Best Email Marketing Software Comparison

Looking for which email marketing software to choose but don’t know where to start? Whether you’re a developer, marketer, or an all-around freelancer, you need to send emails and even text messages, and you want the option that gives you the best bang for your buck. So, here, we are comparing some of the best email marketing services out there to see which one fits best for you.

Before starting, here are some important questions to consider:

  • How many emails do you send per month?
  • How many contacts are there in your lists?

Email Marketing Services at a Glance

MailChimp Mailjet Mailjet CampaignMonitor
Marketing Emails true true true
Transactional Emails (through Mandrill) true true
Marketing Automation true true true
GDPR Certification false true true
Sub-accounts true true true
SMS Marketing false false false
Transactional SMS false true true
Pricing €€€ €€€

All of the email marketing software here offer basic services that allow you to send marketing and transactional emails and do some email automation. With Mailchimp, however, you will need to go through a third-party email platform to send your transactional emails. Mailjet and Campaign Monitor also allows you to send transactional SMS (e.g notifications, confirmations, etc.).

Worried about GDPR-compliance? Mailjet and Campaign Monitor are there for you.

If you’re low on budget, Mailjet is up to 30x cheaper than Mailchimp on the same email volume.

Best Email Marketing Software for Marketing Emails

MailChimp Mailjet Mailjet CampaignMonitor
Intuitive email builder true true true
Template gallery true true true
Multiple A/B testing true true true
Advanced statistics true true true
Contact segmentation true true true

All of these ESPs are good for your marketing emails.

Best Emailing Software For transactional emails

 

MailChimp Mailjet Mailjet CampaignMonitor
SMTP relay true true true
Full API Access true true true
Transactional email builder false true true
Advanced templating language false true false
Real-time notifications on transactional emails false true false

Managing your transactional emails can quickly become a chore if you’re not a developer. Mailjet and Campaign Monitor both have email builders that are intuitive and don’t require any technical know-how. Mailjet also offers an advanced templating language, allowing you to create personalized, responsive emails.

Finally, Mailjet is the only ESP that includes the option to enable real-time notifications on transactional emails if an issue happens when sending them. This allows you to quickly manage your problems.

Best Email Marketing Software for Email Collaboration

MailChimp Mailjet Mailjet CampaignMonitor
Option of adding an unlimited number of users true true false
Option of adding an unlimited number of users false true false
Real-time collaboration on your emails false true false

Devising your email campaigns should be about teamwork and collaboration. Mailchimp and Mailjet understood this quite well. They offer the option to create an unlimited number of users and to give them specific roles. Mailjet allows users to create sub-accounts and separate different types of sending.

But only Mailjet allows users to collaborate on the same emails, in real-time, like in Google Docs. This is perfect to reduce time wasted in back-and-forths.

Pricing Comparison for the Best Email Marketing Software

MailChimp Mailjet Mailjet CampaignMonitor
Remove email marketing software logo in emails $10 $8.69 $11.40
Price for 30,000 emails per month $225 $8.69 $36.74
Dedicated IP Address false Free Starting at 150,000 emails false

Tight budget? Mailchimp can get quite expensive with their email marketing services. Mailchimp bases their prices on user contact lists, which can go up very quickly.

Mailjet allows you to send 30,000 emails for $8.69 per month on an annual plan. Clearly, Mailjet offers the best email marketing software for your money.

So have you made your choice, yet? We hoped these helped.

Which SMTP Port Should I Use with Mailjet?

Choosing an SMTP port can be tricky. If you’re configuring your email system to send or relay email, you’re probably wondering: “Which SMTP port should I use?”. Sounds tough…

To be honest, there are a few things to take into consideration. Do you need some kind of encryption? Or would this port be open at the recipient’s end for receiving emails? Does the email service provider you use support this port?

Yes, we know. There are so many things to think about, it’s easy to get lost… Which is why, in this article, we will help you find the answers you need to find the right configuration for you.

What is SMTP?

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or (simply SMTP) is the basic standard that email servers use to send email to one another across the internet. SMTP is also used by some applications and services to relay their users to other email servers. Using a process called “store and forward,” SMTP moves your email across networks. It works closely with something called the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) to send your communication to the right computer and email inbox. MTA is each software app used by email clients (e.g. Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, etc.)

SMTP could also be used as a TCP/IP protocol to receive emails, however, since it is limited in its possibility to queue messages at the receiving end, it is usually used only for sending. POP3 or IMAP protocols are used alongside SMTP for receiving emails that let the user save messages in a server mailbox and download them periodically from the server. Not so complicated now, right?

What is an SMTP port?

Let’s start with what is a port.

If we are talking about a networking port, it’s not like the ports that let you charge your computer or plug in your mouse to your computer. Ports actually have a very specific and very well defined meaning when it comes to digital communications

To understand how ports work, we need to take a step back and see what happens when computers communicate with each other on the internet.

Let’s say you are trying to reach mailjet.com. In this case, the Domain Name System (DNS) is converting this to the actual IP that is hidden behind the name of the site. In Mailjet’s case, this is 104.199.110.216. You probably could remember 4-5 IPs like ours, but who can actually remember more, or really… who would want to?

smtp-port-mailjet

So, now your server is requesting to connect you with this site from your ISP.

What’s next? Here’s where the port comes in handy.

We know that the address we want to reach and the port number (80 in this case) tells the server what it is you want it to do. You can think of the ports as the number of addresses you would like to reach. The IP address would be equivalent to the physical address of the recipient, and the port number might be the individual within the street that’s supposed to receive your letter.

In other words, a port is an endpoint to a logical connection. At the software level, within an operating system, a port is a logical construct that identifies a specific process or a type of network service.

The port number identifies what type of port it is. Some ports have numbers that are assigned to them by the IANA, and these are called the “well-known ports”, which are specified in RFC 1700.

Each port has two stats – open and closed. If the port is open, it means that you can establish a connection and transfer the information. If the port is closed, you won’t be able to reach it and the connection will fail.

You can actually check if a port is open or not by telnetting it. How to do this? That’s too much for this post, but you can learn more about it in this detailed article.

An SMTP port is one that is meant to be used for SMTP connections. Today, the most common SMTP ports are 25, 465, 587, or 2525. This doesn’t mean that they are the only ones, though. These few ports are the most used ones for these types of connection, and because of that they are almost always opened, which means you should be able to reach your destination. OK, we know that you are excited to learn more 😉

Mailjet’s SMTP relay

Mailjet’s robust delivery infrastructure routes billions of emails to the inbox every month. Our free SMTP relay could be set up in minutes and you will discover just how our powerful features can help you do more with less.

If you’re using Mailjet for sending your transactional emails through SMTP, it is pretty easy to set this up! Once you have created your amazing templates, you can follow this article to configure your SMTP connection. You can do this with any desktop client, such as Outlook or Thunderbird. But even better than that, you can use MTA and MDA, such as Postfix, exim and Exchange.

Of course, you can set up the SMTP relay with any technology that supports SMTP, so you can choose the perfect framework or language for you. What could be easier, right? 😎

Just add your API key as the username and secret key as the password and set up the host/smtp server in-v3.mailjet.com. And now, let’s see what ports we offer for you to use.

Port Purpose TLS SSL
25 Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Optional No
80 Hypertext Transfer Protocol Optional No
465 Authenticated SMTP over SSL No Yes
587/588 Email Message Submission Optional No
2525 The Alternative Optional No

You can see all the details for these ports below:

Port 25 – Simple Mail Transfer Protocol Port

Every systems administrator (at least of a certain age), knows that SMTP was designated to use port 25 in IETF Request For Comments (RFC) 821. Today, IANA, still recognizes Port 25 as the standard, default SMTP port.
Although port 25 continues to be the most common port for SMTP relaying, most modern SMTP clients could be blocking this port.
Why, you ask?
Port 25 is blocked on many networks because of the spam that has historically been relayed from compromised computers and servers. So, it is true that many ISPs and hosting providers block or restrict SMTP connections on port 25. This helps to cut down a number of unsolicited emails that are sent from their networks.
However, if you are managing an email server you can always decide to leave port 25 open and allow SMTP connection through it. You can implement other securitization on your server, such as frameworks and additional email verification to prevent the sending of spam.

