3 Ways You Can Re-engage Your Customers Through Email Content

The first few months of the year are usually considered a bit of a depressing time. It’s dark, cold and gloomy outside, and most of us would rather just stay indoors until Spring arrives.

For email marketers, it can be challenging to find the right approach for kicking off the new year and achieving great results. Especially if your customers are suffering from a severe case of the January blues.

But fear not! We’re here to help you kick start the year and send email campaigns that will get your customers out of their slump.

Here are three things that you can use for your email content to re-engage your customers and get them through the chilly winter months:

 

1. Motivate your customers

Many of us start off the new year with new years resolutions: we want to shed a few pounds, stop smoking, read more, generally change our bad habits and improve ourselves. And you can leverage this focus on positive change through your email content.

Focus on content that motivates your customers and encourages them to take action to make a change. And show how customers can use your product or service to accomplish this change.

Remind customers of a particular feature or value that you offer that can help them make changes. Or share new and creative ways they can use your service.

The key goal here is to show how your product or service can play an essential part of their journey. By doing so, you’ll motivate your customers in showing how you can support them in the new year.

 

Examples:

Fitbit


Fitbit email
 

IFTTT


IFTTT email
The emails above from Fitbit and IFTTT are great examples of motivational content that show how their services can play an active part in helping customers make changes in their lifestyles.

 

 

2. Remind customers of their achievements with data

User data helps you understand how your customers behave and interact with your product or service. And it can be a great source to power-up your content to personalize and make it relevant for your customers.

The recap email presents customers with personal data based on how they have used your product or service. Similar to an infographic, it summarizes interesting or important facts in a visually appealing way.

The purpose here is to give readers a quick overview of their data to remind them of their past behavior and encourage them to keep coming back to you for more.

Example:

Opentable

opentable

The example above from Opentable summarizes the activity of the past year in a short and stylish way. Users are reminded of their restaurant visits and encouraged to keep using the app for more experiences in the coming year.

 

3. Show a little gratitude

The start of a new year is a great time to look back at the past year and reflect on what you have accomplished, what you have learned and what’s still left to do in the new year.

Use this in your email by thanking your customers or users for a great year. The content of this kind of email can range from sending a simple “thank you” to your customers to highlight the news and events that stood out in the past year.

The purpose here is to bring out accomplishments from the past year as a reminder to your users of the value that you bring them. And with this reminder, they’ll be encouraged to keep coming back to you throughout the new year.

Example:

ello

ello thank you email

 

ello makes use of this in their email above. Following the launch of their social network in 2014, ello uses this email to reflect on their accomplishments and thank their users for being part of the journey.

In 2015, Email Marketers Resolve To…

A few weeks ago, we asked some of you what you’d like to change or improve in email sending for 2015. The idea behind this poll was to connect key email best practices with common new years resolutions to help jump start your planning for the year ahead. Now, the results are in and it looks like you guys have your vision set straight for the year ahead!

2015poll (1)

An overwhelming majority of senders (36%) said they are looking to set more goals to drive higher email ROI. While re-engaging inactive customers and creating more concise email content tied for second place.

The point to note here is that there is no “wrong answer”! There’s no “better” resolution to focus on, since every business runs off different goals and serves varied customer bases. While most senders expressed that they would like to see higher email ROI in 2015, all of the other suggested resolutions lead to higher ROI in the long-term.

Get in Shape

Similar to how many of us indulge in bigger, grander meals over the holidays, email campaigns tend to parallel this in the winter months. From heavily discounted Fall clearance sales to holiday gifting campaigns, consumers are over-stimulated with email.

January is a good opportunity to re-engage customers with new, highly targeted content that will get them excited about using your product in the year ahead.

Manage Stress

If you’re not working off of a calendar already, using tools like Co-schedule or Google Docs can help relieve stress by allowing you to plan ahead and coordinate content across marketing channels.

Catch up with old friends

Start off the new year by messaging inactive customers with a re-engagement email series. It varies from business to business, but generally speaking “inactive” is a customer who has not opened or clicked an email in the past 3 to 6 months. Here’s a great example of a “We Miss You” email from Soap.com, where they offer a 10% off discount and suggest various categories that might be of interest.

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 2.00.39 PM
 

Distance yourself from negative people in your life

Last but not least, remove bounced email addresses and customers who have not opened or clicked the re-engagement emails. Just as they say about friends – quality over quantity, the same goes for your contact list. A higher quality contact list – higher engagement – weighs more in your sender reputation with ISPs. Not to mention, cleaning out your lists helps you create more targeted content.

What are some other resolutions you have in mind? Let us know in the comments below!

