Mailjet’s Marketing Automation News: Anniversary Scenarios

Email automation is, hands down, one of the most useful (and used) features for marketing campaigns alongside segmentation. It helps you easily maintain engagement with your customers in an organic way. In fact, there is no question regarding contacts’ behaviours toward emails: they like to receive targeted and accurate communications. If they do not, they get annoyed. This can trigger email deletions and low open rates (which impacts your deliverability), unsubscriptions, and–more globally–a bad perception of your brand. And nobody wants that. 🙅‍♀️

At Mailjet, we know how important having automated scenarios is for business, so we’ve added one more to our portfolio. Please welcome Mailjet’s Anniversary workflow.

Email Automation at Mailjet: What’s new?

Want to pep up your marketing strategy? Send your customers automatic emails immediately as they perform an action or reach an important process stage.

A successful marketing strategy combines many targeted actions. Creating customer-centric journeys thanks to email automation will definitely help you bond better with your users. You’ll contact them just when it’s the most accurate, increasing your ROI and engagement.

Mailjet’s automation is easy to set up. No matter if you are a new user or an automation expert, you can use one of our scenarios with predefined events that cover essential use cases:

  • Welcome / Onboarding: reach out and welcome new customers who join your contact list with one or more customized, personalized emails.
  • Date Based Workflow: schedule your workflow based on a date and time you select. It’s useful for special or periodic offers, like a : series of emails to promote summer sales.
  • Contact Property Update: send automated emails based on customer interactions (latest purchase, loyalty status, etc.) for continuous engagement.

 

And in our efforts to help your needs, we’ve recently added a new scenario to our automation engine: the Anniversary workflow.

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Blogpost

Mailjet’s anniversary scenario

An anniversary is much more than just a celebration of milestones. It can (and should be) be a reward for every year your users spend with you. Whether they’re new customers or long-time clients, they deserve some credit.

Celebrating milestones can be a great way to strengthen your customer relationship. Here are two ways Mailjet’s Anniversary scenario can help you with that:

  • Happy Birthday emails: Sending your contacts a message to celebrate their birthday shows your customers you care about them and bolsters your reputation. Add a freebie or special offer to the email to encourage them to celebrate with you.
  • Membership anniversary: Tracking when a user joined your loyalty program or subscribed to your newsletter will allow you to thank them for another year together on that special day. Send them a coupon or show your appreciation by showing them how their trust and support has helped your business over the last year.

 

Also, a birthday or anniversary means you can reach out to your contacts even when they haven’t asked for anything. It’s a great opportunity to boost your sales and share an unmissable offer. You can show your target audience they deserve a treat, and, additionally, showcase your latest products.

How to set up an Anniversary workflow

A workflow can be triggered by an event or an action. In this case, the trigger will be the anniversary date. To set it up, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: To create a workflow, look at the main menu bar, click on ‘Automation’, then on ‘My Workflows’. You’ll see this screen if you have no workflow created yet:

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Workflow Blogpost

Step 2: To set up the Anniversary workflow, click on ‘Create my first workflow’ and then select the Anniversary scenario in the ‘Select an automation scenario’ option panel.

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Scenarios Blogpost

Step 3: To be able to trigger this workflow, the anniversary date of each of your users needs to be stored as a contact property, so make sure you collect this information from them. This could be their actual birthday if you want to send Happy Birthday emails, or the date they joined your mailing list if you want to celebrate your time together.

Enter all the details in the fields, choose whether you want to add a specific list or all contacts, extra-target thanks to segments. In our example, we’re going to send a birthday email to our customers in a specific list:

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Creation Blogpost

Step 4: Once you’ve filled in all the basic information and defined a list, you’ll be able to define the triggers for your anniversary workflow. This works for any important date or cycle you choose to define: your customers birthdays, subscription or contract renewals, trial periods expiring, etc.

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Date Property

If you want to send an email series, instead of just one email, you can do it by adding additional emails to the workflow. For each email in the workflow, you can decide if you want a delay (immediate, minutes, hours, days, months):

Step 5: Once all the automation workflow information is set up, it’s time to build your actual email. You can design your campaign in our email builder, Passport, using one of our predefined templates or creating your own from scratch.

