1. Mailjet Monday: Barth

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    Happy Monday! This Mailjet Monday, we’re talking to Mailjet veteran and football fan (the real kind), Barth Lecocq . Barth is a Customer Angel, helping customers send better email, optimize their campaigns and fight spammers out of the Paris HQ.

    What do you do for Mailjet?

    As a part of the Customer Support team, I’m here to help improve the customer experience. On a day-to-day basis, I monitor support tickets and direct issues to the teams that can help address these problems. On a bigger picture level, I collect product feedback from these conversations to build more innovative email tools.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    My day starts a little later than most other teams, since I work off a shift schedule with the Vietnam and Canada offices. We rotate to ensure 24/7 global coverage for customer support.

    I usually get into the office at 10 am and start by reviewing messages from the past few hours, making sure all tickets have been answered. A large part of my day is also spent coordinating with other teams to document issues and connect customers with the proper resources they need to send better email.

    What’s one most commonly asked question and your solution?

    One of the most common concerns I hear about is deliverability. “How can we prevent or decrease the number of emails going into the spam folder?”

    It’s important to make sure you set up authentication keys SPF and DKIM. This helps receiving servers identify that the emails sent from your email address are credible. We also have a handy best practices page on our site that is a good reference point if you’re new to deliverability.

    What’s your favorite Mailjet moment so far?

    I enjoy that we take time to hold big team meetings and regular outings. We’re a pretty global team now, which means it’s easy to get caught up in your own bubble — but we work hard, play hard.

    What do you do on time off?

    I’m really into football (or as they call it in the US, soccer). These past two months have been especially exciting, following The World Cup. My team, Chile, unfortunately didn’t make it as far as I’d hoped, but they put on a pretty good performance.

    Where do you see the Mailjet Customer Support team going in the next 5 years?

    We’re looking into a lot of growth over the next few years — hiring internationally and integrating more communication tools into our support team strategy. We have a strong team of technicians and developers; our new feature launch we’ve been working on is just the beginning to the many cool projects we have lined up in the pipeline.

  2. Flight School Friday: Do You Know Your APIs?

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    A few weeks back, we published our first quiz, "What’s Your Email Marketing IQ?". Our readers had so much fun with this test that we thought it was time to test some more technical knowledge. In this second quiz — put your API knowledge to the test and let us know which topics you’d like us to help you brush up on in future Flight School Fridays!

  3. [Infographic] A Mailjet Story

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    If you’ve been following along our Mailjet Monday series, you might have seen us hint at a secret project we’ve been hard at work on the past few months. Now for the big unveiling… we'll be introducing four new features in the coming two weeks! Check out the story below of how one small company grew their business with us. They started off in a brick-and-mortar store off the Seine River, brought their business online and continues to grow their sales through email testing.

    Download PDF

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  4. Creating a successful email newsletter campaign in 5 steps

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    Perhaps you’ve been thinking about starting your first campaign but don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’re looking for an actionable resource for getting your overall strategy pieced together. Look no further. This post is intended for anyone looking to get started with an email newsletter campaign.

    In this guide we’ll take you through the most important steps in planning and executing a email newsletter campaign. Knowing that every business is different, we have created this guide to be used by virtually anyone looking to create newsletter campaigns that are targeted, relevant and goal-oriented. Let’s get going!

    1. Define your audience

    A key starting point in building your newsletter strategy is to consider who you want to reach with your message. Defining your audience is essential to the success of your campaign because you need to understand what needs and wants your potential readers have in order to meet these needs and wants with a fitting offer in your emails. You need to provide value in your newsletters that appeals to your audience.

    So think about who you want to reach with your emails and try to be as specific as possible. Consider things like demographics, location, and interests. If you’re aiming at reaching a global audience it can be hard to get precise in your definition, but in that case you need to craft a message that appeals to a broad audience.

     2. Set goals

    The next step is focused on goals: what do you want to achieve with your email newsletter campaign? Some examples could be to drive traffic to your website, to increase sales on your online shop, or to invite people to upcoming events. Setting goals gives your newsletter campaign a purpose and helps you measure the performance of your efforts.

    It can be useful to follow the SMART principle, an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time bound. Essentially though, you need to set goals that make sense to you and your business.

    3. Build your contact list

    Once you know who you want to reach and why, it’s time to get down to business and build a contact list with all the people you’ll be sending your newsletters to. How you do this really depends on your business, but essentially you want to make it easy for your visitors to leave their e-mail address and sign up to your list. The most common way to do this is by adding a sign-up form to your site or Facebook page. Remember to confirm your sign-ups by using double opt-in to make sure that the email addresses are valid and that users are actually interesting in receiving your newsletter.

