Black Friday: Tips For The Perfect Email Campaign

Some things keep coming back faster than you expected them to. As soon as the summer heat starts to fade, stores magically become filled with holiday decorations… and suddenly, you’re thinking to yourself  “oh, right, it’s that time of the year again…”. Yep, now’s the time to take your brushes and your tools out to craft your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday email campaigns.

But hey, we know it’s hard to be outstanding every single time you prepare an email campaign -and we know pressure’s high for this specific event, when consumers receive a mountain of emails each day with discounts and promotions from each and every brand they’ve ever subscribed to.

Raise up, email marketers: it’s time to craft the perfect Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails. Just follow our steps and you’ll create a masterpiece.

black friday email campaign

 

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

 

Email tips for Black Friday & Cyber Monday

The Basics: A Good, Responsive Layout

Yes, we’re being Captain Obvious here. But no matter how attractive the prices you offer are, you can’t afford to send out an average looking Sale campaign with multiple CTAs, a festival of different fonts and kaleidoscopical colors. Last Black Friday, we still saw A LOT of these.

 

DON’T do this:

image08


DO this:

ef8d82b6339503a328e3aee277b106d8

A few rules to avoid a design disaster:

  1. Stick to a simple structure with columns (easier to get your email responsive)
  2. Keep a fair mix of images and text (about 60/40)
  3. Align fonts and size of your messages
  4. Decide which CTA buttons to use and make sure they are clearly displayed in a contrast color
  5. Have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Holiday Emailing to dig further.

Does this sound like Mission Impossible to you? Don’t panic: you don’t need to hire the latest fancy designer in town for that. With a drag-and-drop email editor, like our own Passport, you can easily build a nice looking email from an existing gallery of templates. Just throw in the right number of CTAs (that is, not many), add a few carefully-selected images from your brand library and you’ve got a great start.

 

Be Pretty But Don’t Shut Up

Don’t get us wrong -we just told you to make sure your email looks pretty, but going ahead, you also need to make sure design and content go hand in hand. For the past years, we’ve seen a minimalist trend out there with a lot of really, really beautiful Black Friday emails that just don’t tell you much about the sale, because… they’re just pretty.

DON’T do this (unless you’re sure everyone knows perfectly well what you do already…):

11_28_13_BlackFriday

 

Sure, a sleek design and a good CTA can go a long way, and some Black Friday emails are real works of art. But think again -this could work fine when you launch a brand new mysterious collection, to tease your loyal customers. But here, we’re talking about THE most competitive time of the year in the inbox; plus there’s little surprise/suspense effect on what a Black Friday offer can be made of.

If your contacts don’t immediately get what’s on sale, it’s double or nothing: either they’ll be intrigued and click to see more, or they’ll be slightly annoyed that you’re asking them to search by themselves what you’re offering and move on to another email. (Yes, your contacts can be lazy: never underestimate that.)

So, be sure to include a few product examples that entice people to use these amazing discounts right away.

DO this:

7c95a7efa043e887d3fc8900d4c824d9

Don’t Forget Your Signature

We’ve said it before: having a dedicated email voice helps you stand out and be more easily identified in the inbox. It’s even more crucial during a noisy period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when all the brands are going to use the same wording and content with percentages of discounts, as well as potentially similar designs. By the way, don’t feel like you have to go black: you can also make color the new black and use a dark touch only here and there.

DON’T DO this:

black friday marketing

 

There’s no one recipe to create the perfect Black Friday email. The main idea is to make sure that your customers recognize you when they receive your email and read it in the crowd of other Black Friday emails. So we recommend that your emails clearly display your brand identity (logo, style, voice, type of subject lines, images…) in order to enhance your chances of capturing your reader’s attention.

DO this:

black friday

This email from Agent Provocateur has it right: the brand colors are all over the email, with a few products displayed as well.

 

Another thing you can do to make sure that your contacts recognize you is to pair your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday emails: similar designs, slightly different messages, like Jonathan Adler.

DO this:

black friday email

Hello, beautiful twins.

Stand out in the inbox

We’ve already said this: your contacts’ inbox will completely full on Black Friday, and most likely the majority of your subscribers will only dedicate a few seconds to each email they’ve received. But… you don’t want this to happen to your campaign and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent it. Great.

To stand out in the inbox and ensure that your contacts pay attention to (and appreciate) your offers, sometimes you have to go all in and give your campaign an innovative touch.Want some design ideas that can capture your readers’ attention? You can play with these elements to create an unforgettable email:

DO this:

Forever-21-scratch-card

 

And voilà: now that you’ve got all our master tricks, you’re all set to be the next Picasso of email marketing this season.

