1. How to create eye catching newsletters?

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    For anyone sending newsletters, there are generally speaking three things we want our recipients to do after the email lands in their inbox: open it, read it and click on our call-to-action, thereby generating a new lead. The best way to encourage your recipients to read your emails are an attractive subject line, followed by a newsletter that’s well-designed. Remember that your readers spend an average of 51 seconds reading your email once they have opened it, so you need to catch their attention and hold it: they start reading your email for the design, they keep reading till the end for the content.

    This post is all about how to design your newsletter properly. We’ve gathered our best tips on how to put together a design that is eye catching and will make your audience want to read your emails.
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    Make your design stand out

    The design of your newsletter has to make a good first impression on your audience. Remember who are your readers. You can go with bright and flashy colors if your audience are teenagers. Though, you might want to use a more neutral and light background if you’re targetting their parents.

    But whoever are your readers, you want to distinguish yourself from the 120 and more newsletters and commercial solicitations reaching their inboxes everyday. Show off your logo on the header. Use a background color that will comply with your brand identity. Or dive into the world of neuromarketing: colors, contrasts and shades can evoke particular emotions and feelings. Use that to improve your engagement rate or to tweak your message.

    And, when coming to your template, think mobile. Today, more than 50% of the emails opened are read via a mobile device. You don’t want to lose those recipients because of an uncompatible design.

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    Images

    Images can have a great effect when used appropriately. We recommend you to carefully consider the amount of pictures you use inyour newsletters. As a rule of thumb, we recommend following a 60/40 ratio with your text and images, respectively. Why? Because image only emails are bad practices, associated with spamming activity (it is more complicated to scan the wording of a jpeg file to spot spam content). As an email sender, you don’t want to considered as a spammer. Futhermore, depending of the device your email is read on, an image-only newsletter might not be displayed properly.

    Though, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make use of pictures in your newsletter at all. As long as you follow the 60/40 rule, the combination of text and images will be at an ideal ration to catch the attention of your readers without being considered as a suspicious message. Pictures will be the first thing that catches the attention of your readers, so placing them in the first half of your newsletter will guarantee that your readers will see them.

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    Try inserting an image below your header and/or below your first block of text.You can keep smaller images to illustrate less important content. In general though, be sure that your images are relevant and consistent with your written content. They shoud reflect your business. So take time to make them look great (invest some time reshaping/redesigning them, if needed). Nothing is worst than a poor image associated with great content. Why? Because judge a book by its cover. So make your content appealing!


    Text

    After the images, your headlines are what your readers will see. Remember that readers spend just 51 seconds on average scanning and reading through your newsletter. So, once again, you need to catch their eye. Choose powerful (but still readable) fonts. Have a concise and appealing wording.

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    To make it as easy as possible for your audience to read your newsletter, split it up in several different parts, one of them being obviously more important than the others (usually, the one with the big picture on the first half of your message). Once again, keep the wording short and readable. You want to generate leads and clicks to your website or your landing pages, so put long descriptions and further information for these pages and not in your newsletter.. Instead, get straight to the point in your email and make readers want to click on your links to learn more. A block of text shouldn’t exceed 1,000 characters, so choose your words wisely!


    Call-to-action

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    This is what it all comes down to. Your newsletter is meant to inform your readers, but above all, it has to generate leads to your website. So you need to put a lot of thought into your call to action. It could be a classic button (in that case, remember the psychology of colors), a be clickable image (in that case, make sure that everybody understand that they can click them) or a link at the end of a block of text (“Learn more”, “Discover how”, “Let’s get started!”). Either way, make it clear for your readers that they will get something significant by clicking on them, should it be great content, promo offers or reward for subscribing.


    In the end

    Great! Your readers have spent more time reading your message. But the road doesn’t end here. Try to generate more interaction with your readers, either via social networks (with clear sharing buttons) or even via email. The more your readers will answer to your newsletter in a casual way, the better your deliverability will be.

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    Be sure that you have a clear unsubscribe link or button on each of your newsletters. You want people willingly unsubscribing to your messages - people who are obviously not interested in what you have to offer - rather than them marking your emails as spam.

    You now have the keys to creating a great newsletter! If you’re new in the emailing game, don’t be afraid to test and learn by doing. Soon, your messages will reach a wider audience!

  2. 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.

  3. Share Your Newsletters On Social Media

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    Here’s a new little feature that’s worth mentioning. You could already integrate traditional Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+ buttons in your newsletter. But now, if you are using one of our premium plans, you can also activate a sharing bar for the online version of your newsletter.

    Why a social sharing bar?

    Your newsletter is a publication like any other. Unless your content is confidential, it’s worth it to share your newsletters on social networks. The bar enables this best practice.

    How does the sharing bar work?

    Once you are in Mailjet’s Newsletter WYSIWYG editor, go to the “Default Styles” and click on “Header.” Then simply select the “Share bar” box.

    The result

    The online version of your Newsletter (permalink) will integrate a sharing bar.

    Each button opens a sharing window. The avatar of your newsletter is generated automatically.

  4. New Features For The Newsletter Tool!

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    As mentioned on Twitter, quite a few new funstionalities were about to be deployed. Let me take you through a quick tour of the important changes. Here we’ll examine the evolutions concerning the creation of newsletters. Tomorrow, we’ll have a quick look at the improvements brought to Mailjet’s contact management system.

