COVID-19: Emailing Best Practices in Times of Crisis

Currently, many businesses are being affected by containment measures that are meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus and protect people worldwide. Companies in certain industries–like entertainment and travel–have been hit hard by the epidemic and have had to cancel many large-scale events. In other sectors, companies have needed to adapt and plan to maintain stability during and after the crisis.

Because of this, brands around the world are actively contacting customers and partnersto keep them informed and reassured. As you may have noticed in your own inboxes over the last few days, email is being used by brands to carry out these communications on a massive scale.

Despite the urgency of the current crisis, you should continue to follow email best practicesin order to protect your reputation as a sender, the deliverability of your messages, and your brand image. In this article, we’ll tell you all the do’s and don’ts of email best practices.

What is deliverability and why is it so important in a crisis?

Email deliverability is the delivery of legitimate emails to the inbox and not the spam folder. Deliverability is a major issue for brands, especially in times of crisis. Brands rely heavily on digital communications and want to know that these communications will reach their intended recipients.

Deliverability is not an exact science, and it depends on a multitude of factors. Keep in mind that red flags for email spamming vary from one Internet Service Provider (such as Gmail, Yahoo, and, Outlook)to another. In recent years, ISPs have become smarter and have moved away from traditional spam filters. Their emphasis is now on the engagement, or non-engagement, of the users. ISPs learn from the way we interact with the messages that arrive in our inbox, and these interactions help them determine whether emails should go to our inbox or land in our spam folder.

In today’s environment, the increasing number of emails received related to COVID-19 is likely to lead to a decrease in the engagement rate on these campaigns. Decreased engagement can then lead to an increase in unsubscriptions or spam reports from recipients. Due to this decrease in engagement, it’s possible that emails related to COVID-19 may begin to be filtered into junk folders by some email clients like Gmail or Outlook.

Do you need to communicate in the context of the crisis?

The answer depends very much on your industry. If you belong to the industries that have been strongly affected (entertainment, events, or travel) and you need to communicate important information (for example: cancellations, postponements, or refund terms), you should continue to email your recipients and give them the information they expect. The same applies if you are in essential areas like healthcare and need to keep people informed as the situation evolves.

ISPs are currently facing a significant increase in inbound traffic related to COVID-19. Some email clients cannot handle increased traffic, and this can cause delays in the delivery of important emails, like those sent by health organizations. Due to the increased traffic, we recommend that you do not send emails if they are not essential. This will decrease email traffic and ensure that really important information can be delivered to the public.

It’s possible that the current crisis is a business opportunity for your brand. If this is the case, only communicate if your message is really timely and useful for your subscribers,  and if it helps them during the crisis. Otherwise, you may pay the price in the form of lower engagement and a damaged sender reputation.

What are the best practices to follow during COVID-19?

In light of the above, if you need to communicate with your subscribers, we recommend the following practices:

  • Again, give priority only to communications that are really useful to your recipients. Don’t use COVID-19 as a pretext to communicate for commercial or marketing purposes if it’s not really needed. Also, do not send out multiple communications if they are not necessary. Instead, use other channels such as social networks.
  • If you haven’t already done so, authenticate your domains with SPF, DKIM and DMARC to avoid phishing attempts. Phishing is a technique used by scammers to obtain personal information. Spammers will try to take advantage of this pandemic by sending phishing emails. Make sure you and your subscribers are protected.
  • Never send emails to your entire contact base. This practice should be banned because the recipient servers will blacklist your sending domain and/or your sending IP address due to the large number of inactive/non-existent recipients. Instead, segment your contact lists and only target your active subscribers -for example, those who have opened or clicked on your emails in the last six months. Don’t try to reactivate inactive subscribers under the pretext of delivering coronavirus information to them.
  • Don’t use a newly created domain name for sending emails. Instead, use a subdomain of your usual domain. Otherwise, you could be mistaken for a spammer instead of a legitimate sender. In addition, make sure you use a sender domain name that allows your recipients to recognize your brand immediately.
  • In terms of content, don’t write anxiety-provoking communications that can cause panic among your recipients. Instead, make sure to reassure your recipients while reminding them of measures recommended by the World Health Organization to stop the spread of the virus.

 
You can download our Email Deliverability guide if you want to find all the best practices to follow to improve your general deliverability and avoid the spam or junk folders.

Wrapping up

A Mailjet, we are closely monitoring the overall impact of COVID-19 and are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that our customers do not experience any changes in service levels or response times due to the virus. If you would like to learn more about how we are dealing with the pandemic, click here.

Take care of yourself and those around you.

Optimizing the Performance of Transactional Emails

Do you know that feeling? You’ve just treated yourself to a long-awaited purchase, and you immediately go to your inbox to check on the Holy Grail: the confirmation email! 🤩 Because of it, you can rest assured that your new phone, laptop, or Bob Ross painting kit will arrive safe, sound, and soon. These feelings of excitement and confirmation are why the transactional emails are so important. But, before we dive in, let’s back up and revisit the concrete definition of transactional email.

What is a transactional email?

Unlike email marketing, which is an email sent “en masse” to many recipients (e.g. newsletters), transactional email is sent to a single individual as a result of a particular action.

It can be, for example, a purchase confirmation, a password reset, a delivery follow-up, a registration validation… the possibilities are endless.

These emails have become very important in consumers’ daily lives. Nearly a third of them receive more than four per day, and 93% people say they are ready to give up a brand because of a bad experience with a triggered email. These emails have therefore become an important issue for companies. Correctly used, transactional email is a powerful marketing lever capable of differentiating you from your competitors and decreasing your turnover.

Stats on Transactional Email

Turn your transactional emails into a marketing opportunity

Sometimes the look and content of triggered emails are overlooked by brands, but transactional messages have the highest engagement rates. That’s why it is important to follow some basic best practices when designing your triggered emails.

Consistency with brand image

To ensure that your users have a good experience, the design and tone of your transactional emails must respect the graphic and editorial standards of your website and your marketing emails. It is extremely important to provide your users with a harmonious and consistent user experience. Any and all communications you send them must be in line with your brand’s visual identity. Avoid triggered emails with only black text on a white background and, instead, infuse them with a little marketing magic.

The power of cross-selling in transactional emails

We also recommend that you take advantage of these triggered emails for cross-selling. This technique consists of alerting the customer to the sale of a product that complements the one he has just bought. Take advantage of your transactional emails to highlight other products or services that could be interesting for your consumers. For example, if you send them an email to confirm a flight reservation, why not offer them a car rental service in the destination city? The important thing is that the offers are consistent and non-intrusive. Once again, keep in mind that the user experience comes first!

Upselling opportunities in transactional messages

Transactional messages also provide the perfect pretext for upselling. Upselling is the practice of offering a slightly superior product or service – one that is more expensive than the one the consumer is interested in. For example, if you offer different types of subscriptions, you can take advantage of a sign-up email to praise the merits of your superior subscriptions.

Referral and loyalty programs

Use your transactional emails to promote your referral or loyalty programs. For example, you can insert a banner at the end of your emails to encourage your customers to refer their friends via a dedicated code. Remember that your consumers are your best brand ambassadors! Make them want to talk about your services to those around them. You can also offer them points to add to their loyalty account. This will allow them to benefit from many exclusive advantages and further improve their customer experience.

Examples of successful transactional emails

Some brands have already understood the huge potential of transactional messages and are sending their consumers high performance emails. Below are some good examples of transactional emails, which can help you build your own effective emails.

American Airlines

American Airlines offers clear and well-designed travel confirmation emails. Travellers can easily find all their flight information at a glance, which helps reassure them after a major purchase. And at the bottom of the email, the brand takes advantage of the opportunity to promote its mileage program, and to offer the consumer a hotel reservation service. These proposals are non-intrusive and completely consistent with the potential needs of the person making the purchase.

