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

Emailing is hard. It might look easy at first–just write something smart, press ‘Send’ and wait, right? But mastering the ins-and-outs of emailing is actually not that simple. The world of email is full of complicated words like email deliverability or relay servers, confusing acronyms like SMTP, MTA or IMAP, and detailed metrics that need to be understood.

Setting up contact lists and creating your first newsletter are great starting points, but if you’re looking to take the next step in your understanding of email marketing, then you should probably take a closer look at SMTP relays.

SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, and is essentially the backend system that helps you and your company send, receive, and relay messages between email senders and receivers. Let’s take a look at what it is and how it works.

What is an SMTP Relay?

An SMTP relay is a protocol that allows email to be transmitted through the internet, from one server to another, for delivery. It was first created in 1982 and continues to be the internet standard that is widely used today.

An SMTP relay is an email relay service that basically works in two steps:

  1. It receives the outgoing mail from the sender (that is, your amazing Groundhog Day’s email campaign).
  2. It delivers it to the recipient’s local post office, another SMTP server.

Simple, right?

Hold on, but what is ’email relay’?

OK, so maybe not that simple yet. 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

Email relay is the process of transmitting an email message from one server to another. In the picture above, the local post offices would be the SMTP servers and the email transfer that happens between them is what we call ‘relaying’.

So for example, when you send out your latest campaign ‘Cute Puppies Looking For A Foster Home’, your company’s SMTP server relays your email to the server owned by your recipient. But if you were to send that campaign to someone with your same domain, there would be no ‘email relay’, as your SMTP relay server wouldn’t need to transfer the email to a different SMTP server.

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? Getting the most out of your own SMTP relay server is not easy, so most 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 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 and email clients (i.e. Gmail, Outlook, 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. Like Mailjet, yes. 😉

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 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 improve email deliverability and deliver these emails straight to the recipients’ inbox.

Send mass email with Mailjet’s free SMTP relay
Send large volumes of email using Mailjet’s free SMTP service. Benefit from great email deliverability and advanced analytics, and improve your email ROI.

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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 been delivered or has bounced. These metrics make it easier for you to identify issues that might impact your email deliverability.

Want to know if a third-party SMTP relay service is the choice for your company? Our Email Infrastructure Handbook helps you understand the pros and cons of homebuilt and outsourced email infrastructure and find the best fit for you.

EN-Infra-Guide-Banner

Choosing an SMTP relay port

Aha! Another tricky aspect of the email world. To understand what SMTP ports are and how they 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 address 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.

Choosing the right SMTP relay port to use is actually an important consideration when it comes to SMTP. So much so that we devoted an entire blog to this already. If you’re trying to decide which port to use, be sure to read our article ‘Which SMTP Port Should I Use?‘ to see which one is best for you.

Wrapping Up

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.

Blog post isn’t the right format for you and you still want to learn more about SMTP relays? Check out this episode of Email Explained. Our Sr. Technical Account Manager gives us the 101 of what you need to know about SMTP Relay.

Want to know more about SMTP and Mailjet? Sign up to our newsletter to be the first to know about our new articles!

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This article is an updated and expanded version of the post ‘What Is An SMTP Relay?’, published on the Mailjet blog in April 22, 2015 by Amir Jirbandey.

Unsubscribe Link: Why You Need It In Your Marketing Emails

We’ve spoken many times about building a contact list as one of the main steps in your email marketing strategy. We have also often repeated how important it is for you to have a clean list. In fact, you’re probably a bit tired of hearing all about it up by now. We get it. But what we haven’t told you about is how important your unsubscribe link actually is.

Some hate them, but unsubscribe links can really help your email deliverability. Want to learn how? Read on!

Email unsubscribe: A friend, not a foe

An unsubscribe link is a link within your email campaign, often placed in the email footer, that allows users to cancel their subscription when they don’t want to receive any more emails from you. As we mentioned, unsubscribe links are important to protect your email deliverability and are also required by many spam laws around the world.

It’s always painful to see people unsubscribing from your contact list, but it’s more beneficial than you may think. We know it may seem backwards to offer your clients an easy way for them to leave, but if you’re providing your contacts with quality content, most of them won’t even look at that unsubscribe button.

Sometimes, though, even the most engaging content might not be the right fit for some of your subscribers. And if this happens and your contacts can’t find your unsubscribe link they may just mark you as spam. You don’t want that, and we don’t want that for you.

Contact lists: is more always better?

Contact lists are something we – as people who send emails – cherish very much. Our businesses often depend crucially on the communications we send out to our subscribers. So, we never want to lose contacts. But when it comes to contact list, more isn’t always better.

Although it’s difficult, you always need to keep in mind that subscribers who don’t engage with your content are not valuable to you. What you want instead is to have a list of contacts that actually open and read your emails, and hopefully that click on and share some of the content too. We recently explained what these email statistics mean for you and how you can improve them to enhance engagement.

Sidekick Unsubscribe Email

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

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

But this is probably not enough to convince you… You want to know more, right? Until now you probably thought many contacts = big contact list = good. Well, we’re sorry to be the ones to tell you, but quantity doesn’t equal quality.

Benefits of including an email unsubscribe link

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

Avoid customer frustration

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

Why would you put anybody else through this? You know yourself how frustrating it is. Especially if you open a newsletter hoping to find an unsubscribe link… but it’s not there! It’s important to be understanding of people’s needs and preferences and allow them to opt out of your email list, if they wish to do so.

In fact, this improves the whole email marketing experience. As email marketers, we should know that, unlike other social channels, the inbox is for content you specifically want to see.

Groupon Unsubscribe Email

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

Get valuable feedback

If you’re sending a confirmation email to let your users know they are no longer part of your mailing list, you can use this opportunity to gain more information about why they are unsubscribing (and maybe suggest an alternative newsletter of yours they could find more interesting!).

This feedback can be really helpful, as you might learn why people don’t find your newsletter’s content valuable anymore or whether they think your email communications are sent out too often, all of which can inform how you adjust your strategy to best meet your audience’s needs.

Beta List Unsubscribe

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

End up in the inbox, not in spam

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

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

Comply with anti-spam legislation

Every country has their own law on the inclusion of an unsubscribe link, as this is mandatory in anti-spam legislation. Since it came into effect in May 2018, GDPR has set the standards and has become a must-follow for any brand with contacts in the EU. Non-compliance with GDPR puts you at risk of fines up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover, whichever is greater.

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

Widget consent proof

This applies to email marketing campaigns too. If a contact requests to unsubscribe from a list, they are exercising their rights as data subjects. Your duty as data controller is to delete such data. With GDPR, consent cannot be something that you obtain once and that’s it. The European regulation allows people to choose for themselves and to protect their personal data at any given time, should they change their mind.

How can Mailjet help

Our Sending Policy is very clear when it comes to unsubscribe links, to ensure our clients are protected and we can offer the best deliverability. At Mailjet, “all marketing campaigns must include a clear and concise link for recipients to easily opt-out of receiving future communication. The link must be easy for anyone to recognize, read, and understand.”

As a GDPR compliant solution -, we ensure our clients are on the right side of the law by including an unsubscribe link in all of the emails created with our drag-and-drop editor, Passport. While this link cannot be removed, it can be customized to fit one’s brand.

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

Wrapping up

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

If you want to learn more about how to keep your contact list clean to maintain a strong email deliverability, check out our post on email list cleaning tips!

Create and send your email campaigns with Mailjet
Easily create and send amazing emails and reach the inbox with Mailjet. Optimize your email marketing strategy and increase your ROI.

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

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This blog post is an updated version of the article “Unsubscribe Link: Why It’s Fundamental For Your Email Marketing” by Laura Chieri, published on the Mailjet blog on April, 12th 2018.

How To Create An Email Newsletter

So you’ve decided to create an email newsletter. Hooray for you! Or maybe someone’s suggested you launch one and you really have no idea what they’re talking about? Whether you’re an email newbie or you just want to make sure you’re doing things correctly, we’ve got you covered. 😏

Right on cue, here’s “The best email newsletter post ever”.

What is an email newsletter?

Basically, an email newsletter is a type of email sent out by companies or individuals to a subscriber list. That list should include existing or potential customers that have signed up and given clear consent to receive marketing communications from your brand. Email newsletters are sent regularly and contain valuable content, like guides, blog posts, news, products reviews, personal recommendations, tips, announcements, and other resources.

Newsletters are an essential part of the email marketing strategy, as they allow businesses to nurture their contacts by establishing themselves as key players in their industry, sharing insights and highlighting new products that will drive traffic to the website.

IFTT newsletter example
Example of an email newsletter

 

What are the pros and cons of email newsletters?

Email newsletters are one of the most popular ways to nurture existing and potential clients. Why? Well, mostly because it’s cheap and has great ROI. Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels. The average ROI is £38 for each pound invested and 72% of customers prefer to be approached via email.

Well-designed marketing emails sent regularly, like email newsletters, guarantee constant website traffic, webinars and other event registrations and product sales. Newsletters generally form the largest part of all marketing emails sent and hold a great deal of marketing potential.

Wondering whether setting up an email newsletter is the right step for your business? Let’s have a look at the advantages and drawbacks of sending one.

Pros of email newsletters

Creating a newsletter is not just a way to keep your customers informed about your new product or features, but has many other advantages.

Constant source of traffic

One of the main reasons for creating a newsletter is that it generates regular website traffic. Organic engagement on social media platforms like Facebook is declining dramatically. Banner advertising is rarely noticed in the era of ad blockers. Written press releases sent by email will often be ignored by journalists and online editors.

