Mailjet Monday: Thomas Hajdukowicz

Happy Monday! This week, we sat down to chat with our very own Thomas Hajdukowicz of the Inbound Marketing team. Thomas is based in the Paris HQ – you might recognize his name from previous blog posts or his face if you were recently at Ecommerce Salon! Thomas gives us a sneak peek behind content creation and event planning at Mailjet.
Mailjet Monday- Thomas Hajdukowicz1

What do you do for Mailjet?


Hi all! My name is Thomas. I’m an Inbound Marketer at Mailjet since December 2013. Like the other members of the marketing team (I have coworkers in Berlin and New York), I work on relevant content to be shared with our users (blog posts, printed handouts…) within the Mailjet team. Some of my other responsibilities include social networks management and events organization.

What does a typical day look like for you?


The first thing I do when I get into the office is check emails I received over the night (thank you, time difference) and launch my apps: Mention, Tweetdeck, Google Drive and Google Calendar. I also review my to-do list while sipping on a cup of coffee. Then the day can really start!

I’ll also agree with David saying that no two days are the same! One day, I can be focused on gathering content to create FAQs, the other I’ll be writing a new blog post, video scripts, or something else about a new email trend. Hey, some other times, I might even be getting interviewed for Mailjet Monday! That’s one of my favorite things about working here: the eclecticism and versatility of our team.

Tell us about your favorite Mailjet moment.


An obvious choice would be our team building trip in the Samoëns, where we spent three days with the rest of our global team from New York, Berlin and more. More recently, in September, we sponsored the Salon Ecommerce Paris, which was a fantastic experience. Not only was it great to see the ideas we worked out for the few months prior come to life (booth, swag, promotional handouts), but also it was awesome to see the whole Mailjet team in action; the hustle and synergy between sales, marketing and developer teams. And it paid off – considering the many cool people we met and relationships we built!

But most of all, besides these bigger moments, it’s the smaller daily experiences like someone launching a nerf war in the office and a call-to-arms to get banh-mi for lunch that really makes my experience at Mailjet. Because, let’s be honest, banh-mi is awesome.

Mailjet Monday- Thomas Hajdukowicz2

Favorite marketing apps/organization apps (like Dropbox/Canva, Boomerang etc)?


I’m a huge supporter of Google Drive and Google Docs. It makes it so much easier for us to create together while being located in different countries. It’s really cool to see us editing live in the same document.

What’s on the radar for Mailjet in the next few months?


A lot of exciting things are coming! First, you might have noticed that we’ve launched new ecommerce blog post series about email strategy during the holiday season (#MailjetHolidays).You can consider it an “Email 101 class for ecommerce retailers”. Take note of these tips from our series and see you email ROI significantly increase during this promotion-heavy time of year!

Last but definitely not least, by the end of October/beginning of November, we’re going to host ecommerce related Mailjet events, in New York, Paris, London and Berlin! So stay tuned, there’s more coming soon.

 

 

Are Your Emails More Annoying Than Social Media?

Open your inbox, hop on Twitter or Facebook – there’s no shortage of promoted content packaged into a series of high quality photos, puns and enticing discounts. Message your customers more frequently and they start to tune out. Message your customers less frequently and you’re giving your competitors the advantage. It can feel like a lose-lose situation in a situation where customers are overwhelmed with noise. What’s the best way to cut through this digital static and which channel do you start from?

In a recent poll we conducted, 73.3% of people said email marketing is more annoying than social media. At first glance, this number is confusing, because users don’t consciously opt in to promoted social media posts like they do email marketing communication. You would think unwarranted communication would be deemed more annoying. It might be because emails are more prominent in your inbox or that customers spend more time in their inboxes than on social media each day. Verdict’s still out on that one. What we can do though, is make sure your emails don’t fall into the 73.3%.

Here are three ways to make sure your next campaign isn’t annoying, but instead relevant and valuable:

Personalized Cadence


Always track customer engagement. Regularly test different times of day, days of the week and frequency to determine when your customers are most likely to be tuned in. Use these tendencies as a guide for communicating with your customers when they are most likely to listen. This will lessen the chance of customers feeling disrupted in their inbox experience.

Also give customers an option at opt-in to choose how they would like to be communicated with – how frequently and what type of content. Even if customers choose to be messaged less, they will be happier and more engaged when they do receive an email.