You can use TLS encryption with port 25 with Mailjet.

Port 80 – Hypertext Transfer Protocol Port

Port 80 is the port number assigned to the commonly used internet communication protocol Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). It is the port from which a computer sends and receives web client-based communication and messages from a web server, and is used to send and receive HTML pages or data. This is the port that the server “listens to” or expects to receive from a web client, assuming that the default was taken when the server was configured or set up.

And you know what the best thing is about using this port? It is open 99.9% of the time! So the chances of your email not getting through are pretty slim. Everybody needs access to the internet and they need this port open.

You can use TLS encryption with port 80 as well.

Port 465 – Authenticated SMTP over SSL Port

IANA initially assigned port 465 for an encrypted version of SMTP, called SMTPS. By the end of 1998, IANA had reassigned this port number to a new service. But still many services continue to offer the deprecated SMTPS interface on port 465. We are one of these services. 😉

The purpose of port 465 is to establish a port for SMTP to operate using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). SSL is commonly used for encrypting communications over the internet. Typically, you will use this port only if your application demands it.

This is the best way to use a more secure SMTP connection. Port 465 is the only one with which we are accepting SSL encryption.

Port 587 and Port 588 – Email Message Submission Port

Nowadays, port 587 is used for secure submission of email for delivery. Most of the client software are configured to use this port to send your messages. Almost all mail servers support this port. But even if the mail server supports it, it may or may not be open for mail submissions.

With Mailjet, this port is open. To see if it is the same for your destination, you can use the telnet technic.

Using port 587, you can couple it with TLS encryption while using Mailjet. The same applies for port 588.

Port 2525 – The Alternative Port

Port 2525 is not an official SMTP port, and it is not sanctioned by the IETF nor IANA. Almost every ESP supports the use of Port 2525, even though this is not an official SMTP port. It could be used as an alternative to port 587 for SMTP, in case all of the other pots are being blocked.

Port 2525 is probably the most used by users that are hosted on Google Compute Engine and experiencing connectivity issues with port 587.

This port also supports TLS encryption.

What we learned together

Now you can say that you know what an SMTP and network port is- well done, you! Even better, you now know the purpose of some ports and that you can use them for SMTP connections and relays. You can also check if a port is opened in your configuration or the recipient’s one using telnet. 😉

We are sure that, now, if you have any issue with the SMTP relay between Mailjet and your own server, you will know what to test and see if there is an issue with the port connection.

Want to know more about SMTP and Mailjet? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to be the first to know about our new articles!

The 5 People You’ll Need on Your Email Team

Email marketing is increasingly becoming a team sport as email has shifted from plain text memos to HTML layouts, and now to dynamic content. There is more people involved in any single campaign than ever before, so it’s time to take stock of who’s on your team and what role they play.

Take a look at your inbox right now. For every email you see, there were (on average) 11 people who contributed to ensuring that email is well designed, communicates the right messages, adapts perfectly to your inbox, is personalized to you, and is sent to you at just the right time. Sounds like a lot, right?

When sending your own campaigns, it’s important to know who each of these people are, what skills are required in each role, and when to best engage them in the process.

We’ve outlined a (non-exhaustive) list of the different roles you need on your team. Ultimately though, your team is unique so take a look at the skills each person can bring to the table.

  1. The Email Strategist
  2. The Email Designer
  3. The Copywriter
  4. The Email Developer
  5. The Data Engineer
  6. But…Your Email Team is Unique

1. The Email Strategist

Just as most of our blogs on email marketing tips start with the recommendation to have a strategy, we’ll start with the most important tip of all for coming up with the ideal email team: have a strategist!

To avoid being one of the many flailing brands that send out email without any kind of coherent strategy or even a plan, you will need someone on your team devoted to thinking about the big picture. The Strategist is involved from A to Z, from how email will play a role in your business to the final word in campaigns.

At Mailjet, we work closely with our customers’ email strategists to help them think through the fundamentals of email strategy. Depending on your business, this includes when email is used in your product, service, marketing, and sales, how frequently emails should be sent, how segmentation and personalization can be used, how to maximize deliverability, and much, much more.

For example, at Product Hunt, their email strategist is responsible for thinking through how email fits into their marketing, it’s product, and its value to partners.

For example, what is the strategy behind the Daily Newsletter? When should they be sent to optimize open rates? What types of subject lines work best? Should we personalize the subject line or the content? If so, where and how do we personalize?

Similarly, the Email Strategist at Product Hunt needs to consider when to send email notifications to their users. Should an email be sent every time their product is liked or reviewed? Maybe there should be a daily digest of new followers and upvotes, or maybe users themselves should decide what notifications they would like to receive.

These questions are seemingly endless, especially for a brand like Product Hunt that has baked email into both their marketing and product strategy. The same questions likely apply to your brand as well, whether you’re deciding when to send abandoned cart emails, or what data you can use to segment users.

At the end of the day, you need a Strategist to take control of your email campaigns, and ensure it continually drives forward your goals.

Special Tips for Email Strategists

Take control of your email campaigns through role management to customize the permissions of each member of your team and never send a campaign without final approval from the Strategist.

Email-Publication-Request
Email Mailjet Role Management & Publication Requests

2. The Email Designer

A designer, like always, is tasked with the look and feel of the email, but unlike standard web design, social media design, print, and so forth, designing for email requires knowledge of how the design will look on different devices. This will require close collaboration with the developers and the strategist to ensure the design is not only responsive across desktop and mobile, but also across different inboxes like Gmail, Outlook, and the many mobile inboxes that exist.

The designer is then responsible for taking the vision outlined by the Strategist and designing a series of templates that best communicate the message, are brand aligned, and flexible to a variety of content, including long-form writing, GIFs, videos, and variables for segmentation and personalization.

The responsibilities of the designer include:

  • Working with the strategist to identify the core objectives of each campaign.
  • Designing the initial template and layout for each campaign and workflows (e.g. a template for a newsletter, subscription confirmation, password resets, receipts, notifications, reminders, sales and special offers, and more).
  • Overseeing consistency in brand and message across all campaigns, and ensuring changes made to the brand (e.g. logo, color, tagline, etc.) are updated across all platforms in a timely fashion.

Special Tip for Email Designers

Be sure to use Mailjet’s Bulk Template Editor to apply changes from one template to all of your templates. For example, if you are updating your logo or a banner image in your password resets, with one click you can apply this to all other relevant templates.

3. The Copywriter(s)

While each of the below roles and certainly the above roles are incredibly important to your email team, perhaps in the modern days of marketing there is no one more important than the copywriter(s).

The designer will scoff, the strategist will say it’s the whole package that matters, and you know what – it’s kind of true. The whole team brings something to the table but at the end of the day a good message with well-written copy will cut through.

The email could be plain text and not at all personalized, but if the copy is strong you could see the highest engagement of any campaign.

Good design with bad copy? Personal message but bad copy? Unfortunately, this formula leads to crickets.

A little hat tip to Neil Patel for the video below about what makes good copywriting and how it can better drive conversions in not only your emails, but also your landing pages, social media posts, and more.

Within the email team, you can expect much more than one person is responsible for the copy, especially on emails like newsletters, which can be aggregating content from across the company.

While more hands on deck can mean more productivity and more creative ideas, it can also lead to a disjointed message, so we’d recommend you assign one copywriting lead to be responsible for coordinating the content, assigning responsibilities, strategizing on the consistency of tone, and proofreading the final product.

Special Tip for Email Copywriters

Copywriting is a team sport, so be sure to use tools designed to make it easier, faster, and more collaborative. Mailjet’s real-time collaboration and in-app commenting will allow all of your copywriters to quickly hustle on the copy in your upcoming campaign all at the same time.

4. The Email Developer

The Developer floats in and out of the planning and implementation phases of an email campaign.

They work closely with the strategist and designer off the top to ensure that the objective of an email campaign be accomplished with the variables we have in place. They also ensure that the design will in fact be responsive to different devices and inboxes. Finally, they take control of optimization practices to ensure things like segmentation are properly set up, and necessary integrations are enabled.

With so many potential integrations into your email service provider, whether it’s your CRM, ecommerce platform, or data aggregators, it’s more important (and more difficult) than ever to ensure that your email stack is perfectly functioning, and all necessary tools are optimized for upcoming campaigns.