Luckily, this is not true for newsletters. Emails that reach someone’s inbox are usually seen, and the likelihood that they will be opened is high, provided that the subject line is appealing and the sender is recognized (so make sure your readers know who you are!). If your newsletter is well designed and it contains relevant content, this will enhance your chances of the reader clicking on the calls-to-action for more information.

Cheaper than other channels

Money is important for marketers. So anything that saves you money should be a top priority. And newsletters do.

Don’t underestimate how much money email marketing saves you, compared to using other marketing tools. Paid advertisements like banner advertising, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads and influencer marketing are considerably more expensive than email marketing.

Advanced and easy performance tracking

Measuring the performance of an email newsletter is simple. Your email statistics provide you with all the information you need to do this: open rates, click rates, unsubscribe rates, bounces, which user terminals were used to open the newsletter and when, which links are clicked on, etc. These metrics, along with UTM tags to track engagement through Google Analytics, will help you accurately calculate your ROI and produce target-audience relevant newsletter content.

Mailjet statistics
Email newsletter stats

 

Independence from third parties

When you create a newsletter, you are independent from other service providers and softwares. Publishers and influencers, as well as social media platforms and Google, are much more likely to increase ads cost than an email service provider is.

Easily linked to other online marketing channels

Newsletters and other marketing tools such as social media can be easily and effectively combined. And they can reach recipients anywhere, regardless of whether they are in the office on their work computer, on the sofa at home on a tablet, or on the go on their smartphone. Emails can be opened and read anywhere.

Cons of email newsletters

Where there’s yin, there is yan. Or in other words, where there is light, there is also darkness.While email newsletters provide many benefits, there are also a couple cons to consider.

Absence of physical experience

Unlike with analog advertising media like brochures, flyers, magazines, etc. there is no haptic experience with email newsletters. For instance, a desk calendar is visibly looked at all year round. Emails, on the other hand, do not have a physical presence.

This makes them less durable, but also less annoying to sort and organize. 😉

Ease of deletion

Let’s be honest: emails tend to be deleted more quickly and are more likely to be skimmed through than other media cannot be denied. There are many reasons for this: a full inbox, unappealing subject lines, content that is not relevant, etc.

Although we can try to optimize our messages to prevent this, a 100% interaction rate can never be guaranteed. This is true not only for newsletters, but for all marketing tools.

However, if we weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of newsletters, it quickly becomes clear that the pros by far outweigh the cons.

Pros and cons of email newsletters
Pros Cons
Constant source of traffic Absence of physical experience
Considerable savings Ease of deletion
Easy performance tracking
Independence from third parties
Easily linked to other marketing channels

Don’t take our word for it, though. Create an account and try it yourself! We’re sure you’ll also become a newsletter supporter in no time.

Create and send your email newsletters with Mailjet
Easily create and send amazing emails and reach the inbox with Mailjet.Optimize your email marketing strategy and increase your ROI.

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How to create an effective email newsletter

OK, so we have convinced you to give newsletters a go. Hooray! To help you make the most of your new favorite marketing channel, we’ve detailed below all you need to know to plan an effective newsletter strategy that’ll make your contacts wish all their emails were like yours. 😏

Set your goals and objectives

First things first, before you even start designing your newsletter template, you’ll need to think about why you want to implement one. Consider the following elements to ensure you’re crafting the right messages.

Identify a target audience

Defining your audience is essential to the success of your campaign. You need to understand what needs and wants your potential readers have to be able to provide value and send newsletters that appeal to your audience.

So think about who you want to reach with your emails and try to be as specific as possible. Consider things like demographics, location, and interests. If you’re aiming at reaching a global audience it can be hard to get precise in your definition, but segmenting your audience can help send more relevant emails.

Determine basic objectives

What do you want to achieve with your email newsletter campaign? Some companies launch newsletters to drive traffic to their website, others want to increase sales on their online shop, or to invite people to upcoming events.

Setting goals gives your newsletter campaign a purpose and helps you measure the performance of your efforts. These specific objectives depend on your individual company’s goals, your vision, and values.

Once you have defined your objectives, you need to determine the KPIs you want to track. If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to consider some of the most typical metrics measured for newsletters: newsletter subscriptions, open rates, click rates, spam and block rates, as well as newsletter unsubscribe rates 💔.

Define your newsletter content

Planning the topic of your newsletter is closely connected to the objectives you have defined, but coming up with content can be hard at first.

To find inspiration, analyze your competitors’ newsletters and newsletters from companies that you think are successful at email marketing. This is likely to give you inspiration about new potential topics, products, events etc. You could also carry out a survey in advance and also ask your contacts to share their thoughts as you grow your newsletter list.

Email Content Calendar
Example of an agency newsletter calendar

 

Use the right platform for your newsletter

Before you start creating newsletters, you need to find a newsletter solution that allows you to create, send and analyze email campaigns.

The problem is that there are many professional newsletter solutions on the market, which can be both a curse and a blessing for senders. On the one hand, you have a wide variety of suitable email providers to choose from. On the other hand, vetting them may feel a bit overwhelming.

So, what is the best email service provider out there and why Mailjet, you ask? 😏

Email platform functionalities you need for a sucessful newsletter

Finding the best emailing platform for your business will depend on the needs of your companies, but here are a few features that can help you make the most of your email program:

  • Drag-and-drop email editor to create newsletters easily in a few minutes.
  • A large and responsive newsletter template gallery.
  • Email personalization and email segmentation features, for creating targeted and relevant email content.
  • Responsive subscription widgets to set up contact lists obtaining full consent.
  • Structured and clear contact management options that allows you to manage your contact lists easily.
  • A/B testing to test your campaigns.
  • Detailed statistics that allow you to analyze and optimize your email newsletter.
  • Optimal deliverability to ensure your newsletters reach the inbox.
  • Integrations with other platforms like WordPress, e-commerce systems, etc.
  • GDPR compliant and other certifications that ensure the highest levels of data security.

 

Mailjet’s newsletter drag and drop tool

 

Build your newsletter subscriber list

In order to be able to create and send a newsletter, you obviously need recipients (duh!). Setting up an email contact list with high interaction rates is relatively simple if you take certain factors into consideration.

Add subscription widgets to your site

To gain new newsletter subscribers, the first thing you’ll need is a responsive subscription widget with a double opt-in process. Add the subscription widget to all the relevant pages of your website. Some of the most effective places to include your widget in are the homepage, the blog, the footer and pages with gated content, such as guides, white papers, and others.

Mailjet allows you to create responsive subscription widgets

 

Double opt-in ensures that no fake email address creeps into your database and damages your reputation and deliverability. If you’re not doing this, you risk being classified as a spammer both by recipients and the ISPs themselves.

Don’t buy email lists

Giving in to the temptation of buying email addresses will result in the same scenario. Purchasing email contacts from third parties is still very popular, because many companies still believe that an email contact list must be as large as possible to be successful. This is by no means true, trust us. Buying contact lists is essentially a waste of money.

People included in such lists usually don’t want to hear from you at all, so this usually results in spam complaints and unsubscribes. These lists also tend to include spam traps, which can severely hurt your deliverability.

Create newsletter landing pages

Besides implementing a responsive subscription widget, special newsletter landing pages are a great way to grow contact lists. These pages enable you to use all optimization opportunities that apply to landing pages.

The potential newsletter subscriber is not distracted from other elements on the website and they concentrate on all the great reasons you’ll give them to convince them your newsletter is the best thing that has been written after Harry Potter.

NY_Times Email Subscription Form
New York Times email subscriptions

 

Explore other channels

There are other ways of growing your email list, such us promoting it on your social media platforms, incentivising existing subscribers to share or encouraging people to join at events or at your physical store.

Consider what benefits prospective recipients may have if they subscribe to your newsletter. Ideally, you have already clarified these reasons in your strategy. Real added value, for example, is provided by things like special offers, advanced information and booking facilities, invitations to exclusive events, regular industry information, access to exclusive content like e-books, email mini-courses, etc.

Get consent from your contacts

But remember, regardless of how you’re getting your subscribers, you should always ask for consent before adding anyone to your email database. Remember what data protection and spam laws (like GDPR) say about consent, and ensure you’re complying with the applicable regulations.

Consent-Form
Consent form example from EA

 

Learn more: For more information and tips on how to build and grow an email list, you can check this complete guide.

Segment your contacts for better targeting

Instead of sending the same message to all of your customers, leverage segmentation to make the most of your emails. Think about how you can use the information you have about your customers to create segments and send more tailored email campaigns that really speak to a specific group within your database.

Build your segments for your email newsletter

To determine the kind of data to use to segment your list, think about what would make sense for your business. Consider if there are some obvious ways to group your customers based on different characteristics.

To give you some inspiration, here are a few examples of the kind of data you can use:

Examples of data segmentation you can use for your newsletter subscriber list
Demographic data Psychographic data Behavioral data
Gender Product preferences Past purchases
Location Interests Average spending
Age Lifestyle Purchase frequency

If you want to get even more specific about your segments, you can combine different types of data and create even more precise groups. For example, you could focus on only women that prefer shopping for shoes and that have made at least five purchases over the past six months.

Once you have different groups of customers with similar characteristics, interests or habits, it will be easier to understand the each segment and craft messages that resonate well with each one.

Craft your newsletter message

Now that you have your segments, it’s time to put them to use. As you start planning your campaign, consider how you can create a message based on these segments. Essentially, you want your campaign to match the segment you’re sending it to, so always keep your audience in mind.

