From 0-32K in One Year: Loïc Le Meur’s Entrepreneurial Email Journey Pt. 1

If you follow the Mailjet blog regularly, you’re probably well aware of the importance of building your list without purchasing data or by using other black-hat email practices. Even though using honest list building practices takes time, the results are definitely worth it.

To talk about email success stories, we sat down with Loïc Le Meur, a successful entrepreneur and blogger currently based in San Francisco. He started his entrepreneurial career in France by founding several startups, most of which were eventually acquired by larger companies. He relocated to San Francisco to launch a startup called Seesmic, which was acquired by Hootsuite in 2012.  He also co-founded the Le Web conference, an event centered around blogging and other web-based initiatives.

First, why email?

As you can probably imagine, his previous success brought him quite a social following. But even with over 100K Twitter followers, he became frustrated with social media when he started working on a new venture in November of 2015. He found that the algorithms on these platforms determine and limit what followers see, and he didn’t want those restrictions as he continued to expand his personal and professional reach, especially as he planned to start a new company from the ground up. Like most entrepreneurs, Le Meur was no stranger to experimenting, so he decided to try email as his new channel for outreach.

Who could he email?

With absolutely no email list, he decided to start by reaching out to his existing network of 200K Facebook followers and 100K Twitter followers. His messaging was simple: “I’m starting a new company from the ground up. Join my email list to follow my journey.”

His message was spot on, and captured 2000 initial subscribers to his newsletter in 24 hours from his Facebook and Twitter accounts. However, Le Meur now had a new challenge to face: creating, sending and delivering his emails. Going blindly into the world of emailing, Le Meur sought a solution that was not only fit for a beginner, but also one that would grow with him as his skills and email list increased. His search led him to a Facebook Live session by Julien Tartarin, Mailjet’s former co-founder, and he decided to try Mailjet.

What do the readers want?

Now that he had the list, he had to figure out what he was going to send them. He decided that simplicity would be the main goal of his newsletter. He chose to keep his design as close to a personal, text-only email as possible, in order to create the feeling of a one-to-one conversation. His future subscribers would have an insider’s view of the entire startup creation process as he provided day to day examples of the life of an entrepreneur. The experience would be similar to writing a personal blog in the form of an email.

Loic Le Meur Email

 

The weekly newsletters feature summaries of the previous week, including authentic experiences with both victories and failures. He also occasionally shares emails that he’s sent to investors to constantly give his subscribers open access to the highs and lows of starting and growing a successful business. 

By creating his campaigns using Mailjet’s Passport tool, he designed a simple template to make his newsletter look as close to a personal email as possible. He also utilized the campaign statistics within the Mailjet App to analyze open and click- through rates. “I use statistics to understand my subscribers. It helps me to understand where people actually click, which is sometimes quite different from what I expect,” Le Meur explains. Based on the statistics, Le Meur would adjust his subject lines and text placement throughout his emails. Le Meur also allows his subscribers to see his weekly statistics to show the subject lines that have performed well. If you’d like to see the newsletter for yourself, you can subscribe to his updates here.

Was it worth it?

As a result of building his audience by leveraging his resources and creating relevant content to keep users engaged, Le Meur managed to grow his list to 32,000 subscribers within his first year. He’s also seen success by marketing his events through his newsletter, with his most recent event selling out.
Worth it gif mailjet blog

 

Stay tuned on the Mailjet blog to find out how he continued to grow his audience after his initial jump in subscribers. If you’d like to know more about Loïc Le Meur, you can find him on Twitter or Medium.

What methods have you used to grow your email list? Tell us on Twitter using #EmailMarketing!

Mailjet’s Best Marketing Moments of 2016

Let’s face it: 2016 has definitely been one for the history books. The unexpected has become the new normal, and it seems like we’re not surprised by anything anymore. Although it may have been a crazy year worldwide, 2016 brought some pretty incredible moments to the world of marketing. Let’s relive some of the best bits and how we felt about our top marketing moments of 2016.

We laughed (maybe a bit too hard)

If one of your New Year’s Resolutions was to get back to the gym, you probably created a killer playlist to get you pumped up and ready to go. Apple Music’s commercial series featured Drake and Taylor Swift rocking out at the gym to each other’s hits.

The first commercial in the series featured Taylor Swift preparing for a treadmill run by playing a Drake song on Apple Music. We all realized our worst fears when she got a little too into the music, but we definitely had a good laugh. A few months later, the tables were turned when Drake used Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” as his weightlifting hype song. Again, we had a good laugh at the humanity of these celebrities, but we were also made aware of Apple Music’s free 3-month trial.

We were inspired

We’ve all felt the effects of stereotypes at some point, so the Always “#LikeAGirl” campaign was a big hit from the get-go. Always expanded upon their successful ad campaign by creating the emoji edition in 2016.

This marketing campaign takes real-time reactions of girls noticing how they are portrayed with emojis, and then deciding what kind of emojis they’d like to see in the future. Always managed to capitalize on the inspiration created by their previous campaign and took the next step forward to address stereotypes. We’re not crying, you are.

We felt the shade

Losing subscribers is never fun, but the way to get them back might just be in your response. Hulu’s bold “Thanks for cancelling” campaign was the perfect combination of sass and customer service to make clients reconsider, even if only for a week.

