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 marketing 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 date, 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 design the perfect Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails. Just follow our steps and you’ll create a masterpiece.
Black Friday: Email Marketing Do’s & Don’ts
Choose a good, responsive Black Friday email template
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:
A few rules to avoid a design disaster:
Stick to a simple structure with columns (easier to get your email responsive)
Keep a fair mix of images and text (about 60/40)
Align fonts and size of your messages
Decide which CTA buttons to use and make sure they are clearly displayed in a contrast color
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 offer already…
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.)
Respect your brand identity in your Black Friday emails
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:
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 instead:
Or DO this with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns:
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.
Make sure your Black Friday email stands 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:
It’s your turn: create a stunning Black Friday email
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.
Remember the tips:
Choose a responsive email template and throw in the right number of CTAs (that is, not many).
Add a few carefully-selected images from your brand library that highlight your top products.
Respect your brand image so your clients know it’s you.
Add interactive content and GIFs to stand out in the inbox.
With Mailjet’s drag-and-drop email editor, Passport, you can easily build a stunning email from an existing gallery of templates, so you didn’t need to stress about getting it right. We’ve got a great template gallery for you to choose from.
Lately, some businesses have been navigating the same questions when it comes to their marketing mix: is email still an effective marketing tactic in the age of social media, video, and digital advertising.
Mailjet recently teamed up with The Clutch.co and The Manifest to bring some new research on how businesses (continue) to rely on email to drive engagement.
To cut to the chase – Email marketing is very much thriving, and according to the recent survey by The Manifest, a business news and how-to website, 69 percent of businesses invest in email marketing, with nearly 75% of all businesses sending emails on at least a weekly basis.
In the face of all these other channels, why does email continue to grow? Put simply – it works. In fact, email has a median ROI of 122% which is 4x the ROI of any other channel listed above.
Email marketing is effective and helps businesses directly reach their customers. Increasingly, it is important for businesses to use email marketing because it is the most direct way to get your content in front of prospective consumers, keep existing consumers engaged, and grow an engaged consumer base.
Social Media Versus Email Marketing
Email is one of the best ways to get your content in front of your intended audience.
Ninety percent of emails end up in the correct inbox. Consumers who receive emails from brands and companies have already given their consent to receive these messages, making the most engaged segment of your target audience accessible with the click of a button.
“Email marketing works,” said David Mihm, founder of newsletter generator Tidings. “You own your email list, you own your subscribers. You’re not renting them from Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other platform.”
Because consumers have to subscribe to an email list, email marketing is a rare opportunity to only reach people who are genuinely interested in your product or service.
It’s difficult to reach customers on social media. The audience is so broad, and it is very easy for posts to get lost on a newsfeed. Only 2 percent of people see a post on their Facebook News Feeds. Once again – compared this to the 90% of email subscribers who receive your emails, the 25% (on average) who open your email, and the 20% (on average) who click links.
As outlined more here, 100K Facebook followers means the content will be served to 2000 people. At best 5% click through to your website for a total of 100 people who will engage with your content.
100K email subscribers means the content will be served to 90K people, with 4500 clicks back to your site. This is where the 4x ROI comes from.
Consumers are more engaged with your brand on email marketing than on social media.
How often you send emails impacts the effectiveness of your email marketing. Thirty two percent of businesses send emails daily, and 41 percent send them weekly.
The frequency of your emails should depend on your target audience.
“If you have something important to say, then send an email,” said Ben Bradley, managing partner and creative director of digital marketing agency Macon Raine. “But sending too many emails is annoying. Your important news gets lost. If you believe that it’s going to be useful to your customers, then by all means, send it. If you suspect at all that they may not like it, it’s better to err on the side of caution.”
Send emails at a frequency that makes sense for your business and industry.
Larger businesses have larger customer bases. Because of this, larger companies tend to send emails more frequently. Fifty-two percent of businesses with 500 employees or more send emails daily compared to 21 percent of smaller businesses with 101 to 500 employees.
There is a fine line companies can cross by sending too many emails, it becomes annoying, and the important information gets lost. Sending emails just to send emails will only frustrate customers, which could lead them to unsubscribe.
Only send an email that has real value to your audience and pay close attention to engagement rates to identify when, how, and how frequently your audience wants to receive your emails.
What Emails to Send
Companies send a variety of emails to their customers, such as promotional emails, newsletters, event invitations, exclusive content and more.
A variety of emails can keep customers engaged, but businesses should inform their audience what types of emails they will be sending. It is important to disclose the types of emails customers will receive so the company maintains transparency.
Email can successfully grow and keep current and potential customers’ interest and also keep them engaged.