To follow the different data types suggested above, here are some ideas of how you could match your message with each segment:

Ideas to craft your newsletter message according to different segments
Demographic Segments Psychographic Segments Behavioral Segments
Send information about gender-specific products Highlight a certain product category to each segment Send product recommendations or special sales similar to previous purchases
Share special events or deals in the city or area of each segment Focus on products that go with each interest group Offer a discount to customers that spend over a certain amount
Share different products or offers specific to each age group Offer products that match a certain lifestyle Encourage customers that haven’t made a purchase in a longer period of time to come back with a special offer

By matching up the segment with a fitting message, your campaigns will be much more targeted and take into account the different characteristics, preferences and needs of your customers.

Design a beautiful newsletters

The first step to creating a newsletter is setting up an email template. You can use a newsletter template provided by your email service provider (ours are pretty cool! 😎) and adapt it as necessary to match your brand image and your needs.

Alternatively, you can upload a newsletter template you have already created or that you have bought from a third party. In this case, make sure that the selected layout is responsive so that your email campaigns will be perfectly displayed on every end device.

Ready to dive in? There are five main things to consider when designing an email.

Think about content before building your templates

The first and main thing to consider when putting a newsletter template together is content. Is it relevant to your audience? Is it engaging enough? Does it follow your brand guidelines? Keep your content brief and to the point as you only have the reader’s attention for a small amount of time.

How: Use images on top of your email to capture the reader’s attention, followed by brief text and a clear call to action.

firezza email
Here’s an example of great content in practice by ‘Firezza’, a pizza delivery company.

 

Keep your email newsletter simple

Give your newsletters a consistent design and don’t cram your email with too much information. Provide plenty of white space and keep your newsletter simple and neat. If you work with different types of newsletters, you will need to use different newsletter designs, but remember to provide consistency with the same use of colors, font and hierarchy. This ensures clarity and professionalism.

A clear structure ensures that subscribers grasp the content and core message(s) immediately. Insert your company logo> in the upper section so that the readers immediately associate the newsletter to you. Add images in order to attract the readers’ attention, followed by a brief text and a clear calls-to-action.

Google newsletter

How: To have your email render on various devices, be mindful of your email size. Ideal width is between 500 – 680 px. Smart Insight’s handy infographic sums up a range of email design best practices to follow.

Think about colors

Make sure that you’re keeping true to your brand identity and think about your audience. Using specific colors based on your demographic, you can improve your results and ultimately ROI.

How: The more you know your customers, the better you can tailor your emails. To gather information from your existing customers, try running surveys as part of a raffle or competition. You’ll find most users are willing to spend two minutes to tell you about themselves for a chance to win something they want.

Use images wisely

Images and other visual elements optically enhance the newsletter. But beware! Too many graphical elements can impact negatively on your deliverability, as this is a favored tactic of spammers. ISPs know this well, and often block emails containing large images. So always aim for a healthy 60:40 balance between text and graphics.

Another important advice to keep in mind is to remember to add Alt tags to the images and scale them down to the size you want. Bear in mind that some email clients block images, so that subscribers just see a large white area. By adding Alt tags, they’ll at least get an idea of what they should be looking at.

Don’t be pushy

If you want your users to take action through your emails, don’t be too pushy with your call-to-action buttons. Imagine your calls-to-action is a sales assistant in a shop. Are you likely to trust one that’s being pushy, trying to get you to try on a pair shoes or buy a specific blouse? Or do you trust the one where they’re informational, subtle, yet suggestive? Same applies here.

How: Think about the placement of your CTAs (calls-to-action) and try to always have your main CTA above-the-fold. Also make sure it has relevant text. For example, you may find emails sent to a certain demographic may prefer ‘Purchase Now’ to ‘Buy Now’. Research, test and compare your campaigns to improve your call-to-actions.

Ensure your newsletter is responsive

In an increasingly mobile world, your content and entire funnel must be optimized for mobile devices in order to get the most out of your mobile audience. Studies have found that 65% of emails are opened first on mobile devices. In other words, if you haven’t already optimized your newsletters to mobile devices, now is a good time to do it.

Mailjet Responsive
Responsive email with Mailjet’s newsletter solution

 

To get you started, we have gathered a few of the most important steps to take in optimizing your campaign for a mobile audience:

  • Stick to one-column templates so your emails don’t get too wide for mobile devices. Divide your text into smaller sections and make it easy for readers to get an overview of the contents of the email.
  • Make sure your CTAS an links are easily clickable and placed intuitively in the email, to increase the chance of users following them. Also, ensure your landing pages are responsive to get the most out of clicks-through.
  • Avoid using images that are too large, as they can slow down the loading time of the email for users that are making use of their mobile data to fetch your newsletter.
  • Always test your newsletter on several devices. You’ll quickly see how your layout elements are displayed on the different screens and how clear your call-to-action is shown in the email body.

 

Define your newsletter content

An essential part in email design is the content featured in the newsletter. Yes, this might sound obvious, but it’s still forgotten by many that think that a flashy design is enough to wow their contacts.

Tailor your newsletter message

Whether you got inspiration from other newsletters or by conducting a survey, carefully map out the messages you want to share and consider you’ll communicate these to your audience. Define your email voice and the stories you want to tell, paying special attention to your copy.

Need some content ideas for your newsletter? Here are a few:

  • Promoting the latest blog articles.
  • New freebies like guides, white papers, studies, etc.
  • Invitations to seminars, webinars, and other events.
  • Special marketing campaigns like advent calendars, yearly calendars etc.

 

Remember that the content you share in your emails should be directly linked to your goals and objectives. The newsletter is one of the few types of email that can draw attention to multiple pieces of content. But try not to promote too much at the same time, as the majority of recipients click on the first call-to-action. Place the most important information first, and organizing the rest following a clear hierarchy.

Get your subject line right

We’ve talked a lot about how, just as the saying goes, first impressions really do matter when it comes to the subject line. Think about this: if your email is the vault and the content inside is the treasure, your subject line is the key to that vault.

Remember that the tone and language should match the style of your brand. Be bold and try out something new. Being cheeky, using questions, citing the recipient’s name, or even adding emojis, all jazz up the subject line and draw attention to your newsletter. As you’re are probably very reluctant to be labeled as a spammer, avoid using words that can trigger the spam alarm. 😉

 

Also, don’t forget about your ‘From Name’ and pre-header. For the ‘From Name‘, don’t necessarily just use your company name or your department name, but make sure it’s easily recognizable.

The pre-header summarizes the email content and motivates the recipient to pay attention to your newsletter, so make sure it work together with your subject line to incite the readers and encourage them to open your email

How: Know your audience, personalize and A/B test to find the best subject lines for your users.

Don’t forget legal bits in your email newsletter

If you conduct email marketing activities, you must adhere to certain legal guidelines. This means that your newsletter must contain an unsubscribe link.

Mailjet’s unsubscribe link

 

How to optimize your email newsletter over time

With your content ready to go, it’s time to start sending your newsletters. As we mentioned before, the easiest way to go is by using an email service that lets you integrate your contact list, create your newsletter layout, and send your emails in one platform – like for example Mailjet. 😉

Understanding email metrics

Make sure to choose a service that offers tools for tracking and analyzing the newsletters you send, since it’s important to see how your audience responds to the emails you’re sending them. Most newsletter services offer tracking of delivery, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes, which are the essential figures in measuring your efforts.

Here are the main metrics explained:

  • Open rate: The percentage of subscribers who have opened the newsletter.
  • Click rate: The percentage of recipients who have clicked on at least one link or call-to-action.
  • Conversions and/or revenue per click: The percentage of readers who have executed the desired action after left clicking on the target page (purchase, download, read complete blog article, etc.).
  • Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of users that have cancelled their newsletter subscription.

 

Newsletter Stat Overview

Once you’ve sent your first few newsletters, the opens and clicks should give you an initial idea about how your audience is reacting to your emails. This data is a great source for deciding how to optimize your future newsletters, since it tells you which elements of your newsletter can be tweaked.

Make sure you know how to read email stats properly and how to identify what needs to be improved. If your open-rate is low, perhaps your subject line isn’t clear enough. If only few people click on the links in your newsletter, try to make your call-to-action (CTA) stand out more. If a lot of users are unsubscribing, take another look at your contact list or try grouping your contact list into more specific segments to get a more narrowing targeting.

email stats

Use this data to determine the exact performance of your newsletter and make any adjustments to individual elements. We recommend always implementing these adjustments using A/B testing.

Tracking results and optimizing your newsletters should be an ongoing process that you keep doing to continually improve your results. Even when you reach positive results, try aiming even higher and find things that can be improved even further. For example, try experimenting with different fonts, colors, or number of images.

Finding the best time to send your newsletter

The time at which your newsletter is sent is a crucial factor for success. If you are new to email marketing, try different times. Testing and comparing the results of newsletters sent at different times is the best way to know what works for your business.

In most cases, there are some basic rules that you can follow for best results. If you work in the B2B sector, you should send your newsletter during regular working hours. Peak times are usually between 10 and 11 AM, and between 3 and 4 PM. If your business model is B2C, then you should send during the week between 6 and 9 PM, and on weekends.

Of course, there are many different tools that can be helpful. Use a web analysis software like Google Analytics and analyze the exact time when customers visit your website. Send your newsletter at the same time or shortly before, as potential recipients are engaged with your topic and/or they are on their computer at that time.

Best-Newsletter-Sending-Times
Google Analytics view on the best time to send your newsletter

 

Want to learn more about this? Check out our blog post to find out more about the best time to send emails.

