2015: This Past Year in Email Marketing

Can you believe it? There’s only a few more days left in the year. Time sure does fly by when you’re having fun. The Mailjet team’s spent the last week looking back on all that we’ve accomplished the past year – the projects we’ve completed, the products we’ve pushed, the places and people we’ve met.

Among the wins we’ve been looking at for 2015, we also wanted to give you a big pat on the back for all the awesome email campaigns you’ve whipped up this year. Globally, you guys sent a whopping 41% more email this year than in 2014. Let’s take a look at a roundup of other stats from this past year – so you can weigh in on how you measured up globally:

mailjet infographic

 

Mailjet’s New JAVA and PHP Clients Make Integration Easy For All

We’re so excited to share that we recently launched a new version of our JAVA and PHP API clients. This new update allows developers to fetch data directly from the API with a lighter internal code-style. We wanted all users – experts and beginners to be able to easily pick up the wrapper internals and contribute or change the code to fit their needs.  

We’ve also integrated Travis in both wrappers for unit tests, It’s an automated test runner for our git repositories, so you can confidently make pull requests without breaking the existing implementation, stay up-to-date with wrapper states and also make sure you are working with a stable version of the API Client.

Why we decided to iterate on our first version

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 12.32.05 PM
Our original Java wrapper was a little complex for beginners to pick up. For example, getting a Campaign resource in Java was pretty lengthy:

Now, we’ve scaled this process down to only two lines of code, making it more accessible for all:  
Leveraging the Open Source community was also one of our goals. of this new update. We used the Google Http Client Library via a Java community project, and the well known Guzzle Http library for PHP. This will ensure our API client will be available on Google Cloud services, is maintained by the community, and focuses on simplicity.

For example, here’s how you would get a contact in Java:

And PHP:  
We love our developer community and encourage you guys to contribute as much as you want! We already go a lot of interest from the Github community and some amazing contributions on both wrappers, and we will be happy to review your work!

We also wanted to give beginners, students and Hackathon attendees a way to quickly send email without having to worry about anything else than their application rather than the email itself:

In Java, sending an email can be performed through the MJEasyClient class.

In PHP, it’s almost the same:  

 

What does this all mean?

On the internals, both PHP and Java now have a much simpler, more consistent code that’ll make it easier for you, our community to contribute and work together in. With this new update, our wrappers are now designed with the most popular guidelines in the industry. For example, we used namespaces, autoload and PSR style guide for PHP. It also means you’ll be able to get the clients and their dependencies with popular dependency managers such as Composer in PHP and Maven in Java. We can’t wait to see what you build with the updated clients!

To learn more about the new PHP and Java clients, hop over to our Github pages here and here.

Ask An Email Marketer: How do I leverage this busy season to build up my contact list?

 

From now through the end of 2015, we’ll be collecting your most burning email questions on strategy, deliverability, design and more through our Holiday Email Toolkit. Each week, we’ll draw one question to feature here on the blog. Want your question answered in our next Ask An Email Marketer? Head on over to submit it on our Holiday Email Toolkit.

Another great point to be thinking about during the holidays – contact list growth. As you ramp up your content and outreach efforts, you have many more touch points to collect new email sign ups. Here are a few ways to hack your list growth.

Building opt-in forms into existing content

To start, make sure you’ve got an opt-in widget embedded on all relevant landing pages, case studies and blog posts. Mailjet has a handy widget tool that can be customized through a drag-and-drop editor with little-to-no-coding. It also lets you automatically sync your new sign ups to your existing contact list(s). You can also build an opt-in form into an exit-intent pop-up through a service like Optimonk, to capture emails right before customers leave so you can keep in touch.

Linking email and social

This one’s always fun to experiment with. Consider running social media contests with a checkbox that allows entrants to stay up-to-date through email. Another handy tool is Twitter’s Lead Gen Card, which looks like a regular tweet but with a simple opt-in form right beneath. We love it because it’s short and sweet and not disrupting to the day-to-day user experience. Learn more about integrating email and social by hopping over to this previous blog post we wrote.

IRL (in real life)

Last but certainly not least, don’t discount offline interactions! Whether it’s at the point-of-sale (POS) in your brick-and-mortar location, or at a holiday conference, connecting offline can sometimes be a powerful way to win trust and collect email addresses. Just be sure to collect explicit consent and to follow the best practice of sending a double opt-in email to ensure the addresses you’re collecting are correct.

Which of these strategies have you tested out before? Which are you most excited to use this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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

 

Say What? Email Has A Carbon Footprint?

With the UN Climate Conference (COP21) having recently wrapped up in Paris, it reminds us how much global warming remains a growing threat. In fact, 2014 was the hottest year on record and 14 out of the 15 warmest years in history happened within the 21st century.

