Sender Score and Email Reputation: What Are They and How to Improve Them

Sender Score and email reputation are two terms very important and relevant to email marketers and deliverability experts.

But to novices and the general public, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding the terms.

So in this article, we will demystify what email sending reputation and Sender Score actually mean and what they each measure.

What is email sending reputation?

Email sending reputation is a complex metric comprised of different reputations to determine email delivery practices. The most important reputations are:

  • IP Reputation
  • Content Reputation
  • Domain Reputation

In 1996, as emailing became mainstream, spam began to turn into a serious issue. To counter this, large internet service providers (ISPs) providing email services began to use IP Reputation to analyze email quality.

IP Reputation indicates how much users want to get email from this IP address by measuring bounces, spam or unwanted bulk mail (UBE). Back then, there weren’t very robust ways to authenticate a domain address, so ISPs had to create complex IP reputation models that differed from each other, but had the similar task of identifying problematic IP addresses.

After a while, IP reputation alone proved inefficient, because it didn’t consider how different IPs could deliver (junk) emails with identical content.

Advances in technology in the 2000s enabled ISPs to develop a new method of measuring the quality of a sender’s emails through content reputation.

Content reputation works on a set of criteria that determine the sender’s quality of their email campaign content. While certain types of content are clear triggers for ISPs’ content filters (e.g. attaching a virus, a string of words asking for bank details, and so on), a sender’s content reputation goes down when their emails keep getting low open rates, flagged, blocked, and unsubscribed.

So IP and content reputation work hand in hand to create an overall picture of a sender’s email practices. IP reputation determines the quality of a sender’s email sending through their emailing history. Content reputation analyzes the type of content a sender’s email has and determines if the sender is trustworthy or not.

But of course as spammers and hackers became even more sophisticated in cheating ISP filters and sending malicious emails, this led to the development of more robust email authentication systems – namely the Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Email (DKIM) system.

The Sending Policy Framework (SPF) was implemented as a standard in 2014 to check if an email campaign has been sent from an authorized server.

SPF is like an RSVP list of authenticated, valid IP addresses that can send emails on behalf of that domain.

SPF prevents spammers from falsifying the ‘from email address to send spoofing emails’. But the SPF record, by itself, is not enough and can be susceptible to human error and snowshoe spamming (i.e spam propagated across different IPs and domains to weaken reputation and pass through ISP filters).

If a sender indicates the wrong IP domains, then the wrong ones will be able to send emails on behalf of your domain. ISPs have no way of realizing otherwise, and they penalize the sender’s domain for spam.

Therefore, SPF has to go with a DomainKeys Identified Mail system (DKIM), which allows recipients to confirm that the mail comes from the authenticated owner of that domain.

The email itself contains a signature in the header called a DKIM signature or a hash value that allows this authentication. A DKIM signature means that the email has not been tampered or hijacked upon delivery and comes from a valid sender.

As these authentication systems became more robust, ISPs have developed domain reputation, which measures the quality of a domain’s authenticated emails.

Domain and IPs can be different, after all. For example, Mailjet customers could be using shared IPs that we provide and send emails through their domains.

Email sending reputation is a complex metric of other different reputations to determine email delivery practices developed essentially through a constant game of chase and catch between hackers who send malicious spam and the ISPs that are constantly creating new ways to catch them in the act.

Great email sending practices do not end in the way you create the content and design of your emails, but also following strict security protocols that help ISPs identify you as a trustworthy sender.

What is Sender Score?

Using a range that starts at 0 and ends at 100, Return Path’s Sender Score is compiled from non-personal data of over 60 million inboxes from different ISPs, spam filtering, and security companies to create a picture of a sender’s email sending practices.

Sender Scores are normally calculated on a rolling 30-day average.

Sender Score may be also indicative of a sender’s email reputation, but they are not the same. If a sender has a high Sender Score, this could indicate that most of the sender’s transactional and marketing emails land in the inbox.

If a sender has a really low score, then there is a high chance that their email campaigns often have high bounce rates, high block rates and low open rates.

It is important to realize that the Sender Score is ultimately on data that Return Path receives. This score is relevant for ISPs that pay attention to it.

Ultimately, ISPs decide whether you send good emails or not through their own datasets, not on Return Path’s Sender Score.

