7 Ways To Crush Email In 2016

We recently saw email being named “the technology which has transformed how we work, the most in the last ten years”, above smartphones. This trend isn’t going to slow down in 2016. As email evolves through cloud computing, automation, integrating into social and becoming more focused around mobile, we need to make sure we keep up in order to make the most of this medium as both a sender and recipient.

In this post, I’ve gathered a list of tools that’ll make sure you crush email (in a good way) in 2016:

Make your contact list go further. You work hard to acquire new email addresses from prospects and customers. By using something like Clearbit you can make sure the contact list you’ve built up goes the extra mile by being transformed into a CRM, populate with relevant information.

Get real time notifications from your personal email. Ever wonder if that intro email you sent to a prospect was ever opened? Well wonder no more. Use a tool like Hubspot Sales to receive real-time notifications on personal and business emails. So next time you’re unsure whether to check back in, you’ll be able to gauge their interest by seeing whether they haven’t had time to read your email yet or they’ve seen it and are just subtly turning down your offer.

Consolidate all the information you gain from customers and utilise them for email marketing. Try out a tool like Segment.io and actually make sense of all the information you’re already collecting from your customer from different platforms. Then, use this data to hone your email marketing by sending the right message at the right time, to the right audience. Watch your conversion multiply!

segment

 

Get smart when it comes to collecting email addresses. Are you looking to capture more email addresses from potential customers? When it comes to email marketing, nothing is more valuable than a good contact list. With a tool like SumoMe you can collect email addresses at the right time, on the right page of your website and have them saved on your Email Service Provider’s platform. This can increase the number of addresses collected and also make sure the contact list is populated by real prospects.

Don’t underestimate transactional email. Recent studies have shown that transactional email that includes personalised offers drive up to 20% conversion! If you’re already sending transactional email, then revisit your copy to see how you can utilise this strategy to increase your sales.

Automation is the future. Email and marketing automation have been a hot topic for four to five years. It’s only now reaching SMBs and enabling more casual users as it becomes more widely available, rather than being a ‘black magic’ tool only available by enterprise services. By using a service like SendWithUs & Mailjet, you can create automated trail of emails (drip campaigns) to be sent out based on user behaviour on your app or website, communicating with them at the right time with a specific and high converting message.

Manage everything from your inbox. “Built on everything we learned from Gmail, Inbox is a fresh start that goes beyond email to help you get back to what matters.” Inbox by Gmail is another testament to why email is the centre of our daily personal and business communication. With this new(ish) product, Google has created a tool to help you can colate anything from to-do lists, to automatic flight reminders to set your alarm through your inbox. Now you won’t have to go on multiple apps to organise your life!

inbox

Are you using any of these tools or techniques for your email marketing in 2016? Is there anything we’ve missed here that everyone should know about?

2015: This Past Year in Email Marketing

Can you believe it? There’s only a few more days left in the year. Time sure does fly by when you’re having fun. The Mailjet team’s spent the last week looking back on all that we’ve accomplished the past year – the projects we’ve completed, the products we’ve pushed, the places and people we’ve met.

Among the wins we’ve been looking at for 2015, we also wanted to give you a big pat on the back for all the awesome email campaigns you’ve whipped up this year. Globally, you guys sent a whopping 41% more email this year than in 2014. Let’s take a look at a roundup of other stats from this past year – so you can weigh in on how you measured up globally:

mailjet infographic

 

Flight School Friday: Tracking Conversion With Mailjet + Google Analytics

The world of web analytics can be a pretty daunting place. It can often feel like your digital marketing efforts are being sucked into a black hole because you can’t track or find the right data to measure success. But it doesn’t have to be a frustrating or extremely technical process, though! If you aren’t already, start by defining and tracking your conversion goals using Google Analytics and your Mailjet dashboard.

Chances are though that you’ve currently got a  Google Analytics set up or have worked with it in the past. There’s so much more you can pull from your account than just unique pageviews. You have event tracking, conversion goals, success events, profiles, filters and multi-channel funnels, to name a few.

Have you ever wanted to track which email contacts became customers? Which call-to-actions drove them to land on certain pages? How long they spent on your website? Which types of email campaigns are the highest converting?

This Flight School Friday, we’ll be concentrating on setting goals and tracking conversion with Mailjet and Google Analytics. Be sure to collect all the credit you deserve by setting goals in Google Analytics before you hit send and seeing how they perform post-campaign.

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet’s Holiday Email Toolkit.

Setting up conversion goals in Google Analytics

The first step is to determine what a conversion means for you. Depending on your business, a conversion can really range from a variety of things – it can be anything from a sale to a white paper download. If you’re new to this, check out our five steps to finding email marketing goals.

Here are four areas you can set goals for when it comes to tracking your visitors.   