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Email Editor

Remember to define the sender details, including a recognizable ‘From name’ and catchy subject line that helps your email stand out in your contact’s crowded inbox:

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Sender

Step 6: Don’t forget to review your workflow before saving it! Once it’s set up, Mailjet will automatically send the emails to your customers, so make sure to triple-check your workflow! 🤓

Every year on or around the anniversary date (depending on how you set it up), the workflow will activate for your contacts and they will receive your emails. As easy as that. 💁

Segmentation for optimal results

Anniversary messages should feel unique and personal. Creating segmented anniversary emails will help you offer a more tailored experience and will show your contacts you know them and you really care. Who doesn’t want a free bagel at their local store or a discount on some well-chosen products from your online shop?

Automation is all about taking care of your customers, so make sure to refine your targeting using segments based on your contacts’ profile, location or behaviour in order to offer them the best experience possible.

Mailjet Anniversary Automation Eligibility

 

Now it’s your turn: Create your own anniversary workflow

Automating your emails means you can stay involved throughout your entire customer lifecycle.

With this new development, you’ll have everything to strengthen your interactions with your audience. All you need is some inspiration and some creative thinking about your sales-boosting strategy. It’s important to create personalized emails and interesting offers to make the most of your anniversary workflow.

Interested? Mailjet’s Email Automation, including the Anniversary workflow, is available on Premium Plans. Sign up for an account or upgrade your plan within your Mailjet account. Once you are set up, check our comprehensive documentation for step-by-step guidance.

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The Best Mother’s Day Email Campaigns

Mother’s Day is coming, and even though this year it’s probably going to be a slightly different one (no Sunday brunches, unfortunately), you can also expect an increase in soft pinks and flower GIFs in your inbox. By the way, this year it’s May 10th, so make sure to get your Mother’s Day email campaigns ready. 😉

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.

Best practices for your Mother’s Day email campaigns

Some people love guidelines. They make them feel confident and prepared. Others hate them and see them as a limit to creativity. But when it comes to email marketing, following the recommended best practices is the best way to ensure your emails reach the inbox and to see the results you want.

Creating amazing Mother’s Day emails, with catchy subject lines and beautiful designs can be daunting at first. To help you out, here are a few things to keep in mind when you set out to plan your marketing campaigns:

  • Never underestimate the subject line: It is the first things your contacts will see and what will make them decide whether they want to open your email or not. Make sure it helps your message stand out in the inbox, and that it’s not misleading.
  • Make sure your branding is consistent: Don’t get too creative. When it comes to email design, simplicity is key, and brand consistency should always be a must across your different marketing and transactional emails.
  • Segment your list and send tailored content: Make sure you’re only sending emails to engaged contacts, and adapt the message to the recipient using tools like segmentation and email personalization.
  • Choose powerful images and respect the image-text ration: Images and GIFs can make your emails more appealing and increase conversion, but remember to follow best practices and always add alt text.
  • Be strategic about your calls-to-action: Place your main CTA above the fold to ensure it stands out, and don’t add too many calls-to-action in your emails.
  • Test your campaigns before sending: Ensure all links work and that everything looks fine across different devices and email clients.

 

Want to learn more? Check out our blog posts on Email Marketing Best Practices.

Great Mother’s Day email examples

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! This year, keep an eye out for any great Mother’s Day campaigns you receive, and be sure to share your favorites with us on Twitter. We’ll might add some of your suggestions to this post in the future. 🏆

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 personalization

Doc Martens

Our last contestant is Dr. (Doc) Martens. We’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 Mother’s Day 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 Mother’s 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.

 

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

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This is an updated version of the post “Best Mother’s Day Email Campaigns” published on the Mailjet blog on April 11th, 2019 by Miles DePaul.

Email Headers: What They Are & How To Read Them

Hands up if you’ve heard someone talk about email headers, but have no idea what that is. Or even worse, maybe your technical team has actually asked you to send them the full header of your email, and you’re frantically looking for it everywhere.

In this post, we’re going to tell you about email headers, how they can help you and, of course, where exactly you can find them.

What is an email header?

Emails contain three main elements: the body, the envelope, and the header. You probably already know what the body of an email refers to — the main text of the message. Everything written in an email, from “Dear Professor Dumbledore” to “Sincerely Yours, Harry Potter,” is considered the body of the message. The message’s sender and recipient can both see this information.

