How to Pipe Mailjet Data to a Data Warehouse — and Why You Should

As the central hub for your team’s messages, customers, and apps, Mailjet offers all the benefits of group email management and collaboration. But beyond the obvious functionality, the Mailjet platform is chock-full of data — and you can use that data to surface valuable insights for your team.

In many organizations, corporate data lives in silo’s that don’t talk to each other. In addition to Mailjet, perhaps you use a payment platform like Stripe or Square, advertising networks like Google Ads or Facebook Ads, an analytics platform like Google Analytics, customer service software like Intercom or Zendesk, and in-house databases. You track information for the same customers in all these platforms, but how can you get a full picture of every way your customers are interacting with your business?

The best way to correlate that information is to create a data warehouse that consolidates all of your data into a single location. Most businesses nowadays use cloud data warehouses to do this.

Three tiers of the data analytics architecture

Data sources like Mailjet form a foundation for a data analytics stack that comprises three additional tiers: ETL (extract, transform, load) software, data warehouse, and business intelligence (BI) software.

Stitch provides a simple, powerful ETL service for businesses of all sizes. Signup is simple — you can be moving data from one or more sources to a data warehouse in five minutes.

The last few years have seen the emergence of cloud-native data warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, Snowflake, and Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse. Because they run on cloud infrastructure that scales quickly and cost-effectively to meet performance demands, they can handle transformation using the same hardware on which the data warehouse runs.

Finally, to unlock the value of your data, you can connect a BI or data visualization tool to your data warehouse and create reports that analyze data from multiple sources, which you can share via browser-based dashboards.

Setting up a data warehouse

Let’s set up a three-tiered data analytics stack, starting with the data warehouse. If your organization generates business analytics reports, chances are you already have an account with one of these data warehouses, but if you don’t, choose one that meets your needs. If you choose Redshift, BigQuery, Snowflake, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, or one of the other destinations Stitch supports, you can also follow the setup steps for your data warehouse in the Stitch documentation.

Setting up Stitch for ETL

The next step is setting up an ETL pipeline to move data from Mailjet and other data sources to the data warehouse. Stitch makes extracting data from a source and loading it into a data warehouse easy. To get started, visit Stitch’s signup page, enter your email address, then enter your name and a password.

Add an integration

Next, add Mailjet as an integration within Stitch. Click on the Mailjet icon to get started:

 

 

The next screen prompts for a name for the integration. This name will display on the Stitch Dashboard for the integration, and it’ll also be used to create the schema in your destination. Choose something descriptive but not too long.

 

 

When you click Save, Stitch will generate a webhook token URL:

 

Follow the instructions on the screen to paste the URL into Mailjet as an endpoint for the events you want to track. Once you save it, all future events of the types you’ve selected will be replicated to your data warehouse — but first you have to connect your data warehouse to Stitch as a destination.

Click Continue, then All Done, to get back to the Stitch dashboard. Scroll up to the top of the screen and click on Destination.

Add a destination

Suppose you’ve chosen an Amazon Redshift data warehouse. Click on the Redshift icon, enter your credentials, then click Check and Save.

 

 

Now all the pieces are in place, and your data is ready to flow.

 

 

When you visit your Stitch dashboard, you’ll see that your integration is marked Active, Continuously Replicated.

From the dashboard you can also add integrations from other data sources. The Stitch documentation walks through the process for each one.

Connecting BI software to your data warehouse

The final stage of the process is connecting an analytics platform to your data warehouse. If you don’t already use BI software, you have dozens to choose from, including such popular options as Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, Google Data Studio, and Looker.

Now you have all the tools you need to see, for example, which customers need the most support or which are the most profitable, and you can tell whether you’ve been communicating with them at an optimal cadence or targeting ads at the best cohort.

That’s all there is to it. Using an ETL tool like Stitch to move data from Mailjet and other sources into a data warehouse lets you leverage the power of BI tools to correlate and report on all of your valuable data.

What Is An SMTP Relay And Why Do We Use It?

If you’re looking to take the next step in your understanding of email marketing, beyond how to set up contact lists  and create your first newsletter, then you should probably take a closer look at SMTP.

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and is essentially the backend system that helps you and company send, receive, and relay messages between email senders and receivers.

In an episode of Email Explained, our Sr. Customer Success Manager gives us the 101 of what you need to know about SMTP Relay, but we’ll add a little more depth below.

What is an SMTP Relay?

An SMTP relay is a protocol that allows email to be transmitted through the internet: (1) receiving email from the sender and (2) delivering it to the recipient’s local post office, another SMTP server.

It was first created in 1982 and continues to be the internet standard that is widely used today.