  1. URL Destination – This one’s quite self-explanatory. If a user visits a specific landing page after taking an action, you can then use that URL as goal conversion. Meaning when a user reaches a specific URL then you have reached your goal.

Example: You’ve sent an email announcing a new partnership. You want to track how many users click-through on your email’s main call-to-action and land on the partnership landing page.

  1. Visit Duration – Here you can track how long visitors from specific campaigns spend on any individual page. This is quite key if you have a content rich website like a blog, so you can track your readership.

Example: You’re curious to see what is driving your customers to your blog. Is it because you write enticing call-to-actions? Are your blog posts actually informative and engaging? You decide to track visit duration on your blog to see how long readers are staying and how much content they’re consuming.

  1. Pages Per Visit – Setting up this goal you track how many pages each visitor goes through on your website after landing from individual campaigns.

Example: Gauging how effective your website’s user-flow by encouraging visitors to browse your website further. Set a goal of tracking users who browse more than 4 pages on your website and see what percentage of visitors convert through this goal.

  1. Event – Event tracking is probably the most powerful attribute for tracking your users. With Google Analytics Event tracking you can identify individual actions by users.  

Example:  You can track such metrics as: downloads, customer sign-up, video views and clicks on specific buttons. If you’re generating revenue through your website then this one’s a must!

You can have up to 20 goals per Google Analytics profile (4 goal sets, and 5 goals per set). Here’s a brief step by step guide on how to set up these goals on Google Analytics.

Below’s an example of a setting I created to track campaigns that drive the users to browse beyond initial landing page. The goal is reached if the user browsers more than four pages per session:

Google Analytics

Adding Google tracking links in your Mailjet campaign

This part is easy. We’ll be creating a trackable link so we can see how certain actions are tied with certain types of content. We’ll then use these metrics to identify if we’ve achieved our goal. To help you visualize this, we’ll set this up for a fake December Newsletter where we will link our call-to-action button to a recent blog post.  

Start off by heading over to Google’s URL Builder and filling in the form with relevant information. Google’s even included examples so you don’t have to worry about any confusion.

Google URL Builder

Here’s the link I created using the handy URL builder tool:

https://uk.mailjet.com/blog/this-was-written-just-for-you/?utm_source=DecNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=December%20Newsletter

Now simply add this link to one of your call-to-action buttons in Passport, Mailjet’s drag and drop template builder:

Mailjet Dashboard

How to analyze Google Analytics conversions from your Mailjet campaigns

Now that you’ve set up your goal to track how many users browse more than four pages on your website from specific sources,you can start having some fun analyzing the results! To view the metrics on your Google Analytics dashboard, simply go to ‘Acquisition’ where you’ll find an overview of traffic from different sources and can see how your goal(s) have converted:

Google Analytics

On this page you can drill down further to find different ‘Sources’ from each channel. In this case, we’ll drill down into “Email”. Then, set your ‘Primary Dimension’ as ‘Source’ and you will see the name of each trackable URL. And here’s the one we made earlier:

Google Analytics

Now go out there and create goals and trackable links for your next email campaign and see how well you convert your contact list into customers.  

What goals do you currently have set up or will you be setting up on your Google Analytics? Share your tips with us!

Ask An Email Marketer: What’s The Optimal Number Of Call-To-Actions?

From now through the end of 2015, we’ll be collecting your most burning email questions on strategy, deliverability, design and more through our Holiday Email Toolkit. Every week, we’ll draw one question to feature here on the blog. Want your question answered in our next Ask An Email Marketer? Head on over to submit it on our Holiday Email Toolkit.

Through a recent study, we saw that getting call-to-actions right in email campaigns is one of the biggest pitfalls marketers face. So, what is the right way to inspire click-throughs? When it comes to call-to-action (CTA) buttons in email campaigns, the magic number is one. This keeps your message concise and your recipient engaged. 

However, I understand there are some exceptions. In some campaigns you’ll want to include additional links to promote a secondary or tertiary objective. In these situations, it’s key to clearly differentiate and prioritize your call-to-actions. Your primary call-to-action could take the form of an above-the-fold button  (above the line where user would need to scroll down to see rest of the email) for maximum impact. Your second or third CTAs can be links embedded within the written content or even a clickable image or banner. Get creative with your links and test them out through A/B testing.

The key takeaway here, is that no matter the number of call-to-actions you need, make sure your call-to-actions are clear and to the point.

 

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing.

Holiday Emailing Guide

 

5 Steps To Finding Your Holiday Email Marketing Goals

It’s crept up on us again, hasn’t it? Scarves have been broken out of the closet, supermarket shelves are stocked with Halloween candy. The holiday season is right around the corner.

For many marketers, the pressure is on. The holiday inbox is like a corn maze with shiny promotions at every corner. Competition for your customers’ attention is not much unlike the pressure to outdo your neighbor’s Halloween decor with a bigger, scarier haunted house on your front lawn (strobe lights, fog machine and all). Where and how do you even start planning email strategy that works?  