The message envelope is something that neither the sender nor recipient see. The envelope is the information that the email program and outgoing server use to communicate and deliver the message to the correct email address. Then, the message writer hits “send” and creates this information before the mail lands in the recipient’s inbox.

Finally, the email header is a log of an email’s technical details that both the sender and recipient can see, though it can’t be as easily viewed as the email body. It contains information that gives readers details in regards to the sender, receiver, and the message. This includes any email addresses that are involved in the conversation, the servers the email passed through while being sent, and more. Check out what an email header looks like below.

Email Headers

What are email headers used for?

Email headers are usually used to see information such as who has sent and received a message, where the message has passed through a server, and what kind of errors may have prevented the email from reaching its intended destination. For email deliverability, headers can provide helpful information about positive or negative interaction with a message.

Since the header contains the email’s routing information, you can view exactly which servers, ISPs, and email platforms the message has been through. You can easily see if the email message was secure and if it reached its recipient without errors or changes. If the message encountered a problem on its way to its destination, or was never delivered at all, a tech-savvy user can review the header and figure out exactly what affected the message. Did Harry’s email go to Aberfoth Dumbledore, instead of Albus? 🤔

After identifying issues, the user can then fix problems that help new emails get where they need to go.

Due to their ability to quickly help solve many delivery issues, headers are a valuable resource for organizations concerned with deliverability and the technical process of sending an email. That’s why it is important, if you are beginning an email campaign, to correctly configure your delivery systems beforehand and send a few test emails. With the right tools in place, you will be able to give yourself a leg up in deliverability before your email even leaves your outbox.

Want to know more about deliverability best practices? Download our guide now!

Banner Email Deliverability

What are the standard parts of an email header?

Email headers provide you with information you may want or need. The standard parts of an email header are below:

  • From: This section refers to the name and email address of the sender, which is the origin of the email.
  • To: This section refers to the name and email address of the recipient. If there is more than one recipient, the name and email address of each recipient will appear in this section.
  • Date: This section refers to the sent email’s day and time.

Elsewhere in the header, we can also find the following technical sections:

  • Subject: This section refers to the subject line used in the email message.
  • Return-Path: If an error is found while the email is being sent or, for any reason, the email cannot reach the intended inbox, the mail is sent to the address specified in this section. In this case, it will generally be send back to the sender — via the “return path” — specified in the “from” section.
  • Received: This section refers to all of the message’s recipients. For each successful point of receipt, we can see the IP address and the different authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM-signature, DMARC) that have (or have not) been validated by the different servers.
  • Message-ID: This section refers to the unique identifier of each specific email message.
  • MIME-version: When present, MIME-version (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) refer to programs that support email attachments outside of the main message, like static images and video and audio components.
  • Content-type: This section refers to the different content types in each message (text, jpeg, etc.).

 

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How do you find an email header in your email client?

Almost all webmail providers contain email headers for each message. Below, you can see instructions for finding headers on several popular email clients.

Email headers in Gmail

In Google Mail, you can click on the three dots in the top right corner of any email message you have, and then click the “show original” option. Then, this will show you the header.

Show email header on Gmail

Email headers in Microsoft Outlook (Hotmail) website and app

On the Microsoft Outlook website, you can click the three dots in the upper right corner of the email. Then, you can click “view message source” in the menu to view the full email header.
Show email header on Microsoft Outlook website
In the Microsoft Outlook app, you can double click the email to see it in a separate window. Then, click “file” and then click “properties.” Then, you can see the header information in the “internet headers” section at the bottom of the screen.

Email headers in Yahoo Mail

In Yahoo Mail, open the message and click the “more” button above it. Then, click “view raw message.” This will show you the header.
Show email header in Yahoo

Email headers in Apple Mail

In Apple Mail, you can open the message and select the “view” option in the menu pane. Then, choose the “message” option and finally click on the “All Headers” option. This will display your message’s email header.

View Headers on Apple Mail

What should you remember about email headers?

Email headers may seem unfamiliar to those who have never viewed them. However, you can use them to find out detailed information about your emails’ journey and if they are being properly delivered. They are an important part of good deliverability strategy. Becoming familiar with them will help you launch successful email campaigns and view their results.

Want more tips and information about email deliverability? Sign up for the Mailjet newsletter!

