How Email Can Make Up For Declining Organic Facebook Reach

If you’re like 55% of marketers, you have seen a significant decrease in your Facebook page’s engagement since they changed the algorithm to encourage “more meaningful social interactions with family and friends.” While social media platforms are, of course, an important way to connect with your audience, it’s increasingly become clear that doing so means you are communicating on someone else’s property – not your own. You do not own the relationship, the channel, or the data, and therefore are at the mercy of how other platforms decide to distribute your content.

100K followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn is not nearly the same as 100K subscribers on your newsletter. Assuming you land in 99% of inboxes, and get a respectable open rate of 20%, you are already well above the rate of Facebook followers that will even have a chance of seeing your post. Way back in 2012, organic reach on Facebook was at an all time high of 16%, this was down to 6.5% in 2014, and since changes to Facebook’s algorithm this year brands are seeing organic reach around 2%.

While social media offers the benefit of personalization and targeting in a way we didn’t know possible only a few years ago, email marketing is right there with them and in fact is doing so in a way that is based on the explicit permission of the audience. Something that is, of course, becoming increasingly important in a new age of Data Privacy and GDPR.

The question then is when do you want to use paid and organic content on social media platforms? Do you want to be paying for one click to your website, or do you want to be paying for the beginning of a warm and recurring relationship with your audience? By growing your email list, and from there building a quality, permission-based, relationship, you are building value in your own property.

To make up for this diminishing impact of organic reach on social media platforms, it’s important to apply what you’ve learned from social media’s personalization and data analysis to your email marketing.

 

Email Marketing & Personalization

Email offers the unique ability to personalize content to your audience – who they are and what they like. Personalization extends beyond just calling out their [First_Name], allowing marketers to curate content, links, images, and even videos based on any data and metrics you have received from the user. This is especially true for online retailers who benefit more than many other brands with advanced data including buying history, location, and more. Today, however, only 39% of online retailers send personalized product recommendations.

At first, personalization can seem daunting when you think about customizing a message to every single individual in your list, a list that may reach into the millions. Personalization, however, doesn’t need to be about one-to-one relationships, instead it is about personalizing your content to broad categories like interests, behaviours, or any attribute that can be shared by many. If you know from previous email engagement, through your website, or any other data collection method, that an email address is associated with a certain attribute – you can use this to personalize future emails.

For example, did they open a previous email about a shoe sale? Did they click a link about women’s jeans? Did they select a specific dropdown item from a menu?

The Miami Heat captures your favorite player when you sign up for their email list. How do they use this information? In any an infinite amount of ways – they could segment their list so only people who select that player receive the content (more on that below) or they could feature a rotating case of players in their bulk email and personalize who will appear in the email based on the user. If you’re favorite player is Dwayne Wade – guess who’s video interview the Miami Heat include in their email?

 

Email List Segmentation

As alluded to above, personalization and segmentation are in the same family but are different for a few important reasons. Whereas personalization is about substituting content, images, text, etc. based on data within a mass email, segmentation is about chopping up your contact lists and sending only to certain people…based on data. This could be based on their location, whether they’ve recently opened an email, their level of engagement in your products, who their favourite player is (again), their favorite color, whether they identify as a dolphin or a poodle, whatever you can have fun with and use to serve up content they’d enjoy.

Segmentation is a great way to not only personalize content, but to save money and dramatically increase your ROI. For instance, Mailjet is a volume-based email model meaning our plans are priced on the number of emails you send. If you send an email to every single one of the 100K subscribers of your newsletter, you will be paying for 100K emails.

However, if you segment your list so that only active users receive the email about new product updates, or only US-based subscribers receive your email about an upcoming event in San Francisco, then you not only increase the likelihood of engagement, of return of investment, of the reputation of your domain to inboxes like Gmail – but you also save money. In fact, according to research from Liveclicker, a company that provides personalization services, behavioral targeting delivers an 8 percent increase in email revenue.

Our friends over at Google Cloud Platform know this well. Do you think everyone on their newsletter list received this email? Or only those in the Bay Area?

 

Email Automation & Integrations

Almost as important as sending the right content to your audience, is sending at the right time. Marketing automation tools, paired with the personalization tips above, allow for you to communicate with your customers at the optimal time based on any number of triggered events or actions such as newsletter signup or purchases. For example, when users make their first purchase on your website, or sign up for your newsletter, you can increase engagement and personalization through a drip campaign customized to their interests and behaviours.

 

 

When you first sign up for a weekly newsletter, it may take up to 7 days to actually receive that first newsletter in your inbox, depending on when you signed up. You devoted all of your energy and money in order to (1) identify your target audience, (2) find out how to get their attention, (3) provide value or serve up an ad to get them to sign up for their newsletter, and then after all that you just add them to a long list of other users. They are as hungry for your content as anyone on that list, but you don’t serve them what they want, when they want it.

