan agrees to pay $465M to settle EpiPen misclassification claims

EpiPen maker Mylan agreed to pay $465 million as part of a final settlement deal with the Justice Department, resolving claims that the firm overcharged the US government by misclassifying the epinephrine auto-injector as a generic product under Medicaid's Drug Rebate Program while it was being marketed and priced as a branded treatment. The settlement, which requires Mylan to reclassify EpiPen and pay rebates applicable to its new classification effective April 1, was criticized by several lawmakers who believe the settlement is too low.

Sources: AT&T, Time Warner merger moves into advanced stages of review

AT&T's $85 billion proposed acquisition of Time Warner has moved into the advanced stages of its Department of Justice review, bringing the deal closer to reality, sources say. The government has raised concerns about AT&T's control of customer data and the potential to discriminate against channels that compete with Time Warner, but AT&T General Counsel David McAtee said the "process is on track from our perspective."

Groundbreaking held for new shipping container facility in Houston

A public-private partnership between the Port of Houston and Terminal Link Texas broke ground on a shipping container facility at the Bayport Container Terminal. The project is part of the port's planned $333 million investment in 2017 and 2018.

Mitsubishi, Allianz invest $340M in Enel Okla. wind farm

Enel Green Power has sold 100% of its "B" shares in its 300-megawatt Red Dirt project in Oklahoma to Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Allianz for $340 million, according to the companies. Enel will continue to oversee the project, which is expected to begin operations this year.

New TSA administrator visits Boston airport

David Pekoske, the new administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, visited Boston's Logan International Airport on Thursday to introduce himself. "I find that the folks in TSA are very mission-focused," he said.

After Super Bowl, formerly homeless staff still serving Houston hotel

Houston's Marriott Marquis continues to employ people from a pool that the city's hotels turned to for help during February's Super Bowl festivities: the once-homeless. "They come to work motivated; not only are they motivating, but being around them motivates the rest of our team," general manager Scot Cotton said.