Mailjet Monday: Sabrina Mamouni

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!

Mailjet Monday- Sabrina Mamouni

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!

[ Posted Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:20:00 ]

 

 

Mailjet Monday: Alessandro Stigliani

Ever wondered who’s behind Mailjet’s sleek homepage designs and user interface? This Mailjet Monday we introduce UI/UX designer, Alessandro Stigliani. Semi pro-gamer turned designer, Sandro’s journey into the design world is an unusual one.

Mailjet Monday- Alessandro Stigliani1

Mailjet Monday- Alessandro Stigliani2

What do you do for Mailjet?

As the UI/UX designer, my job is to build the bridge between the user and our product. To create an easy-to-navigate experience that’s aesthetically pleasing.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Each day is different; it ultimately comes down to how many projects we’ve received. A little known secret though? I spend a large part of my day on Photoshop though — not Illustrator or Fireworks. I’m self-taught, so I’ve learned to manipulate Photoshop to do mostly everything I need.

How did you get into design work?

It all started with gaming — I’ve been a huge gamer since I was 11 or 12. I participated to many LANs against other players across Europe. As time went on the several teams I joined continued to rank higher, our team website started getting a good amount of traffic too. It got to a point where we realized we needed to spruce up our page. I picked up designing and my best friend learned to code and develop. At 18, we formed our first company together, Nitrografix, a web agency. We picked up momentum pretty quickly; signing several business contracts with some big clients, hotels and even developed themes for WordPress.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

It might sound funny, but my inspiration doesn’t come from surfing the web or reading design books — most of the time it stems from a problem. When the Marketing or Sales team presents me with an issue, it stirs me to think outside the box and think of creative but practical solutions.

A lot of good ideas also come to me when I’m sleeping. You have to be careful though, because most of the times ideas look great in your head but crappy on paper.

Favorite Mailjet Moment so far?

Our recent team building event in the Alps was one of my favorite moments. It was great to have everyone together to spend a day outdoors, especially the teams that we work with remotely. We spent a day kayaking — it takes a lot of teamwork! I had never gone before, so that was quite a treat!

Where do you see the industry going in the next 5 years?

In the next years, we’ll see flatter, more efficient websites. There are a growing number of people who know how to design and the internet is expanding at a rapid rate as well. Several years ago, design didn’t hold the same position of importance like it does now — in the U.S. most designers actually have a higher income than developers. Because the last thing you want is for a user to be completely lost on your website. It’s all about making simple, intuitive experiences.

In the SaaS industry specifically, I think online apps will look more like local software. What I mean is something likeSpotify. This is an integrated service that’s directly connected to the internet. But there will always be new trends, you have to always be at the edge. Every morning, I start my day off by opening several websites just to keep up to date with what’s new and what’s developing. Even on the weekends. That’s the hardest part about being a designer; always being at the edge.

[ Posted Mon, 23 Jun 2014 17:21:46 ]

 

 

Flight School Friday: How to Outsmart The Spammers

Oh, you know them well. They’ve been around since the dawn of email-kind and yet the war rages on. Every day, Marketers and ISPs put up a hard fight against spammers to protect internet users around the world. However, despite our efforts, these spammers continue to evolve their practice and elude the law.

Flight School Friday- How to Outsmart The Spammers1

Last week, we dove into the history of spam and where it came from. This week, we’ll arm you with some tricks to spot spam emails and outsmart the enemy.

Know Their Tactics

Spam comes in many forms, but they all work towards the same objective to capture your personal information.

  • The Confidence Trick: 419 Fraud

Perhaps the most infamous type of spam is the 419 Fraud. An anonymous sender identifies himself as a rich individual in a desperate situation; he is restricted access to his resources and the only way out is if you, the recipient, lend him some money. In return, he’ll generously reward you after being reunited with his riches (spoiler alert, he doesn’t).

This type of scam banks on the following factors; urgency, confidentiality and a well-crafted, well-imitated message.

The email boom of the 90’s (and the bad practices associated to this boom, like contact list reselling) helped this scam to spread around the world. The development of cash-to-cash companies online helped also the scammer to gain more money.