To break this down a bit more, let’s imagine the journey that your normal snail mail may take to get to its destination:

 

snail mail

Sending through an SMTP server with an email service provider

So what does this protocol look like when it comes to an email service provider like Mailjet? Businesses that need to send mass email to their customers use SMTP relay for ease of maintenance and added analytics insights.

Sending through an email service provider, like Mailjet, via an SMTP relay saves companies from having to run their own mail server. As you can see in the diagram below, the business or sender creates the email and their server sends it to Mailjet’s SMTP server to prepare and send it out to recipients.

smtp (4)

In order to combat spam, a majority of webmail providers (i.e. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) put a limit on how many emails you can send to different recipients per day. As businesses, who need to communicate en mass with their audience, would often exceed this limit, they will require the services of an enterprise level email sending platform.

An SMTP relay provider can help businesses and organizations deliver large volumes of email without getting them mislabeled as spam or running up against small sending limits.

Email service providers like Mailjet, invest a lot of resources into building their own email infrastructure to handle large volumes and work closely with the major internet service providers (ISPs) and webmail providers to deliver these emails straight to the recipients inbox.

 

Behind the Scenes: SMTP server tracking

There’s an added layer of value to sending through an email service provider. With Mailjet, before our SMTP servers send an email, our system automatically adds link trackers in the body of your message. This then allows you, as the user, to properly track opens and clicks after an email has been received.

Mailjet also translates feedback from ISPs (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.), since each one communicates in its own way. Our service saves developers time by converting this into an easily identifiable response, displaying whether an email has either soft bounced or hard bounced.

A soft bounce includes, for instance, when a server is down or full, while a hard bounce is if the recipient’s email address is no longer active or mistyped.

Choosing an SMTP Port

We devote an entire blog to this already, but an important consideration when it comes to SMTP is which port to use.

To understand how ports work, we need to take a step back and see what happens when computers communicate with each other on the internet.

Let’s say you are trying to reach mailjet.com. In this case, the Domain Name System (DNS) is converting this to the actual IP that is hidden behind the name of the site. In Mailjet’s case, this is 104.199.110.216. You probably could remember 4-5 IPs like ours, but who can actually remember more, or really… who would want to?

An SMTP port is one that is meant to be used for SMTP connections. Today, the most common SMTP ports are 25, 465, 587, or 2525. This doesn’t mean that they are the only ones, though. These few ports are the most used ones for these types of connection, and because of that they are almost always opened, which means you should be able to reach your destination.

If you’re looking to decide which port to use, be sure to reach our article on Choosing an SMTP Port to see which one is best for you.

Ultimately, SMTP relay makes our lives as marketers much simpler, by handling all of the heavy lifting in the backend so that we can spend more time crafting content and building out our contact lists.

Want to know more about SMTP and Mailjet? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know about our new articles!

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 12th. :)

We love these times in the 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 e-commerce 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

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.

Anthropologie Email

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

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

SeatGeek Mothers Day

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 PersonalizationDoc 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).

Create your Mother’s Day email campaigns with Mailjet

Mailjet’s collaborative email editor, Passport, is the best way to create stunning email campaigns that will look great on any device and inbox. Just choose a template to adapt from our extensive template gallery, or create yours from scratch by dragging and dropping sections, images and content blocks. For even more customized content, you can also insert HTML code blocks from the interface. Work with your team in real time to design the perfect Mother’s Day email!

Try the Mailjet’s email editor demo

Haven’t got a Mailjet account and want to try Passport? Play around with our demo to see how easy it is to create the perfect Mother’s Day email with Mailjet’s email editor!

Key Takeaways: Email Inspiration for Mothers Day

Altogether, 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 are 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’d 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!

The 8 Steps in Your Email Team’s Campaign Workflow

As email marketing campaigns become more complex, with the addition of things like dynamic personalization, interactive content, and responsive design, email marketing teams are becoming more complex too.

Which means your email team’s workflow is also evolving.

It’s no longer as easy as choosing a template, selecting your recipients, writing a message, and clicking send. Today, you need to also capture and integrate your data, identify segmentation and personalization opportunities, craft an eye-catching design, code custom HTML (or MJML), test and retest your variables, ensure the email adapts to all inboxes and mobile devices, and on and on it goes.

A quality email is a complex email, and a complex email requires an effective team workflow.

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At Mailjet, we’ve been working on this problem since the start – helping email teams work together more efficiently and more effectively. From the role out of our team features like live collaboration to the creation of MJML, which has made it easier than ever to code a responsive email, while also allowing your marketing team to easily edit with no coding knowledge.

This article will outline what we’ve learned along the way about how teams can effectively work together, and the email workflow required. Whether you’re sending a newsletter, creating transactional and automation email templates, or using an SMTP Relay or Email API to send custom HTML, every email team will go through most of these steps.

Who Do You Need On Your Email Team?

