The end of the year is an exciting and stressful time of the year for us marketers. Exciting, because we all look forward to the holidays, giving and receiving presents, and embracing our creative side to try and design with stunning holiday email templates.
But, at the same time, it’s crazy stressful. So many things to think about all at once: Halloween, Black Friday & Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year… All this comes at the time of the year when you have assess how the year went, and plan ahead for the next year that’s just around the corner.
Okay, sorry we didn’t mean to stress you out even more… And to be fair, there’s no reason for you to be that stressed. Because Mailjet has a surprise for you: six responsive email templates that will help you win the battle of the inbox this holiday season.
Responsive holiday email templates for the special dates
At Mailjet, we understand the struggles that marketers face during the Holiday period. And that’s why we always try and come up with new ideas to help make your life easier for all of us. This year, as part of our 2017 Holiday Toolkit, we have created three responsive email templates that allow you to create beautiful email campaigns in a matter of minutes.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Mailjet’s easy-to-use email editor, Passport, helps you design your own emails without the hassle of coding. But for some of us who aren’t very creative, coming up with a concept or layout can be time-consuming and maybe even frustrating.
Señores y señoras, here’s where our Holiday Templates come into play. Coded using our own open-source markup language, MJML, these templates are ready for you to use and adapt to match your own brand.
Black Friday Email Template
We’ve created an email template for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns. We all know that the main focus on these two occasions is on promoting special offers, so you don’t want to distract the customer with useless information. You want to get straight to the point of what you are offering them, which is why the offer and CTA should be what stand out overall in the image.
Our Black Friday and Cyber Monday template keeps it nice and simple, with the combination between white and black providing an elegant touch. Use a solid background and avoid multiple CTAs to ensure you don’t lose the reader’s attention.
Another important thing is to be consistent with your brand, so that when your subscribers open the email, they recognize you straightaway.
Do you like our Black Friday email template? Download it here for free.
Christmas Email Template
Although during Christmas the focus is still on buying, it is quite different from Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And our templates have been created to address these differences.
While during Black Friday the key is the discount or promotion itself, your Christmas campaigns need to give your subscribers a flavour of what you offer. Include an overview of some of your products, something that will make the reader think: “Oh, that would be perfect for X”.
Use enticing titles that link back to the holiday season and give it a bit of Christmas touch, to attract the readers’ attention and get them into the holiday spirit. Lastly, take it a step further by using personalization and segmentation in your Christmas emails, to make your customers feel even more special.
Do you like our Christmas email template? Download it here for free.
Happy New Year Email Template
Okay, this one may come as a bit of a surprise. “Why do I need a Happy New Year template?”, you might wonder. Well, to send them your best wishes for the new year, of course.
You want to build brand loyalty by letting your customers know that you think about them, you cherish them and you wish them all the best for the coming year. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the only emails that bring value to your business are promotional ones.
And why not make them even more fun by including some animated content? Always remember that customers want to feel close to the brands.
Do you like our Happy New Year email template? Download it here for free.
Responsive holiday email templates for your seasonal promotions
Seasonal product email template
Christmas time is buying time, too. Literally everybody is looking to buy presents for their loved ones and there is hardly any other period in which people are willing to spend as much money as they do during the Christmas season.
If you’re planning to send out a campaign promoting your products, check out our template Oslo. Its sleek design is perfect to highlight your seasonal offer and products. Enhance the Christmas feeling by including a festive picture at the top, and keep the email clean and simple, ensuring your products shine.
It’s also important to use high quality pictures, but make sure these are not to large, as they might not display properly on all devices. Choose a clear headline that describes the content and entices the reader to open your email, like “Our special Christmas products“.
And don’t forget: even if your holiday campaign is related to Christmas, it still needs to reflect your company’s brand identity.
Do you want to see all our templates? Check out our template gallery here.
Special promo email template
Saying “thank you” to your loyal customers is one of the most powerful things you can do. One of best way to do so is by offering a special promo discount.
Our template Cutely is perfect for that. It drives the reader’s attention to the central element, your special offer, but is also include some products that your customers might want to use the discount on. However, the focus should always be on the seasonal promotion, this is not your regular sales campaign.
Be as personal as possible. This is your loyal customers we’re talking about, you want them to feel special. Include a personalized intro text, segment your lists based on the data you have from them or, even better, use dynamic content to target them better.
Do you want to see all our templates? Check out our template gallery here.
Company’s story email template
The end of the year is the perfect time to give your customers an end-of-the-year company summary. Duh, you might think. Yet many business still avoid talking about themselves.
Part of building brand loyalty is being open about what you’ve been up to and sharing your success with your customers. What did you achieve this year and what can your customers expect next year?
Our template Colorado is a great choice to do just that. It includes a timeline in which you can show your most important milestones, and also gives you the opportunity to add a quote from the CEO or another relevant employee. Top it up with a special gift or promotion, to celebrate and thank your customers for the success you’ve had this last year, and drive more traffic to your holiday offers.
Your email needs to engage your reader, so remember who your audience is. You are not sending this campaign to investors or stakeholders, you are sending it to your customers. Keep it entertaining and relevant. Don’t just give facts, create a story around your company that works alongside your company’s brand identity.
