How Our New Partner Boomtrain Will Turn You Into Netflix Or Amazon

Netflix. How is it that they know exactly what you want to watch after you run out of episodes in your latest series? Not to mention Amazon. You bought that folding mattress and now those Egyptian cotton sheets keep flirting with you online. (Admit it, you kinda want them now…). Love it or loathe it, you can’t deny that they have started getting really really good at suggesting other things you want. That’s because it pays off big time. In the case of Netflix, 75% of what people select to watch is based on their recommendations.

 

Cool, but where are you going with this?

Using these recommendation algorithms to increase things like sales and viewership is not just reserved for the largest of digital and media companies. Via our new partner Boomtrain, this type of technology is also within reach for medium sized enterprises.

 

Who is this mysterious Boomtrain?

Boomtrain is a powerful marketing recommendation engine. Using artificial intelligence technology, Boomtrain turns your end user’s behavior into insights, actions and, ultimately, ROI. First, it takes the time to understand your website content on a qualitative level. Second, it analyzes users’ behavior on your website to build a complex graph for each one. Third, it processes that information and uses email (or on-site notifications) to deliver the right content to the right users at the right time. Personalization at scale!

 

You said this was accessible. Sounds complicated. ?

Don’t stress. Boomtrain does the heavy lifting for you. First, you’ll install a lightweight JS snippet on your website, which allows Boomtrain to track users’ actions, gain an understanding of their interests, and then turn that data into personalized recommendations. Next, you can use the Boomtrain Editor to easily create the emails that will be tailored to your users. And finally, SEND! Example please? But of course:

Choose an email from Boomtrain’s template gallery or import your own:

Template-Library-or-Upload

 

Personalize your email template by dragging and dropping in Boomtrain’s dynamic personalization fields:

Customize

 

Select your email provider (Mailjet, obvi) and export your dynamic template to that account. Then send emails that automatically populate with unique, tailored content when the user opens the email in their inbox.

step-5

 

Getting kinda excited. And why is Mailjet telling me about Boomtrain?

Mailjet and Boomtrain are officially integrated :-). This means that you can up your marketing game with automated and intelligent recommendations while still leveraging Mailjet’s powerful sending, deliverability and tracking capabilities.Think of it like adding an artificial intelligence layer on top of Mailjet. When you create dynamic email templates within Boomtrain, you can export them directly into Mailjet for sending. This is useful because you have already built up a great sending reputation using Mailjet – which is what helps you land in the inbox. And now by sending Boomtrain-created emails via Mailjet, you can continue to make use of your stellar reputation and make sure your emails get into the inboxes of the users they have been tailored to.

Love it? Want to try it? Still thinking about those Egyptian cotton sheets? Head here to get on the Mailjet x Boomtrain… train.

As always, ping us with any questions or feedback.

Love, Partners

 

Infographic: Strengthen Your Customer Relationship with Email Automation

Over the years, we have seen email go from a way to send family members pictures to a way for businesses to increase their sales and strengthen customer relationships.

If email automation isn’t your best friend yet, it will soon be. With this powerful feature, you can automatically trigger emails to send based off of preset scenarios you create. The potential is truly endless.

Let’s follow the path of a new customer who registers on an e-commerce site to see how email automation campaigns can optimize his journey.

EN_Infog_Automation (2)

5 Core Principles of Receipt Email Growth Hacks

You go to an online store. You purchase something. You checkout. And voila. The transaction is successful.What’s the next thing you do? You check your email for the purchase receipt.

Turns out almost all the world does the same thing – we wait for the email receipt even if we’ve got a receipt at the checkout. Receipt emails (and all post-purchase emails) are part of what’s called the “transactional” email. There’s just one thing you need to know about them (as growth hackers / marketers) – they have the highest open rates amongst all email messages sent to people.

At its core, a transactional email, also known as a triggered email, is generated after a user takes some sort of action. Because of this, transactional emails have 8x the open rates compared to traditional emails. – Mailjet.

Which is why most startups focus on getting the best offers up on their transactional emails. These emails are a gateway to more revenue and increasing the customer lifetime value.

According to research, it’s seven times easier to sell to an existing audience than to someone who doesn’t know about you. – Crazyegg.

But why is it that only a handful of startups are able to get their receipt email growth hacks right?