Automation allows you to send the content they are craving right away so that the weekly bulk newsletter isn’t the first email they receive from you. Perhaps the first one is a welcome email featuring a blog or video you think they will enjoy (ideally based on the data they’ve given you already). Perhaps the second email is something of even more value, like a discount code or a one-time sale. By building trust and offering value right off the bat, you can count on this user continuing to open your emails moving forward.

You can take your automation even further by integrating apps like Shopify, Wufoo, and yes even Facebook.

Many brands use integrations like Shopify to leverage the data they receive from triggers like purchases and abandoned carts to better personalize their campaigns and segment their lists. Doggyloot for instance keeps their customers coming back with e-commerce integrations into their email marketing to not only personalize the content but also target their sending to those they know are already interested in purchasing a product.

Doggyloot

Permission-Based Targeting

As organic reach on social media declines, and we move increasingly towards a permission-based marketing world, it doesn’t mean we need to move away from tailored content informed by data. In fact, as opposed to relying on a mysterious algorithm on property you do not own, learn more heavily into your own permission-based data collection tools on property you do own: your email lists.

The Best Mother’s Day Email Campaigns

Mother’s Day is coming, and on top of Sunday brunches and maybe a couple mimosa’s, you can also expect an increase in soft pinks and flower GIFs in your inbox. By the way, this year it’s May 13th – here’s a Google Calendar link so you don’t forget. :)

We love these times of year, including Holiday Season, Valentines Day, and Summer Break, because it brings out the most creativity in marketing departments and brands trying to distinguish themselves from the crowd. This is especially true for ecommerce and retail sites who are emailing about upcoming Mother’s Day sales, but just as interestingly, brands of all stripes are celebrating mothers in their own unique way.

 

Applying Best Practices to Your Email Campaigns

In honor of our mothers, we wanted to showcase some of the more effective and beautifully designed emails and newsletters, and give you a little look into what we love about them. Each of these campaigns utilizes many of our recommended best practices, including using images and GIFs to increase engagement, clear calls-to-action, simple design, alignment to your overall brand, and more.

BUT, we also would love your input! As you take a look at these campaigns, be sure to vote on your favourite at the bottom of the page, and we’ll tally these up to present to the world what the Mailjet community considers the best Mother’s Day newsletter 🏆.

 

Anthropologie: Power of Simplicity in your Email Campaigns

 

Anthropologie Email

 

First up is Anthropologie’s To Mom With Love email. What we love about this campaign is its simplicity, focusing the email on one clear purpose: shop Mother’s Day Gifts.

The image is simple yet beautiful and brand-aligned, making it clear right off the top what this email is about. Their call-to-action, “Shop Mother’s Day Gift”, is more descriptive than many in this list, which simply state “Shop Now”. They also use colors really effectively, creating a clear emotional reaction of energy, love, and motherhood.

 

Jack Spade: Email Design to Increase Clicks

 

Jack Spade Email

 

We warned you about soft pinks. This email continues the trend started by Anthropologie with it’s simple yet impactful design. They also take advantage of the fact that many of their customers are used to shopping on their website, and so they maintain this brand consistency with the website heading at the top, which creates familiarity and allows readers to navigate to any page on the site they want.

But make no mistake, the page THEY want you to go to is the Mother’s Day “Shop Now” link. The witty (and all too relatable) headline “You Never Call Anymore” literally forms the top of a funnel that pulls your eyes downwards to the one CTA, “Shop Now”. Brilliant.

 

SeatGeek: Brand Alignment

SeatGeek Mothers Day

 

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

First, they know their audience, and as a result they are branding this email not like what we’ve seen above with Mother’s Day colors and flowers, but instead with their on-brand blue and yellow. Their audience, as a sports ticketing mobile app, is predominantly younger users who interact with their product on a mobile device.

Second, SeatGeek is the only example in this list that utilized a GIF in its email, and it does so in a creative way that (1) reveals more information the more you watch, and (2) draws your attention to the core message of the email: It’s Mother’s Day and she just wants to spend time with you.  

 

Dr. Martens: Email Personalization

Doc Martens

 

Our last contestant is Dr. (Doc) Martens. I’ll push past the obligatory beautiful flower arrangement, bold headlines, and website-navigation and instead focus on their email personalization. While this email is clearly a Mother’s Day email, trying to remind their audience that they have some gifts to buy, it’s also using past click behaviour and engagement data to curate a list of products that they think will be interesting to the user.

Plus, the way the flowers grow out of the text? Love it (Pro tip: just as with your mother, it’s always good to show respect to a designer).

 

Key Takeaways: Email Inspiration for Mothers Day

All together, these campaigns touch on some of the really important best practices you need to consider when putting together your emails campaigns, and especially your Mother’s Day campaigns.

