Branding & Email Marketing: How to Share Your Brand Values via Email

It’s 2019 and the world of marketing seems to be in the midst of a conceptual revolution. With so many new buzzwords to learn, groundbreaking technology to use and creative ideas to try, brands have little time to even consider what “doing marketing” really means in 2019.

The good news is that the basics haven’t changed: marketing is all about creating and promoting something’s value. It’s all about finding different ways to connect with an audience to communicate what makes that product or service unique and indispensable.

But in the world we live in now, value is not just defined by the practical qualities of a product. What a brand is and what a brand stands for is now just as important as what a product can do. With an audience that is more in tune with the environment than ever before, taking part in the conversation is not simply recommended, but also expected. Communicating on brand ethics is an integral part of any marketing strategy.

Brand Marketing: Humanizing Your Marketing

The marketing space has become so crowded and competitive that achieving consumer loyalty is now a top priority for companies, and humanizing your brand is essential to accomplishing this.

As Colin Lewis warns, “the transformation of the economic and cultural landscape means a very different era for marketers awaits. Marketers need to understand that as a result, the very notion of value is changing.”

In a previous era, price and offer could’ve been enough to keep customers coming back. But, now, a more conscious consumer base means companies have to work hard in being different and making a difference. Creating an emotional connection between the brand and its customers is key to strengthen the relationship between them.

As we mentioned when discussing the email marketing trends that would play important roles during 2019, making a positive impact and effectively telling a brand’s story is a way to bond with clients because consumers have become more wary and less moved by aggressive selling, and are much more receptive towards brand storytelling and brand values.

Storytelling: Sharing Brand Values via Email

Brand storytelling is essentially storyselling. To stand out from the competition, brands need to show their personality and make clear what their values are, and email is the best channel to do so.

According to The Drum, 80% of consumers want brands to tell their story but can’t remember a good example. When done right, storytelling engages customers in the long-term and allows them to relate to the brand’s personality and mission. They will start to feel emotionally invested in the brand’s success.

Telling a brand’s story that people will remember and feel connected to isn’t the simplest thing to do. Here are some tips to help start the process.

Start at the very beginning

It’s right at the start of a relationship with a client that brands should place the first pieces to build that emotional connection. Welcome emails can be a great resource to set the scene and introduce the mission.

For example, for shoe retailer TOMS, it’s all about positioning itself as a ‘movement’ and a ‘family’, rather than a faceless corporation. After signing up, the user can customize their relationship with the brand, choosing which stories they’d like to hear from the get-go.
TOMS welcome email with a picture of children running

Celebrate success

Every story needs a hero. Whether it’s the brand or the customer that takes on the role, sharing the impact that others have on the world and celebrating milestones (both the brand’s and the customers’) is a fantastic way to connect with your audience.

For example, a favourite tactic of American Express is to showcase stories of customers who have used their rewards to achieve success and entrepreneurs that are making a difference – an original take on the traditional testimonial campaign.

Keep it real

We all know when a smile is fake. When trying to establish trust with subscribers, marketers should avoid stock images. Instead, they should welcome the user or celebrate the brand’s success with photos of customers who are genuinely telling the story.

Have a look at Uber’s campaign. By putting the spotlight on their driver’s heroism rather than on the company, Uber doubles down on their emotional appeal and showcases inclusivity in how they celebrate success.
Uber's email celebrates one of their employee's heroic actions

Use all of your channels

Once upon a time, stories were just passed on by word-of-mouth. Now there are so many different ways to share brand values: email is one of them, but something as important as brand ethics should not be limited to the inbox.

A good approach is to level up the multichannel communication strategy and share the story with clients across multiple touchpoints, including the website, social media profiles, email, offline, etc.

How Top Brands Use Email to Share Their Values

Focusing on what the company is most passionate about and what it stands for is a first step in brand development. For many, it’s about protecting the environment or creating a more inclusive and diverse society. Others focus on promoting research and development to pursue innovation in their fields. Most want their customers to know they care about protecting their personal information and making the Internet a safe place for all.

Defining those values that are crucial to a brand’s story is the inception, and sharing them is the logical next step. And while email should never be the only channel to show what a company is all about, it is the cornerstone of brand ethics storytelling.

Here are eight examples of how some of the top companies out there share their focus on sustainability, inclusivity, innovation and data compliance.

Sustainability

The climate crisis is a defining problem for this era, and the state of planet Earth is becoming not only an individual concern, but also a corporate one. When talking about brand ethics, ensuring business development goes hand in hand with protecting the environment. It has become one of the most sought after brand values for consumers, and more and more brands are looking at how to put this at the forefront of their branding initiatives.

In the retail industry, a number of brands have taken action following Greenpeace’s lobbying to stop the use of hazardous chemicals in the fashion supply chain, and many retailers are moving away from paper receipts. For French leader Galeries Lafayette, for example, ecology was a decisive element in their decision to go paperless, reducing the amount of paper and addressing an environmental concern.

Here are two examples of how brands might be putting their eco-warrior side forward and telling their sustainability story via email.

Lush

Lush's entire email is dedicated to their sustainability practices
Lush dedicates an entire email to talk about what they stand for. Its powerful copy (‘Our values are in our products’) makes it clear that sustainability is not just a box to tick, but something Lush takes very seriously. The fantastic visuals highlight both the product and the production chain, reinforcing the fact that the value is not only in the product, but ingrained in the entire brand itself.

Bulb

Bulb's email turns the numbers into a story that is more engaging
For energy provider Bulb, sustainability is at the heart of the business. With green energy being one of their mottos, sharing their users and company’s achievements is key to creating customer loyalty.
This recap email turns numbers into stories (with engaging visuals to make those numbers more interesting) and encourages the reader to share on Twitter, seamlessly integrating these two powerful channels to reach a new audience.

Inclusivity

Increasingly, companies are embracing diversity and inclusivity in the workplace as a way to remind the world that both of these are correlated to a company’s profitability, but advocating for D&I goes beyond that.

Implementing company wide actions that can set an example for and inspire others around the globe can make a positive impact in the world. Sharing the story by email can show customers what the brand stands for, and what they will do to make a change.

Here’s what we can learn from Leesa’s and Tom’s great examples.

Leesa

Leesa shows that purchasing from them benefits others
If there’s anything better than solving a problem for oneself, it’s knowing that others have been helped along the way. This is the key message behind Leesa’s email. A mattress is not a luxury, it’s something we all need, and buy purchasing one from Leesa, the customer has just helped those in less favorable circumstances, while simultaneously supporting a company that fights to make the world a more inclusive place.

TOMS

TOMS email shows that buying a pair of shoes gives a pair to someone in need
For TOMS, an essential part of their strategy is communicating on its brand values. They do it on all their emails and they’ve made the One for One motto a key part of their messaging across all brand communications. It’s not just a one-off, it’s as important as the product itself.

Innovation

For some companies, especially those in the tech industry, research and development is a pivotal element to their business strategy. Being at the forefront when it comes to progress within the industry by promoting R&D and challenging the status quo is key to their product development and their internal culture.

This is not exclusive to technology, and many brands find this is a value they share with their target audience. Here’s how outdoor clothing companies Oros and Patagonia share their quest for constant innovation.

Oros

Oros' welcome email shows they are always innovating
For Oros, the idea of innovation and pushing the limits is present at all levels, which is obvious not just only on this email, but even from their motto ‘Find your beyond’. On this welcome email, Oros connects with its audience by focusing on something that’s key for both the company and its customers: rethinking boundaries, innovating and moving forward.

Patagoina

Patagonia shows their innovation with awards and reviews
Similarly, Patagonia also places its focus on R&D and pushing boundaries. What makes this email special is not just the values the company shares, but how it shares them.

A lot of brands out there will talk about how they continue to focus on creating the best products they can, or adding the latest technological advancements to their services. But, there’s a difference between having something to say, and actually having something to show for it. Patagonia uses quotes and awards as a way to add social proof to let people know it’s not just them saying it.

Data Compliance

A year after GDPR, and as a result of the controversy generated by certain data privacy cases around the world, including the Facebook – Cambridge Analytica scandal, data compliance has become a big concern for many customers.

In fact, in a recent study conducted by Mailjet, 39% of surveyed customers called for harsher enforcement of penalties against brands who break data privacy regulations, especially amongst large brands, for whom 27% of consumers believed seem untouched by GDPR.

Showcasing how much your company values data privacy, and going above and beyond when it comes to protecting your users’ data rights, is the best way to get your customers to trust you.

Here’s how Slack and Hostelworld are doing just that.

Slack

Slack sent out an email for GDPR that bullet-pointed the important info
When GDPR came into effect a year ago, many companies sent out emails to inform their users about the changes in the data protection policies. However, most were just an announcement of these changes. They included links to full documents that felt more like an obligation the company was fulfilling by communicating this, rather than a desire to be upfront and honest with the customers.

Slack’s email does a great job in highlighting the main takeaways, while making the reader really believe that they care about clarity and transparency. It’s easy to read, straight to the point and unambiguous.

