Getting Security And Privacy In Email Right

How many times have we said that email has the highest ROI, or that it’s the most effective marketing channel? It even looks like we have some kind of secret master plan to trick everyone into using email… 🤔

Subtle marketing techniques aside, the truth is email is a quick, cheap and highly customizable way to contact customers. But of course, as a business working with personal data, you know that privacy and security are not things to be taken lightly. Protecting sensitive information and preventing hacks or leaks is key.

That’s why email has to be secure, to ensure all of this data is safe and only available to those with the rights to access it.

“Phishing and spoofing are huge threats in the email world today. It’s incredibly important to ensure you have set all possible protections to prevent spoofing.”
– Lauren Meyer, VP of Delivery & Head of North American Operations at Mailjet

With data protection and data security constantly in the news, and GDPR coming into effect in May, email privacy and security is as crucial as ever.


Mailjet GDPR:ISO Compliant Header


Keeping your email data private and safe

Laws around the world regulate the use of emails. There are obviously the different spam laws, which differ from country to country and that you need to know them and ensure you’re following the ones that apply wherever you’re operating.

But there are also transnational agreements, signed between countries or supranational entities (like the EU), to help companies establish themselves abroad, and comply with local laws. Among the agreements you’ll need to be familiar with, and ensure you comply where appropriate, the key one for those with European contacts is the EU General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR).

GDPR was passed in 2016. It strengthens the current European regulations regarding data security within the EU members estates. Any company, organization, association and administration, should it be a private or a public one (that is, any structure with access to personal data) will have to comply with GDPR, starting May 25, 2018. European companies, but also non-European companies with EU customers, will have to make sure that only mandatory data that is relevant to their activities is collected.

They will also have to ensure that the physical servers where the data is stored are safe and under protection. Any data transfer out of the EU will be done under strict rules. If a company fails to comply with these new rules, it can be sanctioned with a fine equal to up to 4% of its yearly turnover, or 20 million euros, whichever is higher. Under this new EU rule, all personal data will be subject to the highest security, so consumers can trustfully interact with companies.

But this doesn’t just mean that you have to ensure your own business complies with GDPR, it also means that any third-party solutions you work with have to be GDPR-compliant too. This, obviously, includes your email service provider, so it’s key to choose wisely (spoiler alert: read on to find out why Mailjet is a good choice 😉).

Data security is a big deal in Europe, so before starting your operations on EU soil, be sure to comply with the rules in place, as well as the upcoming ones, and be careful only to choose GDPR-complaint third party solutions, like Mailjet.

Mailjet GDPR Quiz

The technical side of email security

But all these legal – yet important! – considerations aside, how can you ensure that both the emails you send and the ones you receive are really safe?


One of the ways in which we can protect the information contained in emails is through encryption.

When we’re talking about encryption, there are different possibilities. Encryption of messages is probably the most efficient procedure when it comes to email security. Contrary to the popular belief, DKIM does not provide encryption of the messages. However, it adds a layer of authentication that helps you to protect your emails.

To ensure a proper encryption of your email, you can also use these tools, which support the OpenPGP standard: For example, you can try GPGTools, which is natively integrated with Apple Mail and allows you to send encrypted emails (end to end encryption).

Another possibility is encrypting the channel that leads your email to go from server A (your sending server) to server B (your recipient’s server). This is the role of the Transport Layer Security, or TLS. The only issue here is that TLS is still not used by all the ISPs. Meaning that if you send a TLS encrypted message and your recipient’s server doesn’t follow this protocol, the encryption won’t be effective

Security of the data storage servers

You also have to be sure that the servers where the data is stored are safe. If you store this data yourself, complying with the requirements of GDPR is a minimum. Keep your servers under surveillance 24/7, and limit the number of people that have access to them. This is mandatory for your company, and it is crucial to keep your user’s information safe and, ultimately, their trust.

If you rely on a third party to store the data, look for solutions that offer the best guarantees. Redundancies, fire risk prevention, high security levels, energy self-sufficiency… Since you’re not the one directly managing the server, you have to be sure that all of these necessary precautions are followed, to ensure the maximum level of security. If you have European customers, having your servers located in Europe can also be a good idea, since the stricter European laws will apply.

“Organizations collect, process and hold ever-increasing volumes of personal data to enable relevant and timely email communication with their customers. Data security continues to be a huge responsibility and challenge, and they need assurance that their email service provider can deliver this.”– Pierre Puchois, CTO Mailjet.