American Airlines email

Cream

Not only does this transactional email from Cream make us hungry, but it also makes us want to tell our friends and family about it. With a simple referral code to share, the brand allows their consumers to benefit from a $100 credit on shipping costs and to pass on the same advantage to their friends. Like Cream, don’t hesitate to put forward a very advantageous offer that makes your readers want to jump on the occasion.

Cream email

BarkBox

BarkBox is a pretty fun concept: sending boxes to the owners so that they can spoil their dog with toys and treats. With this simple shipping confirmation email, the brand manages to convey the offbeat tone and image of the brand. Additionally, the brand offers consumers to offer a gift box to a “dog lover” like them. This gives good ideas to their customers.

BarkBox email

Transactional emails and deliverability

If you send your marketing emails (newsletters, promotional campaigns…) and transactional messages (notifications, confirmations, alerts…), we recommend that you separate your sendings. This way, possible sending restrictions (often triggered by non-compliant statistics or by bad emailing practices related to the account used for your marketing campaigns) will have no impact on the sending of your transactional emails.

It is crucial for your company to ensure the best possible deliverability of your transactional emails. You might not know, but a study by Mailjet showed that 41% of consumers get annoyed if they have to wait more than 60 seconds for a transactional email to arrive in their mailbox!

Send your transactional emails with Mailjet

Mailjet offers many services that allow you to design, send, and track effective transactional emails. From creating attention-getting, personalized and responsive email to important, real-time email traffic analytics, our transactional email solution provides multi-faceted support for developers and marketers alike.

Create and send your transactional emails with Mailjet
Design beautiful transactional emails with a consistent brand image and send them with Mailjet’s powerful email infrastructure.

Create your account now

Do you design original and efficient transactional emails? Share with us all the practices you apply to your emails on Twitter!

Mailjet’s COVID-19 Plan of Action

Here at Mailjet we’re continuously monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Our team is working around the clock to ensure the continued health and safety of our employees, as well as the continuity of our business and the continued support of you, our customers.

As we embark on a time of unique uncertainty, we recognize that it’s critical to focus on what’s important. For Mailjet, that is our employees, loved ones, and customers. We know that you rely on our platform to communicate critical information to your customers and partners. As much of the world limits physical interaction, strong virtual communication is more important than ever. We recognize that we’re the backbone of much of the communication for you and your business, and it’s a responsibility we don’t take lightly.

What we’re doing in response to COVID-19

Mailjet has enacted numerous measures to ensure that we are able to provide seamless uninterrupted support during this time of uncertainty:

  • We have a Pandemic plan in place to ensure we’re able to maintain our promised service levels. If you’d like a copy of this plan, please submit a ticket.
  • We have closed all of our offices and have instituted a global work-from-home policy.
  • We’ve stopped all non-essential business travel, both domestic and international.
  • We’re encouraging our team members to eliminate all non-essential travel and practice caution to reduce the spread of this virus.

 

Moving forward

We will continue to monitor the global impact of COVID-19 and adhere to recommendations of agencies like the CDC and WHO. We will not waiver from providing best-in-class service for our customers, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure customers do not experience a change in service levels or response times as a result of this virus. Should you have any further questions as to how we are responding to the pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out.

We’ll be here.

[Guide] Email Marketing for E-commerce

E-commerce is growing at an astronomical rate. In 2017, global e-commerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, and this is expected to grow to $4.5 trillion in 2021. That’s why, if you haven’t done it yet, it’s time to review your e-commerce email marketing strategy.

Alongside this growth, all signs point towards emailing as the preferred method of communication in e-commerce over other channels, including social media. In fact, 72% of people, (including those elusive millennials and teenagers) still primarily prefer email as their primary mode of communication with brands.

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

Email marketing strategy: The essentials

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

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

The key question you should be asking yourself here as an e-commerce company is: What do I want to achieve?

Your objectives could include:

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

 

KPI Framework

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

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

Email marketing tips for e-commerce

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

1. Spend time on your email content and design

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

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

Opt for subject lines that generate curiosity. This will make the reader feel they are missing something “valuable” and want to click into that email to find out more. Which fabric is in-season? What are those fresh finds? This is very effective marketing tactic. However, each “preview” text is simply their URL, www.etsy.com which is a missed opportunity to engage the reader some more.

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

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

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

Julep - eCommerce Email
Julep Email Example

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

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

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

As with all marketing efforts, email-marketing should be diverse and creative. As an e-commerce business, you will be sending three main categories of emails:

  • transactional emails
  • marketing emails
  • automated emails

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

Harrys - eCommerce Email
Harry’s Razor Transactional Email

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

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

NY & Company - eCommerce Email
NY&C Email Example

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

3. Avoid mistakes before sending

Of course, when you’re new to sending these different types of email, you’re bound to make a couple mistakes, or miss out on some things. To avoid that, send yourself a test email to ensure everything displays properly, that there are no typos and that the email is responsive.

Before sending emails or committing a template, make sure to pull your teammates into the email builder to have them provide their comments, and be sure to A/B test your campaigns to identify which piece of content, design, subject line, or CTAs drive the most engagement.

Don’t send emails from a useless “no-reply” address. “No reply” emails are those annoying emails you get from businesses sometimes who are making it very clear they don’t want to hear from you.

NoReply Inbox

Not only is it a little rude, almost more importantly it can negatively impact your business as it is often flagged as spam.

4. Don’t ask for subscribers, incentivize subscription

Before sending emails to your customers, you have to make sure that your customers have subscribed to your emails in the first place. There are a lot of different ways to do this.

For example, you can invite website visitors to subscribe to your emails via pop-ups integrated into your website using Mailjet’s subscription widget or third party providers like SumoMe. Or like many of our customers have done so effectively, use the power of social media to invite customers into your mailing list.

Good Things - eCommerce Email
Subscription Widget Pop-up

One thing that you need to include is an unsubscribe button in your channels. Yes, adding this will mean your list may decrease in size, but more importantly it lets your audience do the different work of cleaning your contact lists for you. By removing customers who’d rather not see your emails, you are ensuring that only those most active engaged users are being sent an email.

In turn, this means you are:

  • Spending less money sending emails to people who won’t open them anyways, or worse would mark it as spam.
  • Increasing your domain and IP reputation with ISPs and inboxes.

 

BetaList - Email
Unsubscription Email

One of Mailjet’s enterprise users, Videostream, knows the value of this all too well. With the help of a Customer Success Manager, Videostream cleaned their list from 1.2M contacts to 120K contacts. This 10x decrease in users actually resulted in a 5x more total opens, and an increase in ROI of 10x.

This is because the more people receive unwanted emails from you, the less likely it is you will land in the inbox of those who do in fact like you. Here’s a full case study on how Videostream accomplished this.

5. Track and use your data

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

Email Stats - eCommerce Email
Mailjet Email Stats

Useful email metrics to consider when using Mailjet’s platform include how many emails have been sent, delivered, opened and clicked.

The sent rate is a way of saying that the recipients’ servers have received the emails, and the delivery rate means that the recipients can now read them…somewhere (in their inbox? Spam? Mystery. Well, kinda.). The opened rate shows how many people have opened their emails, and the click-through rate shows how many times your customers have clicked on a link in your emails since receiving them.

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

6. Optimize your e-commerce email marketing strategy

Even the most successful email campaign can be improved. So you need to keep testing your performance.

Ask yourself these questions and adjust your content accordingly:

  • Which email subject line has the best opening rate?
  • Which links and call-to-action buttons generate the most clicks?
  • Which email content was uninteresting for your subscribers?

