Flight School Friday: DMARC Results in 90% Reduction in Spam

Alex Stamos, Chief Information Security Officer at Yahoo!, recently testified in front of a US Senate sub-committee that Yahoo!’s implementation of DMARC has reduced spam purported to come from Yahoo email accounts by over 90%. His testimony was part of a wider investigation into online advertising and hidden hazards to consumer security and data privacy. Stamos emphasized that spam is the easiest way for malicious parties to earn illicit money online. Email spoofing in particular, is a commonly used method; spammers will impersonate a person or brand you are familiar with and solicit personal information (credit card numbers, online accounts).

DMARC, Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance, is a technical specification created by a group of organizations to help reduce email spoofing. It expands on the established authentication tools SPF and DKIM, allowing senders to indicate which mechanism they are using and includes a policy that applies actions a receiving email server should take in the event that an email fails authentication (report, quarantine, reject). DMARC standardizes how the receiving email server handles these events and provides a mechanism for it to report failed authentication to the sending server.

Email spoofing is a serious threat to brand credibility; the yearly sent volume is astounding. In a press release DMARC.org published earlier this year, Twitter said it discovered 2.5 billion spoofed emails related to its domains over the course of a 45-day monitoring period. Customers are pretty wary of sharing personal information these days, possibly because of the increase in circulated spam. In a recent study conducted by SDL, 62% of survey respondents said they worry about how brands are using their information.

Implementing DMARC will significantly reduce the risk of email spoofing and strengthen customer-brand relationship. Twitter reported that they saw a significant drop in spoofed emails once they implemented DMARC. What was once a whopping 110 million attack messages a day is now down to a few thousand.

Customer trust is hard to win, but the data that results is extremely valuable. Globally, 79% of customers are more willing to share personal information with a brand they trust. Mining this customer data helps brands understand customer behavior and shape future communication.

Mailjet fully supports DMARC, reach out to the Mailjet team to learn more about implementing this mechanism on your domains.

[ Posted Fri, 30 May 2014 19:45:40 ]

 

5 Email Apps To Supercharge Your Productivity

At Mailjet, we’re focused on helping create and deliver compelling emails that break through the noise of your contacts’ inboxes. But we realize there’s probably noise in your own inbox that you’d like some help managing. Spend less time organizing and more time doing! Here is a roundup of the best email productivity apps to help clear the clutter, vouched for by some of your very own Mailjet crew members!

Mailbox

5 Email Apps To Supercharge Your Productivity2

Contrary to popular belief, it’s possible to get to inbox zero from your phone! Mailbox is an email client for iOS and Android that aims to give you a better overview of your inbox. If you’re looking for a fresh start, we recommend their …Help Me Get to Zero“ button which offers a few smart options to collectively archive all emails, or just your unread or starred messages. Mailbox’s app also simplifies the day-to-day inbox experience with four simple commands; swipe right to Archive, long swipe right to Delete, swipe left to snooze and long swipe left to Add To List.

Our favorite productivity hack is to create lists (long swipe left to save). Try out some of the lists we use; receipt (for expenses), to-do, social media, news.

Streak

5 Email Apps To Supercharge Your Productivity3

Streak is a small CRM plug-in for Google Chrome that tracks when recipients open an email you’ve sent and how you’ve interacted with them in the past. Alright, we’ll admit we feel a little …Big Brother“ using this tool on our friends, but the business applications are justifiable.

When pursuing a sales lead, you’ll be able to group all conversations with a customer into one chain to provide context for future interactions. Also open a spreadsheet right inside your inbox to quickly visualize and manage your prospects and dealflow.

Streak is easy to install and automatically syncs up to your Gmail account, so each email you send will include a small bar at the bottom with a Track/Untracked check box and the ability to schedule the email to deploy at a later time. Say goodbye to the email …black hole“ because you’ll never again wonder if your email was received — you’ll know.

