Techbikers: Riding Towards World Literacy

By Toby Sims

Techbikers- Riding Towards World Literacy1
Day 1

 

Friday is a normal day. The last before the weekend – happens every week. However, the 19th of September was a bit different. For one, I was up far earlier than usual, madly pedalling a City ‘Boris’ Bike up to catch the Eurostar before first light. There, almost 70 tech enthusiasts had met to journey to Paris for the start of ‘Techbikers Paris to London 2014’. This is an annual mixed ability ride raising money for developing world literacy, organized by the wonderful Room to Read.

After a scenic bus ride through Paris, we met the support vans and our bikes (helpfully transported over the day before) just next to the Eiffel Tower. I also met up with fellow Mailjetter Anthony Marnell from the New York team, who happened to be in town.

What a collection of bikes we had too! In the specialist category we had two ‘Boris’ City bikes, with 3 gears and weighing in at a healthy 24kg each, two Brompton folding bikes, a single speed and a the tandem bike team of Michael Willmott and Chris Mairs on Genevieve – to pass me many times over the weekend. In the “crazy” category, we had Sam Strong, who had broken his ankle 10 days before, brushed it off as a minor inconvenience and found a hand cycle to travel with…!

From the Eiffel Tower, after negotiating a very large proportion of red lights we finally got some speed up and took in the open roads to the Castle of La-Roche-Guyon, slowly leaving the relative metropolis behind to cycle through the wilderness to Vernon.

This was a mere 87km though and although we ached a bit, we knew Day 2 was a pretty big day, topping 120km. That didn’t stop us celebrating with a few beers though!

Day 2


We were greeted on Day 2 by a beautiful morning (some yoga too, if you were up early enough) and a long climb out of the Seine valley, heading towards Buchy. Once ‘over the hill’ we could really push the pace and the scenic kilometres flew by. Buchy was to be our last sunny stop though, as the UK sent some storms our way and by the time we were 10 minutes out, it was thunder, lightning and absolutely soaking wet. Despite this, or perhaps because of, we hammered it towards Dieppe, opting to rest when we got there, or at least try and find a dry pair of socks.
We were to spend the night in Newhaven and we also had two new arrivals to Team Mailjet Rides: Alexis and Shubham coming all the way from the Paris office to test themselves on the hills of East Sussex and soon to be leading from the front, far ahead of me. Starting at sea level, the only way is up…

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Day 3


Day 3 hurt. We started with uphills to the top of Ashdown Forest and with the joy of every downhill (one of the ‘Boris’ bikes clocked in at 64.1kph, madness!) there was another to come. The hardest was probably Biggin Hill (not that long after lunch too) which just seemed to keep on going, but we all knew that it was the last big obstacle before an easy run into London – spirits were high and pain was just weakness leaving the body.
We all made it to Greenwich just about intact, despite Anthony inspecting a pothole at speed, taking a few scrapes. It was time for some triumphant photos before a slow and winding route back to Google Campus to meet friends, family and the Mailjet after party feast. As for the dancing in spandex at the after party…the less said the better.
It was a fantastic weekend, with mostly great weather, great riding and fantastic people. We raised over €75k for Room to Read, with donations still coming in. Huge thank you to everyone for your support so far! It’s a great cause – you can learn more and donate here.

 

 

Mailjet Monday: Toby Sims

Mailjet Monday- Toby Sims
Happy Monday! This week, we sat down to chat with Developer Evangelist Toby Sims about the London startup community, hustling and how to tell a good meetup from a bad meetup.

What do you for Mailjet?

I’m a Developer Evangelist. My job is to build relationships and work as a link between developers and our Mailjet technology stack. AKA professional PR & hustler (our informal motto at Mailjet is “hustle”).

I’m based out of London – all by myself, working out of Central Working, a coworking space. It’s a trendy office right in the middle of a hipster city. I fit in with my beard-hipster camoflauge.