Ready to create a masterpiece? On your marks, set, design: share your tips with us on Twitter using #MailjetDesign.

***

This blog post is an updated version of the post “Crafting the Perfect Black Friday Email Campaign“, published on the Mailjet blog on November 3rd, 2016 by Mylène Blin.

GDPR Journal: Privacy Matters. Really.

As our resident legal expert here at Mailjet, I set aside at least a full day each week to take care of our data privacy issues. I had put together a compliance roadmap of items to be handled before the year-end as part of the GDPR readiness plan. The next item on my to do list was to update our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Matters With GDPR

So what exactly is a Privacy Policy?

You see them on most websites. Privacy Policies drafted in various different ways. But what is it exactly? It’s important to note that, a Privacy Policy is not the same as the Terms and Conditions of Service (or of Use). If you collect and process personal data, you are likely required to provide information accessible for your users that details your data privacy policies.

The old EU directive required certain information to be provided to data subjects in the case of data collection, including the company’s identity, data processing purposes, the existence of certain rights to access and rectify the data, etc. And each EU Member State also has this requisite. The new EU GDPR requires that this information be even more detailed and clearer.

So in collecting personal data, you should disclose the ways that you gather, use, disclose, and manage your customer or user’s data. As each individual has a fundamental right to the protection of their data and to be informed.

What needs to be included?

I last updated Mailjet’s Privacy Policy in September of last year. At the time, I wanted not only to harmonize all our online policies but also to make them clearer for our customers — and the last update was, to say the least pretty outdated.

And this time around, I needed our policies to be fully in line with the new GDPR requirements — as it imposes additional requirements as to the information to be provided on the collection of personal data. For example, not only do the purposes of processing need to be provided, but now also the legal basis needs to be stated. In our case for Mailjet, the principal purpose is to provide our emailing services and facilitate their performance, including verifications relating to our clients; the legal basis is to be compliant with the data privacy laws.

As a summary, the key information to be provided to your clients and users under GDPR is:

  • Identity and contact details of the data controller
  • Contact details of the DPO (when applicable)
  • Processing purposes and the legal basis
  • Where the processing is based
  • Recipients of the personal data, if any
  • Data transfers outside EEA, when applicable
  • Data retention period
  • Rights to access, to rectify and to delete data
  • Right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority
  • Existence of any automated decision making (including profiling) and the logic behind it

How exactly to create/update your policy?

In my opinion, the best way to tackle this project was to go through the actual GDPR regulation — article by article — and modify our Privacy Policy accordingly.

I had to include the now necessary information (including the new contact information of our DPO — if you’ve forgotten, yours truly, the supervisory authority and right to lodge a complaint…) and at the same time attempting to describe all this in a clear and concise manner.

One of the main underlying principles of the GDPR is the principle of transparency; this requires that any information addressed to the public should be clear, concise, easily accessible and easy to understand. The information provided shouldn’t be bogged down in legal jargon and with cumbersome online conditions.

So I wrote out the policy as if I were talking in everyday language. No legal mumbo-jumbo. No long-winded phrases. No complicated theories. I had to forget my days of writing legal briefs. This had to be very simple.

After spending several hours on the first draft, I passed it along to my fellow colleagues (those without a legal background), so I could get some feedback as to the clarity and understandability of the document. I also met up with our CTO to ensure we were aligned on a technical side with our policies (data retention, deletion capabilities, etc.). He offered suggestions to integrate into the document and by the end of the day, I had a nice working draft. Hurrah!

I spent the following few days tweaking the policy to make it just right and coordinating with our marketing team to set up the schedule for its release date. Of course, we needed to give our client’s at least 30 days notice for these updates and create a clear email describing the changes. At the same time, some modifications needed to be made to our Terms of Use, so why not use the same notification to our clients for both? Kill the bird with one stone.

What was updated?

The main items that were incorporated into our new Privacy Policy (which was effective as of September 15th) are:

  • To harmonize the terminology with the terms used in the GDPR (words such as; data subject, controller, data processor, supervisory authority)
  • To clarify the consent policy (how we obtain our client’s consent)
  • To identify the data supervisory authority where customers may lodge data protection complaints (in France it’s the CNIL)
  • To define our legal basis for data processing
  • To allow us to respond directly to a request from a data subject to modify or delete his/her data. In the past, we had to request authorization from our customer directly and await their instructions.
  • To better clarify our data retention periods (this is still a challenge to make transparent since we deal with so many different types of data, personal or otherwise — and this retention policy needs to be worked on closely with our technical team to put in place the right processes).
  • To communicate our new minimum password security requirements
  • To share our new DPO contact information (yours truly!)