More than 100 world leaders attended the conference to discuss international solutions towards limiting climate change, but how can we, the tech industry, also join in on the action?

Although we don’t use as much paper and plastic, the digital world – email especially – still uses energy. Between   powering servers and parts used to build hardware, ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) can also use a lot of energy.

It’s strange to think that even though you’ve replaced direct mail with electronic mail, you’re still leaving a carbon footprint, right? Let’s think about it this way – email isn’t simply sent from one computer to another. There’s quite a lot more that goes on behind the scenes. And each of these touchpoints require an energy source to power it. McAfee’s 2009 report on spam’s carbon footprint that a legitimate email emits on average 4 grams of CO2.

Supply servers

Email goes through a number of servers, SMTP, DNS and a number of routers. Newer servers – newer data centers consume less energy. For example, more data centers are now using air cooling and water cooling as a more green alternative to using air conditioning to keep their servers cool. Air conditioning emits pollutants whereas air and water cooling work in a loop and are more energy efficient.

Size

You know how daily calorie intake is calculated? Typically, if you search this up online or talk to a dietician they ask for your weight, height and daily physical activity. The larger your build or the greater your activity, the more energy you exert and the more food you need to consume to power your body. The same goes for email. The larger the size of the email, the more energy it consumes. In fact, an email with a large attachment (anything over one MB) emits an average of 50 grams of CO2. That’s approximately ⅓ the carbon footprint of a can of Coca-Cola.

Canning spam

You’re probably thinking – “But wait, what about spam? How does that fit in the picture? Is all of this unwanted mail emitting a lot of CO2”? Spam filters are built to not only efficiently direct these unsolicited messages to your spam folder, but also so that each spam email only emits 0.3 grams of CO2.

Social footprint

Email is a fairly green communication channel when compared to social mediums like Facebook and Twitter.The average Facebook user emits 269 grams of CO2 per year, just browsing for personal use. Each tweet emits around 0.02 grams of CO2, which is fairly low but keep in mind Twitter sees 250 million daily tweets from its 130-140 million (estimated) active user base each day. To put all of this in perspective, car manufacturers  have succeeded in limiting the average automobile’s CO2 emissions to around 129 grams per mile. When you breathe, you emit an average of 50 grams of CO2 per hour. That means the amount of CO2 you emit from an average day of browsing Facebook is equivalent to the amount you emit from simply breathing for five hours! Crazy to think about, right?

Ultimately these are average global figures, which means your own carbon footprint today can be significantly lower or higher.  

As we mentioned earlier, the energy sources that power the servers and data centers your email is routed through can heavily impact the amount of CO2 your messages emit. For example, Google heavily promotes the greenness of its services (such as Gmail). Google promises that the cloud structure, is a more environmentally friendly solution than local hosting because it shares facilities between several entities. On top of that, Google uses renewable energy to run these solutions whereas there ar many companies that still power their solutions off of  fossil fuel sourced energy such as coal, gas and petrol.

There are many steps you can take to start reducing your email’s carbon footprint today. First, you can reduce the size of your messages by compressing the size of any images, using tools such as Photofiltre to lower their resolution or by avoiding large HTML elements. Also,  make sure that the energy used to send your email is put to good use! Following email best practices such as getting permission before sending to our contacts and regularly cleaning and maintaining lists. Finally, if your contacts unsubscribe, remove them from your lists as soon as possible.


Overall, email proves to be a pretty green communication channel to send through. But, by paying attention to how we send and by following best practices, we can make sure we do our part to make it even more environmentally friendly.

Flight School Friday: Tracking Conversion With Mailjet + Google Analytics

The world of web analytics can be a pretty daunting place. It can often feel like your digital marketing efforts are being sucked into a black hole because you can’t track or find the right data to measure success. But it doesn’t have to be a frustrating or extremely technical process, though! If you aren’t already, start by defining and tracking your conversion goals using Google Analytics and your Mailjet dashboard.

Chances are though that you’ve currently got a  Google Analytics set up or have worked with it in the past. There’s so much more you can pull from your account than just unique pageviews. You have event tracking, conversion goals, success events, profiles, filters and multi-channel funnels, to name a few.

Have you ever wanted to track which email contacts became customers? Which call-to-actions drove them to land on certain pages? How long they spent on your website? Which types of email campaigns are the highest converting?

This Flight School Friday, we’ll be concentrating on setting goals and tracking conversion with Mailjet and Google Analytics. Be sure to collect all the credit you deserve by setting goals in Google Analytics before you hit send and seeing how they perform post-campaign.

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet’s Holiday Email Toolkit.

Setting up conversion goals in Google Analytics

The first step is to determine what a conversion means for you. Depending on your business, a conversion can really range from a variety of things – it can be anything from a sale to a white paper download. If you’re new to this, check out our five steps to finding email marketing goals.

