Gmail Promotions Tab: A Guide to Optimize Email Delivery

The Gmail Promotions tab’s hot debut in 2013 caused mixed reactions. Some marketing pundits predicted that it marked the end of email marketing as we know it. Others were less dramatic, and stated that it would have a negative impact on the opens and clicks of bad marketing campaigns.

But in 2019 email is hot again. And Google is leading the pack with its latest update on the Promotions Tab – Google Annotations.

Today, email campaigns need to be more inventive than ever in order to stand out, and this new update from Google allows email marketing to be more visual than ever right in the inbox itself.

So in this article, we’ll walk you through a history of the Promotions Tab and how the new Annotations feature will allow email marketers to find new creative ways to market their emails.

 

History of Google Promotions Tab

2013: Google Promotions Tab’s hot debut

In 2013, Google rolled out one of its biggest updates on Gmail by adding the Social and Promotions Tabs.

This update was intended to offer Gmail users a better emailing experience by automatically segmenting emails based on their content and sender address.

But email practitioners everywhere were worried that this would negatively affect their opens and clicks.

2014: Inbox by Gmail

In 2014, Google launched a new email tool: Inbox by Gmail – an email service aimed to help users become more productive.

Inbox by Gmail sandboxed many ideas generated by its users that then was slowly incorporated into Gmail.

Marketers were given access to additional features to give more value to their email campaigns through Email Schema Markup. These code snippets can be added in the <head> or <body> tags of an email campaign to allow Gmail to identify what kind of email it is and take advantage of some advanced features.

Here’s an example of how Email Schema Markup works:

Answers in Google Search lets Google show some relevant emails based on search query, for example, showing you information on flights and events.

Answers in Google Search

Highlights in Inbox displays enhancements like flight details or receipts.

Highlights in Inbox

 

Adding Actions to Emails allows email campaigns to become more interactive by adding a CTA directly in the email subject, such as “Add to Queue” or “Accept Invite”.

 

Adding Actions to Emails

2018: A New Look & AI for Gmail

2018 was a big year for Gmail. Its interface got an update and new AI-powered features were introduced:

  • Nudges let users come back to an abandoned email thread.
  • Smart Replies allow users to reply based on pre-rendered templates.
  • Snooze allows users to set a snooze alert on their emails.
  • High Priority notifications let users get notifications only for important emails.

In 2017, there was also Gmail’s Smart and Easy unsubscribe – a popup that asked users if they wanted to unsubscribe to email newsletters they have not opened in the last 30 days or so.

Gmail is still rolling out new updates. Their latest one, Annotations feature in the Promotions tab, allows marketing specialists through schema markup to include additional details like promotional codes, images and additional offers right in the inbox interface.

How do the Promotion Annotations work?

Gmail’s new feature allows email campaigns to offer even more value to their subscribers, including a much more visual interface to bring your emails to life with images, deals, expiration dates, and more.

Thanks to machine learning, Gmail identifies the most important messages (optimized by the Schema Markup script) that could interest subscribers and classifies them by topic or theme.

Below is an example on Top Deals.

Promotions Annotations on Mobile

Simply put, emails can be classified together into groups but only those optimized through Schema Markup can be shown with images and special offers.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how to get to the top of the Promotions Tab and the system for getting Annotations, even with the right script implementation. Though overtime, these tricks will be uncovered – so be sure to stay on top of these opportunities.

How does this benefit email marketers?

With Annotations, Gmail selects the best email campaigns to show to users based on their own filters. Brands with an already large following have a better chance of their email campaigns being seen but the more engagement you get from your list, the more likely Gmail will promote your content as well.

What else you can display in the Promotions Tab

What is Displayed in the Promotions Tab

To start, here is a list of elements that you can include in your emails.

Image Preview

Yes, email previews can now include images. The images could be a product preview or something that really encapsulates what your newsletter is all about. Gifs are not supported, though.

Green Badge

This clearly displays your offer, which can include things like:

  • Free Delivery
  • 20% off Discount
  • Deals

 

Tip: Avoid writing long sentences, they will be cut off and therefore your message will render incomplete.

Grey Badge

The grey badge shows a promotional code that the user can use to access their discount. If there is no code, including this is not necessary.

Expiration date

This part is very interesting for marketers. It lets marketers add an expiration date to a deal and create a sense of urgency.

This feature lets an email be visualized on top of a group twice: once when it gets sent the first time, and another in the final three days before expiration.

Logo

Brands can finally show their logos so that users will immediately be able to identify their email campaigns. Use a HTTPS URL and not a HTTP to avoid errors.

If the user clicks on any of these Annotations, this will open the email.

Gmail will also show a preview of the promotional tab in the main inbox. This is another great reason to enable Annotations in your email campaigns.

Promotional Tab Teasers

 

How to use the Gmail Promotional Tab to your advantage

After validating the sender domain to Google, there are two ways to appear at top of the Promotions Tab.

Directly edit Google’s script

Email developers simply need to modify the code given by Google and generate a preview through this page. Once changed, you can include the email code in your campaigns.

Preview Your Annotations with this Google Tool

Use an Annotation Editor

Google is in partnership with Litmus to create an Annotations Editor for Gmail catered toward non-technical marketers, and we recommend this editor.

Marketers can add all the relevant details (logo, image, subject, offer, etc.) in the required field to personalize the Annotation.

Once created, they can download the code either in Microdata and insert it in the body tag of their email campaigns, or in JSON in the body or head tags.

Annotation Editor for Non-Technical Marketers

Still want to avoid the Gmail Promotions Tab?

Even if it is impossible to know exactly how Gmail’s algorithm works, there are some best practices to maximize your chances of landing into the Primary inbox.

But as a clear disclaimer, we do not encourage trying to cheat Gmail’s algorithms by trying to have your marketing emails land in the inbox. If you are sending marketing emails, we highly recommend you do not try to cheat Gmail’s filtering algorithms, or risk getting your future campaigns in the spam folder.

Before doing anything else, think about your brand mission and objectives first and foremost and consider if these campaigns really deserve to be in the Primary inbox.

After all, the Promotions Tab may not be a bad thing for your subscribers, who expect to see marketing emails in that tab. And let’s be honest if they have subscribed to your emails, chances are, they want to see them. If they don’t, you have a different problem on your hands.

Users just don’t subscribe to marketing emails and leave them to fester in the Promotions Tab.

The Primary inbox is for personal emails. Think of it as the figurative home of the user, where they meet family and friends. Imagine how creepy it would be for them to see a marketer just barged into their home for a cool discount.

It wouldn’t be a surprise if they decided to unsubscribe afterwards and block you. This of course is not good for your email reputation and deliverability. That said, some emails like transactional emails that have password resets, important receipts, and more perhaps belong in the personal feed.