  • Phishing: Not A Day Out At Sea

More threatening than the 419 Fraud is phishing. We talked about this before during 2014 Safer Internet Day, and how Mailjet protects your business from these types of attacks.

Phishing is a simple scam: the attacker will email you under the guise of a person or company you trust and lead you to a fake website designed to capture your personal information (bank account number, usernames and passwords). The risk remains high — according to the Anti-Phishing Working Group, 110,000 attacks were recorded worldwide just in the last 6 months of 2013.

Flight School Friday- How to Outsmart The Spammers2

Credit: kleuske

Your Shield and Sword

As promised, we’ll go over a variety of precautions you can take to avoid falling into the spammers trap.

  • Know The Sender

Businesses most vulnerable to phishing attacks, usually financial institutions and  e-commerce, caution customers against sharing their account information online. Companies such as eBay, PayPal and Amazon state that they will never ask a user for their username, password or credit card information through email.

If you ever receive an email soliciting you for this type of information, don’t engage any further and report it to the appropriate government bureau in your region. In the US, you would reach out to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. In the EU, contact the European Cybercrime Center.

  • Go On The Offensive

Besides playing on the defensive and keeping a critical eye on incoming email, be smart about where and how you share your information. Be cautious of where you share your email address and regularly update your firewalls, spam filters and anti-spyware. Also, the simpler the better. Be sure to flag any spam you see in your inbox so that your ISP can take action and better protect you from future attacks.

  • If Scammed, React

And sometimes, it happens to the best of us. If you do fall victim to a spam attack, don’t be embarrassed or ashamed. Pass on the information to the proper authorities and give as much detail as you can. It’ll help them work towards creating a safer internet experience.

Truth is, spam might never be truly eradicated. But what we can do is educate internet users about the risk of spam emails and arm them with proper knowledge and security tools to fight alongside us. Our mission is to fight for the name of fair emailing; so that phishers will not be able to send emails under your name and abuse your DNS. Will you join us?

[ Posted Fri, 20 Jun 2014 10:26:40 ]

 

 

Flight School Friday: The History of Spam

The spam folder; it’s every email sender’s worst nightmare. Being mislabeled as spam hurts your sender reputation and interferes with your future sends. As a business, it’s important to follow industry best practices to avoid being blacklisted. ISPs like AOL, Google and Yahoo, have strict policies in place to protect inboxes from being bombarded with harmful or irrelevant messaging.

This Flight School Friday, we’ll be delving into the history of spam to get a better understanding of how this tricky business came about.

ARPANET Spam

Spam dates back to 1978, during which Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) was a major player in the computer industry. Gary Thuerk, Marketing Manager of the DEC, was looking to advertise a new product called the DECSYSTEM-2020. While brainstorming ways to improve the process, Thuerk thought to have his assistant write a single mass email message rather than contacting people individually. Leveraging the power of the ARPANET, predecessor to the World Wide Web, Thuerk blasted the email to 400 individuals he identified would be potentially interested in his product. But to his surprise, his unsolicited message was met with resounding disapproval. Spam was officially born and Thuerk has thereafter been crowned the title of …Father of e-spam“ .

Chain Email

One decade later, in 1988, college student Dave Rhodes sent an email with the subject line …Make Money Fast“. The email promised recipients a large return of over $50,000, if they just sent one dollar to a handful of contacts included in the message. Based on the concept of a pyramid scheme, as the chain spread, those included would make more money. Of course, this was a scam, and those who participated never got their money back. To this day, the real identity of …Dave Rhodes“ remains unclear, but his simple chain email model is so easy to execute that it continues to be replicated by spammers today.

The Rise of Spam

In the mid-90’s, spammers began to mature in their techniques. Of these, one of the most famous cases is the …Green Card Lottery“ scam. Lawyers Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel hired a programmer to write a Perl script that would allow them to post ads to 5,500 Usenet discussion boards in under 90 minutes. In their ad, Canter and Siegel offered to help users fill out the entry form and enter the lottery, a relatively simple process that doesn’t typically require legal consult.