London also has a great startup community. There are a huge amount of very cool tech meetups as opposed to larger conferences. I’ve gotten to know many solid startups, two of which are Twilio and Headspace. I’d recommend checking out the London API meetup sponsored by Twilio. People with different technology stacks and APIs go to talk about solving problems with APIs and how to update your product without making users hate you – which is a remarkably difficult process.

What’s one thing everyone should know about email/APIs?

People underestimate just how hard deliverability is and how many hoops the deliverability team has to jump through at the ISP level to get things to the inbox. Also, the possibilities with email (and Mailjet) are just endless. The Parse API and Webhooks always come as a nice surprise. The new A/X testing and list segmentation should prove to be pretty popular too!

What does a typical day look like for you?

I get into the office and tend not to answer emails until at least 11 am. As soon as you open your inbox, your day ceases to be. So those first few hours are just for me to hammer some work out, like documentation and event planning. It’s valuable to spend a couple hours of the day independent of the inbox.

Then, I plug in to the DevRel chatroom on Skype and get distracted by other things like support issues with plug-ins. As a Developer Evangelist, I’m part of the first line of defense for plug-ins and the Mailjet Github account.

At the moment a bigger project we’re busy with is updating our API and improving documentation on V3. In the evenings is when we really hustle – attend events, get to know the tech community and of course, eat free pizza. I swear after a year on the job, any Developer Evangelist will be allergic to pizza. And what you’ll also notice is that you can differentiate the quality of a meetup by their pizza. Some meetups will have warm beer and cold pizza, but better meetups will have cold beer and warm pizza.

Favorite Mailjet moment?

Physically meeting the team for the first time at HQ and realizing that I’m part of the bigger picture. Go team! They looked after me very well. We may or may not have had several alcoholic beverages over the week.

What’s next?

We’ve got some cool new API features lined up: A/x testing & Segmentation. Also, a boat load of events – I will be heading to Techcrunch in London and Web Summit in Dublin in November where they’re expecting 25,000 people – the biggest event I’ve ever been to. That’s gonna be pretty crazy. All the way up to December it’s go, go, go. 2015 Mailjet success!

5 Deadly Email Platform Migration Mistakes To Avoid

All too often we see companies switching Email Service Providers as they grow, only to be met with unintended side effects of managing this tricky migration. Anthony Marnell, Vice President of North America, recently wrote a piece for Marketing Profs addressing common mistakes that can be avoided to make migrating pain-free and valuable.

Good news: your company’s email list had a recent growth spurt. You’re sending more email than ever — to a larger audience—and with all that growth it’s time to consider a new email service provider (ESP).

CMOs and CTOs looking to upgrade ESPs too often meet with frustration, however, because migration to a new platform can be tricky—and it can have a deeply positive or negative impact on a company’s sender reputation and ultimately on customer communications.
Because email is a major channel that companies rely on for generating revenue, mistakes can have a lasting impact on your bottom line.
To safely navigate your migration, we’ve compiled a list of five common blunders. By avoiding these five mistakes, marketers and tech teams will save hours of work and ensure a positive outcome.
[Continue reading on Marketing Profs]

 

Power-Up Your Transactional Emails With These 3 Tips

Transactional emails are an often overlooked marketing channel that can drive traffic, boost results and increase your user engagement. When used right they are a powerful tool that any marketer should know how to master.

So what are transactional emails exactly? The term can be a bit misleading since they’re not really about transactions. Instead, transactional emails take many forms: they’re automated emails triggered from an interaction with an online company or product. Most commonly seen examples include password reset emails, account activation emails, and flight booking confirmations.

But these emails listed above often only serve one purpose: to provide the user with the information he or she has requested. A new password, an account activation link, a boarding pass. Which is a shame because transactional emails can be used for much more than that. They can be leveraged and optimized to function as an even more powerful channel to support your marketing efforts. How you ask?