Hostelworld

Hostelworld sent out a very clear data protection email explaining why they can be trusted
HostelWorld has put together a very clear Data Protection Notice as a way to show how important this is for the company. But it’s not just about providing clarity, it’s also about letting people know that they can trust HostelWorld with their personal information. This is why they use email to communicate this and reinforce the idea that HostelWorld can be trusted.

Summing Up

Brand ethics are slowly becoming one of the most important layers to building a product’s value. Humanizing a brand goes beyond finding the values that will define a company’s role in society. While coming up with those is a necessary first step, sharing them is what will make consumers loyal to a particular product or service.

Brand strategists will have to work on not only designing the company’s story, but also choosing the right channels to communicate it to an audience. Out of all the marketing channels available, email offers the best opportunities to connect with contacts throughout the consumer lifecycle.

In a world in which value is not only defined by a product’s qualities, but also by brand ethics, applying storytelling techniques to share values has become a must in brand marketing.

50% of the High Street Offers No Sustainable Alternative to Paper Receipts

£32 million spent on paper receipts and still 50% of the High Street offers no sustainable alternative

  • Despite the rising importance of sustainability among consumers, 50% of high street brands still have no paperless option
  • Brands that do are utilising customer surveys & social sharing to enhance the customer experience
  • Data compliance is clearly top of mind for paperless receipts, yet some brands are falling short

 

New research by Mailjet has found that 15 of the UK’s top 30 high street clothing labels are failing to offer any kind of e-receipt to customers when shopping within their physical stores.

In the UK, around 11.2 billion receipts are printed each year, at a cost of at least £32 million. Despite the boom in recent headlines around sustainability brought on by David Attenborough’s ‘Climate Change – The Facts’ documentary, it appears that half of UK high street brands and retailers are still reliant on physical receipts for every purchase.

Among the best in class, Uniqlo, Dorothy Perkins and Evans proactively promote sending customers e-receipts via signs or tablets in-store. In all other cases, e-receipts were only sent after the survey testers specifically made the request.

Michyl Culos comments, “Consumers have been making a clear call for the fashion industry to lower it’s environmental costs. Last month, online platform Rent the Runway, allowing people to rent rather than buy their clothes, was valued at 1bn USD. When it comes to the high street, there is room to revitalise methods long considered standard, like paper receipts, and reduce environmental impact by going digital.”

Survey testers opted to receive e-receipts at all 15 stores where they were available. The study then analysed the e-receipt emails received and scored them according to a range of direct marketing metrics including personalisation, shoppability and brand alignment in addition to data privacy compliance.

Sustainability & Consumer Engagement

While many brands initiate the shift to e-receipts for ecological reasons, they are also exploring how else this new format can be leveraged. Every brand tested, with the exception of JD Sports, Mango and Selfridges, included a customer survey within their e-receipts. New Look, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge, Topshop, Evans, Wallis and Urban Outfitters all offered rewards and incentives in exchange for feedback on the in-store shopping experience.

Many brands also capitalised on the opportunity to direct customers to other marketing-friendly channels. Under the ‘multi-channel marketing’ category, JD Sports scored full marks for including a phone number, email and dedicated support Twitter handle, alongside social media and app links. Debenhams and French Connection also received top marks for including store locators as well as social links.

Michyl Culos notes, “Reducing environmental impact while enhancing engagement with in-store customers is a win-win. It’s clear though that retailers are still in a test-and-learn phase when it comes to determining the best way to leverage e-receipts. For example, some brands use them to encourage customers to post their purchases on Instagram with a hashtag, while others (Uniqlo) offer an incentive for completing a product review on the item purchased.”

Playing By The Rules

A hot topic associated with e-receipts is how to harmonise them with data privacy. This includes clearly informing clients about how their data will be used, but also ensuring they are not automatically opted into any other marketing communications or sent any unsolicited emails for which there is no specific consent or legitimate interest.

Positively, most brands surveyed offered some sort of information regarding the use of the data captured from the customer; with the leaders in this category, Evans, Wallis, Uniqlo and Dorothy Perkins, offering very clear signs or information at store-level. Some brands, including JD Sports, Mango and New Look, also followed up with information in the e-receipt about how data would be used.

Unfortunately for the high street though, a number of brands still did fail to include clear information on data usage in the e-receipt and, in some cases, this information was only provided by asking directly at the till or not provided at all.

More surprisingly, it seems that many marketers still can’t let go of the mindset that the larger your email list is (opted-in or not) the better. The study exposed that some high street brands followed up their e-receipts with unsolicited marketing emails, an activity that might put them at risk of non-compliance with GDPR if brands cannot ensure there is a legitimate interest, that is, a clear link between the email promotion and user’s purchase.

Michyl Culos adds, “Data-compliance when it comes to paperless receipts is a new challenge for retail. It requires awareness and training for both marketers working in head offices and sales assistants who are key in communicating data usage information and registering customer opt in preferences at the point of purchase. Moving to paperless is a large project for retailers, and it would be a shame for them to fall short by simultaneously taking a step forward for sustainability and a step backwards for data protection.”    

 

About the research:

Methodology:

A team of email experts analysed e-receipts sent by 15 leading high street brands and retailers in the UK in March 2019. Each email was individually scored according to how well it met the below criteria, (e.g. scoring system: 3.0 = best possible score, 1.0 = worst possible score) the average result was then calculated for each candidate.

List of brands included in the research (both those who did and did not send e-receipts);

& Other Stories; Berskha; Debenhams; Dorothy Perkins; Evans; Footlocker; Forever 21; French Connection; Gap; H&M; House of Fraser; JD Sports; John Lewis & Partners; Marks & Spencer; Mango; Matalan; Miss Selfridge; Monsoon; New Look; Next Primark; Pull & Bear; River Island; Selfridges; Sports Direct; Topman & Topshop; Uniqlo; Urban Outfitters; Wallis; Zara.

Scoring criteria:

  1. Personalisation: any evidence of segmentation/personalisation/changed fields based on demographics, location, ect.
  2. Multichannel Marketing: social media buttons, redirecting to mobile app or website content, mixing online/offline – in-store actions.
  3. Marketing Opportunities: e-receipt includes additional marketing initiatives (which have legitimate interest), including surveys.
  4. Brand Alignment: strong imagery, brand voice, consistency with website.
  5. Mobile-first: email is viewed on a desktop, mobile and tablet device and scored according to whether it is responsive and how well the design works across formats.

Also measured – Data Privacy Compliance: clear information on how the data would be used and no forced opt-ins to marketing emails.

How to Set Up DKIM in 3 Simple Steps

Originally developed at Yahoo!, DomainKeys Identified Mail has become a global standard in email security and is, together with its sister SPF, absolutely necessary to implement by anyone serious about mailing, especially if you want to send blast emails. In this post, we’ll show you how to setup DKIM and make your email more secure.

What is DKIM?

DomainKeys Identified Mail, or DKIM, is an authentication protocol that links a domain name to a message. The protocol allows you to sign your email with your domain name. The purpose of the DKIM protocol is not only to prove that the domain name has not been usurped, but also that the message has not been altered during transmission.

DKIM is in theory quite simple. It relies on asymmetric encryption and therefore works with any tool developed for such a use. First one has to generate a private/public key pair. Then the public part of the key has to be put as a TXT record to the domain which is used as the sender address. The private key is then used to create a signature for each email. The signature is basically a hash code and computed by taking the content of the email and combining it with the private key using a security algorithm. The signature is then saved as a header of the email.

When a receiving SMTP server detects such a header, it looks up the public part of the key by asking the domain name system (DNS) for the TXT record. One of the beauties of asymmetric encryption is that the keys are like brothers: they share DNA. Using the public key, anyone can tell whether the email was sent by the owner of the domain or not. If this check fails or if the header and therefore the signature does not exist, many email service providers raise an alarm and may, depending on the volume of email sent, decide to mark this email as spam or even to block the sender IP address.

Why should you use DKIM?

The reason is quite simple: along with SPF and DMARC, these are the main protocols for verifying the identity of senders. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent phishers and other scammers from posing as a legitimate sender, whose identity they could impersonate using the same domain name.

But this is not the only advantage. In fact, the implementation of these protocols improves email deliverability. Thanks to these protocols, your emails will be better identified by ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and your recipients’ email clients, which improves the chances of your emails reaching your contacts’ inbox and not the Spam folder.

These protocols have become the standard in the email world. A message sent without DKIM and/or SPF can be considered suspicious by the different email analysis tools.

How to set up DKIM in 3 simple steps

1.  Setting up: Configuration of DKIM to generate the key pair

The tool of choice depends on your operating system. For Microsoft Windows you can use PUTTYGen (here is a tutorial), for Linux and Mac, you can use ssh-keygen (Github has an excellent tutorial).

2. Placing the public key as a TXT record in the DNS settings

We have provided a list of DNS providers together with links to official and third-party documentation:

With some DNS providers the setup can be quite tedious, but we would be glad to help you out. Just contact our support!

3. Generating and saving the signature

When using Sendmail or Postfix (the world’s two most popular SMTP server), or any other SMTP server that supports milter, you can use a special milter ( = email filter), the DKIM milter. This milter has been released by Sendmail as Open Source and allows to sign emails with a generated private key. Please have a look at the extensive documentation.