Take a look at our GDPR compliant Privacy Policy.

In the meantime, are you creating or updating your company’s privacy policy? Share your experience with Mailjet on Twitter.

This post was first published on the Mailjet Medium account.

The Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing

The Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing

For the email marketer, the holiday season is here and it’s time for all of us to get ready to make the most of it. And no, it’s not just about dusting off our Christmas jumpers and lighting up the whole neighborhood with our festive decorations. It’s also about putting together amazing campaigns that will help us to embrace the holiday feeling to build our brand and drive sales.

This year, we’ve combined all our Holiday resources in one, to create your one-stop shop to win the battle of the inbox this season. In our Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing, you will learn how to create amazing content for your campaigns, you’ll find great design tips from some of our friends in the industry, and get inspiration from great email examples by top brands.

We’ll help you define a Holiday Email Strategy that will win your customers over, with all you need to know, from setting your goals to that last-minute checklist.

 

Contents:

  1. Setting goals for the holiday season
  2. Crafting irresistible email content
  3. Designing beautiful holiday emails
  4. Brands that rocked the holiday inbox
  5. Mailjet’s Holiday email checklist

 

Only want to have a look at one specific part? Click on the links to download our Content, Design and Email Examples extracts.

Download Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing and prepare to learn from great email examples, discover amazing design tips and get your team together to craft engaging content.

We’re sure you’ll love it, so make sure you’re spreading the word and letting people in on our little secret by sharing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

 

How To Use Facebook Messenger Chatbots To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Many marketers view chatbots as an alternative to email, with some even proclaiming chatbots as the “death of email.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Much like how content marketing can be used alongside email marketing, chatbots are a powerful additive channel that can boost your email marketing campaigns.

Customers are increasingly ready to embrace messaging apps as a customer service channel, and younger demographics even more so, according to HubSpot. This means it’s a trend that will only increase with time.

Chatbots are the next frontier of marketing automation. They create relationships with your customers through a live experience, instead of overcrowding their inboxes.

 

What are chatbots?

The easiest way to think of chatbots is as the next iteration of Live Chat.

As Live Chat became more widely adopted by brands and used by customers, it failed to live up to its “live” name. Today consumers wait on average 2 minutes and 40 seconds for a response on Live Chat, and 21 percent of their messages go completely unanswered. From a customer’s standpoint, that’s unacceptable.

Chatbots bring the immediacy back to live chat. Even better, they speak to your customers wherever they are, rather than forcing them to come to your website. Thanks to advancements like Facebook Messenger, chatbots are no longer clunky or robotic. They can handle a lot more functionality, and sound more like humans.

 

Can chatbots and email marketing work together?

As Joe Crawford writes in Chatbots Magazine, “Think of email as a speech, and a Messenger chatbot as an interview. Like a speech, email is a one-way communication, with all of the information being presented in one continuous sequence. Messenger is comparable to an interview in that it exists as a series of back-and-forths with one side attempting to gather information (the bot), and the other (the human) providing that information based on the questions asked.”

Email marketing and chatbots both form relationships with your customers, but in different, complementary ways.

With email marketing, you can provide a complex, visually appealing layout that includes copy, images, hyperlinks, and CTA buttons. It is perfect for more important and detailed information contacts will most likely want to retrieve, as searching for it is easier than looking through chats and notifications.

Chatbots, on the other hand, share less information, but that information is precisely relevant to an individual user’s needs and wants, depending on what they share with the chatbot. Plus, much of the desired action can take place directly within the Messenger interface. Users can answer form questions, watch video, and buy products directly from a chatbot, while an email would require them to click through a link to take action.

When compared to email, chatbot conversations are more personalized and actionable. Experience it yourself with this hypothetical chatbot user flow from Hubspot.

 

Example of a chatbot conversation

 

Facebook Messenger chatbots and Email Marketing

One of the easiest ways to add a chatbot to your marketing funnel is to implement one into Facebook Messenger. Facebook itself has its own handy bot creator for developers, but there are also plenty of services out there that will create a bot that’s tailored to your brand’s specific needs.

Having a Messenger chatbot in addition to your email marketing efforts can result in more targeted and detailed user data, and higher conversion rates overall. One way it does this is with user-dreaded forms.