Acompli

5 Email Apps To Supercharge Your Productivity4

Acompli reaches beyond email organization and attacks the heart of on-the-go work productivity. Their mobile app neatly tabs out mail, calendar, attachments and contacts. A helpful feature is that you can attach your calendar availability into the body of an email. No more awkward toggling between Gmail, Google Docs and your calendar. If you’re looking for a multi-tasking solution on your phone, Acompli is it.

Boomerang

5 Email Apps To Supercharge Your Productivity5

Important emails getting lost in the mix of things? Need a reminder to follow up on an email after the weekend? Have your emails stored away and sent back to you at the appropriate time with Boomerang. This Chrome plug-in will sync into your Gmail account with a red …Send Later“ button at the bottom of every new email you create. Never forget to follow up with a client or miss a bill payment again!

Unroll.me

5 Email Apps To Supercharge Your Productivity1

Manage all your subscriptions in one click with Unroll.me. After signing up, the app shows all of your subscriptions on one page, allowing you to quickly unsubscribe from messaging that is no longer relevant. Then, combine all of your subscriptions into one daily digest called The Rollup. See all of your updates in one go, at a time of your choosing. This three year old startup will prove to be a win-win for both consumers and marketers; consumers have more control to open their Rollup when they’re most inclined to buy, leading to a more engaged audience and higher ROI for businesses.

Did we miss any apps? Let us know what your favorite tools are – share in the comments below.

[ Posted Wed, 28 May 2014 19:37:00 ]

 

Mailjet Monday: Shubham Sharma

This week, we’ll be speaking with Shubham Sharma (Shubham ! on twitter). Developer Evangelist by morning, student by night; Shubham is working out of our Paris HQ while finishing up a Telecommunications Engineering degree at EPITA.

Mailjet Monday- Shubham Sharma

Shubham is the guy on the middle, with the white hoodie. (© Hélène L’Hoste-Guibert)

What do you do for Mailjet?

My role can be broken out into three parts. The first, involves regularly attending hackathons, meetups and developer events. At these events, I gain good insight into where the bigger tech trends are heading; it’s constantly growing into something new. Second, involves regularly reading and monitoring online platforms (Quora, Stack Overflow, Twitter). My goal is to not only educate the online community about Mailjet’s API but to help fellow developers build winning email campaigns. Last but definitely not least, is “pre-sales”. Through the previous two points, I’ll often encounter email users facing roadblocks with their current email program or looking to learn more about API use-cases. I talk them through some of these points and explain how they can solve these issues with our product.

What is your coding language of choice and where do you code best?

In school, I’ve coded a lot of projects with C. C is a low level language, but it’s great to use because you can manipulate everything; you’re closer to the processing and have more control over the machine. I’ve also been dabbling a bit into Javascript recently.

But I’m the biggest fan of PHP, the language I started with 8 years ago. It’s not the most sophisticated language since it’s easy to pick up and “ready to go”, but over the years, I’ve learned to use it for more complex processes.

As for when I’m at my most efficient… definitely when I’m coding in my room at 2 in the morning. No distractions, just silence.

How do you use the Mailjet API on a day-to-day basis?

There are a few, but I use our Send API the most; it allows you to send email with one http call. One of the convenient uses is for monitoring servers for my school, EPITA. I’ve programmed an automatic alert, so when something goes wrong I receive a real-time email notification.

Any advice for students looking to work as a Developer Evangelist?

Well, the Developer Relations space is a pretty niche one. I myself, started off as a developer. It’s pretty essential to have some coding experience first. As a Developer Evangelist you have to be able to communicate with developers but to also translate these technical terms into layman’s terms for the rest of the users who are interested in your product.

Above all, you have to be passionate about developing and about your product. There will be moments when you’re stuck on the same problem for many hours on end. There are other times when you’ll pull all-nighters for hackathons. Your day doesn’t always end once you leave the office either, you’ll spend a lot of time networking after hours. But it’s great fun, it’s the best job in the world.

Favorite Mailjet moment?

There are so many, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a number of tech events where I’ve met some incredible people and have seen some groundbreaking ideas. But if I had to choose one, it would be the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon. I’ve participated in a number of hackathons in the past, but this was a whole new level of hacking; there were roughly 500 hackers and various languages being used. Since we sponsored the hackathon, I stayed up with the hackers through the night, helping integrate Mailjet’s API in different languages and various frameworks. It was an awesome learning experience and we ended up being the second most used API!