Here are four areas you can set goals for when it comes to tracking your visitors.   

  1. URL Destination – This one’s quite self-explanatory. If a user visits a specific landing page after taking an action, you can then use that URL as goal conversion. Meaning when a user reaches a specific URL then you have reached your goal.

Example: You’ve sent an email announcing a new partnership. You want to track how many users click-through on your email’s main call-to-action and land on the partnership landing page.

  1. Visit Duration – Here you can track how long visitors from specific campaigns spend on any individual page. This is quite key if you have a content rich website like a blog, so you can track your readership.

Example: You’re curious to see what is driving your customers to your blog. Is it because you write enticing call-to-actions? Are your blog posts actually informative and engaging? You decide to track visit duration on your blog to see how long readers are staying and how much content they’re consuming.

  1. Pages Per Visit – Setting up this goal you track how many pages each visitor goes through on your website after landing from individual campaigns.

Example: Gauging how effective your website’s user-flow by encouraging visitors to browse your website further. Set a goal of tracking users who browse more than 4 pages on your website and see what percentage of visitors convert through this goal.

  1. Event – Event tracking is probably the most powerful attribute for tracking your users. With Google Analytics Event tracking you can identify individual actions by users.  

Example:  You can track such metrics as: downloads, customer sign-up, video views and clicks on specific buttons. If you’re generating revenue through your website then this one’s a must!

You can have up to 20 goals per Google Analytics profile (4 goal sets, and 5 goals per set). Here’s a brief step by step guide on how to set up these goals on Google Analytics.

Below’s an example of a setting I created to track campaigns that drive the users to browse beyond initial landing page. The goal is reached if the user browsers more than four pages per session:

Google Analytics

Adding Google tracking links in your Mailjet campaign

This part is easy. We’ll be creating a trackable link so we can see how certain actions are tied with certain types of content. We’ll then use these metrics to identify if we’ve achieved our goal. To help you visualize this, we’ll set this up for a fake December Newsletter where we will link our call-to-action button to a recent blog post.  

Start off by heading over to Google’s URL Builder and filling in the form with relevant information. Google’s even included examples so you don’t have to worry about any confusion.

Google URL Builder

Here’s the link I created using the handy URL builder tool:

https://uk.mailjet.com/blog/this-was-written-just-for-you/?utm_source=DecNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=December%20Newsletter

Now simply add this link to one of your call-to-action buttons in Passport, Mailjet’s drag and drop template builder:

Mailjet Dashboard

How to analyze Google Analytics conversions from your Mailjet campaigns

Now that you’ve set up your goal to track how many users browse more than four pages on your website from specific sources,you can start having some fun analyzing the results! To view the metrics on your Google Analytics dashboard, simply go to ‘Acquisition’ where you’ll find an overview of traffic from different sources and can see how your goal(s) have converted:

Google Analytics

On this page you can drill down further to find different ‘Sources’ from each channel. In this case, we’ll drill down into “Email”. Then, set your ‘Primary Dimension’ as ‘Source’ and you will see the name of each trackable URL. And here’s the one we made earlier:

Google Analytics

Now go out there and create goals and trackable links for your next email campaign and see how well you convert your contact list into customers.  

What goals do you currently have set up or will you be setting up on your Google Analytics? Share your tips with us!

Ask An Email Marketer: What’s one common mistake I should look out for this season?

From now through the end of 2015, we’ll be collecting your most burning email questions on strategy, deliverability, design and more through our Holiday Email Toolkit. Each week, we’ll draw one question to feature here on the blog. Want your question answered in our next Ask An Email Marketer? Head on over to submit it on our Holiday Email Toolkit.

We received a great question this week through our Holiday Toolkit. The next few weeks are crucial for sales – many companies are testing out new call-to-actions, design, and promotions to capture the most engagement possible. Amidst all of that fresh content is a lot of trial-and-error – how do you avoid making blunders that might cost your email strategy?

If we had to highlight one mistake to look out for, it would be inconsistency. Remember to be consistent. ISPs (Gmail, AOL, Yahoo) recognize you by your sending patterns, such as sending frequency and email template. We touched on why this is important in a previous Ask An Email Marketer.

Since we’re just about getting to the heart of the holiday season now, we’d recommend pulling back on the temptation to switch things up too much. Instead, focus on what your customers are asking for more of instead of the instinct to just be louder for the sake of standing out. Perhaps your customers are simply looking for warmer colors as opposed to cooler colors or landscape photos instead of portrait shots – incorporating these points will be much more effective than switching out the entire email template.

 

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

 

Why You Need To Send This Email: Happy Holidays ______, Love ________

Everyone loves a good deal, and most of us go out of our way to bargain-hunt during the festive season. Don’t forget though – the holidays are not just about spending. They’re also about spreading cheer, so remind your customer how much they mean to you with a simple ‘Happy Holidays’ email. Here are four examples that made us feel warm and fuzzy.