Here are three ways to make more out of your transactional emails:

1.Design them right

Transactional emails are a great medium for leaving an impression on your users. Think of them as a communication channel that needs to reflect your brand and the value you offer.
A great way to do that is to design your emails to correspond with your brand identity. Rather than going with a simple, text only layout, consider teaming up with your designer to create a visually appealing template. Your company website probably isn’t just plain text, so why should your emails be? Spice up your email layout with visuals and make your messaging more powerful. Think of every email you send as an opportunity to share your brand identity with your users. Add images, logos and colors to your email that complement your overall visual identity.

Examples

Power-Up Your Transactional Emails With These 3 Tips1

Ello keeps their email design simple and makes use of the same design elements – logo, colors, font – as on their website to offer a coherent brand experience. To improve this email even further, ello could have added more information about their service in the email to help build the excitement while the user waits for his invitation.

Power-Up Your Transactional Emails With These 3 Tips2

DriveNow sticks to a text only format in their transactional emails. While both the content and messaging are clear, the email doesn’t offer much more than the essential information. A logo and colors could be added to reflect the visual identity found on their website, and a photo related to the car rented on the trip could have been added to further enhance the experience.

 

2. Respond to inactivity

While growth is an important goal for most companies, retention is the key to long term success. Luckily, transactional emails can help! To help keep your users engaged and active, check in with users who have been inactive or haven’t opened or clicked an email in the past 6 months.

For example, a new user might have signed up but hasn’t started using his or her account. Or a user hasn’t been on your website in months. This doesn’t mean they’re no longer interested, they might just need a little nudge to remind them to use your product again. To turn inactivity around, embrace your transactional emails and give your users a good reason to come back.

Example
Power-Up Your Transactional Emails With These 3 Tips3
 You can also respond to activity. Photo community 500px uses transactional emails to notify users about popular images and prompts the user to join their photography marketplace. The email also makes great use of personalization in adding a photo that the user has taken to the email, thereby applauding them for good work and then telling them how they can take it one step further.

3. Add incentives and call to actions

Call to actions (CTAs) are as essential to transactional emails as they are to landing pages. Why? Because emails are another opportunity for you to encourage users to take action somehow. They can help you drive traffic or attention to a certain marketing campaign and thereby support your other channels.For example, add a CTA to introduce users to a newly added feature, add social media buttons to encourage a follow to build your community or inform users about your current promotions to increase sales.

Regardless of the specific CTA you choose to use in your emails, remember to always be clear about what you’re offering and give users an incentive to take action.

Examples:

Fitbit

Power-Up Your Transactional Emails With These 3 Tips4

In their weekly activity recap email, Fitbit adds several call to actions to encourage users to engage with their community of users. This gives users several options to continue their activity with Fitbit and expand their relationship with the service.

This email from Airbnb has a very clear call-to-action and adds an incentive for the user to leave a review in that the review of another user will be shown. Because Airbnb knows some users will inevitably skim through the text, they catch readers with a red button to make it easy to take action.

 

Transactional emails can be used as powerful bursts of water in your marketing squirt gun. Think of them not as single purpose messages but instead as multi-purpose channels that can boost your marketing efforts. So if you haven’t already, now is the time to start thinking about how you can make your emails work in your favor.

How are you optimizing your transactional emails? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below, we would love to hear them!

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season

You just packed away your sunscreen and beach chair yesterday and already are bombarded with the Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Halloween decorations everywhere you turn. Hate to break it to you, but the holidays are just around the corner. eMarketer predicts that US retail sales will increase 5% in the core holiday season: November through December. Have you started planning your email marketing strategy to break through the inbox? We spoke with some ecommerce email experts on some tips and tricks they swear by for the holiday season to help you break through the noise and keep your customers engaged. Here’s a few of the top insights we gathered, in their exact words:

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season1

During the holiday season, so much of the ‘noise’ is around GIFTS: messaging frequently about being the best destination for     the ‘perfect gifts’ FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST. I always think this is the best time to swim against the tide: message less frequently, throw selective punches, and talk about self-purchase and newness. When the entire space is screaming the same thing in your customers’ face, the best way to be heard is to sneak up next to them and whisper something different in their ear.”

