Email 101: Growing An Email List Organically

Growing a contact list from scratch can be a pretty a daunting task. It can feel like you’re constantly testing new call-to-actions to collect email addresses, but it only moves the needle slightly, if at all. You’re regularly maintaining your list, but not seeing significant growth. Shortcuts like buying a list of email addresses can become quite tempting. 3000 new contacts with just one click! Don’t give up just yet, though.

In this week’s Email 101, we’ll be reviewing several ways to grow a contact list organically. Following these best practices upholds your brand and sender reputation, ensures higher engagement and ultimately improves deliverability.

Get social

  1. Twitter Lead Gen Card

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Twitter Ads has a series of free cards, the Lead Generation Card being one of them. These cards allow you to easily attach an email sign up box to a regular tweet. We regularly scheduled these cards on our own Twitter account and pin them to the top. You can also use these cards as part of your ad campaign to reach new prospects.

  1. Facebook Business Page Button

 Facebook released a call-to-action function last year that allows you to add a range of buttons to your business page. 

To set up a “Sign Up” link, simply log in to your account and head to your page. At the bottom right corner of the cover photo, you’ll see a button that says “Create call-to-action”. Since we’ve already done this step, our photo below simply says “Sign Up”.

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After clicking on “Create call-to-action”, a pop-up screen will appear with more options on customizing your sign up button.

The next two screens will then allow you to further define the ‘landing page’ across mobile devices. You will be able to choose whether the button directs a customer back to your site or to a mobile app.

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And then you’re all set and ready to collect email addresses!

Think about email sign-ups at every stage

  1. Add widgets to blog posts, white papers, case studies…

At every point of the user experience, you should be keeping email opt-in in mind. At Mailjet, incorporate widgets into a range of content. We include an opt-in at the bottom of each blog post and make sure white papers, as well as on-demand webinars are through sign-up access only. This helped contribute to the over 100% lift we’ve seen in email sign-ups.

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  1. Signing off with an email opt-in

Wisestamp is a great tool for sharpening up your personal email signature. It’s a handy tool that allows you to create an email signature template with a headshot, social handles and website. Be sure to try asking your team to add a link to the email opt-in at the bottom of each email. You never know who may be copied in your next external email chain, it can bring in some good exposure especially for sales.

Incentivize sign ups

  1.  Offer an enticing promotion

This is a strategy a lot of e-commerce businesses typically practice. Drive that first sign up by providing a discount off of the first order. This is especially effective in capturing that wavering customer who wants to purchase a jacket, but it is just a little over budget. Trading an email address for a discount doesn’t seem like too bad an offer. Below is a well designed example from Club Monaco. Despite being a pop-up, the color and font is cohesive with the rest of the homepage experience. Their clean design also makes it fairly easy to sign up.

Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 12.43.38 AM
 

One downside to keep in mind are customers that sign up for the newsletter just for the discount and unsubscribe shortly after. Work to prevent this by keeping your sign ups engaged with a drip welcome campaign. This series of welcome emails shows how your product will continue to add value after that first purchase or action. You can even hand the reigns over to the customer, allowing them to choose what type of content they receive and how often, through an email preference center. This ensures that they will engage at their own convenience.

  1. Show, don’t tell

Social proof can have a very strong pull. According to scientific research, FOMO is a very real thing. Fear of Missing Out is a social anxiety that involves being compulsively concerned about missing out on certain experiences and opportunities. And nearly 63% of consumers say that they are more likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

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Win over your prospects’ trust by highlighting how many of their peers are already happily receiving your content. Web Designer Depot shows a great application of this, with a subscriber count under the opt-in form. A high subscriber count of 353,254 proves that their content is relevant and adds value.


What are some other organic methods have you seen success with? Which of the above will you want to try next?

Mailjet Monday: Julien Tartarin

Happy Monday! This week, we sat down with Founder Julien Tartarin, to talk about the growth of Mailjet over the past 5 years and where he sees the future of email headed.


Julien05 (1)
1) What do you do for Mailjet?

At a very high level, I tackle email pain points on a daily basis, looking for ways Mailjet can make email as simple as possible. I spend a lot of time developing email security and compliance, fighting against spam.