I studied these emails and a pattern emerged. It’s not so much about email growth hacks as much as it is about behavior patterns. There are 5 core principles that dictate the success of your transactional email messages.Here’s a compilation of those 5 core principles:

  1. One Thing Only

People read transactional emails. They don’t just skim through it. Another interesting stat is people re-open transactional emails more than once.

That gives a false sense of hope; that we can push a lot of messages and people will read. They may read but they may not act if you have multiple things inside your transactional email. That’s why you should focus on getting just one thing done.

  • Share with a friend (to get 50% off).
  • Purchase again to get free shipping.
  • Add another product for a great discount.

There’s a ton of ideas that can get your new customer add more money to the purchase but you can’t give options. That leads to analysis paralysis.Have just one offer at the end of your transactional email – just one. The customer either takes it or leaves it.

Narrowing down to just one option prevents you from confusing the customer – and increases the chance of the action.

 

  1. Build Virality Right Into the Growth Hack

The story of how Hotmail became what it was (just before it sold out to Microsoft) has been told 8.5 million times. One of the most classic growth hacks the company employed was adding a line after the email signature (“PS. Get your free email at Hotmail”).

Virality is what gives companies the exponential boost they need to growth quickly. Your email growth hacks can’t be simple ones like “Get free shipping on your next purchase using this code”. They are not viral.

An example of a growth hack with virality built into it is this:

skillshare

“Invite a friend and both of you get a month free.” (Skillshare)

It’s obvious. This way, your current customer gets you one more user. And so on and so forth. It is important to come up with ways to make your offer viral. That means you have to tweak your offer (or design it) in a way that makes it compulsorily viral.

 

  1. Try Additive Incentives

Ogilvy once said that if an ad works, you shouldn’t try changing it. (That was his version of “if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it”).

The real lesson here is to re-use an idea if it works the first time.

Here’s examples:

  • Company X adds a “Get your next ride free if you refer a friend.” to its transactional emails as a growth hack.
  • This is a one-time offer. You can’t re-use this offer.
  • Company Y adds a “Get $10 off every time you add a new friend.” to its receipt email growth hack.
  • Here’s the nudge: this is not a one-time offer. You can re-use this as many times as you want.
  • While Company Y loses $10 per transaction, it more than makes up for it because it gets a new customer every time someone uses that offer.
  • In the long-run, Company Y has a bigger customer list that it can tap into. And that can mean a lot of growth.

Additive incentives are often seen in a bad light because incubators often tell you that you should try to maximize your revenue. Also, no one wants to keep giving out discounts (unless it’s Wal-Mart). But there’s no way to find out if it works or not without trying it in your market.

Additive incentives work on two levels: it is a growth hack that can help your company grow and it is an incentive that brings people back to you (repeat purchases). And adding them to your transactional emails gives it a greater chance (because, re-open rates are high).

 

  1. Find the “Next Easiest Purchase”

When you design your receipt email growth hack offer, figure out what the next easiest purchase is for the customer who just purchased from you. As an example, the easiest purchase is often the most relevant too.

Dollar Shave Club uses the classic cross-sell:

dollar
In many ways, the “next easiest purchase” hack is really a cross-sell. But we’re extending this to include not just a purchase that adds to the current one but a purchase that the customer is likely to make the next time.

The next easiest purchase is not hard to find out. If you are Uber, the next easiest purchase is an upgrade or a ride back home!

What’s hard is to find out the most optimal, relevant “next easiest purchase” and add the other rules of the growth hack (virality, one thing only) etc. to it.

 

  1. It’s Not Always About “Revenue”

Sure, transactional emails enjoy a superior open-rate and are goldmines for increasing customer lifetime value. But do not let the statistics – and the need for growth – dictate the terms of how you delight your customers.

Sometimes, the simplest of growth hacks are not about getting more money out of the customer but just about delighting the customer in ways that she doesn’t expect. Like how FilterEasy does:

rev
Excited, delighted and happy customers are viral marketing channels themselves. Remember that low-budget movie that spread like wildfire just through word-of-mouth? That’s the kind of an effect people can have when you delight them with your product and service.

The next time you’re adding a growth hack to your receipt emails, don’t forget to apply these five principles.

 

This piece is contributed by Chandru V from around.io.