Christopher Fleming, Director of Marketing, Ann Inc., @anntaylor

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season2

“Get the message out earlier. It takes seven repeats of impressions to get a message crossed. Integrate and coordinate email with web, social, online marketing, and branding teams to amplify your message. Also mine your data with extra diligence. Find that one-time, big holiday spender in your database and make sure you create targeted communication to invite them back.”

Catherine Brueggemann, CRM & Email Marketing Manager, The Body Shop, @thebodyshopusa

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season3

“Segmentation is key! Segment your email list with attributes like geographic location, gender, age, interests, etc. Sending to these niche customer groups will lead to increased open and click-through rates. Recipients will find your campaigns more relevant and it’ll show in your ROI.”

Liz Fella, Marketing Manager, Fetch For Pets @lizfella  

How Real Life Ecommerce Marketers Win This Holiday Season4

“Two key points: tell a story and know what’s relevant for your customers. For those in retail, work with the merchants to have a cohesive plan to tell a story this holiday season. This will not only enhance your brand reputation, but also improve engagement from your customers. The second point, more relevant to a broader ecommerce audience – use segmentation. As we get deeper into the holiday season, be sure to know who and what your customer shops for so you can have a more effective gifting strategy. By knowing their purchasing behavior, we can segment the customers so they can receive more relevant messages in their inbox.”

Eunice Chung, Email Marketing Coordinator, Ralph Lauren @RalphLauren

The most important thing I’ve learned is to be sure you know your customer before you begin your campaign. Despite the pressure of an ever competitive marketplace and sales targets to hit – be mindful in your communication. It can be tempting to try to outrun competitors in volume of emails sent, but remember more is less. Listen to what your customers want and give it to them. What other tricks have you found success with in your holiday campaigns?

 

Growth Pack: Mailjet <3 Ecosystems

By Angela Yan

Growth Pack- Mailjet <3 Ecosystems1

 

Earlier this year, Mailjet partnered with TextMasterPressKing and Mention to create a 4-in-1 SaaS tools package with the goal of giving back to the startup community. As startups born from incubators and accelerators ourselves, we know how important it is for early-stage entrepreneurs and hackers to have access to the right tools at the right time.

Thus, Growth Pack was born. The goal of this pack is to help leading incubators and accelerators provide their startups with a range of services for free or at a highly discounted rate, so they can focus on growing their businesses without having to worry about the cost of doing so.

Our current partners include Startup Pirates (check out the awesome blog post they wrote about us here!), EuraTechnologies, Founder Institute France, Le Camping, Blue Factory, The Family, StartUp42, Le Booster, and Projective Space.

We’re also super excited to announce the recent addition of Front and Aircall to the Growth Pack!

Here’s a breakdown of what we do and how we help companies scale on a daily basis:

Mailjet

That’s us! Hopefully you know who we are by now!

-6 months free Silver plan

TextMaster

A professional crowdsourced translation, copywriting and proofreading platform.

-20% bonus on any order below €3499

PressKing

An all-in-one affordable solution for managing PR online.

-3 months free Enterprise plan

Mention

A professional monitoring tool that helps manage your online reputation.

-3 months free Growth plan

Front

A tool that enables your team to collaboratively answer incoming customer messages.

-95% off first year

Aircall

Create company phone numbers and share calls across your team. Instantly, anywhere.

-50% off 3 months on any plan

Hop on over to our Growth Pack page for more details.

If you’re a leading incubator and/or accelerator and you’d like your startups to benefit from our Growth Pack, check out us out at growthpack.io and apply directly!

If you’re a startup and want your incubator/accelerator to offer the Growth Pack, fill out the form at the bottom of our site and we’ll be in touch!

Follow us on Twitter to keep up to date on the Growth Pack!

 

One Week. A World of APIs.