Email marketing goals also vary by company size; larger companies are more likely to use email marketing to increase engagement, while smaller companies use it to grow/retain their customer base and build brand awareness.
Larger, more established companies already have a solid customer base, so they should work on engaging and maintaining the customers they have.
Smaller companies, who don’t yet have a loyal following, should focus on building their customer base and increasing brand awareness alongside building lasting engagement. In the early days, it’s more important to get quality people who like what you’re doing than a large list of people who could take it or leave it.
Smaller companies mostly use email marketing to establish their spot in the industry.
Don’t Count Out Email Marketing
Email marketing benefits companies by growing and maintaining their customers while also increasing engagement with their site and brand.
Businesses use email marketing because it’s proven to work and is an effective digital marketing strategy. Email marketing certainly is not dead and is not going anywhere anytime soon.
At Mailjet, we see a lot of great email newsletter examples. Some of them are funny, some exciting, others engaging. But one thing is for sure – creating email newsletters is never straightforward. Each one requires creativity, contribution from your team members, an analysis of how past campaigns have performed and what you can learn from them moving forward.
So, to give you some inspiration, we have compiled six excellent email newsletter examples that we really liked at Mailjet, and actionable insights that you can apply.
Newsletter example #1: The haunting creativity of AdWeek’s Webinar newsletter
Why it works: Sometimes, creativity doesn’t need to involve flashy design or rich media. Sometimes, it doesn’t even need to involve a lot of content. This AdWeek email takes simplicity to a new level by letting anonymous speak. Anonymous is a woman; she has a pixelated stare, and she doesn’t want to get personal with you. It’s haunting, and it doesn’t need to do a lot to show a lot.
Actionable insights: A striking above-the-fold image like this one works like an effective subject line; it incites users to become receptive with the email content.
Optimize CTAs by placing them after specific engagement points. AdWeek places them (1) after the striking image and (2) the description. Including a CTA above-the-fold will ensure that users don’t miss it.
Newsletter sample #2: The pop-culture savviness of this Google Home Mini product marketing email
Why it works: Google’s product marketing newsletter sample is pretty rad and well-designed. Featuring a slick, white canvas, the one-column layout directs attention to its references – a Weekend playlist, KEXP radio, House of Cards, and the Mad Libs game. Let’s be honest, this email would not have the same impact if music they referenced was, say, Satie’s Gymnopedie.
While these may seem random, they provide an implicit statement – that they are current and aware of modern cultural references, and that Google Home can play them if you simply say so. It’s ingenious. And of course the plethora of streaming services listed just increases Home Mini’s appeal as a personal voice-recognition device. With effective marketing newsletters like this and a banging Cloud Platform, Google is unstoppable!
Actionable insights: Cultural references drive up engagement, even in email marketing. Use them to your advantage. Your references don’t need to be industry-related (although that may help if you’re marketing towards specific niches).
Including the logos of top brands will increase the hype surrounding your product by emphasising its credibility. Google Home Mini is compatible with a lot of streaming channels people use on a daily basis. At Mailjet, we have a Success Stories page for big companies that are very happy using us as their ESP.
Newsletter example #3: Really Good Emails’ personalized weekly newsletters
Why it works: When you do personalization in a not-creepy and non-invasive way, it could be fun. This newsletter example from Really Good Emails shows just that. It’s a neat party trick that really goes a long way in making your contacts feel valued. What do you know, Really Good Emails sends out…really good emails – certainly good in the business of email curation.
Followed by fellow #emailgeeks, Really Good Emails knows how to engage with its community and this newsletter, with its relevant content, is no exception.
Actionable insights: Really Good Emails uses NiftyImages to optimize their personalization. Scene7 is also another alternative.
Point is, you should use tools to optimize your email personalization, which should be data-centric but person-led. You should see recurring data trends, but create best practices within the context of your own company. At Mailjet, we have a whole list of integrations you can use to ensure that your emails are as personalized as possible.
Newsletter example #4: The simple elegance of Taylor Stitch’s menswear email
Why it works: As you’ve already seen in AdWeek’s newsletter example, a minimalist design can go a long way. Taylor Stitch’s before-the-fold image is an impactful way to market their product, emphasizing versatility through different backdrops. Not only do they have clothing attire for the metropolitan, concrete jungle, they also have good jackets you can wear for an actual jungle expedition. This image also sets the content narrative as you scroll down the newsletter – their clothes are great for the city, forest and mountains. By presenting a solid aesthetic for their menswear campaign, their email branding plays around the notion of simple sophistication.