If good copywriting is the core of a good campaign, good integrations is the fairy dust that makes an email campaign truly magical. It allows for personalization, detailed analytics, and nurturing which can turn a good campaign into a great campaign.

The Developer also works closely with the designer to ensure the email template looks good, is brand aligned, and responsive across all platforms. This has historically been pretty difficult to do given the limitations of inboxes. For example, the vast majority of inboxes do not allow for video, images adapt in ways you might not expect, and fonts might not work everytime.

Responsive email languages like MJML have emerged to help make this process much easier, ensuring that one line of code will result in good design and responsiveness across any platform. While HTML emails require seemingly endless lines of code to accommodate all platforms, simple languages like MJML accomplish the same thing with a fraction of the code.

Together with Mailjet, MJML also makes collaboration between developers, designers, and strategist that much easier, since MJML can be adapted into a drag-and-drop format once the developer is done with the code, and the marketers needs to jump in to create the content.

MJML
MJML & Drag-and-Drop Editor

Special Tips for Email Developers

No surprise here, but be sure to check out MJML if you haven’t already. MJML is responsive by design on most popular email clients and lets you write less code, save time, and code more efficiently. To make the most out of MJML, be sure to also join our MJML Slack Channel.

5. The Data Engineer

Finally, the Data Engineer plays a crucial role in helping the developer make the most of the integrations, and the Strategist understand performance of campaigns.

It’s one thing for a developer and a strategist to include a [First Name] variable, or a personalized image, or message based on a segment. However it’s a whole other thing entirely to ensure that the right data is included within the right email, and most importantly that there is even some data that can be pulled.

To avoid blank fields in your email campaigns or, worse, a failed segmentation, be sure to have a data engineer on your team.

This role will likely expand well beyond just email and include all of your communication channels. But when it comes to email, there is so much opportunity in using data to ensure these are sent to the right people, at the right time, with the right message.

The Data Engineer also needs to look at performance data to improve future campaigns, and also to see opportunities to further use data to personalize and optimize campaigns. For example, having someone review stats for each campaign, you can identify what times and days of the week work best, what type of subject lines performs best, where personalization works, etc.

Special Tip for Data Engineers

Be sure to check out Mailjet’s long list of integrations to see how you can use data to drive magical campaigns.

Your Team Is Unique

At the end of the day, your email team is likely unique, and is not represented perfectly in these five roles.

Perhaps you have a project manager who oversees the entire campaign and has ultimate authority over when a template is complete and ready to publish. Or you have an agency who manages your messaging and branding and so needs special access to your email campaigns and templates.

Maybe you have a Customer Success Manager (like Kyle at Mailjet. Hi Kyle!) that frequently checks in to ensure you campaigns are sending properly, you are reaching the inbox, and maintaining proper sending and list collection practices.

Whatever your team looks like, the point is it’s a team of people that will make sure you email campaigns continue to drive revenue and engagement. Too many businesses either rely on one person to manage the entire process or, more realistically, they seem to think only one person is involved.

We recently commissioned a study on how marketing teams create and send email, and we found that on average a campaign involves 11 people and goes through five revisions. The question then becomes: if so many people are involved in a campaign, how are you ensuring your team is working as productively, efficiently, and creatively as possible?

Our advice: work together.

Be sure to take a look at our new Collaboration Toolkit to discover how teams can email better together, as well as our post on the collaboration tools our team at Mailjet uses. Perhaps you’ll come up with some ideas of your own on how to make your email team stronger than ever.

Now it’s your turn – how many people work in email in your company? How do you collaborate? Let us know on Twitter, we’d love to hear from you and your team!

How to Set up Template Error Management and Why We Need It

Testing your email templates is tough. Who wants to be checking thousands of code lines for 50 different templates?

That’s why choosing a bug reporting process is necessary. At Mailjet, we are trying to make it as easy as possible for you to do this with our Template Error Management options. Read on and we’ll tell you what Error Reporting is and why you’ll love it. 😉

What is Error Reporting

Good error reporting is essential when building and debugging email templates. No one wants to look at a template for hours, just to see that one small comma is missing…😒 You know the feeling when you want to break your screen with your keyboard? We do and we know how unpleasant it is.

Collaboration Toolkit

As you can imagine, filling out manually a big bug report can take a while. If you need to report dozens of bugs during a testing session, it could take you several hours for one template… This would be painful.

There are many different elements you can include in your bug report. However, using a bug tracker is probably the best way for your organization to move bugs from reported to fixed and help you stay focused. As powerful as bug tracking tools are, the big problem is that you need every person working on the templates to use them and to know how to manage them. But how do you explain to a marketer what “node” means? 🤷

Mailjet’s error reporting is super easy to use for developers, because it gives you a headstart and shows you what to fix and where. For non-developers, it helps to provide more details to you instead of having to rely on insufficient information like say “I got blank / white page”. We all know how no one touched anything, but still something is not working…

template-error-management-fun

Template Error Management at Mailjet

Our goal at Mailjet is to make our products as easy to use as possible. You already know that using our template language is a piece of cake, but it is possible that you missed one curly bracket or a variable was not written correctly and this is breaking everything.

Or you sent the template to the design team to put all the appropriate colors for your brand and someone removed something that seemed strange to them. In fact, it was the most important part of the amazing loop you created.

We don’t want you to waste your time digging into what went wrong, and so we built a solution for you – Template Error Management! We are offering two options:

  • Template Error Reporting
  • Template Error Deliver

Template Error Reporting

Have you ever sent an email but it was not delivered? This could be because our system detected an error with your template and aborted the sending. The main purpose of our template error reporting option is to send you an email to let you know that there is something wrong and provide a detailed explanation of the issue. Here is how it works:

  1. You create a beautiful email template
  2. You compose your API call and declare all of your variables in it
  3. The email is sent by you to our system
  4. Our system checks the template and replaces all the variables with their corresponding values
  5. Our system finds an error
  6. The sending is stopped unless you chose otherwise
  7. Mailjet sends you an email with the error details

So, the first two steps are something that you usually do just perfectly, but this time there was one small mistake in your template. If you have one big template full with loops and conditions, checking everything manually could take forever. This is why we are offering our template error reporting.

To activate it you only need to add this piece of code in your API call:

"TemplateErrorReporting": {
"Email": "youremail@youtdomain@com",
"Name": "Your name"
}

It is important to write the correct email address, because our system will send the report to this address.

These reports should not be an issue for you because the errors are pretty self-explanatory, but we’ve provided some examples of the most common errors below:

unexpected end of template:unfinished end of node ## near ## {{var:url – One of the variables are not closed correctly. In our example above, the variable is missing two closed brackets (i.e. }}) at the end and because of this our template language engine is not recognizing it and cannot compile the template correctly.

not valid template – the template you chose is not the correct one. Most likely the ID does not correspond to the right one. Our system is not detecting the variables you declared in our API call in the template, so you should first check if the template’s ID is correct.

unknown node ## near ## – There is a syntax error in the template. You should check if you have declared all the loops in template language sections.

“var:firstname” is not an array value – This error is generally returned when you try to loop on a non-array value. If you set up a loop as this {% for fn in var:firstname %}, you should declare something like this in your API call: {“firstname”:[“Jane”,”Joe”]}. If this is not declared, our system cannot compile the variables.

No value for “var:items” – you haven’t set up the variable in your API call. If a variable is not declared, our system is not able to replace it in the template with the corresponding value. We don’t want to send a template with {{var:items}} in it, because the recipient wouldn’t know what this should be.

expression parsing error ## Unknown identifier: var:day ## near ## {{var:day ## – This error indicates that the “day” variable is not defined in your Vars. It can be fixed by adding the default value for the variable or making sure that you pass all the variables required by the template.

expression parsing error ## Unknown identifier: day ## near ## {{day ## – This error is similar to the previous one, except for the absence of namespace (var or data). It can indicate that you forgot to specify whether you want to use a Send API variable var:day or a contact property data:day. It can also indicate that you are trying to use a template variable that is not defined in a set function nor a loop statement.

not valid template ## near ## y}} ## – This error occurs when the statement is not finished – missing {% endif %}

What should you do when you receive ## Unknown identifier: var:day ## near ## {{var:day ##, but you don’t see such variable in your template?Well… did you update the plain text version of the template? If the plain text version of the template is not updated, it still contains all the old variables and our system is still trying to compile them. This is why it is better to use our template error reporting. It is much easier for you to manage your templates and to fix some small errors that happened for any given reason.