Start by envisioning the bigger picture and work your way backwards. Think about the top goals you’d like to see accomplished by the end of the year and then work out an actionable plan towards it. In the process, you’ll find the questions of “who should I target?”, “what should I talk about?”, “how should I present my content?” will answer themselves. Here are some questions  to ask as you try to define your objectives for the season. To plan, execute and score.

 

What are my overall business goals?

First things first, we’ll zoom out to take a look at the bigger “big picture” – overall company goals. With only a few months left until the end of the year, marketing can help highlight areas that are performing well or push the additional sales, sign ups, or traffic needed to meet year-end targets. Depending on where your business is in the growth stage, these goals can vary.

Startup goals

If you’re a newly formed business, you’ll likely want to look to increase your brand awareness and build up your prospect base. Make it a habit of creating consistent,fresh content, demonstrating your value-add and how you differ from competitors. Win the hearts and minds of your potential customers – nurture them into brand ambassadors who will organically spread your message.  Use tools like Google Alerts or Mention to track traffic flows, influencers and referral channels..

SME goals

As your business grows to be more established, you will potentially be more heavily financially driven. Some email marketing goals you can consider setting for this holiday season include converting consumers up the pricing funnel, x percent growth in new sign ups, x percent growth in sales and/or a set number of thought leadership articles placed in publications.

Enterprise goals

Larger businesses can afford to concentrate on an mix of the mentioned startups and SMEs goals. You have greater resources, a bigger budget perhaps. It’s also easier for customer data to get lost between teams in larger corporations. Be sure to open the channels of communication to understand where business currently stands, which products are of focus and who your users are.

 

Where do we stand right now?

Use tools like Campaign Comparison to analyze your historical email data from previous holiday seasons – compare your previous campaigns and identify your best performers. Identify who your current audience is, what type of content they engage with and how. What subject line formats gave the best open rates? Which call-to-actions drove the highest click throughs? Knowing where your average KPIs currently stand and how your audience is engaging will allow you to map out reachable goals and realistic stretch goals.

Another valuable source of information you have to help recognize your target market is by looking at your current customer base. If you’re already trading and have a set of customers and prospects, then look at the data you have collected on them. Where are they based? What category of items or  services are most popular? What’s the average sales size?

By identifying these variables you will  be in a better position to see if your goals should be: 1) Increasing each transaction by upselling. 2) Customizing your content to suit each demographic. 3) Put further focus on your core product or service and try putting an offer on your items  or services that are not doing so well.

campaign comparison

What are our priorities?

Now that you have laid out your greater business goals and current marketing KPIs, you’re ready to start jotting down a list of holiday goals. But it’s likely you have a long wish list of to-dos for the season! Where do you start? When looking to prioritize goals, it’s helpful to think about two things: resources and importance. Looking to balance between both, choose two to three to move forward with as this quarter’s goals, and categorize the rest as reach goals to be revisited in the new year.

 

Is this realistic?

Aiming high is always a great way to push your team to new heights, but a reality check can be helpful to make sure you don’t get too carried away. Before setting down your goals, think about how long it will take to accomplish them and what your resources look like. If it isn’t possible this season, take a look at where it falls on your priority list and tuck it away for next year.

 

How will we measure this?

Translating your goals into numbers will not only turn these abstract ideas into real, concrete concepts, it also keeps you accountable. Jot down these goals in a spreadsheet and track your progress over the course of the holiday period or print them out and put them up somewhere so that the finish line is always in sight.

 

Summing it up

By now you should have a good idea of which direction you want to go in to set your goals, who prospects are and what type of content they respond to the most. Let’s put all this great information we’ve accumulated to set realistic targets and goals you could be aiming for this holiday season.

Depending on your type of business, pick 2 to 3 goals and prioritize them. Execute your email program and track your results closely. This way you can tweak your email campaigns throughout the season to make sure you’re generating optimal results before the holidays are over!

 

What goals will you be setting for your email marketing strategy this holiday season?

How To Create Content When You’re Feeling Lazy

Spending glorious summer days indoors at work can be a drag. What’s even worse is seeing your friends’ vacation snaps while scrolling through social media to find inspiration for your next newsletter or content piece. So what do you do when you have to create content and continue your marketing drive throughout the 6 week long summer holiday period? (More like 2 weeks in April if you’re here in London as far as having Sun is a factor.)

Do more with less. Repurpose your email designs as well as content across channels to make them go the extra mile. I’ll show you some ways to get the most value out of your existing content (both using email to drive additional traffic and tweaking content for email) when you’re feeling the summer brain drain. I’m actually taking my own advice while writing this piece – trying to draw inspiration from previous content we’ve created – as I gaze out into our courtyard where some Google Campus people are having a little BBQ.