The headings translate this feeling into design, with the use of a serif font indicating maturity and elegance, and their overlaid placement over the empty, white space and images accentuate this duality as presented in the above-the-fold image. They’re traditional but not rigidly conventional. This is a well-conceived, strongly-branded newsletter.
Actionable insights: This is a great blend of content and design, and the content doesn’t even have to be creative, but effective. By creating an overall engaging layout, the products themselves pop-out; the white space allows customers to see the products clearly, and on mobile, an area to click on.
Finally, be aware of the colour palette you’re using. Here, the analogous colours make everything cohesive – and it’s done very carefully. For example the font headings are overlaid on the lighter parts of the image to ensure legibility, and each photo’s hue has been modified to fit with the overall aesthetic. Consider these minute details in designing your emails.
Newsletter sample #5: Station F’s exuberant originality
Why it works: As Station F, the (in)famous French startup incubator, states: “What the F*ck?!” Celebrating their first year, Station F has created a very… explosive email: bright colours, fabulous visuals (pink flamingo!), some gifs here and some emojis there to spice up this eleganza… this newsletter grabs your attention, doesn’t let it go, and incites curiosity. What kind of hijinks are they up to for their one-year anniversary? After making such a loud newsletter, they better deliver. These are techniques that you can use to shine the brightest in that inbox filled with other emails.
Actionable insights:Use .GIFS. Be interactive with your design, and be creative with your CTAs. Use colours to incite interest whether consciously or…subconsciously.
Newsletter example #6: The rich media of this DMA Awards-shortlisted Blue Planet II email newsletter
Why it works: This Blue Planet II rich media newsletter by Action Rocket, a UK-based email marketing creative agency, has been recently shortlisted for the DMA Awards 2018, and it’s clear why: it contains dynamic design elements that interact really well with each other. For one, it does not shy away from scrollability and even includes it as an integral element. Above-the-fold, a lone walrus greets you above a sheet of ice, barely surviving from the dangers lurking down below.
Then, the arrows pointing downwards encourage you to dive deeper into the email. What you find as you go down is a series of interesting animal facts, with some nice moving background to boot, until you finally reach the Challenger deep – the deepest place on Earth. It is an incredible journey as they state in the copy. Most importantly, the small facts create buzz around the show by inducing a sense of wonder – much like in a picture encyclopaedia.
Actionable insights: All the previous letters and this have in common – an overarching narrative effectively conveyed by content and design. Notice that this time around there are no clear CTAs above-the-fold. The CTAs in the end create more interest around this show and its content. In your emails, you should also focus on the hierarchy of importance as done here. A marketing copy with links and CTAs arranged haphazardly can be confusing, after all.
I’m sure we missed many awesome emails, and with each passing day brands are continuing to innovate on their email design, copy, and optimization. What are you going to do innovate your emails this year?
That’s why, here at Mailjet, we are doing our best to get your emails straight into the inbox, but we need your help as well. We know that you want this too, in order to consistently generate more visits to your site.
While Mailjet can provide a solid infrastructure, industry leading deliverability tools, and a team devoted to you deliverability, your role in this partnership is to ensure 100% of your list has opted-in to receive communications. Because they have, haven’t they? 😉
Opt in for best deliverability
Opt-in subscription forms can be used to capture contact information from customers and visitors in a variety of ways: pop-up forms on the homepage or product pages, dedicated landing pages, and embedded widgets across your website.
A customer subscribing on your platform is like a verbal confirmation of interest in receiving your communications, however a double opt-in subscriber is like getting their signature. Not only does it really prove their consent, but it also is indicative that they really want to engage with your content, products, or services. These are the most valuable contacts.
Single opt-in vs Double opt-in
There are two types of opt-ins – single and double. While the single opt-in only requires users to provide their email address in one step, the double opt-in widget includes two steps to confirm the subscription. Single opt-in subscriptions skips a crucial second step – confirmation. Side note: Stay tuned for our next article where will explain more about the differences between single and double opt-in.
Why is double opt-in better?
This validation process consists of receiving an email with a custom confirmation link.This will guarantee that the address is in fact valid and it’s owner agrees to receive your marketing campaigns. It eliminates the chance of abuse where somebody submits somebody else’s email address without their knowledge and against their will. At the same time, typos in email addresses are also caught, as are the risk of bots mass subscribing to your content.
By using double opt-in you can reduce spam complaints down to well within acceptable levels (e.g. at Mailjet we make sure our users do not get more thank 0.08% spam complaints).. While double opt-in is not obligatory by law yet, the GDPRis still requesting valid and unambiguous consent for subscription.