  • Keep it Simple: Your campaign shouldn’t be asking your audience to do too much. One clear Call-to-Action and one core message is ideal to generate the most engagement.
  • Keep it Brand Aligned: While the soft pinks may feel like a necessity at Mother’s Day, don’t forget that you have a brand you need to maintain.
  • The Power of GIFs: A cat GIF is one thing, a custom GIF that can showcase your value, stay on brand, and also communicate your core message? That’s the tops.
  • Personalization: With your email platform, there is so much you can do to personalize content and segment audiences to increase engagement on your emails. Your Mom’s favourite Mother’s Day gift is a one-of-kind homemade card, why would your audience be any different.

 

We’ve love your thoughts – which email best captures the Mother’s Day spirit? Which email are you desperately trying to click on? Leave your vote here!

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

Why We Trust Google Cloud Platform To Help Deliver Your Emails

This blog devotes a lot of time to telling you about our product features, our services, and our tools to improve your deliverability. In short, everything you use to build, send and deliver your emails to the inbox. But what we don’t always tell you about is what’s silently powering all of this: our infrastructure.

And if you’re wondering, “why now?” it’s because we’ve just changed our infrastructure in a big way that’s going to allow you to send emails faster and more reliably.

 

 

An Email Platform That Scales

Any online product needs storage to function. For Mailjet, this meant starting on dedicated servers: physical servers rented and exclusively used by Mailjet. Dedicated servers fit well with our original needs, but now not only are we growing, but our customers and their email campaigns are as well. In fact, together we now send billions of emails every month. We needed a platform that would scale with you.

Challenges Of A Dedicated Server in the Email Industry

Every company has their own “magic time” to send their marketing emails. Transactional emails also tend to peak during different times of the day or the week (for example, Monday and Friday are peak times when people book airline tickets). What this boils down to is HUGE fluctuations in email volume being sent at any time. Often up to 20x higher at peak periods.

The challenge was to make sure your emails were processed and sent lightning fast, despite periods of high demand, we (and you) had to invest in the highest level of computing power even when we didn’t need it. It’s like paying for electricity when you aren’t even using it – it didn’t make sense. Which is why, come 2016, with neither yours or our growth slowing down, we decided to make a change.

What Are The Benefits Of Google Cloud Platform For You?

There are many differences between using dedicated servers versus a public cloud like Google Cloud Platform, but the biggest one is that we no longer were confined to a fixed number of servers. In fact, we now have the ability to use as many, or as little, of Google Cloud Platform’s servers in an instant, ensuring your email campaigns are smoother to build and faster to send. The advantages were huge for everyone using Mailjet.

Mailjet and Google Cloud Platform also already knew each other really well. In fact, we’re the only European ESP accredited by Google to send bulk emails through Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine.

Ultimately, the benefits below are how Google Cloud Platform will help meet your needs both now, and especially as you grow:

Eliminated Latency

With Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Mailjet now has access to computing power that is extremely flexible, allowing it to process up to 20x more volume at a given moment. This ensures that you can send campaigns in high volumes, and at peak times, and have them arrive in the inbox instantly.

More Reliable Platform

Mailjet is now powered at any given moment by the server we choose within the GCP network. If there is ever a problem with a server or multiple servers, we can switch them in an instant. The same reliability you have come to expect from all Google tools is now powering Mailjet.

Flexible Server Location

Many of our clients care very much about where their data is being processed. Thanks to GCP’s wide range of data centers, Mailjet now has the flexibility to choose from a variety of their data processing locations.

Faster Sending Speed

Mailjet can now send 6M emails in one hour, partially thanks to our switch to GCP.

Highest Levels of Data Security

Like Mailjet, Google Cloud Platform is ISO 27001 certified, the international standard for best practices of information security processes. What does this mean? You can continue to count on the highest levels of Data Security for your email data.

We hope you’re as excited as we are about how Google Cloud Platform will transform the speed, reliability, and flexibility of your email campaigns. Please let us know if you have any questions!

To learn more about our partnership with Google Cloud Platform, check out the case study on Google Cloud here.

GDPR in the US & Canada: How will it affect your business?

GDPR Webinar Poster

GDPR, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, comes into effect in May this year and many North American companies are still asking themselves how this will relate to them, how they can best prepare for these changes, and how to avoid potentially massive fines. Mailjet, a GDPR-compliant email service provider, is hosting a 3-part webinar series entitled GDPR in the US & Canada. The first in the series features Mailjet’s Head of Legal and Data Privacy Officer, Darine Fayed, who covers:

  • What exactly GDPR is, how this new legislation applies to companies in North America, and what will happen if you don’t comply
  • How does GDPR affect North American businesses and marketers, and how does it differ from existing data protection laws (e.g. Safe Harbour, CASL)
  • The 8 key changes that GDPR brings to the data protection playing field
  • What steps you should be taking today to ensure you are ready before May. You are encouraged to also fill out our GDPR Quiz beforehand to know where your company stands in terms of GDPR knowledge.

Be sure to sign up for our second Webinar in the GDPR in the US & Canada series, March 13th at 11am EST.

Watch the Webinar #1 Now