I solve as many problems as possible and transfer as much knowledge as I can. How and why things are designed in a particular way. Basically, I have live documentation role and I oversee technical operations, deliverability, security, compliance.

2) What does a typical day look like for you?

I live my days in real time. No two days are the same in email and we’re always working on something new at Mailjet. I have my ears open to all sorts of feedback, whether it’s what’s happening in production, what customers are saying in support and even what newest tricks spammers and phishers are practicing.

I balance short term and long term vision, making sure the product is running smoothly today but is also structured well to scale and develop over the next few years.

My role has evolved a lot since I first started Mailjet five years ago. We’ve grown to a team of over 50 employees across Europe and the U.S. I continue to recruit team members who bring different skillsets to the table that complement my own. The key is to hire people that are better than you in certain areas so that you can properly delegate tasks and focus where your expertise lies.

3) Favorite Mailjet moment?

There are just too many favorite moments to choose from. Mailjet has grown in some ways I would never imagine when I first started the company. I can break it down into two kinds of favorite moments. The first kind is everything team related, coming in daily and being surrounded by a group of such smart and passionate people is encouraging and motivating. We all have quite a quirky sense of humor, so there’s no shortage of funny moments in HQ and GIF-filled Skype conversations between the offices.

The second type of moment is when we roll out a new update or product that addresses another email pain point. Whether big or small, it’s always rewarding to know that we’ve helped make sending easier. Last year, we rolled out Campaign Comparison, a tool that allows senders to compare their past campaign performance to quickly see at a high level what content drives highest engagement. While comparing past campaign data is not a new concept, our tool made it easier for users to quickly access that data and compare with no additional work on their end.

4) Mailjet recently became a member of M3AAWG. What does this mean and why is this important?

We’re very excited to be an official member of M3AAWG. Fighting against spam is a part of the Mailjet DNA, something that we’ve been doing on our own since Day 1. Being a part of M3AAWG puts an official seal on this mission. M3AAWG is an international organization that brings technology experts and public policy officials together to work towards eradicating messaging abuse.

Being a part of this group will give us the resources to continue fighting spam, keeping us up to date on latest trends, technology, and legislation.

5) Where do you see email marketing going in the next few years?

Email marketing will become more targeted. As big data grows, senders are going to become smarter in what they send and how they communicate. I also see subject line becoming increasingly more important with the rise of third and fourth screens coming into play, like the smart watch. Due to the smaller size of these screens, the subject line will be truncated at times, so senders should start to familiarize themselves with the new formats.

Most importantly, I also foresee a decline of spam over the next few years. As senders and consumers become more educated on best practices, the bar for good content will be set higher and spammers will no longer be able to threaten the inbox experience.

The Must Attend Tech Events of 2015

As a Developer Evangelist, I’m often asked when and where the next coolest event is. My friends and industry peers know that I travel professionally to attend events and keep up to date on latest tech trends. Since the weather is starting to warm up, hackathons and conferences are also back from winter hibernation. Get your business cards ready, because it’s time to attend events again!

I’ve gathered a list of the not-to-be-missed events around the globe in the coming months.

apidays

Locations: Berlin, Germany / San Francisco, California / Sydney, Australia / Barcelona, Spain / Paris, France

Dates: Germany: April 23 – 25 / California: June 17 – 18 / Australia: February 10 – 11 / Spain: May 6 – 7 / France: TBD

As you may have guessed from the name, this international conference is focused on API innovation. They always have a line up of sharp speakers. I went to the event in Paris and the venue was awesome.

At the Paris API Days, there was even a speed hack – a three hour long hackathon! Developers race against the clock to integrate 8 API challenges as quickly as possible.

thenextweb

Locations: Amsterdam, Netherlands /  New York, NY / Sao Paulo, Brazil

Dates: Amsterdam: April 23 – 24, New York: November 18

The Next Web brings together a diverse range of attendees, from specialized developers to tech VCs. This is probably why a lot of companies choose to reveal their latest product announcements at this conference.