Often quality is better than quantity, and this is certainly the case in emailing. You will have very strong deliverability rates and you will know your audience will be anticipating and willing to read your newsletters. This sure beats sending emails to addresses with typos, bots, or fake accounts.
How to set up a double opt-in through Mailjet’s API
By now hopefully we have convinced you that it is far better for you to use a double opt-in subscription widget, so now we are going to explain how to create one through our API. This is a good solution if you already have an existing opt-in and you just want to connect it to Mailjet, or if you think using our subscription widget is just… too easy for you. 😏
In the diagram below you can see a schema of the process and the steps to follow to make the connection between your system and ours through our API:
Now, let’s have a look at the different steps.
Step 1 – Contact’s subscription
Lucky you! Your visitor has decided to subscribe to one or more newsletters via an opt-in on your site.
This form can also contain additional contact properties (like first name, last name, city, gender, etc.). Basically, anything you find useful later to segment your list or personalize your newsletter.
Step 2 – Creation of the customized confirmation link
When the user completes the subscription form, the email address and contact properties will be saved on your system. Then you will have to generate the custom confirmation link that should be send to the client by email. This custom URL should guarantee that the subscription cannot be faked and only the person you are addressing can click on it.
For example you can use MD5 hash algorithm to convert the name of the recipient to 128-bit hash value. Then you could insert it as a variable at the end of the confirmation link. Your system will perform a MD5 of the email address concatenated to a specific SecretKey which will be corresponding to the custom URL.
After your system creates the customized confirmation link, it is time to leverage our Send API through a POST request. You should create a template for the confirmation email that will contain the custom URL. You can design the template with our intuitive email builder, Passport, or via our API using Mailjet’s templating language. You can insert the confirmation link behind a button or just as it is. Below you can see an example of an API call that you can use:
# This call sends a message to one recipient.
curl -s \
-X POST \
--user "$MJ_APIKEY_PUBLIC:$MJ_APIKEY_PRIVATE" \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json’ \
"Name": "Sender Name"
"Name": "Recipient Name"
"Subject": "The subject you want",
"TextPart": "Welcome to our mailing list! Please activate your subscription by clicking in this link:
"HTMLPart": "Welcome to our mailing list! Please activate your subscription by clicking in this link:
Step 4 – Creation of template
If you want to use an awesome template you created with our email editor, Passport, or with MJML / HTML code, you can send it easily with the API, by following the steps here or using the example below:
At this step, the action should be completed by your customer. They are going to receive your email and they will have to click on the confirmation link in it.
Step 6 – Adding and sync of the contact
The user has done their part and that means that they are ready to be added to your contact list. Now a confirmation page should be displayed to them thanking them for their subscription.
The opening of this page should refer back to your system with the appropriate parameters (email and MD5 hash). They will give you the MD5 checksum (Secret Key) corresponding to the confirmation link associated with this user. If the parameters are correct, the contact will be added in your system.
MD5 checksum == EmailOfTheUser + MD5 hash value
Recipient Name: John Smith and recipient email firstname.lastname@example.org
Secret key in your system == email@example.com + 6117323d2cabbc17d44c2b44587f682c
Step 7 – Adding customer’s properties
Only one thing left to do – add the client to the list and attribute the properties they provided. This can be done by your system which should call Manage Contacts endpoint of our API.
Here’s an example of the request:
# Add a contact to the list
curl -s \
-X POST \
--user "$MJ_APIKEY_PUBLIC:$MJ_APIKEY_PRIVATE" \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
Important: If your contact specified some properties, you should make sure you have defined those properties in advance in the Mailjet system with the user interface or with the API.
# Create : Definition of available extra data items for contacts.
curl -s \
-X POST \
--user "$MJ_APIKEY_PUBLIC:$MJ_APIKEY_PRIVATE" \
-H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
And with that, it is all done!
We’re sure by now, you’re convinced double opt-in is the way to go to ensure you’re only sending emails to contacts that really want to receive them, and to ensure optimal deliverability.
Once you have created your widget and configured the scripts to sync your contacts with with Mailjet, you’re ready to start sending. From now on, any contact that enters your database and confirms their subscription will become part of your list at Mailjet, with all of the properties they declared.
Now you can continue with the creation of your awesome campaigns to send to all those new subscribers. You can see how to do so here.
Share your thoughts and ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook, and follow us to be the first to get the news!
Mailjet has been one of the first ESPs (ok THE first) to get onboard with all GDPR requirements.
We know you missed us talking about GDPR, right? 😂
On a more serious note, our customers were very curious about GDPR compliance and are pretty concerned about security and data protection. You know, we are constantly working to make things easier for you. We gathered below all features related to contacts and GDPR available for all Mailjet’s customers.
