Infographic: Curiosity Killed The Marketer (And Their Subject Lines)

Hands up if you have a nosy side?! We know that at Mailjet we’re all guilty of being (ever so slightly) curious. Which is why we love to test new subject line strategies with our newsletter audience. Last year, we played about by testing emojis, and in January, we thought we’d brighten up your inboxes by A/X testing a different approach.  

Over the years there have been some fantastic use cases of ‘leaked’ information to drive engagement. Take Krispy Kreme, their launch campaign for a new Nutella doughnut involved the mass distribution of a ‘confidential internal memo’ for store managers. The fake leak had the brand trending on Twitter within an hour, as people speculated about the supposed mishap and began congratulating the brand on a successful launch. We wondered what impact this approach would have on our newsletter engagement.

Can a sense of curiosity within email subject lines engage audiences?

Our approach was to test three subject lines, playing on gossip, secrecy and emails not meant for the recipient. We also included a control subject line – the type you’d usually get from us. After all, we’re humans, and we thought that adding that element of emotion into our marketing messaging might entice readers to open our newsletters.

Wonder what we discovered? You’ve probably guessed it already. What we found was that, in most cases, a sense of curiosity increased engagement. Check out how each of our geographies reacted to these different approaches:

Approach 1: Gossip

You’ll never guess what happened last week?!

It seemed our savvy readers in the UK and US weren’t fans of this approach, as it had the smallest increase on engagement. However this tactic drove urgency and worked best for our curious German subscribers, who really did want to know what happened last week. We know you don’t want to feel left out, so here is what really happened that week: we published an awesome post on testing your subject lines.

Approach 2: Secret

This is for your eyes only, please do not share…

This test provoked the biggest uplift in engagement, with Spain being the most nosy country, followed by France and the UK. We may have played a bit on reverse psychology here too, as we love it when our readers share our content with their networks.

Approach 3: Not for you

MANAGEMENT TEAM: Details from Thurs 19 Jan.

Following Krispy Kreme’s lead, we played on confidentiality and exclusivity. Let’s face it, no one likes to feel left out… Especially British readers, who were the most receptive to this approach.

So now you know, adding that human element and playing on your audience’s curiosity might just increase the level of engagement with your newsletters. Want to see the full results? Check out our awesome infographic below.

US-infographic-nosy-parker

 

Have you tried adding a sense of curiosity to your subject lines? Let us know on Twitter, and tell us what tactic works best for your brand.

7 Steps To Turn Email Subscribers Into Paying Customers

We all know the money is in the email list.

But believe it or not, most marketers do a very bad job with converting their email subscribers into paying customers.

The reason they struggle is simply because they don’t know what process they need to follow to make things happen.

In this post, we’re going to cover the seven main steps you need to take in order to convert email subscribers into paying customers successfully.

 Turning email subscribers into paying customers

Step 1: Understand the needs of your subscribers

According to the top sales expert Grant Cardone people buy stuff for only one reason – to solve a problem.

It doesn’t matter how well your emails are written, how well your package is designed or how big your discount is.

If you don’t offer products or services that solve actual problems, you will always struggle with converting your email subscribers into paying customers.

That’s why the most important first step is to understand what are:

  • The needs of your audience,
  • The biggest problems and challenges they’re currently facing,
  • Their goals and current objectives.

Then your goal is to use this data to create products or services that solve these problems and to communicate that to your subscribers.

The best way to learn about the needs, problems and challenges your audience faces is to ask them directly.

This could be on a sales call or a customer support call, or even at a networking event where you can interact with them directly. You can also collect data from customer support chats and emails.

Additionally, you can use survey tools such as Survey Monkey, which you can send to your list, or use a tool like Qualaroo to integrate one straight on your website.

 

Step 2: Segment your list

The biggest mistake you can make with email marketing is sending the same generic emails to everybody from your list.

Why is that?

People are only interested in things that are relevant to them. The more relevant the better.

An eCommerce owner won’t be interested in learning how to increase traffic for a SaaS website, so the generic advice won’t work for him. He’ll be looking for something specific.

That’s why, if you take the time to segment your email list properly, you will be able to send more relevant content and offers to your list. As a result, your conversion rates will be higher and you will make more money.

A great examples is Isotoner, who managed to increase revenue with 7,000% just by segmenting their email lists better based on which products customers were looking at when they visited the site.

Your best bet is to start segmenting your list the moment a subscriber joins.

You can do that by creating and presenting super targeted opt-in offers based on the current content the customer is viewing.

That way, you will know exactly in which segment to put your email subscriber.

By collecting data about your email subscribers you can segment them based on:

  • Location (city, country, etc.),
  • Interests based on visited pages, past opt-ins, emails opened and content read,
  • Open rates and clicks,
  • Past purchases (products they’ve bought),
  • Additional data people have provided with the opt-in (job description, company type, etc.).

Check out our blog post Leveling Up Our Segmentation to learn how to better segment your email list.

 

Step 3: Automate the process

It’s extremely important to automate your email marketing campaigns to be able to close the most sales.

Sending emails manually is simply not an option in today’s world. Nowadays, people want to receive relevant messages, at the right time, that answer to their specific needs or interactions.

You want to send automatically triggered emails in your campaigns based on the behavior of your subscribers. This means when they opt-in for a specific offer, then they read specific content, etc.

Setting up multi-step campaigns based on customer interactions, updates on a contact property or a specific date as part of your sales funnel will allow you to contact your subscribers when it’s most relevant. This will drive higher engagement and lead to a higher conversion rate.

To be able to automate the process you need the right email marketing software, something you can easily do with Mailjet.

 

Step 4: Send a great welcome email

Email subscribers are most engaged within 48 hours of joining your list, according to a study by Ciceron.