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

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

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

7. Work on your deliverability

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

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

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

This is primarily because good deliverability requires three things that take time, resources, and a commitment to email:

  • Strong and on-going relationships with inbox providers.
  • A robust infrastructure and third party vetting tools like Mailjet’s partnership with 250ok.
  • Deliverability experts to help maintain quality domain and IP addresses for senders like you.

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

Send stunning e-commerce emails with Mailjet
Design and send newsletters, promotional emails and order confirmations for your e-commerce business with the best emailing platform.

Create your account now

E-commerce email campaign ideas along the customer journey

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

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

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

1. The welcome email

No matter what, first impressions really count.

When welcoming a new “member” to your email list, send them a welcome email containing valuable content that will inspire them to continue to engage with new articles. For instance, this is a great opportunity to:

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

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

Welcome Email
Mailjet’s Welcome Email

 

2. The classic newsletter

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

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

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

 

Penguin Newsletter
Penguin Books Newsletter

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that your newsletter is only there to sell. Sending out newsletters that are too pushy will cause people to unsubscribe from your list, or put a bad taste in their mouth. Instead this is an opportunity to take an engaged list of potential customers and make them love you.

Ask yourself the following questions and create your newsletter accordingly:

  • What interests my readers?
  • What questions might they have?
  • What problems are they currently facing?
  • How, specifically, can I help them solving these problems?

 

3. Special occasion newsletters

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

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

Nokia Mother's Day NL
Nokia Holiday Newsletter

 

4. Order and shipping confirmations

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

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

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

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

Order Confirmation
Order Confirmation Email

 

5. Customer surveys

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

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

  • To check if your communication with customers is clear and coherent.
  • To obtain and guide the attention of your customers.
  • To strengthen customer loyalty.
  • To inspire you with new product ideas.

 

Headspace Survey Email
Headspace Survey Email

 

6. Shopping cart dropouts

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

Dote Abandoned Cart Email
Abandoned Cart Email

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

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

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

7. Personalized note to your customers

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

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

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

Nike Birthday Email
Automated Birthday Email

 

Summing up

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

Remember these top email tips for e-commerce businesses:

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

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

Send stunning e-commerce emails with Mailjet
Design and send newsletters, promotional emails and order confirmations for your e-commerce business with the best emailing platform.

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

***

This blog post is an updated version of the post “The Ultimate Guide to Email for ecommerce”, published on the Mailjet blog on October 11th, 2018 by Julian Canlas and Jan Bernecke.

7 Little Tweaks That’ll Improve Your Email Marketing’s Conversion Rates

So you write a fantastic email about a company sale you’re having and then send it out to your list. You’re certain this is the email that will rake in those sales this week and have all your customers love you.

But 24 hours after sending the email… nothing happens. Your conversions are at all-time low – almost no one took action – and you wonder where you could have gone wrong.

That’s what we’re here for. In this post, we’ll walk you through seven small tweaks you can do on your email campaigns to see big improvements in your conversions. But first, here are a couple reasons why your emails might not be getting you the results you want.

Why is your email marketing campaign not bringing results?

There could be a number of reasons your email marketing campaign isn’t bringing you the conversions you thought.

For one thing, you might not be giving your subscribers a compelling reason to open your emails.

Let’s face it, the average person probably gets about a hundred emails a day if not more – and if you’re not standing out from their crowded inboxes, you can bet they’ll be skimming over your name and email without question.

Secondly, it’s possible you’re sending your emails to the wrong people.

One main reason people unsubscribe or don’t open emails isn’t just because they have so much already – other times, it’s because they don’t feel that your emails are relevant to them anymore.

And lastly, another reason your email marketing campaign is performing poorly: your email’s copy is all about you.

Jason Chow, Head of Marketing and Outreach at HostScore, says that this is a common mistake that even seasoned marketers make.

One of the jobs of a marketer is to convince potential customers that their product or service is the best one available in the market, so the tendency is to put the spotlight on the product or service. But what many marketers don’t realize is that their customers don’t care about all of that. They want to know what’s in it for them and how will they benefit from your product. If you don’t address this in your emails, they won’t convert.

Jason Chow

Head of Marketing and Outreach at HostScore

People open emails and click through to links and promotions from brands and businesses because they see some kind of value in doing so. So if you aren’t making your benefits for your customer clear, then you won’t be seeing any conversions.

How to improve your email marketing’s conversion rates

Now that you’ve seen some ways you might be able to diagnose problems in your email marketing, let’s take a look at these seven quick tips that can help you remedy them and get you on the road to better-performing email.

Use your name in the From Name field

One easy thing you can implement right away is adding a human touch to those email campaigns.
By just using your real name instead of business name in the From Name field, you can stand to increase email open rates by 35%.

sender details

Take advantage of the Preview text

The preview text are the handful of words that people see from their inboxes without having to open your email.

preview text example

If supported by your email service provider, you can edit this preview text right as you build your campaign. If not, you can simply make the first line of your whole email more exciting and compelling.

Here are a few Preview text ideas you can use to entice readers to open your emails:

  • Ask a question
  • Hint at an exciting announcement
  • Use curiosity-inducing words
  • Include urgent callouts

 

Regularly clean your list

One key strategy for keeping a healthy email list is regularly pruning cold subscribers. These subscribers are people who haven’t engaged with your emails or brands for at least three3 months.
These cold subscribers can seriously hurt your overall conversion rates in the long-run, and imagine all the money you’d save if you cleaned out cold subscribers who are only taking up space in your mailing list.

Segment your email list

When you further segment your email list according to different characteristics like goals, interests, or even gender, you’re able to create more highly-personalized emails that can increase your chances of getting subscribers to convert.

You can segment subscribers based on which lead generation form they might have signed up for – say, a business might segment people who signed up for a free email marketing paper, they’d be added to a segment called Email Marketing, while those who opted in for a social media statistics report might be in a segment for Social Media.

This way, you can send more relevant emails to subscribers per segment and enjoy better open rates and click-throughs.

Make A/B testing a habit

If you’re not already A/B testing consistently for your email marketing, now is a good time to start.

Subject lines are the thing you’ll most often be testing, but you can also experiment with these things:

  • Campaign send times. You can experiment with different days and times for your emails to see which ones get the highest opens and click-throughs.
  • In-email links. Seeing which links your audience is clicking on in your emails, such as social media links or different CTAs, can give you a lot of insight for future campaigns.
  • Images. Sometimes one kind of design will encourage better conversions. Experiment with different images and video stills on your campaigns to start getting insights about what people are clicking on.

 

Include a clear and compelling CTA

One thing that will always be email marketing best practice is to include clear and persuasive CTAs. To optimize conversions and click-throughs, use action words such as “Buy now,” “Click to read,” or “Watch now.”

Opt to sprinkle in your CTA in different parts of your email and not just once, and make sure there’s contrast – such as a bright button or bold link – that signals some kind of action your audience can take.

email marketing from casper

Brush up on your copywriting skills

Copywriting is a huge contributor to your conversion rates. If you’ve already got your audience opening your emails, you should be able to persuade them by the end.

Whether you want to persuade them into changing their mind about a topic or into taking action, practice better copywriting in each campaign to consistently get better results.

Value first, sales second

Last but not least, you will always need to provide value before you can ever make the sale.

Convince your audience that you’re the expert in a given topic, give them helpful free resources or tips, and always think about how your email – even if sales-related in nature – can provide value in their lives.

To do this, think of your product’s benefits instead of features. Tell audiences transformations they can expect when they buy from you or click this link or work with you.

Always put the focus on helping your audience, and the sales and conversions will come.

Key Takeaways

If you aren’t seeing the results you want from your email marketing campaigns, be sure to take a good look at your current strategy and see where to make improvements. Review the tips listed in this article as a start. Then over time, as you implement better strategies and techniques, you’ll being seeing those conversion rates skyrocketing in no time.

