How To Plan An Effective Newsletter Strategy

Newsletters are one of the most important parts of email marketing. Not only do they offer ample space for advertising, but they also help to maintain the relationships between customers and companies.

With this in mind, we have put together a blog series for you: “Newsletter Creation: A Step-By-Step Guide.” In this second part, we will be learning about how you can develop a well-thought-out newsletter strategy.

What Makes a Newsletter Strategy Successful?

Planning is key to the success of any newsletter campaign and should not be overlooked under any circumstances. Take the time to define your strategy. When planning a newsletter, it is important to be systematic and go through different stages. This can be challenging, but a well-thought-out newsletter strategy will pay off in the long run.

Step 1: Set out your Goals

The first step in developing your newsletter strategy should always be defining your goals. It can be helpful to review your business goals, visions, and corporate values before you do this: it will give you a good overview of your company and its main aims, which your newsletter should also be working towards.

To identify the aims of your newsletter strategy, you should consider why it is that you want to create the campaign. The more clarity you have on the reasons behind it, the more successful you will be. Ask yourself the following questions:

What do you want to achieve? Do you want to make potential and existing customers aware of new blog posts, special events, or products? Or is it more about, winning new customers and strengthening bonds with existing customers?

The goals you should focus on will depend on your company, as objectives can vary greatly across different industries and organizations.

 

Step 2: Develop your KPIs

The definition of specific KPIs is super important when planning your newsletter. KPIs are key figures that help you to measure the success of your email marketing campaign and, in turn, of your overall strategy. They are a reflection of how well your email marketing is performing.

Some of the key figures include:

  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Deliverability rate
  • Sign-up rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Spam rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Rate of new subscriptions, etc.

Note that KPIs will depend on the goals you have previously set. You should identify and evaluate KPIs that are crucial for achieving your goals. This allows you to analyze and evaluate your campaigns and objectively determine their success or failure, and to adapt your strategy at any time.

KPIs Table

Step 3: Find the Optimal Sending Time

When planning, you should consider the best time to send out your marketing email. The time at which you send out your newsletter is critical for its success. It is vital that you reach your recipients when they are likely to be in front of their computer or have their phone or tablet in their hands. But how do you find out what the best times are?

This can be achieved by analyzing your target group and carrying out various tests. Try and send out your newsletter at different times to identify when your open rates are at their highest and, therefore, when the majority of recipients read your emails.

You can also use analysis tools that show you when your target group is active on your website. You can use this knowledge to send out your campaign at the time when they are active.

In our previous post of the series, we highlighted that there are rough guidelines for sending times in both the B2B and B2C sectors.

Bear in mind, though, that these guidelines are not effective for every company – especially because a lot of emails are sent during these periods. This makes it more difficult to attract attention in the inbox, and your newsletter may quickly get buried under other messages.

So, the best thing you can do is to concentrate on analysing your target group and evaluating your A/B tests and tracking systems in order to find the best dispatch time for your campaigns.

Best-Newsletter-Sending-Times

Step 4: Create Content Guidelines

The content of your newsletter is essential to achieving your goals. Setting up content guidelines ensures that your content sticks to your defined aims. So, your newsletter content should ensure that your goals are met, and they guide and motivate your target group to perform certain activities.

Consider what type of content is most appropriate for your strategy and audience. If you’re struggling for inspiration on potential topics, then we recommend taking a closer look at the newsletters of your competitors and successful newsletters from other companies (it goes without saying, though, that you should not just copy exactly what they’re doing). This is a good opportunity to find inspiration and ideas for new, potential content areas, products, and events.

Another method that can work well is a preliminary survey. This lets you ask your target audience what content they want to be featured in your newsletter. A target group survey can give you new ideas and inspiration. You can incentivize people to take part by offering with a freebie giveaway, etc.

Step 5: Choose your Newsletter Software

Once your newsletter strategy is in place and you know exactly what your objectives are, and which resources you need to meet them, all you need to do is ensure that you have the technical infrastructure to meet your needs. Essentially, you need a professional newsletter software to create, send out, and evaluate your email campaigns.