Mailjet Parse API + Zapier: The Tool You Don’t Realize You Really (Really) Need

Imagine having a general “contact us” email address on your website. Most of us do and most of the emails sent here collect dust because filtering through them is tedious. Here’s where the magic of a Parse API starts to come into play.

By redirecting incoming emails to a Parse API email address, the original email (and its contents) can be analyzed, divided and, thanks to Zapier, distributed into over 500+ different software platforms. And did we mention it does all of this without you having to write a single line of code? Cue the sound of Marketers everywhere rejoicing.

To give you a better idea of what we’re talking about, let’s take an in-depth look at someone in HR using Workable. Their team auto forwards job applications being sent to “jobs@company.com” to their Mailjet Parse API email address. When the Parse API email address receives the message, it instantly tells Zapier to create a new Workable profile for the candidate. From there, the contents of the email are analyzed and Zapier transfers the information into the designated fields within the candidate’s Workable profile. For example, “fill in the ‘First Name’ field in Workable with the ‘Sender Name’ found in the email.”

Psst – why are we auto-forwarding emails? Why not just have the emails be sent to the Parse API email address directly? Good question. Parse API email addresses are kinda long and ugly. So it’s better to create a nice looking email address and just have its incoming messages auto-forwarded to your Parse API email address.

Here’s how this same example would look if we set this up in Zapier:

  • Within Zapier, go into “Make a Zap.”
  • For the Trigger, select Mailjet > Parse Inbound Email.
  • Follow the instructions to create your Parse API email address.
  • For the Action, select Workable > Create Candidate.
  • Select which parts of the incoming email (i.e. sender name, date, body of email, etc.) you want to be captured and where to put each part within Workable.
  • Now start sending job application emails to your Parse API email address and see the results!

 

Picture1

So this is starting to sound pretty cool, right? And once you start parsing, you can’t stop… Here are some other examples of how parsing makes your work life more efficient:

  • Send a notification to a Slack channel when you receive a new email to your generic company “contact us” email address.

  • Automatically open a new lead and transfer the contents of an email sent to your generic “request a quote” email address into Salesforce.
  • Have the responses from an email survey you conducted put into their appropriate columns in a Google Sheet.

    Craving more details? Here’s your direct access to the Zapier + Mailjet band wagon.
    And if you come up with your own amazing Parse API use cases, we’d love to hear about them.  Write us and we’ll update this post with your wild and crazy parses.

    Happy sending… and happy parsing!

An Improved Segmentation To Be Evermore Relevant

Segmentation is one of the basics of a good marketing strategy. While we introduced some enhancements a few months ago, we thought there was still room for improvement. We received feedback from some users, frustrated for not being able to achieve the level of targeting they were aiming for, or comments saying that the way segments were managed did not fit some companies’ workflows. We heard you, and we are excited to introduce a new logical operator and a re-design segment management dashboard.

 

Benefit from the OR operator

API users were able to easily segment using the OR logical operator to send, for instance, an offer to VIP Gold customers in NYC or San Francisco. However, there was no simple way to do so using our web interface. Now, you can use the OR logical operator to create a segment that gathers several alternative values for the same contact property.

You can combine two or more groups of conditions to come up with a finely-tuned segmentation that meets your business needs. In our example, we are creating a first block of condition where we select “New York City” and “San Francisco” as the”City”, and “Gold” as the “VIP Status”.

1-Advanced segmentation

 

Manage Segments from the Contacts menu

Being able to refine the target audience of a campaign during the campaign creation process is something our users really value. But it doesn’t fit the organisational workflow of every company we work with. We received increased feedback from businesses where the people in charge of targeting and campaign creation are not the same, and where our current setup forced them to draft campaigns just to be able to segment their contacts.

 

2-Segment menu

 

A new sub-menu to manage your segments

Segments is now a sub-entry on the Contacts menu, along with your Contacts, Contacts Properties and Subscription Widgets.

All your previously created segments can be accessed in your account and you can easily identify the applied filter and the last time the segment was used. You can also edit, duplicate or delete a segment.

 

3-Segment screen

A new segment edition page

We created a new segment edition screen, to allow you to create and edit segments without having to create a campaign. This new interface lets you recalculate the results of your targeting as you create your filters. It also gives you a better sense of who your targets are, with an extract of 5 contacts to match your query.

Your can now create Mailjet sub-accounts that only have access to your contacts, to allow  targeting specialists to create segments.