    To encourage people to sign up, make sure to give them an incentive to sign up. The value you offer in exchange for their contact information should reflect the goals you set in step two. So for example, if your goal is to increase sales, offer people discounts or special offers for signing up. If you want to increase traffic to your website, your offer could be to keep people updated with the latest news from your site.

    Something you should definitely refrain from doing is to buy contact lists or to send emails to people that have not asked for it. These are sure ways to get to blocked or marked as spam by users and are considered bad practices by email service providers.

    4. Plan your newsletter content and sending frequency

    Now that you have built a contact list, you’re ready to start planning and creating your content. This is a phase you should spend a good amount of time on since the success of your newsletter campaigns relies on your content. It needs to appeal to your audience and be focused on achieving the goals you have set.

    Start pooling ideas that could be used for content together, always keeping your audience and goals in mind. Once you have enough ideas, create a schedule for planning your newsletters. In this schedule you should decide on the frequency of your newsletters (daily, weekly, monthly?), so you can plan getting your newsletters ready accordingly.

    If you don’t know how often you should be sending your newsletter, test different frequencies and see how your audience reacts. A way to do this is by starting out with a weekly or monthly newsletter, then trying out with more frequent newsletters and compare the results.

     5. Send, track, optimize

    With your content ready to go, it’s time to start sending your newsletters. The easiest way to go is by using an email service that lets you integrate your contact list, create your newsletter layout, and send your emails in one platform - like for example Mailjet. Find a platform that fits your needs: go for an easy to use platform if you’re not experienced with design or the technical aspects, or select a more flexible platform if you have your own HTML and want to design every detail.

    Make sure to choose a service that offers tools for tracking and analyzing the newsletters you send, since it’s important to see how your audience responds to the emails you’re sending them. Most newsletter services offer tracking of delivery, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes, which are the essential figures in measuring your efforts. Check out our blog post on the KPIs you should be monitoring here.

    Once you’ve sent your first few newsletters, the opens and clicks should give you an initial idea about how your audience is reacting to your emails. This data is a great source for deciding how to optimize your future newsletters, since it tells you which elements of your newsletter can be tweaked: if your open-rate is low, perhaps your subject line isn’t clear enough. If only few people click on the links in your newsletter, try to make your call-to-action (CTA) stand out more. If a lot of users are unsubscribing, take another look at your contact list or try grouping your contact list into more specific segments to get a more narrowing targeting. 

    Tracking results and optimizing your newsletters should be an ongoing process that you keep doing to continually improve your results. Even when you reach positive results, try aiming even higher and find things that can be improved even further. For example, try experimenting with different fonts, colors, or number of images.

    Achieving success with a newsletter campaign requires careful consideration, planning and continuous iteration. By following the this guide, you’ll be well on your way to create powerful messages that will capture your audience and create great results for your business.

  5. Flight School Friday: Email Marketing KPIs you should be measuring

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    Ask us what of the biggest trend in email marketing is, and we probably won’t name a piece of software or describe a type of campaign. We’ll talk about metrics. Most digital marketers these days approach email scientifically — measuring the success of their email campaigns through numbers. But there are endless ways to slice this data. The question often arises: “Am I collecting the right numbers and how do you read them correctly?”

    First…

    Truth is, there is no one size fits all solution to measuring data. Before diving into the numbers, take a step back to review your company’s business goals and your customers’ needs. This top down approach will help you get better clarity on what type of content to produce and how to measure success. For example, if your goal is exposure, you may want to measure shares, if you’re working on deliverability, you’ll want to track open rate and bounce rate.

    The metrics you end up narrowing down as important to measuring business performance are called KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Here are some common KPIs to get you started:

    Open Rate

    Total Number of Opens/Total Number of Emails Sent
    Goal: High Open Rate

    The open rate gives a good indication of how effective your subject line was. Adding a call to action, numbers or personalization to your subject line can entice customers to open your email. Test subject line length across multiple ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) and across devices (web, mobile, tablet)

    Click-through Rate (CTR)

    Total Number of Click-Throughs/ Total Number of Opens
    Goal: High Click-through Rate

    Click-through rate gives a better picture of how engaged customers are with your email creative. This is directly tied to the open rate because the more customers that open your email, the more that trickle down to click through your creative and visit your site. Be sure the email body is consistent with what was promoted in the subject line. It’s also important to keep mobile users in mind here. 38% of all emails are opened on a mobile device, which means a majority of readers are looking for mobile responsive designs.