So while this score might be a good indication of email sending practices, fixing it from low to high does not automatically guarantee that all email campaigns will land in the inbox.

The best way to fix email sending is to look at the source and focus on deliverability (the rate at which a sender’s email campaigns land into the inbox, as opposed to the spam folder), because this is what the Sender Score ultimately attempts to quantify.

 

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How to check your Sender Score

Checking Return Path’s Sender Score is quite easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to https://www.senderscore.org/
  2. Register and create an account using your professional email.
  3. You should receive this confirmation email. Click on the CTA Activate Your Account.
    Activate your Sender Score
    Activate your Sender Score
  4. As soon as you log in, you should be redirected to this page.
    Know your Sender Score
    Know your Sender Score
  5. Here, you can look at the Sender Score of either an IP address, or a domain (e.g. mailjet.com).
    Mailjet’s Sender Score
    Mailjet’s Sender Score
  6. Searching by domain name leads you to a page listing IPs sending mail from this domain, an indication of their email sending volume, and, finally, their Sender Score.

These scores could indicate whether this domain has been sending good emails or spammy ones in the rolling 30 days prior to your search.

What is a good Sender Score

According to Return Path’s 2018 benchmark on Sender Score, their Sender Score reveals important data on the following:

  1. Complaint rate – the rate at which users complain about your emails as junk.
  2. Unknown user rate – the number of invalid users in your subscription lists
  3. Spam traps triggered – spam traps are email addresses that don’t belong to anyone and have the primary task of catching spammers and senders with poor list hygiene practices.

Pristine spam traps are email accounts never owned by anyone and have been created to catch bad senders. Recycled spam traps are abandoned email accounts that have now been recycled into spam traps.

As such, domains with Sender Scores of 90 and above have below a 1% complaint rate, ~1% unknown user rate and an average of 0.36% spam trap hits.

Conversely, those with very poor Sender Scores of 10 or below had a 7.4% complaint rate, 7% unknown user rate and an average of 7.53% spam trap hits.

Having a good Sender Score and having emails sent to the inbox is good for the business, but it’s not the end-all to great email sending. More on this on the next section.

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When Sender Score won’t save you

A high Sender Score does not mean an end to your email worries.

Like any other aggregate, Sender Score misses out on other very important factors that influence overall email sending.

After all, this proprietary system comes from Return Path and not from ISPs. Hence, ISPs may have slightly different ways of measuring your email reputation and include other variables that determine whether this campaign should be sent or not.

Return Path suggests:

A high Sender Score on its own doesn’t translate to higher inbox placement rates. Subscriber engagement, a mailbox provider’s own reputation calculations, and the content in the incoming message—none of which are included in Sender Score calculations—all factor into each mailbox provider’s final filtering determinations.

Email deliverability experts agree on this, including Word to the Wise founder Laura Atkins:

Basically, just because you have a great SenderScore doesn’t mean you’re going to have good delivery. Likewise, having a poor SenderScore doesn’t mean your mail is destined to be undelivered.

Sender Score is not the end-all be-all to determining if your email campaigns are great in all areas.

Ultimately, the Sender Score does not measure content creativity, which is crucial to creating email campaigns with high open rates.

Therefore, it is best to focus on your deliverability, as this is the best indicator of whether your emails get delivered to the inbox and not spam folder, or altogether remain undelivered.

It is also a good idea to invest in other email reputation indicators that might be better suited to your email sending.

An email marketer in his Medium article, for example, lamented on areas ignored by the Sender Score. Some 90+ scores scored low on Google Postmasters, which analyzes and measures email sending practices loosely based on Gmail’s complex filtration system. Therefore, Google Postmaster Tools may be a great alternative for you if most emails in your lists are Gmail users, but less so if they are from other ISPs.

In fact, it’s best to understand that ISPs might not only measure email reputation differently, but they might also have different acceptable standards for various metrics altogether.

This is the main reason why, for example, an email campaign might get great deliverability results for Gmail, with most emails landing into their inboxes, but less stellar results in Outlook.

In any case, ISPs have different filtration systems and they modify them often in order to get a step above malicious spammers. If every ISP filter worked the same, then each one would be easy to hack.