Email security and privacy at Mailjet

Mailjet makes security a priority, which is why we decided to obtain the ISO 27001 certification, the international standard for best practices of information security process, which requires companies to not only implement company-wide processes pertaining to security policies, data handling and access, but also infrastructure changes.

Our security processes begin with our product development, and the scope, lifecycle and fundamental principles of Mailjet’s security policy are to the highest standard, ensuring all information hosted on the Google Cloud and OVH platforms is secure.

But by choosing Mailjet, you’re not opting for an ESP provider that is ISO-certified, but also for one that has completed all the necessary steps to be GDPR-complaint, including the implementation of privacy frameworks, data protection by design, and the ability for individuals to easily have more control over their personal data.

“These accomplishments in data privacy and security propel Mailjet to another level of service excellence in the competitive email industry. We’re proud of these achievements and what it means not just for our clients, but for the individuals whose data we protect on behalf of our clients.” – Alexis Renard, CEO Mailjet

And you? Are you GDPR-ready? Find out by taking our GDPR quiz, and share your results with us on Twitter

Email Campaign Ideas To Test In The New Year

Since 2018 is already in full swing, and we’re totally confident that you haven’t dropped any of your New Year’s resolutions yet, why not add one more into the mix? We’ve already told you about the exciting trends we expect to see in an email this year, but how are you going to make 2018 your year of email?

No need to panic, we’ve got you covered. While you were signing up for spin class, our minds were spinning with fun email campaign ideas that you can test in the new year. Give these a try, and you’ll feel great about your email strategy for 2018 (even if those other resolutions don’t last).


Email Campaign Ideas You Just Have to Try in the New Year

Campaign #1: Re-engage your customers after the holiday season

Once all the excitement dies down, it’s time to take a rest from sending email campaigns, right? Wrong. Surprisingly, the post-holiday season is a great time for sales, and a reactivation campaign is the perfect way to get in on the action. Try sending out a campaign to encourage your subscribers to visit your store or website again.

At the beginning of the year, the sales that started after Christmas are likely to still be on. Leverage on this to attract customers to your products and remind them why they subscribed to your brand in the first place. This is a great way to reduce post-holiday unsubscribes. You can also segment your list to promote to each customers items that they may be more interested in, based on previous purchasing behavior. Continue to engage your subscribers to avoid being ignored after the holiday hype calms down.


NastyGal New Year Campaign

This Nasty Gal campaign plays with the new resolutions that usually emerge at the beginning of the year, implying that buying from their sale is a good decision. This is a great way to encourage post-holiday shopping and make customers feel good about it.

Campaign #2: Make the most of a not-as-popular holiday

Think about it: your customers’ inboxes are flooded during popular sales periods like Black Friday and Christmas, but what about holidays that aren’t traditional shopping days? Take advantage of the email lull and send your subscribers a special sale when they’re not expecting it. This will capture your subscribers’ attention and incite their curiosity, as they may not be aware of that festivity.

Using a campaign comparison tool, like the one Mailjet offers, will allow you to test various holiday campaigns throughout the year. That way, you’ll know which holidays cut through the inbox clutter and bring you the most engagement from your customers.

Banana Republic Mardi Gras Campaign

This Mardi Gras email takes advantage of the excitement surrounding a holiday that’s not typically known for shopping, and encourages customers to indulge in shopping and savings (in addition to eating in abundance, as the festivity requires).

Campaign #3: Own up to your mistakes

It’s every marketer’s worst nightmare, and it probably happens to you once or twice a year. You see your beautiful new campaign land in your inbox, only to realize that your call to action links to the completely wrong page, or worse, it has no link at all!

But wait, don’t faint just yet. Use it as an excuse to send a quick follow-up campaign apologizing for the goof (and including whatever you missed in your previous email). Even if it was a technical problem with your website, don’t be afraid to apologize. Your customers will likely open the email just to see what went wrong, and they may even click through for the deal that you were promoting in the first place. Use powerful subject lines that will play with your customer’s FOMO, to ensure that they will be opened.

Be sure to take a look at your campaign statistics after you’ve sent your “Oops!” email, to see if it increases engagement. Now, we know this little trick is amazing, but don’t go finding excuses to use it, ok? We wouldn’t want you to get carried away. 😉


Forever 21 Ops Email

In this email, Forever 21 takes advantage of their ‘Oops’ moment to offer customers free shipping.