That’s why it’s incredibly important that you send a great welcome message and engage with your subscribers as soon as they join your list.

You want to make a great good impression, provide immediate value to your audience and be remembered. That way, people will be more likely open your emails into the future, read your content and take advantage of your offers.

A good welcome series should educate customers on who you are and how to use your service or product, guide them to take the actions you want and create brand loyalty.

Sometimes, one email might be enough, but in other cases you can create a number of them, to be send out throughout a week or two, for example.

When writing your welcome emails be sure to:

  • Brand them (include your logo and your brand colors as background)
  • Personalize them (include the name of the subscriber and the person sending the email)
  • Include a link to your opt-in offer
  • Include useful resources (free guides, blog posts, etc.)
  • Explain to your subscriber what to expect (how often you’re going to email them and what you’re going to send them)

Check out the blog post 16 Examples of theBest Welcome Emails in the Industry to better understand how successful welcome emails should look like.

Thanks_for_Subscribing_—_Google

Step 5: Develop a sales funnel

You need to create a sales funnel in order to convert your emails subscribers into paying customers.

Instead of doing random email marketing, you design a strategy that helps you engage and develop the needs of your subscribers until they are ready to purchase your product or service.

You usually design your sales funnel with four different stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

Once people have subscribed for your email list, they are already in the interest stage.

This means that people are already familiar with the problem they are having and are actively looking for a solution.

What you should do is create a sales funnel that engages them with some helpful high quality content until you develop their need enough so you can make them an offer.

Develop automated series of follow-up emails – This means that you should map out a series of automated follow-up emails to help you achieve this.

There is no limit to how many emails you can have in your follow-up series as long as it helps you achieve your purpose to close the sale. You can have as little as three and up to 10 and more.

According to Jeff Walker, author of the book Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything, this is how your sequence should look like if you’re selling an information product:

  • Email 1: Welcome email.
  • Email 2: Explain why certain topics matter and why subscribers need to solve the problem. This helps build the demand for the product.
  • Email 3: Explain what your subscribers need to do to solve a problem and achieve specific goals.
  • Email 4: Give more details on how subscribers can solve the problem. This is when you mention the product you’re launching in a few days.
  • Email 5: Launch your product and make your sales pitch for it. Tell them they can buy it during the next few days and, after that, the cart will be closed.
  • Email 6: Remind users about the product. Share stats about how many people bought it (social proof), what people think about it, how many seats are left (scarcity).
  • Email 7: Email people in the last day before closing. Move into scarcity and tell people that the cart closes in 24 hours and your product won’t be available anymore. Remind people what they’re going to learn in your course.
  • Email 8: A few hours before closing, remind your subscribers that the cart will be closed soon, and reiterate the benefits of the product.
  • Email 9: Two hour before closing, tell people that this is their last chance to take advantage and that focus on the benefits of your product.
  • Email 10: Announce that the cart is closed and that the product is no longer available.

As with everything that involves email, though, it is important to test and adapt your sending frequency to your list.

Not every contact list behaves in the same way, so you’ll need to keep an eye out on your metrics to ensure you’re targeting your clients correctly. We’ll talk more about this in Step 7.

 

Step 6: Monetize on the people who say “no”

Most people will not buy from you the first time you present them an offer. No matter how hard you try. So if you rely on a single sales funnel to convert your subscribers into paying customers you will fall short.

Instead, create more funnels for the people that didn’t buy. Collect data about these subscribers and understand more about what interests them and what they need.

Keep engaging them, offer more value and make them more offers.

That way they might not buy at first, but they might do it the second or the third time to present your product. Maybe you will present them a better offer next time or another product that is more suitable for them. Or they simply didn’t have the money at first but they do now.

So keep persisting with the subscribers that didn’t convert yet and more of them will buy from you soon enough.

 

Step 7: Track and improve your results

You probably won’t get things right from the first try. That’s totally ok.

What’s more important is that you learn what works in your email marketing efforts and what doesn’t. Then, you should do your best to improve your process.

Here are the things you should be monitoring and paying close attention to:

Open rates – if people don’t open your emails, it doesn’t matter how awesome the content you want to share with them is. They simply won’t read it and you will fail with engaging and selling to them.

That’s why this is the first thing you should look at.

The average open rates across all industries is 22.87% so if yours are less than that – you need improvements.

The first thing you should do is clean your contact lists. To do this, target those who haven’t opened an email in the last three to six months with a re-engagement campaign.

You should let your users know you’re planning to remove them from your list and give them an option to say whether they still want to receive your communications or not.

If your list is clean, then check if your emails are relevant enough. Try to segment your list even more and make your content more relevant.

Try to make your subject lines as specific and clear as possible. Test new ones until your open rates improve.

Last but not least, consider the time you send emails. Try to send emails at different hours or days until you get more opens.

Click through rates – the average email CTR is 3.26%. So anything lower than that is bad news for you.

If people open your emails but are not clicking on your links inside, this means that you fail with your call-to-action. You might have mislead people with your subject line to open your email, but maybe your content didn’t deliver on its promise.

Try making your content more relevant. Once again, segment your list even better to improve your results.

Don’t forget that your emails should be clear and offer real value to your readers – teach them how to solve their problems and achieve their goals.

Make your call-to-action very clear, so your subscribers understand what will happen when they click on it and reposition your link or call-to-action to make it more visible.

Conversion rates and sales – people are opening, reading and clicking through your emails but they’re not converting.

Why is that?

Maybe your offer is not relevant to them. Try understanding better the needs of your subscribers.

Does your product really helps them solve their biggest problems and challenges? If it doesn’t, it is not a surprise people are not buying.

Do people understand the value of your product or service? If they don’t get it, you need to do a better job at explaining it. Work on improving your sales funnel and the content you share with your audience.