If you are looking to send to the personal tab, here are some tips on how to avoid the Promotions Tab:

  • Don’t use commercial or marketing phrases: Forget CTA’s like Buy Now and other words like discount, promotion, offer, and so on. These will activate the filters.
  • Keep images to a minimum: Email marketing campaigns tend to have more images than personal ones, so it’s an easy flag.
  • Use text-based email campaigns, most marketing emails are HTML-based, so try to avoid this.
  • Keep the links to a minimum: It doesn’t seem personal to have so many links.
  • Personalize your email: Referring to the subscriber by their first name would be a way to show Gmail that you know them personally.
  • Send short emails, hopefully resembling the ones you send to your colleagues.
  • Don’t use a generic Reply-to addresses – Such as contact@ or support@ and certainly not no-reply@ address.
  • Configure your SPF and DKIM records to avoid getting seen as a spammer: to learn more, here is our guide on authenticating domains with SPF & DKIM.

These are just tips to avoid the Promotions Tab, and there’s no guarantee that your campaigns would be classified as such.

How can Mailjet help you use Annotations?

Our visual email campaign editor, Passport, lets you include the Microdata from Litmus’ builder into your email code. You would only need to then test if this is showing up in your inbox correctly.

Mailjet’s Passport

Conclusion: Gmail’s Promotions Tab is an opportunity for marketers

Gmail is constantly changing the world of email by giving more control to its users. Gmail places marketing emails directly into the Promotions Tab.

The Promotions Tab has exceeded the expectations of skeptics and email marketers everywhere by being more optimized for marketing emails and therefore conversions. After all, Gmail doesn’t want email marketing to die, they want it to thrive for both the user and brands.

If email marketers know how to take advantage of this Promotions Tab, then they can really do some new and innovative things to attract and retain customers.

In the Promotions Tab, Google Annotations allows for an even more visual email marketing experience right in the inbox interface. Annotations show images, discounts and codes to be shown in before getting the emails opened. It’s a real opportunity enabled by Google’s schema markup script.

Non-technical marketers can create these scripts using Litmus’ tool, made in collaboration with Google.

Google has since announced plans to improve their Annotations tool for events, eCommerce and tourism. Even more reason to start using it now!

 

Gmail Annotations for Events & eCoommerce

If you want to know the latest updates on this, don’t hesitate to subscribe to our newsletters, we’ll have more updates down the line!

Are you going to use this annotations feature to really amp up your email marketing campaigns? Or have you already implemented it and noticed the steady conversions rolling in? Share with us on Twitter @mailjet.

Even if many email marketers are trying to avoid it, the Promotions Tab offers new visual opportunities for email marketing campaigns everywhere to add more value to Gmail users.

Advanced Email Personalization Using Mailjet’s API

In our previous post in this series e explained what personalization is and provided some useful tips on how and when to best add personalization to your campaigns. We also showed you how to apply standard personalization either manually or using our awesome email builder – Passport. If you missed it be sure to check out our previous article here.

In this article, we are going to dive even deeper into the world of the personalization. Do you want to know how to get to the next level? ? Keep reading and you will see the magic of the advanced personalization, which will allow you to create the perfect email for everyone.

What is advanced email personalization?

Advanced personalization is the easiest way to customize your emails with data that it is collected by your CRM or any other tool you are using to collect your customer’s information. At the moment, this type of personalization e can only be used for transactional emails at Mailjet and by using our template language.

While advanced personalization allows you to do everything we covered in standard personalization, it goes well beyond that.. Not only can you customize [first name] and other basic variables, with advanced personalization,you can customize the content of your email as well, allowing you to send fully personalized emails.. We’ll show you a little later on how exactly you can do this but first to do any kind of personalization you will need personal data for your clients to use.

What data can you use to personalize your email?

The most basic method of collecting information is through a subscription widget You can ask your customers and prospect any number of qualifying questions as they are subscribing to your emails, or opening an account. Starting with their name and email of course, all the way to questions that are going to help you provide a truly personal experience in your campaigns.

For example, if you are selling tickets for events, you could ask “What type of music do you like?” or “What type of movies do you like to watch?” or maybe “Do you prefer live music or live theater?”. get a better idea what to propose to each customer.

But are there other ways to collect data from your customers without asking them additional questions all the time? Yes, you can collect the data for advanced personalization using behavioral website tracking or integrations.

Behavior website tracking

Using behavior website tracking you would have the ability to collect more data than you would ever need about your website visitors using conversion rate optimization (CRO) tools.

User behavior are the activities that your visitors are doing after they land on your site. It could be clicks, scrolling through pages, reading blog posts, taking quizzes, and anything else you think will be useful to you. This could be really helpful at any time of the year,or example if you are tracking that Mike is browsing for items for his wife Laura and his 5 year old boy Jake, you can send him an email with suggestions for the perfect presents for his family.

Integrations

Another good option would be to use integrations. Get subscriber data such as past orders, total money spent, location, purchase data,and more, by integrating your email marketing tool with your CRM or e-commerce platform. There are a lot of integrations that could do all the work for you and you will just have to create the basic template, all the rest will be done automatically. So, at the end your recipient will get a perfect personalized email. For example if you are using our integration with Mautic, you could create a preference center using their how-to article.

Okay, now we have all the data that we need for our emails. Let’s see how to use it with our advanced personalization option.

How to use Advanced Personalization?

When it comes to personalized content, how you can decide which part of the content to be shown to specific targets? When the emails speak to what the subscriber wants to read about, your customers are much more likely to engage with them. Hence, you need to be sure that you offer email content that are targeted and relevant to the recipient. Now that you have all the data and segments set, create emails that are most suited and targeted for each individual subscriber.

Dynamic content is something that you can easily do with the our advanced personalization or the so called template language via our API. You can easily mix up the simple and the advanced personalization in one template, so you would have one beautiful email at the end.

What is the difference between both types? As we saw, standard personalization is taking the information from the data you provided while uploading your list at Mailjet, so we already have this information on our side.

But advanced personalization is actually asking your systems about the information that we should display in the email. In the API call you are going to set up the properties and configure the path to the destination from where the API call should take them.

There is a slight difference also in the way the both type of personalizations are being set up. If you are creating your template in Passport to use the standard personalization, you can use the way described in our previous article, or manually by typing:

{{data:nameoftheproperty:”defaultvalue”}}

The advanced personalization could be set up by manually typing the following syntax:

{{var:nameoftheproperty:”defaultvalue”}}

As you can see the only difference is in the type of variable – one is data and the other is var. You can add it in this way in Passport or in any MJML/HTML template you are creating.