So, really, the best way to improve your email sending is to simply improve your email sending practices. Sometimes, the best changes are the most obvious ones.

How to improve your Sender Score and email reputation

As discussed, sender reputation comprises of other reputations based on your email sending:

  1. IP reputation that is tallied by how much people want to see emails from this IP address.
  2. Content reputation that measures how good or spammy your email content consistently is.
  3. Domain reputation that checks the email sending from your domain as a whole, validated through authentication methods.

It becomes a matter of ensuring that your sending practices are great across the board. So here we will compile a guide to ensure that you are sending emails in the best possible way.

Authenticate your SPF and DKIM

Authenticating your account ensures that only a specific list of IPs can send emails using your domain.

This keeps spammers from falsely delivering emails through your domain.

Think of DKIM as the signature you include in every email campaign. The DKIM is a powerful proof that the recipient’s ISP can use to check if these emails they have received are domain-authenticated and valid.

If the signature matches, then the email goes into the inbox – other things equal.

If it does not match, then it’ll go into the spam folder (or gets a hard bounce).

DKIM Process
DKIM Process

SPF meanwhile is a list of the authenticated IP addresses within that domain.

DKIM and SPF work together to ensure that you do not become the victim of a spoofing attack (i.e. where a sender masquerades as another domain to send spam).

Read more:

Authenticating domains with SPF and DKIM

How to set-up DKIM in 3 simple steps

Create sub accounts for your different email needs

Separating your marketing and your transactional emails by creating sub-accounts is good for organizing different types of email sending.

By separating these two types of emails, marketers can better keep track of various metrics, such as:

  1. Scheduled sending of marketing emails.
  2. How often users trigger transactional emails
  3. Different types of transactional emails getting triggered
  4. Different types of marketing emails being sent

Separating both also ensures that deliverability rate issues on marketing emails do not get passed on towards transactional emails and vice-versa.

Imagine if ticket people got their transactional ticket confirmation emails into the spam folder, because an ISPs filtering system identified the sender as a spammer through their marketing emails. This could get email marketers and their companies in a whole lot of trouble.

Deliverability Matters
Deliverability Matters

Read More:

Email Deliverability: A How-to Guide To Get Into The Inbox

Email Marketing Deliverability 101 Guide

What are sub-accounts and how does it help me?

Take charge of your engagement data.

Email engagement is comprised of data on how engaged your users are with your email campaigns. These include:

  1. Open rates – the rate of users opening email campaigns.
  2. Click rates – the rate of users clicking on links and CTAs within these campaigns.
  3. Complaint rates – the rate of users complaining about receiving specific email campaigns.
  4. Engagement time – the amount of time they spend on reading specific email campaigns.
  5. Unsubscribe rate – the rate at which users unsubscribe after receiving your email campaigns.
Mailjet Dashboard
Mailjet Dashboard

The image above shows some of these metrics in action on Mailjet’s dashboard.

Of course, these stats can take a long time and creative effort to improve.

Sending emails with great engagement rates can’t be done overnight. After all, brand loyalty can only be fully nurtured above and beyond email marketing.

But senders can already tweak some things, such as making emails more responsive, and getting some email content and design inspirations online.

Users prefer to engage with beautifully-designed emails as opposed to suspicious plain text ones.

Other than design, of course, the frequency and time of email campaigns also matter.

ISPs consider engagement rate very highly in their content filtering algorithms.

Read more:

Email Campaign Statistics: What Do They Tell You?

Can Email Marketing Still Drive High Engagement?

Segment, A/B and Personalize

Segmentation involves dividing your email contact lists based on a set of criteria. Each segment can be, for example, based on region, gender, or interests, among others.

A/B Testing is when marketers send multiple versions of the same campaign and analyze which one(s) perform the best.

These techniques can allow marketers to create more specific and personalized email campaigns that users will want to open.

Of course, A/B testing, segmentation and personalization are all related to improving on email engagement rate.

A/B Testing Dashboard” width=
A/B Testing Dashboard

Above are some A/B testing stats on our dashboard. Version A has

  1. The best Open Rate and Click Rate
  2. The highest Click Rate
  3. The lowest unsubscribed rate
  4. The least amount of Soft and Hard Bounces

These indicate that Version A is the winning version and is an email that people want to open and engage with. You can use this information for future campaigns, or if you had only tested with a small sample size, you can automatically send this email to the remainder of your list.