Following this incident, many programmers were inspired to use botnets to push massive amounts of unsolicited emails. This strategy helps spammers remain anonymous and escape the law.

Striking back

As spam grew into a more organized practice, it began to catch the attention of ISPs and major businesses. Aware that spam was becoming a sizable threat, ISPs started to develop more efficient anti-spam software to protect consumers. Laws were also put in place to punish spammers. Legislation differs slightly in each country, but in the US, the CAN-SPAM Act puts guidelines in place for all commercial email messages. Under CAN-SPAM, senders are prohibited from using purchased or rented lists from third-party vendors and are required to provide a clear opt-out process. In Europe, Article 13 of the Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications serves the same purpose.

Independent organizations like Spamhaus and SpamCop have also formed in efforts to help ISPs and Email Service Providers in their fight against illegitimate email senders. These DNS blacklists track spammers and group them onto a list to be blocked by ISPs or pursued by law enforcement.

However, even with these regulations in place, today spam still makes up for 90% of emails sent globally.

What now?

It seems the battle against spam continues to live on, especially with the rise of social media. While it might be a while before we eradicate spam, what we can do is play defense. Learn to send smarter to avoid being marked as spam.

Visit our Anti-Spam Policy page to learn more on the basics and stay tuned for more best practices in upcoming Flight School Fridays!

[ Posted Fri, 06 Jun 2014 22:40:00 ]

 

Mailjet Monday: Tyler Nappy

We’re back with our second installment of Mailjet Mondays! This week, we introduce Tyler Nappy, Developer Evangelist and newest addition to our New York team. You might recognize him if you were following the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon last week. He was on site through the weekend, helping teams integrate our APIs. He also made an appearance on the big stage to present our custom contest winners!

Mailjet Monday- Tyler Nappy

How was TechCrunch Disrupt last week? What was your favorite moment?

Ahhhh it’s hard to pick just one, so I’ll give you two!

The first was listening to all of the innovative hacks created during the hackathon. There were just a variety of projects created; some useful, some hilarious.

Second, was flying the Parrot quadcopter we raffled off — it was my first time piloting one of these. Flying it was a little difficult at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s a blast!

Tell us a little about what you will be doing for Mailjet.

I will be regularly attending conferences, hackathons, and meetups, keeping up to date with the newest industry trends. I look forward to building closer relationships with the NY startup community and beyond! These events will be a great opportunity to catch up on projects other developers are working on and what pain points they’re currently facing in the email space. From there we’ll be able to evaluate what Mailjet’s doing right and how we can improve our service, product and usability. When not attending these events, I’ll also be coding some cool hacks myself to showcase the awesomeness of email!

What is your preferred programming language and why?

I am going to have to go with Ruby, although MATLAB will always hold a special place in my heart (first software I’ve ever coded with). I love the syntax — it is elegant, simple and easy to read.

Are you working on any coding projects on the side? If so, could you share a little about what they look like?

I am currently working on a web application that will assist track coaches in managing and viewing their team’s stats over time. Through this app, coaches will be able to create lineups at track meets and record their athlete’s scores and times. I’m also working on a realtime chess game that is controlled via (you guessed it) email through Mailjet’s ParseAPI.

In the near future, I plan on diving a bit into hardware projects; more specifically a project that involves a quadcopter, because I had such a great time flying the Parrot drone at TechCrunch Disrtupt!

Mailjet’s recently launched its v3 API. How would you explain this update to a non-developer?

My not so serious answer: the API went from awesome, to super awesome.

Serious answer: It went from an already great API to now a rapidly growing web-wide standard for APIs, making it even easier for people to integrate our product when creating web applications.

[ Posted Mon, 12 May 2014 23:06:00 ]

 

 

Mailjet’s Teaming Up with AirPair!


At Mailjet, we believe in simple, easy-to-use but impactful experiences. As a result, we offer a full REST API that allows you to integrate email into your apps or services and innovate with maximum flexibility so that you can build as your vision sees fit. Sky’s the limit.