The Next Web is also known for their Hack Battle, which they’ve held for the past five years now. Designers and developers from around the world gather to hack for 36 hours.

techcrunch

Location: New York, NY

Dates: May 2-6

The trifecta: a good mix of hackathon, conference and startup pitches. Techcrunch Disrupt is an annual event brings in some big vendors and guest speakers. The mega conference first kicks off over the weekend with the hackathon, then moves into Startup Battlefield during the conference, where 30 companies battle it off in front of a panel of expert judges to take home the Disrupt Cup.

We attended last year and sponsored an API contest and raffled off a Parrot drone.

collision

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Dates: May 5 – 6

Held in Downtown Vegas, Collision is structured in a manner that’s very conducive to building organic relationships. Created by Tony Hsieh, Founder of Zappos, the heart of Collision is all about “serendipitous encounters”. He has said that he himself spends an estimated “1000 collisionable hours” in Downtown each year. Hsieh’s belief is that the key to success is having these serendipitous meetings.

Our marketing team attended the conference last year and had a blast exploring the downtown area – they also met quite a few fellow European startups.

twiliosignal

Location: San Francisco, California

Dates: May 19 – 20

A great conference with thought leadership on software and cloud communication. This year’s speaker line up includes Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup and Dr. Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon among many others.

They also have a solid lineup of after parties, with the most notable one being $BASH. The description on their homepage says “It’s Coney Island for coders. Solve challenges, collect tickets, and score swag with better food and fewer frightening clowns.”

dotconference

Location: Paris, France

Dates: Various dates from June 8th through December 7th

Their tagline is “Tech conferences, reinvented”. What’s unique about the Dot conferences is that it’s actually broken into 6 parallel sessions, ranging from programming languages and tech topics. The six different conferences include  DotScale, DotJS, DotSwift, DotGo and DotCSS and DotRB.

They also have a great speaker round-up, last year the creator of JS was part of the line-up.

awsreinvent

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Dates: October 6 – 9

AWS re:Invent is a full immersion in cloud technology, with AWS boot camps and hackathons. They open the event to both customers and non-customers, so it’s a great way to get your hands on AWS if you haven’t before. For those with more advanced questions, there are also Q&A sessions with the engineering experts that built the AWS Cloud.

I’ve also heard lots of good things about their After Hours Events, I mean it’s in Vegas after all! AWS re:Invent is an excellent opportunity to improve your skills (and get AWS Certified) but to also network with a targeted group of fellow developers also interested in AWS.

websummit

Location: Dublin, Ireland

Dates: November 3 – 5

WebSummit is a massive conference of 23,000 attendees. Not only is there a great variety of startup attendees, but there is a packed schedule of after parties every night. It’s the perfect venue for networking in Dublin.

Speaking of variety, there are also loads of talks that take place simultaneously throughout the day, so you’re bound to find something that fits your interests at all times.

leweb

Location: Paris, France

Dates: December 9 – 11

LeWeb is arguably the most well-known French conference across the world,

Founded by Loic Le Meur, a serial entrepreneur based in San Francisco, LeWeb  brings in almost 4,000 participants from 80 countries each year. This year, they will be hosting a Pop-Up Lab for the very first time. Curated by Makery, the program will talk about how the makers’ ecosystem is changing up the traditional business model.

Tickets can get pretty steep, so I would recommend grabbing early bird tickets sooner than later!

 

What are some events we might have missed? Are you attending any of the above? Be sure to say hi to the Mailjet crew!

Email 101: What Is An SMTP Relay And Why Do We Use It?

SMTP. It stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. But to many of us it’s far from simple, it’s another vaguely understood jargon phrase (I know it was for me before I joined Mailjet). SMTP is actually part of a technology many of you are using today on a regular basis.

What is an SMTP Relay?

An SMTP relay is a protocol that allows email to be transmitted through the internet, collecting email from the sender and delivering it to the recipient’s local post office, another SMTP server.

It was first created in 1982 and continues to be the internet standard that is widely used today.

To break this down a bit more, let’s imagine the journey that your normal snail mail may take to get to its destination:

 

snail mail

Sending through an SMTP server with an email service provider

So what does this protocol look like when it comes to an email service provider like Mailjet? Businesses that need to send mass email to their customers use SMTP relay for ease of maintenance and added analytics insights.