Don’t Sensationalize


Be real with your customers. The content of each email should be reflective of what’s described in the subject line. Not only is this required by CAN-SPAM law, but you don’t want to fall into “The Boy Who Called Wolf” trap with your customers. This doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the subject line by using the customer’s first name or using a sense of urgency (i.e. 24 hour sale), just don’t promise something you won’t be able to follow up on.

Cohesive Experience


Make it easy for users to click through and continue engaging with your product and other brand materials. Use clear call-to-actions – you can test button size and colors – and also be conscious of responsiveness across all platforms. Computer screens and mobile devices all take different image sizes and some email clients can play gifs, others cannot.

It’s easy for promoted social media content to be cohesive – they all work off of the same format and the rate of tweet and Facebook post updates is so fast that it’s easier for promoted content to get lost in the feed and not seem “annoying”. It takes more work to make promotions in the inbox a seamless experience.
This doesn’t mean that customers don’t want to receive emails from businesses though. In fact, email is more important than direct mail, Facebook or Twitter in influencing purchasing decisions, according to the 2014 Bluehornet Report. And in 2013, 43% of internet users made a purchase online after receiving commercial email. When designed with customer behavior and omnichannel in mind, email can prove to be a powerful channel of communication.

What other tips do you and your team like to use to keep customers happy and engaged?

 

 

From the Front – Bologna

Mailjet, through Charles Collas and Shubham Sharma, both developers evangelists, was present at the Conference From the Front which happened in Bologna (Italy), September 18th and 19th.

What is From the Front?

From the Front is a Front-End italian conference (but obviously, talks are in English). This time was the 4th edition and welcomed about 400 attendees in an incredible place, the Teatro Duse in Bologna.

It lasts 2 full days, from 10 to 18 with a breakfast, a lunch, some breaks and even a party between the 2 days (huge thanks to the organizers and especially to Luca).
This schedule is awesome for learning a lot of things during the conferences as well as meeting people!
From the Front - Bologna1

Why was it important for Mailjet to be present?

Mailjet loves developers, we offer them an emailing API and some wrappers to help them in their work and have a simple and fast solution to send emails in their projects.
Plus, there were a lot of attendees because of the awesomeness of the event itself: it’s one of the biggest Front conferences in Europe, with great speakers, set in a magical place! Furthermore, it was the first event Mailjet attended in Italy, so we were very excited to meet new people!
For us, being present at events makes a huge difference : you actually meet people, so they will then be able to identify you and to put a face on your company.
Plus, if you make a good impression, this feeling will be associated to your product too.
From the Front - Bologna2
What about the talks?
We were really lucky to be here: we heard great talks from awesome speakers.
The conferences were more of a high-level concept : Estelle Weyl’s talk about Responsive Web Design made us realize that we are too focused on the actual design we have for every device. But the thing is that we need to consider that people who visit our websites on their smartphones don’t often have the same connection that they have on their computers: they want it to load quickly. Performance is the key!
On my side, I especially liked the talk done by Christian Heilmann. He explained a philosophy weshould all apply: make things move by working on projects, then make them open source by writing articles about them and connecting with people sharing the same state of mind. This is exactly what we try to do as developers evangelists.

Who did we meet? It’s networking time!

We met a lot of Italian (obviously…) developers (mostly front-end, of course) working in very different industries: automobile, insurance, luxury…
We talked a lot with Christian Heilmann, developer evangelist @ Mozilla, owner of the website Developer Evangelism, and writer of a book about our unusual work. He’s really accessible and has very pleasantly shared advice about his work (which is also ours).
Overall, we really enjoyed this event on all points.
See you at From the Front 2015? We’ll be there for sure!
And should you have attended this year edition, feel free to comment to share your experience!

 

Setting Goals That Will Drive Your Email Campaign Through The Roof

The holiday season is just around the corner and that means it’s time to gear up and get your email marketing campaigns ready for the busiest quarter of the year in e-commerce. Not sure where to start? Here’s a tip: have a look at your goals and set specific targets to identify what exactly you want to achieve with your holiday campaigns. The holidays are a busy time, but before the panic starts to set in and you choke on your gingerbread latte, take a deep breath: Mailjet is here to help you set the right targets.