Get emotional, not promotional

fabric happy thanksgiving

The inbox is a noisy place at the best of times. In the run up to the holidays, with brands battling to grab the attention of consumers, it can be tempting to shout even louder with more promotional content. Instead, show your subscriber that you value them – it’ll speak volumes about your brand.

This email from Fabric does just that, simply saying thanks and wishing the recipient a happy holidays, a refreshing change from urgent call-to-actions (CTAs).

Be playful with gamification

Eating too much chocolate, wearing silly hats, eagerly peeking in your stocking on Christmas morning… The holidays bring out the inner child in all of us, so embrace it and be playful with your email marketing. Add a gamification element, just like Zulily, who combined saying thank you with a fun interactive feature. The user doesn’t have to click through to take part and they can easily share the content, driving exposure through social proof.

zulily

Play to your strengths

Make sure your email complements your brand’s personality and highlights your strengths within your industry.

Flimpmedia uses video marketing – why not? After all, it’s what they do for a living. The subscriber doesn’t have to read a great deal of text and it adds sound and movement to the message – providing a multisensory experience for the reader.

FlimpMediaHappyHolidays

Be traditional

During the holiday season, everyone loves to embrace strange traditions, like leaving out mince pies for Santa. Even if your marketing medium is digital, you can be traditional. This message from Paul Smith hits the nail on the head here, resembling a simple ‘handwritten’ card. Signing off with a first name and a kiss creates the sense that the brand cares for the individual and that they have a close relationship.

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 11.06.14

Making each individual feel special in a mass email is what email marketing is really all about. Use these campaigns as inspiration and you’ll be sure to secure yourself a place in your subscriber’s heart (and not their junk folder).

 

Which types of campaign have you tried out this holiday season? If you’ve any great tips or ideas, gift us a comment below!

 

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

 

Holiday Email Design Toolkit

Like building a house, you need the proper tools to establish a strong foundation to decorate on. This holiday season, with the help of some of our designer friends at illustrio and 500px, we’ve rounded up a handy toolbox for you to build stunning, responsive campaigns.

For more holiday tips, tricks and hacks, check out our Holiday Email Toolkit and subscribe to our weekly holiday newsletter.

screenshot-{domain} {date} {time}
 

The New WordPress Subscription Widget For Personalization That’s Just Purrrfect

We’ve got a special gift for you, just in time for the holidays: a fancy new Mailjet subscription widget for your WordPress website.

You probably know that email personalization and segmentation is key to a great marketing strategy. But, to do that, you need more information about your customers than just a simple email address. Which is exactly why we created this new WordPress subscription widget.

As of today, you can download the latest version of our WordPress plugin which includes our revamped (double opt-in) subscription widget. This new subscription widget not only allows you to collect visitors’ email addresses, but also up to three additional information fields. Choose from our list of predefined categories (first name, last name, country, etc.) or create your very own (shoe size, cat’s name…whatever makes sense for your business!).

Here’s a quick preview of what the final result could look like on your website. Purrrfect, right?

Blog Article Image EN
And the icing on the cake? You can now also take advantage of these advanced customization features via the new subscription widget:

  • Customize error messages that appear when someone makes a mistake on your newsletter subscription form.
  • Personalize the confirmation email people receive when they sign up for your newsletter.

Tailored confirmation emails such as “Hey fellow cat lover! Click confirm below to be officially subscribed to Cool Cat & Co’s newsletter!” go a long way when encouraging people to opt-in to your newsletter.

Hop on over here to download the new Mailjet WordPress plugin that includes the new subscription widget. We’ve also put together a handy set of tips on personalization and segmentation that can give your subscription opt-ins a boost.

Ask an Email Marketer: How do you come up with fresh, original content?

The best ideas are always borrowed ones with a twist – just ask Shakespeare. (You might be waiting a while for his reply though).

Borrow from:

Your competition. Take a look at what your competitors are doing this holiday season. Use a whiteboard to brainstorm how you can reinvent their past and current ideas. Which channels and pieces of content are most successful for them? Remember, their existing customers are your potential ones, so take notes on how they engage their target audience.

Your daily life. Look for inspiration outside of the office. Put your commute to good use and look at the advertisements around you – which capture your attention? Which part would you like to emulate – the design, tone of voice, promotional ideas?

 

goodidea

 

Us! Use our Content Brainstorm Worksheet to map out your course, focus your radar and turbo-charge your holiday strategy. Put yourself in the Mailjet frame of mind by popping on our Holiday Playlist. Listening to music is a great way to boost productivity.

Use these tips to keep your campaigns fresh this holiday season. We can’t wait to see what original holiday content you come up with. Happy sending!

 

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