There are plenty of free ways to create and send your newsletter. WordPress, for example, allows you to send emails directly from your website’s back end, and many hosts provide an SMTP relay which can be used to send your newsletter. That said, we would advise against using these services, as they come with a high risk of damaging your deliverability and reputation.

You need to choose a professional provider that can meet your requirements and can guarantee both high deliverability and the security of your data. Of course, there are many email service providers out there on the market and choosing the right one is not easy. The old saying remains true: We really are spoiled for choice!

First, think about what features you need to successfully implement your newsletter strategy and what services you value most. You can get a good feel for this by making a list and then comparing the various newsletter tools against one another.

To make your life a little easier, we’ve put together a list of items that any professional email service should offer:

    • A drag-and-drop email editor to create newsletters in minutes;
    • A selection of pre-made and customizable responsive newsletter templates;
    • Personalization, for the creation of individual email content;
    • Segmentation options to divide up contact lists and target different audiences;
    • Integrated image editing for easy image adjustment;
    • Responsive subscription widget to build legally compliant newsletter subscriber lists;
    • Intelligent contact management for efficiently dealing with contacts’ data;
    • Optimal deliverability to ensure emails reach inboxes;
    • A/B testing, to try out your campaigns;
    • Detailed statistics, so you can optimally analyze your sent newsletters;
    • A free trial, so you can verify that the newsletter software meets all of your needs;
    • Compatibility with other systems and services, such as WordPress, shop systems, etc.;
    • GDPR compliance and other certifications.
Passport - Drag-&-Drop

Step 6: Build a Contact List

Before you can finally implement your newsletter strategy and create and send your campaigns, you need email recipients. Building a high quality contact list is often considered a challenge, but as long as you take a couple of factors into consideration, it’s not that difficult.

Stay away from Bought Lists

This is fundamental: resist the temptation of buying email lists. Purchased lists contain email recipients who have probably never been in contact with you, don’t know your company at all and don’t want to receive your emails. This makes the risk of your being blocked and ending up in the spam folder very high. The damage is significant, as your deliverability and reputation will suffer.

Win Subscribers with a Responsive Sign-Up Widget

When building your email list, use a responsive sign-up widget connected to a double opt-in form. Double opt-in ensures that no fake email address enter your database and damage your reputation and deliverability. This minimizes the risk of being classified as a spammer by your recipients or their ISPs.

Subscription Widget Setup

 

Add the sign-up widget to your different pages on your website, like your home page, blog, resources pages, etc.

You should also be sure to request as little information as possible when users are registering, as giving up too much data can be seen as a deterrent. To make sure you secure your subscribers as soon as possible, just ask for their email address. You can ask for further information later on. Additionally, you should highlight the benefits of signing up and show your users what great added value your newsletter offers them.

Segmented Newsletter Subscription

 

Top tip: Divide your email recipients into specific segments and guarantee that you actually deliver the added value you have promised. This allows you to tailor content to each segment.

Use Landing Pages as Newsletter Lead Generation

As well as a responsive subscription widget, you can create special newsletter landing pages in order to grow your contact list. The advantage of a landing page is that you can align the entire page with the newsletter subscription and apply all of the optimization options that apply to landing pages.

Miss Selfridge Newsletter Subscription

 

Users visiting your newsletter landing page will not be distracted by any other elements on the website, as the entire focus of the page will only be on subscribing to your marketing communications.

This is the best opportunity to present all of the advantages your newsletter offers to your customers. Make it clear what your potential recipient will be missing out on if they do not subscribe. Ideally, you will already have defined this in your newsletter strategy.

The advantages of a newsletter could include:

      • Special offers;
      • Updates;
      • Latest industry news;
      • Invitations to exclusive events;
      • Access to exclusive content such as e-books, courses, checklists, or guides.
Zalando Newsletter Subscription

 

Granting access to exclusive content upon registration – such as a step-by-step guide or a discount – will significantly increase your subscription rate.

And finally the time for planning has come to an end! Now you can create and send your newsletter.

Have you already developed a successful newsletter strategy? What challenges did you have to overcome? Your opinion is important to us! Take a short survey about our blog and share your ideas, questions and experiences with us at contact@mailjet.com.

Like this article? Then share it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. And don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter :).