Email newsletter examples to inspire you

Want to see some of these tips in action? We’ve got a whole blog post with newsletter examples for you to check out, but we’ve also selected four of our favorites for you to get inspiration and learn the basics.

Check them out below!

Product Hunt

What’s great about Product Hunt is how they use their brand identity to their benefit, using their signature red to make their CTA stand out on the white background.

Product Hunt features one key element, which is placed first, and add some more in-depth value for those avid readers that are always keen to scroll down. Their text-image ratio is also on point, using their visual elements that are perfectly aligned with the brand identity.

Product Hunt email newsletter example
Check out this Product Hunt newsletter here.

 

Netflix

Ah, yeah, have we mentioned we love Netflix already? Netflix uses personalized content to make sure their readers keep coming back to their newsletter and find true value in it.

Also, check out their clever use of CTAs! Not everyone will be ready to indulge when Netflix’s email arrives, so by adding a combination of ‘Play’ and ‘My list’, they maximize their click rates and potential conversion.

netflix email
Netflix is one of our all-time favorites

 

Skyscanner

When one signs up to the Skyscanner newsletter, they know what they’re looking for. Wanderlust-provoking articles with travel tips and suggestions that will help us daydream about being somewhere that’s not the office… And, oh man, do they deliver.

There’s no question about the value added that their content offers, which makes their newsletter a great way to nurture contacts until they are ready to convert. And when they are, they’ll find personalized deals to inspire them and encourage them to click-through.

Skyscanner Newsletter

Fitbit

At Fitbit, they have a clear goal in mind with their newsletter: to drive traffic to their blog, which is meant to inspire readers to become more active and make the most of their device. So they highlight their content value at the top (‘Top articles picked for you’) and smartly present their articles in a responsive design that is easy to read (and click!) on mobile.

Fitbit email newsletter example
Check out this Fitbit newsletter here.

 

Send awesome email newsletters with Mailjet

Ah, yeah. This is where we try to convince you about how much you need Mailjet… Well, you do!

As we’ve said before, sending a newsletter requires the right email partner that’ll make it easy to create, send and track your email performance, and that’s what we’re great (like, really great) at.

With Mailjet, you’ll be able to build and manage your email lists using our subscription widget contact management features, and you’ll get to carefully segment your database to send content that your readers really want to read.

If you haven’t already, try our drag-and-drop email editor, Passport, which will help you leverage our amazing template library or create your designs from scratch on the interface to create stunning responsive emails that look good on all devices.

And once your email is sent out through our interface, via SMTP or with our flexible APIs, you’ll be able to effectively track and optimize performance with detailed metrics, testing and comparison tools that will help you take your email to the next level.

Want to learn all that Mailjet has to offer? Check out all our features here!

Create an account now and try Mailjet for free to kick-start your newsletter strategy! 😎

Create and send your email newsletters with Mailjet
Easily create and send amazing emails and reach the inbox with Mailjet.Optimize your email marketing strategy and increase your ROI.

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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!

Send amazing email campaigns this Mother’s Day
Easily create stunning campaigns for Mother’s Day and send emails that reach the recipient’s inbox with Mailjet.

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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 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.

subscription widget msf

Learn more:

 

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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Mailjet’s COVID-19 Plan of Action

Here at Mailjet we’re continuously monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our team is working around the clock to ensure the continued health and safety of our employees, as well as the continuity of our business and the continued support of you, our customers.

As we embark on a time of unique uncertainty, we recognize that it’s critical to focus on what’s important. For Mailjet, that is our employees, loved ones, and customers. We know that you rely on our platform to communicate critical information to your customers and partners. As much of the world limits physical interaction, strong virtual communication is more important than ever. We recognize that we’re the backbone of much of the communication for you and your business, and it’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly.

What we’re doing in response to COVID-19

Mailjet has enacted numerous measures to ensure that we are able to provide seamless uninterrupted support during this time of uncertainty:

  • We have a Pandemic plan in place to ensure we’re able to maintain our promised service levels. If you’d like a copy of this plan, please submit a ticket.
  • We have closed all of our offices and have instituted a global work-from-home policy.
  • We’ve stopped all non-essential business travel, both domestic and international.
  • We’re encouraging our team members to eliminate all non-essential travel and practice caution to reduce the spread of this virus.

 

Moving forward

We will continue to monitor the global impact of COVID-19 and adhere to recommendations of agencies like the CDC and WHO. We will not waiver from providing best-in-class service for our customers, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure customers do not experience a change in service levels or response times as a result of this virus. Should you have any further questions as to how we are responding to the pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out.

We’ll be here.

[Guide] Email Marketing for E-commerce

E-commerce is growing at an astronomical rate. In 2017, global e-commerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, and this is expected to grow to $4.5 trillion in 2021. That’s why, if you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to review your e-commerce email marketing strategy.

Alongside this growth, all signs point towards emailing as the preferred method of communication in e-commerce over other channels, including social media. In fact, 72% of people, (including those elusive millennials and teenagers) still primarily prefer email as their primary mode of communication with brands.

In this article, we will give you everything you need to get your e-commerce email marketing strategy up to par, including the different types of emails you’ll need in your customer journey, and essential tips to get content, design, data, and deliverability right.

Email marketing strategy: The essentials

Before you send a large number of emails to your customers, it’s important to define your email marketing objectives. After all, to build a house you need a solid foundation. Your objectives will be your foundation.

Writing emails without a solid strategy will run the risk of sending campaigns that aren’t relevant, and that can result in a low click rate or worse – skyrocketing unsubscribe rates. You don’t want this, do you? 🤔

The key question you should be asking yourself here as an e-commerce company is: What do I want to achieve?

Your objectives could include:

  • Converting new customers
  • Increasing sales
  • Receiving reviews and feedback
  • Boosting customer loyalty and communication
  • Providing customers with information (about special offers, new products, etc.)
  • Introducing your company and your unique selling points

 

KPI Framework

Of course, you don’t have to pick just one of these objectives, but it is beneficial to have just a few clearly defined objectives. Concentrate on those most important to you, your business, and where you want to grow. This will allow you to utilize your resources efficiently and also means you won’t waste unnecessary time creating email content that provides no added value.

Instead, ensure that your email campaign is perfectly tailored to your needs. Follow a clear objective that you can naturally adapt, modify, or realign over time.

Email marketing tips for e-commerce

Within each of these campaigns, you always need to keep in mind the 6 key elements of any email strategy: content, design, data, tactics, personalization, and deliverability. To get right to the point, we’ve outlined what you need to consider in each email and included some examples (as well as cautionary tales) to help you with your own campaigns.

1. Spend time on your email content and design

Working on your email content and design should be one of your main concerns in your email marketing strategy. An unengaging subject line won’t entice customers to click on your emails, while poor design reduces the chances that your customers will find the right product for them.

What you want is to first optimize your subject line and preview text. After all, they are the gateways the first things people see in deciding on whether they should open your email or not.

Opt for subject lines that generate curiosity. This will make the reader feel they are missing something “valuable” and want to click into that email to find out more. Which fabric is in-season? What are those fresh finds? This is very effective marketing tactic. However, each “preview” text is simply their URL, www.etsy.com which is a missed opportunity to engage the reader some more.

Good content does not rely just on being creative, and good design isn’t just about being beautiful. Good content is about personalization and timeliness. Good design is about inciting an action.

This is especially impactful for e-commerce where a sale is just a click away, and good content paired with good design can effectively drive clicks.

This Black Friday email by Julep fulfills the basic rules of smart email marketing by knowing how to sell what it wants to sell, writing creative, holiday-oriented copy and ensuring responsive design across all devices and inboxes.

Julep - eCommerce Email
Julep Email Example

The header immediately introduces the email content (hint: it’s Black Friday sales!); the multi-column design blends image and text into creating compelling copy that guides customer attention. The Call-to-Action (CTA) button (SHOP NOW) also is strategically placed above-the-fold alongside the content. Customers don’t have to scroll down to see these great deals ($19.99 instead of $82), inciting them to click on the CTA.

2. Know the difference between marketing email, automated email, and transactional email

Learning the different types of emails will not only allow you to target different audiences, but to also target the same audiences in a variety of ways. Sending identical promotional emails every single time with just slightly-altered copies can quickly lead to a smash of the unsubscribe button.

As with all marketing efforts, email-marketing should be diverse and creative. As an e-commerce business, you will be sending three main categories of emails:

  • transactional emails
  • marketing emails
  • automated emails

Transactional emails are the types of emails you send out to customers after they’ve done an action. These emails can be purchase confirmations, account verifications, or password resets.

Harrys - eCommerce Email
Harry’s Razor Transactional Email

This confirmation email by Harry’s does its intended job and more. In addition to ensuring that your order has, indeed, arrived, it’s also included some quick shaving tips for customers to read. Beyond just trying to drive sales, they’re trying to drive engagement, loyalty, and through education they are growing their connection to their audience.

On the other hand, marketing emails are bulk emails you send to your subscribed customers. This marketing email from New York & Company contains two types of promotions. The top section includes coupons encouraging customers to spend more to save more. The email’s main body introduces the arrival of their new collections by introducing a sale on their kimono sleeve sweater, for that perfect autumn aesthetic. Get creative and create value where customers had not seen. That’s showbiz marketing baby!

NY & Company - eCommerce Email
NY&C Email Example

Finally, automated emails are triggered by milestones. They can be automated in many ways, depending on your analysis of customer data. Automated emails can include welcome emails, feedback emails, anniversary emails, and retention emails. For example, if a user purchased a product from your store, you can send an automated email one week later to how they are liking it, whether they would like to buy one for a friend, or perhaps write a review on your site.