Campaign #4: Play to your customer’s competitive side

Use your slower seasons to give your customers fun incentives. Try creating a game that invites your subscribers to interact with your brand for a prize. This is a fun idea that you can test using multiple platforms. For example, if you’re looking to increase your social following, try running a contest on one of your social platforms, then send an email campaign to let your subscribers know that they’re missing out!

You can also run a campaign encouraging your customers to make purchases over a period of time for a chance to win a prize (think McDonald’s Monopoly game). Giving your customers a little extra push to make a purchase during a traditionally slow season is a great way to re-engage your contact list.

A fun competition is also a great chance to run an A/B (or even better, A/X) test on the various elements of your email. Figuring out which style of subject lines or email imagery excites your subscribers will give you great insight for designing your future holiday campaigns. You can also segment your email list to offer your most loyal customers special deals or opportunities for extra points.

Starbucks Email Campaign

This Starbucks for Life summer game is a great example of creating new excitement through competition. Customers compete to win bonus stars or a lifetime supply of Starbucks by making purchases and hitting specific targets.

Testing new campaign ideas is a great way to capitalize on slower seasons. With whatever you decide to try in the new year, make sure to follow your statistics to track the effects of your campaigns. Once you’ve tested your new creations, you’ll be ready to implement the best ideas into your emails for the busier seasons.

So, are you feeling totally pumped to make 2018 the best email year yet? Don’t let us stop you – start building those new campaigns now!

Did you try one of our 2018 email campaign ideas? Share the results with us on Twitter by using #MailjetTesting.


This blog post is an updated version of the post “Email Campaign Ideas TO Test In The New Year“, published on the Mailjet blog on January 5th, 2017 by Patrika Cheston.

7 Deadly Email Sins You Need To Avoid

Email is one of the most effective marketing tools. If you know how to use it right you can gain more customers and boost your open-, click- and conversion rates. We know sometimes it sounds easier than it actually is, so we tracked down the seven deadly email marketing sins that might arise in your daily business and that affect the success of your marketing strategy. Let’s learn how to avoid those sins and push your email marketing to the next level.


Email Marketing Sins:

Sin #1: Blindly engaging in email marketing without developing an email marketing strategy.

One of the biggest misconceptions is that email marketing can be successful without an existing strategy. Sending out blind email campaigns is doomed to fail. The most important factors for successful email marketing are: a clear strategy, defined goals and predetermined KPIs.

Setting goals

First, set your goals and ask yourself what you want to achieve through email marketing. Do you want to increase your number of social media subscribers? Do you want to increase your sales figures? Tell your customers about a new product? Or maybe strengthen relationships with your customers? The clearer you formulate your goals, the more likely it is that you’ll be successful.

Developing a strategy

Once your aims are clearly defined, it’s time to develop an email marketing strategy to help you achieve your goals. For instance, if you want to work harder to cultivate relationships with your customers, just send a batch of emails asking your customers for their opinions or rewarding them for their loyalty, or send them a personalized thank-you email.

Miss Selfridge Personalised Feedback Email


Defining KPIs

In order to analyze and assess your goals and achievements, it’s important to define KPIs. They reflect the effectiveness of your email marketing. KPIs provide you with an overview of your strengths and weaknesses and indicate whether or not your goals have been achieved so that you can change or adapt your strategy accordingly.

KPI Framework


Sin #2: Promoting too much or too little.

Promotion is also one of the most important factors of success in email marketing, but it consistently poses a huge challenge for email marketers.

If you send too few newsletters, your subscribers will forget you and you’ll have your work out how to establish customer relationships and improve your sales figures. If, however, you have a high sending frequency and promote your products in newsletters on a daily basis, your customers will quickly get irritated. This leads to newsletter de-registrations, getting blocked or—worst of all—getting marked as spam. Your sender reputation will be damaged, and your sales figures may take a hit.

Therefore, sending frequency has an important role to play in email marketing. We recommend carrying out A/B tests to determine the ideal day, time and frequency for sending out your marketing materials.

Send your campaigns at different times and on different days, and increase and decrease your sending frequency. Compare the results of all campaigns with one another, and analyze the time and frequency that’s suitable for your customers and newsletter subscribers. Tailor these results to the sending of your newsletter, and that’s how you’ll find the right amount of promotion.

Sin #3: Ending email communication abruptly.