How to set up DKIM with Mailjet

To define Mailjet as a legitimate sender, you must configure your SPF and DKIM for each of your sending domains.

Setting up DKIM with Mailjet is very simple. Mailjet gives you the public key to register through your website host interface. There, you can integrate the public key into your registration area.

Here’s an example of how to do it:

You will find all the necessary information and step-by-step process in our documentation. It is so complete, it even includes support guides for each of the main hosting providers (OVH, Gandi, Cloudfare, Hostgator…).

Share your comments and ideas with us on Twitter, and follow us to be the first to receive our news.

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This is an updated version of the blog post “How To Set Up DKIM In 3 Simple Steps” published on the Mailjet blog on March 13, 2014.

International Women’s Day: 5 Stories That Show How Mailjet Supports Its Women

It’s International Women’s Day and, all around the world, people are celebrating women, discussing equal rights and telling inspiring stories about the meaningful and strong women in their lives.

At Mailjet, we believe we are responsible for creating positive change, and when it comes to women’s rights and opportunities, it can’t be a one-day-only initiative. Yeah, getting the guys to sing Beyonce’s “Who run the world” at our karaoke nights is a start, but there are many other things a company can do to be a great place where women can succeed.

What makes us so special? Our superheroines tell you all about it!

5 Stories That Show How Mailjet Supports Its Women

Empowering strong female leaders

When asked about female role models, most women could probably name several historical figures, but unfortunately, many of them don’t have the opportunity to see women in leadership roles within their own companies. At Mailjet, we place heavy value on equal opportunities and our leadership team, with 50 % female ratio, is a prime example of the amazing things that can happen when diversity is a top priority.

“Mailjet values female talents and equal opportunity, and the 50% female ratio in the top management team clearly shows that. As one of the chief executives in Mailjet, I am humbled by the responsibility to serve as a role model to other female colleagues across our offices worldwide.

I also feel empowered by Mailjet to lead female team-building activities and find it very easy to build a support network of female colleagues within the company who can advise, mentor and help me both professionally and personally.”

Judy Boniface

Chief Customer & Marketing Officer at Mailjet

 

Encouraging women in the tech world

Finding a place within the tech industry is still hard for women. While women make up 59% of the total workforce, they are averaging only 30% of the workforce across major tech companies. Providing opportunities, understanding the challenges and ensuring women have an even playing field are key to ensuring the reality of the industry starts to change.

“Let’s face it: being a woman in the male-dominated world of deliverability (any tech industry, really) is tough. How many times have you been the only woman in the room? The strong women who came before us fought hard to give us the chance for our voices to be heard. Now is the time for us to embrace this effort, and for women to become the next generation of leaders in tech.

At Mailjet, a good idea is a good idea. Period. It doesn’t matter if the idea came from a man or a woman. That’s how it should be everywhere else.”

Lauren Meyer

VP of Delivery & Head of NA Operations

Slack for iOS Upload
The Mailjet Ladies at our monthly Girls’ Lunch.
 

Celebrating motherhood

No matter how hard we try to ensure bringing up children is not only a mother’s job, there are still aspects of starting a family that fall on the woman’s shoulders. All around the world, women still complain they feel there is a “motherhood penalty” in the workplace. At Mailjet, we are committed to ensuring that this is not the case.

“Initially, I was part of a different team within Mailjet when the company opened a position for local support leaders. I was five months pregnant back then, but I applied anyway.

I was delighted to know I had been chosen as the Team Lead for our Sofia office, and felt really supported knowing that I was valued even though I was four months away from having my baby.”

Silyana Bojilova

Customer Support Manager

 

Keeping education first

At Mailjet, we strongly believe the key to having powerful super-women in the tech world comes from providing the right opportunities to learn and grow. Having strong female leaders and mentors, enjoying the chance to study and take risks, and investing in our interns, to provide them with as many opportunities as possible is key to ensure that they find a space within the tech world.

“When I joined Mailjet, I was still working on my master’s degree, which meant I wasn’t available full time. There are not many places where you can balance work and education, but luckily Mailjet was happy to be flexible with this and allowed me to do three days a week at the office and two days at university.

This balance between studies and work has helped me gain responsibility within the team and develop a certain number of operational skills. In fact, being able to work and study at the same time is the best way to see real-life examples of what I have been studying. Since I started working at Mailjet, I have definitely grown professionally and I have certainly found my way into the tech industry.”

Diane Abrantes

Legal Assistant

 

Embracing our differences

A burden for any woman can be the constant expectation of what a woman should be or a woman should look like. In dealing with criticism that can be anything from being too much of a tomboy to being too girly, sometimes there’s just too much pressure on women to be someone they are not. A strong part of the Mailjet culture is not having these expectations. We have the girliest girls, the nerdiest nerds… and appreciate them all just as much.

“Fresh out of university, I started my career at L’Oréal in Montréal. It was a great fit: Marketing + Beauty (a big passion of mine). The culture of L’Oréal is very fashionable and I loved that aspect. As my career developed, the startup and tech world drew me in. My industry may have changed, but my love of all things fashion and cosmetics didn’t, which made me wonder: will I fit in in this tech world?

When I started at Mailjet (the most tech-focused company I’d ever worked at) one of my colleagues gave me a stark awakening: he ONLY wears socks (never shoes) in the office. And guess what? No one cared. It was the same for me with my dresses, cute shoes (or even our Head of Content’s witty t-shirts and Harry Potter hoodies). This of course is not what represents women, but this is an aspect that represents me, and you really feel a sense of respect for that here. We’re not all the same at Mailjet, but we work, do sports class, eat lunch side by side and focus on who each other is, not the color of our socks.”

Michyl Culos

Head of Marketing Communications

 

Celebrating The Women at Mailjet on International Women’s Day

At Mailjet, we are sure about something: we wouldn’t be where we are without the strong women in our company. ❤️

International Women's Day Mailjet

Join us on Twitter as we #BalanceforBetter and celebrate our powerful women this #InternationalWomensDay!

6 Steps to Win at Valentine’s Day With Your Email Marketing Campaign

It always seems like as soon as Christmas decorations come down in the stores, the aisles are magically flooded with red and pink hearts. Yep, it’s that time of year already: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and your email marketing campaigns better be ready!

While you’re trying to decide if you really need that adorable giant teddy bear, your customers are figuring out what gifts to buy and what places to go to celebrate this love-filled holiday. Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to use email to strengthen your relationship with your contacts and let them know you have what they’re looking for. Whether the holiday makes you cringe, swoon or simply get excited for the discounted chocolate you’re planning to buy the day after (come on, we all do it), the following six steps are your way to success. So come on, roll up your sleeves and start building your Valentine’s campaigns now!

1. Send a first email campaign before Valentine’s Day

Don’t be afraid to send your subscribers a sneak peek of your upcoming Valentine’s Day sale. While they may groan at the realization that the holiday is right around the corner, they’ll appreciate the reminder that they need to start shopping. Keep your first campaign simple and play with the expectation and excitement that comes with Valentine’s Day. If you start by creating a tempting first email in your festive campaign, your customers might remember your email and show more interest later as the day approaches.

Philosophy Valentine's Campaign
This email is a great example of an initial campaign that reminds subscribers that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and that they need to start shopping.

2. Segment your email marketing for Valentine’s Day based on activity

By now, you’ve heard us say it a million times. Segmentation is a great way to reach your audience on a more personal level. For example, you can start your Valentine’s Day campaign with a more general email about your upcoming sale to your main list, then send a campaign to the ones that converted, with some upselling or cross-selling opportunities.

Of course, segmentation is not the only way of adapting your message to your audience. You can also send personalized content by using Mailjet’s templating language to create blocks within your email campaigns that are specifically tailored to each user. For example, a travel site could suggest subscribers’ favorite destinations as inspiration for a Valentine’s Day getaway. Don’t get too personal, though! Your users appreciate smart use of data, but showing them examples that are a little *too* close to home can come across as creepy and might make your customers uncomfortable.

American Apparel Valentine's Gift Guide
This American Apparel email gives customers an overview of products both for her and for him, thus showing the brand caters for all tastes. This is the perfect way to encourage a Valentine’s Day splurge.

3. Leverage your order confirmations

Valentine’s Day is a great time to go for the upsell. It’s a time where people go all out for their significant others, so use email to make sure they are aware of all their options, even after they’ve placed an order. For example, if one of your subscribers orders a necklace, follow up with an email to let them know they can purchase matching earrings or a jewelry box to go with it. Since transactional emails have consistently higher open rates than marketing emails, you can use them to ensure your message gets to the customer.

You can also use your transactional emails to offer buyers a special deal on their next purchase. That way, your customers will be more enticed to return to your site after the Valentine’s Day excitement has calmed down. In other words, your order confirmation may be the last email a one-time customer opens from you, so make it count!