Read more:

How Email Segmentation Can Increase Your Conversion Rate

How can I segment my contact lists?

How To Align Website Personalization With Your Emailing Strategy

Email Personalization With A Human Touch

Create a checklist for your email campaigns.

A best practices checklist for all your email campaigns is like an accountability log to the senders themselves right before they send their email campaigns. A checklist allows them to make sure that they have not forgotten about anything before sending their email campaigns.

With tactics in improving engagement rate and having enabled authentication systems to securely send email campaigns, the last thing marketers can do before they send their email campaigns is to run them through a checklist that should include

  1. Whether they have written a good subject line.
  2. Included a pre-header.
  3. Checked all links are accurate and include UTM tags if necessary.
  4. Proofread.
  5. Good CTAs
  6. Proofread.
  7. Proofread once more (remember, there’s no undo button)

Now, this checklist can be automated, with a tool that runs through emails campaigns to ensure that they are ready for delivery. But this checklist does not have to be automated. Senders can also check through manually. Things that you can check include:

Read more:

Mailjet’s Ultimate Email Checklist

Clean email lists and have double opt-in

Regularly cleaning your contact lists prevents marketers from sending emails to inactive users, some of which might have been converted into spam traps. Clean lists also have more engaged users, especially when they are well-segmented.

One of our customers, Product Hunt has a great way of cleaning their subscription lists. For inactive users (i.e have not opened Product Hunt newsletters in a while) they send an email stating that they have been automatically removed from the list.

 

Product Hunt’s Unsubscribe email :(
Product Hunt’s Goodbye email :(

Read more:

Email List Cleaning: End Up On Santa’s Nice List, Not His Naughty List

Easily & Securely Stow Your Contact Lists

How to delete a contact?

Create email campaigns that matter

Of course, the most important thing that you can do in your email marketing is to create a strategy that includes processes, workflows, tactics, database of email campaigns, and so on. Devising an email marketing strategy means that you have a solid idea of what to do through the course of your marketing projects.

However, an email strategy is not something that’s rigid and bureaucratic. A great email marketing strategy – like any other marketing strategy – allows marketers to experiment throughout the project, in order to adapt to new trends and key moments that suddenly open unexpectedly.

Read more:

The Ultimate Guide to Email for eCommerce

How To Define A Successful Email Marketing Strategy

Introduction to Email Marketing: The Basics Marketers Should Know

Guide: Email Marketing For The Travel And Tourism Industry

The final frontier

Return Path’s Sender Score and Email Reputation are ways to measure a sender’s email sending practices.

But Sender Score does not directly measure a sender’s email reputation. ISPs have their own proprietary algorithms for the way they measure email reputation.

Ultimately, the path to getting into the inbox is on improving deliverability, and we have highlighted ways to do this.

We hope that you enjoyed reading this comprehensive article. If you have any comments, let us know on Twitter at @mailjet.

 

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The Ultimate Guide to Email for eCommerce

Ecommerce is growing at an astronomical rate. In 2017, global Ecommerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, and this is expected to grow to $4.5 trillion in 2021. Alongside this growth, all signs point towards emailing as the preferred method of communication in Ecommerce over other channels, including social media. In fact, 72% of people, (including those elusive millennials and teenagers) still primarily prefer email as their primary mode of communication with brands.

This is not surprising.

Email marketing heavily depends on 4 pillars – content, design, data, and deliverability – all of which must be integrated into an overarching email marketing strategy. When they are not working together, you may well just be getting through your emails, but not optimizing at full capacity.

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

 

Email marketing strategy: The essentials

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

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

The key question you should be asking yourself here as an Ecommerce company is: What do I want to achieve? Your objectives could include:

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

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

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

Ecommerce email campaign ideas along the customer journey

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

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

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

1. The welcome email

No matter what, first impressions really count. When welcoming a new “member” to your email list, send them a welcome email containing valuable content that will inspire them to continue to engage with new articles. For instance, this is a great opportunity to:

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

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

Welcome Email
Mailjet’s Welcome Email

2. The classic newsletter

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

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

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

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your newsletter is only there to sell. Sending out newsletters that are too pushy will cause people to unsubscribe from your list, or put a bad taste in their mouth.