It takes guts to admit a shortcoming, but Hulu did just that in an email campaign that followed users after they cancelled their subscriptions. The television streaming company capitalized on complaints by acknowledging them and acting upon their clients’ needs. As a result, the creative email campaign was born. We’re big fans of this one because it shows that Hulu listens to its customers and isn’t afraid to make fun of itself.

best marketing of 2016

We were even more social

We all love a chance to win some cash, and Esurance knew that when they designed their 2016 Superbowl campaign. Instead of shelling out millions of dollars to air an ad during the actual Superbowl program, the company decided to buy ads before and after the game. Pairing the ads with an exciting social media campaign caused #EsuranceSweepstakes to trend worldwide after the game ended.

Another social campaign that we loved was Disney’s #ShareYourEars movement in combination with the Make a Wish Foundation. It played on every child’s dream of visiting Disney World, and it connected Disney lovers around the world by taking advantage of an international symbol: Mickey’s ears.

The campaign managed to pull on viewers heartstrings from two different angles by using nostalgia and providing a chance to help terminally-ill children. We love a good social media campaign, so we really enjoyed this campaign, inspiring people to give back in a fun way.

How’s that for an emotional marketing rollercoaster? In spite of the ups and downs of 2016, we’re excited to see what trends 2017 will bring.

Join the conversation on Twitter by telling us what we missed in 2016 or what you expect to see in 2017 by using #MailjetMarketingMoments.

Scarily Bad Email Design Examples This Halloween

These days, it feels like we’ve seen it all. We survived not forwarding those endless chain emails, the world “ending” in 2012 and all six seasons of Jersey Shore, so it’s hard to be scared of anything. This Halloween, it’s time to get spooked by something even worse than the Boogeyman, Loch Ness Monster and the Jersey Devil combined. This is not for the faint of heart…this is what happens when email design goes wrong.

A Nightmare on Design Street

It happens to all of us. We open an innocent looking email, stare at it in horror, and run screaming into the night. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but opening a poorly designed email is definitely not a fun experience. With different font sizes, a range of a hundred colors and tons of buttons saying “click here,” you’re sure to get sent straight to the trash. Keep your designs clean and user-friendly to increase your reader’s engagement.

halloween email design

In this grocery store ad, there’s simply too much happening for the reader to benefit from the email. Instead, highlight a few key items in an easy-to-read format to entice your reader to click through to read more.

Invasion of the Unresponsive Email

You might want to think twice about sending that Halloween email campaign if you haven’t tested it on a mobile screen. If an email looks jumbled when your reader opens it, you just might scare them into deleting it. Mobile devices, tablets and wearables have taken over as the leading platforms for reading emails, so make sure you’re not just designing for the desktop.

Yikes! How do I make sure my email is responsive?

Using a responsive email editor, like Mailjet’s Passport, to create your emails is the easiest way to make sure your reader can view your content on any device. The template will automatically adapt to the screen size of the device on which the email is opened. Responsiveness can also be a pain for developers, so at Mailjet we’ve set out to make their work easier with MJML, our open source email coding framework, which generates high-quality responsive HTML that renders beautifully in the most popular email clients.  

halloween email design

While this email may be fine for a user on a laptop or larger-screened tablet, it would be very frustrating to choose one of the categories on a mobile device. Make sure your email adapts to a variety of screen sizes to make sure that your user can always engage with it.

The Silence of the Images

Of course, email design responsiveness also means that your content adapts to your user’s bandwidth. For example, large photos may not load over a subscriber’s cellular connection. If the majority of your email is images, your subscribers might experience the horror of a big blank email when they open it. Add alt text to make sure your reader understands what your email is about, even if the images don’t download.

email design halloween

The email on the left has no alt text within the images, so when it’s opened without a strong cell phone signal, the user has no idea what the images are. The email on the right provides readers with a description of the image so that they can know what the message is about.

The Evil Text

We get it. You want your readers to have all the information they need, simply from opening your email. While it’s important that your emails provide value to your reader, adding too much text makes it difficult to keep them engaged. When your subscribers open a text heavy email on their mobile devices, chances are they’ll lose interest quickly if they have to scroll several times just to reach the call-to-action. Instead, give your readers a snippet of the information, then direct them to a landing page to read more.

email design halloween

Receiving an email like this can make the reader feel overwhelmed with information, even if they are interested in the topic. Instead, try breaking up text with images and redirecting your reader to learn more on your website.

The Blair Witch Palette

For those of us who are fashion conscious, we know which color combos to avoid. The same applies to email templates – you don’t want to have too broad a range of tones or clashing, distracting colors in the design. For example, if you place light text on a light background, your subscribers may have trouble reading your email. Also, using too many colors can frustrate your subscribers and cause them to move on to the next email. The colors used in your email design will also affect your reader’s view of your brand, so choose your palette wisely.

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you keep your email colors consistent with your overall brand. If your brand identity consists of mostly dark tones, a neon email may confuse your recipients and cause them not to recognize you. Your emails represent your brand as much as your website or print materials, so be sure to put your best foot forward!

halloween email design

The wide range of colors in this email make it difficult for the reader to know where to focus. The bright red background is distracting from the main content of the email, which can cause the reader to lose interest quickly. Instead, try to stick to a limited number of colors and use different tones to direct the reader’s eye.

We hope we haven’t scared you too much with our spooky email examples. Your subscribers want to receive email treats, not tricks in their inboxes, so make them happy with your Halloween email campaigns!

 

Have any scary emails spooked your inbox this Halloween? Share them with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MailjetHalloween.

 

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

Holiday Emailing Guide