    Bounce Rate

    % of Email Addresses on your Contact List That Did Not Receive The Email 
    Goal: Below 5%

    You actually want to keep the percentage low for this KPI. A high bounce rate can put you at risk of being flagged as spam or blacklisted. Industry standards recommend keeping your bounce rate at below 5%. If you do find yourself with a high bounce rate, clean your contact list of inactive email addresses — contacts who have not clicked or opened emails in the past few months.

    Revenue Per Email (RPE)
    Total Revenue/(Total Number of Emails Sent - Number of Bounces)
    Goal: High RPE

    The most straightforward of the bunch, RPE helps us determine which type of campaign drives more revenue and how email as a channel compares to other marketing vehicles. We recommend using Google Analytics to keep track of where your revenue is coming from. Track RPE across individual email sends, audience and/or on a monthly basis.

    Unsubscribes

    # of Contacts That Unsubscribe From Your Contact List
    Goal: Less Than 1%

    While it’s rewarding to see the number of new subscribers climb, unsubscribes tell us about what type of content to stay away from. Having a high number of unsubscribes can put you at risk of being flagged as a spammer. Generally speaking, you’d like to keep your unsubscribe rate below 0.5%. Remember to test the frequency of your email sends to find the optimal cadence to communicate with customers.

    Always Benchmark & Continue to Test

    Remember that KPIs can change over time as you gain more insight into customer behavior and as your business grows. Keep an open mind when analyzing your email data and allow for this change. Benchmark against past sends and set goals to break your open-rate and click through rate records. Looking up the average email KPIs for your industry can also be a great resource. Above all, keep testing new subject lines, new creative templates and different ways to integrate email.

    How does your company define success? What KPIs do you track and how do you adjust your goals over time? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

  6. Mailjet Monday: Sabrina Mamouni

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    Happy Monday! This week, we sat down to chat with our Project Manager, Sabrina Mamouni, about productivity, product and the future of email. Our Product team — including Sabrina — has been hard at work these past few months on a special project you’ll see rolled out very soon!

    What do you do for Mailjet?

    As a Project Manager, I’m part of the Product team. My goal is to oversee projects from conception to finish. This ranges from smaller scale internal projects to larger feature updates or new product launches.

    How did you get into project management?

    I have a technical background, I studied development and programming at University. Somewhere along my studies I realized that a career in development would limit me to the area I specialized in though. I wanted more flexibility and the chance to learn new things. Upon graduation, I started my job search with this in mind. I discovered project management and knew it was a good opportunity to exercise the skills I learned at University while constantly being exposed to new products.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    My days are usually pretty busy! Generally I start the morning by checking my to-do list and running through my goals for the day. As a Project Manager, it’s important to set realistic expectations and pace yourself. Sometimes you only get 50% of your to-do list completed and that’s perfectly okay. It’s more of a marathon than a sprint.

    At any given time, there are multiple projects being developed and part of the challenge of the role is getting time with people, understanding how their projects fall into the bigger picture and prioritizing to push updates forward that will ultimately create a better experience for the user.

    Favorite Mailjet Moment?

    It isn’t one definitive moment for me, but more of a process. I love looking around the office and being reminded of how much we’ve grown as a team. When I first joined almost a year ago, I was one of two women on the team and there was a very technical focus. Now, we’re about at an evenly split with male-female ratio, have remote teams in several countries and fully staffed creative teams.

    What do you think is the future of Email Marketing?

    Email senders are increasingly looking to do more with less. I think more people are realizing that email is not dead and are looking to innovate. As an industry, we need to provide senders with more additional tools, but at the same time we will need to be careful not to dilute the email experience too much. Triggered emails and dynamic content will also become more mainstream. Consumers are looking for more relevant, tailored content.

    How do you see Mailjet growing in 5 years?

    Two words: simple and global. We’ll make building email campaigns even easier than it is now. We’ll also continue growing beyond Europe and the US. I’m not allowed to give too much more detail, but be on the lookout for some new features not currently available in the Email Service Provider market!

  7. Email encryption: how we keep your emails safe

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    Over past few weeks, Flight School Friday has been focusing on best practices: how to comply with the anti-spam laws and learn more about scammers to avoid them. This brings us to the topic of today’s post: security. You want to make sure that your data is safe before, during and after sending your emails. In this post, we’ll be talking about the encryption process at Mailjet in order to make sure that all the emails we send are safe and that nobody is able to read them but the recipient. The security of emails sent is critical, especially when it comes to transactional emails, which can contain sensitive information like credit card numbers, personal IDs, passwords or similar.