Can your subscribers really afford your products? If you’re selling a $2,000 product and your subscribers only have $200 in your bank account there is no way for them to convert.

Try adjusting your pricing to your audience. Come up with products with different pricings – have an ebook for $29, an intro course of $299 and a premium course of $2,999.

 

In conclusion:

The key to converting your email subscribers into paying customers is in understanding their needs and offering as much value as you can in your campaigns.
You can use the 80/20 rules to use 80% of the time offering great free educational content and 20% of the time asking for the sale.

Build your sales funnel around the idea of helping your audience and you won’t have problems converting them.

From 0-32K in One Year: Loïc Le Meur’s Entrepreneurial Email Journey Pt. 1

If you follow the Mailjet blog regularly, you’re probably well aware of the importance of building your list without purchasing data or by using other black-hat email practices. Even though using honest list building practices takes time, the results are definitely worth it.

To talk about email success stories, we sat down with Loïc Le Meur, a successful entrepreneur and blogger currently based in San Francisco. He started his entrepreneurial career in France by founding several startups, most of which were eventually acquired by larger companies. He relocated to San Francisco to launch a startup called Seesmic, which was acquired by Hootsuite in 2012.  He also co-founded the Le Web conference, an event centered around blogging and other web-based initiatives.

First, why email?

As you can probably imagine, his previous success brought him quite a social following. But even with over 100K Twitter followers, he became frustrated with social media when he started working on a new venture in November of 2015. He found that the algorithms on these platforms determine and limit what followers see, and he didn’t want those restrictions as he continued to expand his personal and professional reach, especially as he planned to start a new company from the ground up. Like most entrepreneurs, Le Meur was no stranger to experimenting, so he decided to try email as his new channel for outreach.

Who could he email?

With absolutely no email list, he decided to start by reaching out to his existing network of 200K Facebook followers and 100K Twitter followers. His messaging was simple: “I’m starting a new company from the ground up. Join my email list to follow my journey.”

His message was spot on, and captured 2000 initial subscribers to his newsletter in 24 hours from his Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, Le Meur now had a new challenge to face: creating, sending and delivering his emails. Going blindly into the world of emailing, Le Meur sought a solution that was not only fit for a beginner, but also one that would grow with him as his skills and email list increased. His search led him to a Facebook Live session by Julien Tartarin, Mailjet’s former co-founder, and he decided to try Mailjet.

What do the readers want?

Now that he had the list, he had to figure out what he was going to send them. He decided that simplicity would be the main goal of his newsletter. He chose to keep his design as close to a personal, text-only email as possible, in order to create the feeling of a one-to-one conversation. His future subscribers would have an insider’s view of the entire startup creation process as he provided day to day examples of the life of an entrepreneur. The experience would be similar to writing a personal blog in the form of an email.

Loic Le Meur Email

 

The weekly newsletters feature summaries of the previous week, including authentic experiences with both victories and failures. He also occasionally shares emails that he’s sent to investors to constantly give his subscribers open access to the highs and lows of starting and growing a successful business. 

By creating his campaigns using Mailjet’s Passport tool, he designed a simple template to make his newsletter look as close to a personal email as possible. He also utilized the campaign statistics within the Mailjet App to analyze open and click- through rates. “I use statistics to understand my subscribers. It helps me to understand where people actually click, which is sometimes quite different from what I expect,” Le Meur explains. Based on the statistics, Le Meur would adjust his subject lines and text placement throughout his emails. Le Meur also allows his subscribers to see his weekly statistics to show the subject lines that have performed well. If you’d like to see the newsletter for yourself, you can subscribe to his updates here.

Was it worth it?

As a result of building his audience by leveraging his resources and creating relevant content to keep users engaged, Le Meur managed to grow his list to 32,000 subscribers within his first year. He’s also seen success by marketing his events through his newsletter, with his most recent event selling out.
Worth it gif mailjet blog

 

Stay tuned on the Mailjet blog to find out how he continued to grow his audience after his initial jump in subscribers. If you’d like to know more about Loïc Le Meur, you can find him on Twitter or Medium.

What methods have you used to grow your email list? Tell us on Twitter using #EmailMarketing!

Create The Perfect Email Campaign With Multivariate Testing

It’s happened to all of us. You go into that fancy ice cream shop just around the corner, have a look at the different flavors and think “If only I could taste them all…”. And then, as you have finally narrowed your choice down to those two (or three, or four…) you really want, the guy in the shop asks: “Want to try any?” Oh, the joy! Being able to make an informed decision for something as crucial as your ice cream choice…

But what looks quite straight-forward with one scoop turns into a new challenge when we add another one. Yeah, you might love Blue Moon and Coffee, but do you really think those two go well together? No, the answer is no. Don’t even try, it’s weird. So if you thought getting two scoops of ice cream was easy, I’m here to tell you otherwise. It’s not, mastering the perfect combination takes some time… and an awful lot of testing.

 

Find the right combination with multivariate testing

OK, but what does this have to do with my Email Marketing?

So far you might be thinking we’ve turned into an ice cream blog (wouldn’t that be nice?), but don’t be fooled. Ice cream can be a metaphor for so many things in life… including email marketing.

A few weeks ago, we talked to you about the secret weapons of email and how testing could help you make the most out of them. We’ve already told you all about A/B (or A/X) testing: creating two (or more) versions of an email, changing just one variable (subject line, from name, CTAs…). That is, choosing the best flavor for your email by trying a few of your favorites (and some you might not think could work).

Now, we’re stepping up our game. We’re going for two scoops… and even a topping. We’ll learn how to find the perfect combination to make our email campaigns even tastier.

 

giphy-1

 

So what’s multivariate testing, then?

Glad you asked. Multivariate testing basically consists in testing multiple variations of the same email. Duh.