[ Posted Mon, 26 May 2014 12:00:00 ]

 

 

Flight School Friday: Emails vs. Social, The War That Won’t Happen

With the rise of social networks in the latter half of the 21st century, many experts have come to the conclusion that email is dead. In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg himself said email was obsolete, with new real-time communication channels SMS and live chat in the picture (of course, these claims have nothing to do with the fact that Zuckerberg was launching Facebook Message). At the same time, many e-marketers began allocating large portions of their budget towards paid ad marketing on social media channels. This Flight School Friday, we’ll be challenging the idea that social media is replacing email marketing as the best medium to acquire customers.

Flight School Friday- Emails vs. Social, The War That Won't Happen

Email = Conversion

Is this shift in marketing strategy working for brands? A McKinsey & Company study shows that despite a decrease in email marketing as social media channels picked up (2008 – 2012), email remains the customers favorite channel to engage with and learn about a brand. Conversion rates for email were 40 times higher than that of both Facebook and Twitter.

Triggered Emails, The Future of Email Marketing

Email marketing is far from being dead, rather, it is evolving into a smarter form of communication. Marketers are now equipped with a variety of tools to send highly customized, relevant triggered emails. At every new point of interaction a customer makes with your brand, you gain more insight into the type of communication they are looking for. Customers will see more of the content they are engaged with and less of what they don’t want to see. Over time, this looks a lot like a one-to-one exchange. Social media on the other hand, is a one-to-many conversation where customers are blasted with one generic message.

Reconcile Email and Social Networks

Still, we aren’t saying this to discount the value of your social networks. Email and social can and should be used collaboratively; there are unique benefits to be found in both channels. Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Instagram are great channels to visually display content and display brand identity. In fact, adding social sharing buttons in the body of your emails increases the click-through-rate by 158%!

Ultimately, save time and money by optimizing your marketing channels to their strengths. Use social as its name suggests, as a relationship building tool, and email as a customer acquisition channel. The two channels can be reconciled, there’s no need for a war!

[ Posted Fri, 23 May 2014 21:55:38 ]

 

 

Colliding in Downtown Vegas

If we had to sum up our experience at the first ever Collision Conference last week, we would probably borrow the words of Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, who in speaking about The Downtown Project described a collision as …a serendipitous encounter between individuals of a small community“.

Colliding in Downtown Vegas1

Over the course of the two days, May 13 – 14, Collision Conference attendees overtook Downtown Las Vegas. We strolled from the conference grounds to hotels, restaurants, casinos in our branded lanyards and yellow wristbands. At the slight risk of looking too much like tourists, we were able to easily identify fellow attendees and exhibitors, giving off a great sense of camaraderie. Handily enough, this also eliminated the issues of getting lost and forgetting names.

The conference was set up in a campus arrangement that spanned across a main building (awesome startups!), parking lot (food trucks!), a speakers tent and a networking tent. There was a diverse collision of startups, with companies flying in from the Mid-West, Canada and various European countries. We exhibited on Day 1 along with some of these great neighbors; LonoMojioTeespring to name a few. We got some great questions from exhibitors and attendees alike about how to get more out of email!

The quick, dynamic twenty-minute talks proved an excellent format for short attention attendees. A range of valuable quotes were thrown around from speakers including; Ryan Holmes, Founder & CEO of HootSuite, Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, Nicole Glaros, Managing Director of TechStars and even the Mayor of Las Vegas, Carolyn Goodman! There was talk of the need of companies to be transparent internally in order to succeed, of getting to know your investors …because there is no divorce clause“, and of the importance of winning the trust of your customers.

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But ultimately all eyes were on the pitches from finalists AirHelp, Sole PowerIMGEmbed and CareLuLu. These four companies solve very common issues in ways that are disruptive in their respective industries. Great job presenting, guys! We’re looking forward to seeing these ideas develop over the coming months.