Mailjet Monday: Radoslav Penchev

1912459_10205207340932588_6915776175870026094_o
Happy Monday! This week, we sat down to chat about the new Sending Policy and BUBS with Compliance Officer and Fraud Prevention Manager, Radoslav Penchev. Rad is based out of Sofia and just celebrated his 6 month anniversary with Mailjet (Wish him a happy anniversary in the comments below!)

What do you do for Mailjet?

My job is to make sure all users are following internal rules and guidelines. We recently just launched an updated Sending Policy, with the help of our new friend BUBS. In order to protect senders who are following best practices and ensure a positive sending experience for them, I analyze abusive email behavior and develop processes to ensure accurate sorting of good senders from malicious senders.

My goal is to reach an end point where we have a semi-autonomous ecosystem, functioning on feedback loops. It’s a larger ongoing project which takes a lot of customer behavior tracking and analysis. I regularly look for patterns – in KPIs for example – and I’m always working out of spreadsheets and flow charts.

What does a typical day look like for you?

The first thing I do when I get to the office in the morning is look at my alpha spreadsheet. It’s a master spreadsheet of projects, to-dos and deadlines that I set for myself. I use it to set priorities for the day and then schedule alarms for the early afternoon to keep myself on track. Then I go to my inbox and have a look at support escalations and abuse reports, which are then taken over by our North American team in the afternoon, since we work to provide 24/7 coverage.

The late afternoon for me is often dedicated to ad-hoc projects, working with clients or meetings. But my day doesn’t always end in the office. I’m almost always online taking part in the fight against spam.

What’s your favorite Mailjet moment so far?

My first visit to Paris was my favorite and most memorable moment so far. It was great finally meeting everyone in person and going out to explore the city together. I can’t wait to go back again!

What do you do on time off?

I mostly read, run, listen to music or a combination of those at once. I did music production and some DJing back in college and I still produce at home and play at small venues from time to time. I listen to all types of music, but if I had to choose my favorite genre, I would say it’s something between Electronic and Hip Hop.

Where do you see the email industry going in the next few years?

Consumers are getting smarter each year. They have more ways of organizing the inbox, they know what kind of content they want to receive and are pretty well educated on what spam looks like. Email senders will have to adapt to savvier audiences by improving their mailing practices. Hopefully this will lead to better email curation, proper opt-in processes and less spam.

Mailjet is now on elastic.io!

Please put your seat backs and tray tables in their upright position… we’ve got an awesome announcement to make. We are now integrated with elastic.io! This means you’ll be able to automatically sync contacts (past present and future) between Mailjet and your favorite SaaS solutions with just a few clicks. Save time and energy by having all of your information in one place. Services that can synchronize with Mailjet include Salesforce, Wufoo, e-conomic and more! Learn more here.

Elastic.io’s novel platform acts as a bridge which allows APIs of different services to talk to one another, saving you the effort of managing multiple passwords and browser tabs.. With elastic.io, simply connect Mailjet with any SaaS application of your choosing and let the platform all the heavy lifting for you. Once you’ve set up your flow, you’ll be able to sync both historical data and new data moving forward. There are over 42 different SaaS integrations available, meaning you can potentially customize your integration in over 2000 different ways!

Check out what Renat Zubairov, CEO of elastic.io, has to say about our integration:

“We are happy to see Mailjet’s comprehensive email API on elastic.io’s integration platform. With this new integration component, Mailjet just became more accessible for a wider audience of users and developers. In addition, users of the other 42 integrated elastic.io components are now one step closer to being able to easily sync their contacts to leverage Mailjet’s leading email marketing and deliverablity service. We look forward to seeing what innovative and creative use-cases will be created with it.”

Follow our step-by-step guide here on how to get started by integrating Salesforce with Mailjet on elastic.io.

As a special offer for Mailjet customers, sign up until the end of February and you’ll receive 50% off the package Mailjet + Salesforce!

As always, we love feedback, so if you have any suggestions or questions, don’t hesitate to email us at plugins@mailjet.com.

Happy integrating!

January Blues: Declining open rates and what to do about it

It could be that it’s one of the colder months of the year (in the northern hemisphere), or that we’re just coming off the holiday season, but January tends to have people feeling blue.

moresnowgif
 

With your customers feeling low in spirits, you may have also seen a dip in email open rates. This is a good time to re-evaluate your methods and explore new ways to engage your contact list. Here are a few questions to ask before launching new campaigns to cheer your customers up.

Is deliverability the problem?