Briefly explained, when you’re A/B testing an email, you duplicate your template and change just one element, be it the subject line, the banner, the text in the CTA… In multivariate testing, you change two (or more) elements, to analyze how the different combinations of these perform.

Ehmmm… example, please?

Sure. Let’s say you have an awesome campaign to boost your sales and you want more people to click-through to your landing page, so you decide to test:

  • The text in the CTA:Buy now” or “Discover our amazing prices!”?
  • The position of the CTA: Before the fold, or at the bottom of your email?

To perform a multivariate test, you’ll create and send four variations (2 texts x 2 positions) of the same email:

  1. CTA “Buy now”, before the fold.
  2. CTA “Buy now”, at the bottom.
  3. CTA “Discover our amazing prices!”, before the fold.
  4. CTA “Discover our amazing prices!”, at the bottom.

 

Mailjet_-_Passport_microsoft-surfacepro4-front

 

Although this seems quite straight-forward, the test gets a little bit more complicated when you add a third element, but this also means the results are even more powerful.

For example, let’s take this awesome campaign of yours and your big CTA dilemma. Yeah, you could test position and text but… what about color? Not adding color to the combination is like not adding toppings to your ice cream when someone offers – totally unacceptable.

So now we’ve got these three things to test:

  • The text in the CTA:Buy now” or “Discover our amazing prices!”?
  • The position of the CTA: Before the fold or at the bottom of your email?
  • The color of the CTA: Red or black?

So we sit down, open Passport (or whatever, less cool, email editor you’re using…) and create eight variations. Eight, you might ask? Well, yeah: 2 texts x 2 positions x 2 colors. No, that’s not six. Yep, it’s eight. Don’t worry, we won’t tell anyone about your rusty math skills.

Our eight variations will be:

  1. CTA “Buy now”, before the fold, red.
  2. CTA “Buy now”, before the fold, black.
  3. CTA “Buy now”, at the bottom, red.
  4. CTA “Buy now”, at the bottom, black.
  5. CTA “Discover our amazing prices!”, before the fold, red.
  6. CTA “Discover our amazing prices!”, before the fold, black.
  7. CTA “Discover our amazing prices!”, at the bottom, red.
  8. CTA “Discover our amazing prices!”, at the bottom, black.

Get them ready, press Send and wait. When it comes to analyzing the results, you’ll be able to see which of your CTA combinations encouraged more contacts to click. As easy as that.

 

mailjet-campaign-comparison

 

OK, so can I like… test all the things?

Now, we know you’re about to get carried away and start planning a bunch of crazy options for your next email campaign. Hold on, there! First things first, we need to set some ground rules.

  1. Consider why you’re testing: And no, ticking the box is not a valid answer. Tests are only useful if you can identify the problem you want to solve. For example, “I’m not getting as much traffic to my website as I predicted, and I want more people to click-through to my landing page”.
  1. Identify the elements that need to be tested: Now, if your open rate is at around 35 % and you’re still seeing a very small click-through rate, the problem is possible not in the subject line or from name, but in the elements your contacts see when they open their email. Is your heading engaging? Are your CTAs easy to locate? Is your design appealing? Consider what elements can factor into your results and come up with ideas to shake things up a bit.
  1. Always think about your metrics: Your email stats will provide the information you’re looking for after your test, but it’s important to understand what results matter. If you’re testing different combinations of subject lines and from names, then the best performance indicator will be your open rates, whereas if you’re playing around with the color and text of your CTA, it’ll be click-through rate you’ll need to look at.

 

Awesome! So, how do I do this with Mailjet?

Fantastic question. Well, as you know, at Mailjet we don’t believe in testing just two email variations, which is why our A/B testing tool is not an A/B testing tool, but an A/X testing one. That means you can test up to 10 versions. Essentially, this means you can either come up with 10 really witty subject lines to perform a simple A/X test, or create different variations altering a number of elements within your message.

 

mindblown-ax-testing

Mind-blown, we know…

But, we don’t stop there. You can also leverage Campaign Comparison to test different combinations across a period of time, like sending day and time. Does early morning on a weekday work better than midday during the weekend? Or is lunchtime on Mondays best?

 

Love it? Can’t wait to get started? Play around with our A/X testing tool and let us know how you’ve found your winning combination on Twitter, using the hashtag #EmailMarketing.

 

Stocksy United’s 7 Tips For Crafting Standout Marketing Emails

We know mastering the art of crafting visually powerful emails can sometimes be a daunting experience. Pictures, CTAs, text, headings… Combining all these elements in a coherent and harmonic way is like decorating a house – just like those tribal masks you really love that don’t seem to look good anywhere, and that awful vase your mother-in-law gave you, which is more her style than yours, but you’re forced to keep.

Sounds familiar? We’re here to help you up your email game? We caught up with Stocksy United’s Creative Director Sarah Reid to learn more about their process and how to make rad marketing emails that set you apart from the competition and force you to have some fun.

 

Stocksy United’s Tips For Crafting Marketing Emails

1. Get organized

Before blindly diving in head first, step back, take an assessment and choreograph a cohesive schedule for your quarter’s mailers (or whatever period of time works best for you). Build out your calendar by cross referencing other marketing initiatives and promotions for a rock solid plan.

Quarterly, our little marketing team at Stocksy maps out the marketing plan for the season including themes for our emails. Being a small troupe (writer, designer, and creative director) allows us to be fluid in our process. We use high-tech coloured post-its to schedule everything on a big calendar — from blog posts to ads, promotions and newsletters and then move them around constantly as we adapt to our ever-changing schedule.

Find out whatever platform works best for you (I get it if post-its aren’t your ideal organization application) and implement a system so you stay consistent and remain on the ball.