I recently got back from an API filled week in San Francisco, where we sponsored the API World Hackathon and Conference. It was my first time in the Bay Area – ironic considering how I’ve been involved in tech the past few years. It was great to finally make my way out there and meet the community in person!

One Week. A World of APIs.1

 

True to the name, in the two days of the hackathon. I saw a world of APIs. The varied themes and API use cases were impressive.

Team ‘Notify’ leveraged the Mailjet API to create an app that allows college students to easily send and share lecture notes via email. Students unable to attend class or did attend and are looking to supplement their notes can turn to this app.

Another team looked to simplify the hackathon presentation process – a sigh could almost be heard across the room. Most teams wished this existed before the API World Conference. With this app, teams can easily consolidate their individual slides through email. Each participant receives an email with a URL invite to upload their deck. Then, the app seamlessly integrates these slides into one larger presentation.

Team ‘Sparkifly’ tackled a slightly different issue, looking to help married couples with rocky relationships. A couple signs into the the app and are prompted to take a personality test via Traitify’s API (if you haven’t heard of them yet, you should totally check them out — real cool API!). Based on their results, a recommended vacation is then generated. The best part is that the app shows a suggested itinerary of activities and destinations that best suits the couple and is most likely to put a spark back into their relationship.

However, the best use of Mailjet’s API and the winner of our competition was ourLeader. Ever find it hard to keep up with your favorite politicans after they are elected into office? You’ve put in your vote of support for them so you’d like to be sure they’ve advocated for all the issues they promised they’d work on. ourLeader is just the solution. Their app that allows users to subscribe to political candidates and track how much each official adhere tostances he/she ran on while they are in office. Users are notified of updates through triggered email messages. Great work, ourLeader – looking forward to the awesome things you have in store!

Thanks San Fran for an educational week, the chance to get to know some cool folks and of course, the great beach views. Until next time!

One Week. A World of APIs.2
One Week. A World of APIs.3
 
Tyler Nappy
Developer Evangelist

 

 

Hang out with us at the NewCo Festival!

Hang out with us at the NewCo Festival!

 

Want to get a sneak peek at the Mailjet office and learn more about how email has evolved? Then be sure to attend the 2014 NewCo Festival next week! We’re proud to be a host company and will be opening our doors to the tech-public on October 1st.

Unlike your traditional conference, NewCo is an “inside out” experience. From October 1 – 2, companies will be holding one hour long sessions in which they invite attendees into their offices for tours and talks on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. Be sure to get your walking shoes ready because there’s a great lineup of companies across the city!

During our session, we’ll be speaking about the evolution of email and why it refuses to die. Learn about the tricks savvy companies use to grow their business with email. Free drinks and snacks will also be served!

Register now to attend our session. General Admission tickets are free, but you can also purchase Reserve Tickets or VIP Tickets for guaranteed access to certain host companies and extra perks!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

 

 

Why You Should Be A/B Testing Your Emails

Do you A/B test your email campaigns? If you don’t you’re missing out on a lot of valuable data that can help increase the performance of your campaigns. A/B testing – or split testing – is a simple way to try out new ideas, understand user behavior and optimize conversion. With simple tools such as Unbounce, testing features have become more accessible than ever and made it easy for marketers to run experiments on their websites and landing pages, and learn from the results.

But A/B testing isn’t just for web designers: email marketers too can benefit from applying testing principles to their email campaigns. It can help you get the things right that matter the most in email marketing: your subject line, copy wording, and call-to-action. Instead of going with your intuition, testing your emails before sending your campaign can give you insights into how you can best appeal to your audience and create great results.

If you still don’t think that testing your emails is worth your time, here are three reasons to get you convinced:

1. Understand your audience

Testing your email campaigns on a small part of your contact list before you send them out to everyone helps you understand how your audience responds to different messages. You probably already have a good understanding of your target group and how it responds to your emails. But instead of going with your gut feeling and assumptions, A/B testing gives you results based on actual behavior that is valuable in getting to know your audience.