Forms are a lot of work for users, especially if you got greedy with the number of fields. Chatbots relieve customers of that burden, but they also minimize the work on your side.

Verve says 60 percent of people intentionally lie or provide false info online. 33 percent use a fake email address, and customers have no problem supplying someone else’s phone number to get access to your latest whitepaper. Meanwhile, less than 5 percent of Facebook profiles are fake. Start using Facebook Messenger chatbots today and you can stop mining through fake data.

There are plenty of other benefits to using Facebook Messenger chatbots alongside your email strategy. Let’s name a few, shall we?

  • Users receive instant responses, increasing loyalty while they wait for a more detailed email.
  • Facebook Messenger chatbots feel social, lively, and fun, making customers delighted to hear from you again.
  • Chatbots can help your brand appeal to younger users, who might not be as responsive to an email as they are to a message.

 

How to integrate a Facebook Messenger chatbot in your email marketing funnel

Ready to get started with your own Facebook Messenger chatbot? Let’s review the many ways they can augment your email marketing funnel and engage your customers.

Newsletter subscriptions with chatbots

No longer do users have to leave Facebook to fill out a form on your landing page. Integrate with Facebook Connect login to enable single-click subscriptions like the L.A. Times does:

 

LA Times Chatbot

 

Content downloads through chatbots

Use Facebook’s Messenger CTA buttons to make things even easier. For instance, after they view your Facebook Live, you can include a button in the conversation that says “Send me the checklist!”, that would trigger an email to be sent with the content download link or file.

Here’s an example from HubSpot:

 

HubSpot Chatbot Example

 

Event promotion and reminders

Users can RSVP to events on and off Facebook and receive friendly reminders from your Facebook Messenger chatbot (as well as your usual automated email reminder). Disney created a chatbot persona of Officer Judy Hopps to hype Zootopia by engaging with RSVP-ed users on Facebook before the movie premiere and also before the DVD release.

 

Zootopia's Chatbot

Exclusive offers

Let users decide if they want to interact with you via Facebook, Messenger, or email. . Incentivize to connect via Facebook Messenger by offering an exclusive whitepaper, ebook, or video, and offer yet another incentive for email, like an exclusive deal. As Mixergy and Bot Academy founder Andrew Warner shows in this YouTube video, Messenger works immediately. The second the button is clicked, they get a notification via Messenger on their phone.

 

Exclusive offers chatbot example

 

Clear up your support team’s queue

Create a support chatbot to answer common FAQs so users don’t languish on your help page or get stuck in a long email thread with your support team. Airbnb lets hosts create custom FAQ. This minimizes frustration for hosts who get sick of answering the same thing over and over again, and it also makes things easier for customers so they’re likelier to convert faster:

 

Support chatbot example

 

Qualify leads

Program your chatbot to ask questions that further segment subscribers and qualify leads. In this personal shopping assistant example from Convo Interface, the bot could help a person make a purchase right then and there, or send them an email with several options:

 

How to qualify leads with chatbot

 

Drive conversions

Chatbots drive conversions in real time. Belly Hungry’s chatbot lets people schedule reservations, find restaurant locations, or order takeout – all from within Facebook (no more going to Yelp or Google search and finding one of your competitors instead), while still getting their transactional emails to confirm their booking or purchase:

 

Example of how to make reservations with chatbots

 

Optimize Facebook ads

Lower your CPM with more effective Facebook ads. Let customers immediately start a conversation with your sales rep, instead of having to click through to your website, as in this example from Business Pineapple:

 

How to optimize Facebook Ads with chatbots

 

Create your Facebook Messenger chatbot

So, how do you actually go about creating a chatbot? Fortunately, it’s easier than you think.

Several companies have risen to meet the demand. There are dedicated chatbot developers for Facebook Messenger like Octane AI, Chatfuel, and ManyChat. Then there are developers that work with Facebook, your website, as well as other apps like Slack or text messaging, like SnatchBot and Hubspot’s Motion.ai. Finally, some chatbot developers specialize in transforming landing page forms into a conversational chatbot interface, such as Botui.org, Landbot.io, Convointerface and Conversational Form.

Many of these chatbot builder tools helpfully walk you through the process, from mapping a conversation flow chart to adding custom buttons and more.

 

How to create the chatbot

Of course, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can always code your own chatbot. Distilled shared their custom chatbot code in a recent Moz article.

 

Don’t wait. Jump on the chatbot train today.

Five percent of companies were already using chatbots in 2016, and 32 percent are planning to use or pilot them in 2017. Email marketing is getting tougher, since everyone’s doing it now. Supplementing your email efforts with a chatbot can help you to outpace the competition.