 

2. Finesse your tone

Authenticity is a painfully overused word in marketing (#genuine #authentic #blessed), but I’m using it anyways because it’s so important — find your real, genuine, authentic voice. Not in a trendy way but in an honest way. Once you strike your true tone, it’s easy to talk with and relate to people because you’re just being you, having a conversation about something you want to share. Reference your business plan and company ethos to help jostle your memory as to who your business is, what it cares about and how it makes friends.

*Hint — If you’re stuck, A/B test your subject lines. Is the vibe of your business more casual? Opt for lowercase subject lines with a friendly tone. Title case tends to read more formally.

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Check out this email here.

 

3. Segment, segment, segment

Get a clear picture of who and where your subscribers are and talk to them in a relevant context and manner. Segmented lists become incredibly important as you break into various localized markets and client personas. If your subscribers are global, be sure that you’re sending seasonally appropriate content to all of your users.

We found staggering increases in engagement as we began to segment our lists. A holiday mailer, for example, targeting Australia, which featured regionally and seasonally appropriate curations, saw a 20-30% increase in opens over emails being sent to our general promotions list.

For example, we’re careful to ensure cozy, snowy December emails don’t land in Australia over the holidays where they are in the throws of summer. That would immediately make them feel like we’re not considering them and therefore not having a real conversation.

3b72909a-e67f-4bdc-a340-1a0fcf3d6a6e

Check out this email here.

 

4. What you see is what you get

Finding images that surprise, engage, and help to tell the email’s story is paramount. For example, let’s say we’re creating an email announcing a sale. Images A and B below are both gorgeous, have great usable copy space and are beautifully shot — all incredibly important when selecting images. Image B, however, re-enforces the concept of giving, has a lot of great usable copyspace on all sides and the relationship between the flowers and bird is pretty darned cute.

Invest in high resolution, high quality images. Your audience may not be able to tell why they don’t like the image, they just don’t. Do you like the image? Does it capture a moment? Is it unique? High quality images come from high quality photographers. You get what you pay for.

And finally, don’t ever use anything generic. The fastest way to make your email look like you run the most boring cardboard box factory on the planet is to insert an image that says nothing and looks like everything else. You’ve set you tone by now, and since you’ve segmented your lists, you know who you’re talking to, so push some boundaries. Choose images that make you feel something. Nobody wants to look at another photo of a woman laughing while she joyously eats a plain, dressingless salad (because we all know with firm conviction that nobody is that happy about plain salad).

Throw in some type and CTAs and you’ve got a rockin’ email!

Email Design - Stocksy Email

 

5. Make it move

Ok, full disclaimer, we love a good animated GIF (like, a lot). Subtle (or not so subtle) animations bring a certain delightful fun to your subscriber’s inbox. Who doesn’t love dancing pickles or bulbs that light up?

We’re always striving to create emails that are engaging and fun, so we are constantly experimenting with design, subject lines, customized fonts, and playing with GIFs.  

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Check this email here.

6. Ready? ACTION!

What do you want the reader to do? People like direction. Nobody wants to have to traverse the deep, dark, forgotten corners of the internet to decipher how to get the deal, read more or sign up. Give them what they want. Create strong hierarchy with both your visuals and CTAs. Clarity is cool. And effective. Having clear calls to action increases reader engagement exponentially.

 

7. Have fun with it

If an email isn’t fun to design, it’s probably not fun to look at.

At the end of the day, we’re all trying to create emails that subscribers will open and engage with. The most important thing is to get inside the head of someone opening a newsletter. You’ve done that before, right? How did it make you feel? Could you tell someone was sadly droning away at their cubicle, trying to sell you something? Or did it make you feel like the people behind the brand were excited, inspired, happy and having a laugh while making it?

Try brainstorming first thing in the morning when your brain is at its freshest. Get some ideas down before you check you emails. And don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things as you play around with potentials. You never know what you might end up implementing. Shake it up and get creative.

 

Loved Stocksy United’s tips? Spread the love on Twitter using the hashtag #EmailDesign and share some of your awesome email examples with us for a chance to be featured in our future posts! 

How To Test Your Email Campaigns For Different KPIs

In our almighty A/B Testing Beginner’s Guide for Email Marketing, we told you that knowing what and why you want doing testing is crucial. Split testing without a specific goal is just wasting your precious time.

But how do you identify and test the right KPIs for your business? Not sure? No worries, help is on the way.

super dog helps you with testing for KPI
 

What is a KPI? We hear you ask…

Key performance indicators (KPIs) are figures that reflect a company’s performance. KPIs are used by organizations to evaluate success against predefined targets. You might remember yours from your annual appraisal, we’re sure it was a glowing report! Different departments will have different perspectives and priorities, that together, are aimed to achieve the overall objectives of the business. For example, the marketing team might focus on market share, while accounting, might look at; profitability, cost coverage etc. Typical KPIs for an online business might include; website traffic, sign ups, and revenue. For email solutions (like ourselves) KPIs include; newsletter sign ups, open, click, conversion, spam, bounce and unsubscribe rates. We’re a big fan of rates ?.

KPIs help you to make qualified decisions and identify activities that might need to be rethought. Without them, how do we define success? Unless you’re a 21st century Albert Einstein, you might find it impossible to make important decisions. KPIs are to the rescue, to help us answer three (seemingly) simple questions:

  • Are we achieving our goals?
  • Do we need to change our strategy and if so, how?
  • What are our current strengths and weaknesses?

 

How do you choose the best KPIs for your business?

The hard part is choosing the right metrics, and not succumbing to data paralysis. Follow these four steps and you’ll impress your boss, no kidding!

Wo your boss with KPI testing
 

Step 1 – Define your business objectives: This one is crucial and will act as your foundations. If you don’t have clear business objectives, you won’t be able to set email marketing KPIs. Remember, every action you take should help you to achieve your KPIs and your organizations’ objectives. For example, they could include; selling product X, do great marketing and build brand trust – to name just a few.