Template Error Deliver

This second option determines if the message should – or should not – be delivered to the recipient in case of an error while processing the message’s template language. If the below line is not added in your API call, our system will assume this option is not enabled by default:

"TemplateErrorDeliver": true

What does it mean? If you don’t have this small code in your API call, in case there is any error in your template, the email won’t send. Our system will detect the error, it will send you an email with the error report (if you have switched on the Template Error Reporting option of course), and it will not proceed with the sending of the template to your recipients.

However, if you are still in the testing phase, it might be helpful to have this activated. If there is an error in your template, you will receive the error reporting, but you will also receive the uncompiled template itself. Our system will detect the error and will send you the error report email. However, our system will also see that the Template Error Deliver is active and it will send the emails anyways, just as they are.

So the recipient will see all the loops and variables without them being replaced with the data you set up in your API call. Yes, the template won’t look as pretty as it should (and as you and your great design team created it), but it will give you some general idea on how the template will look.

If you want to avoid any errors once your templates are in production, it would be better to remove “TemplateErrorDeliver”: true from your API call. You won’t risk having your template delivered, which will avoid any confusion from your contacts.

template-error-deliver

It is still helpful, though, to keep the Template Error Reporting element active so you can receive an email if there is something wrong with your template.

Template Error Management helps you resolve all issues with the template language in your email templates without losing a lot of time and nerves. Our dedicated API support is always here to help you resolve your issues, if you need any additional help identifying the problem or understanding the error you received via email.

If you want to be the first to get the next useful tips we are going to publish, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. Make sure not to miss a thing!

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.

Want to define your email strategy to win customers over this holiday season? Check out Mailjet’s Holiday Email Toolkit.

Mailjet Holiday Toolkit

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.

Mailjet Account Banner

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.

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.

Mailjet’s Top Online Collaboration Tools For Teams

One of the exciting parts about Mailjet is the fact that everyday we get to work with colleagues all around the world, from Ho Chi Minh, to Paris, to Barcelona, to Toronto (I didn’t forget you Dusseldorf, New York, Amsterdam, and London – it’s just more poetic to list 4, than all 8).

The challenge with working with teams literally all around the world, though, is ensuring we keep up to date on projects, effectively communicate, and keep our culture alive. Thankfully, we live in an age where team collaboration is baked into almost all workplace apps, and you can find some pretty incredible tools to bring the team closer together, and in the process increase your productivity.

Let’s be honest, there are countless lists out there of the best collaboration tools, often written by someone sitting behind a computer and regurgitating someone else’s ideas.

To dig a bit deeper and make it a bit more real, we thought we would survey our entire team to get an honest look at those online collaboration tools our own company uses and loves to bring their team together. This post is about the CollaborationStack™ that Mailjet uses – and would we love to hear about your own #CollaborationStack on Twitter.

Collaboration Tools at Mailjet

At Mailjet we have seven distinct teams and after surveying each team about their favorite collaboration tools, and how they use it within their team, it became very clear that each team collaborates very differently.

For this survey, our teams are Product, Customer Success, Marketing, Customer Support, Sales, Deliverability & Compliance, and Legal, HR, and Admin.

Across all teams, communication and project creation tools jumped to the top as the most loved collaboration tools. We asked teams to rate the tools they use many times each week and can say they truly love. While the Marketing team overwhelming marked Mailjet as their favorite collaboration tool (those sneaky marketers), we also wanted to dig into the rest of the #CollaborationStack.

We’ve then outlined some of the reasons behind why our team absolutely loves these tools, why they cannot live without them, and how we think teams of all sizes (whether remote or not) can take advantage of these powerful tools to bring in a deeper culture of collaboration.

Most used collaboration tools at Mailjet

Collaboration Tool Survey
Collaboration tool survey

Slack: Keeping Teams Together

How do I put this gently? Slack absolutely destroyed. Everyone at Mailjet loves Slack as not only a communications tool, but as a way to build culture across remote teams.

“Slack is great for international teams to communicate in real time. I don’t know if it’d be possible to do my job in an efficient manner without it.” – Product Team

At Mailjet, we use Slack across the entire company to keep a running conversation on projects, across teams, and between colleagues. By separating teams into channels and creating private channels for specific projects, teams can quickly jump in and out of conversations to ensure they have the latest information, and can keep informed of discussions without having to be in the room.

As teams grow in size, they inherently become less connected and projects become more fragmented. Slack has become Mailjet’s primary tool to help deal with this scaling as a team, whether it’s using the live video chat for team meetings and Sandwich Lunches, using the Twitter bot to make sure we never miss a comment from our customers and partners, or sharing random images in our #wrongroom channel.

GDPR Wrong Room-Slack
Room example in Slack

2. G Suite: Collaborate in Real Time

There really isn’t much more to say about G Suite and it’s tools Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drive, that hasn’t been said by many before. If your team isn’t using G Suite (or comparable tools like Dropbox Paper) then you’re definitely missing out on the benefits of real-time collaboration, version control, tracking changes, and more.

As with many growing companies, and especially SaaS companies like Mailjet, our team works in spurts to hammer out documents, presentations, and spreadsheets together in real-time. In fact, it is difficult to be productive in today’s working environment unless you’re working together in real time.

“I really appreciate G Suite because I can work in real-time with others from all over the world and directly see what has been added, changed or deleted.” – Customer Success Team

Gone are the days of ‘Writing a document. Saving. Closing. Attaching to an email. Then going about other business.’

Now are the days of ‘Pinging your colleagues. Jumping into a shared document. Edit together. Add comments. Resolve comments. Review. Finalize.’

According to Google, 74% of all time spent in Docs, Sheets and Slides is on collaborative work – that is, multiple people creating and editing content together.

This is certainly true for Mailjet’s documents and projects. In fact, this blog is being written in Google Docs and I can assure you that this sentence was hotly debated in the comments.

Google Docs Comments
Google Docs Comments

3. Trello: Manage All Projects

Third in our rankings was Trello, the project management tool built for teams to collaborate on projects, tasks, and ideas using boards.

Mailjet uses Trello across many departments, but it’s primarily loved in our Marketing, Product, and Customer Success teams. Ultimately, the reason boils down to how simple the tool is to use, how flexible and adaptable it is across any project, and how the visual medium makes it super easy to understand and contribute to.

“I love Trello because it’s at the same time really simple and really flexible to use. You can manage a team, a project, or your life!” – Marketing Team

Many people talked about how Trello can be used for not only work projects but home projects as well, whether it’s grocery lists, side projects, travel plans, or home improvement. This is increasingly true of many great collaboration tools like Slack, G Suite, and Trello, but also increasingly apps like AirBnB have launched a set of collaboration tools designed to help make travelling as a group easier.

One of our many use cases for Trello is within our Design team who use Trello to organize and prioritize design projects. Whenever we have a design need (such as a new social media image, website update, animation, or printouts) we immediately jump into Trello to lay out all the project in as much depth as possible.

As an example, if we need a new printout for an upcoming event, we can create a mockup of the design and attach it to the Trello Card, add a Google Doc with all the written content already complete, and assign a due date for the project. Our Design team then gets a notification that a new project has been added and they can ask any questions right within Trello.

Having spent the last year trying to plan design projects just within a Slack channel, our Design team was getting a little sick of the chaos. Slack is great for ongoing project conversations, but not so great for organizing single tasks – this is where Trello really fills the gap.

We’ve created a Public Trello Board for you and your Design team based on how Mailjet organizes design projects. You can access everything from the different boards we use (e.g. New Projects, In Process, and Complete),to our ReadMe card which lays out how your team can communicate projects succinctly and effectively to your Design team.

Feel free to add to it and let us know on Twitter how you think we can improve this process even more!

Trello Board
Trello Board Example

4. Github: Easy Version Control

Github was only used by 22% of the Mailjet team, but given Github is tailor made for developer teams, this makes sense.