3. Avoid mistakes before sending

Of course, when you’re new to sending these different types of email, you’re bound to make a couple mistakes, or miss out on some things. To avoid that, send yourself a test email to ensure everything displays properly, that there are no typos and that the email is responsive.

Before sending emails or committing a template, make sure to pull your teammates into the email builder to have them provide their comments, and be sure to A/B test your campaigns to identify which piece of content, design, subject line, or CTAs drive the most engagement.

Don’t send emails from a useless “no-reply” address. “No reply” emails are those annoying emails you get from businesses sometimes who are making it very clear they don’t want to hear from you.

NoReply Inbox

Not only is it a little rude, almost more importantly it can negatively impact your business as it is often flagged as spam.

4. Don’t ask for subscribers, incentivize subscription

Before sending emails to your customers, you have to make sure that your customers have subscribed to your emails in the first place. There are a lot of different ways to do this.

For example, you can invite website visitors to subscribe to your emails via pop-ups integrated into your website using Mailjet’s subscription widget or third party providers like SumoMe. Or like many of our customers have done so effectively, use the power of social media to invite customers into your mailing list.

Good Things - eCommerce Email
Subscription Widget Pop-up

One thing that you need to include is an unsubscribe button in your channels. Yes, adding this will mean your list may decrease in size, but more importantly it lets your audience do the different work of cleaning your contact lists for you. By removing customers who’d rather not see your emails, you are ensuring that only those most active engaged users are being sent an email.

In turn, this means you are:

  • Spending less money sending emails to people who won’t open them anyways, or worse would mark it as spam.
  • Increasing your domain and IP reputation with ISPs and inboxes.

 

BetaList - Email
Unsubscription Email

One of Mailjet’s enterprise users, Videostream, knows the value of this all too well. With the help of a Customer Success Manager, Videostream cleaned their list from 1.2M contacts to 120K contacts. This 10x decrease in users actually resulted in a 5x more total opens, and an increase in ROI of 10x.

This is because the more people receive unwanted emails from you, the less likely it is you will land in the inbox of those who do in fact like you. Here’s a full case study on how Videostream accomplished this.

5. Track and use your data

Data should serve as the bedrock of your email marketing campaigns. Considering different buyer personas and the customer lifecycle in your email marketing will allow you to send the right email to the right people. Whether it is creating promotional holiday emails, or segmenting people into different groups, data will help you send the relevant emails to the right people.

Email Stats - eCommerce Email
Mailjet Email Stats

Useful email metrics to consider when using Mailjet’s platform include how many emails have been sent, delivered, opened and clicked.

The sent rate is a way of saying that the recipients’ servers have received the emails, and the delivery rate means that the recipients can now read them…somewhere (in their inbox? Spam? Mystery. Well, kinda.). The opened rate shows how many people have opened their emails, and the click-through rate shows how many times your customers have clicked on a link in your emails since receiving them.

Other types of data that you want to track, of course, are related to the types of customers you want to target. Getting actionable customer insights will help you send the right types of emails to the right segments, and create engaging, personalized emails.

6. Optimize your e-commerce email marketing strategy

Even the most successful email campaign can be improved. So you need to keep testing your performance.

Ask yourself these questions and adjust your content accordingly:

  • Which email subject line has the best opening rate?
  • Which links and call-to-action buttons generate the most clicks?
  • Which email content was uninteresting for your subscribers?

You can use A/B testing to compare different types of content and then see which alternative was received most positively by your customers.

You can use a tracking function for a step-by-step breakdown of if and when an email has been opened, and which links and widgets were used. With this knowledge, you can improve and adjust your future campaigns.

Segmentation can also be carried out based on this evaluation. You can send personalized email content and build an optimized list of newsletter subscribers.

7. Work on your deliverability

Improving your deliverability – the rate at which your email reaches your customers’ inboxes – is of utmost importance to ensure that your emails do not go not into the spam folder, where emails go to die.

Essentially, all of the previous tips lead up to getting a higher deliverability rate for your e-commerce business. Creating compelling, data-driven email copies will increase the open rates and click rates, which improve your sender reputation. Your contact list should be constantly updated and adequately segmented so that the right people receive the right emails.

To get high delivery rates, have a good, reliable email service provider (like Mailjet). There are many marketing platforms that can send your emails, and have become particularly good at providing both a CRM and an email system, however these tools are often good at a few things but are simply not as strong in email deliverability as an email service provider can be.

This is primarily because good deliverability requires three things that take time, resources, and a commitment to email:

  • Strong and on-going relationships with inbox providers.
  • A robust infrastructure and third party vetting tools like Mailjet’s partnership with 250ok.
  • Deliverability experts to help maintain quality domain and IP addresses for senders like you.

On your side of the equation, you will need to enable your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail Option (DKIM). These allow your ISPs to recognize the fact that your emails come from a reliable, authorized system, and prevent spammers from stealing the identity of legitimate identities. Mailjet provides an easy-to-follow guide to do this.

Send stunning e-commerce emails with Mailjet
Design and send newsletters, promotional emails and order confirmations for your e-commerce business with the best emailing platform.

Create your account now

E-commerce email campaign ideas along the customer journey

As an online shop, there are many types of emails that you could send out. In order to make the most of all email marketing potential, we recommend integrating marketing and transactional emails along the customer lifecycle.

The benefit of focusing on the customer journey is that it allows you to deduce current customer needs and create personalized content.

Here are the seven different email campaigns you should use, depending on your objectives and customer journey:

1. The welcome email

No matter what, first impressions really count.

When welcoming a new “member” to your email list, send them a welcome email containing valuable content that will inspire them to continue to engage with new articles. For instance, this is a great opportunity to:

  • Introduce your company and your products.
  • Make the subscriber aware of your social media channels.
  • Provide an overview of what type of emails you will be sending.
  • Send them a welcome gift to validate their decision to subscribe
  • Indicate important links.

Ultimately what you want is to convey a positive and trustworthy first impression, which will make your new subscriber look forward to receiving more.

Welcome Email
Mailjet’s Welcome Email

 

2. The classic newsletter

Once you’ve won over new subscribers, you need to make sure they stay in your list by providing them with valuable content.

Naturally, the exact content depends on your business model and customers. As an e-commerce company, you can offer the following newsletter content:

  • Promoting your own products
  • Guides for your products
  • A behind-the-scenes look at production
  • Compelling content and entertainment like videos
  • Customer interviews and testimonials

 

Penguin Newsletter
Penguin Books Newsletter

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your newsletter is only there to sell. Sending out newsletters that are too pushy will cause people to unsubscribe from your list, or put a bad taste in their mouth. Instead this is an opportunity to take an engaged list of potential customers and make them love you.

Ask yourself the following questions and create your newsletter accordingly:

  • What interests my readers?
  • What questions might they have?
  • What problems are they currently facing?
  • How, specifically, can I help them solving these problems?

 

3. Special occasion newsletters

In addition to your regular newsletter, you can create email campaigns for special events. These can be for holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Mother’s Day, as well as seasonal events such as the World Cup, the Olympics, or Oktoberfest.

You could even, for example, showcase your expert knowledge in the form of useful tips and tricks, or make readers aware of special offers. However, make sure that it all ties back to your company and brand message.

Nokia Mother's Day NL
Nokia Holiday Newsletter

 

4. Order and shipping confirmations

While you can send out marketing campaigns at any time, transactional emails are triggered by customer action. These include, for example, newsletter subscriptions, invoices, and purchase confirmations.

As an e-commerce company, your main objective is obviously to promote sales in your online shop. Once a customer buys something, you should first send them an order confirmation and then an email receipt. Once the purchased product is sent for delivery, you can then send them a shipping confirmation.

Transactional emails tend to have higher open rates, as customers already expect to receive your communications and look forward to receiving their purchase.

Make sure you leverage these emails to make your customers aware of other products or special offers. This is the best time for you to upsell, when they are most engaged and you know they are opening the email. Don’t miss the chance. 😉

Order Confirmation
Order Confirmation Email

 

5. Customer surveys

Show your customer that their opinion is important to you by sending them customer surveys and other feedback emails. This could target individual products, the entire shop, the service, or all of the above.

Customer surveys are absolutely essential to you for the following reasons:

  • To check if your communication with customers is clear and coherent.
  • To obtain and guide the attention of your customers.
  • To strengthen customer loyalty.
  • To inspire you with new product ideas.

 

Headspace Survey Email
Headspace Survey Email

 

6. Shopping cart dropouts

Has your customer halted a transaction or left an item in their shopping cart? Remind them with a friendly email! This gives you an additional option to show them similar products and offers, or provide them with buying incentives through discounts.

Dote Abandoned Cart Email
Abandoned Cart Email

Don’t give up on any customers! You can send a personalized email to inactive users. This allows you to find out if they are still interested in your services and remind them about your unique products.

If you succeed in winning the customer back, you can surprise them with a “Welcome back” email. You can make a good impression here with the aid of discounts or coupons.

If you don’t receive a reaction following several messages, then it may be best to part ways and remove the contact from your list. Yes, we know it’s always hard to let them go… 😔 but it’s best for everyone this way (more on this below…)

7. Personalized note to your customers

You can engage your customers in a more personal manner and develop a friendly relationship with personalized touches such as a birthday email with coupon.

Think about whether you would like to show appreciation to particular customers – after all, loyalty should be rewarded! For example, cheaper account upgrades are a possibility here.

While we’re on the topic of rewards, you may want to provide incentives for customers and subscribers who recommend you others. Make it easy to recommend your website and shop, and show your appreciation for each customer gained this way.