Tips to Create the Best Valentine’s Day Email Marketing Campaigns

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

While you’re trying to decide if you really need that adorable giant teddy bear (it might be a bit too much?), your customers are figuring out what gifts to buy and what places to go to celebrate this love-filled holiday. Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to use email to strengthen your relationship with your contacts and let them know you have what they’re looking for. So roll up your sleeves and start building your Valentine’s Day email campaigns now with these tips and examples!

Send a first email campaign before Valentine’s Day

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

Example #1: The Valentine’s Day alert

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

Philosophy's Valentine's Campaign
Philosophy’s Valentine’s Day email campaign

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

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

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

Example #2: The sneak peek

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

American Apparel Valentine's Gift Guide
American Apparel’s Valentine’s Day email campaign.

Leverage your order confirmations

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

Urkel_Valentines

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

Give your procrastinators an extra nudge on Valentine’s Day

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

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

Example #3: The reminder email

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

Birchbox Valentine's Email
Birchbox’s Valentine’s Day email campaign

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

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

Example #4: The Valentine’s Day gift

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

Just for you Valentines GIF

Don’t forget those who are not in a relationship

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

Example #5: The treat for singles

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

Max&Co Valentines Email
Max&Co’s Valentine’s Day email campaign

Summing up

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

Remember the tips:

  1. Send a first email campaign before Valentine’s Day.
  2. Segment your email marketing for Valentine’s Day based on activity.
  3. Leverage your order confirmations.
  4. Give your procrastinators an extra nudge on Valentine’s Day
  5. Show your love with a Valentine’s Day email, too.
  6. Don’t forget those who are not in a relationship
Send stunning Valentine’s Day email campaigns with Mailjet
Collaborate with your team to design and send beautiful email campaigns that they truly speak to your audience.

Create your account now

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

Email Campaign Ideas to Test in the New Year

Since 2020 is already in full swing, and we’re totally confident that you haven’t dropped any of your New Year’s resolutions yet, why not add one more into the mix? We’ve already told you about the exciting trends we expect to see in an email this year, but what about some cool email campaign ideas to make 2020 your Year of Email?

No need to panic, we’ve got you covered. While you were signing up for spin class, our minds were spinning with fun email campaign ideas that you can test in the new year. Give these a try, and you’ll feel great about your email strategy for 2020 (even if those other resolutions don’t last).

Email Campaign Ideas for 2020

Idea #1: Re-engage your customers after the holiday season

Once all the excitement dies down, it’s time to take a rest from sending email campaigns, right? Wrong. Surprisingly, the post-holiday season is a great time for sales, and a reactivation campaign is the perfect way to get in on the action. Try sending out a campaign to encourage your subscribers to visit your store or website again.

At the beginning of the year, the sales that started after Christmas are likely to still be on. Leverage on this to attract customers to your products and remind them why they subscribed to your brand in the first place. This is a great way to reduce post-holiday unsubscribes.

You can also segment your list to promote to each customers items that they may be more interested in, based on previous purchasing behavior. Continue to engage your subscribers to avoid being ignored after the holiday hype calms down.

Example: Nasty Gal

This Nasty Gal campaign plays with the new resolutions that usually emerge at the beginning of the year, implying that buying from their sale is a good decision. This is a great way to encourage post-holiday shopping and make customers feel good about it.

NastyGal New Year Campaign

Idea #2: Make the most of a not-as-popular holiday

Think about it: your customers’ inboxes are flooded during popular sales periods like Black Friday and Christmas, but what about holidays that aren’t traditional shopping days? Take advantage of the email lull and send your subscribers a special sale when they’re not expecting it. This will capture your subscribers’ attention and incite their curiosity, as they may not be aware of that festivity.

Using a campaign comparison tool, like the one Mailjet offers, will allow you to test various holiday campaigns throughout the year. That way, you’ll know which holidays cut through the inbox clutter and bring you the most engagement from your customers.

Example: Mardi Gras

This Mardi Gras email takes advantage of the excitement surrounding a holiday that’s not typically known for shopping, and encourages customers to indulge in shopping and savings (in addition to eating in abundance, as the festivity requires).

Banana Republic Mardi Gras Campaign

Idea #3: Own up to your mistakes

It’s every marketer’s worst nightmare, and it probably happens to you once or twice a year. You see your beautiful new campaign land in your inbox, only to realize that your call to action links to the completely wrong page, or worse, it has no link at all!

But wait, don’t faint just yet. Use it as an excuse to send a quick follow-up campaign apologizing for the goof (and including whatever you missed in your previous email).

Even if it was a technical problem with your website, don’t be afraid to apologize. Your customers will likely open the email just to see what went wrong, and they may even click through for the deal that you were promoting in the first place. Use powerful subject lines that will play with your customer’s FOMO, to ensure that they will be opened.

Be sure to take a look at your campaign statistics after you’ve sent your “Oops!” email, to see if it increases engagement. Now, we know this little trick is amazing, but don’t go finding excuses to use it, ok? We wouldn’t want you to get carried away. 😉

Example: Forever 21

In this email, Forever 21 takes advantage of their ‘Oops’ moment to offer customers free shipping. Best excuse ever to activate your winter sales.

Forever 21 Ops Email

Idea #4: Play to your customer’s competitive side

Use your slower seasons to give your customers fun incentives. Try creating a game that invites your subscribers to interact with your brand for a prize. This is a fun idea that you can test using multiple platforms. For example, if you’re looking to increase your social following, try running a contest on one of your social platforms, then send an email campaign to let your subscribers know that they’re missing out!

You can also run a campaign encouraging your customers to make purchases over a period of time for a chance to win a prize (think McDonald’s Monopoly game). Giving your customers a little extra push to make a purchase during a traditionally slow season is a great way to re-engage your contact list.

A fun competition is also a great chance to run an A/B (or even better, A/X) test on the various elements of your email. Figuring out which style of subject lines or email imagery excites your subscribers will give you great insight for designing your future holiday campaigns. You can also segment your email list to offer your most loyal customers special deals or opportunities for extra points.

Example: Starbucks

This Starbucks for Life summer game is a great example of creating new excitement through competition. Customers compete to win bonus stars or a lifetime supply of Starbucks by making purchases and hitting specific targets.

Starbucks Email Campaign

Wrapping Up

Testing new campaign ideas is a great way to capitalize on slower seasons. With whatever you decide to try in the new year, make sure to follow your statistics to track the effects of your campaigns. Once you’ve tested your new creations, you’ll be ready to implement the best ideas into your emails for the busier seasons.

So, are you feeling totally pumped to make 2020 the best email year yet? Don’t let us stop you – start building those new campaigns with Mailjet now!

Do you want to try Mailjet?
Create your free account in seconds and start building and sending responsive email campaigns directly to the inbox.

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Did you try one of our 2020 email campaign ideas? Share the results with us on Twitter.

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This blog post is an updated version of the post “Email Campaign Ideas To Test In The New Year“, published on the Mailjet blog on January 5th, 2017 by Patrika Cheston.

Getting Your Super Bowl Email Strategy Right

We’re less than a month away from one of the biggest marketing moments of the year (oh, and I guess one of the biggest days in American sports too).

The Super Bowl, set for February 2nd this year, is one of those few days in the year where nearly everyone’s attention will be on one event. Reaching over 100M viewers every year, the Super Bowl brings in nearly 3x the traffic you can expect from other major events like the Oscars, NBA Finals, or a regular season football game. The best performing TV show might reach 15-16M, but nothing ever comes close to the Super Bowl on an annual basis. Ok yes, the FIFA World Cup Final certainly outperforms the Super Bowl with a global audience of 163M in 2018, but this is not only a global event but an event that only takes place once every four years.