The Best Mother’s Day Email Campaigns

Mother’s Day is coming, and on top of Sunday brunches and maybe a couple mimosa’s, you can also expect an increase in soft pinks and flower GIFs in your inbox. By the way, this year it’s May 13th – here’s a Google Calendar link so you don’t forget. :)

We love these times of year, including Holiday Season, Valentines Day, and Summer Break, because it brings out the most creativity in marketing departments and brands trying to distinguish themselves from the crowd. This is especially true for ecommerce and retail sites who are emailing about upcoming Mother’s Day sales, but just as interestingly, brands of all stripes are celebrating mothers in their own unique way.

 

Applying Best Practices to Your Email Campaigns

In honor of our mothers, we wanted to showcase some of the more effective and beautifully designed emails and newsletters, and give you a little look into what we love about them. Each of these campaigns utilizes many of our recommended best practices, including using images and GIFs to increase engagement, clear calls-to-action, simple design, alignment to your overall brand, and more.

BUT, we also would love your input! As you take a look at these campaigns, be sure to vote on your favourite at the bottom of the page, and we’ll tally these up to present to the world what the Mailjet community considers the best Mother’s Day newsletter 🏆.

 

Anthropologie: Power of Simplicity in your Email Campaigns

 

Anthropologie Email

 

First up is Anthropologie’s To Mom With Love email. What we love about this campaign is its simplicity, focusing the email on one clear purpose: shop Mother’s Day Gifts.

The image is simple yet beautiful and brand-aligned, making it clear right off the top what this email is about. Their call-to-action, “Shop Mother’s Day Gift”, is more descriptive than many in this list, which simply state “Shop Now”. They also use colors really effectively, creating a clear emotional reaction of energy, love, and motherhood.

 

Jack Spade: Email Design to Increase Clicks

 

Jack Spade Email

 

We warned you about soft pinks. This email continues the trend started by Anthropologie with it’s simple yet impactful design. They also take advantage of the fact that many of their customers are used to shopping on their website, and so they maintain this brand consistency with the website heading at the top, which creates familiarity and allows readers to navigate to any page on the site they want.

But make no mistake, the page THEY want you to go to is the Mother’s Day “Shop Now” link. The witty (and all too relatable) headline “You Never Call Anymore” literally forms the top of a funnel that pulls your eyes downwards to the one CTA, “Shop Now”. Brilliant.

 

SeatGeek: Brand Alignment

SeatGeek Mothers Day

 

Next up is Seat Geek’s campaign, which is powerful for two reasons.

First, they know their audience, and as a result they are branding this email not like what we’ve seen above with Mother’s Day colors and flowers, but instead with their on-brand blue and yellow. Their audience, as a sports ticketing mobile app, is predominantly younger users who interact with their product on a mobile device.

Second, SeatGeek is the only example in this list that utilized a GIF in its email, and it does so in a creative way that (1) reveals more information the more you watch, and (2) draws your attention to the core message of the email: It’s Mother’s Day and she just wants to spend time with you.  

 

Dr. Martens: Email Personalization

Doc Martens

 

Our last contestant is Dr. (Doc) Martens. I’ll push past the obligatory beautiful flower arrangement, bold headlines, and website-navigation and instead focus on their email personalization. While this email is clearly a Mother’s Day email, trying to remind their audience that they have some gifts to buy, it’s also using past click behaviour and engagement data to curate a list of products that they think will be interesting to the user.

Plus, the way the flowers grow out of the text? Love it (Pro tip: just as with your mother, it’s always good to show respect to a designer).

 

Key Takeaways: Email Inspiration for Mothers Day

All together, these campaigns touch on some of the really important best practices you need to consider when putting together your emails campaigns, and especially your Mother’s Day campaigns.

  • Keep it Simple: Your campaign shouldn’t be asking your audience to do too much. One clear Call-to-Action and one core message is ideal to generate the most engagement.
  • Keep it Brand Aligned: While the soft pinks may feel like a necessity at Mother’s Day, don’t forget that you have a brand you need to maintain.
  • The Power of GIFs: A cat GIF is one thing, a custom GIF that can showcase your value, stay on brand, and also communicate your core message? That’s the tops.
  • Personalization: With your email platform, there is so much you can do to personalize content and segment audiences to increase engagement on your emails. Your Mom’s favourite Mother’s Day gift is a one-of-kind homemade card, why would your audience be any different.

