1. A new Mailjet has landed!

    by

    If you visited our site this week, you may have noticed that things look a little different. The new features we’ve been talking about have finally been cleared for landing and the Mailjet site has gotten a facelift! V3 users will now be able to activate all four new features; segmentation, personalization, A/x testing, campaign comparison. Here’s a quick recap of how these features work and how they’ll provide added value to your email campaigns:

    Personalization

    screenshot_perso_03.png

    Personalization adds a human touch to email. It recreates the intimate relationship you’d likely have with a mom-and-pop shop that knows you by name and what you last purchased.

    With personalization, you’ll be able to address each user by specific characteristics such as first name, last name, gender and location. To ensure you get maximum value out of this feature, be sure to collect this information from your customers at the start of the sign-up funnel and to include these fields in your contact list. Once your complete list is uploaded to your account, a simple snippet of code:  [[data:PropertyName:"Default Value"]] will help cross-reference the data on the contact list with each recipient of the message.

    Segmentation

    screenshot_perso_01.png

    Closely related to personalization, segmentation is another way to tell customers that they’re special. Group your contact list into larger demographics (gender, age) or behavior (last website visit, lifetime purchase value) and serve up content you know they’ll want to see. Not only are you guaranteed a higher ROI, but also a lower unsubscribe rate.

    We strongly recommend using CRM software to help manage your customer data, that way managing your contact list will be quick and painless.

    Campaign Comparison

    screenshot_campaign_comparison_01.png

    Always remember to learn from your past mistakes. We created campaign comparison, because we can’t stress enough how important it is to analyze past campaigns and learn from your successes and failures. Maybe longer subject lines showed higher click through rates and the later send time showed lower click through rates. Next time you’ll send an email earlier in the day, with a longer subject line.

    We wanted to make it easy for marketers to get an idea of average KPIs across campaigns (benchmark) and be able to quickly identify areas of improvement. Pair these findings with A/x testing (below) for optimal results!

    A/X Testing

    screenshot_ax_01.png

    Move over, A/B testing. We’re introducing something bigger and better; multivariate testing. With A/X testing, you can test up to 10 versions of a campaign, allowing for greater learning from a single test.

    Testing takes the guesswork out of creating email campaigns, which helps you save money because guessing (and being incorrect) can be costly! A/X testing will show you which version produces the best metrics (open rate, click-through rate etc.) so that you can confidently send this to the rest of your contact list.

    Now that we’ve reviewed all the new features, are you ready to start optimizing? If you have more questions about getting started, please contact our support team.

  2. The Secret Behind Email’s Eternal Youth

    by

    image

    Our trusted old friend email is as hip and good-looking as ever

    Email is dead. We’ve heard this quite a few times in the past decade. More and more it seems. In recent years, as new forms of digital communication have emerged and developed, the number of email skeptics has increased, with a growing number of people calling for the next thing to replace email altogether. Opinions have turned sharply against the more-than-30-year-old technology that most of us still use on a daily basis.

    Most recently though, Alexis C. Madrigal, deputy editor of The Atlantic, voiced his opinion in a piece that is unusually supportive of email. As a response to a series of recent statements from various tech companies calling email “counter-productive” and, yet again, “dead”, Madrigal tells us that email is in fact very much alive.

    One of his main points in the article is that the strongest asset of email, unlike newer, more technologically advanced communication channels, is that it remains an open platform technology that no one owns:

    Email is actually a tremendous, decentralized, open platform on which new, innovative things can and have been built. In that way, email represents a different model from the closed ecosystems we see proliferating across our computers and devices.

    It’s this openness, Madrigal argues, that has allowed email to stay relevant and endure the changes in technology and the media landscape. To illustrate, he gives us a few examples of how email as a service has gotten better and more advanced, naming developments such as smarter inboxes, better spam filters, and most recently a great user experience on mobile devices.

    His overall point seems to be that many of email’s former functions have been improved with new services and apps. Email has survived by evolving into new shapes and forms, thus remaining current.