Refresh your subscription form to add the new GDPR-compliant consent box
For optimal transparency and safety, we advise our users to implement Mailjet’s double opt-in subscription widget to build their contact lists.
Now, in addition to making sure that you have the consent of your recipients, you’ll be able download the proof of consent from each of your contacts. ✍🏽
How do we do this?
In widget creation, a small checkbox has been added. Tick the box.
Customize the text of the checkbox.
When a user subscribes to your newsletter, the consent information, including the widget name and consent checkbox text, will be added to their contact profile.
Here is an example of a GDPR-compliant checkbox:
You are all set!
Please note that if you already have our subscription widget on your website, you will need to re-install it to activate the GDPR checkbox, which will enable the proofs of consent to be stored.
This also means that you won’t be able to download a proof of consent for your old contacts.
No worries, though! If you’re using our widget from the beginning, we are here to cover you in case you encounter any issue with a recipient claiming she/he never consented to receive you information. We’ll be able to provide this information as it is registered in our system 😉.
Have your consent proofs stored and available for download when needed
Another great news is that you can now access and download this proof of consent directly from your Mailjet account, whenever you need it, without contacting our Support team.
Wondering how to download the consent proof of your contacts?
Search for a contact in your Contact lists.
Click on it and you’ll access all the details related to it (we did some re-design here by the way 🎨).
The proof of consent needed can then be downloaded right from here:
Delete a contact in one click
As you know, under and since GDPR, contacts are more aware about what informations they share, and it’s really common that they ask about being deleted from any list and any communication.
So besides unsubscribing, checking statuses and statistics, editing contact properties, removing a contact from a list, it’s now possible to delete a contact…from all your lists, in just one click, straight from the contact overview page:
Important note: statistics generated for all the emails sent to the removed contact will not be altered because of the deletion of the contact. But the contact and its informations will no longer be seen in the database, or available for future sendings.
We hope we helped you become (even more) GDPR-compliant.
Let us know what do you think once you set up the new widget on your website, and your opinion about these news in general!
Ecommerce is growing at an astronomical rate. In 2017, global Ecommerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, and this is expected to grow to $4.5 trillion in 2021. Alongside this growth, all signs point towards emailing as the preferred method of communication in Ecommerce over other channels, including social media. In fact, 72% of people, (including those elusive millennials and teenagers) still primarily prefer email as their primary mode of communication with brands.
This is not surprising.
Email marketing heavily depends on 4 pillars – content, design, data, and deliverability – all of which must be integrated into an overarching email marketing strategy. When they are not working together, you may well just be getting through your emails, but not optimizing at full capacity.
In this article, we will give you everything you need to get your Ecommerce email strategy up to par, including the different types of emails you’ll need in your customer journey, and essential tips to get content, design, data, and deliverability right.
Email marketing strategy: The essentials
Before you send a large number of emails to your customers, it’s important to define your email marketing objectives. After all, to build a house you need a solid foundation. Your objectives will be your foundation.
Writing emails without a solid strategy will run the risk of sending campaigns that aren’t relevant, and that can result in a low click rate or worse – skyrocketing unsubscribe rates. You don’t want this, do you? 🤔
The key question you should be asking yourself here as an Ecommerce company is: What do I want to achieve? Your objectives could include:
Converting new customers
Receiving reviews and feedback
Boosting customer loyalty and communication
Providing customers with information (about special offers, new products, etc.)
Introducing your company and your unique selling points
Of course, you don’t have to pick just one of these objectives, but it is beneficial to have just a few clearly defined objectives. Concentrate on those most important to you, your business, and where you want to grow. This will allow you to utilize your resources efficiently and also means you won’t waste unnecessary time creating email content that provides no added value.
Instead, ensure that your email campaign is perfectly tailored to your needs. Follow a clear objective that you can naturally adapt, modify, or realign over time.
Ecommerce email campaign ideas along the customer journey
As an online shop, there are many types of emails that you could send out. In order to make the most of all email marketing potential, we recommend integrating marketing and transactional emails along the customer lifecycle.
The benefit of focusing on the customer journey is that it allows you to deduce current customer needs and create personalized content.
Here are the seven different email campaigns you should use, depending on your objectives and customer journey:
1. The welcome email
No matter what, first impressions really count. When welcoming a new “member” to your email list, send them a welcome email containing valuable content that will inspire them to continue to engage with new articles. For instance, this is a great opportunity to:
Introduce your company and your products.
Make the subscriber aware of your social media channels.
Provide an overview of what type of emails you will be sending.