Many businesses are aware of the fact that a welcome email has huge potential in email marketing to create customer loyalty. But after a customer has been given a cordial welcome, deathly silence ensues in the subscriber’s inbox—a mistake that can cause you to quickly lose a potential buyer. Don’t just bury your new customers in your ex-customer graveyard straight away. Instead, establish strong customer relationships by sending them personalized, high-quality emails after the welcome email, offering them added value.

For starters, it’s important to leave a positive first impression with the welcome email. Avoid predictable phrases such as “You have registered successfully” and “Welcome, you have registered to our newsletter”. Give your customers a chance to try out your products and services, and pique their interest with a new-customer discount code. Only a few subscribers will want to miss out on this benefit.

You will score major brownie points if you customize the email at the time of registration. This creates the impression that you put the email together just for them and ensures instant customer loyalty.

Tattly Welcome Email


After the initial purchase, it’s worth sending a feedback questionnaire so that your customer has the opportunity to rate your products and services. That way, you don’t just show that you’re interested in your customers’ opinions, but you also receive important information that can be used for your optimization process. Additional emails that can follow after a welcome email are:

  • Emails where you offer your assistance if the customer has not reached out for a while.
  • Reminder emails that refer to products in their basket or to the new customer discount that has not yet been redeemed.
  • Emails with product recommendations, based on the customer’s buying behavior.

Below you can see an example of how a reminder email might look like. This way, you make your customers aware of the products that are waiting in their shopping basket. By adding a promo code or special offers you motivate your customers to complete the ordering process.


Abandoned Cart Email


Sin #4: Sending emails with too many images and too much information.

Of course, everyone wants a newsletter subscriber to recognize and understand all the information in the email. But if you try to cram too much information and too many visual aids into an email, you are bombarding your recipients with information, which will put them off rather than attract them.

It’s important for your emails to offer added value and to have a balanced proportion of text and images. Arrange your emails in a structured manner, and divide them up into header, footer and main body. Use related links and work with short texts that provide an incentive to read on. By sticking to the fundamentals of email design when creating your campaigns, you’ll attract your customers with your emails.

The following example shows you what sections make up a great email layout. The header, main body and footer are bordered with different colors for more clarity. In this way, you can see what content belongs to each area.

Email Design Structure


Sin #5: Putting off your subscribers with boring content and designs.

Even clearly structured emails can bore customers to death. One of the cardinal sins in email marketing is having content and design that is as dry as a bone. It won’t have a positive impact on your click- or conversion rates. Dust off your emails and make use of segmentation and personalization to breathe new life into your campaigns. Analyze your customer’s buying behavior, use their demographic and geographic data and create personalized emails that you only send to specific segments. That way, you’ll kindle the customer’s desire to buy and engage in successful email marketing.

Sephora Email


However, exclusive birthday and anniversary offers or interactive content, competitions and themed designs for or special occasions such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween or Black Friday also give your emails a special touch that will ensure they are opened.

Sin #6: Not having responsive design.

As the mobile phone is our most faithful companion during everyday life, emails are increasingly being read on mobile devices. Not using a responsive design is the death knell for every email marketer, as delayed texts, broken images and CTAs that are too small are extremely annoying for everyone who owns a smartphone.

Cineworld Unresponsive Email

Don’t do this.

Emails that reach their recipients in this way can be stigmatized faster than you can say email marketing. To prevent this, send your emails in responsive design.

Passport Responsive Email


The easiest way to draft emails like this by using email editors, such as Passport. The processing program saves your campaigns in responsive design so that your emails are automatically adapted to the device’s screen size without affecting the design of your newsletter. Creating these types of emails is still a challenge for many developers. However, this problem can be quickly solved with MJML, Mailjet’s open source markup language, as you generate simple, high-quality, responsive HTML codes.

Sin #7: Panicking when subscribers unsubscribe.

No one likes it when newsletter subscribers ask to be removed from your list. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end. Far from it! It doesn’t matter how well you engage in email marketing, there will always be people who unsubscribe. For instance, if your recipients’ interests change or your sending frequency isn’t optimized, some readers may want to part. Make use of these decisions from your subscribers, and get the best out of yourself to stay long in people’s memories for the right reasons.

Design the unsubscribe process to make it as simple as possible and always ask for the reason for unsubscribing. Use the responses to optimize your email marketing and uncover potential weaknesses. All this shows that unsubscribes are an important part of email marketing and ensure that you keep developing your strategy.


Do you know of any more approaches that should definitely be avoided in email marketing? What experiences have you had? Share your ideas and experiences with us on Facebook and Twitter.