To take this experience one step further, we’re excited to take part in AirPair, a service that allows you to remotely partner with expert developers via recorded video chats and screen sharing. This pair programming technique allows you to consult with developers who have used our product and have found success with your APIs. These experts can not only help with code at a line by line level but also help to inspire with some real-use cases. The neat part is that according to The Economist, code developed under pair programming is 70-85% less prone to errors.

Being part of AirPair’s Trusted Partner Community, we have Mailjet Experts on hand at our AirPair on-demand site, waiting to help you out with your next project.

Already a pro with our APIs and want to give back with your knowledge? Sign up to be a Mailjet Expert now.

 [ Posted Wed, 30 Apr 2014 17:25:32 ]

Introducing…Mailjet Mondays!

The Mailjet team has been growing rapidly over the past year. We now have a team of over 50 globally, with the most recent opening of our New York offices just last month.

We thought this was a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on some of our passionate, hard-working …crew members“ with a new series; Mailjet Monday. Every other week, we will feature a different member of our team, giving you an inside look at their Mailjet story. We kick off this week by introducing Anthony Marnell, VP North America, who is currently building up our team in the US. Be sure to look out for him at some pretty cool events coming up in the NY area!

Anthony will be speaking at a Work-Bench Workshop this Wednesday, April 30 from 2pm – 3pm. He’ll discuss email best practices and trends that Mailjet has seen from working with the startup community. Be sure to sign up and drop by for some good learning!

                                                     Register here

Introducing...Mailjet Mondays!

What do you do for Mailjet?

I’m building the team and leading our growth efforts in the US. While we’ve had customers in the US since early in our history, we haven’t actively engaged with US-based senders. I’ll be focused on telling our story and showing senders why emailing with Mailjet is different.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As we’re just getting off the ground in New York, there really is no such thing as a typical day! It’s kind of like running a startup within a startup – there’s a lot to get done. It’s one of the things I appreciate most, every day brings something new!

Why use email, particularly Mailjet, in an ever crowded digital space?

In that crowded digital space, email continues to cut through the noise. If done right, it’s an incredibly effective way for companies to reach their customers and successfully get the intended result. Whether the intention is to generate an action, extend an experience, or simply to strengthen their relationship with their contacts, email gets it done. With Mailjet, senders spend less time worrying about deliverability and more time focusing on the right messages to send to their contacts.

Email is also one of the few channels where companies actually receive signals about how they’re contacts engage. With Mailjet, our customers receive real-time insight into their email’s delivery, opens, clicks, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and bounces. In addition to helping improve their sender reputation, this data educates companies on what’s working with their email and what’s not. It’s our goal to continue to deliver the right amount of insight to enable our customers to send better email.

Books you’re currently reading?

Currently reading, and enjoying, a The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. It’s a candid review of his career and a reminder that there are rarely easy answers. Recommended reading for people building companies!

Favorite Mailjet moment?

Tough question, there have been a few! High up there is visiting our Paris headquarters after joining and meeting the majority of the Mailjet team in person. It was a first-hand view into the team’s hustle to build a powerful email product and deliver an awesome customer experience. It was also a lot of fun! While New York is an incredible city, I’m definitely looking forward to spending more time in Paris :)

[ Posted Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:41:00 ]

 

 

Mailjet’s newest feature: 3D print your emails!

[EDIT] This feature is not REAL. We invented it because, you know, April Fools’ Day… So for those who thought Mailjet would launch this feature soon, we are sorry to announce them it will not be. But stay tuned! Cooler and more helpful features will be live soon!

Mailjet’s team is hustling constantly to offer you a better product every day. As you may know, a new Mailjet is coming. But before any official announcement, I would like to share with you one of the many new features we will offer. Introducing: the email 3D printing.

Mailjet's newest feature- 3D print your emails!

But… why?

At Mailjet, we like to think that we are in tune with the time. That is why we follow each and every new technological trend, from flat design to email home delivery service. Today, we are taking a further step with 3D printing. Why 3D printing? Because we feel that, with the incoming domestic 3D printers sales jump, people will want to keep some of their emails in a more material, concrete version, like some memorabilia.

With the new Mailjet, it will be possible! Your favorite message will be displayed in a beautiful 3D version. Users of upgraded plan will even be able to 3D print their attached files, should they be images, video or even audio! Sounds crazy? Do not worry: we are not.