Why is it important to know your audience? Because you want your emails to be effective. The more you know about the people that are going to read your emails, the better you know how to craft your message. How to appeal to them with images. When they are most likely to read your emails. Get the picture?

Testing your emails, analyzing the results, iterating and then testing some more gives you valuable insights to better understand your audience.

 

2. Get Creative

Another great opportunity in testing your emails is to try out new ideas on your audience. When you’re creating a newsletter, you probably have several different ideas when it comes to choosing the right wording for your subject line or exactly the right call-to-action to encourage your audience to click on your link. You might end up picking one based on your assumptions, in which case a lot of other ideas get lost and are never used.

Instead, try testing several of your ideas at once before choosing which one to use in your final newsletter. It gives you the chance to get creative with your ideas and see how they work with your audience.

For example, you can try testing two versions of a subject line – a short and a long version – to see which one generates more opens, or which one is more mobile friendly. The results of your test will give you idea as to what works better with your audience.

Remember to focus on just one element of your email for each test though. Pick one thing on your newsletter and test different versions of it, such as subject line, main image, call-to-action, or headline. If you test several things at once, even if you end up with a positive result, you won’t be able to determine why. Instead, focus the test on just one element and your results will be much more useful since you’ll know exactly what caused the result.

That doesn’t mean you should be afraid to use a more complex tool like A/x testing. A/x testing allows you to combine multiple elements (subject line, image) to test up to 10 versions of your email at once. As long as you focus your goal on just one element – testing 10 different subject lines while holding everything else constant – you can get even more granular results.

 

3. Fuel your future campaigns – and keep testing

Once you’ve gotten into a routine of running tests regularly, you will start building up data that can help you optimize and make the most out of your campaigns. Your test results will give you a stronger basis for making decisions on your newsletter creative. Rather than going with your intuition, your test results will give you data and statistics to base your decisions on.

It’s important to remember that testing shouldn’t be a one-off project. Since your contact list grows and changes over time, so will your audience and its preferences. And you should keep testing to make sure you follow the change and adapt your message with it.

A good idea is to also follow changes in the way emails are displayed by different email providers and on different devices, as this can have an big impact on how your campaigns perform. For example, an email looks very different on a desktop compared to on asmartwatch. By gathering results from tests targeted at different providers and platforms, you’ll learn how they differ, which will give you a chance to adjust and adapt your campaigns to the results.

So there you have it. Testing your campaigns will help you make the most out of your emailing efforts and give you valuable input on how to put together your campaign creative.

Now it’s time to hear from you: How are you testing your email campaigns? If you don’t already, get going and start your first experiment. We’d love to hear about your experiences!

 

 

#MailjetHolidays take-off at E-Commerce Paris 2014!

 

Ecommerce pros, come and meet the Mailjet crew during the 2014 edition of the E-Commerce Paris Salon, from September 23 to 25. Visit us at our boarding gate F 074. Discover our new services and try to win one of our partners prizes: Parrot, France Bag and Easyjet! During this event, we will also give you advice to properly prepare your emails campaigns for the upcoming Holiday Season #MailjetHolidays!


#MailjetHolidays take-off at E-Commerce Paris 2014!

Thursday September 25, from 2.45PM onwards, will be our workshop. Titled “How to Optimize Email ROI for the Holidays!”, it will be hosted by Edouard Level, VP Sales at Mailjet, and will happen in Room 5. During this presentation, we will review all the key steps to send the most relevant and effective messages during this time of the year, a critical period for every ecommerce actor.

The same day, from 2PM to 2.45PM, Alexis Renard, CEO of Mailjet, will be a guest speaker during the roundtable about “The consumer as a key to an efficient cross-canal strategy”. It will be hosted by Hopscotch, and will take place in Room 11.

Please take note that you have to register to attend those different events. Online registration is free. On-site registration will cost you 30 €.

Don’t hesitate and come see us! We will be pleased to guide and assist you during your visit. See you soon at E-Commerce Paris Salon!