Sending through an email service provider, like Mailjet, via an SMTP relay saves companies from having to run their own mail server. As you can see in the diagram below, the business or sender creates the email and their server sends it to Mailjet’s SMTP server to prepare and send it out to recipients.

smtp (4)

A majority of webmail providers (i.e. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc) put a limit on how many you can send to different recipients per day to combat spam. As businesses would often exceed this limit, they will require the services of an enterprise level email sending platform. An SMTP relay provider can help businesses and organizations deliver large volumes of email without getting them mislabeled as SPAM.

Email service providers like Mailjet, invest a lot of resources into building their own email infrastructure to handle large volume loads and work closely with the major internet service providers and webmail providers to deliver these emails straight to the recipients inbox.

 

Behind the SMTP server scenes tracking

There’s an added layer of value to sending through an email service provider. With Mailjet, before our SMTP servers send an email, our system automatically adds link trackers in the body of your message. This then allows you as the user to properly track opens and clicks after an email has been received.

Mailjet also translates feedback from ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL etc.), since each one communicates in its own way. Our service saves developers time by converting this into an easily identifiable response, displaying whether an email has either soft bounced or hard bounced.

A soft bounce would be if the receiving server was down or full, a hard bounce is if the recipient’s email address is no longer active or mistyped.

Ultimately, SMTP relay makes our lives as marketers much simpler, by handling all of the heavy lifting in the backend so that we can spend more time crafting content and building out our contact lists.

 

3 Ways to Optimize the Frequency of Your Emails

It’s a fine line to tread, emailing your customers too much will cause fatigue, but messaging too little will cause them to forget you altogether. Email frequency can affect important metrics such as open rates, click throughs and most importantly unsubscribe rate. But before you throw in the towel thinking that optimal email frequency is like pulling a rabbit out of a magician’s hat, know that there are a few tricks of the trade you can practice to find a happy balance.

kissmetrics

There’s a number of things to look at when optimising the frequency of your emails. Let’s have a look at the attributes which you need to pay attention to and how to learn what frequency works best for you.

 

First things first, what’s your business?

Learning from your industry peers is one of the easiest ways to judge how often you should be sending email. For example, if you’re a publication or blogger, you might want to look into send more frequently, like on a weekly basis because your product is new content that is most likely generated on a regular basis. Summarizing and notifying your readers via email will make it easier for your audience to stay engaged.

If you’re selling gardening equipment, then a monthly newsletter with ad-hoc sales and update emails may be more suitable.

frequency graph

I ran a short survey aimed at a few dozen marketers from different industries to see if there’s a pattern based on industries. The results showed that each industry has a different optimal frequency.

 

Check your calendar

As a user I’m sure you’ve noticed that you will get a higher number of promotion emails landing in your inbox during major holiday seasons. Setting up a calendar to map out your email campaigns and recording the results throughout the year is a good way to plan ahead.

It’s not just the major holiday periods which you need to think about, but also significant events within your industry. For example, if your demographic includes mainly university students, find out and highlight the periods when they’re starting their new semesters, when they might have time off and when they might be graduating and tailor your content and frequency accordingly.

Email marketing is changing the face of modern political campaigns. From Obama’s 2012 imfamous digital campaign where through email marketing alone, his team managed to collect $690,000 in donations. To UK’s 2015 general election where a London home-county constituency has ramped up their email marketing to their 10,000 strong organic contact list, now sending up to 3 email campaigns a week (from 1 a week); where they’re actually seeing a rise in their open rates. (A constituency consists of roughly 70,000 residents)

 

Segment your data and test

One way to make sure you’re hitting the email frequency sweet spot is by splitting up your contact list through segmentation. Try building this option in when the user is first signing up for emails, so they can choose how often they want to receive communication or which types of emails they’d like to receive. Also implement this on your unsubscribe page.

unsubscribe preference

The second way to segment your data is by seeing how users engage with your emails. Users who tend to open your emails and take action consecutively are the ones who you would want to send your emails to more frequently.

Cater content and frequency to each user’s level of engagement. Send them emails less often and look to provide specific content that may engage them again. If they’re not engaging (especially opening) for around 6 months, then it might be time to say goodbye to them.