4. Give your procrastinators an extra nudge on Valentine’s Day

Has someone clicked your emails several times leading up to the holiday without making a purchase? You might be dealing with a classic holiday procrastinator. These shoppers are professionals at waiting until the last minute to order gifts, then trying to order something in a panic, on super short notice (and they will still expect to get them on time for Valentine’s!). So, to avoid panic and stress for everyone, let them know that all is not lost through your emails and remind them of the items that they viewed on your website.

Try retargeting the group of people on your list that have opened and clicked without making a purchase to remind them when the last day to order for Valentine’s Day delivery will be. If they miss it, follow up with an email about same-day or next-day delivery (if you can offer it) or simply opportunity to purchase a digital gift card. Your customers will appreciate the last-minute options, so that they’re not caught empty-handed when the big day arrives.

Birchbox Valentine's Email
This email from Birchbox reminds customers that there is limited time left to buy a gift, and provides two last-minute gift option to encourage potential customers to make an immediate purchase.

5. Show your love with a Valentine’s Day email, too

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the couples, it’s also a great chance for you to show your subscribers how much you love them! Send them a personalized deal that will make them feel valued and special. If they’re a frequent customer, sending them a coupon for your product or service is a friendly way to remind them that you appreciate their business. For example, if you’re in the restaurant industry, try sending your most loyal customers a small discount that can be used on Valentine’s Day.

Just for you Valentines GIF
This example shows how you can make your customers feel unique and special and to encourage them to click to find out about a special something that you have in store for them.

6. Don’t forget those who are not in a relationship

Sure, Valentine’s is supposed to be the occasion for people to celebrate with their significant other. But what about those who are not in a relationship? We don’t want them to feel excluded, do we? Send out an email campaign encouraging your subscribers to indulge and get something for themselves.

Max&Co Valentines Email
Max&Co include in their Valentine’s email campaign a special message dedicated to singles, inviting them to treat themselves.

Summing up

We hope you’re not feeling too sappy after our love-filled email examples. Don’t miss your chance to form a love connection with your contacts this Valentine’s Day – you might even enjoy a boost in your sales!

Remember the tips:

  1. Send a first email campaign before Valentine’s Day.
  2. Segment your email marketing for Valentine’s Day based on activity.
  3. Leverage your order confirmations.
  4. Give your procrastinators an extra nudge on Valentine’s Day
  5. Show your love with a Valentine’s Day email, too.
  6. Don’t forget those who are not in a relationship

With Mailjet, you can design and collaborate with your team on your Valentine’s Day email campaigns, segmenting them and personalizing them so that they truly speak to your audience. Create your account now to start sending your amazing Valentine’s Day emails.

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If you’re feeling the love when creating your Valentine’s Day email campaigns, share them with us on Twitter!

Email Marketing Trends for 2019

Yes… It is that time of the year again. Email Marketing Trends’ is back, and we’ve got a brand new 2019 edition ready for you.

Somehow, you survived 2018; although probably around May a part of you thought you wouldn’t make it to the summer… let alone, 2019! But you emerged from the GDPR saga stronger than ever, and even had some energy left over to power through Q4, with that oh-so-sweet boost in sales included.

And now we’re back in Q1, and it’s time for you to start scribbling down your New Year’s Resolutions. So forget about those all-time classics (gym, healthy diets, no smoking… 🙄) and let’s focus on how you’re going to boost your email strategy in 2019. 😎

How different will the email world be during the next 12 months?

Well, it might not be thaaat different… But with others already stepping on the gas, are you sure you’re really practicing what you preach? 😉

Email Marketing Trend #1: Targeted Messages

Yes, we know this is not new… or unexpected.

We’re always aiming to deliver content that is valuable and relevant, but with new tools, features and consumer expectations, what was considered a ‘relevant message’ five years ago might not make the cut now. So, how do you ensure your emails are relevant during 2019?

Segmentation

Effective Segmentation is essential to relevant messages. While before this was just a nice-to-have, now sending differentiated campaigns to our contacts, based on their location, sex, age or even behaviour has become a must.

Personalization

Customers are becoming more and more used to receiving messages that speak to them directly, so much so that going beyond the ‘Hi (name)!’ is actually becoming an expectation.

Advanced personalization will be key in 2019.
Netflix uses advanced personalization based on previous behavior.

Adding advanced personalization to your messages is key to truly connect with your contacts, which is why dynamic content plays an important role for businesses for which email is a core promotional channel. Think Netflix and its personalized film recommendations, or Amazon and its cleverly-picked upselling opportunities.

Automation

Being able to reach the right contact, at the right time, with the right automated message is essential to boost conversion and increase brand loyalty. It might be sending a personalized offer on their birthday, or maybe rewarding them with a promo code after they complete their third purchase on your site.

Email Marketing Trend #2: Interactivity

The inbox is now a muddy battlefield and your email needs its weapons to shine through, and get that desired dose of consumer attention we’re all fighting for. Interactive emails allow your contact to fully interact (duh!) with your message in the inbox. And while we mentioned this last year and we’ve seen a few of these already, there’s still a long way to go!

The goal behind interactivity is not just to make the email look cooler (although it doesn’t hurt either 😏), but to eliminate the friction between email and onsite conversion, by allowing the user to start their purchase without leaving the inbox. To  make this easier, email developers can leverage tools like Email Markup or AMP4Email.

Coding responsive interactive emails

However, to provide a seamless experience, it’s key to ensure your email is fully responsive. You probably already know that more than 50 % of emails are read on mobile, which is why templates need to be designed with a mobile-first approach. And with the variety of devices and screen sizes, responsiveness has become increasingly hard.

That’s when the open source markup language MJML comes into play. MJML is responsive by default, and allows you to code amazing interactive emails easily, which you can then download in HTML, knowing that your design will look great on any device.

Interactivity in email will be key in 2019.
Burberry allowed users to personalize their scarf and start the purchase without leaving the inbox.

Email Marketing Trend #3: Brand Humanization

With the marketing space becoming much more crowded and competitive, consumer loyalty has become a top priority for companies, and humanizing your brand is now essential.

While in a different era, price and offer could’ve been enough to keep customers coming back, a more conscious consumer base means now companies have to work hard in being different and making a difference. Creating an emotional connection between the brand and its customers is key to strengthen the relationship with them.

Sharing your values

During 2018, some brands have already started to speak a lot more about what makes them unique, putting their values forward as a way to bond with their clients. For French retail leader Galeries Lafayette, for example, ecology was a decisive element in their decision to go paperless and move away from long store receipts, reducing the amount of paper and addressing an environmental concern.

Making a positive impact and effectively telling your story will be key during 2019, as consumers are now more wary and less moved by aggressive selling, and are becoming much more receptive towards brand storytelling and brand values.

Storytelling within email will be key in 2019.
For TOMS, a key part of their messaging is communicating on its brand values.

Email Marketing Trend #4: Data Privacy

#DataProtection has definitely been trending during 2018, dutifully sponsored by all the GDPR chaos. With GDPR, we have seen consumers regain control over their personal data, and companies have had to adapt to these new rules to ensure compliance with the new European regulation.

Data protection will continue to be a big theme for 2019, as companies continue to work on providing the level of data protection and security consumers now demand.

 

ePrivacy

Six months down the line, you’re probably still wondering how to turn the downsides of GDPR into marketing opportunities. And now, the next big change is fast approaching.

On top of all the work that has already been done, businesses in the EU will have to get ready for the new cookie law, ePrivacy. This new regulation will transform the way companies target their users online, as it will allow visitors to specify whether they want to accept website cookies or not.

With ePrivacy, marketers will look to find new means of procuring data, which will have an impact on the channels used. According to a recent Mailjet study, 30 % plan to reduce the amount of cookie-based display, paid search and retargeting they carry out, while 79 % of marketers predict they will use email marketing more post ePrivacy.

Email will grow post ePrivacy.
Mailjet Study: Marketers Plan to Shift to New Marketing Channels Post ePrivacy

Email Marketing Trend #5: Collaboration

Over the last few years, marketing teams have seen an increase in budget and size, with more people working on email campaigns together, both internally and externally.

Collaboration emerged as a big theme for companies in 2018, with teams looking for new tools and processes that will allow them to become more flexible and, most importantly, more productive.

For email, this means more people are involved in the creation of different campaigns, both within the company and in conjunction with external agencies. In fact, another study by Mailjet found that a third of marketers collaborate daily with others (including external agencies) on their email campaigns, and that email templates go through five different iterations before they are approved.

Collaborative tools

Fine-tuning how teams collaborate internally to avoid miscommunication or mistakes will be a top priority for companies, as will be finding the right tools to make this easier.

Solutions such as Email Planner, which allows teams to coordinate and map out their emailing campaigns, or Mailjet’s Collaboration Toolkit, which enables multiple users to work together on their templates in real time, will become crucial for expanding marketing departments.

Collaboration in Email
Mailjet’s Collaboration Toolkit

Wrapping up (TL;DR)

All in all, during 2019 companies will work on becoming much more effective in their email communications.

As email continues to grow, fighting for the user’s attention gets harder. Targeting contacts with relevant messages, attractive interactive designs, and effective brand storytelling that humanizes the company is now pivotal to a winning email marketing strategy.

Internally, data protection will continue to play a key part in the way companies operate, with ePrivacy heavily influencing the role of email as a strategic marketing channel.