Github is a cloud repository for developers to work together to host and review code, manage projects, and build software together. Similar to how G Suite solved the issue of version controls on documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, Github manages versions (or forks) of code and software, allowing teams to create new versions of code, review, comment, and eventually implement into projects.

For Mailjet, what’s most interesting about Github is actually our ability to not only collaborate internally but to also collaborate with our customers and partners. Mailjet’s Github account features projects (or more accurately, “repositories”) for plugins and other projects that are of interest to our network and need to be constantly refined. For example, our WordPress Plugin is frequently updated due to the high interest from our network.

Users can contribute to the repository, add comments, recommend changes and so forth. This is certainly more efficient than emailing recommendations to a generic email address (e.g. contact@business.com), it brings teams together from all over to ensure our tools are beneficial and up to date for our users.

Mailjet’s MJML Github is also highly active, with 60 contributors helping build MJML as the world’s leading responsive email framework. Our Product team also keeps an active public product roadmap to keep users up to date on what is being built, when it may be released, and so forth – allowing our community to help prioritize and build the future of MJML.

Github MJML
Github repo

5. Mailjet: Collaborate on Email

Finally, our Marketing team has become avid users of our own collaboration toolkit at Mailjet. Our collaboration features bring everything that teams have come to love about tools like Google Docs and Trello, all within an email builder.

This includes real-time collaboration and in-app commenting, so teams can sprint on an email campaign together, all at once.

It also includes user roles and permissions so that certain members of your team can only access certain controls or sections to ensure that the best possible email is sent. For example, an intern may not have access to the design and layout, while only the Email Team Lead can ultimately push ‘Send’ on an email.

Similar to Google Docs you can also track changes and easily manage templates so that if a change was wrongfully made to a template you can easily revert back to old versions, or if you would like to apply a change to all templates (e.g. if you’ve updated your logo) you can do so with one easy click.

Ultimately, alongside each of the above tools, we use Mailjet’s collaboration features on a daily basis to create the perfect template for on-boarding new users or sending our weekly blog newsletter.

Specifically, if you subscribe to our newsletter, you will receive a rundown of important new blogs, events, webinars, and more. Each week, our team works together to ensure the copy is perfect, the design is on-brand, the A/B tests are optimized, and the links are correct. In a world where email campaigns can involve as much as 11 contributors and five iterations, we’re excited to have a tool that makes emailing as a team faster and easier (we just so happen to have been the ones to build it 😉).

Mailjet Comments
Mailjet Comments – Collaboration tool

Honorable Mentions

When we conducted our survey, the thing we noticed immediately was that collaboration was baked into almost all the tools our team uses. While Slack, G Suite, Trello, Github, and Mailjet were the most actively used and loved tools, there were a few others that our team simply couldn’t live without.

Asana

Asana was used by many across the company as another way of managing projects and tasks in a very similar way to Trello, however was particularly helpful for teams planning our projects across timelines and dates, such as a content calendar or social media schedule.

Invision

Invision is a fantastic app used by our Product and Design team to collaboratively design user experiences, apps, websites in real time.

Evernote

Evernote is a popular app for our team looking to keep shared notebooks and folders, particularly when planning out ideas and campaigns. For example, our Customer Success team can keep a shared notebook on stories from our customers segmented by industry, or country, or size, so there is a one-stop repository for quotes and requests from our customers.

We’ve told you what our favourite tools are and how our teams use them. The lesson here is that collaboration is increasingly at the heart of the tools we use in our modern workplace. This is true not only across remote teams, but even teams within an office. Whether it’s working on documents, presentations, projects, code, design files, or email – collaboration is what makes work better.

Now it’s your turn to share. What tools does your team use that we may have missed? Share your #CollaborationStack on Twitter to let us know how you and your team work faster, together.

How To Code An Abandoned Cart Email With MJML

You know how many customers are leaving some items in their carts without processing to the actual purchase? We’re here to make sure you’re ready to give your customers that extra nudge and remind them about those items they once left behind in their carts. Even better you are going to make them even happier, by telling them that those items are on sale. 😏

If you’re a thorough follower of our tutorials, you may already know that, we’re showing you how to create and send awesome transactional emails step by step. We’ve already showed you how to create welcome email and email receipt using template language and MJML. Now, you’ll learn how to create abandoned cart emails.

A templating language for your transactional emails

Are you tired of creating a separate template for all your needs? Template language is here to offer you the best solution! You’ll be able to create one template for all your purposes using our template language.

Template language is available in different languages and using multiple libraries, so you are probably familiar with at least one of them. It’ll be a piece of cake! 😉

Mailjet’s Templating Language

At Mailjet, we know the value of a fully integrated templating language, which is why we created our own templating language with our Transactional Send API in mind. We’re here to help you manage everything in one template, to save you time and effort.

So, let’s recap: MJML for producing responsive HTML emails without effort, plus a templating language to bring them to life with conditional blocks and variables.
This combo can change your life as a developer. But, enough words, you’ll definitely want some action. That’s why we’ve decided to show you how to create and send awesome transactional emails, step by step.

The “How to code” tutorial: what you need to know

We’re rolling out a series of tutorials, all of which will explore a very common use-case, providing numerous examples, code snippets and nice visuals. We’ve even created an easy-to-execute tool, written with NodeJS, to test emails under actual conditions. To use it, you’ll just need valid credentials for both MJML API and Mailjet Transactional Send API, but don’t worry if you’re a newcomer: applying for the MJML API beta and creating a Mailjet account are totally free.

Our “How To Code” series has four parts. Check them out now:

How to code an abandoned cart: Quick Introduction

Today, we’re going to see how to implement an efficient abandoned cart email using MJML, the open-source email framework with 7600+ stars on Github open-source email framework, and our templatе language. Here’s a quick preview:

abandoned-cart-preview

When a customer adds products to their cart but doesn’t check out, it doesn’t mean the sale is definitively over. Here are some numbers for you: 50% of abandoned cart emails are opened, and more than a third of them trigger clicks to redirect customers to the website. And these figures could be even higher during a sale, when you’ll have the chance to offer your customers that additional tempting discount.

This high rate can be easily explained: customers often abandon their carts without meaning to do so, be it because of website crashes or times out (sure, that never happens to yours), or simply because they needed some time to think. This is why an abandoned cart email can be a successful way to re-engage customers, guide them through to the last step in your buying process or allow them to recover lost purchases.

A proper abandoned cart email should include the following:

  1. The items left in the cart.
  2. An incentive, such as a discount or a special deal, personalized for your user.
  3. Some new articles your user may prefer.

Let’s focus on these points.

How to create an abandoned cart email

You should encourage your clients to resume their shopping experience, just where they left it. This implies that your email template should display the abandoned cart, just as it looks on your website, both in terms of design and in terms of the items left behind. Easy to say when you’re using the [name here any trendy JS framework], but how do you do this in an email? The solution: use our templating language loops and variables directly into your email to display a cart based on raw JSON data.

Coding the abandoned cart section

Let’s start from the top of the template. We are going to use mj-navbar as container. We’ll choose this container as it is better suited for our needs and it’s already formed by two mj-column. The first one will contain mj-image and the other one the mj-inline-links component, which will create your links based on a list of mj-link children.

Of course we are going to add some CSS code to make our template prettier and here’s what we have:

Coding the body of the template

Now, let’s see how to code the main body of the template. As a general rule, it is recommended to keep it as close as possible to your cart’s main design on the website. Here’s our code:

As you can see, we’re using two nested mj-section. We’ll do this because the MJML API we’re using for this tutorial does not support the component yet.

Defining the items in the cart

Next, we’re going to configure everything related to the items in the cart. To do so, we are going to set up this loop {% for single_element in array_variable %}, using the following pattern: {{ var:property_key:default_value }}. Within the loop, a new variable single_element is created and updated for each iteration, ready to be used.
Here’s the MJML code for the display:

If you want to know how to set up your API call, visit our documentation here.