 

A re-designed segmentation in the campaign creation process

We think segmentation within the campaign creation process is still an enjoyable feature, so we’re not leaving it behind. We have aligned our interface so you can benefit from all the enhancements to our segmentation process.

4-Segmentation in Campaign
We are really excited to introduce the improvements to Segmentation, which is available as part of our additional premium features on each Mailjet plan. If you have any further ideas on how to make it even more relevant, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Privacy Shield: Not Quite There Yet

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, a panel of EU privacy watchdogs, met on 12th and 13th April to discuss Privacy Shield, the new scheme for data transfers between the US and the European Union. The result of their debates show that the issue isn’t quite resolved yet.

The Story So Far

Last October, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) struck down Safe Harbor, the data transfer pact used by US companies for 15 years. The European Commission and the US commerce department came up with a new text in February. The Privacy Shield agreement was meant to bring a new framework for cross-atlantic data transfers.

Although the European Commission had stated on its release that Privacy Shield was “a strong framework” that would “protect the fundamental rights of Europeans when their personal data is transferred to U.S. companies”, the Article 29 Working Party (also referred to as WP29) had saved their judgement until they could have a deeper look at the text.

Companies who had been relying on Safe Harbor -there are at least 4000 of them– have been eagerly waiting to hear more about the new agreement, in order to know if they can move forward with it and leave the legal grey zone that the invalidation of Safe Harbor has left them in.

 

people-new-york-train-crowd

What Do European Privacy Watchdogs Say About Privacy Shield?

Back in February, the Article 29 Working Party warned that it would take them two months to fully examine the agreement in order to give their opinion on it. The group met for two days, on the 12th and 13th April, before giving their official assessment.

Basically, on the one hand, the WP29 acknowledges a “great improvement” when comparing Privacy Shield to Safe Harbor, especially on the commercial side: efforts have been made in order to define and give a better framework for personal data transfers.

But, on the other hand, they raised a number of significant “concerns”, including:

  • The agreement itself is far too complex.
  • There are no safeguards to protect EU citizens from  potential bulk data collection carried out by US mass surveillance programs, which means the agreement falls short of legal European standards;
  • European citizens willing to appeal for the misuse of their private data will be faced with complex legal mechanisms to do so.
  • There are not enough guarantees in the status of the ombudsperson to ensure that this figure will indeed remain an independent authority.

PENTAX Image
 

What’s Next, Then?

The Article 29 Working Party requested further clarifications on the Privacy Shield agreement. In any case, the text is still under work, and it may take several months to get the final version, which is not expected to be finalised before end of June. The European Commission will have the last word.

Although the Article 29 Working Party’s judgement is not legally binding, it will influence future decision-making on the topic and raise further concerns, leading to more confusion for companies who have already been dealing with uncertainty since the invalidation of Safe Harbor.

The European Commission is supposed to take advice from the Article 29 Working Party, but also from a committee composed of representatives of the Member States. However, experts believe it is unlikely that the European Commission will change its support to the agreement as it is and go back to drafting a completely new treaty with the US.

For now, all companies can do is sit and wait. We will be watching the matter closely and we will keep you updated, as we have done it in the past weeks. In the meantime, rest assured: if you are a Mailjet user, you don’t have to worry about your or your customers’ data privacy status, as our servers are all based in Europe and we comply with all EU data privacy regulation.

How To Lower Your Churn Rate With Email Automation

Churn rate, or attrition rate, is a marketing concept measuring the average customer life time or your average revenue loss. The churn rate is a closely monitored by data-driven marketers. This is becoming more relevant as digital companies start adopting a SaaS model and every paying customer gains a larger life-time-value.

There are multiple ways to improve your churn: optimization of your funnel, regular updates that will keep your customers aware and stuck to your products, contractual binding periods and so on. Of course, email has a key role to play here; as a personalized communication channel. Thanks to a proper email automation strategy, you’ll be able to lower your churn rate considerabily! Here’s how:

First, how do I measure my customer churn rate?

To calculate your monthly customer churn, substract the number of users you had at the beginning of a month by the number you have at the end of it. Divide that result by the number of customers you gain at the beginning of the month. Here is your churn rate. If you had 1000 customers on January 1st, and only 900 on January 31st, your churn rate is (1000-900)/1000 = 10%. This means that on average, your customer life time is around 10 months. In other words, the lower your churn rate, the better your engagement and, hopefully, the higher your revenue.