The first thing to check is deliverability. It could be that your email is landing in the spam folder and aren’t even making it to the front of your customers’ eyes. Your spam rate and number of bounced email addresses are a good indicator of whether your emails are making it into the inbox.

There are a variety of reasons why your email might be landing in spam. Some things to keep in mind are spam-trap words (you want to avoid these), asking your customers to “friend” you by adding your sender email address to their address book and regularly removing any bounced email addresses. For more tips, head over to our deliverability whitepaper.

Has my list size or makeup changed recently?

Remember, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to your customer base. Have you seen any new signups or has your client demographic recently expanded? Perhaps you’re seeing lower open rates because you’re messaging without knowing who you’re talking to. If so, you’ll want to re-segment these customers and personalize accordingly. Be sure to regularly think about who your customers are and how they interact with your business as your product grows and evolves.

What about my content?

Going hand in hand with the last point, declining open rates could also indicate a need for new content. After all, what’s within the email plays a greater role in engagement than the subject line does.

More specifically, your customers could be feeling blue about your content, having been overstimulated with promotional heavy emails during the holiday months of November and December. Slowly ease them back into the groove of things by sending informative, non-promotional email campaigns.

Relevant and valuable content builds trust with your customers. In the long run, they will keep an eye out for your content – there won’t even be a need to fight your way through all that inbox noise!

Which methods are you thinking of using to help get customers over the hump of January blues? Tell us in the comments below!

Email Experts Sound Off On Their Predictions for 2015

This past year, we saw the inbox repackaged and introduced to the 4th screen, with technology like Google’s Inbox and the Apple Watch entering the scene. Consumers are becoming increasingly selective with the type of content they’ll engage with. But these apps also make it easier to capture engagement at more specific points where customers are ready to purchase. The Google promotions tab is one example of a recent development that captures customers when they’re further down the purchase funnel.

Although email is one of the oldest players in the digital communication space, it’s constantly evolving. And there’s only more innovation in store for the year ahead. We gathered thoughts from email experts across various industries on what’s to come in 2015.

 

adamswann“Email is not dead, but it has become a specific channel for certain communications. Looking at Millennial phone usage and shifting patterns of use of Facebook and other social networks, we see a shift toward instant messaging, the decline of talk time, and the decline of traditional email as a comms tool. Email will increasingly have a specific, less dynamic role to play in people’s lives.

But data savvy marketers, especially those with e-commerce models, will continue to use it as a powerful marketing tool. Good examples: Dot & Bo, Thrillist, Jack Threads, Amazon, Gilt. Brands that offer up poor content or email too frequently will suffer the ultimate punishment – “Unsubscribe”. At the end of the day, frequency of email is not a substitute for quality and relevance of email communication.”

Adam Swann, VP Digital & Brand Strategy, 360i

 

mathildecollin“Everyone uses email as individuals, but it’s incredibly hard to build great apps on top of it and it’s not built well for teams. I think these two things will change in 2015. Email will become more integrated into the tools that companies use everyday. As a result, communication within organizations through email will become easier, and teams will find exciting new ways to leverage email together, like sharing access to inboxes and collaborating on external communications.”

Mathilde Collin, Co-Founder & CEO, Front

 

janet_photo (1)

“In 2015, email marketers will remember the human. The particular power of email is that it lands in individual’s inboxes — which means that personalization and responsiveness to mobile is increasingly vital. Even simplistic automation won’t be powerful enough to cut through the noise anymore. The more intelligent and relevant you can be — through targeting and dynamic content — the more of a competitive advantage you’ll gain because people will actually have a reason to pay attention to you.”

Janet Choi, Marketing Manager, Customer.io

 

Untitled drawing (1)“The new features Google introduced to the inbox in 2014 could be real game changers across the entire digital marketing platform. On one hand, the sorting of email messages has the potential to decrease open rates, but those who are opening and clicking through may be further down the purchase funnel than those who have not moved the messages to their general inbox. The GSPs (Google sponsored promotions) have also introduced the inbox to the realm of SEM/remarketing.”

Lauren Debrowski, Assistant Manager of Ecommerce, Tarte Cosmetics

What are some of your predictions for 2015? Where are you looking to grow your email program in the coming year? Let us know in the comments below.