Send them a welcome gift to validate their decision to subscribe
Indicate important links.
Ultimately what you want is to convey a positive and trustworthy first impression, which will make your new subscriber look forward to receiving more.
2. The classic newsletter
Once you’ve won over new subscribers, you need to make sure they stay in your list by providing them with valuable content.
Naturally, the exact content depends on your business model and customers. As an Ecommerce company, you can offer the following newsletter content:
Promoting your own products
Guides for your products
A behind-the-scenes look at production
Compelling content and entertainment like videos
Customer interviews and testimonials
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your newsletter is only there to sell. Sending out newsletters that are too pushy will cause people to unsubscribe from your list, or put a bad taste in their mouth.
Instead this is an opportunity to take an engaged list of potential customers and make them love you. Ask yourself the following questions and create your newsletter accordingly:
What interests my readers?
What questions might they have?
What problems are they currently facing?
How, specifically, can I help them solving these problems?
3. Special occasion newsletters
In addition to your regular newsletter, you can create email campaigns for special events. These can be for holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day, as well as seasonal events such as the World Cup, the Olympics, or Oktoberfest.
You could even, for example, showcase your expert knowledge in the form of useful tips and tricks, or make readers aware of special offers. Make sure, however, that it all ties back to your company and brand message.
4. Order and shipping confirmations
While you can send out marketing campaigns at any time, transactional emails are triggered by customer action. These include, for example, newsletter subscriptions, invoices, and purchase confirmations.
As an Ecommerce company, your main objective is obviously to promote sales in your online shop. Once a customer buys something, you should first send them an order confirmation and then an email receipt. Once the purchased product is sent for delivery, you can then send them a shipping confirmation.
Transactional emails tend to have higher open rates, as customers already expect to receive your communications and look forward to receiving their purchase.
Make sure you leverage these emails to make your customers aware of other products or special offers. This is the best time for you to upsell, when they are most engaged and you know they are opening the email. Don’t miss the chance. 😉This applies to all types of Ecommerce brands, from global brands to Shopify stores and dropshipping.
5. Customer surveys
Show your customer that their opinion is important to you by sending them customer surveys and other feedback emails. This could target individual products, the entire shop, the service, or all of the above.
Customer surveys are absolutely essential to you for the following reasons:
To check if your communication with customers is clear and coherent.
To obtain and guide the attention of your customers.
To strengthen customer loyalty.
To inspire you with new product ideas.
6. Shopping cart dropouts
Has your customer halted a transaction or left an item in their shopping cart? Remind them with a friendly email! This gives you an additional option to show them similar products and offers, or provide them with buying incentives through discounts.
Don’t give up on any customers! You can send a personalized email to inactive users. This allows you to find out if they are still interested in your services and remind them about your unique products.
If you succeed in winning the customer back, you can surprise them with a “Welcome back” email. You can make a good impression here with the aid of discounts or coupons.
If you don’t receive a reaction following several messages, then it may be best to part ways and remove the contact from your list. Yes, we know it’s always hard to let them go… 😔 but it’s best for everyone this way (more on this below…)
7. Personalized note to your customers
You can engage your customers in a more personal manner and develop a friendly relationship with personalized touches such as a birthday email with coupon.
Think about whether you would like to show appreciation to particular customers – after all, loyalty should be rewarded! For example, cheaper account upgrades are a possibility here.
While we’re on the topic of rewards, you may want to provide incentives for customers and subscribers who recommend you others. Make it easy to recommend your website and shop, and show your appreciation for each customer gained this way.
6 Tips For Successful Email Campaigns
Within each of these campaigns, you always need to keep in mind the 6 key elements of any email strategy: content, design, data, tactics, personalization, and deliverability. To get right to the point, we’ve outlined what you need to consider in each email and included some examples (as well as cautionary tales) to help you with your own campaigns.
1. Spend time on your email content and design
Working on your email content and design should be one of your main concerns in your email marketing strategy. An unengaging subject line won’t entice customers to click on your emails, while poor design reduces the chances that your customers will find the right product for them.
What you want is to first optimize your subject line and preview text. After all, they are the gateways the first things people see in deciding on whether they should open your email or not.
Let’s take a quick look at Etsy as an example. Etsy’s subject lines effectively create something called a curiosity gap. This painfully arises when you feel as if you’re missing “valuable” knowledge, and makes you want to click into that email to find out more. Which fabric is in-season? What are those fresh finds? This is very effective marketing tactic. However, each “preview” text is simply their URL, www.etsy.com which is a missed opportunity to engage the reader some more.
Good content does not rely just on being creative, and good design isn’t just about being beautiful. Good content is about personalization and timeliness. Good design is about inciting an action.