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    ©DaveBleadsdale


    TLS and SSL: shielding your emails when they take off

    Transport Layer Security and Secure Socket Layer are protocols that keep the communication between servers safe. With the rise of e-commerce at the end of the 90’s, Netscape developed SSL, an authentication and encryption protocol that made online payments more clear and safe. A few years later, this protocol has been replaced by TLS: thanks to its symmetric-key algorithm which improve security, TLS became a reference, replacing SSL.

    TLSacts like a tunnel between our SMTP server, which is used to send your emails, and the recipient server. The information is sent encrypted from one server to the other and the emails sent will only be deciphered once the recipient server authenticate the origin of the message, thanks to unique certificate keys. Without those keys, the message will be scrambled and nobody will be able to read your message.


    HTTPS: keeping your messages safe

    So now we’ve learned that TLS protects your emails as they pass through our servers. But what if a user composes an email using the Mailjet web interface rather than pushing them with an API? How can we be sure that the email won’t be vulnerable to hackers before being sent

    This is what HTTPS is for. Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, it allows you to verify the identity of the website you’re about to visit. A HTTPS website will guarantee you confidentiality and trustworthiness, as well as the encryption of the data you are entering. When using Mailjet, this means that when you create a new email via our web interface, HTTPS keeps your message safe and sound.


    Opportunistic TLS: the final security coat

    Still worried about the safety of your email data? Don’t worry. Mailjet is coming with another encryption protocol: Opportunistic TLS. Just like TLS, this protocol creates a secured encrypted channel between our servers and the recipient’s server. Though, if the recipient server understands TLS, all the exchanges will be done with this protocol, without any third party add-on to certify your legitimacy.


    By implementing these protocols into our system at Mailjet, we’re making sure that your data and emails are safe. Add to that the fact that our servers are all located in secured data-centers and that each person on  our team is honest and reliable . With Mailjet, your messages and information are not in the wild.

  8. Want to Hang Out With Us?

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    Now that summer is officially upon us, it’s time to throw on the flip flops and shades and cool off at some tech events. The Mailjet team is gearing up to attend, hack and speak at various events in both Europe and the US.

    We’d love to get to know you guys so be sure to come say hi if you’re attending as well — or tweet at us — @mailjet!

    Austria

    7/7 UberConf

    France

    7/1 ParisRb.new

    7/2 HTML5 Meetup

    7/7 Meetup Elasticsearch France

    7/23 Paris New Tech

    Germany

    7/21 - 7/27 EuroPython

    UK

    7/12-7/13 WordCamp

    7/19 Node Conf

    7/21 Brighton Ruby Conference

    USA

    7/14 Startup Institute (Presentation & Happy Hour)

    Let us know which of these events you’re most looking forward to or if there are other ones we should check out! We’ll be adding to the list throughout the summer. Drop your thoughts in the comments below!

  9. La French Touch says “Bonjour NY”

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    Last week, we had the pleasure of attending La French Touch, a NYC conference held to celebrate and promote French tech. Along with a group of 200 others, we looked back on the successes and challenges of being a French startup. At times we laughed, other times we sighed in knowing agreement. There were speakers from a range of industries and healthy debate throughout.

    The two-day conference brought together entrepreneurs and investors across both the French and New York tech ecosystems to discuss innovation, business and creativity. “By highlighting our innovative companies, we can show that we are not afraid of the future, we are prepared to make the most if itand that France is a changing country,” Fleur Pellerin said in her keynote.

    When the audience was asked to identify themselves, by show of hands, whether they were of French nationality, US nationality or held dual-status, there was an even distribution. It was neat to see that attendees were evenly split between those who flew in from France and those working for French startups based in NY (like the Mailjet NYC team!).

    For those of you who couldn’t make it out, we’ve put together a few highlights from the conference. It was also recorded — the first day is already up on La French Touch’s Youtube channel.

     

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    WHAT’S THE FRENCH TOUCH?