Email Marketing For Charities & The Not-For-Profits

Charities and not-for-profit organizations know what the secret to successfully tackling a mission is: building an army of fearless supporters to aid the cause they are fighting for. In order to build such a valiant army, you need emotive messaging and powerful storytelling that attracts the right breed of supporter: one who can convey your message.

So, how do you build this army of supporters with email? In this guide, we will cover the fundamentals of email marketing for the not-for-profit and charities.

Defining a strong email strategy for charities & not-for-profits

Email marketing is a direct and truly personal way of grabbing your audience’s attention. It has the power to reach the right people, garnishing quick results and an impressive ROI. As we’ve already mentioned, email is the best performing channel for ROI, ahead of SEO.

Build an email contact list

Before you begin sending emails, you need to build a list that has the potential to convert. That is, a list of contacts that are interested in your mission. At Mailjet, we believe that success lies in growing your list organically and not from buying data.

The prospect of starting your contact list from scratch might seem daunting, but it is key to getting great results. Spending your budget by sending emails to people that are not interested in your cause is, at the end of the day, just wasting money.

Have a look at some quick tips to grow your contact list organically:

  • Your website: One of the simplest ways to collect contact email addresses is to add a newsletter sign-up widget, pop-up or light box to your website, encouraging supporters to create an account when making a donation or signing up to your services.
  • Social Media: Your social channels are fantastic places in which to run competitions, acquire donations, drive traffic to your website and subscribers to your newsletters. With that in mind, make sure you provide a sneak peek of the content your users could be receiving if they joined your mailing list.
  • Offline: Depending on the nature of your business, you might have face-to-face contact with your customers in physical stores, city centers, booths at events, etc… You can offer to send potential subscribers exclusive content, or incentivize them to join your contact list with unique gifts.

 
Growing (and maintaining) a healthy and engaged contact list is key to crafting a winning email marketing strategy.

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Master responsive email design

Today we might use two, three or maybe even four devices (desktops, tablets, smartphones, wearable…), all of which have different sized screens and display messages in different ways.

It is essential to keep these different screen sizes in mind when designing email templates. Responsive designs are those that render properly and deliver a consistent message, regardless of your contacts’ device or email client.

Learn more:

 

Choose a responsive email editor

Ensuring your design is responsive might seem like a pain, but using an advanced email editor like Passport does the hard work for you. Adding interactive elements into your email can help to increase engagement, but these come with a more intense responsive battle. If you have a small amount of coding knowledge, tools like MJML can help to ease the pain.

responsive email templates

Send data driven emails

Nowadays, there’s a lot of data email marketers can use to send better emails. However, we don’t always make the most of it. Analyzing and learning from all the information you have available to you will help you create campaigns that really answers your followers’ needs.

A/B testing allows email marketers to compare the performance of different versions of the same emails. The opportunities are endless – from the basics (from name, subject line, CTA) to aspects such as personalization, content, design, sending frequency or even sending days and times.

Another good way to assess the performance of your emails is comparing campaigns against each other. This will also allow you to look at the bigger picture, identify trends and set benchmarks for future sendings.

Create targeted and personalized content

Personalization and segmentation go hand in hand when it comes to email marketing.

Segmenting contact data, behavioral data, and data based on your users’ preferences will allow you to target them better and send them contextually relevant emails. Splitting your lists up by gender, location, behavioral patterns or donation value can help add context, making your subscribers feel like you know them.

On the other hand, personalizing your emails allows you to engage with your customers on a one-to-one basis, at scale. Personalization is not just about the simple things, like including your contact’s name in the subject line, but about using dynamic and tailored content that creates an emotional connection with each and every one of your readers.

Integrate marketing and transactional email

Traditionally, business emails have been divided into two big groups: marketing and transactional. Nowadays, though, organizations are expected to offer a seamless customer experience across both. By making sure your marketing and transactional emails have a consistent brand image, your customers will know they are communicating with the same organization.

Using marketing and transactional messages as two complementary email channels is not just about brand identity, though. It’s also about leveraging the power of these triggered messages and capturing your recipients when they are at their most engaged. Transactional emails, in general, have high engagement metrics, as they are sent to customers after they’ve performed an action.