Instead this is an opportunity to take an engaged list of potential customers and make them love you. Ask yourself the following questions and create your newsletter accordingly:

  1. What interests my readers?
  2. What questions might they have?
  3. What problems are they currently facing?
  4. How, specifically, can I help them solving these problems?

3. Special occasion newsletters

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

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

Nokia Mother's Day NL
Nokia Holiday Newsletter

4. Order and shipping confirmations

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

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

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

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

Order Confirmation
Order Confirmation Email

 

5. Customer surveys

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

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

    1. To check if your communication with customers is clear and coherent.
    2. To obtain and guide the attention of your customers.
    3. To strengthen customer loyalty.
    4. To inspire you with new product ideas.
Headspace Survey Email
Headspace Survey Email

6. Shopping cart dropouts

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

Dote Abandoned Cart Email
Abandoned Cart Email

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

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

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

7. Personalized note to your customers

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

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

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

Nike Birthday Email
Automated Birthday Email

6 Tips For Successful Email Campaigns

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

1. Spend time on your email content and design

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

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

Let’s take a quick look at Etsy as an example. Etsy’s subject lines effectively create something called a curiosity gap. This painfully arises when you feel as if you’re missing “valuable” knowledge, and makes you want to click into that email to find out more. Which fabric is in-season? What are those fresh finds? This is very effective marketing tactic. However, each “preview” text is simply their URL, www.etsy.com which is a missed opportunity to engage the reader some more.

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

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

Read more: How To Improve The Design Of Transactional Email Templates

Julep - eCommerce Email
Julep Email Example

 

This Black Friday email by Julep fulfills the basic rules of smart email marketing by (1) knowing how to sell what it wants to sell, (2) writing good, creative, holiday-oriented copy and (3) ensuring responsive design across all devices and inboxes.

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

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

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

As with all marketing efforts, email-marketing should be diverse and creative. As an Ecommerce business, you will be sending 3 main categories of emails – transactional emails, marketing emails, and automated emails.

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

Harrys - eCommerce Email
Harry’s Razor Transactional Email

 

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

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

NY & Company - eCommerce Email
NY&C Email Example

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

Of course, when you’re new to sending these different types of email, you’re bound to make a couple mistakes, or miss out on some things. Before sending emails or committing a template, make sure to pull your teammates into the email builder to have them provide their comments, and be sure to A/B test your campaigns to identify which piece of content, design, subject line, or CTAs drive the most engagement.

One email not to send, however, is from a useless “no-reply” address. “No reply” emails are those annoying emails you get from businesses sometimes who are making it very clear they don’t want to hear from you. Not only is it a little rude, almost more importantly it can negatively impact your business as it is often flagged as spam.

NoReply Inbox

3. Don’t ask for subscribers, incentivize subscription

Before sending emails to your customers, you have to make sure that your customers have subscribed to your emails in the first place. There are a lot of different ways to do this. For example, you can invite website visitors to subscribe to your emails via pop-ups integrated into your website using Mailjet’s subscription widget or third party providers like SumoMe. Or like many of our customers have done so effectively, use the power of social media to invite customers into your mailing list.

Good Things - eCommerce Email
Subscription Widget Pop-up

One thing that you need to include is an unsubscribe button in your channels. Yes, adding this will mean your list may decrease in size, but more importantly it lets your audience do the different work of cleaning your contact lists for you. By removing customers who’d rather not see your emails, you are ensuring that only those most active engaged users are being sent an email, which in turn means you are (1) spending less money sending emails to people who won’t open them anyways, or worse would mark it as spam, and (2) increasing your domain and IP reputation with ISPs and inboxes.

BetaList - Email
Unsubscription Email

One of Mailjet’s enterprise users, Videostream, knows the value of this all too well. With the help of a Customer Success Manager, Videostream cleaned their list from 1.2M contacts to 120K contacts. This 10x decrease in users actually resulted in a 5x more total opens, and an increase in ROI of 10x. This is because the more people receive unwanted emails from you, the less likely it is you will land in the inbox of those who do in fact like you. Here’s a full case study on how Videostream accomplished this.