Ultimately there’s no one-sized-fits-all solution, our best advice is to test, test, test. Find out the significant and holiday periods and plan your email frequency ahead of time. Segment your data based on user preference and interaction with your emails.

Keeping a close eye on the open rates, click rates and unsubscribes, find out how often your customers want to hear from you and which type of email.

 

Have you tried any of the above techniques? What has worked best for you?

 

 

Giving Drupal Email A Boost With Mailjet

Hey Mailjetters, we’ve got yet another exciting announcement to make! Both Mailjet and Drupal are all about making the online experience easier. That’s why we’re pumped to announce today the release of our new Drupal module.

Drupal site owners will now be able to send, deliver and track marketing and transactional emails directly from within their Drupal admin. Sending through Mailjet’s powerful SMTP relay means enhanced deliverability and powerful features such as personalization, segmentation, a WYSIWYG newsletter editor. An integrated dashboard will display real-time email statistics with all of the key performance metrics to help grow your business such as opens, clicks, average time to click, geography and unsubscriptions.

And for Drupal Commerce users, get ready for this. We’ve got a special surprise for you!  That’s right, on top of all the fancy stuff we announced above, you can also track the sales and revenue each of your marketing campaigns generates for you. Oh, and we’re not done yet. You’ll also be able to send triggered emails like abandon cart, purchase anniversary promotions and more  with just a few clicks. Booyah!

Check out the screenshots below to see how our module looks within Drupal:

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To install Mailjet in your Drupal site, access the module at https://www.drupal.org/project/mailjet. Additionally, Mailjet is installed natively within Commerce Kickstart 2.

This module is approved by Mailjet and maintained by Commerce Guys, experts in Drupal and leaders in Drupal Commerce.

As always, we love to hear from you! Any and all feedback is welcome. Drop us a message at plugins@mailjet.com with any questions you may have, feedback on the integration or just to say hi.   Happy emailing.

*This version of the Mailjet Drupal Module is only compatible with Mailjet v3 users. If you are a v1 user (any account created before April 2014 is most likely a v1 user), please request to have your account migrated via https://www.mailjet.com/support/ticket.

Email Inactives: It Doesn’t Have to End In a Painful Breakup

In many ways, your contact list is a long-term romantic relationship. Both parties, you and your customers, get to know the ins and outs of your respective personalities. Contacts first sign up because they’re attracted to your content and trust that your offer is relevant and provides value. It’s love at first sight.  But let’s face it, it’s also hard work. This long term relationship with your customers requires upholding this trust and communication – it doesn’t always work out in the end.

Be more like Ryan Gosling
 

A key factor in maintaining this relationship is two-way conversation, not only sending your customers campaigns with the latest news but also listening to how they respond through opens and clicks. Unfortunately times change, people change. So it’s important that you notice the signs of a contact starting to drift off or lose interest in you. You have to know when it’s time to have “the talk”.

Even the best of relationships go through highs and lows, just like how despite all your best efforts there are customers that will become disengaged with your content for various reasons.

In this blog post we’ll show you how to identify email inactives and different approaches that can help save you steer clear of a teary and emotional breakup.

Who is an inactive?

The first thing you want to determine is how you define an inactive contact. While the word itself is quite self explanatory, it depends on the nature of your business, how often you send and how long you’ve been sending for. If you’ve only sent a few campaigns, it might be too early to draw conclusions. Analyze the results of the campaigns you’ve sent over the past 6-12 months and try to identify contacts that have not opened your email in that period. If you send a lot of email campaigns, say 3 per week, you might want to wait less than 6 months before looking for contact inactivity.

 

What to do with them

Now that you have identified your  inactives, you want to separate them from your list of active contacts. By doing so, their inactivity and thereby bad stats will no longer affect your overall campaign KPIs. Don’t jump to remove them from your list though. They might not be reacting to the campaigns you send them, but you still have a chance to win them back. Or at the very least, understand why these contacts aren’t responding to the messages you’re sending them.

 So instead of abandoning your inactives, create a separate list for them, which you can use to re-engage and win back these contacts.