Step 2 – Set specific goals: With your defined objectives in mind, you can now set specific goals. Good questions to ask yourself are; “What action should my subscribers perform after receiving my emails?”, “How is email marketing helping me reach my goals?”. Possible targets could be; more sales, increase unique visits, increase profit margins, more newsletter subscribers, fulfill your customer’s need, build a customer database for marketing, serve as a leading resource community. The list goes on!

Keep in mind that goals can influence each other. If you want to win more customers and gain more profit at the same time, with both new and existing customers, this can mean a target conflict. Be careful, not to define too many goals and make sure that you can measure your achievements objectively. How? (We hear you ask). With tangible results.

Step 3 – Set your KPIs: The business objectives are defined and your goals are set. Now it’s time to set up specific email KPIs, to measure your achievements. Ask yourself, “What data will validate my goals?”. You might want to consider, new sign ups per month, increased open rates, the number of visits to your website. We could literally go on forever, but we won’t ?.

Step 4 – Define KPI Targets: We’re no longer messing about, it’s time to set achievable target values ​​for each KPI. Setting concrete numbers will let you know if you achieve your targets. For example; 5.000 new customers, 250 sign ups per week, 30 percent open rate etc. Quantifying your success can help you react accordingly.

Set up process KPI
 

Email KPIs that you can test and how

Now you know how to define relevant KPIs for your business. It is time to get stuck in. The best way to achieving your goals is with split testing.

 

Newsletter sign ups

Before sending beautifully designed email campaigns to your target audience, you need to build a qualified contact list. You might think your list needs more subscribers, so increasing newsletter sign ups should be your first focus. Define a specific KPI target, including the timeframe you want to reach a certain amount of (new) newsletter subscribers.

Mailjet newsletter widget
 

The easiest way to win people is by implementing a beautiful newsletter subscription widget. Test the placement and the newsletter subscription widget itself. Play around with wording, button colors etc. Create different versions and analyze which one performs best.

Tip: Give your target group a good reason to sign up. Besides sending valued information on a regular basis, create a nice freebie (perhaps an ebook, whitepaper or promo code) and give it as an incentive. Try different giveaways to find the one your user really want.

 

Open rate

A good open rate is a prerequisite for the success of an email campaign. Define the specific target you want to achieve and the timeframe – then go for it. There are three elements which affect the open rate: Your subject line, preheader text and from name. Remember, to test all three elements.

Your goal should be to write compelling subject lines in your niche. No one wants to be the Buzz Aldrin of email marketing, you know (or not as the case may be) that guy who walked second on the moon after Neil Armstrong ?. Achieve your goal by playing around with; length, personalization, urgency, questions and even emojis. We have just the resource you need, to know everything about creating fantastic subject lines.

Think of your preheader text, as an extension of your subject line. It’s a second opportunity to wow your subscribers and convince them to open YOUR email.  

The from name is one of the most underrated email elements. If you’re a trusted brand then the name is the only thing your readers need to want your email. True fans take all the information they can get. So choose it wisely. But not everyone’s that lucky, build trust by focusing on that element – try different names. Split test more professional (Mailjet Marketing Team, Mailjet Team) against more personal versions (Juliane from Mailjet) to see what works best for you.

 

Click rate

In most cases, your open metrics are only the first step in pursuit of the final goal. You want your subscribers to open your email and perform an action. Perhaps it’s to download a specific piece of content, sign up for an event and of course… purchase your product. If your KPI is to increase click rate by X% – test your product pictures, descriptions, Call-to-Action’s, referral codes, social banners and any other elements you can think of.

 

Block, spam and unsubscribe rates

Building a nice contact list is hard work. Losing newsletter subscribers can be heartbreaking and you may be left feeling unloved. So take action by, treating your audience (as well as your family, friends and your significant other). Analyze your current block, spam and unsubscribe rates and set (realistic) goals.

The best way to keep your readers on your side is to create email campaigns which fit their needs. Ask them! What topics can’t your audience not get enough of? What products and services do your customers want? People want to be entertained. Test different types of interactive content  videos, animated pictures, polls, interactive maps, accordions and more.

You should look at your KPIs at least once a month. However, a daily evaluation can be useful under certain circumstances, so you can react in a timely manner. The frequency of your analysis might be dependent on the work involved. And last but not least, visualize your KPI in the form of graphs. It helps you keep track and shows your boss you understand what you are doing.

Whats your experience with set up KPIs and test for it? What are your struggles? Tell us all on Twitter. 

Are Marketers Forgetting Younger Generations Act Differently?

This post was first published on Voxburner, in the run up to their YMS event in London. YMS is the BIGGEST festival of youth marketing in Europe. With over 1500 attendees expected in 2017, the event brings together thought leaders, top brands and innovative agencies that are pioneering movements within the youth sector.

We’ll be talking to the YMS17 crowd on the Digital Stream. Before we do, let’s take a look at how the youth of today want to be reached by the brands they interact with.

Are marketers forgetting younger generations act differently?

Today’s marketers are missing a trick if they are not specifically targeting their youth audiences. It’s no secret that millennials and centennials like to stay connected. But that doesn’t mean everyone in the millennial generation acts in the same way. Our advice? Tread with caution and avoid stereotypes by listening to your data.

Last year, we conducted a piece of research that highlighted where brands are missing the mark with the targeting of their customer communications. The main issue found in our research was a lack of relevance and personalisation in emails – brands need to target generations differently to appeal to their audiences effectively.

Let’s discover where marketers need to take their communication strategy to appeal to their youth audiences.

A mobile first generation

Brands need to ensure their content is relevant and responsive to the design needs of a younger, more mobile generation. 34% of consumers under the age of 30 are most likely to open their emails on a mobile device, and nearly 1 in 5 will convert on a mobile. If you’re not offering a mobile responsive experience for your customers, then it might be that your youth audiences are converting elsewhere. Marketers must consider how their communications appear on different devices when looking at increasing their conversion metrics.