This is especially impactful for Ecommerce where a sale is just a click away, and good content paired with good design can effectively drive clicks.
This Black Friday email by Julep fulfills the basic rules of smart email marketing by (1) knowing how to sell what it wants to sell, (2) writing good, creative, holiday-oriented copy and (3) ensuring responsive design across all devices and inboxes.
The header immediately introduces the email content (hint: it’s Black Friday sales!); the multi-column design blends image and text into creating compelling copy that guides customer attention. The Call-to-Action (CTA) button (SHOP NOW) also is strategically placed above-the-fold alongside the content. Customers don’t have to scroll down to see these great deals ($19.99 instead of $82), inciting them to click on the CTA.
2. Know the difference between marketing email, automated email, and transactional email
Learning the different types of emails will not only allow you to target different audiences, but to also target the same audiences in a variety of ways. Sending identical promotional emails every single time with just slightly-altered copies can quickly lead to a smash of the unsubscribe button.
As with all marketing efforts, email-marketing should be diverse and creative. As an Ecommerce business, you will be sending 3 main categories of emails – transactional emails, marketing emails, and automated emails.
Transactional emails are the types of emails you send out to customers after they’ve done an action. These emails can be purchase confirmations, account verifications, or password resets.
This confirmation email by Harry’s does its intended job and more. In addition to ensuring that your order has, indeed, arrived, it’s also included some quick shaving tips for customers to read. Beyond just trying to drive sales, they’re trying to drive engagement, loyalty, and through education they are growing their connection to their audience.
On the other hand, marketing emails are bulk emails you send to your subscribed customers. This marketing email from New York & Company contains two types of promotions. The top section includes coupons encouraging customers to spend more to save more. The email’s main body introduces the arrival of their new collections by introducing a sale on their kimono sleeve sweater, for that perfect autumn aesthetic. Get creative and create value where customers had not seen. That’s showbiz marketing baby!
Finally, automated emails are triggered by milestones. They can be automated in many ways, depending on your analysis of customer data. Automated emails can include welcome emails, feedback emails, anniversary emails, and retention emails. For example, if a user purchased a product from your store, you can send an automated email one week later to how they are liking it, whether they would like to buy one for a friend, or perhaps write a review on your site.
Of course, when you’re new to sending these different types of email, you’re bound to make a couple mistakes, or miss out on some things. Before sending emails or committing a template, make sure to pull your teammates into the email builder to have them provide their comments, and be sure to A/B test your campaigns to identify which piece of content, design, subject line, or CTAs drive the most engagement.
One email not to send, however, is from a useless “no-reply” address. “No reply” emails are those annoying emails you get from businesses sometimes who are making it very clear they don’t want to hear from you. Not only is it a little rude, almost more importantly it can negatively impact your business as it is often flagged as spam.
3. Don’t ask for subscribers, incentivize subscription
One thing that you need to include is an unsubscribe button in your channels. Yes, adding this will mean your list may decrease in size, but more importantly it lets your audience do the different work of cleaning your contact lists for you. By removing customers who’d rather not see your emails, you are ensuring that only those most active engaged users are being sent an email, which in turn means you are (1) spending less money sending emails to people who won’t open them anyways, or worse would mark it as spam, and (2) increasing your domain and IP reputation with ISPs and inboxes.
One of Mailjet’s enterprise users, Videostream, knows the value of this all too well. With the help of a Customer Success Manager, Videostream cleaned their list from 1.2M contacts to 120K contacts. This 10x decrease in users actually resulted in a 5x more total opens, and an increase in ROI of 10x. This is because the more people receive unwanted emails from you, the less likely it is you will land in the inbox of those who do in fact like you. Here’s a full case study on how Videostream accomplished this.
4. Track and use your data
Data should serve as the bedrock of your email marketing campaigns. Considering different buyer personas and the customer lifecycle in your email marketing will allow you to send the right email to the right people. Whether it is creating promotional holiday emails, or segmenting people into different groups, data will help you send the relevant emails to the right people.
Useful email metrics to consider when using Mailjet’s platform include how many emails have been sent, delivered, opened and clicked. Sent is a way of saying that the recipients’ servers have received the emails, and delivered means that the recipients can now read them…somewhere (in their inbox? Spam? Mystery. Well, kinda.). The opened rate shows how many people have opened their emails, and the clicked rate shows how many times your customers have clicked on a link in your emails since receiving them.
Other types of data that you want to track, of course, are related to the types of customers you want to target. Getting actionable customer insights will help you send the right types of emails to the right segments, and create engaging, personalized emails.