 

Time to win their hearts back

With your email inactive contacts on their own list, it’s time to bring out the re-engagement tactics and win back their hearts. Here are a few approaches you can take to understand why your inactives aren’t responding to your messages and turn that around:

  • Tell them how you feel

As difficult it might be to accept, your contacts might have forgotten about you or why they signed up for your newsletter in the first place. The value of opening and reading your messages in no longer clear to them. You need to remind them that you haven’t forgotten about your relationships, how much you miss them and convince them to come back.

It's okay to show some emotions
There are several approaches to this “win back” email, depending on your business. If you’re running an online shop, you can send your idle customers a special discount code. Or if you run a blog, send them a recap of the top blog posts from the past month. The key here is to focus on something that has value to them that they may have forgotten about.

Make sure to use a catchy subject line to increase the chances of your contacts opening your email so the message gets across.

Examples

Sephora

A great win-back email from Sephora
Crocs

 

A great email from Crocs

 

  • We need to talk

The simplest way to understand why your contacts are inactive is by asking them. And a way to do this is to simply send them an email and give them the opportunity to share their thoughts.

A good approach here is to be personal in your email instead of blasting out the same, generic message to everyone. Write the email in a tone and language that is sincere and be clear about why you’re asking for their input. Make it clear that you’re doing this to understand their inactivity in order to improve their email experience.

I might be useful to offer your contacts something in return for their input. Raffle a prize or give them a discount as a thank you for filling out your feedback survey or sending you feedback. And make sure to tell them this in your subject line, so they know that there is an incentive for them to take action.

 Examples:

Quora

 

Quora gets personal in this email
fiverr

Fiverr asks for feedback in this email
 

  • Sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be

If all of your re-engagement efforts fall short, there might only be one more thing to do: opt-out the contacts. If you get no response to your attempts of reminding them why they should read your email and respond to your messages, they simply might not be interested. And if that’s the case, it’s probably time to move on and opt them out of your contact list.

The truth hurts
A great way to notify them is by sending an emailing to let them know they have been removed from your list. This gives you the opportunity to show that you’re actually paying attention to and care about how they respond to your email.

It can be a good idea to leave them with an easy way to opt back in, in case they change their mind.

Examples:

Fab

Fab knows when it's time to say goodbye
Blinkist

Break-up email from Blinkist
Dell

Sometimes an open relationship can work
 

Inactives can be a real threat to the success of your email campaigns. But if you notice the signs and listen to what your significant other has to say, there are several ways for you to take action and try to save the relationship. Always try understand the reason why your contacts are becoming inactive and try to provide a solution for them to stick around. But also know when it’s time to let go – because sometimes you have to realize that maybe they’re just not that into you… Continue reading “Email Inactives: It Doesn’t Have to End In a Painful Breakup”

Mastering Responsive Email Design Across The Most Popular Clients

Remember those Cracker Jack boxes you had as a child? Not knowing what toy you’d find at the bottom was a huge incentive to opening and consuming the box all in one sitting. While the element of surprise was exciting back then, it doesn’t translate quite as well to email marketing.

Don’t leave it up to chance whether the GIF in your latest newsletter will render for one customer and not another. Given that each email client has slightly different temperaments, we’ve broken down the most popular email clients and how to ensure responsive design for each.

litmus email client growth

Major Email Clients

While there are a lot of email clients out there, the top 5 most used clients have a combined market share of 73%. Once you have these few locked down, you’ll be well on your way to more responsive email. This observation is taken from Litmus, when they checked 1 Billion emails in March 2015. In this post we’ll concentrate on these 5 major email clients:

  • Apple iPhone – 28%
  • Gmail – 17%
  • Apple iPad – 12%
  • Outlook – 8%
  • Apple Mail – 8%

 

Why is responsive email important?

As mentioned earlier, mobile email clients are the main tool we use for opening our emails. To make sure that our emails render properly on mobiles and specifically latest iPhone models, we need to think responsive. A responsive email is one that changes its shape and size to be displayed properly based on the device’s screen size. There are some great tutorials online for us less savvy HTMLers, that teach simple techniques on creating responsive emails.