Coding the section with the additional discount

We are almost done! Now we need to let our customers know the good news! There are sales, oh surprise, the items that they left behind are now with discount! Who doesn’t love discounts? Probably some customers abandon their carts because they initially thought your products were cheaper. Hold on… Where did all these taxes and shipping fees come from? Well now, with the discount on the items, the customers won’t even notice those additional costs.
Here again, we’ll use a mj-table to display two sub-columns:

To win these customers back, the best way is to issue a discount or offer them free shipping, in the form of a deal that looks as if it was directly branded for them. To do this, add blocks to your template that only show up under specific conditions. In this tutorial, conditional blocks come to the rescue.

How to code section with other suggestion

Abandoned cart emails can provide a nice opportunity to present other products. You surely have a nice algorithm for recommendations – use it to generate some JSON data and, with our templating language, display nice personalized blocks directly in your email.

How to code CTA button

This is the easiest part. 😉 To add the CTA button, just use the code below for the mj-button:

Time to jump on Github

OK, we’ve given you an overview and some code examples to create an amazing abandoned cart email. Now it’s time to create your own with your own design.
You’ll find everything you need on our detailed tutorial on Github, complete with examples and code samples.

Github-tutorial-blogpost-banner 4

Have you missed the previous tutorials? Check them out here:

How to create an e-commerce receipt email

How to send a welcome series email

We’ve also created an easy-to-execute tool, written with NodeJS, to test emails under actual conditions. To use it, you’ll just need valid credentials for both the MJML API and Mailjet’s Transactional Send API. Don’t worry if you’re a newcomer: applying to the MJML API beta and creating a Mailjet account are totally free.

Do you want to be informed about the next tutorials? Come and say “hi” on Twitter or join us for a chat on Facebook

Email Blast: 4 Tips to Send Better Email Campaigns

Email blast is bad. There, we said it. Email campaigns should never be unsolicited, but helpful and responsive. They should be careful and resourceful – not lazy and unfocused. Emailing, in general, should never seem aggressive.

Unsolicited B2C cold emailing campaigns are now illegal in Europe (thanks GDPR). And should you even try them, notice your sending reputation drop faster than your eye can blink.

Today, the average customer is sophisticated, and doesn’t only want a personalized experience (although this is still important); they love emails that help them realize their wants and needs.

To help you achieve company objectives, here are some slick up-to-date tips on creating more sophisticated email marketing campaigns that customers want to read and click.

A visual representation of multiple email blasts in Harry Potter
A visual representation of multiple email blasts in Harry Potter

 

Let’s face it. You’re probably older than 13, not a wizard/witch/made of magic and can relate more to the Dursley’s terror of getting unsolicited (e)mails than Harry’s delight. Evanesco, email blast.

Author’s Note: 

So let me clarify some things up:

Mass email campaigns ≠ Email blast

There is an important distinction to be made. From product announcements to press release emails, mass email campaigns are still important in any well-functioning marketing strategy. There is no denying this.

Most importantly, I don’t consider them as email blasts, specifically because they are not grounded in dodgy sending practices. Mass email campaigns, done well, relies on lists with good hygiene, on good sending practices, on good content and design, etc. Mass email campaigns will always be segmented, even when they’re sent to everyone because this “everyone” excludes opt-outs, inactive emails, and any other person out there that might not be relevant to campaign targets.

The term email blast is getting more associated with irresponsible sending practices, purchased lists that contain dud contacts, and content that triggers spam filters to hell and back. These still happen in places with less robust policies on compliance and email sending. This is the version of the term that email marketers want to distance themselves from, worldwide. And legitimately so.

 

1. What is an email blast

Email Blast
A Halloween pumpkin rotting at the sight of an email blast

 

An email blast is one email sent to a lot of people. This email would not target particularly anyone, let alone a segment of people.

This email would be devoid of personality – a flavorless thing. If this email was a type of food, it’d be chicken breast, without the protein. If this was a drink, it’d be water that dehydrates. If this was waste, it’d be plastic trash… you get the picture.

Nowadays, no one likes being the victim of an email blast. So while this is a great piece of email history – and a great trivia to spurt out in email geek parties – email blast is an ancient practice that no efficient email marketer does anymore, because it doesn’t work.

2. Why should you stop sending email blast marketing campaigns

Today, when there are email apps that allow emails to be more personalized and data-driven, sending out an email blast is lazy and outdated, and could indicate that you’re not taking your email marketing seriously.

The ROI on email marketing may be high, but you might lose money if you use an email tactic that lowers your email subscription and deliverability. Your sending reputation is your digital credit. If your IP has bad sending reputation, all your digital actions might be labeled as untrustworthy and spammy. Not good for marketing.

Lisa Simpson talks about email blasts
Lisa Simpson talks about email blasts

3. 4 tips on how to send better and cleaner email campaigns

3.1 Grow your email lists organically

There are many ways to organically grow your email lists. You could use social media, include subscription widgets and pop-ups on your website, include a newsletter opt-in in your emails, create multichannel campaigns that encourage subscription… if you just flex your creativity, the sky’s the limit (unless you hire a skywriting service).

3.2 Segment your email lists

Segmentation divides your contact list into smaller groups based on a set of traits. This can be a great personalization technique to deliver relevant emails that subscribers want to see based on their interests.

At Mailjet, we have advanced segmentation features for data-tracking. These allow you to track the effects of segmenting your contact lists in real-time. To really jumpstart your segmentation, we also have an API integration with Segment so that you can see the effects of creating subgroups that are relevant (or not).

It’s no secret that segmenting your lists can increase email click and open rates. But segmentation needs to be correct in order to work well. Whether this is on gender, age, location, industry, or email behavior, you need to be data-driven but person-led in your segmentation tactics. It pays to know how to segment your lists but you already need to be sending the right emails, with the right content, at the right time(s) in order to be effective. Done well, segmentation can increase not only open rates but actual revenue.

3.3 Send personalized email campaigns

Sending out personalized email campaigns is the bread and butter of modern email marketing. You want to take advantage of the plethora of services that both automate and personalize your email campaigns. Personalized email campaigns perform better in open and click rates than their bland counterparts. And who wouldn’t want to see that you’ve done that extra mile in including their name in your emails?

For example, at Mailjet, we have personalization features that allow you to fill in various types of property information. You can also use our API integration with Zeta to segment your contact lists into relevant subgroups that get the right content on the right time. As we have already covered on our article on great newsletter examples, Really Good Emails simply but elegantly does name personalization quite well.

3.4 Follow email marketing best practices

Adapt a customer-centric email design that highlights your products
While it is always best to design marketing campaigns that customers would love to read and scroll through, they also love to discover. Holistic Marketing has written a great article on the importance of creating emails that are helpful and customer-facing, with great examples.

Add an unsubscribe link
Including an unsubscription button or link to your emails is mandatory in Europe, but it’s also best to do it elsewhere, too. This is because people who don’t want to get your emails anymore will tend to avoid reading your future emails, or, worse, flag you as spam.

Ratio text/images
Sending out well-optimized emails for as many email clients as you can will, well, ensure that everyone receives your emails in the same format. Our friends at Litmus created an excellent guide on optimizing background images. At Mailjet, we agree and like to keep our design responsive.

Create emails that render well across multiple email clients
Arguably, the most important thing in email marketing is ensuring that your emails are sent in the way you intended them to be. Unfortunately, as there are 50+ email clients out there, rendering for each can be a daunting, complicated task. Our MJML templating language simplifies this task by (1) simplifying HTML allowing you to code much more efficiently and (2) getting regular updates that ensure your design and coding remain responsive.

4. Get creative

Of course, there are also tons of other stuff you should be following in order to really improve your email campaigns. You could add inspired .gifs on your emails. You could also add rich media if you know how to code for emails – always a banger. You can also improve your subject lines by adding emojis.

This list is endless.

Tweet us @mailjet if have ideas on doing things other than an email blast.

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

How often do you check your spam folder? Almost never? Then how do you know that important emails aren’t in your spam folder? Do you just trust your Internet Service Provider (ISP)? Well, your ISP – whether this is Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, or the now-defunct Mailbox (RIP) – doesn’t just magically sort out what email goes to your inbox and what doesn’t. And there’s no guarantee that your important emails get sent to your inbox. And vice-versa. Nothing in life is ever that simple. It’s a process related to something called email deliverability.

That doesn’t sound like a sexy buzzword. And it isn’t. Neither does it effortlessly roll off the tongue. De-li-ve-ra-bi-li-ty – a whopping seven syllables that doesn’t even score much on Scrabble (only 24 points). But it’s very important. Please, bear with me.