Setting your goals now will make it easier for you to develop a targeted campaign and makes it clear what kind of results you want to achieve. Goals will also make it easier to evaluate on your performance once the holidays are over since you will be able to compare the target you set to the actual results and thereby evaluate the success of your efforts. Here are a few tips to help you set goals that will drive your campaign through the chimney:

1. Start broad, get specific

Your goals determine the purpose of your campaign – what exactly you want to achieve. Therefore, it’s important to be as specific as possible when setting them. Think about what the overall aim of your campaign is: to increase your open-rate? To increase your click-rate? To promote a special holiday discount?

Once you’ve established an overall purpose, break them down into specific measurable goals, the more targeted the better. If you have precise and measurable goals, it will be much easier to structure your campaign to meet those goals and in turn evaluate your results to understand how successful it was.
For example, if your goal is to increase your click-rate, set a specific percentage you’re aiming to increase it by. Other goals you can consider for your campaign could be:

  • Increase open-rate by 15%
  • 30% of subscribers use your holiday discount code
  • Increase traffic to a specific page by 50%


No two campaigns are alike though, so set goals that are relevant and important your business. In the process of establishing your goals, use the S.M.A.R.T. concept to guide you in the right direction and get your campaign off to a good start.

2. Identify key KPIs and track them closely

Previously on our blog, we’ve discussed which KPIs every email marketer  should be measuring. Use these as a guideline for setting your own holiday campaign goals. Pin down the KPIs that are important and relevant to your campaign and follow them closely.
For email marketing, the common metrics to follow are open-rate, click-rate, unsubscribe rate and bounce rate. These should always be tracked to help you understand how well your message is getting across to your subscribes and how readers react to your creative.
But for your holiday campaigns, there will probably be additional figures that go beyond the standard email marketing KPIs you want to follow. You might have a holiday sale page on your website or offer a special discount code. In this case, your KPIs to track could be the number of visits to your holiday sale section, number of sales from these visits and number of times the discount code was used for a sale. Make sure that the results of each of your offers are measured closely so you can analyze the performance once your campaign has been concluded.

3. Learn from the results of your (Christmas) past

To put things into perspective and get inspiration for setting realistic and attainable goals, take a dive into your own historical data from previous holiday campaigns. Look at how your performance developed over the months leading up to the holidays to get an idea of the kind of KPI development to expect.

You can do this by creating benchmarks, which let you easily compare the results of former campaigns and can give you valuable input for setting new goals and understanding how the holiday season impacts your performance. For example, our campaign comparison feature gives you an overview of KPIs from your sent campaigns and lets you compare results and create benchmarks.

Setting Goals That Will Drive Your Email Campaign Through The Roof

Analyze results of your holidays campaign from last year and raise the bar this year. 

Keep the data from your previous campaigns in mind and set new goals the will blow old results out of the water! Defining your goals are key for determining the overall purpose of your campaign, for identifying the KPIs to be tracked and to use for evaluating the outcome and learn from your results. It’s a crucial step in creating a successful email campaign, so be sure to put time and thought into the process. Hopefully our tips will help you set strong goals and send your campaign off towards great results this holiday season, jingling all the way.

Setting Goals That Will Drive Your Email Campaign Through The Roof2

 

 

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing.

Holiday Emailing Guide

 

Soho House x 3beards Hackathon: My Climb for the Silver

For those of you who do not know the Soho House, it is a prestigious country club-like-establishment where members have the luxury of fine dining, cool meetups, and a sweet rooftop pool.  As if these amenities in themselves weren’t cool enough, Soho House  joined up with the guys from 3beards to put on a bougie hackathon this past weekend. I had the honor of being invited to participate in the event.

As per the usual routine with most hackathons, teams were given the usual 24 hours to complete their hacks. The twist was that they had to convert data into New York themed art.  When the “games” began, I teamed up with my buddy Justin from the Startup Institute.

Our idea: ever since the birth of the stock market, traders and investors could only see how their portfolio was doing.  We wanted to change this. Investors should be able to hear how their investments are doing, like a beautiful symphony of dollar signs!  The idea was,  if your stocks are doing well, they would play a harmonious tune and if your stocks are doing bad, they would sound like a soundtrack out of a horror film.
With Justin sporting his music and front end development skills and me rocking the front and back end game, we set off for the gold.