    More recently, it seems email as a communication channel for teams will be soon replaced with newer solutions. Here, tools like Hipchat and Slack have emerged and offered more fitting solutions with a focus on quick messaging, productivity and collaboration. But this, Madrigal says, is part of the natural evolution of email. New tools will come and email will continue to evolve thanks to its open-sourced nature that lets everyone contribute.

    It’s hard to imagine how email would have evolved over the years if it had been controlled by one single company. Certainly the we wouldn’t have seen as many different ideas and ways to use email as we have over the past decades. And in the hands of one company it would most likely had been commercialized in a greater form, adding constraints and limitations to how and where it can be used. In the same sense that the Internet would have looked very different if it just one company had ownership.

    As it stands today, email isn’t a one-off service that we use for a single purpose. Emails take many different forms and serve a plethora of purposes. And this will keep evolving. As Madrigal puts it:

    “What’s changing isn’t a product that must be rolled out to all users, but an ecosystem that provides niches for all kinds of different emailers.”

    An example of one of these niches is transactional email. The emails that we all receive when we buy something online and receive recommendations for similar products, when we need to reset our passwords or when someone has responded to one of our tweets. Highly relevant and targeted messages that customers want to receive. Companies today are able to customize these emails to the individual user and tailor their emails to meet very specific needs and demands from their users and customers. Transactional emails aren’t a new phenomenon in the world of email, but the purpose they serve and what we can do with them has evolved tremendously. In this example, email is not a static communication tool between two individuals. It’s a dynamic channel for intelligent, customized and relevant notifications.

    Email is not dead. It has certainly changed a lot over the years, no one would argue with that. The way email looks, the devices we use to access, read, send it, the role it plays in the way we communicate with each other. They have all changed and will continue to do so as technology and the way we use it evolves. The “cockroach of the Internet” is still with us and we can’t wait to see which shapes and forms he will take next.

  3. Tell us how your email campaigns #takeflight and win!

    by

    image

    In honor of today’s national holiday, Aviation Day, we’ve set aside the month of August to celebrate both the incredible engineering behind putting an aircraft into the skies and the hard work of Marketing/IT teams everywhere that help email campaigns #takeflight.

    This week, we’re running our first ever Twitter contest

    To ENTER:

    1) Just head on over to Twitter and follow @mailjet.

    2) Then, tweet at us with the story of your most successful email campaign and #takeflight!

    The contestant with the most creative or valuable tip will score a free 6 month Mailjet silver membership and a 6 month Tripit Pro membership!

    We’ll be announcing the winner back here and @mailjet on Wednesday, September 27.

    We’re looking forward to reading your tweets! Keep up the good work, guys!

  4. Mailjet Monday: David Andersen

    by

    If you frequent our blog or other social media channels, you’re probably already well acquainted with our marketing team! To put a face to the voice behind the content, we sat down to chat with David Andersen, a member of our Inbound Marketing trio. David talks about how email marketing is often underused and shares his tips on how to stay productive.

    image

    What do you do for Mailjet?

    I’m part of our fantastic marketing team and am involved in a lot of different projects aimed to spread the word about Mailjet to the world. As a member of our Berlin team I’m also involved in the local startup community and make sure Mailjet is represented at events and meetups.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    It sounds like a cliché but no two days are ever really the same - which is great! I love being involved in different projects and working on different things every day. One day I’ll be writing a new blog post, other days I’m creating new landing pages or tweaking a display banner. 

    do spend time almost every day connecting with my fellow marketers in our offices in Paris and New York. Since we’re a global team spread out across the world, it’s important for us to coordinate our tasks, keep each other updated on projects, and share our ideas. 

    What’s one thing all email marketer’s should know about email?

    I feel like email doesn’t really get the credit it deserves. It’s such a great marketing channel and yet it gets a lot of flak for being outdated, even being pronounced dead several times. SMTP may have been around longer than Ashton Kutcher, but that doesn’t mean it’s not relevant anymore (unlike him). If used right, email is extremely powerful and I think it’s more a matter of adapting email to new trends than to replace it altogether. 

    Most memorable Mailjet moment?