Learn more:

 

Learn about deliverability

Designing and sending amazing email campaigns that perfectly convey your organization’s mission is pointless if they’re not landing in the inbox. Even though the hard work seems over when you finally send your campaign, your emails go through a whole journey to reach your recipient. Many factors could determine whether your campaign lands in the inbox or the junk folder.

Learn more:

Banner Email Deliverability

Email campaigns for charities and not-for-profits

We’re sure that after spending quite some time learning about the tools and features that can help boost your email sendings, you’re eager to put it all into practice, armed with new ideas. Now it’s time to take a look at some of the marketing emails you can implement.

The not-for-profit and charity sectors can be extremely personal, with causes being very close to the recipient. Keeping your audience informed and treating your customers as individuals will strengthen your relationship with them and build brand loyalty.

Welcome programs

A welcome series gives you the opportunity to greet your customers upon joining your cause, and to offer them some key information to help them support you best. Letting your contacts know about the kind of communication they can expect from you and allowing them to choose between different options will enable you to send them targeted emails that are more likely to interest them.

You might want to consider breaking the welcome message down into a series of emails, to avoid bombarding your readers with lots of information in one go.

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy welcome email

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy’s welcome email provides the reader with valuable information on what to expect and how to connect with the park. Their email is effective because it gives the reader clear paths to follow.

Newsletters

Sending out a frequent newsletter to all your subscribers is a great way to keep your contacts engaged. Regular content helps to promote your cause and keep members up to date with what you’re up to. Give your newsletter a catchy name to help readers recognize it in the inbox.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative newsletter

The Chang Zuckerberg Initiative newsletter shares current content about their work and other important updates.

Seasonal events

There are different ways in which seasonal events can be used to increase engagement with your email campaigns. Public holidays are always a great excuse to promote your cause and events. It could be that someone’s not thinking about giving or supporting a cause until they receive your email.

There are also certain festivities that make places or causes more attractive, like Halloween or Christmas… Piggybacking on whatever’s taking place in a specific location could be a good way to encourage someone to donate. Even designing creative campaigns around certain marketing moments can have a very positive impact on your conversion.

Mother's Day Email

St Baldricks Foundation uses Mother’s Day to get donations by offering unique e-cards subscribers can send to their mothers. 

Appeal launches and campaigning

Let your customers know what’s new and encourage them to get behind it, be it by donating, sharing on social media, or giving their feedback.

Red Clay charity email

Red Clay’s Hurricane Dorian appeal email explains why they are supporting the cause with a clear call-to-action. They also include social links to help you spread the word.

Donation and volunteering requests

You’ve launched your appeal, but it doesn’t stop there: you need to ensure a steady stream of support. The best way to get support might be to be transparent, ask for what you want.

Volunteering email

Patagonia is very straightforward with what they are asking the reader in this email example and how they can help.

Gifts and merchandise sales

Another way to get supporters to join your cause might be to offer gifts and merchandise for subscribers to buy their loved ones. Jumping on seasonal events might increase your conversion rate.

Pura Vida charity email

Pura Vida’s email highlights its partnership with the American Thyroid Association to encourage readers to support the cause by purchasing a bracelet.

Nurturing emails

How many times do you sign up to an email program, but never take action? Remind subscribers about your work and why it is important. You can even add a testimonial to help them to convert.

Charity newsletter

The Canadian Red Cross understands the importance of nurturing email recipients until they are ready to convert and donate, highlighting the work they are doing around the world.

Thank You messages

Once a subscriber has supported your cause by donating, volunteering or in another way, make sure you thank them for their help. This is a great opportunity to ask for their feedback and encourage them to share their story online, by directing them to your social media channels.

Charity water email

Charity Water understand the importance of thanking their supporters for their help. This Valentine’s Day email is a great way to show appreciation.  

Update campaigns

Thanking supporters for aiding your cause is the first step, updating them on the progress of the cause is the second step. Letting the followers of your cause know where the mission is at can help to increase engagement, and perhaps encourage repeat donations.

Care Australia Update Email

Care Australia’s email is a great way of updating supporters on the progress they have made thanks to the support they receive.

Re-engagement emails

For most charities or not-for-profits, the support they receive might be a one-off. Other companies, though, rely on building a lasting relationship with their readers. If a supporter has recently stopped their donations, entice them back with a reactivation campaign. You can remind them about your mission, tempting them to support with powerful storytelling.