Work smarter, not harder (or just a bit lazier in this case)

I’m not telling you to literally copy and paste old content or even repeat the same idea. But when you’re looking to create content, draw inspiration from previous pieces and see if you can follow up any of the previous issues you’ve tackled in your blog posts.

You can take a point from an ebook or an interesting article and elaborate on it to create a piece or turn a presentation/infographic into a blog post; or vice versa. In terms of email content, maybe check your social media for certain phrases that worked really well and test it out as a subject line in your email. Have a look at your Twitter analytics and see what worked well for you last summer and follow up on those year-old pieces:

Twitter Analytics
 

Take time to revise your annual email goals

Back in December, we talked about redefining your email goals: “Put on your consumer hat and look through the holiday campaigns your competitors have sent through so far. Which customer demographic is underserved?”. If you’re sending time sensitive emails, specifically around the summer holidays, be sure to keep an eye on the competition and see how you can stand out.

Reevaluate your goals in terms of open and click rates as they can fluctuate in comparison to rest of the year. This depends on your target audience. For example if your target audience are teens from ages 16 to 21, you might see a rise in open rates as these young persons are on their school break. If you’re targeting B2B clients, then you might see a drop during August, as this is when they take their family vacation.

Replace your colleagues with free tools

Is your design team off on holiday right now? Try using some simple and free tools to reuse graphics you already have. One of our favorites is Canva, you can create brand new email headers and banners as well as social media images in a couple of minutes. Or, manipulate old images to create something fresh.

 

Canva
 

So you’ve created your “lazy” content, but is your email marketer, sipping pina coladas by a pool somewhere hot? No fear, replace them with Publicate. You can use Publicate to curate your newsletters through an easy-to-use dashboard by dragging and dropping different links to populate your new piece. Then, embed the HTML code into your email template and you’re good to go!

publicate
 

 

 

Are you feeling the summer laziness epidemic? How’ve you gotten through it so far? Do you have any tips for us?

On Demand Webinar: Guide to Responsive Email Design

A Mailjet webinar to go through what Responsive Email Design is, why you need it and how to create one!

 

We’ll go through the reasons behind using creating a responsive email campaign, the technology behind how it all works and how you can go about making sure your email campaigns are all responsive. We will discuss some technical aspects from media queries to CSS and HTML that makes a responsive design to tools and services which can help you create responsive email campaigns in minutes!

5 Ways To Turn Email Feedback Into A Two Way Conversation

When it comes to email marketing, treat your readers like you would your date. Don’t spend your whole time talking and telling stories. Take the time to listen to them! There’s a wealth of information you can find from your customers and prospects that can help increase sales, lead generation or simply engagement.

I know what some of you must be thinking: “Well, we’re doing a good job with our email already”. You very well may be, but there’s always room to improve even more. Why not solidify your rapport with your contact list so they stay engaged for longer and take more action?

Here are a few simple, creative ways you can engage your customers and get their feedback to improve future communication or help develop your product.

Support Feedback

One example is an automated customer survey sent after a customer  uses a company’s support system. This is a great way to start a new chapter in the relationship with your customers, as they would usually contact your support team when they’re having a problem with your product or service. Here’s a good example of just that in action when  I bought some new headphones online but my order never arrived:

 

Zendesk

Customer Survey

From time to time, you should look to engage your customers through a survey to hear what they have to say about your product or service. To collect a greater sample of replies and make your customers feel special to be heard, ,  try including a number of raffle prizes to incentivize your customers to give feedback. Here’s a great example by Three, the mobile network company:

 

three

 

User Interaction

Have a look at the bottom of this email feedback campaign. Here, Uber is asking the user to provide feedback “What’s your next destination?”, right within the email. Obviously this is just an animated GIF which links to an external site, however it’s a very clever to receive feedback and drive a click-through:

 

uber

 

Simple Customer Referendum

You may want to use a “Yes” or “No” based question to receive feedback from your customers. Answers collected from these campaigns can be stored and used to segment customers by behavior and preferences. In this case, British Gas would be segmenting their data based on their customers showing their loyalty to the brand. The segment of customers who choose ‘No’ would potentially receive new email marketing material so British Gas could win them back.

 

british gas

 

Product & Services Review 

Finally, you can use email feedback to prompt users to leave feedback on websites based on their purchases or use of services. Customer reviews are extremely valuable, and online businesses are looking even closer on how they can engage with customers to leave quality reviews more often. Here’s how Airbnb and eBay engage customers through triggered emails after their purchase:

 

ebay
airbnb

 

Try using one or two of the methods demonstrated here to listen more closely to your customers. Not only will you  get valuable data, you’ll also win over customer trust by  providing value and showing you care.


Have you tried some of these methods already? Which has worked best for you?