Within each phase of your email workflow, there are a few key archetypes that will need to be involved. While we covered the five key roles in you need in your email team in an earlier article, we will summarize it a bit more here first.

Each team is different, but at the end of the day, your email team requires these five roles. Sometimes one person plays more than one role, but if your team doesn’t have the skills necessary to fulfill each responsibility, you run the risk of mediocre results.

For example, a team with a really strong copywriter, but poor design, will underperform. As will a team with great copy, great design, but no data engineer to take advantage of personalization and segmentation opportunities.

 

 

The Email Strategist

To avoid being one of the many flailing brands that send out email campaigns without any kind of coherent strategy, or even a plan, you will need someone on your team devoted to thinking about the big picture. The Strategist is involved from A to Z, from how email will play a role in your business to the final word in campaigns.

The Email Designer

A designer, like always, is tasked with the look and feel of the email, but unlike standard web design, social media design, print, and so forth, designing for email requires knowledge of how the design will look on different devices. This will require close collaboration with the developers and the strategist to ensure the design is not only responsive across desktop and mobile, but also across different inboxes like Gmail, Outlook, and the many mobile inboxes that exist.

The Copywriter(s)

The designer will scoff, the strategist will say it’s the whole package that matters, and you know what – it’s kind of true. The whole team brings something to the table but at the end of the day a good message with well-written copy will cut through. Simply put, the copywriters are in charge of the words. This goes beyond just great sentences, the best copywriters know how to say more with less.

Email Developer

The Developer floats in and out of the planning and implementation phases of an email campaign.

They work closely with the strategist and designer off the top to ensure that the objective of an email campaign is accomplished with the variables we have in place. They also ensure that the design will, in fact, be responsive to different devices and inboxes. Finally, they take control of optimization practices to ensure things like segmentation are properly set up, and necessary integrations are enabled.

Data Engineer

Finally, the Data Engineer plays a crucial role in helping the developer make the most of the integrations, and the Strategist understands the performance of campaigns.

It’s one thing for a developer and a strategist to include a [First Name] variable, or a personalized image, or message based on a segment. However, it’s a whole other thing entirely to ensure that the right data is included within the right email, and most importantly that there is even some data that can be pulled.

To avoid blank fields in your email campaigns or, worse, a failed segmentation, be sure to have a data engineer on your team.

The Email Team Workflow

Ultimately, the Email Team Cycle is made up of three phases:

Strategize. Create. Optimize.

Email Team Workflow: Strategize

Simply put, if you don’t have a strategy behind your email campaigns, they will not be effective. The Strategize phase starts with “Assess & Adapt” before moving on to establishing a new strategy for your next campaign.

Assess & Adapt

Unless this is your very first campaign ever, you will likely have some past campaign data to work with to help determine what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve moving forward.

This first (and last step) of the cycle involves the entire team and is managed by the Email Strategist.

This includes asking the basic questions like: did my email campaign actually get delivered to the inbox? If there was a low delivery rate, it’s important to review your email list hygiene. What emails bounced, who marked you spam, what emails were blocked? With this information, you can easily clean your lists to ensure that they do not receive future messages. This will also ensure that those who do in fact want to receive your emails will more likely get it in their inbox (vs the spam folder).

You can also assess your content. Which subject line performed best? Which image? Did certain segments perform better? All of this data can and should be used to inform your future campaigns. In the Strategize phase – data is everything.

While it is difficult to do for every single email campaign, especially if your team is involved in many emails per week, it is important to establish a recurring time to assess your campaigns as a team. Perhaps this is a weekly standup meeting (10-15min) or a bi-weekly check-in.

Regardless, at this stage, you need to ask yourself and your team these key questions:

  • Did we achieve our engagement goals?
  • What were the results of A/B Tests
  • What segments resulted in higher engagement?
  • What demographics engaged most?
  • Do we need to clean our contact lists based on bounces, blocks, unsubscribes, etc?

Develop Campaign Strategy

As with any project, up front, it’s essential to establish your objectives, SMART goals, and a plan of action. Of course, a strategy evolves and adapts as you implement, but you need to start somewhere.

At this stage, the Email Strategist is crucial. They are the ones responsible for developing the overall email strategy, using data from past email campaigns and other knowledge about your target audience.

The questions you are trying to solve at this stage include:

  • What is the primary goal for this campaign?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What internal/external team members do you need involved?
  • How will you measure success?
  • Which elements will be tested (e.g. A/B Tests)

The Email Strategist will pull in expert advice from across the organization, including members of their email team and the larger marketing team to better understand how email fits into the bigger picture.

Email Team Workflow: Creation

The second stage is all about creation, and on top of the Email Strategist, it’s time to pull in your Copywriters, Designers, and Developers.