The way you should define those properties in your API calls, depends on the API version you are using.

  • In Send API v3.1 you should do it with the following piece of code:
"Variables": {
              "day": "Monday"
}
  • In Send API v3 the code is:
"Vars":{"day":"Monday"}

In the API call you can set up the path to the destination from which the variable should be taken. Our system will call this destination and replace the property with the value your system sends us.

Using Dynamic Content to Personalize Emails

One of the useful features of the template language is the dynamic content. Using conditions and loops, you can show part of your content only to the recipients you want.

You won’t recommend Mike buy his wife Laura men’s shoes right? Or his son a kitchen dining set?

We know that you can create such dynamic content using HTML without any issue, but now this is possible with Passport as well. Simply drag and drop the template language section wherever you want within the template, like shown below:

Templating-Language-section

You can create any condition, or loop where the content can be shown to each of your segments. You can also use any information that you have saved in your CRM or database. For example age, gender, city, or interests. If you are using behavioral website tracking, this could also be used as source of information.

Another option would be to segment a whole section using Passport. To do this, you will need to select the section you want, and in the upper left corner you will have the option to add a property and segment based on it.

template-language-block

Click on “Add condition” and configure the right option for your specific use case. You can choose whether the property should be equal to a specific term, or greater than a value, or less than any value you choose.

template-language-condition

You can find everything you need on how to use the dynamic content with our template language in this article.

Personalizing the content and copy of the email boosts engagement and loyalty. Sending tailor-made and relevant content increases the click-through rates of your emails. By dynamically changing content, you will be able to send the most relevant emails to every subscriber. They will see offers and products that they are more likely to be interested in, thereby increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

What can you add as dynamic content? Almost anything! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • VIP Loyalty section – categorize your subscribers based on their purchases and send specially tailored offers and discounts to them. This will help your brand engage customers stronger and drive revenue.
  • Recommendations – when you send recommendations based on a recent purchase, there is an increased chance of them purchasing the recommended products.
  • Wish Lists – you have an item that a customer added in their wish list? Add this as a reminder in the next email you are sending them. They might still want it.
  • Abandoned Carts – someone left behind an item in their cart? Remind them about how awesome that product is, hey they may still want it. You can see how to code abandoned cart emails using MJML in our tutorial.
  • Birthday/Anniversary discounts – what better way to celebrate a birthday than by providing them a discount? You can do the same when someone has been with you for a month, a year, or any anniversary worth celebrating.

Summing Up

The best part is that all of this can easily be done with our email builder Passport! And you will only need to define the variables you used for the advanced personalization in your API call.

You can create one template that full of variables, but everyone of your subscribers will receive an email that is perfectly customized for them. Don’t waste your time with different templates for all your customers You can easily have one template that will adapt to the customer.
With the strategies listed above, you can set up a winning personalized email strategy for your business. Your customers receive dozens of emails everyday, so your email needs to stand out. Personalization can do this for you! Try it out and see how your emails can build stronger relationships between your brand and your customers.

If you want to be the first to know everything new about how to create great emails or use Mailjet in the best way, just follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

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

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

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

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

What is email sending reputation?

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

  • IP Reputation
  • Content Reputation
  • Domain Reputation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is Sender Score?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT

How to check your Sender Score

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

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

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

What is a good Sender Score

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

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

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

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

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

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

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When Sender Score won’t save you

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

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

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

Return Path suggests:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to improve your Sender Score and email reputation

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

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

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

Authenticate your SPF and DKIM

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

This keeps spammers from falsely delivering emails through your domain.

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

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

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

DKIM Process
DKIM Process

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

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

Read more:

Authenticating domains with SPF and DKIM

How to set-up DKIM in 3 simple steps

Create sub accounts for your different email needs

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

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

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

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

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

Deliverability Matters
Deliverability Matters

Read More:

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

Email Marketing Deliverability 101 Guide

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

Take charge of your engagement data.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

Email Campaign Statistics: What Do They Tell You?

Can Email Marketing Still Drive High Engagement?

Segment, A/B and Personalize

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more:

How Email Segmentation Can Increase Your Conversion Rate

How can I segment my contact lists?

How To Align Website Personalization With Your Emailing Strategy

Email Personalization With A Human Touch

Create a checklist for your email campaigns.

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

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

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

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

Read more:

Mailjet’s Ultimate Email Checklist

Clean email lists and have double opt-in

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

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

 

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

Read more:

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

Easily & Securely Stow Your Contact Lists

How to delete a contact?

Create email campaigns that matter

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

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

Read more:

The Ultimate Guide to Email for eCommerce

How To Define A Successful Email Marketing Strategy

Introduction to Email Marketing: The Basics Marketers Should Know

Guide: Email Marketing For The Travel And Tourism Industry

The final frontier

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

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

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

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

 

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How to Personalize Your Emails with Mailjet

Email personalization is a tactic used by a lot of brands today, but frankly not enough. We do it… do you? 😉Of course, there are good reasons for this. Personalized emails are much more likely to be opened and clicked, because in a endless feed of content, those messages tailored made for you are much more attractive. In fact, as you’ll see below, simply including a name in the subject line will increase open rates by 20%, boost sales leads by 31%, and reduce unsubscribes by 17%

In this article, we will dig deeper into:

  • Effective ways to personalize your emails.
  • Why using personalization in emails is important.
  • How to use Mailjet to personalize your emails.

 

When you look at the full benefits of email personalization, this is just the tip of the iceberg though.

What is email personalization?

When it comes to email, personalization means leveraging the information you collected about a customer to target their interests and personal attributes. It could be something as simple as using their first name, where they live, something they bought recently, or perhaps something based on their behaviour on your site like downloading content or saving an item in a check out cart.

In short, email personalization can help you:

  • Customize an email subject line to stand out in the inbox;
  • Increase the likelihood of an email being opened and clicked on, when the personalized content is previewed within the inbox;
  • Improve customer experience by sending the right content to the right person at the right time.

Why should you personalize your emails?

We’re sure that by now you’ve already received your fair share of emails with your name in the subject line. Well, something as simple as adding the contact’s name in the subject line can mean a 20% higher chance of getting your email opened.

And now if you receive an email with the subject “Hey Sarah! Find the perfect gift for you and your friends!”, wouldn’t you be interested?

But customizing the subject line is just the first step. Personalization allows you to tailor email content so the reader feels it has been handpicked for them. Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%.

As we predicted earlier this month, 2019 will be the year in which brands finally fully embrace relevant messages. Segmented and targeted emails could actually generate more revenue for you and your brand, so can you really afford to continue to neglect email personalization?

What do you need before you start using personalization?