The trend towards more distributed teams, as well as the growth in marketing departments and involvement of external agencies, means companies will have to redefine processes and find appropriate tools to enable team collaboration.

Email Trends 2019 Banner

At Mailjet, we love keeping up with the latest trends that our clients and smart marketers can directly use to improve their email strategy. And it seems like we aren’t the only ones!

If you want to learn more about what’s coming in 2019, check out Email Monday’s Future of Email Marketing & Automation overview – 2019 edition, where this post has been awarded honorary mention. 😉

2019 at Mailjet

To help companies work faster, together during 2019, Mailjet has launched its Collaboration Toolkit, a set of innovative features that allows teams to control what each member can do, edit templates with others in real time and leave comments to avoid the tedious back-and-forth on template building.

Mailjet Account Banner
Boost your email strategy in 2019 with Mailjet.

What email marketing trends will you be focusing on during 2019? Tell us all about your own #EmailTrends on Twitter!

6 Responsive Email Templates For Your Holiday Campaigns

The end of the year is an exciting and stressful time of the year for us marketers. Exciting, because we all look forward to the holidays, giving and receiving presents, and embracing our creative side to try and design with stunning holiday email templates.

But, at the same time, it’s crazy stressful. So many things to think about all at once: Halloween, Black Friday & Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year… All this comes at the time of the year when you have assess how the year went, and plan ahead for the next year that’s just around the corner.

Okay, sorry we didn’t mean to stress you out even more… And to be fair, there’s no reason for you to be that stressed. Because Mailjet has a surprise for you: six responsive email templates that will help you win the battle of the inbox this holiday season.

Responsive holiday email templates for the special dates

At Mailjet, we understand the struggles that marketers face during the Holiday period. And that’s why we always try and come up with new ideas to help make your life easier for all of us. This year, as part of our 2017 Holiday Toolkit, we have created three responsive email templates that allow you to create beautiful email campaigns in a matter of minutes.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Mailjet’s easy-to-use email editor, Passport, helps you design your own emails without the hassle of coding. But for some of us who aren’t very creative, coming up with a concept or layout can be time-consuming and maybe even frustrating.

Señores y señoras, here’s where our Holiday Templates come into play. Coded using our own open-source markup language, MJML, these templates are ready for you to use and adapt to match your own brand.

Black Friday Email Template

We’ve created an email template for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. We all know that the main focus on these two occasions is on promoting special offers, so you don’t want to distract the customer with useless information. You want to get straight to the point of what you are offering them, which is why the offer and CTA should be what stand out overall in the image.

Black Friday Holiday Email Template
Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday template keeps it nice and simple, with the combination between white and black providing an elegant touch. Use a solid background and avoid multiple CTAs to ensure you don’t lose the reader’s attention.

Another important thing is to be consistent with your brand, so that when your subscribers open the email, they recognize you straightaway.

Do you like our Black Friday email template? Download it here for free.

Christmas Email Template

Although during Christmas the focus is still on buying, it is quite different from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And our templates have been created to address these differences.

While during Black Friday the key is the discount or promotion itself, your Christmas campaigns need to give your subscribers a flavour of what you offer. Include an overview of some of your products, something that will make the reader think: “Oh, that would be perfect for X”.

Christmas Holiday Template
Use enticing titles that link back to the holiday season and give it a bit of Christmas touch, to attract the readers’ attention and get them into the holiday spirit. Lastly, take it a step further by using personalization and segmentation in your Christmas emails, to make your customers feel even more special.

Do you like our Christmas email template? Download it here for free.

Happy New Year Email Template

Okay, this one may come as a bit of a surprise. “Why do I need a Happy New Year template?”, you might wonder. Well, to send them your best wishes for the new year, of course.

You want to build brand loyalty by letting your customers know that you think about them, you cherish them and you wish them all the best for the coming year. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only emails that bring value to your business are promotional ones.

New Year Holiday Template 2017
And why not make them even more fun by including some animated content? Always remember that customers want to feel close to the brands.

Do you like our Happy New Year email template? Download it here for free.

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Responsive holiday email templates for your seasonal promotions

Seasonal product email template

Christmas time is buying time, too. Literally everybody is looking to buy presents for their loved ones and there is hardly any other period in which people are willing to spend as much money as they do during the Christmas season.

If you’re planning to send out a campaign promoting your products, check out our template Oslo. Its sleek design is perfect to highlight your seasonal offer and products. Enhance the Christmas feeling by including a festive picture at the top, and keep the email clean and simple, ensuring your products shine.

holiday email template for product promo
It’s also important to use high quality pictures, but make sure these are not to large, as they might not display properly on all devices. Choose a clear headline that describes the content and entices the reader to open your email, like “Our special Christmas products“.

And don’t forget: even if your holiday campaign is related to Christmas, it still needs to reflect your company’s brand identity.

Do you want to see all our templates? Check out our template gallery here.

Special promo email template

Saying “thank you” to your loyal customers is one of the most powerful things you can do. One of best way to do so is by offering a special promo discount.

Our template Cutely is perfect for that. It drives the reader’s attention to the central element, your special offer, but is also include some products that your customers might want to use the discount on. However, the focus should always be on the seasonal promotion, this is not your regular sales campaign.

holiday email template for special product offer
Be as personal as possible. This is your loyal customers we’re talking about, you want them to feel special. Include a personalized intro text, segment your lists based on the data you have from them or, even better, use dynamic content to target them better.

Do you want to see all our templates? Check out our template gallery here.

Company’s story email template

The end of the year is the perfect time to give your customers an end-of-the-year company summary. Duh, you might think. Yet many business still avoid talking about themselves.

Part of building brand loyalty is being open about what you’ve been up to and sharing your success with your customers. What did you achieve this year and what can your customers expect next year?

Our template Colorado is a great choice to do just that. It includes a timeline in which you can show your most important milestones, and also gives you the opportunity to add a quote from the CEO or another relevant employee. Top it up with a special gift or promotion, to celebrate and thank your customers for the success you’ve had this last year, and drive more traffic to your holiday offers.

holiday email template for year recap
Your email needs to engage your reader, so remember who your audience is. You are not sending this campaign to investors or stakeholders, you are sending it to your customers. Keep it entertaining and relevant. Don’t just give facts, create a story around your company that works alongside your company’s brand identity.

Do you want to see all our templates? Check out our template gallery here.

You can also find great email templates here.

Start designing your campaigns

As we’ve already said, our aim is to make life easier for all of us marketers. And our templates are extremely handy.

The best thing about using these Passport templates is that it’ll only take minutes to adapt and edit them to match your needs. Try them out or experiment with some of our other options by visiting our template gallery. You only have to access your Mailjet account or create a free account.

We hope that you love our templates as much as we do, and that they will help your email campaigns smash it in the holiday inbox. Just don’t forget the importance of the subject lines you use, cause they will make a huge impact on your open rates.

If you need any more inspiration on building your Holiday campaigns, you can find everything you need in our Mailjet’s Holiday Emailing Toolkit.

Have you created beautiful email campaigns with our Holiday Templates? Share your thoughts with us via Twitter.

 

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This blog post is an updated version of the post “Beautiful Responsive Email Templates For Your Holiday Campaigns“, published on the Mailjet blog on November 24, 2017 by Laura Chieri.

Black Friday: Tips for the Perfect Email Marketing Campaign

Some things keep coming back faster than you expected them to. As soon as the summer heat starts to fade, stores magically become filled with holiday decorations… and suddenly, you’re thinking to yourself  “oh, right, it’s that time of the year again…”. Yep, now’s the time to take your brushes and your tools out to craft your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.

But hey, we know it’s hard to be outstanding every single time you prepare an email campaign -and we know pressure’s high for this specific date, when consumers receive a mountain of emails each day with discounts and promotions from each and every brand they’ve ever subscribed to.

Raise up, email marketers: it’s time to design the perfect Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails. Just follow our steps and you’ll create a masterpiece.

 

Black Friday: Email Marketing Do’s & Don’ts

Choose a good, responsive Black Friday email template

Yes, we’re being Captain Obvious here. But no matter how attractive the prices you offer are, you can’t afford to send out an average looking Sale campaign with multiple CTAs, a festival of different fonts and kaleidoscopical colors. Last Black Friday, we still saw A LOT of these.

DON’T do this:

Black Friday Email - Design DON'Ts
Avoid Black Friday email designs that are not clear or easy to read on mobile.

 

A few rules to avoid a design disaster:

  1. Stick to a simple structure with columns (easier to get your email responsive)
  2. Keep a fair mix of images and text (about 60/40)
  3. Align fonts and size of your messages
  4. Decide which CTA buttons to use and make sure they are clearly displayed in a contrast color
  5. Have a look at our Ultimate Guide to Holiday Emailing to dig further.

DO this instead:

Black Friday Email - Design DOs
SEPHORA’s Black Friday email design is clear and ease to read on any device.

 

Does all of this sound like Mission Impossible to you? Don’t panic: you don’t need to hire the latest fancy designer in town for that.