Nike Birthday Email
Automated Birthday Email

 

Summing up

You are now ready to make the most of email marketing for your e-commerce company. You know you need an effective email marketing strategy, how to create and manage email lists, and which types of emails are just waiting for you to use them.

Remember these top email tips for e-commerce businesses:

  • Tip 1: Marry good content with smart design to drive customers towards your products.
  • Tip 2: Learning different kinds of email will really allow you to take advantage of email’s sweet ROI. And don’t do no-reply emails. It’s bad for business.
  • Tip 3: Take multi-channel approaches to incentivize subscription. But make it also easy to unsubscribe to make sure that you’re not sending emails to people who will never read your emails.
  • Tip 4: Tracking data on customers and email will help indicate what works and what doesn’t.
  • Tip 5: Personalize and segment your email campaigns, putting in that little extra effort on each campaign and in data collection will go a long long way in standing out from the crowd.
  • Tip 6: Make sure your emails don’t go in the spam folder by sending emails smartly and following the previous tips.

Mailjet offers you all of the email functions and tools that online shops need for this purpose. Don’t miss any more opportunities for your e-commerce business. Simply log into Mailjet or set up a free account:

Send stunning e-commerce emails with Mailjet
Design and send newsletters, promotional emails and order confirmations for your e-commerce business with the best emailing platform.

Create your account now

Have you tried any of these email campaigns? How did it go? Share it with us on Twitter. And why not sign up to our newsletter? 😉

***

This blog post is an updated version of the post “The Ultimate Guide to Email for ecommerce”, published on the Mailjet blog on October 11th, 2018 by Julian Canlas and Jan Bernecke.

Emailing for the Banking Industry: Data Privacy and Deliverability

Emailing has proven very effective in virtually every industry right across the board. This is especially true in the financial and governmental sector, where banks, insurance companies, neobanks and fintech companies send millions of emails every day to communicate with current and future customers.

However, the growth of email in this sector means there are new challenges to face: making sure that emails reach the inbox while ensuring the highest standards of data security and privacy. In this article, we have set out the techniques for optimizing your deliverability and achieving a high level of data privacy and security within your organization.

The importance of emailing in the banking industry

The banking sector has seen a noticeable rise in the use of email. With the increase of social awareness around the use of paper, financial institutions have been going paperless and looking for other more sustainable ways of communicating with their customers, such as email and mobile apps.

There’s several reasons for the popularity of email in the banking sector:

  • Everyone has an email address: Nowadays, having an email address has practically become an essential, making it one of the most widely-used means of communication, especially for important messages.
  • It’s instant, but can be saved for later:Banks can message their customers instantly. Also, the messages remain in the inbox, which means recipients can go back and read them at a later stage.
  • Personalized emails can be sent to scale: A reliable email infrastructure lets you send large volumes of personalized email with each customer’s individual information, such as month-end transaction summaries or quarterly charge notifications.
  • It’s affordable, easy to use and offers concrete metrics: The simplicity of email and the variety of information available to marketers make this method a perfect tool for sending marketing and transactional communications.

However, digital transformation also poses new challenges for the banking sector. Financial institutions must be sure that the critical messages they send by email are not compromised and that they reach the user’s inbox.

How to ensure a high level of data security and privacy in email

According to the study carried out by Capgemini and the EFMA in 2019, 76% of senior executives say that one of the biggest worries for the banking industry in the new digital age is the privacy and protection of their customers’ data.

As part of a company that deals with money and people’s personal data, you know that your organization should not take security lightly. It is essential to protect confidential information and avoid cyber attacks or data leaks.

That’s why email, as one of the most popular channels for direct and personalized communication with your customers, must be secure and guarantee that all data is safely stored and only available to those with access authorization. It’s important to remember that inboxes have become places where those with harmful intentions seek out their victims and exploit their weaknesses.

What regulations must my company comply with?

Of all the emailing agreements that you need to comply with, the most important is the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

GDPR came into effect in May 2018 and regulates the processing of European citizens’ data. It applies to all European and non-European companies whose customers live in the European Union.

If you are still unsure about the requirements of this regulation, we have prepared a kit with all you need to know about GDPR that will help you achieve compliance within your company.

However, it is not enough to ensure your own company’s compliance; you must ensure that your service providers also comply strictly with the regulations, especially if they deal with data and confidential information.

Third-party providers are often the weakest link in a company’s ability to be GDPR-compliant. Email service providers pose an especially high risk as they regularly process and store a large scale of personal data (example: first name, email address, IP addresses) on behalf of enterprises. That is why compliance from the entire processing chain is so important today.

Darine Fayed

Head of Legal and Data Protection Officer at Mailjet

Techniques for improving data security and privacy

Data privacy and security are also a major concern for your customers. According to an IBM survey, 81% of consumers are concerned about how companies manage their data and 87% think that companies need to tighten their personal data management policies.

To help your organization to ensure optimal data security and privacy, we’ve listed the two main techniques required to achieve a firm foundation.

Server security and data storage

Firstly we must make sure that the servers on which the data is stored are secure.

If it is your own company that is responsible for storing this data, it must be, at least, GDPR compliant. Provide continuous surveillance of the servers and limit the number of people with access to them. This is mandatory for your business, and it is key for the protection of your users’ information and for their continued trust.

If the data is stored by a separate company, keep in mind that your chosen provider must offer all the guarantees. Redundancies, fire prevention, high security levels, energy self-sufficiency, etc. As you will not be the one directly managing the server, you must ensure that all preventive measures required to guarantee the maximum level of security are followed. If you have European customers, it might be a good idea to also have servers in Europe, as the strictest European laws will apply.

The choice between relying on your internal email infrastructure to manage your email requirements or outsourcing to a third-party service can be a difficult decision. To help you find the best solution for you, Mailjet has created this guide, which looks at everything you will need to consider and gives a detailed explanation of the three solutions available to you.

 

EN-Infra-Guide-Banner

Encryption

Encryption is the most common method for protecting emails and the information that they contain.

Despite what most people think, the DKIM protocol does not provide message encryption, although it does add an authentication layer which helps to protect your messages. When you send an email using DKIM, the receiving servers will check it. They will use your public key to verify that it matches the private key included in the DKIM signature. If it does, it means that the domain name sending the email is legitimate, and the sender’s identity will consequently be validated and the email decrypted. Otherwise, the email might be treated as a phishing attempt.

To protect your emails, Mailjet encrypts the channel by which your emails are sent from your sending server to the recipient’s server. This is done by the Transport Layer Security (TLS). However, not all internet providers use TLS, which means that if you send a TLS encrypted message to a server that doesn’t follow this protocol, this type of encryption will not be effective.

How to achieve world-class deliverability

If you are a financial sector organization, the security and the privacy of your data are not your only concern when it comes to emailing. Reaching your users’ inboxes has become both a challenge and a priority.

If your organization uses email as one of its internal or external communications channels with current or future customers, you must ensure that they are receiving your emails in the right place (inbox) and at the right time.

What is deliverability and why is it important?

Deliverability refers to our ability to deliver an email to our recipient’s inbox.

Did you know that statistics show that around 20% of emails sent do not reach the inbox?

Deliverability is undeniably a basic consideration for any company sending emails and especially for those dealing with relevant, financial and personal information such as in banking, insurance or fintech businesses. Information that must be delivered on time and at the right time. And, of course, the privacy and protection of your customers’ data must be respected.

There are many practical examples in your sector where deliverability, security and privacy go hand in hand. These include purchase or bank transfer confirmations, transaction authentications, the sending of confidential documentation such as contracts, policies or summaries of a customer’s position status, or welcoming new customers to your services. Take a look at this example from ClearScore:

Email Clearscope

Even something as simple as delivery confirmation of a package containing a new credit card, for example, needs to reach the inbox at the right time. A good example is this email from Barclays:

Email Barclays

Finally, there are communications that should literally be instantaneous, especially transactional messages. Email will allow you to do this better than ever, if you have a good email service provider like Mailjet, of course. Although the best way to cover your back is to add transactional SMS to your triggered emails, as these have a 98% opening rate.

Techniques for improving deliverability

Improving your company’s email deliverability is a task that requires dedication and consistency, so your team should work consistently and always observe best practices.

Here is a summary of some techniques that will help you to maintain deliverability at optimal levels.

Use a subscription form to create your lists

Good emailing practice starts with a good list of contacts who are active and interested in receiving emails from your company. Your organization will need to follow these two basic rules:

  • Never buy nor borrow a contact list. This will have a negative effect on your current and future deliverability. These third-party lists are usually outdated and contain spam traps.
  • Use double opt-in.This way, anyone who subscribes to your emails will receive a confirmation email that they must validate in order to have emails sent to their inbox.

 

Regularly clean your contact lists

Contact lists change constantly. Some will subscribe to your emails and others will unsubscribe, change their addresses or lose interest in your company’s content.

Instead of sending them emails which no longer appeal to them, we recommend that you periodically delete these inactive addresses, as well as those addresses that return error notifications, blocking, cancellation of subscription or spam complaints after every marketing campaign.

This way, you will keep only those contacts who are interested in your services and avoid sending emails to people who do not even open the messages or to addresses that no longer exist. This way, your email statistics will skyrocket, ISPs will receive very positive signals and your deliverability will improve overall.

We recommend carrying out a thorough cleaning of contacts and we have created this article to show you how it can be done.

Have a WHOIS public profile

A WHOIS is basically your website’s ID card. It lets everyone know who is behind the domain name: technical and administrative staff, location of its offices, etc.