[ Posted Fri, 23 May 2014 21:55:38 ]

 

 

Flight School Friday: Best Practices For Growing Your Contact List

The email contact list is a huge asset for Marketers in terms of lead generation and customer retention. It is especially useful in gaining insight into how a customer base consumes and and reacts to your brand over time.

However, despite its many benefits, list growth often gets a bad rap. Not only does it takes time to organically acquire new contacts, customers are opting out on a daily or weekly basis. The option of purchasing or borrowing lists might seem like an appealing alternative, but it is a definite no-go vis-à-vis the different ISPs!

Feeling a little defeated? This Flight School Friday, we’ve put together a few pain-free practices and handy tool sets to help you grow your email list or to help improve the great work you’ve been doing so far!

Always ask customers to opt-in. Double opt-in, if possible.

The purpose of asking customers to opt-in to your email marketing is two-fold; to protect your sender reputation and to ensure customers are engaged and receptive to your brand and content. Some may argue that asking for opt-in results in a smaller contact list since customers have to perform this extra step. However, not asking for permission before sending puts you at risk of being marked as spam or worse, being blacklisted by an ISP. Just one abuse complaint can lead to having both your Domain name and IP addresses blacklisted. In some countries (France and Canada to name a few), there are even laws in place which penalize users who send unsolicited emails!

We at Mailjet recommend using a double-opt in process. As an added layer to the standard opt-in, customers receive a triggered confirmation email that they have to click on to reconfirm their email address and subscription preference. This ensures that the customer provides an active, accurate email address which helps avoids spam traps and bounces – both of which ISPs look at very closely to judge the quality of your emails and decide whether or not you are allowed to enter through their pearly inbox gates.

Never buy email lists, no matter how tempting it may be.

It may seem like a quick and easy way to a high ROI, but buying email lists is forbidden by ISPs. Not only is there is no way for you to determine the quality of the customers on your purchased or rented list but more importantly, these customers are unfamiliar with your brand and will be quick to penalize you for sending them an unsolicited message. You run the big risk of being blacklisted and/or marked as spam in a matter of seconds after hitting the ‘send’ button. Just say no to the temptation of buying or renting contacts.

To protect the reputation and deliverability rates of our senders, Mailjet does not allow the use of purchased or borrowed contact lists.

Start with good content.

Engage customers by first presenting them with rich, relevant content through your blog, ebook or white papers. Provide these users with an option to subscribe to this content via email. This indirect approach will ensure a higher list quality and sender reputation because customers who opt-in to receive your messages are already familiar with your brand and will be receptive to your contact and stay engaged.

Leverage other social channels to grow your list.

Beyond awesome brand recognition and content, online sweepstakes may be an additional way to to grow your brand recognition and contact list but be careful, it has to be done correctly. They need to absolutely know that the counterpart of submitting their email address for a prize or giveaway is that you are also asking them for their permission to add their email address to your contact list. This needs to be done with full transparency and an opt-in mechanism.

Last but not least, once you have put the proper opt-in processes in place, we highly recommend leveraging the different technical tools that exist out there to make sure that once a customer submits their email address and their permission to use it, that you can contact them just as soon afterwards while your brand is still fresh in their memory.  This means adding their contact information to your contact list as soon as possible.

This is why at Mailjet, we have provided a comprehensive set of different Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that allow you to connect your site with your Mailjet account in various ways, including synchronizing your contact list automatically in real time so that you don’t skip a beat.  For more info, check out our shiny new Dev Zone here.

We’re equally very excited to announce recent integrations with partners such as ManyContacts and Rafflecopter, two solutions that help make new customer acquisition easy (the right way, of course) and more insightful. Our integrations allow you to seamlessly synchronize contact lists to and from these partners and your Mailjet contact list(s).

 

Happy customer growing and retention building! Be sure to stay tuned for the next edition of Flight School Friday!

[ Posted Fri, 16 May 2014 16:33:00 ]

TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 In Review

We wrapped up our first ever TechCrunch Disrupt Conference (link) this past week! It was a great five days packed with creative hacks, well-prepared pitches and some big-name speakers.