 

We’ve love your thoughts – which email best captures the Mother’s Day spirit? Which email are you desperately trying to click on? Leave your vote here!

Happy (early) Mother’s Day to all the mothers!

Marketers Plan To Shift To New Marketing Channels Post EPrivacy

GDPR is not the only new regulation on the minds of Marketers.

In March 2018, Mailjet commissioned a new piece of research conducted by Morar Consulting to understand the effect that ePrivacy will have on marketing strategies and ROI following it’s implementation. The professional survey was taken by 400 marketers and marketing decision makers from both B2B and B2C companies across the UK and France.

The research looks at what channels marketers are currently using to reach their customers, how they feel ePrivacy will affect their business, what changes they will make following ePrivacy and more.

Download the full research report and start preparing for the effects ePrivacy will have on your business.

Unsubscribe Link: Why It’s Fundamental For Your Email Marketing

We’ve spoken many times about building a contact list as one of the main steps in your email marketing strategy. We have also often repeated how important it is for you to have a clean list – you’re probably so fed up to hear this, you’re bored to death. We get it.

 

Unsubscribe: A Friend, Not A Foe

The aim of this post, however, is to help you understand why you should always include an unsubscribe link in your emails. Although it’s always painful to see people unsubscribing from your contact list, it is more beneficial than you may think. If you’re thinking we’ve gone completely crazy, read on and you’ll understand why we advocate this so much.

 

Contact lists: is more always better?

Contact lists are something we – as people who send emails – cherish very much. Our businesses often depend crucially on the communications we send out to our subscribers. So, we never want to lose contacts. Although it’s difficult, you always need to keep in mind that subscribers who don’t engage with your content are not valuable to you. What you want instead, is to have a list of contacts that actually open and read your emails, and hopefully that click on and share some of the content too. We recently explained what these email statistics mean for you and how you can improve them to enhance engagement.

 

Sidekick Unsubscribe Email

Sidekick’s content team keeps its email list clean in a very effective way, notifying subscribers so that they can stay on the list, if they wish; otherwise they will be unsubscribed. This is an example of very good practice.

 

One way to ensure that your list is clean and that people actually want to receive your communications is to allow them to unsubscribe from your email list. There is absolutely no reason to force someone to stay in your contact list, if they don’t want to receive your offers and communications. It won’t benefit your business in any way, in fact it can cost you business.

But this is probably not enough to convince you… You want to know more, right? Until now you probably thought many contacts = big contact list = good. But as it is true for many other things, quantity doesn’t equal quality.

 

Reasons to include an unsubscribe link in your emails

It’s not merely about having a clean list – including an unsubscribe link in your emails has many other benefits.

 

Avoid customer frustration

We’ve all been there. Without even realising we’ve given consent to receive newsletters from a website or a brand, we start receiving emails that we are not particularly interested in. Hmm… annoying. Especially when your inbox is full of promotional emails that – let’s be frank – you don’t care about.

Why would you put anybody else through this? You know yourself how frustrating it is. Especially if you open a newsletter hoping to find an unsubscribe link… but it’s not there! It’s important to be understanding of people’s needs and preferences and allow them to opt out of your email list, if they wish to do so. In fact, this improves the whole email marketing experience, to make sure that unlike other social channels, the inbox is for content you specifically want to see.

 

Groupon Unsubscribe Email

Groupon gives unsubscribing from their Daily Groupon list a fun twist.

 

If you’re sending a confirmation email to let your users know they are no longer part of your mailing list, you can use this opportunity to gain more information about why they are unsubscribing (and maybe suggest an alternative newsletter of yours they could find more interesting!). This feedback can be really helpful, as you might learn why people don’t find your newsletter’s content valuable anymore or whether they think your email communications are sent out too often, all of which can inform how you adjust your strategy to best meet your audience’s needs.

 

Beta List Unsubscribe

Beta List asks its subscribers to take a few minutes to give some feedback on their email communications, so that they can understand how to do a better job.