As we hacked our hearts out, we also dined on meals some of the best food I’ve ever had at a hackathon.  It truly was like eating at a five star restaurant – delicious salmon, paninis, coconut water; the list goes on and on.
When the countdown struck zero, it was time for each team to present their ideas. The judges went to deliberate, and we were escorted to room to await the final decision. The open bar looked like something straight out of The Matrix, specifically the scene where Morpheus asks Neo to choose to take either the blue pill or the red pill.
Soho House x 3beards Hackathon- My Climb for the Silver

 

Third place went to a team who developed an application that allowed users to take pictures and overlay them one on top of the other to form superimposed photos. Second place went to me and Justin for our app which, as previously mentioned, converts a stock’s performance into audio. Check out our app here and let me know what you think! First place went to team ChillZone who developed an “anti-Foursquare”.  Their app looks at NYC Facebook checkins and determines if certain spots are crowded or not.  Less crowded spots are deemed “chill-zones” to go to and, well, just chill.
There were many awesome ideas and, as the British often practices (3beards is a British company), everybody got a prize in the end!  I walked away with some sweet Ten shades (pictured above). Thanks for a great time Soho House and 3beards!

 

Wrapping up a month of APIs: API Strat & Practice

By Tyler Nappy

I just wrapped up an API heavy month, with our last stop in Chicago where we sponsored the API Strategy & Practice Conference.  It was three days of great talks, cool goodies, and a hackathon unlike anything I’ve experienced before.

Wrapping up a month of APIs- API Strat & Practice
 

While your typical hackathon is an intense weekend of coding and building one idea or MVP, API Strat’s speed hack was just as the name suggests, about speed. Teams were presented with a series of timed API challenges – over the course of 3 hours, sponsors would throw out various problems to solve. The best part was that teams could earn extra points from other acts of creativity and bravery, including dressing up in costumes and performing API-themed songs.

I had the pleasure hearing a remix of “Ice, Ice, Baby” that incorporated API-themed references in place of Vanilla Ice’s eloquent lyrics.  Another participant went on stage, busted out a ukulele and performed another great API themed song.  It was a very refreshing take on APIs, a great time for the judges and contestants alike.

While there, I also gave a talk on email parsing and how to integrate it into your app.  Some other great talks included Twilio with a live coding session on a new MMS feature they had just rolled out — I have to say, it’s pretty awesome. Our friends at Traitify also presented on how users can benefit from using their API,  a Myers-Briggs test only API’ified.  There were so many more great, informative presentations – the list goes on.

In utmost conclusion – it was a blast meeting everyone at API Strat. Thanks for the great time, Chicago! We’ll be back in the area in late November for WildHacks.  Very much looking forward to being back in the area! Let us know if you’ll be around.

 

Why Your Emails Aren’t Hitting The Inbox

Ever enter a store where you ask the sales rep about a product and they don’t respond? Hopefully not! And if that has happened before, it probably didn’t make for a very memorable experience.

A good business is built on communication — a two-way exchange. The same goes for your email marketing strategy.

Customers who use your product are speaking to you through the way they engage with your product and they’ve signed up to receive emails because they want to hear from you. What’s the latest product update? How else can they enhance their experience?

Don’t leave your customers hanging by letting your emails land in the spam folder where they’ll collect (digital) dust. In turn, your customers will feel unheard and disconnected.

At Mailjet, we’re constantly answering questions about company problems with email deliverability. Here are a few reasons why customers might not be hearing from you and simple ways to guarantee they will.

 

Ask for permission

It might be strange to think of it this way, but you have to ask permission before engaging in a dialogue with your customers. This process is more formally called “opt-in”. While opt-in is not required by law in the U.S., it is required by law in many European countries and others internationally.

You can opt your customers in through one of two ways: by having them manually input their email address or check a box indicating they would like to receive emails. We recommend using a double opt-in process, which involves customers receiving a confirmation email after sign up. The subscriber has to click a link to complete the opt-in process. This ensures that they have provided a correct and active email address so future emails won’t bounce.

Remember, if you’d like to quickly and organically grow your list, you can start hosting this opt-in form on your homepage, blog, and even social media channels.

 

Like humans, computers like when you’re authentic

Spam continues to be an ongoing battle for ISPs (that’s email clients like Yahoo, Gmail, AOL). As a way to combat spammers, ISPs track your sender reputation through a few different factors, your domain name being one of them. To ensure your domain name remains in high regards with the ISPs, you’ll want to make sure you set up authentication records. We recommend using DKIM and SPF.

DKIM adds a unique signature in the header of your emails (kind of like a digital thumbprint) while SPF allows ISPs to check if your incoming message is sent from an authorized server. Customize your SPF record to add your email service provider as an authorized sender so ISPs can recognize that you’re the real deal.

 

Who are you again?