To start personalizing your emails, you’ll obviously need to collect the relevant data from your subscribers, users, and customers. Any data that gives you deppers insights about an individual can be used, from their date of birth, to their city, to their cat’s name. The more information you collect, the more targeted your email campaigns can be. You can collect this data using signup forms and subscription widgets when people create an account or subscribe to your email list, as well as tracking behavioural data such as which links they click in your emails or website actions.

With signup forms and subscription widgets, apart from the standard name and email address information, you can collect extra data such as gender, location, birthday, etc. Capturing extra details helps you in creating more personalized and targeted emails.

How to add personalization to your emails using Mailjet

Mailjet offers standard (simple) personalization that can be easily used thanks to contact properties on Mailjet’s platform. This can be used directly on our email editor, Passport, without having to make any API calls to define the values. Standard personalization can be used on both marketing and transactional emails and can help you when you already have all the data you need stored as part of your contact properties. But what if you don’t?

Well, then there is the option of advanced personalization that could be used through Mailjet’s Email API if you have these values as properties in your CRM. This type of personalization can only be used on transactional emails. We will talk more about that in a future article. :-)

To use standard personalization, however, you just need two things:

  • All the variables already set up as contact properties, and added into your Mailjet account.
  • An amazing guide to learn how to set up the variables in your template (like this post? 😎).

If you need help creating and adding properties, click here.

So, what can we do with simple personalization? Almost anything we want, if the all the necessary information is uploaded to, or integrated with, Mailjet. You can personalize subject lines and content within the email with predefined values, such as your contact’s cat name (we’ll keep pushing this idea until someone uses it 😼)or the city they were born in.

How to personalize your emails using Mailjet’s Passport

Using personalization with our email editor, Passport, is really easy. Once you have your beautiful template ready, it will only take a few minutes to add in all the necessary variables. You will not need deep technical knowledge on how to code, or use any strange Klingon-sounding language to you.

A variable is the value a contact has for a certain property. For example if the property is “firstname” and your name is Jake, then in this case Jake will be the variable for the property “firstname”.

This is why we made it really easy for you to add a variable to the subject line or body of the email by just clicking two buttons. We’ll show you how easy it is to do this in the examples below.

In the subject line

When you’re creating a campaign, the second step in the process allows you to choose your email’s subject line.

Personalizing the subject line is something you can easily do right away. Just create your subject line and click on the “Insert variable” button wherever you want to add the variable.

variable-in-the-subject

A new window will pop up and you can choose the variable you want to use and set up a default value to show if the property’s not available for a particular contact.

values-for-variable

Here’s how the subject would look like in our editor.

subject-with-variable

If everything is set up correctly, the property will be replaced with the value that is associated with each contact once you send your email. And here’s how it will look in the inbox:

personalized-subject-in-inbox

But what happens if there is no value for some of the recipients?

This is when the default value comes into play, as it will be displayed for those contacts that haven’t provided information for that specific property (for this example, it could result in something like: Hey there, did you know about this?). Of course, if you are using variables, you will always want to have something set up as a default value, as otherwise that variable would be blank and the personalization wouldn’t really work with odd blank spots.

“Hey , did you hear about this?” is just a little too annoying.

In the content

And what can Mailjet do to help personalization the email’s content? Well… anything you want!

You can use personalization to add the name of the recipient once again, or anything else that is going to help you address your customers better, and send them the content they would like to receive.

This type of personalization can be used on both marketing and transactional emails. Although there is a slight difference when adding variables in marketing and transactional emails. The first step is either case is the same though: you’ll have to choose the tab ‘Variables’ from the option menu in the content block that you want to add your personalized content.

passport-toolbar-variable

Next, a window will pop up, which will be a bit different depending on whether you’re working on transactional or marketing templates.

Let’s have a look at what that pop up will look like when you’re creating your transactional templates:

adding-variable-passport

On your transactional templates the pop-up window will include the following types of variables:

  • Custom transactional variable: to be used when adding advanced personalization.
  • Contact property inked to the properties in your Mailjet contact list. The Contact property is the one we’ll be using to add standard personalization to your emails.

 

Just like we did before, all you need to do is choose the correct contact property and set your default value. Then, our system will compile the syntax and add it in the template. Easy, right?

And what about your marketing templates? Well, in that case, the pop up window that comes up will look something like this:

adding-marketing-variable-passport

You’ll be able to choose between two types of variables:

  • Contact property: which we’ll be using (as we’ve done before) to add that standard personalization.
  • Predefined tags: which can be used to add things like unsubscribe links, social sharing links, and more.

 

We won’t be looking into predefined tags today, but you can learn more about how we use them for things like unsubscribe links here.

Once you’ve defined the contact property and default value, your content will look like this:

variable-in-the-content

But in the recipient’s mailbox it will look just like this:

personalization-in-the-inbox

How to personalize your emails using MJML or HTML

Of course, if you are creating your emails using MJML or HTML, standard personalization is still an option for you. All you need to do is add this small piece of code into your email and our system will do the rest.

[[data:nameoftheproperty:”defaultvalue”]]

For example: [[data:firstname:”Everyone”]]

That’s all that’s needed on your side. Mailjet’s system will find the value associated with this property and replace it. This syntax can also be used in Passport, if you prefer to do everything manually.

Here’s how the same personalization we did above will look if it is done with MJML:

personalization-with-MJML

Once the email is sent, it will look the exact same way as the one created with Passport.

Summing Up

You can easily create a personalized email that will make everyone want to open and check your email (well maybe not everyone, but definitely a lot more people).

We’ve showed you how easily it is to personalize your email subject lines and content using our email builder, Passport, just by following these simple steps.

And if you think this is getting too easy and want to step up your personalization game, stay tuned to learn how to use advanced personalization and dynamic content!

Want to be the first to know about our new tutorials and useful guides? Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter!

5 Ways Retail Brands Can Amp Up Their Marketing in 2019

The internet has been transforming the retail world by continuously coming up with new ways to shop.

From mobile apps, micro-moments, the Amazon phenomenon, to social shopping, and so on. The retail industry has gone through a lot of changes over the past two decades.

And it’s showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, here are some key facts and figures:

  • Walmart crossed the “500 billion dollars milestone” in revenue
  • Amazon announced it broke new sales records in 2018
  • In 2018, e-commerce now accounts for 11.5 % of total worldwide retail sales (KPMG, Online consumer Report, 2017)
  • 72% of UK shoppers currently use Click and Collect – Cybertill & Forbes, 2016
  • Mobile devices accounted for 35.9% of the revenue generated online in the U.S. during the Black Friday Week

The market is evolving fast and retailers need to adapt to new trends and consumer preferences if they want to keep up with their competitors.