 

End up in the inbox, not in spam

There is no other way to say it – fundamentally, including an unsubscribe link in your emails gives you more chances to end up in the inbox rather than in the spam folder. This is also because if people don’t want to receive your newsletters and they find no unsubscribe link when they look for it, they will probably flag your email as spam.

Every country has their own law on the inclusion of an unsubscribe link, as this is mandatory in anti-spam legislation.

You should know by now how detrimental it’s for your reputation to have emails that end up in the spam folder. Your spam complaints should always be kept to a minimum. At Mailjet, the acceptable threshold of spam less or equal to 0.08%. If your spam rate is higher than the threshold your account can be suspended or, in some cases, even terminated.

 

Be GDPR compliant

Next month GDPR will come into effect. At this stage, you can’t really afford not to be compliant anymore. Non-compliance puts you at risk of fines up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

According to article 17 of GDPR, ‘Right to erasure’ or ‘Right to be forgotten’, data subjects have the right to request their data to be erased. Data controllers have the obligation of deleting such data when it’s no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected, or the data subjects withdraw consent for it to be collected and used.

For a contact to request to unsubscribe from a list is fully within his/her rights as data subject. And your duty as data controller is to delete such data. It always needs to be kept in mind that with GDPR coming into effect on May 25th, consent cannot be something that you obtain once and that’s it. The new regulation allows people to choose for themselves and to protect their personal data at any given time, should they change their mind.

 

How we help you

At Mailjet – as a GDPR compliant solution -, we ensure our clients are on the right side of the law by including an unsubscribe link in all of the emails created with our drag-and-drop editor, Passport, which cannot be removed, but can be customized to fit one’s brand. As stated in our Sending Policy: “All marketing campaigns must include a clear and concise link for recipients to easily opt-out of receiving future communication. The link must be easy for anyone to recognize, read, and understand.”

 

All of our subscribers are free to unsubscribe from our email list at any time.

 

We hope that by now you understand how important including an unsubscribe link is for your email marketing practices. Always remember that consent, unlike diamonds, is not forever.

 

Have you cleaned your contact list recently? Have you seen an impact on your metrics? Or maybe you have been able to improve your emailing strategy based on feedback you got from unhappy readers? Tell us all about it on Twitter.

3 Ways Transactional SMS Will Take Your Email Even Further

Ding ding, you received an SMS. How long did it take you to open it? If you’re like 90% of the world, you probably read the message within three minutes of receiving it. If you’re like 98% of the world, you’ll definitely read it before the end of the day. Truth is, you can’t live without your phone. It knows what you want, connects you to everyone, everything, and those emojis… 🚀 Admit it, you’re addicted! And you’re not the only one.

Text messaging is one of the most impactful channels for direct communication. Between 2016 and 2020, the UK will see a 50% increase in users opting into SMS communications, and in fact 64% of Americans would like to see businesses use SMS more according to InstaGiv. SMS allows businesses to have a powerful personalized exchange with their target audience in an easy and efficient way.

What other channel is as effective when it comes to building strong customer relationships, and reaching them at the right time? You guessed it: email. If you were already in love with the power of your transactional emails, imagine what you can do if you add… Transactional SMS.

Convinced? Get ready to take advantage of it right now. 😏

A bottomless pit of opportunities

Here are three ideas to power your transactional messages with SMS:

1. Authentication

Easily implement 2-factor authentication and verify your users by sending a code via SMS. They will be able to log in with their chosen password, and also have an extra layer of security.

For example, when you manage payment data, customers will feel much more secure receiving a six-digit code for authentication. They can then trust you much more to manage their overall payment experience.

SMS_example1

 

2. Useful notifications

In a world where customers are bombarded by ads, it’s important to stand out. Alert your customers of critical information via SMS when they need it. For example, low balance on a banking account, upcoming delivery, delayed flight…  Send notifications that your clients need, and make sure they receive them.

Combine these with transactional emails that offer all the extra information that might not fit in an SMS so your users receive that instant alert and also know where to find the full details, whenever they need them.

SMS_example2

 

3. Confirmations

Nowadays, we are quite familiar with online transactions and, very often, we expect to receive confirmations for our orders. When we don’t, we tend to believe there was a problem (or we panic).