<Super Bowl Viewership vs Other Major Television Events.

 

The point is, the Super Bowl presents a rare opportunity for you as a marketer, and given email marketing continues to drive the highest ROI compared to other marketing channels (yes, including social media, digital advertising, and, of course, Super Bowl commercials), it’s a rare opportunity to leverage this event to drive more conversions from email.

In this post, we’ll help get you ready for this event with some tips on how to optimize the impact you can get from your email campaigns before, during, and after the Super Bowl. We’ll also take a look at some tips for your Superbowl email subject lines.

Preparing Your Email Strategy for the Super Bowl

In the lead up to the Super Bowl there is a lot you can do to ensure that both you, and your customers are ready for the big game.

Roughly half of the Americans that watch the Super Bowl plan to do so at a party, that means over 50M people will be out of their house, bringing food, drinks, and gifts. In fact, 79% of people planned to spend money on food, beverages, or other merchandise in 2018. As you can imagine, spending on Super Bowl Sunday has gone up every year and is up over 60% in the last decade. In 2018 spending reached $15.3B with 25-34 year olds spending the most, with an average of $118.43 each.

To capture your share of this pie, you need to anticipate your customers needs and wants for the day, and help them spend their money the best way. This could include sending relevant and personalized sales a couple days or weeks ahead of time, like deals on dip bowls, food, big screen TVs, or streaming packages.

 

West Elm Super Bowl Sale
West Elm Super Bowl Sale

 

Or you could help your customers have a stress-free day by letting them pre-order certain items ahead of time, like pizza or wings.

 

Shaws Super Bowl Pre-Order
Make Pre-Orders Easy with Email

 

Almost as important as getting your customers ready for the Super Bowl is getting you and your marketing team ready as well. As you’ll see in the next section, there are many marketing opportunities during the game that you’ll want to be ready for, and as our VP of Sales always liked to say: “In anything, Preparation is 90% of your Success!”

Preparation at Mailjet

There are a lot of knowns and predictable moments in lead up to the Super Bowl, and you should use this to your advantage. We’ll start off easy:

  • We know the kick off time is 6:30pm EST on February 2nd.
  • We know it’s taking place in Miami and will be broadcast on Fox.
  • We know football games are usually three hours long, so a good guess is that the halftime will take place at 8pm EST and will feature Shakira and Jennifer López.
  • We know that 1 in 3 people over the age of 35 will be checking their email during the game, and that over 80% of people will be on their phone multiple times throughout the game.

But let’s go beyond this.

  • We also know who will be advertising during the Super Bowl, as AdWeek is tracking everything they know about upcoming commercials.
  • Because of this we know, for example, that Kellogs will have a commercial about Pop-Tarts, and if this spot is relevant to your brand in any way you can adjust your messaging to stay relevant.

We’ll have a few more tips for you later on, to show how you can leverage the obscene ad dollars from major brands ($5M for a 30-sec ad) to help your own campaigns. Can’t Wait? Jump over to our tips for after the Super Bowl.

Ultimately, with all of this information up front you can begin to plan your email campaigns accordingly. If you want engagement on your site, you can schedule a campaign to go out three hours before the game to advertise last minute deals. If you want to take advantage of moment marketing, you could get your design team ready with images, related to football or the halftime show so you’re ready to quickly send a relevant email campaign at a moment’s notice.

Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

Taking Advantage of Email During the Super Bowl

There is a lot happening when the game is on, and of course people are distracted. While, as we already mentioned, many people are actually checking their email and social media during the game and the commercials, you are going to see a noticeable drop in engagement during the game.

Make Sure Your Emails Are Mobile Friendly

Moveable Ink put together a really interesting study to look at if and how people are engaging with email during Super Bowl Sunday. They found that email open rates on Super Bowl Sunday were on par with open rates you can expect any other Sunday throughout the year. However, they did find that emails were opened much more frequently on smartphones and tablets than on desktop devices during this time.

 

Superbowl Open Rates
Email Open Rates During Super Bowl Week

This is understandable given people are away from their desks on most weekends, but it’s a good reminder that it’s important to ensure your emails are responsive on all devices, and also that your campaigns, CTAs, landing pages, and promotions are also optimized for mobile conversions.

Make it easy for people to go to your website or buy your product on a mobile device if you’re planning on sending on Super Bowl Sunday.

Take Advantage of Retargeting with Email

While of course social media, like Twitter, has quickly become the digital channel people are engaging with during the Super Bowl to discuss the game and the commercials, they are often engaging with brands, websites, and search.

Patrick Tripp, senior product marketing manager at Adobe Campaign explains why: “They’re using their mobile device to enhance their viewing experience by researching the celebrities and brands, new products/services making their big debut and more. Most importantly — in addition to all of this second-screen activity — they’re checking their email during the Super Bowl.”

While you can certainly take advantage of the fact that your customers are potentially reading your emails during the game, it’s more important that you are leveraging re-marketing and contact capture opportunities that occur during the game.

For example, if someone is reading an article you wrote about the Super Bowl on your site during the game, or are researching your products, make sure you set up transactional emails or automation workflows with promotions or calls to action to keep them engaged.

Kraft’s Family Greatly Twitter campaign in 2018 directed people to a landing page where they were promoting an email newsletter with easy and delicious recipes.

Patrick Tripp from Adobe explains further. “With the right tools, marketers can create more than a spike in social mentions, but actually boost the bottom line by remarketing in email to create more meaningful, relevant engagements, leveraging insights they already have about the consumers’ interest in the game — from the team they’re rooting for to the brands they’re researching and possible online shopping carts they’ve abandoned.”

Moment Marketing at the Super Bowl

Finally, there is of course moment marketing, making sure you are ready to jump on relevant moments from the game. Oreo won this game in 2013 with their “You Can Still Dunk in the Dark” Twitter post during 2013’s Super Bowl power outage, but many brands can take advantage of these moments on both social media and email to leverage a shared experience for brand awareness and engagement.

To do this right, you’ll need to have your email marketing team ready, maybe launch a “war room” at the office to watch the game, have some pizza (maybe even some beer) and be on the ready to quickly design a new campaign and write some new copy to capitalize on the shared conversation happening online.

Maximize Impact After The Super Bowl is Done

Once the game is done, your work is not.

It’s only starting, actually. One way to understand this is to look at how people interact with advertisers before and after the game. During the game, Millennials are the most likely to visit an advertisers website, whereas Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers are far more likely to engage with your brand right after, or even up to one week after.

Website Visits Super Bowl Ads
How Different Generations Engage with Super Bowl Advertisers

Be Apart of the On-Going Conversion

While we can’t all be advertisers at the Super Bowl, there are opportunities to take advantage of the discussion happening online about the game, the commercials, the players, and the brands. You can send campaigns that reference those moments from the game, that follow up on your social media posts, or maybe even email out your own (much cheaper) Super Bowl commercial with a YouTube link.

Either way, over 100M Americans are riding high from an event – take this opportunity to start and/or continue a conversation with them.

Piggy Back Off of Major Brand Awareness

Another massive opportunity, depending on your industry is to leverage the good will of the advertisers for your own products and services.

Super Bowl commercials are often more about pushing a new idea or concept, as much as they are about pushing a specific brand or product. For example, Amazon’s fantastic 2018 Super Bowl commercial for Alexa was as much about the future of the connected home and voice control, as it was about a specific Amazon product. In fact, they never actually name the product in the ad (the Amazon Echo).

“The commercial built awareness of Alexa and Echo devices, says Deb Gabor, CEO of brand strategy consultancy Sol Marketing. “While it didn’t offer much in name of showcasing the value proposition of Alexa, it seemed aimed at driving the adoption of smart speakers into mass use.”