Download our free Black Friday email template here and adapt it now using Mailjet’s email editor, Passport.

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Use Black Friday email content to your advantage

Don’t get us wrong – we just told you to make sure your email looks pretty, but going ahead, you also need to make sure design and content go hand in hand. For the past years, we’ve seen a minimalist trend out there with a lot of really, really beautiful Black Friday emails that just don’t tell you much about the sale, because… they’re just pretty.

DON’T do this:

Unless you’re sure everyone knows perfectly well what you offer already…

Black Friday Email - Content DON'Ts
Don’t only highlight your discounts on your Black Friday emails – show your products too!

 

Sure, a sleek design and a good CTA can go a long way, and some Black Friday emails are real works of art. But think again -this could work fine when you launch a brand new mysterious collection, to tease your loyal customers. But here, we’re talking about THE most competitive time of the year in the inbox; plus there’s little surprise/suspense effect on what a Black Friday offer can be made of.

If your contacts don’t immediately get what’s on sale, it’s double or nothing: either they’ll be intrigued and click to see more, or they’ll be slightly annoyed that you’re asking them to search by themselves what you’re offering and move on to another email. (Yes, your contacts can be lazy: never underestimate that.)

So, be sure to include a few product examples that entice people to use these amazing discounts right away. Also – while you’re at it, be sure to check out BigCommerce’s recent post on Holiday Email Marketing campaigns with great examples.

DO this instead:

Black Friday Email - Content DOs
Urban Outfitters’ Black Friday emails shows products and offers together to entice the reader.

 

Respect your brand identity in your Black Friday emails

We’ve said it before: having a dedicated email voice helps you stand out and be more easily identified in the inbox. It’s even more crucial during a noisy period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when all the brands are going to use the same wording and content with percentages of discounts, as well as potentially similar designs. By the way, don’t feel like you have to go black: you can also make color the new black and use a dark touch only here and there.

DON’T DO this:

Black Friday Email - Brand identity DON'Ts
Using the color black on your Black Friday emails is a common theme, but don’t forget your brand identity.

 

There’s no one recipe to create the perfect Black Friday email. The main idea is to make sure that your customers recognize you when they receive your email and read it in the crowd of other Black Friday emails. So we recommend that your emails clearly display your brand identity (logo, style, voice, type of subject lines, images…) in order to enhance your chances of capturing your reader’s attention.

DO this instead:

Black Friday Email - Brand identity DOs
This email from Agent Provocateur has it right: the brand colors are all over the email, with a few products displayed as well.

 

Or DO this with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns:

Another thing you can do to make sure that your contacts recognize you is to pair your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday emails: similar designs, slightly different messages, like Jonathan Adler.

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Emails - Brand Identity DOs
Aren’t these email twins just perfect for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

 

Make sure your Black Friday email stands out in the inbox

We’ve already said this: your contacts’ inbox will completely full on Black Friday, and most likely the majority of your subscribers will only dedicate a few seconds to each email they’ve received. But… you don’t want this to happen to your campaign and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent it. Great.

To stand out in the inbox and ensure that your contacts pay attention to (and appreciate) your offers, sometimes you have to go all in and give your campaign an innovative touch.Want some design ideas that can capture your readers’ attention? You can play with these elements to create an unforgettable email:

DO this:

It’s your turn: create a stunning Black Friday email

And voilà: now that you’ve got all our master tricks, you’re all set to be the next Picasso of email marketing this season.

Remember the tips:

  1. Choose a responsive email template and throw in the right number of CTAs (that is, not many).
  2. Add a few carefully-selected images from your brand library that highlight your top products.
  3. Respect your brand image so your clients know it’s you.
  4. Add interactive content and GIFs to stand out in the inbox.

With Mailjet’s drag-and-drop email editor, Passport, you can easily build a stunning email from an existing gallery of templates, so you didn’t need to stress about getting it right. We’ve got a great template gallery for you to choose from.

And if you’re not sure where to start or don’t have time to adapt one of our traditional templates, download our free Black Friday email template here. Designing a great Black Friday email this year couldn’t be easier.

Download our free Black Friday email template.

Ready to create a masterpiece? On your marks, set, design: share your tips and templates with us on Twitter.

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This blog post is an updated version of the post “Crafting the Perfect Black Friday Email Campaign“, published on the Mailjet blog on November 3rd, 2016 by Mylène Blin.

Tips & Ideas For Your
Halloween Emails

Getting ready for Halloween is fun but it can be hard work too. Hollowing out a pumpkin. Carefully applying fake blood. Trying to put together a costume to rival Chica the spider-dog’s. Like most prep, crafting a Halloween email campaign that gives your subscriber goosebumps (in a good way), takes preparation and creativity.

To help you out, we’ve handpicked some scarily good ideas to help you spice up your Halloween emails. Check out these tips and start brainstorming how to turn your campaigns from good to… devilishly good. 😏

 

Include a trick and a treat in your Halloween emails

Look at how Coca-Cola injected some fun into the Halloween emails by inviting subscribers to dress up as their favorite drink. Not only is this a good way to give the customer a good laugh, but also cleverly encourages free brand marketing. Take this as an example and start thinking about how you can leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing (WOM).

Coca-Cola halloween

Check out Coca-Cola’s Halloween email!

Ensure your Halloween email marketing looks devilishly good

Halloween is the perfect opportunity to dress up your emails to give them an edge. Mango stays true to its personality with this elegant, yet rather cheeky, message. The title is eye-catching, set in sharp contrast against the white background, and the paragraph adds a twist, combining its spooky theme with some intrigue.

Mango Halloween Email

Mango’s Halloween email design is elegant and clean.

Create Halloween emails that build up the suspense

A mystery deal can be a great way to keep your subscriber hooked and get them to visit your website. Pull & Bear’s ‘Trick or Treat’ Halloween email campaign invites customers to play a virtual scratch game to win a discount.

Spicing up your emails with a sense of mystery will help your click-through rate, as your contacts are likely to be tempted to try their luck, which will translate into visits to your website.

Halloween Email Pull&Bear

Try including a game, like Pull & Bear does in its Halloween email campaign.

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Customize your Halloween email marketing

Subscribers are mostly engaged by helpful, relevant email. This can be anything from including on-trend topics, customizing email to their preferences, or catering for their Halloween needs.

This NOT ON THE HIGH STREET.com campaign includes useful content for the time-strapped shopper, with links to everything one might need for the perfect Halloween party, from sweet treats to fancy dresses.

Let the reader know that you have a cure for all their pain points, that you have what they are looking for, and that they won’t need to look anywhere else. They won’t need to do any tiring Halloween costume hunting after work or spend endless evenings crafting decorations. Their Halloween party can be sorted in just a few magical clicks!

Halloween Campaign by Not On The High Street

NOT ON THE HIGH STREET’s email includes everything you need to enjoy this Halloween.

Free all kinds of creative monsters in your Halloween emails

Make your Halloween email stand out by being bold and using fresh, innovative content. Lands End does this cleverly, by bringing its products to life with the use of an animation, an element that will most definitely attract the reader’s attention. They also give their email a different twist, opting for ‘Black Magic’ as their title, rather than the usual ‘Trick or Treat’ They even top it off with a short Halloween themed poem.

Be creative, innovative and original and you’ll see how your effort pays off.

Halloween Email Land's End

Want to see the animation in Lands End’s Halloween email? Check it out here

Bonus: Adapt your Halloween email marketing to your industry

While for some industries Halloween-ifying their email content can be quite straight-forward , others might have a bit of brainstorming to do. If you’re not feeling your most creative self today, here are a few ideas on how to give your holiday metrics some oomph:

E-commerce Halloween emails

Bring your products to life in Halloween style. List the essential ingredients for the perfect party, and let the reader know that you have everything they need for it.

Software Halloween emails

Add a spooky twist to your product, perhaps include an invite to an exclusive Halloween event, or unlock some scarily remarkable feature or content.

Travel & Experiences Halloween emails

Draw together some Halloween events or experience days local to your subscriber, or use this opportunity to promote some inspiring destinations. Many places have their own local traditions around Halloween (like Día de los Muertos), it could be a great opportunity to promote them!

Food & Spirits Halloween emails

Give your contacts Halloween recipes so good your readers will want to stay up cooking all night. Focus on classic ingredients (pumpkin!) and on spooky-looking dishes. Want to make it even better? Run a contest and ask your subscribers to share photos of their creations with you. User generated content will be your new best friend!

Beauty & Well-being email Halloween emails

Let your subscribers know that whether they want the perfect make-up for their costume or they actually want to look a bit less like a monster, your products can do the magic.

These marketers know that it takes work to turn a great idea into great copy and design. Draw inspiration from these campaigns and make sure your email wins best-dressed in the Halloween inbox. As for your own winning costume, you might need to look elsewhere. Happy Halloween!

Do you have any great ideas or advice for a Halloween campaign? Feel free to share them with us on Twitter!
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This blog post is an updated version of the post “Fright School Friday: Email That Wins The Holiday Inbox“, published on the Mailjet blog on October 30th, 2015 by Sasha Seddon.