Establish the Design

The first step of the Creation Phase is to Establish the Design. Whether this is simply selecting a template, designing a new template, or creating a one-off email layout. The purpose here is to identify which layout will drive the most engagements based on your defined goals.

For example – if the goal of the campaign is to increase purchases (e.g. new sunglasses), then the design will need to include images of the sunglasses, some pricing information, and maybe a single CTA to ensure all traffic is funneled to the purchase page.

On the other hand, if the goal is to simply educate, then the layout could be more text-based and longer. Rather than trying to get the user out of the email as fast as possible, in this case, you’re trying to keep them in it.

It’s also important at this stage to identify what human resources will be required to fulfill the design you are building. Will all of this be possible through a click-and-drag interface, or will you need some custom code?

Write the Copy & Design Images

Once a design layout is selected, it’s time to unleash copywriters on the email. With a clear objective for what the email is attempting to accomplish, alongside the wireframe and boundaries to work within, the copywriters can focus on ensuring that the message delights, and inspires enough to lead to engagement.

The most effective email copywriters use this stage of the email creation process to do two things:

  1. Work with the strategist and data engineer to understand what message is most likely to convert, what calls-to-action lead to the most clicks, and where you can take advantage of personalization & segmentation opportunities.
  2. Identify what the core message you want to communicate, and understanding that the average person only looks at a promotional email subject line for 3 seconds…what message do you want to send in such a short time.

Alongside the copywriter, the designer can start working on the imagery that will be included in a campaign. What images support the message, what images are most likely to convert (based on past data), and what brand guidelines need to be followed.

It’s important to also work with the Email Developer in this phase to understand what unique design elements can be included to create an even more engaging email. For example, rather than a static image, maybe you’d like to include GIF, interactive imagery, or something like a countdown timer that would require custom code.

Either way, collaboration is key here – so be sure you understand the implications of your design

Custom Code


The last step of the creation process is coding the email, or better yet, simply adding in small custom code elements. Depending on whether the email could be created entirely using a drag-and-drop editor like Mailjet’s Passport, your email developer will need to put in some work.

At this stage the Email Developer will be looking at the following tasks and questions:

  • Convert wireframe design and content into code
  • What custom code is required to address the campaign goals?
  • Test and optimize for all devices and inboxes

Email Marketing Workflow: Optimize

The third and final stage is about the optimization of your email campaign and contact lists. While the Email Strategist will, of course, play a huge role here, you will also need to reserve time from your Data Engineer and Email Developer.

Integrate CRM

At this stage, when you have established the design and created custom content, images, and code, it’s now time to integrate your CRM or another database to ensure your campaign is optimized. This is when you will pull in your CRM Specialist (or Data Engineer) as well as your Email Developer.

Working together, they will identify opportunities to include personalization or segmentation, and make recommendations to the copywriters and designers.

If it’s a transactional email, how are you are integrating data from your website (such as purchase orders) into the email?

Ultimately, the purpose at this stage is to:

    • Identify and implement segmentation opportunities
    • Ensure CRM is integrated with your email platform
    • Validate data integrity and personalization

Be sure to look into our integrations to identify how to best optimize this stage.

Test & Validate

At this stage, you’ll pull in more of your team including copywriters, designers, and strategist to review the final copy and design, test the variables, confirm that the correct A/B tests are being used, and so forth.

It’s important to work closely together in real-time to reduce the amount of time spent going back and forth on things like subject lines, headings, CTAs, and so forth. Consider this a “sprint” phase where you and your team drop everything and focus on bringing the campaign to its conclusion.

Approve & Send

Finally, after all the t’s are crossed, i’s dotted, and code tested, it’s time for one person…ONE person to approve and send the email or publish the template. As much as email is a team sport, like any effective project, ultimate control and approval needs to fall on one person. This person is often the Email Strategist.

This helps avoid typos, errors, or any other number of #EmailFails that often result from rushed decision making or the wrong person reviewing the email. You wouldn’t want a designer or developer to accidentally send an email with typos. Or a copywriter to send it without considering responsive design.

Once approved – it’s time to send.

From here – you cycle back to the Strategize phase, taking a look at your performance and considering where and how to adapt for future campaigns.

Final Thoughts

While this workflow may seem like a lot of work and a lot of details for a single email, the fact is that each team goes through this entire workflow on every single email. The variance between a good email and a bad email (or a good email program and a bad one) is how details approached at each stage.

You can certainly skip over the “Develop a Strategy” or the “Approve & Send” step for instance, but there will be some long-term complications as a result.

Your individual campaigns may suffer, but your team’s habits will suffer as well. To achieve the best results, you need to build good habits. We hope you’ll use this workflow as a foundation to build good habits into your own team’s workflow.

Does this workflow align well with your own team’s workflow? How would you look at adapting it? Let us know on Twitter & Linkedin now!