Cancer Research UK reminds people that stopped their donations during the previous year about the importance of their mission and ways to get involved.

Survey and feedback requests

As a not-for-profit or charity, you’ll understand the importance of taking your supporters on the journey with you to get their buy-in. Asking for their opinions can help increase engagement, and a survey email can help you do just that.

feeding america email

Feeding America asks their readers opinions, but also test their knowledge on the cause to see if their perceptions are in fact the reality of the situation.

Summing Up

When used wisely, email is a really powerful channel that will not only help you build an army of fearless warriors for your cause, but also increase your ROI. Finding the right balance between mass communication and more personal messages is key to make the most out of your email strategy.

We’ve covered the fundamentals of email marketing, as well as the secret weapons you have at your disposal, some more advanced tools to help you convince recipients that your cause is a fight worth fighting, and some of the scenarios and email types you can add to your email marketing program to help you engage readers at the right time. Remember: the most important thing is to find what works for you and your subscribers, testing new ideas to maximize your email efforts.

Send more meaningful emails with Mailjet
Easily create stunning campaigns for your charity or not-for-profit and send emails that reach the recipient’s inbox with Mailjet.

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Spam Traps: What Are They and How to Avoid Them

When it comes to online mail, spam traps can be the bane of many companies’ existence. Spam traps and your spam folder certainly aren’t all bad. They can help filter out the phishing scams, junk deals, and fake Nigerian princes to ensure that you’re getting the mail–and by extension, the information–you truly need.

Unfortunately, the same spam traps that help you filter your inbox are the same ones that can trip up many legitimate businesses if they’re not careful. With good guidelines and execution, however, these businesses can rest assured that their emails will land in their customers’ inboxes.

In this article, we’ll tell you more about spam traps and how to avoid them. Are you ready? Let’s go!

What is a spam trap?

You can’t hate spam traps entirely–they’re designed to help us.

Spam traps are fraud management tools that monitor email communications to identify spammers and senders with incorrect contact management practices. Spam traps look like legitimate email addresses, but they aren’t used for two-way communication or operated by real users. These email addresses can easily be placed on mailing lists to catch and flag spam and harmful communications.

Spam traps often take the form of honeypots. Honeypots are email accounts specifically and solely used to attract and detect spam emails and other unhelpful or malicious communications, as well as their original sender’s email address. When a phisher or spammer attempts to send bad emails to a honeypot account, an automated system can take note of the spam sender’s details and make a record of the trap.

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Types of spam traps

There are different types of spam traps you should be aware of. Some of the most common ones include:

Pristine spam traps

Pristine traps, or honeypots, are brand-new email addresses that are created by internet service providers and other groups, such as blacklist organizations, who are interested in tracking spam.

Since these addresses have never been used, they have no history or reputation associated with them, and are good for generating fresh spam reports. Businesses could hit pristine spam traps by using unverified third party email lists and using bots to scrape email addresses from the web.

Recycled domain spam traps

A domain that is no longer used by a business or individual (for example, recycleddomaintraps.net) may be purchased by a spam trap owner and secretly reactivated to collect mail. The owner can then see who is sending email to any addresses of that domain even after the domain is supposedly no longer live.

Recycled address spam traps

These are similar to the above recycled domain spam traps. If someone signs up to receive a newsletter, the newsletter isn’t spam. However, if that subscriber doesn’t log into their email account for two or three years after subscribing, the email provider may decide to shut down the account for a period of time due to inactivity.

If this account is reopened by the provider to track which emails are being sent to it, and the newsletter is still being received, this tells the provider that the newsletter sender never checked to see which of its emails were actually “wanted” (i.e. opened or engaged with). Thus, the newsletter will likely begin to be marked as spam.

This is why it is important to regularly update your mailing list and get rid of unresponsive addresses and domains.

Invalid email traps

These traps are email addresses that differ slightly from real email addresses due to typos. For example, an email address like regularguy@gmail.com could become regularguy@gnail.com or regularguy@gmaii.com in a typo spam trap.

Because these traps are generally set off by simple sender typos, the consequences for getting caught in one are usually either very light or nonexistent–as long as you don’t keep spamming the same “wrong” addresses.

How can spam traps be bad for business?