    “French Touch is..a manner of combining innovation and creativity. The blend of a new approach that shakes the status quo.” Fleur Pellerin, Secretary of State For Foreign Trade

    CHALLENGES OF BEING A FRENCH STARTUP

    “I wanted to avoid two very French pitfalls; the first is fragmentation, the second is failing to promote our successes” Fleur Pellerin, Secretary of State For Foreign Trade

    “France is always seen as ‘Paris’ — but there is life outside of Paris” Lengow

    A WORD OF ADVICE

    “Winston Churchill is British, not French but I think his words are very relevant; never, never, never give up.” Nick Taranto, Co-Founder of Plated

    ON FUNDING

    “In food tech, in order to scale we need more physical storage space, not more cloud space.” Craig Kanarick, CEO of Mouth

    "It’s much much more difficult to raise money in Europe”Meryl Job, Co-founder of Vide Dressing

    THE WORLD OF DATA

    “Big data helps us discover what you didn’t know you didn’t know” says Marc Rougier of Scoop.it

    “There’s a joke that the best place to hide information is on the second page of Google. That’s not true, it’s actually the first page of Bing.” Marc Rougier of Scoop.it

    WHERE WE’RE HEADED

    "Today’s economy no longer has boundaries. Openness is the key to growth." Fleur Pellerin, Secretary of State For Foreign Trade

    "Inventory, scalability and convenience. The three biggest things technology/ecomm enables us to do.” Morgan Hermand, Founder & CEO of Adore Me

    “Every startup is in a race, and you can’t waste too much time in a small market.” Jerome Lecat, CEO of Scality

    We’d also like to give a huge shoutout and congratulations to the winners of the startup contest; Jellynote and 1001 Menus. These two companies won the panel of judges over with their dynamic pitches and well-designed solutions. They’ve got the French Touch.

    What are some of your personal successes, challenges or impressions of the French startup scene? Share in the comments below!

  10. Flight School Friday: CASL 101

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    If you’re using email to communicate with your customers, you might have already heard about CASL (Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation). While the name suggests a law applying only to Canadians, you could be affected too. Although may be headquartered outside of Canada, the customers you are engaging with might be based elsewhere or are opening email as they’re traveling. With the help of tech, the world has become flatter than ever before, enabling us to be connected more than ever before. This means more business opportunities, but also a diverse demographic of geography, culture and laws to be conscious of. As Heidi Lorenzen, CMO of Cloudwords, said at a conference recently, “Globalization shouldn’t be an afterthought.”

    This Flight School Friday, we will review the basics of Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which is set to be enforced July 1. As mentioned before, even if your company isn’t based in Canada, you may have to abide by the CASL if you have customers accessing their inbox from the Great White North. Here’s what you need to know:

    CONSENT

    There are two types of consent a customer can give before opting in to receive your email communication; implied or express.

    Implied Consent is when there is an existing business relationship between you and the customer, but they have not explicitly given permission to be sent communication.

    Examples:

    • Customer has bought or leased a product or service from you in the past two years

    • Customer has signed a written or electronic contract with you in the past two years

    • Customer has volunteered with or donated to your charity or political organization within the past two years

    Express Consent is when the customer gives explicit permission to receive communication; they either fill out a form or check a box saying they would like to receive email.

    Examples:

    • Opt-in form on your website

    • Check-box after purchase

    LIABILITY

    It is the sender’s responsibility to show proof of opt-in for every customer on your list, if solicited. If you have affiliate partnerships with other organizations where a customer signing up to receive your communication will also receive email from Company B, all parties involved are responsible for keeping record of and managing consent. If a customer opts-out of your list, you must contact Company B to reflect this within 10 business days.

    For the most part, CASL is very similar to US’s CAN-SPAM Act that you may be more familiar with. There are a variety of resources you can reference on the Canadian Government’s website. If you’re still unsure, it’s always a safe bet to consult a lawyer that is familiar with CASL regulations.

    PENALTY

    The consequences of not abiding by CASL regulations are serious. Not only are there monetary penalties, but reputational costs that are less quantifiable. Sending an email without permission can set an individual sender back $1,000,000 — that number doubles to $10,000,000 for corporations. Failure to identify yourself or providing misleading identification in an email can even lead to jail time and fines; up to one year for individuals and up to 14 years for corporations. While these are examples of financial and legal penalties, there are also reputational costs to consider. Being listed as a spammer as a result of not complying with CASL makes it hard for your future sends to pass through ISP filters. The impact is far-reaching as your sender reputation is tied to the IP address from which you send email.

    THE GOOD NEWS

    Good news is that you have until July 1st, 2017 to review your contact lists for type of consent, proof of opt-in and double-check opt-out requests. After the three year period, class action lawsuits will be filed against senders who violate CASL. And it doesn’t have to be a tough transition — the laws are in place to protect, not hurt businesses, after all. CASL challenges senders to create higher quality email and keeps the inbox free of malicious spam that can dilute the consumer’s email experience.