    That would have to be our recent team trip to Samoëns, a small village in the alps. The whole team flew in from all over the world and spent a few days river rafting among mountains and grassy meadows. It was absolutely beautiful and I can’t imagine a better way to connect with colleagues than by fearing for your life as you plunge over a giant waterfall in a raft. I’m kidding, it was pretty peaceful.

    What are some of your favorite apps?

    I am bit of a nerd when it comes to productivity apps. I love finding and trying out new apps that can make life easier and more organized.

    Some of my favorites are Wunderlist for to-dos, Evernote for any kind of notes, Mailbox for organizing my emails on the go and IFTTT for connecting apps and using them in new ways.

    How do you see email marketing evolving with the changing digital scene?

    I would expect to see a lot of new integrations being added to email marketing tools to adapt to the changes in the digital space. 

    Personalization and automation is still an interesting field that I think will evolve even further. But I think the core of email will stay the same - a trusted and reliable channel for companies to communicate and interact with customers. 

  5. How can the performance of transactional email be optimized? [GUIDE]

    by

    image

    If you’re using emails for your business, you’re probably already familiar with transactional emails. If you don’t know what they are, transactional emails are one-to-one emails, sent in response to an action by a user. They come in many forms, but a few examples of transactional emails are newsletter subscription confirmations, order delivery tracking messages, or abandoned cart reminders.

    Considering how relevant these messages are, it’s quite surprising that transactional emails are often neglected. In fact, they can be used in a lot of different ways to your advantage. So how can you leverage your transactional emails make the most out of each message? Our guide is here to help!

    In this guide you’ll learn more about:

    • The role of transactional emails in your business and your emailing strategy.

    • The technical prerequisites you need to properly integrate transactional emails to your website and/or apps.

    • How to properly create engaging and efficient transactional messages.

    So don’t hesitate! Download our latest guide and learn how to improve your transactional emails!

  6. Ignoring Email Growth Hacks? Big Mistake

    by

    There’s a bagel place down the street from our office that we love going to. Now, in New York City you can easily find a bagel shop every two blocks, so why are we so attached to this bagel place? The dancing bagel that rocks out on the curb out front. The unexpected sight is entertaining and his energy is contagious. They’ve successfully growth hacked their way into our hearts (or should I say stomachs).

    Much like the bagel industry in New York, the inbox is a saturated and noisy digital space. What is your company currently doing to differentiate your email from competitors? Are you taking advantage of small hacks to attract customers to your funnel and to retain loyal customers? Here are six tips for generating growth through email.

    Compelling content drives signups

    Creating engaging content on your site will drive people to sign up for your emails, and then the amazing content in your emails will keep people talking about your product.

    Your blog is a great place to do this by coding or using a plug-in to add an email opt-in form at the bottom of each blog post. The ease of access can turn a casual reader into a super-user and super-sharer after they subscribe to your emailed blog updates.

    Get social with it

    Don’t forget that email and social make a good pairing too. Take advantage of Twitter’s Lead Generation Card to seamlessly capture email addresses from Twitter users who are interested in your product. Similar to your usual promoted tweet, a Lead Generation Card is served on Twitter feeds of users who meet the predefined demographic you’d like to target. Users can sign up your email communication through your tweet without ever having to leave their feed.

    Then, in your emails, be sure to include relevant social sharing buttons, to extend your reach.

    Customer succeeds, you succeed

    Once a customer opts-in to receive your emails, the conversation has only begun. Build up customer loyalty from the beginning by using a drip campaign, where you schedule a triggered series of emails to guide the customer through the onboarding process. You’ll want to experiment with the optimal cadence for your business and determine how long it takes a customer to get acquainted with your product. Once you have this timing down, you’ll be ready to schedule your series of automated emails.

    Better with friends

    Hack the powerful network you already have access to: your existing customers. With just a snippet of code, you can embed a referral widget into your website to empower customer evangelists to share exciting product news and discounts with their friends. Because the email comes from a friend, open and click rates are quite high and can drive serious growth. Proceed cautiously though, these programs can intentionally or unintentionally lead to abuse and require thoughtful creation and close supervision.

    Win back those lost sales

    Sometimes, a small reminder goes a long way. Recapture potentially lost sales by retargeting customers who have engaged with your product (started making a purchase or partially onboarded) but for some reason didn’t follow through. Collect this information with your CRM database and build a triggered email that automatically goes out to these customers reminding them that they might have forgotten to complete their task.