If you’re part of a legitimate business hoping to have an engaged, active emailing list, you should always be aware of potential spam traps, and of being caught by one (or more).

Remember those consequences we mentioned earlier? Well, if you’re flagged by a spam trap, some of the consequences you could be facing include:

  • A ban on your IP address: We all have IP addresses that are used to help identify our devices and their internet networks. A ban on your IP address means that you would be unable to send communications from that IP’s device, which could interfere with your business.
  • A ban on your sending domain: You can spend hours thinking about the perfect name for your online company. However, if your sending domain is banned, all that time will be wasted. It will take time and be hard to repair your domain’s reputation, and you’ll need the best deliverability experts to help you get back on track.
  • Decreased revenue: If you’re flagged as a spammer, future emails sent from your account will probably land in your recipients’ spam folders or be rejected entirely. Emails from a spam folder are far less likely to be read than emails in a primary inbox, so these future emails will be read and engaged with less frequently–and ultimately lead to decreased revenue for your business.

 

As email capabilities and usage become increasingly widespread, it’s easy to see how your email deliverability becomes increasingly important. If you don’t stay ahead of your email lists, your emails may end up blocked or undelivered. This decreases the impact and potential return on investment of your email strategy.

However, if you follow recommended guidelines and are mindful of your deliverability, your email strategy can become a great investment as an engagement tool for your business.

Want to know more about deliverability best practices? Download our guide now!

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How can you avoid spam traps?

It may feel difficult to ensure that you’re staying on the right side of the email deliverability scale. Luckily, there are many ways you can avoid spam traps and their spooky dark side. There are some general best practice do’s and don’ts to follow to keep your email communications running smoothly.

What you shouldn’t do

Here are some dangerous practices you should not do if you want to avoid spam traps:

  • Allow inactive or unengaged email addresses to linger on your mailing list. Older, unused email addresses are commonly used for spam traps, and unengaged customers may complain that your communications are spam. A shorter list of real subscribers is better than a longer list that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. .
  • Buy email lists from anyone. You may want to expand your mailing list quickly, but many for-sale addresses aren’t legitimate and often belong to honeypots or spammers themselves. Instead, grow your list organically.

 

What you should do instead

These are the best practices you should follow to protect yourself against spam traps:

  • Apply double opt-in policies when signing up new subscribers to your mailing list. When someone signs up, have them type in their email address and then verify it in a separate box. This helps ensure that the subscriber types their email address correctly and doesn’t stick you with a non-existent or bad address.
  • Validate your email lists and clean them regularly –ideally, every three to six months. Make sure that your list is clean and includes engaged subscribers who have interacted with your emails at some point after your last email validation.
  • Segment your database so you’re only sending emails to active contacts. Use a sunset policy on your email list to ensure you’re filtering out anyone that hasn’t engaged with your emails in a reasonable amount of time. If you send emails on a weekly basis, that might be anyone that hasn’t opened a message in the last three to six months. If you email your contacts daily, you’ll want to filter out anyone that hasn’t opened one in the last month.

Managing your email deliverability and keeping your list safe requires consistency. Understanding the risks is hard, but following best practices and having the right email partner will help you prevent mistakes that could damage your email reputation. Always make sure you’re an email Jedi, not an email Sith.

 

How can Mailjet help?

We’re glad you asked! Email marketing and deliverability is kind of our thing, and we have all sorts of tools that can help you maximize your mailing list and retain high-quality, loyal subscribers.

With Mailjet, you can easily create and embed a double opt-in subscription widget to capture email addresses in the safest way. With double opt-in, your contacts will have to confirm their email addresses before they make it into your contact list.

You’ll also be able to use our segmentation feature to apply a sunset policy on your mailing list. Just segment your active subscribers and filter out anyone that hasn’t engaged with your messages in the last few months.

High volume senders can also benefit from additional services to monitor their email deliverability, including email validations and dedicated deliverability expertise to maintain a healthy reputation and maximize their chances of landing in the inbox. Interested? Talk to an expert now!

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Spam traps are fraud management tools all senders should worry about. However, following these best practices will help you ensure that your subscribers are legitimate and your business runs smoothly.

Have any questions about spam traps or deliverability in general? Reach out to us on Twitter or check out the Mailjet blog for even more tips on how to maximize your email deliverability and impact. Did someone say Jedi Master?