That being said, the amount of information shared online can be overwhelming – making it nearly impossible for marketers and PR professionals in the retail industry to:

  1. identify key strategies for them, and
  2. focus on what really matters for them and their audience.

For this reason, we’ve identified 5 main strategies that we believe would really help retailers kickstart their marketing in 2019. These are based on a report we at Mention recently conducted about digital trends in the retail industry by analyzing 50 of the top retail brands.

Let’s kick it off with one of the biggest trends of 2018: influencer marketing.

Try out influencer marketing by working with micro-influencers

Influencer marketing has been all the rage in 2018. According to Forbes, it has proven to be the “most effective form of advertising.

But as influencer marketing becomes more popular, top influencers become less accessible and more expensive.

Enter micro-influencers.

What are micro-influencers?

Micro-influencers are “regular people with an average of 10,000 followers or less. They are the preferred choice for brands in niche markets, where influence often depends on quality rather than quantity”.

Why should retail brands work with micro-influencers?

Unlike most mega-influencers many brands work with today, micro-influencers’ fame comes from a very focused expertise. They know what they are talking about and this is why people like and trust them.

In 2019, consumers expect transparency and genuine content from brands. By working with dedicated and recognized experts, retail brands can strengthen their credibility and extend their audience reach.

Besides, unless you’re representing a large, notable retail brand, micro-influencers are a lot more accessible than top tier ones, financially speaking.

At the end of the day, working with micro-influencers is a lot less risky since:

  1. They’re a much smaller financial investment compared to macro-influencers, and
  2. They would have less of an impact on your brand image if things go wrong.

Where can you find micro-influencers?

You can find micro-influencers on platforms like Instagram or YouTube. They grow their communities by sharing giving their opinions on the latest industry trends and sharing valuable expertise.

To give an example, many gaming companies work with micro-influencers for them to review their games and present them to their communities. Here’s an example of it with the latest Smash Bros. on the Nintendo Switch:


When done right, influencer marketing can help brands see a 7x increase in their ROI (Influencer Marketing Hub). And it would potentially be at a fraction of the cost they’d be spending on other forms of marketing.

However, to get good results, retail companies need to make sure to only work with influencers that match their brand image and values.

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Personalize the customer journey

According to Janrain, 75% of consumers demand a personalized experience when interacting online with brands.

It is therefore very important for retailers to take this into account. Fortunately, most brands are well aware of it as Gartner reveals that “90% of brands say they will practice at least one form of marketing personalization by 2020.”

With that said, there are two types of personalization retailers should take into account:

Website personalization

Personalize your visitors’ and customers’ experience depending on who they are, what they want and what they do in real-time. As an example, this is a type of personalization Amazon masters.

I recently researched video games related items on Amazon.com, and the website auto-suggested me to give it another thought:

Each visitor will go through a completely different experience depending on their previous interactions with the brand.

Amazon recommendations
Amazon recommendations

Email personalization

If your customer didn’t purchase right away, the emails you follow up with will be a very important part of nurturing them. The personalization of each email you send to your customers should depend on their on-site behavior (categories and product pages visited, Items added to the cart, etc.).

In 2019, retailers can use email personalization to push dedicated offers or send discount coupons based on each visitor’s interests, location, or behavior (i.e. send a discount coupon on various gardening tools to someone who bought gardening tools in the last 6 months).

When thinking about segmentation, or how to divide your potential customers in order to personalize your emails to them, here are a couple of ideas:

Existing customer vs. new visitors

While the average conversion rate for a new visitor is around 3%, a returning customer has a 60% chance to buy again. What’s more, they spend on average 67% more than new visitors.

This means most of your existing customers will buy whether you’re pushing discounts, or not. By only sending discount coupons to new customers and not your entire database, you could be saving yourself a pretty penny.

By focusing your personalization efforts on new visitors, you could quickly see bumps in revenue.

Customer preferences

You could actually call this a personal customization.

Customization requires an action from the visitor. Customers could tell you what they would like their experience to look like and you build it according to their preferences, or you could customize the experience based on attributes like city or gender. All this can be done using Email Segmentation tools.

Here’s an example from Hubspot.

Hubspot subscription
Hubspot subscription

When subscribing to their newsletter, you get to decide what kind of content you would like to receive in the future.

Here’s another example from Peel, a phone case retailer.

When logged in, visitors can add items to their cart and leave before buying, Peel will automatically send them a reminder email called an abandoned cart email.

Peel abandoned cart
Peel abandoned cart

Our tip here is to combine these two types of email optimization. 1) Your customers will receive relevant content, and 2) You’ll offer them a shopping experience that’s personalized in real-time depending on their online behavior.

Geolocalization

Retail brands often deal with customers in different locations and languages. To better communicate with them, there are multiple factors they should take into account:

  1. Time zones: Sending an email in the morning to someone based in California means someone in Germany will receive it late in the afternoon.
  2. Languages: this is quite obvious. Depending on who you are sending emails to, you may have to communicate in various languages.
  3. Culture: depending on where your consumers live, they will have different interests, habits, or even ways to consume your content.

The following short story is a simple way to put it.

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Go for a run and die (of exhaustion)

Now, in some regions of the world, you’d read this from right to left. The story’s outcome is then very, very different.

  • Go for a run.
  • Drink Coke.
  • … die.

In short, segment your audience based on key differentiating factors and send personalized emails to your audience to turn more visits into sales.

Leverage mobile and augmented-reality capabilities

In 2018, it’s estimated that 40% of people own a smartphone (and the percentage is obviously expected to grow in the coming years). As smartphone technology is continuously improved, this presents new opportunities for brands to differentiate themselves with new ways to engage with their customers.

By leveraging mobile and augmented reality (AR) features, retail brands can significantly transform the shopping experience they offer.

What is augmented reality?

Augmented reality, is the integration of digital content within the user’s environment (not to confuse with virtual reality (VR), which create a new environment for the user).

Why is AR important?

AR can simulate a real shopping experience wherever your potential clients are. Even better, it simulates a real shopping experience within an environment that is familiar to the shopper.

Here are some examples of AR many retailers are already using to convert more visitors into clients:

Optical retailers: if you wear glasses, you know for a fact that choosing the pair you’ll be wearing everyday for the next couple of years is no easy job.

Today, many retailers offer the possibility to try different models at home, using AR capabilities. It’s not perfect yet, but it will give you a great idea of what specific frames would look like on you.

Here’s an example with Zenni Optical.

Zenni Optical

Furniture: buying furniture is always exciting. That being said, it’s very hard to visualize the result before you buy.

To help their customers to visualize their potential purchases a bit better, Ikea and Apple worked together to create Ikea Place, an AR app that helps you visualize how various pieces of furniture would look in your home or office space.