Brands who don’t have $5M to spare on a Super Bowl ad, but with an interest in the connected home industry, can piggyback off of the attention smart speakers and connected devices will now have in the zeitgeist. It often doesn’t need to be a competing company, it’s almost more impactful if you are a completely different product entirely.

For example, if you sell smart thermostats, maybe send an campaign after with the subject line “Our smart thermostats never lose their voice”.

We know which brands will be advertising during the Super Bowl, and in fact we will likely already be able to see the actual commercial since they are commonly leaked ahead of time (whether intentionally or not). Major brands will be pushing new ideas and new industries. Identify where your brand can jump into this new window to capitalize on this new concept awareness.

Subject Line Tips for Your Email Campaigns

Finally, one of the most frequently asked questions about email marketing is how to write the perfect subject line. On a crowded marketing day like Super Bowl Sunday, standing out with good copy is even more important.

According to CoSchedule, 35% of recipients open emails based on subject lines alone. So what can you do to try to capture attention and inspire action? Here are a couple of tips that you can incorporate into your campaigns. We’ll apply each of these tips to the same Super Bowl themed email campaign.

Our case study will be a Home & Decor shop advertising their sale on beer mugs for your Super Bowl party.

Here are the beautiful mugs, and below are ways you can use subject lines to maximize sales. We’ve created a few examples under each tip.

Super Bowl Beer Mugs

Generate Curiosity

This is obviously easier said than done, but there is always a way to generate curiosity with your subject lines, and it’s often a matter of reconceptualizing the same question in a slightly different way.

❌ Beer mugs on Sale This Week

✅ Here is one item you’ll need for your Super Bowl party

Create Urgency & Scarcity

By creating urgency or scarcity, you are creating a small window for your customers to click. Anything that makes them think they can deal with this later reduces your chances of them coming back to your email. This is especially true for emails on a mobile device – act or lose them forever. In fact, subject lines with words that imply time sensitivity (e.g. “urgent”, “breaking”, “important” or “alert”) are proven to increase email open rates….but careful not to sound spammy. If they expect to hear from you, then this won’t be a problem.

email urgency

❌ We have all the beer mugs you need for the big game

✅ Today Only! One item you’ll need for your Super Bowl party

Personalize

We’ve said it a thousand times by now, but you should always be personal with your customers. Personalized email messages can improve your click-through-rates by 15% and your conversion rates by 10%. Often you will have the person’s name, so use this in the subject. Many brands also have much more information they can use such as transaction history, and city.

❌ Beer mugs on sale for the big game!

✅ Mike – we have Boston’s best selling mugs on sale today only

Kick Off Your Team’s Super Bowl Campaigns

Mailjet is devoted to helping teams send their emails faster, together. As you prepare for the Super Bowl, and all of 2020’s upcoming marketing moments, it will be more important than ever to have your entire email team on the same page. Be sure to check out our Collaboration Toolkit to help build your campaigns in real time and get ready for the biggest marketing moment of the year.

What email strategies will you employ for the Super Bowl? Tell us all about your own #SuperBowlEmails on Twitter!

Marketing Calendar 2020: Dates You Shouldn’t Miss This Year

Somehow, you survived 2019 and now we’re back in Q1! 2020 is here and it’s time for you to start scribbling down your New Year’s Resolutions. If you’ve found your way here, we’re guessing that’s because “Crush Marketing in 2020” is probably one of your resolutions.

To help with that, we decided to recap all relevant dates for 2020 in one blog post to help you strategize for the year ahead. Read on and find out which dates you should include into your marketing strategy and get our free 2020 Marketing Calendar.

Why is it important to have a Marketing Calendar for 2020?

Most people think that the implementation of a marketing strategy is the longest part of the process, when it is actually one of the easier steps at the end of the process. The real work comes before, when you’re setting goals and establishing priorities.The earlier you start planning through every step of the strategy, the less problems you’ll run into down the line.

Before you start, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you want to achieve and how can you get there?
  • What are your USPs? Why should people buy your products or services?
  • What sales promotions can you offer (special deals, freebies, discounts…)?
  • What distribution channels are best to achieve your goals?

 

Keep in mind that a year has so many special dates, holidays, and marketing moments – planning is a must in business and in life!

It is important to decide which promotions (special deals or key product sales) you want to focus on, and this decision should be based on the goals you established for yourself when you planned your marketing strategy. Focusing on the wrong promotional strategy can easily ruin your KPIs, and nobody wants that!

When thinking about your holiday or special day marketing campaigns, remember to plan out your promotion in different stages:

  • Before the actual date: Let your customers know about what’s coming ahead of time and how they can benefit.
  • During the day itself: Make your big sales push via email and leverage any social media buzz.
  • After the main event: Don’t forget to follow up with those that converted to obtain their feedback on the process or offer additional products or services.

 

Finding the right marketing channels

Once you have decided what the right marketing strategy is and what kind of sales promotions you’re going to offer, you’ll need to focus on the distribution of these marketing messages.

For marketing promotions around special dates, like the ones we’ve added on our Marketing Calendar, the best strategy is to go omnichannel. Marketing campaigns around these dates that combine different channels (for example, in-store, online, social media or email marketing) allow you to engage with your audience in a different way and also provide many upselling and cross-selling opportunities.

There is a range of channels for you to leverage, but that doesn’t mean you should try to use them all just to tick those boxes. While something like TikTok might be a bit of a stretch if you’re trying to sell dental implants, there are a few must-haves that will apply to most businesses.

One of those channels is email (yeah, you probably guessed that…). Email continues to be the best marketing channel for ROI, as it allows you to personalize, segment, and optimize your email campaigns with detailed stats. Another big plus is that your marketing messages will stay in your contacts’ inbox for them to use that promo code or find your store’s address when the time comes.

Marketing Calendar for 2020

January

You already know January is all about New Year’s resolutions, goal setting, and also maybe feeling a little bit blue now that the Holiday Season is over.

Start off by wishing your users a Happy New Year and use this month to offer special deals on products or services that might come in handy when they start working on those New Year’s resolutions.

Other special dates in January include the Chinese New Year and Blue Monday, so think about what you can do to make your users days a bit warmer!

New Years' Eve

Dates you shouldn’t miss in January:

  • January 1st: New Year’s Day
  • January 8th: Winter Sales (European countries)
  • January 20th: Blue Monday
  • January 25th: Chinese New Year
  • January 28th: Data Protection Day

 

Resources to plan your January marketing campaigns:

 

February

The excitement of the new year might be gone, but that doesn’t mean February hasn’t got some special marketing dates in store for you!

In fact, February has two of the biggest marketing moments of the year: Valentine’s Day and the Super Bowl.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), US Valentine’s Day gift-givers spent a record-breaking $20.7 billion in 2019, and they are predicted to spend around $14.1 billion on food, decorations and team apparel for the Super Bowl, with each person spending an average of $75.

Looking at these figures, February is definitely a month to keep in mind when it comes to creating marketing campaigns.

Other special dates in February include Groundhog Day, always fun on social media, and Mardi Gras.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in February:

  • February 2nd: Super Bowl
  • February 2nd: Groundhog Day
  • February 14th: Valentine’s Day
  • February 25th: Mardi Gras

 

Resources to plan your February marketing campaigns:

 

March

March is all about women… and green. 🍀

We’re moving away from all the muscle power of the Super Bowl and onto a different kind of power this month: the power of women. March is all about the movement of women’s rights, with International Women’s Day being celebrated on March 8th.

So use this opportunity to show a bit of your corporate side and share stories from the women in your company and how you support equality in the workplace.