Sending a confirmation SMS, like a pending appointment or purchase notification, in addition to your transactional email will stand out immediately, preventing customer dissatisfaction.  Personalize and schedule your messages to be in line with your brand and customer engagement.

SMS_example3

 

The good news is: it’s easy to send transactional SMS

Ready to start a 2-factor authentication, send notifications and confirmations to your customers via SMS? Well, guess what? Mailjet is launching a Transactional SMS solution! Cue applause.

Woman falling

Going back to our roots, where Mailjet first started as a transactional email service (something we are now leaders in), we are bringing this same expertise to transactional SMS. Our existing robust infrastructure allows us to send millions of emails per hour, with no latencies. Naturally, as SMS is poised to be a key part of a brand’s marketing mix, our next step was to bring transactional SMS to our customers with the same standards of our email service, at a very competitive price, and ensuring the best deliverability across 54 countries.

Now, you know. SMS is here to take your transactional emails even further. Really, can you name a more iconic duo?

Transactional-Email-Solution_Banner

We’d love to hear what you have to say about it 😊. Don’t hesitate to share some thoughts on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.
And if you need help, start a conversation with our Support team.

Why We Trust Google Cloud Platform To Help Deliver Your Emails

This blog devotes a lot of time to telling you about our product features, our services, and our tools to improve your deliverability. In short, everything you use to build, send and deliver your emails to the inbox. But what we don’t always tell you about is what’s silently powering all of this: our infrastructure.

And if you’re wondering, “why now?” it’s because we’ve just changed our infrastructure in a big way that’s going to allow you to send emails faster and more reliably.

An Email Platform That Scales

Any online product needs storage to function. For Mailjet, this meant starting on dedicated servers: physical servers rented and exclusively used by Mailjet. Dedicated servers fit well with our original needs, but now not only are we growing, but our customers and their email campaigns are as well. In fact, together we now send billions of emails every month. We needed a platform that would scale with you.

Challenges Of A Dedicated Server in the Email Industry

Every company has their own “magic time” to send their marketing emails. Transactional emails also tend to peak during different times of the day or the week (for example, Monday and Friday are peak times when people book airline tickets). What this boils down to is HUGE fluctuations in email volume being sent at any time. Often up to 20x higher at peak periods.

The challenge was to make sure your emails were processed and sent lightning fast, despite periods of high demand, we (and you) had to invest in the highest level of computing power even when we didn’t need it. It’s like paying for electricity when you aren’t even using it – it didn’t make sense. Which is why, come 2016, with neither yours or our growth slowing down, we decided to make a change.

What Are The Benefits Of Google Cloud Platform For You?

There are many differences between using dedicated servers versus a public cloud like Google Cloud Platform, but the biggest one is that we no longer were confined to a fixed number of servers. In fact, we now have the ability to use as many, or as little, of Google Cloud Platform’s servers in an instant, ensuring your email campaigns are smoother to build and faster to send. The advantages were huge for everyone using Mailjet.

Mailjet and Google Cloud Platform also already knew each other really well. In fact, we’re the only European ESP accredited by Google to send bulk emails through Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine.

Ultimately, the benefits below are how Google Cloud Platform will help meet your needs both now, and especially as you grow:

Eliminated Latency

With Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Mailjet now has access to computing power that is extremely flexible, allowing it to process up to 20x more volume at a given moment. This ensures that you can send campaigns in high volumes, and at peak times, and have them arrive in the inbox instantly.

More Reliable Platform

Mailjet is now powered at any given moment by the server we choose within the GCP network. If there is ever a problem with a server or multiple servers, we can switch them in an instant. The same reliability you have come to expect from all Google tools is now powering Mailjet.

Flexible Server Location

Many of our clients care very much about where their data is being processed. Thanks to GCP’s wide range of data centers, Mailjet now has the flexibility to choose from a variety of their data processing locations.

Faster Sending Speed

Mailjet can now send 6M emails in one hour, partially thanks to our switch to GCP.

Highest Levels of Data Security

Like Mailjet, Google Cloud Platform is ISO 27001 certified, the international standard for best practices of information security processes. What does this mean? You can continue to count on the highest levels of Data Security for your email data.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about how Google Cloud Platform will transform the speed, reliability, and flexibility of your email campaigns. Please let us know if you have any questions!