Email Marketing: The Basics Marketers Should Know

When you’re just starting out with email marketing, it can seem like there’s a never-ending checklist of to-dos. Building your contact list, planning your email marketing strategy and learning from your results… There’s just too much to think about.

Don’t fret though, we’re here to get you started without breaking a sweat. This guide’s going to cover the ins-and-outs, the A to Z of all the essentials. Ready to kick-start your email marketing strategy? Read on!

 

What is email marketing?

Email marketing is one segment of a company’s overall digital marketing strategy.

Email marketing is the use of email to promote products or services and to develop a relationship with a database of existing and potential customers, that helps us achieve our marketing goals.

Why email marketing?

Email marketing is still the best performing marketing channel, outperforming others like social media, search engine optimization, paid search and affiliate marketing. In fact, according the the DMA, email marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is up to £32.28 for every £1 spent, from £30.03 the previous year.

The main reason is that email marketing is the only channel that allows companies to target their audience with personalized messages, which not only enables them to promote their products/services, but also to build and nurture relationships with clients at different stages of the customer lifecycle.

email marketing weight
Source: Econsultancy, 2016

How to do email marketing right

We’ve told you how effective email marketing is, and probably by now you’re already eager to get started. Worry not, we’re here to tell you what you need to do.

Build your email marketing contact list

Step one when planning your email marketing strategy is actually having people to send your emails to. There are many ways to grow your customer base organically: using your different channels, providing incentives, relying on word-of-mouth… Overall, emailing is all about testing different things. One method might work more quickly for you, or a combination might be best, so it’s a good idea to try different ones out.

But remember, under GDPR, you need to ensure that you’re only emailing people that have given you explicit consent. Make sure you have a clear consent message and that you’re keeping proof of consent for all your customers.

Using all the marketing channels at your disposal

Website

Your website should be the first place to start when building a contact list. Customers visiting your blog or feature pages already have an interest in what you have to offer and enticing them to sign up might be easier here than anywhere else.

Here at Mailjet, we incorporate widgets into a range of content, including blog pieces, whitepapers and case studies, and we’d advise you to do the same. Include an opt-in form at the bottom of each blog post and make sure white papers, as well as on- demand webinars all include lead gen forms. To further incentivize sign-ups, leverage social proof by including a counter that shows how many happy subscribers are already receiving your newsletter.

email marketing example
Email marketing collection example
Social

Integrating your social media and email marketing strategies is a great way to leverage both. If you’re looking to grow your contact database through your social platforms, then you’ll need to tell your followers about the benefits of joining your mailing list, whether that is great content, competitions or exclusive deals.

The Twitter Lead Generation Card allows you to easily attach an email signup box to a regular tweet. You can also use these cards as part of your ad campaign to reach new prospects.

Facebook’s call-to-action (CTA) function allows you to add a range of buttons to your business page. At the bottom right corner of the cover photo, you’ll see a button that says “Create call-to-action”. When you click this, a pop-up screen will appear with more options for customizing your sign-up button. The next two screens will then allow you to further define the ‘landing page’ across mobile devices; you’ll be able to choose whether the button directs a customer back to your site or to a mobile app.

Offline

Depending on your business, you might have face-to-face contact with your customers in physical stores or at events. Make sure you’re making the most of these opportunities to drive your users to your digital experience and use email to join the dots between your presence in the real and digital worlds.

You can offer to send customers an e-receipt instead of a paper one if they purchase something from your store, or just encourage them to join your contact list with exclusive deals. On top of that, ensure that all your print materials, including pamphlets and business cards, draw attention to your email program and the value of subscribing.

Incentivize and grow your email marketing list

If you’re an e-commerce business, you’ve likely used incentives to drive sign-ups, like providing a discount off of the first order. This is especially effective in capturing that wavering customer who wants to purchase an item that’s just a little over budget.
No matter what your industry is though, incentives are always a great way to convince users to subscribe. Trading an email address in exchange for a gift (whether this be a free eBook or a product discount) doesn’t seem like too bad an offer.

 

email marketing guide content
Exemple of email list building – Mailjet’s form

 

One downside to keep in mind, though, is that some subscribers may sign up for the offer, intending to unsubscribe shortly after. Keep these contacts engaged with a drip welcome campaign where you show them how your product will continue to add value after that first purchase or action.

Email marketing subscribers can’t be bought

Growing a list organically can be hard work and some people might be tempted to purchase a contact database as a short-SPAM cut, not realizing how much it can compromise their whole email strategy.

Never buy an email marketing list, this can hurt your sender reputation with ISPs and with your customers. Here are a few reasons why:

  • These lists likely include addresses mined from the web by spambots.
  • These users are probably already being bombarded by other buyers, and are very likely to delete, unsubscribe or mark your email as SPAM.
  • There’s also a big chance that they’ll include SPAM traps, email addresses set up by ISPs to catch spammers.

However they are generated, SPAM complaints can greatly damage your sender reputation and therefore your deliverability, which is your ability to send your campaigns into the inbox. Understanding the kind of things that can impact your deliverability and following the best practices is essential if you want to succeed with your email strategy.

Want to learn more about how to have a great email deliverability? Check out our Email Marketing Deliverability 101 Guide to learn more.

Keep your contact list clean

Emailing contacts who have no interest in receiving your campaigns is both pointless and harmful. People that don’t really want to read your emails will ignore them and delete them, which will make your engagement rates go down. Some contacts might even feel bothered by the amount of undesired messages they receive daily and end up marking them as spam, which will negatively impact your sender reputation.

To ensure your contact list is clean and you’re only emailing people that really want to receive your emails, make sure your Unsubscribe link is easy to find at the end of your email. Also remove inactive contacts every three to six months, to prevent unwanted spam complaints and lower engagement metrics.

Before doing so, though, you might want to send your subscribers a re-engagement campaign, asking them whether they still want to receive your messages.

Check out our complete guide, to become an expert in growing and building your email marketing list.

Email marketing goals: How to define them

As we said at the beginning, email is the best marketing channel, driving the highest ROI. It’s a great way to attract new customers and keep existing ones engaged. But, just like with every other marketing channel, email is nothing without a clear email marketing strategy.

So before you jet off thinking you’re all set, you need to define your goals. Decide what constitutes success for each campaign and use this as a benchmark in A/B testing and comparing campaign performance. This will give you a clear indication of your ROI and whether you’re doing all that you can to boost it.

What does success look like for your campaign?

Before designing and sending a campaign, you’ve got to know why you’re sending it. Always ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve with this email?”, and then find the most appropriate way to assess if you’ve achieved your goals.

If you’re looking to drive exposure to your brand through a referral campaign, you’ll be aiming for an increase in sign ups, email forwards and possibly social shares. So, when A/B testing different CTAs for a promotional email, you might want to pay particular attention to your click-through rates. Success will have a different meaning in each of your emails, so bear this in mind as you’re planning your campaigns.

Once you have an email marketing list and your goals are clear, you’ll be ready to start emailing your contacts and driving engagement with your campaigns. You might even be feeling a bit overwhelmed, though, unsure of what emails you should be sending and what you’ll need to include in them.

Mastering the secret weapons of email marketing

In absolutely every email, there are a number of elements that are always present and that could make the difference between someone opening your message or moving it to their trash.

email marketing structure example
Newsletter structure example

Subject line

The subject line should make your email stand out in the inbox. Although it’s important to keep the tone and voice true to your brand, don’t be afraid to try different approaches. Funny phrases, questions or even emojis can help draw attention to your email.

From Name

The From Name is your way to tell your contacts who’s emailing them. Ensure it’s recognizable by using your brand’s name or, if you opt for a more creative or personalized From Name, help your contacts know it’s you by keeping these variations consistent.

Preheader

We like to call it “the unsung hero of email”. Many people forget about the power the preheader has to summarize the content of an email, especially on mobile devices. It should complement your subject line and draw attention to your campaign.

Call To Action

Think about your goals when creating your CTAs. Consider what you want your subscribers to do after reading your email and design clear CTAs that are easy to navigate on desktop and mobile.

Email campaigns to get you started

The great thing about email marketing is that you can gain real-time, in-depth insights into your audience and use this to hone your marketing strategy. Whether your first campaign’s metrics successfully meet your goals or not, it’ll be an excellent learning experience.

Before you get to know your subscribers better and adapt your email marketing to their interests, you have to  rst check that they’re happy to be contacted by you.

Starting off with a double opt-in

This is an automated triggered email sent to someone right after they opt-in to confirm their interest. This ensures that your recipients are invested in receiving your emails and that their addresses are correct and active. Checking all of this from the beginning helps you maintain a stronger sender reputation down the line.

 

email double optin example
Example of Double Opt-in

Check out this article to learn more about double opt-in.

Following up with a drip welcome series

The key to a winning drip campaign is to engage customers, drive value and enhance the experience at each onboarding step. For example, the first campaign sent to new subscribers can include an enticing, personalized subject line with their first name. The second action you might want to communicate on is completing an account or making a purchase.
It’s also great practice to mention the original point of contact, reminding the customer where and why they first signed up to receive your email (i.e. entering their email address to RSVP to one of your webinars).