Ikea Place
Ikea Place

AR is no longer unaffordable

A couple of years ago, developing an AR app involved putting over $30K on the table. Today, it’s estimated that $5K should be enough to develop a functional AR mobile application.

What’s stopping you from trying it out?

Monitor what is being said online

There is a lot being said online about retail brands. From product feedback to customer service complaints, knowing who is talking to your brand and why in real-time is essential.

But first, let’s take a step back.

A large part of marketers’ and PR professionals’ role in the retail industry is to control their brand’s online reputation.

That said, the constant noise generated by the millions of conversations happening every day makes it impossible for them to focus their time on what really matters.

Media monitoring
Media monitoring

Using media monitoring, marketing and PR professionals can keep an eye on everything relevant that is said about them, their competitors and their market in real-time.

What’s more, they are able to identify trends before they go mainstream, giving them two significant advantages.

  • Identify potential threats to your business: while it takes a lot of time to build one’s reputation, it only takes seconds to destroy it. An advanced monitoring tool will help marketers to identify all types of online threats heading their way, whether their brand is in @mention, or not.

Here’s an example with the negative trends gravitating around the Amazon brand: there are 30K mentions about Alexa, 8K about employees. It’s probably something Amazon’s social media team would want to be aware of.

Media monitoring
Media monitoring
  • Identify business opportunities before your competitors: Trends are, by definition, temporary. As soon as the internet picks a trend up, the window to get on the trend train is very, very short. Monitoring-savvy retail brands can identify these trends before they go mainstream and change their product or marketing strategy on the fly.

Last but not least, we think you really need to focus on delivering an excellent customer service to succeed in 2019.

Offer excellent customer service, online and offline

Do you know why Amazon accounts for 33% of online retail conversations? They offer excellent customer service.

Amazon is laser-focused on their customers.

To give you a better idea, I took a look at the activity of their @AmazonHelp twitter account.

At the time of writing this blog post, @AmazonHelp tweeted 3.02M times in 9 years and 2 months.

This means they send an average of 903 tweets per day to deal with customer complaints, questions and remarks, in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Chinese and Turkish.

And that’s just Twitter. We’re not taking into account the call center and their website’s customer service platform.

If you want loyal customers in 2019, everything from your website, customer journey, and service needs to be seamless.

Be available when and where your customers need you

Today, customers demand service on their terms.

This means you have to be available when they need you, via the platforms they use.

While you obviously need a dedicated call center to ensure a proper customer service, you need to have round-the-clock presence on social media.

This focus on customer service is based on two key statistics revealed by KPMG International’s Global Online Consumer Report (2017):

  • 51% of brands consumers trust the most make it easy to contact them.
  • 66% of consumers say excellent customer service is a must for them to be loyal to a brand.

Your customers expect the best, or nothing.

It’s essential for retailers to understand in 2019, customers are no longer blindly loyal to brands. They are loyal to a level of customer service and customer experience.

In short, retailers’ ability to gain market shares depend almost entirely on their ability to keep their customers happy. And to do that well? Definitely consider the 5 tips we just shared with you.

What about you? What are your marketing New Year’s resolutions? Reach out to me at clement@mention.com to let me know!

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Connect New Social Media Channels In Mailjet’s Email Editor

Things are about to get a lot more social!?
You can now connect 10 new social media channels right in the Mailjet email builder, Passport.
Find your favorites, customize it, and start rolling in the likes!

Where Can You Find This Update?

In the email editor, check the content section, our “Social Sharing” component has now been upgraded:
New Social Media Component

What Can You Do?

You now have many default channels that you can select and add to your social block to make it really easy for your contacts to connect with you on social media. Add as many as you want, but we usually recommend no more than 3 or 4. Less is more 😉.
New Social Media Component

But, what about that other app?

Don’t worry – you can even upload your own icons! Forget about HTML sections and spending time creating your own icons, everything just got a whole lot easier.

  • If you want to customize the icon of a channel, no problem.
  • If you want to add a social media that is not in our database, we’ve got you.
  • If you want to add your website logo, you absolutely can.
  • New Social Media Component

 

You can choose to display text labels if you want, and customize them to make them more personal and engaging:

New Social Media Component

Ready to give this a try right away in our email builder? It’s available for all our users 🙂. Enjoy!

6 Steps to Win at Valentine’s Day With Your Email Marketing Campaign

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, 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. Whether the holiday makes you cringe, swoon or simply get excited for the discounted chocolate you’re planning to buy the day after (come on, we all do it), the following six steps are your way to success. So come on, roll up your sleeves and start building your Valentine’s campaigns now!

1. 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 later as the day approaches.

Philosophy Valentine's Campaign
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.

2. 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 templating language to create blocks 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.

American Apparel Valentine's Gift Guide
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.

3. 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.

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!

4. 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 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.

Birchbox Valentine's 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.

5. 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.

Just for you Valentines GIF
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.

6. 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.

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

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

With Mailjet, you can design and collaborate with your team on your Valentine’s Day email campaigns, segmenting them and personalizing them so that they truly speak to your audience. Create your account now to start sending your amazing Valentine’s Day emails.

Mailjet Account Banner

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

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 3rd 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 plan to spend money on food, beverages, or other merchandise. 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 likes 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 3rd.
  • We know it’s taking place in Atlanta GA and will be broadcast on CBS.
  • 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 Maroon 5 and Travis Scott.
  • 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 Toyota will have a commercial talking about their RAV4, and if this spot is relevant to your brand in any way you can adjust your messaging to stay relevant. The same is true for Colgate’s ad or Budweiser’s.

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 last year 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 2019’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!

When’s the Best Time to Send Your Email Newsletters?

If you send marketing emails to your customers, you’ve probably already asked yourself this: when’s the best time to send my newsletter? The time you schedule your emails determines how well your opens and clicks will be. And there are a lot of factors at play when deciding the best time to send your emails.

Below, we’ll give you some tips on identifying the best days and times to send your newsletters and some recommendations to improve your overall email marketing strategy.

When should I send my email newsletters?

Your sending schedule largely depends on whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, and the industry you’re in. But in all cases, studies indicate that there are still some days to avoid sending your newsletters.

What are the best days to send your emails

According to numerous studies compiled by CoSchedule, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the best days to send your emails. During these days, most emails are sent.

Wednesdays, according to various research, is a solid second option in terms of opens and clicks. If you send emails twice a week within these days, make sure to pick a combination of Tuesdays and Thursdays, though. Sending emails on either days plus Wednesday will make your customers feel overwhelmed and not read your emails at all in the process. Not good.

And a caveat: people also get the most emails during these days. Maybe you might want to send your emails in another day of the week to have less competition in the inbox.