4. Track and use your data

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

Email Stats - eCommerce Email
Mailjet Email Stats

Useful email metrics to consider when using Mailjet’s platform include how many emails have been sent, delivered, opened and clicked. Sent is a way of saying that the recipients’ servers have received the emails, and delivered means that the recipients can now read them…somewhere (in their inbox? Spam? Mystery. Well, kinda.). The opened rate shows how many people have opened their emails, and the clicked rate shows how many times your customers have clicked on a link in your emails since receiving them.

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

5. Personalize!

Even the most successful email campaign can be improved. So you need to keep testing your performance.
Which email subject line has the best opening rate? Which links and call-to-action buttons generate the most clicks? Which email content was uninteresting for your subscribers? Ask yourself these questions and adjust your content accordingly.

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

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

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Boden Email Personalization

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

6. Deliver on your Deliverability

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

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

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

This is primarily because good deliverability requires three things that take time, resources, and a commitment to email: (1) strong and on-going relationships with inbox providers, (2) robust infrastructure and third party vetting tools like Mailjet’s partnership with 250ok, and (3) devoted deliverability experts to help maintain quality domain and IP addresses for senders like you.

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

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

Now it’s your turn!

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

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

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

This blog post is contains parts from an old post “7 Emails for Small Online Shops”, published on the Mailjet blog on September 25th, 2018 by Jan Bernecke.

The State of Collaboration in the Workplace

Marketing teams have undergone significant changes in recent years. 82% of marketers have seen growth in their team sizes and 72% in their budgets. Despite that, marketers identify poor collaboration among their top pain-points.

To dig deeper, Mailjet commissioned an independent research report to look more closely at the state of collaboration in the workplace, with a special focus on email campaigns.

The research brings clarity on why collaboration may be among marketer’s top pain-points, why marketing departments will become even more heavily reliant on external agencies, how teams are already investing in Collaboration Tools, and what kind of investment Marketers want on collaboration in the next year.

Download the full research report to understand why you should be paying attention to Collaboration in your company.

GDPR SOS Kit For Marketers

After months of talking about it, one of the biggest impacts to the way that marketers do their jobshas finally arrived: GDPR. Worryingly, according to our research with nearly 12,000 SMBs leading up to May 25th, most businesses were still unprepared. The penalties for non-compliance are drastic, not to mention the business impacts and consequences, and it’s important to remember that no one is entirely exempt.Regardless of company size or location, anyone collecting, processing and storing personal data of citizens within Europe needs to become compliant.

As a GDPR-compliant company ourselves, we know first-hand what it takes for your Marketing Department to implement these changes. We also know that for most marketers GDPR hasn’t been your full-time priority. But now the deadline has passed, there are changes you must definitely make as soon as possible, if you haven’t already.

That’s why we’ve put together this GDPR SOS Kit For Marketers, an action plan to get your business ready for GDPR before it’s too late.

Contents:

  • GDPR for Marketers: High Urgency
  1. Clean Your Newsletter Database & Conduct Re-permission Campaigns
  2. Scrutinise Your Third Party Providers
  • GDPR for Marketers: Medium-High Urgency
  1. Evaluate Your Data & Lead Collection Process
  2. Update Your Privacy Policy & Send An Email Notification
  • GDPR for Marketers: Medium Urgency
  1. Change the Internal Mindset
  2. Get Ready for ePrivacy… The Next GDPR

 

Download our GDPR SOS Kit For Marketers now

The Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing

The Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing

For the email marketer, the holiday season is here and it’s time for all of us to get ready to make the most of it. And no, it’s not just about dusting off our Christmas jumpers and lighting up the whole neighborhood with our festive decorations. It’s also about putting together amazing campaigns that will help us to embrace the holiday feeling to build our brand and drive sales.

This year, we’ve combined all our Holiday resources in one, to create your one-stop shop to win the battle of the inbox this season. In our Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing, you will learn how to create amazing content for your campaigns, you’ll find great design tips from some of our friends in the industry, and get inspiration from great email examples by top brands.

We’ll help you define a Holiday Email Strategy that will win your customers over, with all you need to know, from setting your goals to that last-minute checklist.