    Remind customers why they came to you in the first place

    Back to the point we made about email being a competitive space, it’s easy for customers to forget why they subscribed to so many newsletters to begin with. To prevent your emails from making the cut, add a field near the unsubscribe button in your emails that remind customers when and where they first subscribed. So on a bad day where a customer opens their inbox to 120 new messages, yours being one of them, they won’t go unsubscribing from your list in a temporary fit of frustration

     Email is a powerful tool for growing your audience and customers and, with these tips, you’ll be the dancing bagel in people’s inbox in no time. What did we miss? What are some of your favorite email growth hacks?

     

  7. Newsletters Don’t Have to Suck: Give Real Value to See Real Return

    by

    By Alex Manthei, Community Manager at Mention, Poetry enthusiast and email infused person.

    For as long as I can remember, at the beginning of each year, my dad has always put together a family newsletter to show how much we’d grown, photos from family trips, hopes for the future. This not only brings family members who are thousands of miles apart closer together, it also prompts all of us to reflect on good times shared and to get excited about what the future has in store. It adds value to our lives.

    So how did we start associating the word “newsletter” (at least when it comes to companies) with something more like this?

    If you’re sending out newsletters like that, you’re missing a huge opportunity to actually give back value to the people who use your service.

    Here are 3 ideas on how to create newsletters that don’t suck.

    1) Be yourself

    Think of it this way, email still remains the number one social network, especially for businesses. At 300 million people using the service, LinkedIn pales in comparison to the nearly 1 billion email accounts associated with companies.

    I mean, how many times do you find yourself writing “It’s nice to e-meet you!” or “It’s nice to connect”? It’s one of the most basic social interactions we have today — more ubiquitous than Twitter, as familiar as a handshake. This has a lot to do with email’s status as a semi-formal medium — a holdover from how we communicate in letters.

    Email’s still a format where a lot of the decorum of the past still exists. Here’s a video that illustrates this point perfectly:

     

     

    But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be yourself. And that’s especially true for newsletters. Instead of simply broadcasting out company news and flattering statistics, view newsletters as a social opportunity to reintroduce yourself and your brand’s personality. To ask for feedback, get the community involved, and always offer help.

     

    image

     

    As Bernie Borges, host of the Social Business Engine, writes on the Mention Blog: “One of the natural occurrences in a social business is the recognition that employees are a powerful force both as a collective body of subject matter experts, and in person-to-person (P2P) social engagement.”

     

    That’s why whenever Mention sends out a newsletter, we identify who’s speaking based on what we’re announcing. So, new product? A newsletter from the CPO. Big news? Why not from the CEO directly? And a community update? Well then, you’ll see me.  



    image


    And that’s actually me! My friend Sarah took that photo. I even send our newsletters directly from my alex at mention dot com account so it’s as easy as hitting reply to get in touch with me should anyone have a question.

    Here are some ideas for making your newsletters even more personal:

    • Use Mailjet’s personalization and segmentation features to create separate newsletters — for Android and iOS fans, for instance.

    • Sometimes simpler is better. Consider stripping a newsletter down to just a simple text email with a few key links. Loose the design from time to time — this feels more like a everyday email and may actually produce better results.

    • Include your personal Twitter handle — not just the main company account. Personally, I love knowing I can get in touch with someone at a company directly.  

    • Include behind-the-scenes photos. That’s what Mention’s Instagram account is all about — photos from Mention HQ (and our NYC office!). From time to time, we feature gems from our feed directly in the newsletter. Not only is this a low-friction way of getting people to follow you on Instagram (who actually clicks things like, “Follow us on Instagram!,” anyway?), it’s also a great way to add a dynamic first-look at company life. Great if you’re hiring too!

     

    image

    2) Give value

    Not being afraid to be yourself is the first step in giving real value to a newsletter — or any email for that matter. The next step is to clearly identify what the goal of your newsletter is. That way, you can identify what value you want to get out of it in the first place. Then, you can plan on how to give that value directly back to your audience with a specific focus on rich content.