To learn more about our partnership with Google Cloud Platform, check out the case study on Google Cloud here.

Embrace Mailjet’s New Multi-Channel Experience With SMS API

Well, fellow API enthusiasts, we just launched something new that should get your attention. Something that pairs perfectly with email. Something that opens up new doors for an improved customer relationship. Something that we, as a transactional solution leader, needed to bring: Short Text Messaging!

Commonly known by the sweet name SMS, it’s one of the most efficient channels of communication that can boost your contact engagement!

As an API wizard, there are two main factors that you usually consider: how useful is this new integration, and how easy is it to implement? We take both these factors into account when developing API solutions, and so after months of hard work, here comes the newest one – our SMS API. This is a feature for those who love simple and effective APIs, allowing you to send SMS all around the world in just 5 lines of code!

Right now, this release is focused on transactional messages, but we aim to evolve these features with new components in the future. As a developer, if you see room for improvement and ways to collaborate with us, your feedback will help us make this feature even greater!

 

So, why is the SMS API useful to you?

Text messaging is one of the most impactful channels for direct communication. According to the Mobilesquared report, 90% of SMS are opened and read within 3 minutes after reception, and 72% of users are interested in receiving transactional SMS.

Given these figures, SMS sending presents a huge opportunity for businesses to engage with their clients.

For instance, you may want to increase security by enabling two-factor authentication for your users, send them useful notifications to increase customer engagement, or display payment confirmations on their phones to verify successful transactions. All of the above benefit from instant sending and a quick way of viewing the messages – and what is quicker than checking your phone to see the SMS you just received?

 

Any requirements before I start sending?

To send SMS messages, you need two things – funds in your SMS wallet and a Bearer token to authenticate your requests.

Token authentication is a different method from the one used for emails, but just as easy. Simply create your token in the front-end, then use the token value in the Authorization header of your payload. For security purposes we don’t keep the token values – once you create it, you need to copy it locally in order to use it.

 

Generate Bearer Token for SMS

 

Time for some code, don’t you think?

We’ve talked enough about the benefits of sending transactional SMS – it’s time to see how it’s done, and what else is possible with Mailjet’s SMS API!

 

Send your SMS

Sending an SMS message is done with a simple HTTP call on the /sms-send endpoint. The payload consists of a JSON body with 3 properties – To (recipient’s phone number), From (customizable sender ID) and Text (the message content).

Nothing to it, right?

 

Detailed Error and Success Payloads

In order to help you quickly find sending issues, we implemented strict checks on your input payload. This means you’ll get synchronous feedback on what went wrong, scaling down your debugging time. See the below example of an error payload:

The success reporting is also quite detailed, providing information about, among other things, the message sender and recipient, Status and Cost.

 

What about Statistics?

You can easily retrieve lists of SMS messages with an HTTP call on the /sms endpoint. You can filter by message delivery status, recipient’s phone number, time period etc.

The response will include a list of messages matching the conditions you have set with the filter values, starting from the most recently created one.

In case you only need the count of the messages, use the /sms/count endpoint instead, and the response will show the number of messages matching your filter settings.

You will also be able to export lists of messages using the /sms/export endpoint.

 

Where can I learn more?

See our dedicated SMS API Guide to learn how to use its capabilities. And, of course, take a look at the SMS API Reference or detailed information on the endpoints, properties and available filters.

 

What’s Next

Glad you asked. Sending transactional messages is just the first step into the SMS world and the beginning of a long series of awesome developments for Mailjet’s API users. Here’s what is on the agenda for the next few months:

  • Beyond Transactional: Additional features to the V1 will allow you to book your own short code for sending SMS and MMS, as well as enhanced tracking and statistics.
  • Marketing campaigns: By building bridges between emails and SMS to manage your contacts or your marketing campaigns, you will be able to engage your customers in a new yet more accurate multichannel experience.
  • Conversational Messaging: 2-way SMS or the possibility to retrieve responses to any SMS you send with us will establish the bedrock for any automated marketing, chat apps or bots.