Disrupt kicked off bright and early Saturday morning, when we set up our booth at the Manhattan Center – our temporary home for both the Hackathon and the Conference.

TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 In Review4

With the launch of our new v3 API, we hosted a custom contest for the over three hundred developers at the Hackathon. The top three teams to build hacks with both the most creative use of our APIs and best overall execution would go home with prize packages (cash, Fancy gift cards and Karma hotspots). Teams had from 1:30pm Saturday to 9:30am Sunday to conceptualize and build their products.

Our rockstar Developer Evangelists Tyler Nappy and Shubam Sharma were on hand around the clock, to help brainstorm and accelerate. We came out of the 20 hour hack session survivors of an impromptu Nerf War, highly caffeinated and having met a good number of the hacking teams. It turns out sleep deprivation is a great relationship builder!

Also, the Mailjet/TechCrunch Disrupt Tour Concert tee proved to be a pretty popular piece of swag. By sunrise, we were nearly through our supply! Some of the hackers even went on to present in our tees (Thanks for the love, guys!).

TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 In Review3

A range of apps were built on the Mailjet APIs; from practical to practically hilarious. It was a tough decision, but ultimately we narrowed down the winners to; Concur TripEmployee Appreciation and It Gon Rain.  Again, a big congratulations to these three teams!

 

TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 In Review2

TechCrunch Disrupt 2014 In Review1

By Monday morning, the Mailjet team had caught up on some sleep and we were ready to roll again, kicking off the conference with the announcement of our newest v3 features; A/x testing, Campaign Comparison, Segmentation & Personalization.

These features will allow marketers and developers to take their insights to the next level by leveraging historical data and understanding customers from a one-to-one relationship. For now, some of these are in private beta, but we’re very excited to be rolling out the remainder of these features on plans over the course of the next month. Check out our demoshere!

When not manning the booth and showcasing our demo, we got a chance to listen to speakers from a variety of industries, including Astro Teller of Google[x], David Byttow, CEO and Co-Founder of Secret, Shane Smith CEO of Vice and Marissa Mayer CEO of Yahoo!. TechCrunch reporters probed the speakers with insightful questions, giving an inside look at how some of these large media and software companies are looking to revolutionize social interactions and how we as consumers are also influencing this process. …The strategy is to make [your product] as good as possible, not try to convince people it’s good.“ said Chris Wanstrath, CEO of Github.

Missed the conference? Fret not, catch the best of Disrupt on TechCrunch’s Youtube Channel.

[ Posted Fri, 09 May 2014 20:00:13 ]

 

 

Inside the Mailjet HQ

This past week, I’ve been drinking espresso shots, eating fresh pastries and hustling from the Paris HQ! Myself and the rest of the Mailjet NY team visited HQ for some training and team building, which proved to be extremely valuable as we prepare for TechCrunch Disrupt.

 

Inside the Mailjet HQ4

Inside the Mailjet HQ3

Our HQ offices are located in Sentier, a quaint neighborhood in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris. Historically known as the Garment District, Sentier has become home to the emerging French startup scene in recent years, now taking on the nickname …Silicon Sentier“.

Inside the Mailjet HQ2

It’s amazing to be part of a bilingual company where French and English is used interchangeably. Our global growth becomes very evident when the Mailjet team comes together to meet. Over the course of the past year, we’ve grown into a larger office (pictured here) and we’re in a much stronger position to serve our clients with dedicated staff to tailor services for each major market.

Aside from HQ, we have offices in 5 other countries, so we typically do a lot of our meetings through Skype. It was a great treat to meet in person with a whiteboard to brainstorm and discuss. There was some very productive discussion, we have a lot of cool things planned for you guys at TechCrunch Disrupt and in the coming weeks — so stay tuned!

Inside the Mailjet HQ1

Work hard, play hard. At the very back corner of the office, you’ll find a small Nerf gun armory tucked away in the corner. Perfect for a mid-day ambush! Always be on alert at HQ, because not only are Mailjet crewmembers skilled at email, they have pretty decent aim too.

[ Posted Thu, 01 May 2014 17:15:55 ]