    The last two newsletters we sent at Mention, for instance, each centered upon sharing a single piece of original content with the goal of increasing our reputation when it comes to data analysis and insights. One was a six-page White Paper called the “The When, Where, Who, and How of Communicating Online to Get More Mentions,” and the other was a social media Infographic focusing specifically on Twitter: “5 Surprising Figures you Need to Know to Improve your Twitter Strategy.”


    image

    image

    Both of these were based on the lessons we learned from analyzing 1,000,000,000 company mentions.

    They’re detailed, well-designed breakdowns full of actionable how-tos, use cases, and insights from industry experts.

    If you’d like to learn more about data marketing, Shannon, our Content & PR Manager, has written what I think is the definitive post on the subject. But the TL;DR version is this: share content that you’d actually like to receive yourself. Think seriously about why your community follows you in the first place; why they’ve subscribed to your newsletter. Then, create content that excites you as well.

    Lean on your strengths as a company and focus on your industry. Here are a few ideas of the content you could create, from Shannon’s article: 

    • A health-oriented startup could produce a graphic on trends in health, health spending, etc.

    • An HR or recruiting startup could use their data to map where job openings are by location, industry, field, or even experience level.

    • A hospitality or travel startup could create a map of where the most popular places are to stay, or the most visited cities in the world.

    The point is to focus the main call to action of your newsletters on a specific bit of free knowledge-sharing that always gives back to your audience.

    That way your audience will actually want to share your news — but you gotta make it easy first.

    3) Make it easy to share the value of your news

    At Mention, we’re big fans of Click to Tweet, the service that lets you pre-format tweets for your audience to share immediately with a single click. We use them in our blog all the time to highlight interesting points and great quotes. There’s a fantastic WordPress plugin by the team over at CoSchedule that looks awesome and integrates super well.

    image

    They also work great for newsletters. This is where the content you share in a newsletter being really valuable actually pays off big time. People genuinely want to share cool insights and new data with their followers.

    image

    In our most recent infographic newsletter, we included five Click to Tweets. Each had a quote from a leading expert commenting on our data and included their Twitter handle (great for amplifying the virality of the tweet, as the original source is likely to RT), and a link to the blog post featuring the full infographic.

    By making it as easy and as visually-pleasing as possible to share, you’ll see a huge boost in your social media footprint.

    Here are a few best practices when it comes to social sharing in newsletters:

    • Avoid direct appeals such as “Follow us on Twitter/Facebook/etc.” Try to be more casual with how you ask people to share. Tie the appeal directly to the actual content, itself. (See the example in the photo above.)

    • Leave room in a Click To Tweet for people to modify what you’ve already entered. We’ve seen a lot of people add things like “This is great →,” “Really interesting:,” or “@Mention shares some cool insights here” before the actual Click To Tweet message.

    • Provide links for people to also share the entire newsletter. It may surprise you, but if you’ve pulled off sharing some cool news, people are going to want to share it. Mailjet has a great tag to include that lets people share the web version of a newsletter.

    image


    There you have it. Newsletters don’t have to suck. What will you send to your audience next?

  8. V1 vs V3

    by

    At Mailjet, we like encouraging our customers to innovate with email. Keeping with this mission, we’re always looking for ways to improve our product and your email experience. Earlier this year, we upgraded from our old platform (V1) to a more powerful and scalable platform (V3) to support our growing number of email users. Now, we’re announcing a new set of features to help turbocharge your email testing. The features will be released directly to users on our V3 platform and we’ll be migrating V1 users over shortly. Here’s what you need to know about the switch and how you’ll be impacted:

    V3 Users

    Most users who signed up after April 2014 are V3 users and will soon have access to new features that will help with email testing and optimization. To verify if you are V3, simply log into your account and see if your URL says “app.mailjet.com”.

    image

    V1 Users

    For our users who registered prior to April 2014, you are part of our V1 platform. Our sales team will be in contact very soon to help migrate you over to V3 — no work required on your end! Look out for an email over the coming weeks where a customer service rep will schedule time to help you take the necessary steps. After your migration, you will have full access to the new set of V3 features, as associated with your plan.