 

Welcome email marketing
Welcome Email Example

 

A great campaign to follow up these with is a referral email program, essentially a digital re-invention of a timeless marketing method. A business could gain good standing and market itself through word-of-mouth, and the referral email campaign of today is not all that different. It simply accelerates the process, encouraging your existing customers to spread the good news about your brand to people they know.

Driving engagement with a newsletter

A newsletter is a powerful tool for building a lasting connection with a customer. Using integrated analytics, you can understand how your reader interacts with your email and adapt your content accordingly. The key ingredient for success here is to supply your customer with content that is engaging, useful and relevant.

Use newsletters as a medium to tell your customers about company news, product updates, promotions and leverage your thought leadership content (eBooks, whitepapers, blog articles). Use a template builder such as Mailjet’s Passport, to simplify the newsletter creation process. With Passport, you can add, edit and rearrange elements and sections, insert an HTML box to inject custom code or build in media components such as a live Twitter feed.

 

email marketing example
Newsletter example

 

To learn more about how to create the perfect email newsletter, feel free to check out our complete guide.

Designing engaging and responsive email marketing

We live in a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising at home and on the road. Advances in technology have meant that email marketers now have to design for both the mobile device and the on-the-go consumer. There is a demand for diverse, engaging and mobile-responsive visual material, so here are some ways to supply this.

Designing email marketing for mobile users

A subscriber is unlikely to bother looking at a message that is visually unappealing and is difficult to read. One way to safeguard your email appeal is to ensure that your design is mobile-responsive – important as 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device. If your messages don’t render properly across mobile devices, different clients and browsers, it won’t be a pretty picture for your user – or your ROI.

At Mailjet, we know this is a struggle and work to make designing responsive email an easy task. Our drag and drop email editor, Passport, allows you to easily create responsive emails that render properly on all screen sizes. Email developers can also leverage MJML, our open source markup language, which allows you to seamlessly code your email, and then generates responsive HTML code that’ll look great on all devices.

 

Mailjet's responsive email marketing solution
Mailjet’s responsive email marketing solution

 

Designing email marketing for deliverability

Email size can have a big impact on deliverability. Emails that are too large take a long time to load and will be chopped by some email clients.

Knowing the appropriate size for images and finding the right balance between images and text is key to ensure your contacts see the message just as you intended them to, but it is also important to prevent them from being flagged as SPAM.

For example, emails consisting of just images tend to look spammy to ISPs, as this is a technique used by those trying to prevent spam filters from spotting certain wording on their messages.

To learn more about how to avoid the spam filters, consult our complete guide.

Designing email marketing for user psychology

Understanding how your readers will read your content will help you produce better emails to achieve your marketing goals.

Direct your reader

The top left corner of the email tends to be the initial focus of the reader if their native language is read from left-to-right. You can use this area to make your identity and purpose immediately clear, either by a concise, accurate description about the email or your brand logo. Make your header image clickable so that it’s easy for potential customers to land on your site.

In every case, remember to arrange items according to the order you want them to be read. This will make for a smooth user experience and, most importantly, help guide the reader to the actionable content.

Place actionable content above the fold

Most email clients allow around 300-500 pixels of space for email previews, with content located in this area referred to as above the fold (ATF). Every second and every pixel counts, so optimize this area by including a clear, but non-intrusive CTA.

Color for your context and audience

The colors you choose will influence your customer’s feelings for your email and your brand in general.

A good starting point is to make sure your color scheme doesn’t impact on the visibility of the text and that it complements your brand. To launch your email marketing to the next level, make sure your color is suited to your specific context and demographic.

An e-commerce company might use a red CTA in a promotional email to create a sense of urgency and excitement. For a brand wanting to establish itself as a thought leader, a blue or purple-based color scheme will be useful in conveying reliability or wisdom.

Once you’ve chosen colors that complement your brand, don’t detract from or obscure your message, and are right for your context and audience, A/B test your ideas. Let your customers have the final say before you send the campaign to your whole contact list. You might be surprised by the result. Marketing is a brilliant combination of art and science, but these aspects have to go hand-in-hand.

 

Kissmetrics about email marketing
Source: KISSmetrics

Test before sending your campaign

To ensure that you’re really showing your true colors (as well as optimized images and functioning links!), you’ll need to test your email marketing before sending. You can send yourself a copy or use your email editor’s testing options.

Does your unsubscribe link work? Do your images render properly? Don’t forget to look for potential typos or grammatical mistakes, check all links and make sure your CTAs are easily clickable on mobile too.

Platforms like Litmus or Email on Acid allow you to test your email and see how it would look on different email clients. Alternatively, you can set up an account with each of the most popular email clients (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo…), and check that your email is compatible with these before contacting your entire list.

Making email marketing relevant

Nowadays, the average person receives 130 emails a day, but according to the DMA only 16% of those are truly relevant. Understanding why your customers go to your website, their interests and budgets are essential to produce emails that are targeted to each of your contacts. To ensure your email marketing strategy is a success, you need to create unique messages that really answer your customers’ needs, and send them the right email at the right time.

Segment your email marketing campaigns

Segmenting your campaigns based on the data you have available is a great way to send your customers emails that are more relevant to them.

Anything from the contact data you gathered during the signing up process, any behavioral data you have from their engagement with your emails and any data based on your users’ previous interactions with your website will allow you to target them better and to send them contextually relevant emails. Splitting your lists up by gender, location, behavioral patterns or purchase history can help add context, making your customers feel like you know them.

Learn how to do it with Mailjet through this step-by-step guide.

Personalization is at the heart of conversions

Personalization allows you to speak to your customers as individuals and engage with them on a one-to-one basis, at scale. It ranges from the simple details, like including your contact’s name in the subject line, to adding dynamic and tailored content that targets each and every one of them. Some recommendation tools allow you to personalize your emails based on previous activity or browsing history, similarly to what brands like Netflix and Amazon do.

 

Example of email marketing personalization
Example of email marketing personalization

 

Email marketing automation

Email Automation allows you to send the right email to the right contact, at the right time. Automating this process will not only save you resources, but it will also strengthen your relationship with your customers, increase engagement, build trust and, most importantly, improve your ROI. Email Automation allows you to set predefined scenarios that trigger a series of workflows, like welcome drip campaigns, anniversary messages or abandoned cart emails.

If you want to master Email Automation, our Email Marketing Automation Best Practice Guide has everything you need.

Get to know your customers better

For some, sending campaigns might look like a rather straightforward process: gather ideas, design the email, press SEND. However, limiting your email marketing activity to this could mean repeatedly delivering messages that don’t work, or missing out on the opportunity to learn from past experiences.

A/B test your email marketing campaigns

A/B testing is a simple way to try out new ideas and to make sure your email content is the best it can be. Instead of going with your gut feeling and assumptions, A/B testing gives you results based on actual behavior – allowing you to find a subject line that really speaks to your user, or a CTA that will ramp up your click-through rate. Pick one variable to change (e.g. subject line) and keep the rest of your email constant, so you can pinpoint exactly what caused the result.

There are multiple ideas you could test, and different businesses might find that what works for others doesn’t work for them. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:

Emoji vs. text-only subject line

The use of emojis in subject lines is becoming more popular, but not all audiences react to it in the same way. Depending on contact list demographics such as age and social media usage, emojis might have a varying success rate, so it’s worth testing whether it drives higher opens.

Sending at the start vs. end of the week

Are customers most likely to be receptive after a refreshing weekend or during the week? Perhaps they completely unplug during the weekend and are most active on Monday mornings. Or, you may find that they don’t have time to check personal email during the week and are in the mood to purchase or engage during the weekend.

A left, right or centered CTA

If you don’t need to provide much information, a centered button might capture attention best. Or, positioning the CTA to the left or the right might work better with directional cues present in the email, like arrows, or with the natural reading direction of the user.

You don’t have to limit yourself when experimenting, though. If you have a lot of ideas for a single element, find the winner with our A/B testing feature, which allows you to test up to 10 different versions to get even more granular results.

It’s important to remember that this shouldn’t be a one-off project – keep testing to make sure your email marketing co-evolves with your audience and its preferences.

Asking your customer for their feedback

Measuring metrics such as open and click-through rates is useful in pinpointing what is and isn’t working in your email campaigns. A useful strategy to complement this is to collect customer feedback.

By asking users to leave a review, you can better understand why they love (or hate) your brand in general, giving you ammunition for future marketing. You may be asking for a favor here, but remember that all customers like to be heard. This type of campaign shows that you value each and every user’s opinion, while also providing useful material for customer success story campaigns.

Conclusion on Email Marketing

Although creating a winning email marketing strategy can take some time, in this guide we’ve given you the tools to get you started. There may be a fair bit of ground to cover before sending that first email, but we’ve broken the process down into simple steps. However, email marketing is a learning experience, and even if one thing works for some businesses, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours.

You’ll be able to find out a great deal about your contacts through analytics, A/B testing and Campaign Comparison, which will allow you to master the art of emailing your own audience.

The world of email is in constant change, so make sure you’re staying up to date with the new trends and don’t forget to share your tips and ideas on Twitter.