No matter how well-oiled your email marketing machine is, you’re bound to see a drop off of engagement from some customers overtime. When a customer stops engaging with your emails, it’s time to re-evaluate whether to message them any longer. A good benchmark would be to send a re-engagement email campaign to your customers every four to six months to say “Hey, We Missed You” and include a call-to-action like a discount to using your services again.

If customers still don’t respond, remove these contacts from your list. It might hurt to see a slight dip in your contact list numbers, but it’s quality over quantity that matters here. The greater number of inactive contacts you have, the more your reputation with ISPs will suffer.

 

Steer clear of these words

ISPs also keep a list of words that commonly suggest spam or phishing activity. Be sure to review your email campaigns to find synonyms for these words or eliminate them completely. You might have a pretty general idea of what words not to use – including little blue pills and a certain high end Swiss watch brand. Other words that might not come to mind as easily, but you should be careful of not overusing: “Free”, “Sale”, “Urgent”, and “Click here”.

 

Design for the third screen and beyond

Customers respond well to large, visually appealing images with crisp designs and bright coloring. But be sure to design with your mobile devices and tablets in mind as well. The text version of your emails remains crucial. If an email client cannot display your HTML design, it will default to the text version. And while the text is not as exciting as visuals, customers will at least still be able to grasp your overall message.

Hopefully you’re already employing some or all of these methods to keep up a consistent and engaging dialogue with your customers. If not, which one of these methods will you look into first?

***
This was first published in WeWork Magazine.

Hacking your contact list for the holiday season

Hopefully our last post has gotten you into the holiday mood and you’re looking for ways to get ahead of the competition this season. But before we talk strategy and target KPIs, we need to go back to the basics: the contact list. Being a month out from prime-time, now is a good opportunity to clean your contact lists and organize for your holiday campaigns.

Here are a few tips to help you increase the value of your contact list and get it ready for the holidays:

Clean your contact list


Slot a re-engagement campaign into your content calendar, if you don’t have one already. Filter out customers that have not opened or clicked your emails in the past 4-6 months and send them a “We Missed You” email with a special promotion. The purpose of this is two fold: this will keep you top of mind for re-engaged customers and help you identify which inactive customers to remove from your list. Remember, it’s quality over quantity here. It can hurt your ISP reputation if you are messaging too many customers that aren’t engaging with your emails.

In this case, it’s good to label your customers


Are you already collecting data about your customers? The way your customer shops or interacts with your products can speak volumes. Labeling your customers by their behavior is called Segmentation. Marketers often collect or have access to this data about their customers, but don’t find time to thoroughly organize this information. But leveraging this can increase your ROI – especially during the holidays!

The first touch point your customer has with your email marketing program is the opt-in form. You may already be asking your customer for demographic information such as age, gender, or city of residence, be sure this is properly integrated into your contact list. Clearly label each column next to the email addresses and ensure the formatting is consistent. There are also other touchpoints – customer purchase history or frequency of interaction with your product, that your IT team might be collecting on the backend. Take time to sit down with your IT team to understand what data you already have to work from. It might surprise you that your IT team is collecting more data than you know!

And don’t fret if you aren’t already collecting this data, start building this out now! Since customers are more active during the holiday season, this is a good opportunity to start collecting so you can continue  and what data you might want to start collecting. Below is a great example of how Nordstrom leveraged their segmented lists. They emailed male customers or men’s clothing shoppers a message on latest fall products.

 

Hacking your contact list for the holiday season2

Here, Tumblr follows customer interaction with their product. They congratulate a user after  they’ve completed 10 posts. This reward system makes the customer feel special and encourages them to continue blogging.

Hacking your contact list for the holiday season1

Test it out


Last but not least, give yourself some time to get familiarized with the segmentation tools in the campaign building process. Start off with one or two simple segments – try sending to male and female users before sending to smaller groups like females over 50 living in Upstate NY.

If you’ve already been sending segmented emails and are a segmentation pro – dive into your past campaign performance to analyze which customer groups responded best to certain types of messaging and continue to refine from there. Perhaps female customers were more likely to open an email with longer subject lines and male customers were more likely to click through GIF images. Keep an eye out for these patterns and happy testing.

Stay tuned for more ecommerce holiday tips! We’ll be posting every Wednesday through the holiday season. If you have any questions or would like to discuss more in the meantime, hop on to our Email Marketing Hangar group!

 

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing.

Holiday Emailing Guide