To style and format our emails, traditionally we tend to use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), just like they do in web design. We can use CSS to create mobile-friendly email templates, but there’s one issue. Gmail and some other email clients doesn’t really like CSS and can strip off your <style> tags, ruining how your emails look.

 

How can I design my emails so it looks good on all clients?

By now, you might be scratching your head about what technique to use so your emails look good on all major platforms. Here are some tips to help you out:

Apple iPhone – When designing emails to render properly on iPhones, especially the latest iPhone 6 models, pay close attention to your email width. Designing your emails with the screen size in mind is key here. To make sure we display our emails correctly on all mobile devices, use @media queries to tell your email to adjust to device’s screen size.

Gmail – As touched on earlier, Gmail is not a fan of CSS, so in order to render properly on mobiles AND Gmail we need place the most important styles Inline. Here is a quick demonstration by Litmus, showing how you can do this.

This is how your CSS would look like embedded on top of your email.

<html>
<head>
<meta
charset=utf-8>
<style type=text/css>
.ReadMsgBody {width: 100%;}
.ExternalClass {width: 100%;}
</style>
</head>
</html>

This is how you would want your CSS to look like, when it’s Inline.

<span style=“font-size: 22px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; color: #222222;” >Hello!</span>

Apple iPad – Here we use a very similar technique to optimizing emails for mobiles. By looking at your campaign reports you can see what model and device your customers use to open your emails. Use the dimension of the popular devices and @media query to make sure your emails render correctly for iPads or any other tablet your customers use most.

Outlook – Outlook is one of the longest running email clients, dating back to 1997. Since then it has gone through a lot of changes, especially in 2007. Outlook 2003 used Internet Explorer to render emails, however the next release, they started using Microsoft Word for rendering. As now Word renders emails in Outlook, there are lots of CSS properties that Outlook doesn’t recognize. There are some useful articles that detail what to look out for, however the main take away should be that: in order for your emails to render properly in Outlook, Inline your CSS instead of having them in the header. You can use some free tools to Inline your CSS easily.

Apple Mail – Webkit rendering engine is used in Apple Mail to render emails. Webkit is used to power browsers such as Google Chrome and Apple Safari and Apple Mail is known to be one of the most robust, mainstream email clients. You will rarely run into issues with rendering on Apple Mail.

How do I keep all email clients happy?

One thing you have to remember, you won’t be able to have your emails render 100% on all clients without spending hours designing and testing. Find out the top 2 or 3 / top 80% of clients used by your customers and design your emails for them.

To avoid duplicating your efforts, create a few email templates which you can edit and reuse easily for regular campaigns.

And finally, you might be seeing a trend in my blog posts by now, test, test and test some more. Once you create those email templates, make sure you test them on different platforms and devices to ensure they’re optimized for your customers!

 

Boosting the Bottom Line with Mailjet + PrestaShop

Attention all Mailjetters, we have a very exciting announcement to make: Mailjet has just released it’s most comprehensive eCommerce integration to date! The new Mailjet PrestaShop email add-on will allow PrestaShop merchants to boost their deliverability and bottom line with just a few clicks.

PrestaShop is an industry leader in open source solutions for ecommerce. PrestaShop powers over 200,000 stores, enabling merchants to create unique online experiences through a comprehensive and easy-to-navigate platform. The Mailjet add-on will allow online sellers to create, send and deliver targeted transactional and marketing email campaigns straight from within their seller account. PrestaShop merchants will be able to maximize client engagement and revenue generation via Mailjet’s optimized email deliverability infrastructure.

Additional Mailjet features include personalization, advanced segmentation, triggered marketing campaigns as well as advanced statistics that go beyond opens and clicks and provide net sales and revenue from each marketing campaign. Online merchants will be able to increase brand loyalty, relevance and revenue via personalized triggered marketing emails as well as view real-time engagement and sales figures for each marketing newsletter.

To access the Mailjet module,  head over to our GitHub, or check out the PrestaShop Add-ons Marketplace.

As always, we love to hear from you! Any and all  feedback is welcome. Drop us a message at plugins@mailjet.com and let us know what you think of the integration, any questions you may have or just to say hi. Happy emailing.