How does it work?

We followed our motto: “Facere Atque Kalare Emailos” (it is Latin for “Build and Shout Emails”). Our tech team adjusted our APIs. Now, via your dashboard, you will be able to select the new “3D print this!” service. Our tool will automatically detect your 3D printer. Then, choose your option (edible printing, life-size printing…), press PRINT and you are done!

You can now decorate your room with your freshly 3D printed email.

Mailjet's newest feature- 3D print your emails!2

How much does it cost?

We created a new plan: the Polymer plan. Like the Silver, Gold and so on plans, the Polymer plan will allow you to use all the Mailjet’s features (optimized deliverability, dedicated IP address, real-time analytics…) AND, of course, the 3D printing option. Should you upgrade it to the Polymer Thermoplastics Plan, smaller versions of your 3D printed items will be sent to your best recipients. Engage them! Interact with them! It is what emails is all about, after all!

Want to learn more about our new cool features? Come meet us during the next events we will attend: from March 8th to 10th at Salon E-Marketing (Paris, FR) and May 5th to 7th atTechCrunch Disrupt (New York City, NY).

 

[ Posted Tue, 01 Apr 2014 13:46:00 ]

 

New capital increase for Mailjet and opening of a New York office

The French startup Mailjet is proud to announce that it has raised 2.2 million euros (3 million dollars). This new capital increase will accelerate the growth of the company for international expansion and product development.

New capital increase for Mailjet and opening of a New York office

This action follows the recent opening of an office in New York, led by Anthony Marnell, Vice President, North America at Mailjet. Anthony is a TechStars alumnus and has advised multiple startups in the US.

…This new capital increase will allow us to strengthen our sales strategy, onboard larger accounts and continue our international growth“, says Alexis Renard, CEO of Mailjet. …20% of Mailjet’s revenue already comes from the United States. A physical presence was mandatory. We chose New York City for its dynamic and growing startup ecosystem.“

[ Posted Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:06:00 ]

 

 

How to handle SPF

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an e-mail validation system designed for preventing e-mail spam by detecting e-mail spoofing, a common vulnerability and threat by verifying the sender’s IP addresses. SPF allows the administrators to specify which the hosts allowed to send mail from a given domain by creating a particular SPF record in the Domain Name System. Mail exchangers use the DNS for checking that whether the mail from a given record domain is being sent by a host sanctioned by that particular domain’s administrators.

How to handle SPF

When a domain publishes an SPF record, spammers are less likely to forge e-mails pretending to be from that domain and the reason for this being that the forged e-mails are more likely to be caught by the spam filters which continuously check the SPF record. Hence, an SPF protected domain is much less attractive to the spammers. Because of an SPF protected domain is less attractive as being a spoofed address, it is less likely to get blacklisted by the spam filters and so the e-mail being sent is more likely to get through.

Compliance with SPF consists of three interrelated tasks. The first task is to Publish a policy. Domains and hosts identify the machines which are authorized to send e-mails on their behalf. This is done by them by adding additional records to their existing DNS information; every domain name or host that has a record must have an SPF record, specifying the policy whether it is used as HELO argument or an e-mail record. Validating the SPF record is recommended highly and can be done through testing tools provided on the SPF Project webpage.

The next task is to Check and use SPF information. Receivers use ordinary DNS queries, which are cached to enhance the performance and then interpret the SPF information as per specified, hence acting on the result. The next task is to Revise mail forwarding. Plain mail forwarding is not allowed by Sender Policy Framework. The alternatives in this case are: Re-mailing, i.e. replacing the original sender with the one belonging to the local domain, Refusing,White listing, so that it will not refuse a forwarded message and Sender Rewriting Scheme, a complicated mechanism that handles routing non-deliver notifications to the original sender.

SPF has many potential advantages beyond helping to identify the unwanted mail. If a sender provides the SPF information, then the receivers can use SPF PASS results in combination with a white list to identify the known reliable sender.

[ Posted Thu, 13 Mar 2014 13:28:27 ]