Other special dates in March in our Marketing Calendar 2020 include World Wildlife Day, National Pi Day, Mother’s Day in the UK and a fan-favorite… St. Patrick’s Day!

Dates you shouldn’t miss in March:

  • March 3rd: World Wildlife Day
  • March 8th: International Women’s Day
  • March 14th: National Pi Day
  • March 17th: St. Patrick’s Day
  • March 22nd: Mother’s Day (UK)

 

Resources to plan your March marketing campaigns:

 

April

With Easter starting in April this year, you can look forward to longer and warmer days for your easter egg hunts! Plus, people are starting to travel during these dates as the weather warms up.

For some, Easter is all about tradition, be it religious or not. For others, it’s more about the chocolate rabbits and egg hunts. So why not hide an Easter Egg in your marketing campaigns to increase engagement this April?

Other special dates in April include Earth Day and April Fools, so maybe a great excuse to have some fun with your email marketing campaigns?

Easter Marketing Calendar 2020

Dates you shouldn’t miss in April:

  • April 1st: April Fools Day
  • April 10th: Easter Friday
  • April 13th: Easter Monday
  • April 22nd: Earth Day
  • April 23rd: Start of Ramadan

 

Resources to plan your April marketing campaigns:

 

May

There are a few important dates in May, but is there any more important than Star Wars Day? Whether you’re a fan or not, there’s no denying this is a BIG date on social media, so make sure you leverage it!

Many countries also celebrate Mother’s Day in May as well. This is a time for many to show appreciation towards their mother(s) and mother figures.

This day (and of course the other 364 days in the year) is perfect to lavish mothers with lots of love, flowers and chocolate. So remember to think about moms everywhere when you plan your special offers and promotions.

Other special dates in May in our Marketing Calendar for 2020 include May Day or Labour Day in many countries and the start of Roland-Garros for tennis lovers.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in May:

  • May 1st: May Day
  • May 4th: Star Wars Day
  • May 10th: Mother’s Day (US)
  • May 24th: Roland-Garros

 

Resources to plan your May marketing campaigns:

 

June

It’s getting warmer and warmer outside.

For many companies, the summer means a slump in sales. Instead of (online-) shopping, events like vacations and other outdoor activities are in people’s minds.

So don’t be surprised if your marketing performance starts to decline rather than grow during the next few weeks.

Does this mean you should interrupt your email marketing campaigns? Absolutely not!

In fact, the summer might be the best time of year to stand out from your competitors and get in touch with your contacts, so make sure you start working on adjusting your email marketing strategy for the next couple of months.

June is also Pride Month and Father’s Day in many countries. This year, it will also be big on the sporting side, with the Euros 2020 adding on to the usual Tour de France.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in June:

  • June 1st: LGTB Pride Month
  • June 12th: Euro 2020 Starts
  • June 21st: Father’s Day
  • June 21st: World Music Day
  • June 27th: Tour de France

 

Resources to plan your June moment marketing campaigns:

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July

The holiday season is finally here! And even though we warned you to plan ahead in June, you might be finding it quite challenging to keep your users engaged during the summer.

The good news is that this year, we’ll have the Euros 2020 final and the Olympics! From July 24th till August 9th, people from across the globe will come together in Tokyo and everyone will be watching.

Other special dates in July our marketing calendar 2020 include the Summer sales period in some European countries and Emoji Day!

Dates you shouldn’t miss in July:

  • July 1st: Canada Day
  • July 4th: US Independence
  • July 14: Bastille Day – French National Holiday
  • July 17th: Emoji Day
  • July 24th: Olympics Opening Ceremony

 

Resources to plan your July moment marketing campaigns:

 

August

August is generally a slow month in many countries. The summer is in full swing, but as the weeks pass, more and more people start coming home from their vacation.

So it’s the perfect time to target them with any offers or promotions they might’ve missed.

How do you this effectively, you ask? Well, with email segmentation, of course!

With email segmentation, you can filter contacts based on their past behavior (for example, anyone that hasn’t opened an email since xx/xx/2020) and resend them any special summer offers they might have missed.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in August:

  • August 7th: International Beer Day
  • August 9th: Olympics Closing Ceremony
  • August 19th: World Photography Day

 

Resources to plan your July moment marketing campaigns:

  • How Email Segmentation Can Increase Your Conversion Rate

 

September

September is here and it’s Back-to-school season… and not just for kids!

In fact, September sometimes feels like a second January. Some might hate it, some might love it, but we all feel it. New goals, new projects, and new marketing opportunities. Children (and adults!) can’t wait to buy new school bags, pens, pencils and planners for the new school year.

Keep that in mind and plan some marketing campaigns to re-engage your customers after the summer with incentives like special promotions, sweepstakes, and exclusive offers.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in September:

  • September 1st: Back to School
  • September 7th: Labor Day (US)
  • September 19th: Oktoberfest
  • September 21st: International Day of Peace

 

Resources to plan your September marketing campaigns:

 

October

The scariest month of the year has finally arrived!

Autumn is officially here, and so is Halloween! This means that, offline as well as online, monsters and other creatures could be just around the corner, waiting to scare people off.

For marketers, October marks the start of Q4 and the Holiday Season, a huge period for brands everywhere. With big dates coming up, it is the time to start planning what the Holiday Strategy will look like, and also the moment to let our creative juices flow and start getting festive.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in October:

  • October 12th: Columbus Day
  • October 20th: World Mental Health Day
  • October 31st: Halloween

 

Resources to plan your October marketing campaigns:

 

November

November is the strongest time of the year for B2C sales and the official month for buying our Holiday gifts. Immediately after Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, so it’s time to kick it into high gear.

In other words: You should definitely have these dates marked in red on your marketing calendar 2020 as this is the best time for special promotions and offers.

We know you won’t forget, but just in case, we’ve already marked them for you on our downloadable Marketing Calendar for 2020.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in November:

  • November 14th: Diwali
  • November 26th: Thanksgiving
  • November 27th: Black Friday
  • November 28th: Small Business Saturday
  • November 30th: Cyber Monday

 

Resources to plan your November marketing campaigns:

 

PS: Have you checked out our Black Friday email template yet? ;)

December

The best comes last: It’s finally Christmas!

It’s cold outside, the streets are covered with snow, and there’s festive decorations and lights everywhere! While some prefer to go outside, those that stay in might do a lot of online shopping for those last-minute Christmas presents.

This is your chance to give Q4 a final push with special holiday campaigns and offers!

But December is not just about selling, it’s also about joining in on the festive atmosphere and thanking your contacts for spending the year with you.

E-Mail Marketing Christmas

You can get creative and run a little Christmas competition on social media (Best Christmas Tree or Craziest Holiday Decorations) where your customers can win coupons or goodies, or film your team singing Christmas Carols for an original Merry Christmas campaign.

As you can see, it doesn’t get more creative than December to end the year successfully.

Dates you shouldn’t miss in December:

  • December 10th: Hannukah
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve
  • December 25th: Christmas Day
  • December 26th: Boxing Day (UK)
  • December 31st: New Year’s Eve

 

Resources to plan your December marketing campaigns:

 

Download the 2020 Marketing Calendar

We’ve saved the dates you can’t forget and given you all the resources you need to make 2020 your best marketing year yet. Now it’s up to you to work on your campaigns and increase engagement with your offers, promotions or competitions.

Want to take this Marketing Calendar for 2020 with you?

https://www.mailjet.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/EN-2020-Marketing-Calendar-Print.pdf

Email Marketing Trends for 2020

Here we go again: It’s the end of the year, and it’s time to look at Email Marketing Trends for 2020.

This time, we’re about to close off a decade, and we’ve probably all been looking back at what the 2010s brought us, personally, professionally, or even musically (although some of us might want to keep that last one for our eyes only).