Having a WHOIS public profile is a guarantee for any internet user, including the ISPs, that there are legitimate individuals behind the scenes. If there are certified credentials, email managers are more likely to allow emails to reach their appropriate inboxes.

Configure your SPF, DKIM and DMARC

If this sounds like double Dutch to you, don’t worry, but it’s important that you know that your technical team has configured these protocols, as this will help the ISPs identify you as a legitimate sender. It’s good practice and, in fact, it is mandatory to do so as it will have a positive effect on your deliverability and ensure your deliveries.

To avoid going into too many technical details here, we have drawn up a step-by-step guide on how to do it that you can share with your technical team.

As you can see, deliverability is much more important than it seems. If you want more details, we recommend you download our ‘Landing in the Inbox: Deliverability Basics’ guide.

Mailjet is your best friend for emailing

Now that we have seen the importance of having good deliverability and complying with data privacy and security, it’s important to know who you can trust for all aspects of emailing. And, of course, this is where Mailjet is your best friend. Here is why.

Maximum data confidentiality

Mailjet was the world’s first email service provider to receive Afnor’s AFAQ certification, which guarantees compliance with the principles of GDPR, and the first to undergo a rigorous process to obtain ISO 27001 certification, the international standard for best practice in information process security.

What is more, all our data is stored on European serversusing our Google Cloud Platform partners.

If you want to email online without having to worry about data security and privacy, Mailjet is the solution for you. For further information about Mailjet’s data privacy and security, you can check out this post.

World-class deliverability with a team of dedicated experts

Companies who use Mailjet to send their emails enjoy world-class deliverability.

In addition to the good relationship we have with ISPs across the world, our team of deliverability experts will also help you send from dedicated IP addresses, if you choose them, and help you to learn best practices in deliverability, thus enhancing your reputation as a sender.

As part of your tailored Enterprise plan, you’ll also benefit from a dedicated Customer Success Manager will help you to achieve your objectives and get the most out of your emails, while also spearheading improvement and training initiatives for your team.
Reunión de equipo

Maximum scalability and versatility for sending emails

You can benefit from Mailjet’s full potential in a number of ways: we offer you the chance to use our interface directly, join our Email API or connect to our SMTP server in a matter of seconds.

Our infrastructure is effective, reliable, secure and scalable. Mailjet can send emailing volumes of up to 15 million emails per hour, to support your email needs during peak times.

Receive real-time alerts if anything goes wrong

With Mailjet, you’ll have everything under control. Thanks to our advanced platform and exclusive Real-Time Monitoring feature, you and your team will be the first to receive instant notifications if there’s any unusual activity in your transactional emails.

Send Transactional SMS

Mailjet also helps you promote your business by sending transactional SMS. Transactional SMS are not only really effective, but also extremely useful in improving your platform’s security in accordance with the new P2D2 regulations.

ES-Transactional-SMS mobile

Our simple and reliable SMS API will allow you to easily send personalized messages to over 60 countries.

Interested?
More than 130,000 companies now trust Mailjet to send their emails. Discover how when can help you improve your deliverability and increase the security of your emails.

Talk to an Expert

Email is a really powerful tool for businesses around the world and the best communication channel for the banking industry. However, improving deliverability and guaranteeing the protection and security of your emails is a must.

Learn more about how Mailjet helps +130,000 companies around the world send better emails and find out what our email experts can do for your business.

[Guide] Landing in the Inbox: Email Marketing Deliverability Basics

There’s nothing we hate more than seeing great email go to waste. Currently, one in every six messages sent worldwide fails to land in the inbox. Deliverability is a growing concern among email marketers and one of the main barriers to effective marketing.

There’s no point spending time crafting great content if your messages never reach your subscribers’ eyes. In this Email Marketing Deliverability Basics guide, we’ll help you start off on the right foot and land your email to its intended destination. We’ll also explore how to keep your subscriber engagement at the heart of your email strategy.

In the ‘Landing in the Inbox: Deliverability Basics’ guide, you’ll learn:

  • ✅ What is email deliverability and why it matters
  • ✅ How to build the foundation for deliverability
  • ✅ How to choose between a shared and a dedicated IP
  • ✅ How user engagement can affect your deliverability and what you can do to improve it
  • ✅ Legal and technical considerations to improve your email deliverability
  • ✅ How Mailjet can help get your emails into the inbox

 
So, are you ready to start improving your deliverability and land in the inbox? Download the ‘Landing in the Inbox: Deliverability Basics’ guide now.

Email Marketing For The Travel And Tourism Industry

Ask anyone about their interests, and most people will probably mention travelling. There are so many people posting about their #wanderlust that it should be easy to beat your sales goals every month, right? And yet, with such a competitive market, it’s increasingly hard to turn all those eager travellers into customers. Lucky for you, email marketing is here to help you. 😏

In this guide, we will cover the fundamentals of email marketing for the travel and tourism industry and give you campaign ideas and examples for the most common scenarios.

Travel and tourism in the digital world

The Internet has forever transformed the way we travel.

Most people spend hours scanning the Web to find the best deals, riffling through tourist guides and leaving a trail of valuable data about their interests, budget and patterns, changing the travel industry in the process. The harder life gets and the more their workload increases, the more inclined people are to get lost in their own imaginary vacations.

Now, the ball is in our court. As marketers, we have the opportunity to grab these people’s attention. It’s not easy, though. Travel and tourism businesses in the digital world face two big challenges:

  • The customer journey is longer: There are many different aspects and elements users take into account when preparing a trip, so it’s important to map out that customer journey to ensure we have the appropriate touch points throughout the whole lifecycle.
  • The competition is tougher: The Internet is filled with multitude of travel providers and tempting vacation offers. Targeted customer communication is essential to stand out in such a crowded competitive landscape.

 
Choosing the right marketing channels to communicate with your customers is key to succeed in the digital world, and email should play a very important role in any omnichannel marketing strategy.

Creating a strong email strategy for the travel and tourism industry

We know it already, email is the best performing channel for ROI, ahead of SEO. It’s our job to use this endless stream of information to build a superb email marketing strategy that turns tourists all over the world from daydreamers into actual customers.

So, how do we turn a dull inbox into a real gold mine? We’ve got the tips and examples to help your create a winning email strategy for your business.

Define your email goals

It’s never smart to start sending emails out without clear objectives. So before you start building out your first campaign, take some time to think about your overall goals and your more specific ones.

It’s important to be as concrete as possible when establishing your overall goals, which will allow you to design specific milestones you want to reach with each campaign. For example, your overall goal might be to increase your sales by 20%. Your specific goals will help you determine the exact conversion rates you are aiming for in each email.

Build a healthy 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 what you have to offer.

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 be daunting, but it is key to get the best results.

Asking for consent to send marketing emails ensures users are interested in the content we send, and is also key to comply with data protection regulations, like GDPR. At the end of the day, spending your budget by sending emails to people that are not interested is just a waste of money.

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Conquer responsive email design

The way we browse the Internet and interact with companies online has changed, and so has the technology we use to read our emails. Now, we use a range of devices (tablets, smartphones, wearable…), all of which have different sized screens and display messages in different ways.

When designing templates, it’s essential to keep these different screen sizes in mind. Responsive designs are those that render properly and deliver a consistent message, regardless of your contacts’ device or email client. Your template and your beautiful images, key to take your reader straight to their dream destination, should adapt to the device they’re being viewed on, or they won’t be effective at all.

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Choose a responsive email editor

While ensuring your design is responsive might seem like a pain, at Mailjet we’ve done the hard work for you. Our drag and drop email editor Passport makes designing emails a breeze. All you need is your creativity and to follow the design best practices we regularly share with you on our blog.

Mailjet's travel & tourism email templates

Want these email templates? Create a Mailjet account now and start customizing them now, or try our editor’s demo now to see all you can do with them.

Use customer data to send better emails

Understanding why your customers go to your website, their interests and budgets is essential to produce emails that are not only relevant, but also targeted to each and every one of them. Gaining insight from what they book, when they do it and how much money they spend is priceless information that will allow your email strategy to go from good to great.

Nowadays, there’s a huge amount of data available for email marketers to use, although we don’t always make the most of it. Here are a few ways data can help you build more meaningful emails:

  • Segment contact databehavioral data and data based on your users’ previous interactions with your website to better target your customers and to send them contextually relevant emails. There are many examples on how to use segmentation, like targeting contacts in Northern Europe with a campaign about warm destinations, or encouraging big spenders to book a luxury stay at your hotel.
  • Personalize your messages to engage with your customers on a one-to-one basis. It’s not just about the simple things, like including your contact’s name in the subject line, but also about using tools like dynamic blocks to tailor the content to each and everyone of them.
  • Use A/B tests 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.

 

Integrate marketing & transactional emails

Before, marketing and transactional emails used to be handled independently. Nowadays, though, companies are expected to offer a seamless customer experience across both marketing and transactional emails. By making sure your marketing and transactional emails have the same look and feel, your customers will know they are communicating with the same company, one with a distinguishable brand identity.

However, using marketing and transactional messages as two complementary email channels is also about leveraging the power of these triggered messages and their possibilities for upselling and cross-selling. Transactional emails in general have high engagement metrics, as they are sent to customers who are awaiting a confirmation. Including promotional opportunities within these emails, like further offers or services, can be a great way to boost your client conversion rates.

Transactional email with marketing offers

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Understand how deliverability affects your email ROI

Creating and sending beautiful email campaigns is pointless if they’re not landing in the inbox. Even though the hard work seems over when you press the SEND button, your emails go through a whole journey to reach your recipient, and many factors involved could determine whether your email lands in the inbox or the junk folder.