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT
Best day to send emails

Source: CoSchedule

Days to avoid sending out your newsletter

On Mondays, people are either planning out their week or are sifting through the emails they’ve received during the weekend. And let’s be honest, we’re not the sharpest workers on Mondays. We’re still recovering from the weekend. So as a general advice, just avoid Mondays.

On Fridays, people have mostly tapped out on reading new emails. So clearly don’t send your newsletters on Fridays.

And on Saturdays and Sundays – well, do you read your emails on the weekend? You probably don’t, and this is the same for others…avoid the weekends.

So always consider your target audience and the times they could be potentially looking at their emails. Formulating an email marketing strategy based on user habits, such as when they read their emails and so on, can really improve your email marketing sending practices.

How to choose a day to send your newsletter

No matter what, if you regularly send weekly emails, be sure to send them on the same day every week. This builds trust and anticipation as your audience will come to expect your content at that time. At Mailjet, our newsletters include great email tips, best practices and our latest blog posts, and you can expect these newsletters every Thursday.

During holidays or special events, don’t hesitate to send your newsletters at a later date. It’s better that people read your emails than have your emails delivered but remain unopened.

What’s the best time to send your newsletter?

Generally, here’s how you can choose the best time to send your emails.

6:00 – 8:00 am

Some people look at their emails after waking up or during breakfast. Most of the time, they look at their emails via mobile, so make sure your emails are responsive and mobile-optimized.

10:00 – 11:00 am

According to many studies, this is the best time to send your emails.

12:00 – 2:00 pm

This is also a great time to send your emails. While on lunch break, people will be looking at their emails before getting back work in the afternoon.

6:00 – 9:00 pm

This is the end of most people’s work days. Some will be looking at their emails during their commute, others right after work. But avoid sending emails after 10pm, you will not be read immediately and by the time they get to their inbox in the morning, your email will have been pushed down the pecking order.

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT
Best hour to send emails

Source: CoSchedule

B2B vs B2C

Keep in mind that each person does not use their professional and personal inbox in the same way or at the same time. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. For example: Is the type of people you target more likely to check their inbox when they wake up or during their lunch break?

Do you send newsletters to personal or professional email addresses? Keep in mind that this distinction between B2B and B2C is very important, as users behave differently when using different email accounts. If you have defined marketing personas, they will be very useful in understanding your target users’ habits.

How to determine the best time to send your newsletter?

As we have already said, the best time to send your emails depends on a lot of things – your business, your customers, your targets, your newsletter type, and so forth. Ultimately we encourage you to do your own tests and analyse the best time for you and your customers. You can compare and contrast different email campaigns using Mailjet’s Compare Campaigns tool for example :).

If you have a regular sending schedule and want to figure out which day is the best time to send, you can do a test spanning two weeks.

For example, in the first week of the test, send your newsletter on Tuesday at 11:00 am, and then on Thursday next week, at 11:00am. Do this test in a mundane time of the year to make it more reliable. You can also try A/B testing by sending a campaign to half of your list on Tuesdays and the other half on Thursdays. Compare and analyze the results, and move onto the next experiment. Just like in science class 🔬.

How to compare email campaigns with Mailjet

Finding the best day to send your email newsletters can be a difficult task that requires experimentation, time and coordination when establishing the best schedule. As we have already mentioned, a lot of variables are at play, including the content and scheduling of your email campaigns.

While A/B testing can help you create your content in a way that will lead to better email opens and clicks, Mailjet Campaign Comparisons allows you to analyze different campaigns, effortlessly. This lets you figure out the best day to send emails backed by data.

Our results page is packed with visual and quantitative data – everything you need to analyze and continuously optimize your campaigns.

The “Compare Campaigns” button can be found in several places:

Compare Campaigns

And on a campaign’s details page.

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT
Compare Campaigns

From your Campaigns page, click the “Compare Campaigns” button.

A new pop-in window will appear, where you can select up to 10 campaigns to compare simultaneously.

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT
Compare Campaigns

Once you have selected all your campaigns, click the “Submit” button to continue.

The results are displayed in a graph and summary chart format to let you easily determine what part of your campaigns your customers responded positively to.

YOUR IMAGE ALT-TEXT
Compare Campaigns

You can view the results in a few different formats on the graph. If you hover your mouse at any point on the graph, a popup will appear showing the elapsed time at that point and KPIs for each campaign.

The data in the table shows the lifetime results for each metric of each campaign and is continuously updated. Both the percentage and total figures are displayed for each metric, and you can sort by campaign name, date, or engagement metric, by simply clicking the “arrows” at the top of each respective column.

And that’s a wrap! You are now ready to compare and optimize your email campaigns – and on your way to higher opens and clicks.

How to optimize your email marketing strategy?

In addition to our tools for optimising your email campaigns, Mailjet also offers features that allow you to create, deliver and track your email campaigns. With an easy-to-use visual builder and many responsive email templates, you can create engaging newsletters in a few minutes. Our features include segmentation, A/B testing and advanced statistics. These features allow you to really track and improve your email marketing results.

And to work even more efficiently on your email campaigns, we’d recommend our Collaboration Toolkit to save more time when creating your email campaigns.

You can work with other colleagues in real time on your templates and even allow them to directly comment in the same builder to avoid inefficient back-and-forths amongst your email team. And to really master your brand, you can save sections of your emails, including the header and the footer, to include in other email templates. You can also link the same sections across different email templates and do execute updates across all of them with a single click. This allows you to keep your branding consistent across different emails.

If you’ve experimented on your email campaign schedules, share your experience with us on Twitter @Mailjet. We’d love to hear it.

This article is an updated and translated verison of Julie Paci’s article Quel est le meilleur moment pour envoyer votre newsletter ?

 

Email Marketing Trends for 2019

Yes… It is that time of the year again. Email Marketing Trends’ is back, and we’ve got a brand new 2019 edition ready for you.

Somehow, you survived 2018; although probably around May a part of you thought you wouldn’t make it to the summer… let alone, 2019! But you emerged from the GDPR saga stronger than ever, and even had some energy left over to power through Q4, with that oh-so-sweet boost in sales included.

And now we’re back in Q1, and it’s time for you to start scribbling down your New Year’s Resolutions. So forget about those all-time classics (gym, healthy diets, no smoking… 🙄) and let’s focus on how you’re going to boost your email strategy in 2019. 😎

How different will the email world be during the next 12 months?

Well, it might not be thaaat different… But with others already stepping on the gas, are you sure you’re really practicing what you preach? 😉

Email Marketing Trend #1: Targeted Messages

Yes, we know this is not new… or unexpected.