2015 Email Marketing Practices and Outlook

2014 was a big year for us, we ran an education program on how to cut through the heavily-promotional holiday inbox and encouraged email innovation through hackathon events and side projects. But above all, we’re excited to share that we’re now serving more than 26,000 clients in over 150 countries, sending close to 1 billion emails every month. To further understand our diverse demographic of users and evaluate the growth of email internationally in 2015, we surveyed 300 marketing experts from mid-sized and large businesses on their attitudes and practices in their email programs. The findings are summarized below:

 

2015mailjetsurvey
 

Also available in PDF: 2015 Email Marketing Practices and Outlook

Introducing: New Newsletter Action Endpoints API

‘Action’ Syntax

We are very excited to announce today that Mailjet is releasing ‘action’ endpoints for our newsletter resource. With this API update, the management of the newsletter contents — scheduling, and testing of a newsletter — can all be done with ‘actions’ on the newsletter object.

To begin, we are releasing four ‘actions’ to the newsletter endpoint:

/detailcontent
/schedule
/send
/test

Each of these ‘actions’ coupled with the newsletter API endpoint and the newsletter ID execute their respective functions. These new endpoints are as follows:
https://api.mailjet.com/v3/REST/newsletter/:id/detailcontent
https://api.mailjet.com/v3/REST/newsletter/:id/schedule
https://api.mailjet.com/v3/REST/newsletter/:id/send
https://api.mailjet.com/v3/REST/newsletter/:id/test

All you do is substitute the ‘:id’ with the actual numerical ‘:id’ of the newsletter (i.e. http://api.mailjet.com/v3/REST/newsletter/3/detailcontent) and you’re ready to start creating, testing, and sending newsletters!

/detailcontent

Allows you to manage the content of a newsletter — i.e. creating, editing, or attaching the HTML or text part of it. You can create, update, view, and delete any content you make for a particular newsletter before sending it out. To do so, simply attach the content in a JSON packet in the body.

Sample code
Methods allowed
POST, GET, PUT, DELETE

Create Newsletter Content
To manage the newsletter content, perform a POST request with the ‘Text-part’ and ‘Html-part’ in a JSON structure. Keep in mind, if a POST request is done and one of the two aforementioned parameters is missing, it will delete the respective missing parameter for the particular newsletter you are manipulating. Use a PUT (see below) to avoid this — there is no need to first POST content before updating, since only HTML or text are required.

Get Newsletter Content
To see the newsletter content, perform a GET request 

This will return the following:

Update Newsletter Content
To update the the ‘Html-part’ or ‘Text-part’ of a newsletter, perform a PUT request with either the ‘Html-part’ or the ‘Text-part’. Unlike performing a POST request to this endpoint, if one of these is not included in the JSON structure, it will not be deleted. This allows for partial updates of newsletter content.

Delete Newsletter Content

/schedule

Allows you to schedule when the newsletter will be sent out. To schedule, simply attach the ISO 8601 date you wish the newsletter to be sent out at in a JSON packet in the body. You can also use “NOW” instead of a timestamp to send immediately. In that case, you can also use the send method, described below.

Before allowing the ‘/schedule’ method to go through, the API will check that all the pertinent newsletter information has already been created — sender email, sender name, subject, contactlist, newsletter status, and HTML/text. If one of these is missing, the API will throw an error your way for you to correct and try again.

Sample code

Methods allowed
POST, DELETE

Schedule a Newsletter
To schedule a newsletter, perform a POST request with the ISO 8601 date you wish to send it out at:

Cancel a Newsletter
To cancel the sending of a newsletter, perform a DELETE:

/send

Allows you to send the newsletter. This API call is equivalent to using, as mentioned earlier, “NOW” as the timestamp in the ‘/schedule’ action endpoint.

Similar to ‘/schedule’, before allowing the ‘/send’ method to go through, the API will check that all pertinent newsletter information has already been created — sender email, sender name, subject, contactlist, newsletter status, and HTML/text. If one of these is missing, the API will throw an error your way for you to correct and try again.

Sample code

Methods allowed
POST

Send a Newsletter Now
To send a newsletter immediately, perform a POST request:


/test

Allows you to test send the newsletter to an email address. This is to make sure you’ve “dotted all of the ‘i’s and crossed all of the ‘t’s” before sending your newsletter to the masses. To do so, simply add the name and email of the intended test email recipient in a JSON packet in the body.

Similar to ‘/schedule’ and ‘/send’, before allowing the ‘/test method to go through, the API will check that all the pertinent newsletter information has already been created for the newsletter — sender email, sender name, subject, newsletter status, and HTML/text. If one of these is missing, the API will throw an error your way for you to correct and try again.

Sample code

Methods allowed
POST

Send a Test
To send a test newsletter, issue a POST request:

Documentation
You can check out all of the new additions to our ‘/newsletter’ documentation here.

FAQ

I already have “creating” and “sending” implemented via the API. What does this mean for me? Do I have to recode some software?