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Email campaigns for the customer lifecycle in the travel and tourism industry

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 get new ideas and start creating your own campaigns. We have explored how to combine your transactional and marketing efforts to leverage triggered emails’ open rates, and now it’s time to take a look at some of the marketing emails you can implement.

There are multiple stages in planning for a trip and multiple steps in the customer lifecycle in the tourism industry, and you need to be prepared to walk your customers along the way.

Welcome Programs

Welcome series give you the opportunity to greet your customers upon joining your platform and to offer them some valuable information to make the most of your service. Letting your customers 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.

AirBNB's welcome email on boards the customer

Airbnb’s welcome email is great at onboarding users and highlighting the next steps to get started. It’s eye-catching and includes clear CTAs to help users navigate the platform.

Birthdays/Anniversaries

Who wouldn’t want to celebrate their birthday somewhere magical? Wish your contacts a ‘Happy Birthday’ and include a discount on a weekend getaway or a promo code they can apply on their next booking.

Loyal customers go a long way. Why not use the data you have available to thank them for X years together? You could include an exclusive offer to reward them for their loyalty.

JetBlue Anniversary Email Example

It doesn’t get much better than JetBlue’s anniversary email. This fun, friendly and slightly cheeky approach lets customers know they are valued and encourages them to stay loyal to the brand.

Flash Sales

Limited offers are extremely common in the tourism industry. Even though travellers are now getting savvier and exploring different possibilities before booking their trips, many decisions are still made based on great deals and amazing discounts.

Some business have turned the flash sales model into the core of their business, like Secret Escapes, Voyage Privé or Groupon. Even if this is something you are not interested in doing on a regular basis, offering tickets at discounted rates or cheaper upgrades can help boost your sales during a particularly quiet period.

Secret Escapes Flash Sales Email

Secret Escapes uses flash sales on a regular basis to entice users to book trips. They always feature a very attractive discount, and put an emphasis on how long you have until the offer ends.

Newsletters

If you ask people about their interests, chances are many of them will say travelling. Even if we don’t have the money, fantasizing about different city-breaks and dream vacations is something we’ve all done at some point. That’s why, creating regular content that promotes your top destinations or exciting leisure offers will allow you to entice your contacts ahead of their upcoming week off.

Going on holiday normally means spending a big amount of money, so people are not likely to book a trip every time they receive your newsletter. But if you regularly send them content that adds value and they love reading, they’ll probably think of you once they’re ready to book their trip.

Skyscanner Newsletter

Skyscanner makes people really want to travel by emailing them travel insights, news, guides and articles. Their clear headings and beautiful pictures really manage to trigger that well known wanderlust fever.

Seasonal Events

There are different ways in which seasonal events can be used to increase engagement with your email campaigns. National holidays and vacation periods are always a great excuse to promote and offer exclusive deals on some of your favorite picks. It could be that someone’s not thinking about travelling during the Easter break until they see those amazing pictures in your email.

There are also certain festivities that make places more attractive, like Christmas markets, street festivals, cultural events… Piggybacking on whatever’s taking place in a specific location could be a good way of encouraging people to finally decide on making that trip they’d been thinking about for a while. Even designing creative campaigns around certain marketing moments can have a very positive impact on your conversion.

Vueling Seasonal Email

Vueling tempts subscribers with a night out on Valentine’s Day with a special email campaign that includes great deals on flights, car rental and hotels. The inspiring visuals, great copy and enticing offer make this a great example of email marketing for special dates.

Information Emails

Building a good reputation online is hard work and it takes time, but losing your customers’ trust is something that can happen really easily. If your users have chosen you to book their flights, trains, accommodation or tours, only to find that your website has changed or it’s down, or there’s a strike that will impact their departure times and you haven’t warned them, they’re not going to be happy. People get stressed ahead of their vacations, so anticipating any potential issues and giving customers alternatives goes a long way.

Southern Railways Information Email

Southern ensures their customers are ready to use their new platform when they decide to book their next trip by carefully explaining their changes. The “text only” email ensures the message is not mistaken for a promotional campaign, and the handwritten signature at the bottom gives it a more personable feel.

Nurturing Emails

How many times have you browsed around for flights or accommodation, just to check out the prices? Even if your customers are not ready to book their trip at that time, chances are they won’t forget about it completely. Remind them about their search and tempt them with some nice pictures to ensure they come back to you once they’re ready to complete their booking. You can even add some valuable content, like a city guide or top leisure choices at their destination, to help them make up their minds.

Alternatively, you can send them some similar suggestions based on their previous searches or booking history. If a user has been browsing around for winter sun destinations, why not nurture them with other places they might not have thought about?

Expedia Nurturing Email

Expedia nurtures clients looking for flights to Paris with this fantastic email that includes a powerful combination of images, valuable content and strong CTAs.

Abandoned Booking

We’ve all been there. Sometimes you’re just about to complete your booking, but something gets in the way. Maybe it’s the challenges of catering for a large group, maybe you didn’t have your bank card with you or maybe you just thought about it twice and decided it was too much money.

Send customers a reminder email with their booking information and a link to return to their account. You can also tempt them with a special discount, just in case they were having second thoughts.

Norwegian Abandoned Cart Email Example

Norwegian’s simple email reminds users about their abandoned booking and encourages them to take action by letting them know the flight is filling up quickly and ticket prices raising. The CTA allows customers to return directly to the booking stage.

Post-Booking/Before Travelling

We’ve all received them and, most probably, we’ve all opened them. While, in other industries, purchasing is in fact the end action, booking a trip is by no means the end of your relationship with a customer. Actually, the time span between the booking and the actual trip might last months, so it’s important to keep in contact with reminder emails that provide useful information and additional services the customer might be interested in.

The number of emails you send can vary, but you’ll always want to send one a week or two before their journey, providing them with their booking details again and including upselling and cross-selling offers (upgrades, transfers, tickets to attractions, etc…).

SouthWest Reminder Email Example

Southwest’s reminder email provides users with the necessary information prior to departure, while clearly informing them about the steps they still need to complete. They also use this opportunity to promote alternative products and services.

Price/Availability Alerts

We all know how much prices and availability change in the tourism industry. Some of your customers might even spend quite some time searching for the cheapest option and many are in the constant lookout for the perfect time to book in order to get the best deal. Why not send contacts an alert informing them about changes on the price or availability in their desired flight, train or accommodation? Or if something they had browsed before it becomes unavailable, why not suggest them some alternatives?

These fluctuations are likely to give your contacts a sense of urgency to book. However, too many emails might become too spammy and lose all of their effect. The best option is to allow your users to predefine the kind of alerts they want to receive, to ensure the emails you send are actually the emails they want to read.

Skyscanner Price Alert Email

Skyscannner’s Price Alerts are simple and straight-forward, but still manage to include links to some of their other offers and services. Since Price Alerts are regular and subscribers could find slightly annoying at some point, they make their unsubscribe and email management links very obvious throughout the email.

Thank You Email

Once a user has completed their trip, make sure you thank them for their visit. This is a great opportunity to ask for their feedback and encourage them to share their experience online, by directing them to your social media channels. You can also ask customers to share their pictures or user generated content with you – it will be the best kind of promotion.

Folks Thank You Email Example

Volks Hotel’s email uses their Thank You email as an opportunity to ask customers for feedback and reviews. They also reward them with a discount code for future bookings.

Feedback Emails

Marketplaces rely on users’ opinions to rate the different activities and accommodations, although not everyone remembers to go back and share an opinion. Even if you are a hotel or travel company and have previously emailed your customer to thank them, they might have completely ignored your feedback link. Make it easy for them by including a quick survey in your email, so they can rate their experience in just a few clicks.

Booking Feedback Email

Booking.com knows that travellers around the world read opinions about their hotels before booking. That’s why they make it really easy for customers to rate the place they’ve stayed at.

VIP/Loyalty Programs

It is not uncommon for airlines and even hotels to have loyalty or frequent traveller programs to engage customers to return to them. Emailing members to let them know about their points, offering them promotions to increase their balance or rewarding them for reaching a certain milestone is a great way of keeping them engaged and ensuring they remember your company.

Alternatively, you can have different tiers for returning customers that always book their holidays through you, providing them with special discounts as they reach their fifth, tenth, fifteenth booking.

AirAsia Loyalty Email

Air Asia encourages frequent travellers to redeem their points and gain extra ones with special deals and offers to make them feel special and increase their loyalty to the company.

Re-engagement Programs

For some businesses in the tourism industry, their relationship with their customers might be a one-off. Other companies, though, rely on building a lasting relationship with their users.

If a customer’s been absent from your brand, entice them back with a reactivation campaign. You can remind them about what you offer, tempt them with travel ideas and even add an incentive that could convince them to return to you, instead of booking with one of your competitors. If nothing else works, you can send your inactive contacts a ‘We’ve missed you’ campaign, asking them whether they want to stay engaged or end the relationship. Remember, constantly emailing people that don’t want to receive your messages will impact your deliverability.

Re-engagement Email Example TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor relies on users providing feedback on the different places they visit. This re-engagement email targets subscribers who had researched specific locations but never returned to share their opinions.

Summing Up

When used wisely, email is a really powerful channel that will not only help you build and maintain a lasting relationship with your customers, but also increase your ROI. Finding the right balance between mass communication and one-to-one personalization is key to make the most out of your email sendings.

However, what works for one business might not work as well for another one, so finding the right email marketing strategy for your company will require testing different options. Get creative, give some of these ideas a go and compare the results to find those that will give your company the biggest uplift.

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