Spam piling up
Spam piling up

 

1. What is email deliverability

Email deliverability looks at the number of emails that go to your list’s inboxes. Deliverability failure is when your emails don’t get into your customers’ inboxes. Simple enough, right? The process behind ensuring deliverability can be complicated, though. But we will provide you with tips on how to improve your deliverability.

2. Why does email deliverability matter

Are you a business that sends emails? Do you want your emails to land in the inbox, and not the spam folder? If yes, then you will have to care about deliverability.

Businesses, especially in eCommerce, typically send two types of emails to their customers.

    1. The first type is marketing emails. They’re sent to customers who have opted-in to get emails from that brand. These can include everything from discount emails, weekly newsletters, or Holiday campaigns.
    2. The other is transactional emails, which customers receive after they do an action on a website or app, including a registration confirmation, password reset, or a purchase receipt.

If you still haven’t completely figured out why deliverability matters, imagine this.

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT
Email Deliverability matters

 

You’re a bus company. A ticket purchase confirmation email goes into your passenger’s spam folder, which they don’t check quite often or would not even think of checking. This issue happens with say, 1% of your customers. On a week this could happen to thousands more people.

Then, thousands of angry customer complaints flood your company inbox, and your support team can’t handle this outpour. You lose customers to competitors, and it’s turned into a big crisis. And you lose a huge chunk of profit.

If your marketing emails with discounts also get sent to your customers’ spam folders, again you could be losing out on a big proportion of new revenue. It’s also equally annoying for customers who might have wanted to take these discounts.

Scratch that – it’s annoying for everyone.

You can easily avoid these if you carefully consider your email deliverability.

Your customers need to see your business’ important transactional and marketing emails in their inboxes, not spam folders.

3. What’s the difference between email delivery and deliverability

Email delivery is whether or not your audience’s ISP (e.g. Gmail) received your emails. Deliverability is on emails that hit the inbox.

There are other key words to consider: sent vs delivered. Delivered emails simply mean that the receiving server has accepted your emails and that the recipients can see them.

But sent emails means that they are still being processed or have been placed in a queue for various reasons (e.g. the recipient’s inbox may be full, or the email address may not be right).

It’s ultimately better to measure your campaign success in terms of deliverability, not delivery. Deliverability indicates whether the types of emails you deliver are good enough to get into your customers’ inboxes, and your sending practices can ultimately impact this. The delivery rate might be on other factors outside your factor, such as your ESP of choice and your bounce and block rates. It’s always good to do your due diligence in picking your ESP. In reading this article, you’re probably already aware of how seriously Mailjet takes deliverability.

4. How to improve your email deliverability

Okay great, but how do I actually control deliverability?

4.1 Avoid email spam filters

The process of emails getting sorted into either the inbox or spam folder is not as dramatic as Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader. But spam is like the Star Wars prequels – no one wants to see them – ever. And both should never have been made.

In any case, ISPs have similar criteria on email content that can trigger their spam filters. For marketing and transactional emails, these can include simple typos, large attachments, inaccurate sender information, sending your emails out to inactive addresses, and the sender having an extensive history of delivered unread emails. So only send emails that people, including you, want to see.

Our marketing team previously wrote this excellent, comprehensive guide on how to avoid various ISPs spam filters, and you should check it out. It’s not only helpful, but also funny. For example, here’s the table of bad words that might trigger spam filters.

Spam Words

4.2 Have a clear opt-in process or your reputation might suffer

There’s nothing worse than getting emails no one wants. Now, imagine if someone absentmindedly subscribes to you, only to realize that they actually don’t want to? This could result into an inbox full of unanswered emails you’ve sent. Not good for your sender reputation, which matters a lot in the digital age. If an IP address has poor sender reputation, ISPs could filter this IP’s emails as spam.

Sending reputation can be based on many things, including your email sending history, spam complaints associated with your IP address and spam complaints associated with the domain name.

In any case, it’s always better to have a clear opt-in process. It’s also better to have double opt-in for your subscriptions. Sending an email confirmation email before that person can get your emails will ensure that:

  1. The email is valid.
  2. The email address owner is the one who in fact subscribed.
  3. They really want to get your emails.

Also, it’s also important to include a visible unsubscribe button in your emails. Just do it. Otherwise your customers might flag you as spam. In order to be GDPR and CAN-SPAM compliant, this is mandatory.

If you also introduced the option to mass subscribe customers to other affiliated newsletters, you also better visibly show that mass-unsubscribe option in your emails.

4.3 Clean up your list to improve deliverability

Cleaning up your email contact lists can be a good way to make sure that you’re sending emails to active users. It’s like cleaning up your shared kitchen. If you don’t, your roommates will start regretting in having you as their roommate, stop being friends with you, and live elsewhere (or worse: kick you out). If you keep sending emails to a dirty, filthy list, you will get less opens, clicks, and engagement.You send marketing and transactional emails to get that sweet email marketing $40:1 ROI, not to send emails to people won’t ever open them to begin with.

One of Mailjet’s customers, Videostream, came to realize that their email list was not longer clean and their emails were not delivering, not being opened, and certainly not being clicked in the way that it could.

When Videostream shifted over to a Custom Enterprise account, our Customer Success Manager Kyle noticed right away that while their contact list was growing massively (from 200K to 1.2 million contacts), their engagement was flatlining and in fact decreasing.

So, Kyle put them on a plan to clean their list of inactive, “dirty”, contacts and Videostream immediately saw a massive jump in not only open rate but actually total opens. They were sending emails out to their list of 1.2 million contacts but were getting an open rate maxing out at 1.88%. Kyle worked with them to identify inactive contacts, and those getting blocked and bounced to reduce their list from 1.2-million back down to 350K.

The result was a spike in open rates, but most interestingly a spike in total opens by 451%. Less people received the email, but more people opened it. This magic is the result of cleaning your email lists.

4.4 Set up your SPF & DKIM

Your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) will ensure that the IP you’re using can send emails on behalf of a domain. Domain Keys Identified Email (DKIM) ensures that the emails you send have not been changed in the process of getting sent (it’s a perilous journey). Set them both up by following our comprehensive guide.

4.5 Follow the industry best practices

Following Mailjet’s Sending Policy will optimise your sending. Pictured below are the minimum thresholds we expect from all of our senders. Note that this is not showing the ideal scenario, but instead is showing the rates at which Mailjet’s compliance and deliverability team are flagged to take a look… This is the danger zone.

Sending Policy
Mailjet Sending Policy Thresholds

You should also follow the email legislation in your country for marketing and transactional emails. Otherwise, your emails may get flagged as spam by ISPs, and your deliverability will suffer. Or worse, you might get fined. Not being GDPR-compliant can cost you up to €20 million in fines.

Companies should also avoid resorting to dirty tactics to game the system of various ISPs. For example, don’t try to get your marketing emails into Primary Tab on Gmail, or risk getting flagged as spam. And just don’t try to creep into their personal email folder. It’s like entering your roommate’s room uninvited. It’s creepy and not cool.

4.6 Use a trusted sender name

Partner with a trusted ESP like Mailjet for your marketing and transactional emails to make sure that your emails hit your customers’ inboxes.

Conclusion

Deliverability can be a tricky and unsexy thing. But the more you learn the ins and outs of email marketing, the more you’ll realize how important this can be in order to really optimize your sending.

The path to great deliverability can be long, confusing and winding, but these tips can help you find your way in sending great email campaigns that hit the inbox

As always, if you have any more insider tips on how to improve email deliverability, tweet them to us @Mailjet.

 

How to Use Templating Language to Send Truly Personalized Emails

Dear {{var:name}},

Wouldn’t it be cool to read an article that actually starts with your name? It would certainly grab your attention.

Well, what still sounds like a distant fantasy for the Mailjet blog is definitely a possibility for your emails using a template language.

If you’re not familiar with it yet, this post will tell you all you need to know to turn the template language function into your new email best friend.

What is template language?

A template language is a language that allows you to define placeholders within your templates that will be personalized depending on a set of variables or property details. Modern template languages don’t only support placeholders, but also loops and conditions that are often necessary to design a web page or an email.