No, but you’re more than welcome to check out and implement our new ‘action’ endpoints. Most importantly, you don’t have to change any of your currently working software if you don’t wish to.

I still can’t find my API key and secret key. Where can I find them?
You can find them here: https://app.mailjet.com/account/setup

Nous sommes Charlie

Hi,

As you may have noticed, we have today added a “Je suis Charlie” banner to the top of our website. With it, the Mailjet team wants to express our solidarity with the families and friends of the victims of the attack against the French newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and against freedom of speech. Here, you can support Charlie Hebdo.

Once again, we express our deepest condolences to the families of the victims.

Nous sommes Charlie

The Mailjet team

Is Growth Hacking soon to be dead?

This is a follow-up to Oussama Ammar’s (Co-Founder and Partner at TheFamily) 20 minute talk at BlendWebMix in Lyon, France, on October 30th 2014.

What’s behind this catchy title?

In Oussama’s opinion, Growth Hacking has lost a huge part of it’s efficiency since its techniques have become well known by everyone. What skyrocketed as a trend in the past few years has now become common practice, and is close to be over, so we need to start moving forward. According to Oussama, what does “moving forward” mean? It means giving top priority to customer care and scaling it. For once, the French startup scene can avoid being 5-10 years behind the United States by considering this now.

The previous paragraph is just a short summary of Oussama’s talk. Because I’m really interested in startup ecosystems, I did some more research and asked a few Growth Hackers what they think about the perennity of their work.

 

If you don’t know what Growth Hacking is, I recommend you to read this article before going further.

A trend?

First, let’s check Google Trends on “Growth Hacking”:

growth_hacking_trend

It at least allows us to say that there’s an important growth of this trend since the end of 2012, so 2 years ago.

And if it’s not enough to convince you of the importance of it and the cool image it returns, just check on LinkedIn your relations who used to work in marketing in startups. How many of them proudly display “Growth Hacker” as their current job now? Yes, a lot.

Inversion of the curve?

So this is the moment when we wonder how this kind of metrics could reverse.

First, we can’t deny it, some Growth Hacking methods have lost their initial efficiency because of their popularity.

For example, a classic method for great acquisitions was to post the link of your landing page on Hacker News and ProductHunt plus having an article on TechCrunch when you officially launch your product. It used to give good results, but now that everyone does it, you’ll find way larger lists of new products than before on these websites every day and it becomes more and more difficult to shine (get a lot of upvotes and be in the top products).

Another one: emails. It was a tool acclaimed by Growth Hackers too because they found ways to stand out from traditional emails. Apart from the famous story of Hotmail, there were the emails sent like if it was from the CEO (or at least a real person instead of a bot: say hi to “Émilie Mailjet”!), automatically triggered emails when you didn’t use the product for X time etc … Some great improvements that everyone uses now. Honestly, who truly believes at the end of 2014 that the CEO of the company selling the product they use is directly and personally reaching them? That’s what is killing Growth Hacking.

But Growth Hacking is not soon to be dead

The essence of Growth Hacking is to test and iterate, so it’s a permanent reinvention.

Every startup/product is different, and it will always be possible to find new hacks.

The thing is that it’s all about cycles: a startup will use a new way to get more growth and collect the profits of it until it becomes the standard. Thus, you should really consider how important it is to be the initiator of such manners. That’s why companies like Facebook or Pinterest have some teams dedicated to Growth Hacking with their own engineers, designers and product managers.

What about customer care?

Care is showing customers how important they are, like if you considered them individually and not as a set. It’s obviously great for retention, because happy customers stay, but also for acquisition. Indeed, it acts like a natural referral: happy customers will talk about your product around them and bring new customers to you. Thus, it’s a powerful approach that every startup should really consider as a priority.

How many of you have already bought a product because you’ve seen an ad on a website? And how many of you have already bought a product because a friend recommended it? I guess you understand the impact of customer care now.

But in my opinion, we can’t consider customer care apart from Growth Hacking and we should see it as one of its methods. Customer care is part of the Growth Hacking, and this method is at the beginning of its cycle: it’s not already a standard for startups at all, and companies like Airbnb have taken the lead. At Mailjet, we also have understood that proper support is a key value and offer all our customers a 24/7 support to answer their questions as fast as possible.

In the next months, startups will probably consider it as the new thing to do and make their best to reach an incredible level of customer care, but in the meantime, there will probably have something new allowing one or a few companies to distinguish themselves.

What will it be and which company will take the lead on it? I have no idea. It’s like on Twitter, there are the followings and the followers. Choose your side!

 

Thanks to Youcef Eskouri, Anthony Marnell and Clément Delangue for the precious advice.