    Stay tuned for more exciting product news over the next few days! As always, our support team is around to help out if you have any questions.

  9. Why Email Marketers Need to Be Tech-Savvy

    by

    What’s one of the of the biggest setbacks for email marketers? Technology. Looking to address this problem, Anthony Marnell, VP of North America, recently shared his thoughts with TechRadar Pro on the top 5 Tech Tips Every Email Marketer Should Know. We’ve highlighted our two favorite points below, to read more, hop on over to his feature here.

    Start a relationship with a geek

    Too often, marketers have bold plans for their email campaign, without first establishing whether their ideas are even achievable; they can spend weeks crafting ambitious plans that can’t even get off the starting line.

    I know of one big brand whose agency hatched a grandiose campaign, without first realizing that the brand’s CRM didn’t even hold relevant customer data - resulting in three months of additional development time. Embedding your tech team early in your creative briefings will help establish what’s possible from the get-go, avoiding needless delay, cost and disappointment.

     Segmentation is a powerful beast - but it needs feeding

    Segments are not just for Trivial Pursuit boards - they are also a great way to reach different users with different messages. Imagine targeting a segment of females in their 30s in California who have made two prior purchases - this ability could drastically change the offers or news you emailed them.

    But this kind of targeting needs hard work - if you haven’t first turned customer behavior into many database indicators, you don’t have the raw materials from which to build a segment. Start today by seeking opportunities to capture or generate these indicators from customer actions and characteristics that might seem mundane today - but which could be gold tomorrow.

    What other tips or advice do you give marketers when they look to you for email campaign help?

  10. Mailjet Monday: Natacha Pradere

    by

    London-based college student Natacha Pradere recently flew 3,459 miles to join our growing New York team as a Summer Intern. Currently an Architecture student at the Architectural Association, Natacha also has a personal interest in Engineering and is using a combination of these two passions during her time at Mailjet. We sat down with her this week to catch up about her first few weeks and upcoming projects.

    What are you currently doing at Mailjet?

    It’s been a great first few weeks at Mailjet. From the start, I jumped right in to contribute to a number of projects and sat in on meetings to learn about where our product and our business is headed.

    Right now I’m supporting the Developer Relations and Marketing teams on some hackathon initiatives and a neat social media contest you’ll see coming out in a few weeks. I’ve learned about a number of vibrant tech-startup hubs in the US while researching Hackathon locations. The best part is when I get to apply my learnings from Uni. I’ve been working on a few smaller web design projects, using my design experience from Architecture school to draw on Adobe Illustrator and picking up Ruby through Codeacademy to build a hardware project!

    What is one thing that you’ve learned about email that you think everyone should know?

    I think it’s fair to say that before joining Mailjet, I didn’t realize the full scope and potential of email. I send and receive email on a daily basis, as both a consumer and a student, but there’s so much more that goes into email strategy as a business. Mailjet tools help businesses innovate a form of communication that’s been around for ages. Email campaigns going out to a list of 25,000 customers can be customized and analyzed with just a click.

    Favorite New York Moment so far?

    It’s crazy to think that I only landed at Newark airport a few weeks ago. I already feel so accustomed to the culture and way of life here. Still, New York constantly surprises me with stunning views, friendly strangers and the sudden bursts of art you encounter walking through the streets. I love that New York is such a vibrant, busy city but also has smaller corners where you can go to escape the rush. One of my favorite spots is the path along the Hudson River; on a sunny day, you’ll see people running, walking and roller skating to the view. I went for a run there last week and was so glad to unwind to such a fantastic sight! The moment was topped off with a delicious New York hot dog!

    What advice do you have for other students who are looking to get involved in the startup world?

    I would advise them to build a diverse range of experiences, from travelling the world to small summer jobs to interning with a company. Any of these can act as a catalyst to developing soft skills such as communication, teamwork and thinking out of the box.

    These skills are especially helpful in the startup environment where there’s more accountability and it’s constantly fast-paced. For this reason, I recommend everyone to try new experiences. It will help you in your later years. Not to mention that you’ll build a wide network along the way, a key element to any profession.