We’re always aiming to deliver content that is valuable and relevant, but with new tools, features and consumer expectations, what was considered a ‘relevant message’ five years ago might not make the cut now. So, how do you ensure your emails are relevant during 2019?

Segmentation

Effective Segmentation is essential to relevant messages. While before this was just a nice-to-have, now sending differentiated campaigns to our contacts, based on their location, sex, age or even behaviour has become a must.

Personalization

Customers are becoming more and more used to receiving messages that speak to them directly, so much so that going beyond the ‘Hi (name)!’ is actually becoming an expectation.

Advanced personalization will be key in 2019.
Netflix uses advanced personalization based on previous behavior.

Adding advanced personalization to your messages is key to truly connect with your contacts, which is why dynamic content plays an important role for businesses for which email is a core promotional channel. Think Netflix and its personalized film recommendations, or Amazon and its cleverly-picked upselling opportunities.

Automation

Being able to reach the right contact, at the right time, with the right automated message is essential to boost conversion and increase brand loyalty. It might be sending a personalized offer on their birthday, or maybe rewarding them with a promo code after they complete their third purchase on your site.

Email Marketing Trend #2: Interactivity

The inbox is now a muddy battlefield and your email needs its weapons to shine through, and get that desired dose of consumer attention we’re all fighting for. Interactive emails allow your contact to fully interact (duh!) with your message in the inbox. And while we mentioned this last year and we’ve seen a few of these already, there’s still a long way to go!

The goal behind interactivity is not just to make the email look cooler (although it doesn’t hurt either 😏), but to eliminate the friction between email and onsite conversion, by allowing the user to start their purchase without leaving the inbox. To  make this easier, email developers can leverage tools like Email Markup or AMP4Email.

Coding responsive interactive emails

However, to provide a seamless experience, it’s key to ensure your email is fully responsive. You probably already know that more than 50 % of emails are read on mobile, which is why templates need to be designed with a mobile-first approach. And with the variety of devices and screen sizes, responsiveness has become increasingly hard.

That’s when the open source markup language MJML comes into play. MJML is responsive by default, and allows you to code amazing interactive emails easily, which you can then download in HTML, knowing that your design will look great on any device.

Interactivity in email will be key in 2019.
Burberry allowed users to personalize their scarf and start the purchase without leaving the inbox.

Email Marketing Trend #3: Brand Humanization

With the marketing space becoming much more crowded and competitive, consumer loyalty has become a top priority for companies, and humanizing your brand is now essential.

While in a different era, price and offer could’ve been enough to keep customers coming back, a more conscious consumer base means now companies have to work hard in being different and making a difference. Creating an emotional connection between the brand and its customers is key to strengthen the relationship with them.

Sharing your values

During 2018, some brands have already started to speak a lot more about what makes them unique, putting their values forward as a way to bond with their clients. For French retail leader Galeries Lafayette, for example, ecology was a decisive element in their decision to go paperless and move away from long store receipts, reducing the amount of paper and addressing an environmental concern.

Making a positive impact and effectively telling your story will be key during 2019, as consumers are now more wary and less moved by aggressive selling, and are becoming much more receptive towards brand storytelling and brand values.

Storytelling within email will be key in 2019.
For TOMS, a key part of their messaging is communicating on its brand values.

Email Marketing Trend #4: Data Privacy

#DataProtection has definitely been trending during 2018, dutifully sponsored by all the GDPR chaos. With GDPR, we have seen consumers regain control over their personal data, and companies have had to adapt to these new rules to ensure compliance with the new European regulation.

Data protection will continue to be a big theme for 2019, as companies continue to work on providing the level of data protection and security consumers now demand.

 

ePrivacy

Six months down the line, you’re probably still wondering how to turn the downsides of GDPR into marketing opportunities. And now, the next big change is fast approaching.

On top of all the work that has already been done, businesses in the EU will have to get ready for the new cookie law, ePrivacy. This new regulation will transform the way companies target their users online, as it will allow visitors to specify whether they want to accept website cookies or not.

With ePrivacy, marketers will look to find new means of procuring data, which will have an impact on the channels used. According to a recent Mailjet study, 30 % plan to reduce the amount of cookie-based display, paid search and retargeting they carry out, while 79 % of marketers predict they will use email marketing more post ePrivacy.

Email will grow post ePrivacy.
Mailjet Study: Marketers Plan to Shift to New Marketing Channels Post ePrivacy

Email Marketing Trend #5: Collaboration

Over the last few years, marketing teams have seen an increase in budget and size, with more people working on email campaigns together, both internally and externally.

Collaboration emerged as a big theme for companies in 2018, with teams looking for new tools and processes that will allow them to become more flexible and, most importantly, more productive.

For email, this means more people are involved in the creation of different campaigns, both within the company and in conjunction with external agencies. In fact, another study by Mailjet found that a third of marketers collaborate daily with others (including external agencies) on their email campaigns, and that email templates go through five different iterations before they are approved.

Collaborative tools

Fine-tuning how teams collaborate internally to avoid miscommunication or mistakes will be a top priority for companies, as will be finding the right tools to make this easier.

Solutions such as Email Planner, which allows teams to coordinate and map out their emailing campaigns, or Mailjet’s Collaboration Toolkit, which enables multiple users to work together on their templates in real time, will become crucial for expanding marketing departments.

Collaboration in Email
Mailjet’s Collaboration Toolkit

Wrapping up (TL;DR)

All in all, during 2019 companies will work on becoming much more effective in their email communications.

As email continues to grow, fighting for the user’s attention gets harder. Targeting contacts with relevant messages, attractive interactive designs, and effective brand storytelling that humanizes the company is now pivotal to a winning email marketing strategy.

Internally, data protection will continue to play a key part in the way companies operate, with ePrivacy heavily influencing the role of email as a strategic marketing channel.

The trend towards more distributed teams, as well as the growth in marketing departments and involvement of external agencies, means companies will have to redefine processes and find appropriate tools to enable team collaboration.

Email Trends 2019 Banner

At Mailjet, we love keeping up with the latest trends that our clients and smart marketers can directly use to improve their email strategy. And it seems like we aren’t the only ones!

If you want to learn more about what’s coming in 2019, check out Email Monday’s Future of Email Marketing & Automation overview – 2019 edition, where this post has been awarded honorary mention. 😉

2019 at Mailjet

To help companies work faster, together during 2019, Mailjet has launched its Collaboration Toolkit, a set of innovative features that allows teams to control what each member can do, edit templates with others in real time and leave comments to avoid the tedious back-and-forth on template building.

Mailjet Account Banner
Boost your email strategy in 2019 with Mailjet.

What email marketing trends will you be focusing on during 2019? Tell us all about your own #EmailTrends on Twitter!