Everyone likes to feel a personal touch in the emails they receive. It’s like if someone had thought about what you’d like to see, and had handpicked the perfect items or information just for you. We are not only talking about including a client’s first name, but using all kind of conditions, loops and functions to display content based on the recipient’s interests.

You’re probably already receiving these personalized emails while playing World of Warcraft, probably from Blizzard alerting you about the new great promotion on ingame items. So why not doing for your business too? It’s actually pretty easy to do, and email personalization usually increases the open rate by over 30%.

For example, say you have a sport e-store. You could send golfer Frank an email with all your new golf sticks, while tennis-player Diane would receive a message featuring the best tennis rackets.

If you are wondering how much is too much personalization, worry not – there is no such thing! Anything that’s personalized in the email will draw the recipient’s attention. And if you are showing them the perfect items, this will for sure generate more visits and purchases on your site. Think about your email as an invitation to check out what you found for them.

Why should you use Template language?

By using a template language for your transactional emails, you’ll be able to work with fewer templates, which will include different sections that will be displayed depending on the situation. Yes, you’ll still need a different template for account creation and for password reset, but there is no need to have five separate ones for each language you work with, for example.

Using Template language, you can add different sections for each language you need in one same template or propose a range of products for men and women in your order confirmation emails, using sections that display based on the client’s language or gender. Our system will collaborate with yours and show the appropriate option, depending on the customer’s properties defined as a variables in the API call.

Give it a try and see the magic behind the template language – you’ll never want to go back to working on 100 different emails for hours (or days…)!

How to use Mailjet’s template language?

Template languages and libraries are available for many programming languages, and choosing a language for your current needs is not difficult.

Mailjet’s Template Language follows a syntax close to the one used by the most popular template languages, such as Jinja2 or Twig, which means you’ll already be familiar with it. We made is easy and logical so even non-programmers can use it. 😉

Mailjet’s Template Language offers the perfect balance between power and ease.

You can apply it to your transactional emails using our awesome API, our collaborative editor Passport, MJML or HTML.

Mailjet’s template language can be used with IF conditions and FOR loops (wrapped between {% … %} delimitators) and supports the following operators:

  • Arithmetic operators,
  • Comparison operators,
  • Logical operators.

To learn more about which ones you can use and how to add them, check out our documentation here.

Let’s get practical: Applying high personalization with templating language in Mailjet’s builder

We know you’re probably keen to learn how it works, so let’s see how you could use some basic template language functions in Passport, Mailjet’s intuitive email builder, and then declare the variables in your API call.

Step 1: Creating the template

To get started, first create the template you need. In our example, we’ll work with an order confirmation.

Let’s say that Diane bought one of the tennis rackets you sent her (hooray!) and now you want to:

  1. Confirm her order.
  2. Show her items that she could also like.
  3. Give her an additional discount for her next purchase, which you normally do after a client’s third purchase.

This is the information we already have about Diane in our database:

First Name: Diane
Age: 28
Sports: Tennis
Number of purchases: 3

So, to get started, we’ll choose a template from Mailjet’s template gallery, add our logo and create our copy, with variables that we can set up, even without the template language.

This is what the template would look like:

order confirmation - first part

As you can see above, we’ve used these variables: {{var:ordernumber}}, {{var:firstname}}, {{var:product}} and {{var:companyname}}.

Step 2: Adding order details with Mailjet’s Template Language

So now for the fun part – using Mailjet’s Template Language. Just drag and drop the template language section wherever you want within the template, like this:

how-to-use-template-language-section

It might look like a boring section now, but not for long.

To display all the details of the purchased item and add new product proposals for Diane, you just need to click on the < > brackets that will show up when you select the section. A new window will open so you can add the code.

In the first section we are going to add {% for %} statement that will include an array of variables with all the details about the purchase. In our case it will look like this:

{% for article in var:products %}
{{ article.name }}
{{article.number}}
{{article.price}}
{{article.totalprice}}
{% endfor%}

You can choose the style and declare it as you wish in the same window in which you set up the loop.

Step 3: Displaying product recommendations

We are going to add a second template language section now. Let’s use one of our editor’s cool features and choose a section that should only be displayed to customers with that have added tennis as their favorite sport.

It’s actually pretty easy to do this. You just need to click on the section you want to apply the personalization to, and the option will appear in the upper left corner. This is an easy way to use an IF conditions for whole section.

template-language-section-condition

Now, click on “Add condition” and configure the right option for your specific use case. Here’s ours:

condition-section-template-language

Here, we’ll add the array of variables to be shown to customers that have marked tennis as their favorite sport:

{% for line in var:suggestions %}
{% for product in line %}
{{product.name}}
{{product.price}}
{% endfor %}
{% endfor %}

You can add as many of these sections as you want, based on everyone’s favorite sport, but you should also set a section without any conditions in which you include some basic suggestions for those that haven’t specified a favorite sport.

Step 4 – Adding shipping and billing information

Next, you want to add a new section with the billing information and shipping details, in two columns. This is what the section will look like:

template-language-billing-section

Step 5 – Including a discount

Finally, we’ll add a section offering Diane her and we are going to thank her:

template-language-thank-you-section

And here is the whole template we created together:

template-languae-order-confirmation-code

Step 6 – Syncing Mailjet’s Template Language with your system

We’re nearly there.
Below you can see the API call we’ll use to turn this rather plain template into a really cool confirmation email.
Here’s where we need your system to be involved. You’ll have to create a script on your end that will fill out all the variables with the all information you have about Diane and about your products.

curl -s \
    -X POST \
    --user "$MJ_APIKEY_PUBLIC:$MJ_APIKEY_PRIVATE" \
    https://api.mailjet.com/v3.1/send \
    -H 'Content-Type: application/json' \
    -d {
        "Messages":[
                {
                        "From": {
                                "Email": "youremail@yourdmaint.com",
                                "Name": "Your Name"
                        },
                        "To": [
                                {
                                        "Email": "recipeintemail@domain.com",
                                        "Name": "Recipient Name"
                                }
                        ],
                        "Variables": {
                        "ordernumber": "#12345",
                        "firstname": "Diane",
                        "product": "Tennis Racket",
                        "companyname": "Sport",
                        "products":[
			{
			"name": "Product: Tennis Racket",
			"number":  "Quantity: 1",
			"price": "Price : $30.00",
			"totalprice":"Total Price: $30.00"
			}
			],
	"suggestions": [
		[
			{
			"img": "",
			"name":  "Product: Tennis skirt",
			"price": "Price: 23€"		
			},
			{
			"img": "",
			"name": "Product:  Tennis bag",
			"price":  "Price: 45€"
			},
			{
			"img": "",
			"name": "Product: Tennis balls",
			"price": "Price: 8€"
			}
		]
		],
		"billingfull_name": "Adress: Your address",
		"billing_city": "City: Paris",
		"billing_addresspostal_code": "Postal code: 75008",
		"shippingfull_name": "Adress: Your address",
		"shipping_city": "City: Paris",
		"shipping_addresspostal_code": "Postal code: 75008",
		"discount": "10%",
		"Sport": "tennis"
                        },
                        "TemplateID": 123,
                        "TemplateLanguage": true,
                        "TemplateErrorReporting": {
					"Email": "youremail@yourdmaint.com",
                              			 "Name": "Your Name"
				},
                        "Subject": "Order confirmation"
                }
        ]
    }

Once that’s done, you can add some finishing touches to the template and voilà, all is done and the email is ready to be sent. Here’s what Diane will receive:

template-language-final-email

Looks great right? Now you know how to create amazing templates like this one with Mailjet. 😏 And soon, we’ll show you how to do this with HTML and more advanced functionalities of our template language, so you can take this to the next level.

Wrapping up:

We’ve explained the wonders of using a template language and shown you how to create an order confirmation email with Mailjet’s Template Language and our email editor, Passport.

But there’s so much more you can do! This dynamic duo will help you create amazing account confirmation emails, password reset emails, abandoned cart notifications, etc. Keep an eye out for our next posts, in which we’ll show you how to do just that, using the template language in Passport, or applying it on MJML or HTML.

And… don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and join us on Facebook as well! We are always happy to hear your ideas and comments. :)