*This version of Mailjet’s add-on is compatible with only Mailjet v3 users. If you are a v1 user (if you created your account before April 2014 you may be a V1 user), please request to have your account migrated via https://www.mailjet.com/support/ticket.

Email Marketing 101: Email Design

Beneath improving deliverability and behavioral targeting, you have the skeleton of an email marketing program. No matter where you are in the building process, whether you’re just starting out or well on your way, the fundamentals are always crucial to building a sustainable email strategy. This is why we’ve put together an Email Marketing 101 series, a crash course on all that you need to have in place to build winning campaigns. Over the next few weeks, we will be releasing these posts on a weekly basis, starting with today’s lesson on newsletter design.

There are 5 main things to consider when designing an email:

 

Content Is King: Think about content before anything else

The first and main thing to consider when putting a newsletter template together is content. Is it relevant to your audience? Is it engaging enough? Does it follow your brand guidelines? Keep your content brief and to the point as you only have the reader’s attention for a small amount of time.

How: Use images on top of your email to capture the reader’s attention, followed by brief text and a clear call to action.

firezza email

[Here’s an example of this in practice by ‘Firezza’, an amazing pizza delivery company]

 

First Impressions Matter: Decide on your Subject Line and From Name

We recently talked about how just as the saying goes, first impressions really do matter when it comes to the subject line. 35% of recipients open emails based on subject line alone. So firstly start thinking about your ‘From Name’. Don’t necessarily just use your company name or your department name. If your email is the vault and the content inside is the treasure, your subject line is the key to that vault.

How: Know your audience, personalize and A/B test to find the best subject lines for your users.

 

Keep It Simple: You don’t want to over do it

Give your newsletters a set structure, for example one feature area and 2 smaller columns below. Don’t cram your email with too much information as it won’t  be appealing to the reader. Provide plenty of white space and keep your newsletter simple and neat. Try and keep a similar format your newsletters as users come to expect the same look and feel over time.

How: To have your email render on various devices, be mindful of your email size. Ideal width is between 500 – 680 px. Smart Insight’s handy  infographic sums up a range of email design best practices to follow.

 

Think About Your Colors: Different genders respond differently to colours

As we discovered in a previous post, each gender responds uniquely to different colors. Be mindful of which hues you choose for your images, background color, font and call to action buttons. After making sure that you’re keeping true to your brand identity, think about your audience. Using specific colours based on your demographic, you can improve your results and ultimately ROI.

How: The more you know your customers, the better you can tailor your emails. To gather information from your existing customers, try running surveys as part of a raffle or competition. You’ll find most users are willing to spend two minutes to tell you about themselves for a chance to win something they want.

 

Don’t Be Pushy: Be modest when it comes to your call-to-action buttons

If you want your users to take action through your emails, don’t be too pushy with your call-to-action buttons. Imagine your call-to-action button is a sales assistant in a shop. Are you likely to trust one that’s being pushy, trying to get you to try on a pair shoes or buy a specific blouse? Or do you trust the one where they’re informational, subtle, yet suggestive? Same applies here.

First start with a main call-to-action and modestly place it after the main content of your email or as a link within your textual content. If you have to add more than one call to action button, place this to the right or lower than the main call to action and make it slightly less obvious.

How: Think about the placement of your CTA (call-to-action). Through studies we can see that CTAs placed at the bottom of the email ramp up higher click rates than on the right or left of the email. Also make sure it has relevant text. For example you may find emails sent to a certain demographic may prefer ‘Purchase Now’ to ‘Buy Now’. Research, test and compare your campaigns to improve your call-to-actions.

netflix better call saul

For me, this email design ticks all the boxes. It uses personalization in the subject line to get me to open it and uses a catchy image on top of the email to get me hooked. The content is based on Netflix knowing I’m interested in anything ‘Breaking Bad’ related and follows the same color scheme as the Netflix dashboard. Finally has effective and not too pushy call-to-action buttons.

Use the five points mentioned in this post as a check-list when designing your newsletter template. Then try sending out your emails and noting the results. Tweak your design and repeat before settling on the ideal design for your customers.

What are some newsletter designs that you admire as a consumer? Which of the above tips will you be trying out first?