    Concerning the creation step of the Newsletters :

    • Some new fields are appearing and the UI evolved (cf. screenshot 1+2) ;
    • You can now give a “Title” to your creations: it will no longer necessarly be the “Subject” line.  (cf. screenshot 1) ;
    • Adding a different “reply to” address is now possible. If the field is left blank, then the sending address will be used by default (cf. screenshot 1) ;
    •  The templates are launched! A lot of you had asked for it, so here it is. You can now choose between the classic WYSIWYG tool with no predefined theme, or a list of templates, classified into different categories. Note that a template doesn’t “freeze” the personnalisation possibilities : it only defines a style by default but you can still edit everything (cf. screenshot 2).

    Bonus remark : A template from a user can be promoted in Mailjet’s gallery. So don’t hesitate to propose your own creations! We’ll be happy to give you this visibility :-)

    Illustrations

    Screenshot 1 :

    Screenshot 2 :

    Concerning the layout interface of the Newsletters :

    • Evolution of the UI (cf. screenshot 3) ;
    • Possibility of saving a template (cf. screenshot 4) ;
    • Improvement of the footer, particularly concerning the compliance to legal obligations (address of the sender). Note that a Mailjet logo is also added: you can desactivate it from the sidebar though. In case your’re using the tool from an iframe version, note that the Mailjet logo will be desactivated by default  (cf. screenshot 5).

    Illustrations :

    Screenshot 3

    Screenshot 4

    Screenshot 5

    All these innovations and improvements have been possible because of your feedback : so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and remarks about all these changes.

    To be continued : we’ll uptate you very soon on the changes implemented to the contact management system!

  5. Small changes to simplify a lot of things!

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    Yesterday we presented you our Newsletter Tool Reloaded but since we wanted to finish the week with a nice “mission accomplished” feeling, here’s a little extra that will be very useful for you!

    From now, you will be able to browse your campaigns in a very easy and efficient way. For that, 2 elements have just been put at your disposal:

    1- Tabs with 5 different criterias: All my campaigns, Starred, Drafts, Programmed and Sent.

    2- The possibility of starring your favorites campaigns.

    However, as usual, the best thing to do is to go and play arround on your account to see what it means for you! Have a nice weekend!

  6. New Newsletter Tool: more options, more flexibility!

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    Back in September when we launched our awesome new analytics, we warned you that we would never stop to innovate, right? So here it is: we’re now deploying a new version of our Newsletter Tool. Yep, the life of our customers is always getting easier and easier ;)

    A lot of these new features have been developed because of our clients asking for them. So don’t hesitate to connect on Twitter or to visit our user feedback forum. We actually believe that the best way to conceive a great product is to design it as the people want it to be!

    So concretely, what are the new functions of the Newsletter tool?

    1- A new WYSIWYG Editor with more features  

    You’ll be able to format the contents word by word rather by block by block, as it was the case before. These format elements include the color, the font, the character size, the bullet list, the Word import option, etc.

    2- 3 different ways to display the footer

    The footer was always the same by default but now you’ll be able to choose between 3 dispositions, as illustrated here above. 

    3- Possibility to add an image you host on your own

    You will no longer have to upload the images that you want to integrate in your Newsletters. If you prefer to provide a link, simply do it!

    4- Social media share buttons!

    There are two ways to use them. You can either enter a link pointing to your social media page, or you can check the box “Share permalink”: this will allow the recipient to share in one click the content of the email, on its own social network. That’s a great change as we felt it was very important that our customers can leverage Social Media.

    5- Previsualize your Newsletter directly from the Campaigns tab

    This will make things much more easier: you will be able to see what a sent campaign looks like without having to edit a duplicate!

    6- Integrate a permalink on top of your Newsletter and personalize its display

    The is very useful if you want to offer an online version of your Newsletter (to optimize the display of the layout for example). Of course, you’re able to choose its displaying options.

    7- In our Import HTML feature, you will now be able to modify the text-only version

    Before, the text-only version was produced by default. Now, you will be able to modify it and choose how you want it to appear.

    We also corrected the problem that was preventing the re-sized images to keep their original definition. It’s not listed in the evolutions as this was something we had to address!

    As you can see, that’s a lot of awesome changes! We think that Mailjet is already great but we really working on making perfect: to be continued!

  7. Thanks to all of you for using our Newsletter tool!

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     You get a lot of satisfaction when you bring an idea to life! This post is about celebrating the birth of a tool :)

    As you may have heard or read about, last week was an important time for us :) The launch of our Newsletter tool was a key point in our product development: it has been a great success since then and we are very happy to see our baby running and delivering a great customer experience.

    Users seem to find their way arround in Mailjet tools and that’s what counts! More than 400 different newsletters were sent during the first week the product was launched. As we now have more than 1,200 active clients, we really feel like this is an exceptional result clearly announcing a very promising future for Mailjet.

    Actually, this means our customers are happy with our services and eager to test our new features. In other words our product is effectively filling a gap. The functionalities we imagine and design meet a strong demand! It’s fantastic to have that much reactivity.

    Although we have worked on it several month, we’re still at the dawn of our project and it is really appealing to feel like we’re taking it to another level. We expect our newsletter tool to become a popular way for e-marketers to be effective in a restricted period of time.


    Soon, we’ll try to select a few of the best creations conceived with our wysiwyg newsletter tool and with the permission of the authors, we’ll share them on this blog!

    Of course, your feedback is essential so don’t hesitate to comment or to tweet us about the questions you might have or the email marketing issues you’re facing. Mailjet is all about providing you the right solutions on this matters.  

    Once again: thank you all for using our awesome product :)