However, it’s not the only aspect: youth consumers are persuaded by personalisation and design.

mobile

Personalisation plays a part, but design is key

Offering a personalised experience remains key to youth audiences, with 39% saying it has the biggest impact on whether they convert with a brand or not. However, email design has the greatest impact, with 43% of consumers under the age of 30 saying it evokes the strongest reason to click. Marketers need to focus on creating well-designed emails, so they can engage their audience and persuade them to convert.

Before tempting customers to convert, brands need to capture the consumer’s attention. How do you do this? Our consumer research indicated that youth audiences find design, personalisation, and the timeliness of emails most persuasive when brands are trying to capture their attention.

Marketers need to reach their younger audiences when they are in the moment, so bring on real-time marketing!

Personalisation

Growing demand for real-time communication

60% of Brits under the age of 30 admit to blurring the lines of business and pleasure by checking personal emails during the working day. When asked to put a figure on the number of times they look through their personal emails a day, 1 in 7 admitted to checking at least 20 times or more. And, 92% allow for real-time notifications across their portable devices to alert them when brands have reached out via email.

A need for real-time communications is vitally important when targeting consumers under the age of 30, as 58% actually look for real-time notifications after interacting with a brand. Brands not offering a real-time approach to email could be missing a valuable opportunity. Younger consumers look to convert in the moment, so the timing an email is received becomes the most influential factor when making a purchase.

Real-Time

Channels no longer stand alone

Youth consumers still take the most notice of brands through email. Brands need to take their email approach to younger generations seriously, making it an experience that engages and captures the attention of younger minds. However, a large percentage of consumers under the age of 30 are receptive to brand communications and offers delivered through the likes of Instagram (20%), Twitter (21%) and Facebook (39%), indicating why social media channels should not be ignored. Marketers need to consider the overall customer experience and ensure that channels are no longer a standalone experience; email and social channels need to complement each other.

Brands need to ensure they understand the nuances of their youth markets by making use of creativity and personalisation data. By doing this, brands will be able to deliver campaigns that hit the mark. The days of spray and pray are gone: email marketing must be created to appeal to the individual, whether that means utilising real-time insights, compelling email design or new communication channels.

Customer Experience

We’ve looked at some of the strategies marketers need to implement into their brand communications so they’re appealing to youth audiences. Here’s a quick checklist of five actionable takeaways summarising what we’ve covered, to help make your emails relevant.

  • Opt for a mobile first approach: youth consumers are going mobile first, so you should be too.
  • Be personal to engage younger audiences.
  • Design engaging emails that entice readers to click through to your brand.
  • Reach your customers when they are in the moment, when you have their full attention.
  • Create a seamless experience: your channels are not silos, let them support each other to help your brand thrive.

 

Overwhelmed by what all this might mean for your company? Fear not! Technology is to the rescue, and we’ll have a look at how to seamlessly integrate it all into your strategy during the session.

Here’s Why You Already Need Our Slack x Mailjet Integration

What made your team get started on Slack? Was it to give your inbox some breathing room from long email threads? Collaborate faster with teammates in other departments or countries? Use the /giphy command? Whatever the reason, the outcome is usually the same: you’re now spending a lot of time within Slack.

Slack x Mailjet: your new favorite integration

OK, so what does this have to do with me sending email marketing?

From the moment you press Send on a marketing email, the subsequent chain of events is essentially the same for everyone: wait roughly 24 hours to log back into Mailjet and see the full statistics on how your campaign did. Sure, logging back into Mailjet and seeing your stats is easy (nod to our UX team). What’s inconvenient and unproductive, though, is breaking your work rhythm to:

  1. Remember to systematically check back in 24 hours after sending.
  2. Exit your current task and re-sign into Mailjet.
  3. Manually compare whether your latest campaign performed better ?  or worse ?  than the previous one.

This is when it dawned on us. If you (just like us) are already heads down in Slack, then why not bring the insights directly to you there?

Intriguing! Tell me what the Slack x Mailjet integration is all about.

With the new Slack x Mailjet integration, we bring the key statistics about your latest email marketing campaign directly to you. Without even leaving Slack, you’ll immediately know whether your last campaign was a success or not, and be prepared to take action.

Let’s dive into the details:

First: Email Sent Confirmation

Slack1

The moment you press Send on your email marketing campaign within Mailjet, you’ll receive a confirmation in Slack letting you know that it was sent and reminding you that in 24 hours, we’ll be back with your campaign performance statistics. This notification will include the name of your campaign, the name of the contact list you sent it too, plus a link back to your full statistics dashboard (for those of you who just can’t wait 24 hours).

Second: Campaign Performance Statistics

Slack2

From here, things get especially interesting. Without any action needed on your part, you’ll receive your most important campaign statistics directly within the Slack channel of your choice exactly 24 hours after you sent your campaign:

  • # People who opened your email
  • % People who opened your email
  • # People who clicked within your email
  • % People who clicked within your email

What we realized, though, was that you need more than just notifications. You need insights into whether your latest campaign performed better or worse than the previous one, indicated by the percentage changes on the right and corresponding color bars on the left (red for a negative % change, green for positive or no % change). Goodbye Mac calculator. You no longer need to pull up the stats for your current and previous newsletter campaigns together and then manually calculate your results. Our App does the heavy lifting so that you can instantly say “Wow, I did something very right wrong, so here’s what I need to do next.