In the world of email, the 2010s have been a decade of great growth, with tons of innovation making email the coolest kid on the block, year after year. You might think we’re biased, but email has continued to be the best marketing channel for ROI, and is there anything cooler than that? 💁

But enough looking back. Star Wars might be over (or is it?), but there’s still a lot for us to look forward to in 2020. Come join us as we play email gurus again, and try to decipher what the email world will have in store for us this 2020.

What are the email trends for 2020?

Better personalization for truly relevant emails

Surprised? We didn’t think so. 😏

Personalization and targeted messages seem to be a constant year after year, and yet as marketing techniques develop and messages multiply, the need to send more relevant messages to grab our audience’s attention increases. At Mailjet, we still believe relevancy is one of the most powerful attributes in a marketing message, but for it to be effective it should go beyond the simple “Hey, (first name)!”

Advanced segmentation and personalization

The key to effective segmentation and personalization is data, but our inability to collect it, store it and integrate it across different marketing channels is making marketers a little skeptical about one of the biggest buzzwords in the marketing world.

While in the past effective segmentation was just a nice-to-have, nowadays sending differentiated campaigns to our customer-base based on their age, gender, location or past behavior has become a must.

The same goes for personalization. For a while, personalization felt like a box that was easy to tick. Just add a first name here and there, and that was it. Now, though, personalization is so much more, with features that allow us to use contact properties and purchase data to customize big blocks within our emails, like Mailjet’s Dynamic Content blocks. Think Netflix and its personalized film recommendations, or Amazon and its cleverly-picked upselling opportunities.

email-trends-2020-mailjet

Data to anticipate email deliverability

But what is a great, personalized email, if it doesn’t even reach the inbox?

As email marketers, we’re used to looking at metrics such as opens, blocks or bounces to monitor our deliverability, trying to assess how healthy our email lists are or how well we’re applying email best practices based on past performance. We decide to segment out inactive users when we see our open rates fall or change our templates when we see big images have made our amazing email land in the spam folder.

But what if instead of reacting we could start anticipating?

Email innovations to prevent deliverability issues

Email marketers are increasingly citing deliverability as one of their main barriers to effective marketing, with 37% of marketers citing it as a top concern in 2019. And while some email players already offer tools that provide data and advice on the performance of an email campaign, their use to prevent deliverability issues is still not fully adopted.

In 2020, the wider adoption of these features will allow marketers to change the way they think about email and email deliverability. Tools like email validations will enable senders to clean their contact lists before sending and to better protect their sender reputation, and inbox placement will allow users to diagnose deliverability issues and optimize their emails before pressing Send.

Machine learning to uncover the best email sending time

A big part of an email’s success depends on when it’s read by its recipient. We all know this already, which is why we all keep trying to figure out what the best time to send a newsletter is. Send me an email about Starbucks Christmas’ treats while I’m at the gym, and I’ll just ignore it. Tempt me while I’m out in the cold, and I’ll probably want to buy the whole store.

While we’ve been talking about automation for quite some time, 2020 will bring a whole new way of thinking about timeliness. ESPs and email innovations will continue to look for ways in which AI can help marketers crack that code.

mailjet-email-trends-2020

But is there really a universal best time to send an email campaign, or does it vary from recipient to recipient? What about getting emails into a contact’s inbox precisely when they are most likely to read it?

Machine learning will help ESPs offer new tools that will automatically optimize sending time to make sure your emails reach all the different inboxes at exactly the right time. No more guessing.

Design innovations for better shopability

Once you’ve cracked the right time to get those amazing emails into the inbox, the fight will move onto a different, more complex battlefield. Shining through in your contacts’ inbox is hard, and going from an open to a conversion requires a lot more creativity now than it did before.

So how do you go from someone reading your campaign to actually clicking-through? Increasing email shopability will be key to push conversion even further. The use of smart design and interactive features that guide readers to your CTAs and allow them to interact with the content will be essential.

Sending interactive emails that enable the user to convert without leaving the inbox has been a possibility for quite some time, but it’s far from being the norm. Interactivity allows users to start their purchase directly in the inbox, eliminating the friction between email and onsite conversion. To make this easier, email developers can leverage tools like Email Markup or AMP4Email.

trends-2020-emails-mailjet

Shopability on the move

According to Litmus, email attention span surged by 21% in 2019, with mobile access playing a big role in that increase. Nowadays, more than 50% of emails are read on mobile, so sending responsive emails is a must to be able to provide a seamless experience and maximize your ROI.

Templates need to be designed with a mobile-first approach, regardless of whether you code them or build them using an email editor – something that is increasingly challenging with the range of devices and screen sizes available today. Luckily, using a responsive drag & drop responsive email builder like Mailjet’s Passport can help.

For email developers, it doesn’t get easier than MJML, our open source markup language. MJML is responsive by default and allows you to seamlessly import your templates into Mailjet or download them in HTML, knowing that your design will look great on any device.

Collaboration for better brand marketing

In 2019, we’ve seen companies look for better ways to control their brand messages. In-housing has risen as a trend, with companies moving marketing functions in-house to ensure better brand alignment and consistency. However, this has also highlighted a need for improved processes and correct tools to enable these teams to work together more effectively.

As brands continue to develop their omnichannel marketing strategies, marketers will need to look for better ways to collaborate and ensure consistency in their messages across different channels.

Better tools for internal collaboration

For email, this will mean enabling everyone in the team to be involved in the creation of different campaigns in a way that allows brands to reduce iterations and control the final product. Fine-tuning how teams collaborate internally to avoid miscommunication or mistakes and finding the right collaborative tools to make this easier will continue to be crucial for companies.

To help expanding marketing departments, Mailjet has created an Email Collaboration Toolkit, a set of features that enable multiple users to manage users’ roles and permissions, to work together on their templates in real time and to easily track changes to protect their brand.

email-collaboration-mailjet

Even more data protection

While in Europe we seem to have put the hecticness of GDPR behind us, data protection is far from being a thing of the past. In fact, in January 2020 the California Consumer Privacy Act will come into effect, forcing those in the US to embrace similar data privacy standards as those that already apply in the EU.

During the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in user interest regarding the way companies use and protect their personal data, and brands will have to continue working towards becoming more savvy and vigilant to maintain their customers’ trust.

In fact, with digital brands operating everywhere, complying with the strictest data privacy regulations has become a must if companies still want to be able to maintain a distributed customer-base.

This is something we know well at Mailjet. While this has been a year of many changes, our commitment to data privacy and security hasn’t changed. In fact, we’ve worked to ensure compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act, in addition to our existing compliance with GDPR, and will continue to offer the highest security standards for our clients’ personal data.

Wrapping Up (TL;DR)

All in all, during 2020 companies will work on becoming smarter and more effective in their email communications.

Marketers will need to work on sending truly relevant emails that offer personalized content and land in the users’ inbox at the right time. Developing ways in which users can start the conversion process without leaving their emails will help brands to maximize email ROI.

Internally, companies will need to find process and tools to enable them to collaborate with their growing teams and external agencies. Brands will also need to be vigilant, to ensure they adapt quickly to any changes in data privacy regulations or data security threats.

2020 at Mailjet

As you probably know, Mailjet was acquired by Mailgun in October 2019. 2020 will be an exciting year for both brands, with new tools coming to help our users send better email. 🎉

At Mailjet, we’re excited to be able to offer our customers some of these new features during the new year, including Inbox Placement, Email Validations and some advanced solutions to optimize sending time.

Want to join us for this exciting year ahead?

Want to join us for this exciting year ahead?
Sign up to Mailjet and start using our great set of email marketing tools to send amazing responsive campaigns.

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What email marketing trends will you be focusing on during 2020? Tell us all about your own #EmailTrends on Twitter!