 

Contents:

  1. Setting goals for the holiday season
  2. Crafting irresistible email content
  3. Designing beautiful holiday emails
  4. Brands that rocked the holiday inbox
  5. Mailjet’s Holiday email checklist

 

Only want to have a look at one specific part? Click on the links to download our Content, Design and Email Examples extracts.

Download Mailjet’s Ultimate Guide To Holiday Emailing and prepare to learn from great email examples, discover amazing design tips and get your team together to craft engaging content.

We’re sure you’ll love it, so make sure you’re spreading the word and letting people in on our little secret by sharing on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn!

 

Email Security And Deliverability For The Banking And Governmental Agencies

With the increasing digitalization of most of our administrative or banking tasks, emailing has become a favored communication channel for both the financial and governmental industries to communicate with their users and customers. The piles of paperwork to validate a loan or to fill in your tax return are pretty much a thing of the past.

But the rise of emailing in these industries means that they have to face new challenges. Even though email is a quick, cheap and highly customizable way to contact their customers, these companies still have to be sure that these emails actually reach their recipients’ inboxes, and that the extremely confidential data they’re sending is completely safe. But, how can they be sure their emails will have the best deliverability and security possible?

In this Security and Deliverability Guide, you’ll learn all about:

  • The deliverability best practices.
  • The technical solutions to reach the inboxes of your recipients.
  • The legal and technical aspects of email security.
  • The different processes set by Mailjet to get your emails properly delivered and secured.

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Interested in an Enterprise Plan? Contact our Team here.

GDPR – Right Side Of Automation: A Research Report

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into effect on May 25th, 2018 and will have direct application in all EU members states – and at which time those organisations in non-compliance may face heavy fines.

One in four businesses are ‘unprepared’ for new data laws and a third believe their companies will not be compliant in time for the deadline. Consent is the biggest cause for concern, cited by 70% of respondents, followed by legacy data at 50% and profiling at 37%, the survey from the DMA found in February.

In light of the concern among marketers, to what extent are they familiar with the changes that must take place before the guidelines come into effect? Are they familiar with the steps they need to follow and the penalties they face should they fall short of requirements?

Marketing automation is a core practice of modern marketing and delivering effective one-to-one communications at scale. It is paramount that marketers understand what they are and are not able to do from a policy and ethics perspective.

With such a focus on GDPR in the media, Mailjet has aimed to see if brands are on the right side of automation? Download the report to gain insight. 

GDPR: Right Side of Automation

Switching ESPs: SendGrid To Mailjet For Marketers – Guide

So, you’ve decided to make the switch to Mailjet. Maybe you’re looking for more comprehensive support to boost your emailing, a more powerful transactional suite or you want to migrate to an ESP with European servers. Regardless of your reason for switching, starting out with a new email service provider is the perfect time to reevaluate your email marketing strategy and improve your deliverability.

In this SendGrid To Mailjet guide you’ll discover how to:

  • Make the most of Mailjet’s platform and cool features.
  • Set up and authenticate an account.
  • Migrate your contact lists and HTML templates.
  • Manage your reputation.
  • Create a newsletter and set up your transactional email configurations.
  • Track your email performance.

Interested? Download our comprehensive Switching ESPs: SendGrid To Mailjet For Marketers guide, in which you’ll find everything you need to know to make a smooth transition.

 

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Having problems making the move? Reach out to our Support team here.

Email Innovations For The Next 5 Years: A Research Report

In March 2017, Mailjet commissioned a new piece of research to understand the views of consumers versus the opinions of email experts on the future of email and brand communications globally. The consumer survey was taken by over 2000 participants across the UK and France. In addition, Mailjet interviewed email experts from Lyst, Litmus, Movable Ink, Boomtrain and RebelMail.

What will you find in this research report?

The research looks at the innovations people want to see over the next 5 years. Specifically highlighting where email may evolve. Can consumers predict and influence where email service providers like Mailjet will innovate in the next 5 years? And do email experts agree?

 

So, what are the email innovations both consumers and email experts are predicting over the next 5 years? 

Download the research report to gain insights into the future of email and transform your email experience into something consumers want to receive.

 

Finally, a big thank-you to Lyst, Litmus, Movable Ink, Rebelmail and Boomtrain for taking the time to share their thoughts on email innovations with us.