Even the most successful email campaign can be improved. So you need to keep testing your performance.
Which email subject line has the best opening rate? Which links and call-to-action buttons generate the most clicks? Which email content was uninteresting for your subscribers? Ask yourself these questions and adjust your content accordingly.
You can use A/B testing to compare different types of content and then see which alternative was received most positively by your customers.
You can use a tracking function for a step-by-step breakdown of if and when an email has been opened, and which links and widgets were used. With this knowledge, you can improve and adjust your future campaigns.
Segmentation can also be carried out based on this evaluation. You can send personalized email content and build an optimized list of newsletter subscribers.
6. Deliver on your Deliverability
Improving your deliverability – the rate at which your email reaches your customers’ inboxes – is of utmost importance to ensure that your emails do not go not into the spam folder, where emails go to die.
Essentially, all of the previous tips lead up to getting a higher deliverability rate for your Ecommerce business. Creating compelling, data-driven email copies will increase the open rates and click rates, which improve your sender reputation. Your contact list should be constantly updated and adequately segmented so that the right people receive the right emails.
To get high delivery rates, have a good, reliable email service provider (we recommend Mailjet). There are many marketing platforms that can send your emails, and have become particularly good at providing both a CRM and an email system, however these tools are often good at a few things but are simply not as strong in email deliverability as an email service provider can be.
This is primarily because good deliverability requires three things that take time, resources, and a commitment to email: (1) strong and on-going relationships with inbox providers, (2) robust infrastructure and third party vetting tools like Mailjet’s partnership with 250ok, and (3) devoted deliverability experts to help maintain quality domain and IP addresses for senders like you.
On your side of the equation, you will need to enable your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail Option (DKIM). These allow your ISPs to recognize the fact that your emails come from a reliable, authorized system, and prevent spammers from stealing the identity of legitimate identities. Mailjet provides an easy-to-follow guide to do this.
In summary, here are some digestible email tips for Ecommerce businesses: Tip 1: Marry good content with smart design to drive customers towards your products. Tip 2: Learning different kinds of email will really allow you to take advantage of email’s sweet ROI. And don’t do no-reply emails. It’s bad for business. Tip 3: Take multi-channel approaches to incentivize subscription. But make it also easy to unsubscribe to make sure that you’re not sending emails to people who will never read your emails. Tip 4: Tracking data on customers and email will help indicate what works and what doesn’t. Tip 5: Personalize and segment your email campaigns, putting in that little extra effort on each campaign and in data collection will go a long long way in standing out from the crowd. Tip 6: Make sure your emails don’t go in the spam folder by sending emails smartly and following the previous tips.
Now it’s your turn!
You are now ready to make the most of email marketing for your Ecommerce company. You know you need an effective email marketing strategy, how to create and manage email lists, and which types of emails are just waiting for you to use them.
Mailjet offers you all of the email functions and tools that online shops need for this purpose. Don’t miss any more opportunities for your Ecommerce business. Simply log into Mailjet or set up a free account:
Have you tried any of these email campaigns? How did it go? Share it with us on Twitter. And why not sign up to our newsletter? 😉
This blog post is contains parts from an old post “7 Emails for Small Online Shops”, published on the Mailjet blog on September 25th, 2018 by Jan Bernecke.
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. Like most prep, crafting a Halloween email campaign that gives your subscriber goosebumps (in a good way), takes preparation and creativity.
To help you out, we’ve handpicked some scarily good ideas to help you spice up your Halloween emails. Check out these tips and start brainstorming how to turn your campaigns from good to… devilishly good. 😏
Include a trick and a treat in your Halloween emails
Ensure your Halloween email marketing looks 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’s Halloween email design is elegant and clean.
Create Halloween emails that 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’ Halloween 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.
Try including a game, like Pull & Bear does in its Halloween email campaign.
Customize your Halloween email marketing
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. They won’t need to do any tiring Halloween costume hunting after work or spend endless evenings crafting decorations. Their Halloween party can be sorted in just a few magical clicks!
NOT ON THE HIGH STREET’s email includes everything you need to enjoy this Halloween.
Free all kinds of creative monsters in your Halloween emails
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.
Want to see the animation in Lands End’s Halloween email? Check it out here
Bonus: Adapt your Halloween email marketing 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:
E-commerce Halloween emails
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 Halloween emails
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 Halloween emails
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 Día de los Muertos), it could be a great opportunity to promote them!
Food & Spirits Halloween emails
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 email Halloween emails
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.
These marketers know that it takes work to turn a great idea into great copy and design. Draw inspiration from these campaigns 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!
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.