 

Email That Wins The
Halloween Inbox

Getting ready for Halloween is fun but it can be hard work too. Hollowing out a pumpkin. Carefully applying fake blood. Trying to put together a costume to rival Chica the spider-dog’s.

 

Email Tricks For Your Halloween Campaigns

Like most Halloween prep, crafting an  email that gives your subscriber goosebumps (in a good way), takes preparation and creativity. To help you out, we’ve handpicked some scarily good campaigns.

 

Tip 1: Include a trick and a treat

Look at how Coca-Cola injected some fun into the Halloween inbox by inviting subscribers to dress up as their favorite drink. Not only is this a good way to give the customer a good laugh, but also cleverly encourages free brand marketing. Take this as an example and start thinking about how you can leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing (WOM).

 

Coca-Cola halloween

 

Tip 2: Look devilishly good

Halloween is the perfect opportunity to dress up your emails to give them an edge. Mango stays true to its personality with this elegant, yet rather cheeky, message. The title is eye-catching, set in sharp contrast against the white background, and the paragraph adds a twist, combining its spooky theme with some intrigue.

Mango Halloween Email

 

Tip 3: Build up the suspense

A mystery deal can be a great way to keep your subscriber hooked and get them to visit your website. Pull & Bear’s ‘Trick or Treat’  email campaign invites customers to play a virtual scratch game to win a discount.

Spicing up your emails with a sense of mystery will help your click-through rate, as your contacts are likely to be tempted to try their luck, which will translate into visits to your website.

Halloween Email Pull&Bear

 

Tip 4: A custom-made email costume

Subscribers are mostly engaged by helpful, relevant email. This can be anything from including on-trend topics, customizing email to their preferences, or catering for their Halloween needs.

This NOT ON THE HIGH STREET.com campaign includes useful content for the time-strapped shopper, with links to everything one might need for the perfect Halloween party, from sweet treats to fancy dresses.

Let the reader know that you have a cure for all their pain points, that you have what they are looking for, and that they won’t need to look anywhere else. No tiring Halloween costume hunting after work, no endless evenings spent crafting decorations. Their Halloween party can be sorted in just a few magical clicks!

Halloween Campaign by Not On The High Street

 

Tip 5: Free all kinds of new monsters

Make your Halloween email stand out by being bold and using fresh, innovative content. Lands End does this cleverly, by bringing its products to life with the use of an animation, an element that will most definitely attract the reader’s attention. They also give their email a different twist, opting for ‘Black Magic’ as their title, rather than the usual ‘Trick or Treat’ They even top it off with a short Halloween themed poem.

Be creative, innovative and original and you’ll see how your effort pays off.

 

Halloween Email Land's End

Want to see the animation? Check it out here.

 

Bonus: Adapt it to your industry

While for some industries Halloween-ifying their email content can be quite straight-forward , others might have a bit of brainstorming to do. If you’re not feeling your most creative self today, here are a few ideas on how to give your holiday metrics some oomph:

Ecommerce

Bring your products to life in Halloween style. List the essential ingredients for the perfect party, and let the reader know that you have everything they need for it.

Software

Add a spooky twist to your product, perhaps include an invite to an exclusive Halloween event, or unlock some scarily remarkable feature or content.

Travel & Experiences

Draw together some Halloween events or experience days local to your subscriber, or use this opportunity to promote some inspiring destinations. Many places have their own local traditions around Halloween (like El Día de los Muertos), it could be a great chance to promote them!

Food & Spirits

Give your contacts Halloween recipes so good your readers will want to stay up cooking all night. Focus on classic ingredients (pumpkin!) and on spooky-looking dishes. Want to make it even better? Run a contest and ask your subscribers to share photos of their creations with you. User generated content will be your new best friend!

Beauty & Well-being

Let your subscribers know that whether they want the perfect make-up for their costume or they actually want to look a bit less like a monster, your products can do the magic.

 

Holiday Emailing Guide

 

These marketers know that it takes work to turn a great idea into great copy and design. Draw inspiration from these campaigns, and download Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing to get even more tips, and make sure your email wins best-dressed in the Halloween inbox. As for your own winning costume, you might need to look elsewhere. Happy Halloween!

Do you have any great ideas or advice for a Halloween campaign? Feel free to share them with us on Twitter!
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This blog post is an updated version of the post “Fright School Friday: Email That Wins The Holiday Inbox“, published on the Mailjet blog on October 30th, 2015 by Sasha Seddon.