More Visibility, More Creativity

Slack3

As we beta-tested the integration, we realized that there were other benefits to the Slack x Mailjet integration that we hadn’t anticipated. First, Mailjet notifications can be shared to an individual Slack channel or a group channel. A preference started for notifications to be pushed into group channels to give other departments visibility on what was happening within the company from an email marketing perspective. But, more interestingly, when the email campaign results arrived, group conversations continuously got sparked encouraging the email campaign sender and offering advice and ideas for next time! One marketing mind suddenly became 20.

Getting started, in literally four clicks

You can connect one or infinity Mailjet accounts to Slack, and it takes literally four clicks total. The full user guide is here, but to give you an overview, it’s as simple as clicking here to access the App Connections page within your account > Pressing Configure > Selecting the Email Account (API Key) that you want to receive notifications about > Choosing the Slack Team & Channel where your notifications should be sent. Boom.

Slack 4

?  Love it! Anything else I need to know?

A few final precisions about the integration. The first iteration currently works exclusively with email marketing campaigns that are sent immediately. Extending the integration to include scheduled, segmented or A/X tested campaigns will be part of a future version. Now that we’ve started with Slack, we don’t plan to stop. Stay tuned for other enhanced Slack x Mailjet features destined to bring you even more insights, directly within your favourite platforms.

Questions? Comments? Feedback on the Slack x Mailjet integration? Don’t hesitate to ping us at partners@mailjet.com

 

Let Customer Interactions Power Your Email Automation

In the age of real-time communications and instantaneity, we’ve grown used to wanting things, and wanting them now. Why buy the new season of Game of Thrones and wait around for it to be delivered tomorrow, when you can find it on demand and get it just now?

Similarly, when it comes to engaging with brands, customers expect timely and contextualized messages that match the way they interact with them. But still too many brands fall short of implementing the communications their customers expect, or that will maximize the company’s ROI.

 

Send automated emails based on customer interactions

 

In a recent study, Econsultancy noted that 28% of organisations cited technology as a barrier to optimize conversion rates. The same study showed that only 37% of respondents are already using behavioural emails, with an impressive 47% planning to use it in the near future.

We know reaching the right customer at the right time cannot be a matter of luck, which is why a few months ago, we introduced Mailjet’s Email Automation, allowing you to codelessly automate the sending of an email, as soon as someone subscribes to a contact list. Today, we’re enhancing this feature to enable you to trigger automated workflows based on the update of contact properties.

What does this mean, you ask? It means you’ll be able to reach your customers when it really matters. How? Read on!

 

So, what can I do with behavioral emails?

Using data from customer interactions with your brand is a good way to engage with your clients and prospects, but you’d better do it wisely or you could end up sounding a bit too creepy. I mean, getting nice reward for your loyalty is nice… but maybe getting an email after every single time you visit a website is a bit too much?  

Using the API to synchronize customer data after an interaction between your contacts and your brand is a good way of keeping track of interactions, to leverage them in your marketing strategy.

For instance, while it wouldn’t make sense to send an email each time your clients earn a point in your loyalty program, it could be interesting to send them a communication when they’re about to reach the next loyalty level, to encourage the next purchase by focusing on them with extra benefits they’ll obtain, as an incentive.

 

Winning automation strategies are waiting for you

All this behavioral information are the basis of countless automation strategies that can really boost your engagement, brand loyalty and ROI. Have a look at some straight-forward and easy to implement examples below:

  • Welcome loyal clients to a new status of your loyalty program, to introduce them to all the perks that come from being a devoted client;
  • Offer a special deal to reward frequent customers after their 5th order on your website;
  • Send an email with a white paper or a case study after a lead visits a predefined number of product pages on your website…

These are just some ideas, but there are unlimited ways you could leverage behavioral information to define new strategies that work for your company, and there is no doubt that one can meet your business needs.

 

How to create behavioral emails with Mailjet

Thanks to Mailjet’s Email Automation tool, it’s never been easier to create behavioral emails. You first need to make sure that the data you want to use to trigger your automated emails is updated on a regular basis, either thanks to our API or through periodic imports of CSV files.

Head out to Mailjet’s automation tab, available for all Mailjet’s Premium users, and select the brand new “Contact Property Update” scenario.

Contact Property Update

 

As with other automation scenarios, you will then be able to define some basic information, like the title of the workflow or the language of the emails, and define whether you’d like it to only apply to contacts in a specific list, or even a segment.

So, practical example: let’s imagine we’re an e-commerce and that, after each purchase, our customers collect loyalty points. When they reach 200 points, our loyal clients are awarded the Gold status, and we want to send them two emails (one to give them a special offer, and another one to explain them the benefits of the Gold membership).

In this first step, we will name our workflow “Gold Membership” and apply it to all contacts.

Create a scenario

 

OK, so far so good? Let’s move on to the serious stuff.

In the next step we will edit the workflow itself. A drop-down menu will allow you to choose the contact property that will trigger the emails. Depending on the type of data the contact property you select involves, you will be prompted to choose between several options of logical operator. You will then be able to define the value that will trigger the action.

In our example, we choose the contact property “Points” and we specify “equals or greater than 200”, and then click Save.

Choose property value

 

Once all of this is done, you’ll be able to add one or several emails to your automation flow, and set delays between those emails as we previously explained.

Following our previous example, we would send one email right away with a special offer, and a second email two days later to explain the benefits of being a Gold customer.

 

Et voilà! Creating behavioral emails with Mailjet really is a piece of cake. And, ‘cause you know, we love making your life easier, we can’t wait to hear how you’re using this new automation scenario to interact with your clients at the right time.

The contact property update scenario is available as of today for all Mailjet Premium clients. Create an account for free to discover it during our 30-days free Premium trial, or upgrade to a Premium Plan now.

 
If you are wondering whether you have to do some automation check out our marketing automation guide.
Tried it? Love it? We’d be more than happy to hear how you’re making the most of these new features. So if these improvements have changed your life, share your story with us on Twitter.  ?