Note that if your churn rate is negative, this is a good sign for your company, meaning you’re gaining new customers as you go forward, which can lead to higher revenues and profit.

How can email help?

As mentioned earlier, there are multiple methods to lower your churn rate. Obviously, you want to prevent any revenue and customer loss, and during the process be as resourceful and cost-effective. That’s why email automation is a great way to spot and address the different pain points your customers may have, increase their life time spend, and in the end lower your churn rate.

In a study published in 2013, Email Institute showed that automated emails generated open rates 72.6% higher than standard marketing emails, and an impressive 152.3% higher rate for clicks. These figures are still seen today, and with engagement this high, can you afford to overlook email marketing automation?

To lower your customer churn rate, rely on a good onboarding workflow, to present all the advantages of your product and services to the newcomers as they sign up. Anniversary emails, product recommendation and service updates or re-engagement emails are all messages that you can schedule to send over time to better engage with your users, remind them of your offerings and even transform them into brand ambassadors.

On the revenue churn rate side, studies have shown that emails automatically sent after a user abandoned his or her cart, generate a 50% lift in revenue. If you see that the number of abandoned cart emails grow, it can also mean that your purchase workflow can be optimized.

In the end, automated email workflows are here to ease your life and improve your customer retention. So don’t forget to integrate them into your global marketing strategy from the start and optimize this workflow as you evolve and grow.

It’s Time To Give Up Webmail Addresses To Send Emails Through An ESP

As consumers, we all have at least one free webmail address – when not several for the geekiest of us. Webmail providers like Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Orange or Outlook are a convenient and powerful way to get a personal email address. A lot of users are even so fond of their webmail address that they sign up for Mailjet using it, rather than a corporate one!

One of the biggest threats when it comes to email, and especially for webmail, is Spam. These providers were at the forefront of this fight, providing users with advanced spam filters to lower the number of unsolicited emails or phishing attempts. While the spam volume decreased in 2015, it’s still high and email industry leaders, including Mailjet, are hard at work to make email a safer medium.

The email community battle against spam

One method to improve your email delivery rates is to incorporate SPF (Sender Policy Framework), and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail), into your DNS settings. With this addition to your DNS entries, you’re telling recipients that you’ve authorized Mailjet to send emails on your behalf.

To further protect your brand from phishing attempts, DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) can be implemented in conjunction with SPF and DKIM.

DMARC is a policy that tells the recipient servers how to react if they receive an email that appears to be sent by you or any “@yourdomain.com” address, when it’s actually not. You can set your DMARC policy to simply monitor the mail being sent using your domain, or you can tell mailbox providers to quarantine it to the spam folder, or reject unauthenticated emails completely.

Yahoo and AOL already implemented a strict DMARC policy (that asks to reject non-identified emails) back in April 2014. Yahoo extended this on 62 ADDITIONAL domains recently, and Google announced that it will do the same later in the year with gmail.com.

 

What does it mean for Mailjet users?

In other words, if you are using Mailjet to send out emails with a Yahoo email address, or a Gmail one after June 2016, it will bounce – it will be rejected and not even make it to the spam folder. Your recipient’s email server will detect that it is not coming from a legitimate Yahoo or Gmail email server and will refuse it – it’s not even gonna make it to the spam folder. In the near future we expect inbox providers to begin filtering senders that don’t have a DMARC policy protecting their domain. You will not regret being ahead of the curve on this.

Since we have always recommended to use an email address on a customer-owned domain, few of our clients will be impacted by this change. But we want to use this occasion to re-emphasize on the fact that email is a serious aspect of your communication and should be done on domains that you own.

 

What to do to make sure your sendings are safe?

Head out to your account, in the Sender domain & addresses menu and make sure you don’t have a webmail email address registered in your email addresses list. If you do so, we advise you to make sure it is not in use.

If you do not own an email with your own domain, we strongly advise you to register your own domain, create an email address on this domain, publish your SPF and DKIM records and add this domain and address in your sender domains and addresses list.

We are also working on an alternative solution to enable new users, low-IT resourced clients and infrequent senders to continue sending without going through the hurdle of managing their own domains, and will introduce it pretty soon.

 

In the meantime, feel free to contact our support team if you need more guidance – we’ll help you make sure the transition to your own sending domain is as smooth as possible.