Do you want to see all our templates? Check out our template gallery here.
Start designing your campaigns
As we’ve already said, our aim is to make life easier for all of us marketers. And our templates are extremely handy.
The best thing about using these Passport templates is that it’ll only take minutes to adapt and edit them to match your needs. Try them out or experiment with some of our other options by visiting our template gallery. You only have to access your Mailjet account or create a free account.
We hope that you love our templates as much as we do, and that they will help your email campaigns smash it in the holiday inbox. Just don’t forget the importance of the subject lines you use, cause they will make a huge impact on your open rates.
Email blast is bad. There, we said it. Email campaigns should never be unsolicited, but helpful and responsive. They should be careful and resourceful – not lazy and unfocused. Emailing, in general, should never seem aggressive.
Unsolicited B2C cold emailing campaigns are now illegal in Europe (thanks GDPR). And should you even try them, notice your sending reputation drop faster than your eye can blink.
Today, the average customer is sophisticated, and doesn’t only want a personalized experience (although this is still important); they love emails that help them realize their wants and needs.
To help you achieve company objectives, here are some slick up-to-date tips on creating more sophisticated email marketing campaigns that customers want to read and click.
Let’s face it. You’re probably older than 13, not a wizard/witch/made of magic and can relate more to the Dursley’s terror of getting unsolicited (e)mails than Harry’s delight. Evanesco, email blast.
1. What is an email blast
An email blast is one email sent to a lot of people. This email would not target particularly anyone, let alone a segment of people.
This email would be devoid of personality – a flavorless thing. If this email was a type of food, it’d be chicken breast, without the protein. If this was a drink, it’d be water that dehydrates. If this was waste, it’d be plastic trash… you get the picture.
Nowadays, no one likes being the victim of an email blast. So while this is a great piece of email history – and a great trivia to spurt out in email geek parties – email blast is an ancient practice that no efficient email marketer does anymore, because it doesn’t work.
2. Why should you stop sending email blast marketing campaigns
Today, when there are email apps that allow emails to be more personalized and data-driven, sending out an email blast is lazy and outdated, and could indicate that you’re not taking your email marketing seriously.
3. 4 tips on how to send better and cleaner email campaigns
3.1 Grow your email lists organically
There are many ways to organically grow your email lists. You could use social media, include subscription widgets and pop-ups on your website, include a newsletter opt-in in your emails, create multichannel campaigns that encourage subscription… if you just flex your creativity, the sky’s the limit (unless you hire a skywriting service).
3.2 Segment your email lists
Segmentation divides your contact list into smaller groups based on a set of traits. This can be a great personalization technique to deliver relevant emails that subscribers want to see based on their interests.
At Mailjet, we have advanced segmentation features for data-tracking. These allow you to track the effects of segmenting your contact lists in real-time. To really jumpstart your segmentation, we also have an API integration with Segment so that you can see the effects of creating subgroups that are relevant (or not).
It’s no secret that segmenting your lists can increase email click and open rates. But segmentation needs to be correct in order to work well. Whether this is on gender, age, location, industry, or email behavior, you need to be data-driven but person-led in your segmentation tactics. It pays to know how to segment your lists but you already need to be sending the right emails, with the right content, at the right time(s) in order to be effective. Done well, segmentation can increase not only open rates but actual revenue.
3.3 Send personalized email campaigns
Sending out personalized email campaigns is the bread and butter of modern email marketing. You want to take advantage of the plethora of services that both automate and personalize your email campaigns. Personalized email campaigns perform better in open and click rates than their bland counterparts. And who wouldn’t want to see that you’ve done that extra mile in including their name in your emails?
Adapt a customer-centric email design that highlights your products
While it is always best to design marketing campaigns that customers would love to read and scroll through, they also love to discover. Holistic Marketing has written a great article on the importance of creating emails that are helpful and customer-facing, with great examples.
Add an unsubscribe link
Including an unsubscription button or link to your emails is mandatory in Europe, but it’s also best to do it elsewhere, too. This is because people who don’t want to get your emails anymore will tend to avoid reading your future emails, or, worse, flag you as spam.
Sending out well-optimized emails for as many email clients as you can will, well, ensure that everyone receives your emails in the same format. Our friends at Litmus created an excellent guide on optimizing background images. At Mailjet, we agree and like to keep our design responsive.
Create emails that render well across multiple email clients
Arguably, the most important thing in email marketing is ensuring that your emails are sent in the way you intended them to be. Unfortunately, as there are 50+ email clients out there, rendering for each can be a daunting, complicated task. Our MJML templating language simplifies this task by (1) simplifying HTML allowing you to code much more efficiently and (2) getting regular updates that ensure your design and coding remain responsive.
Some things keep coming back faster than you expected them to. As soon as the summer heat starts to fade, stores magically become filled with holiday decorations… and suddenly, you’re thinking to yourself “oh, right, it’s that time of the year again…”. Yep, now’s the time to take your brushes and your tools out to craft your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday email marketing campaigns.
But hey, we know it’s hard to be outstanding every single time you prepare an email campaign -and we know pressure’s high for this specific date, when consumers receive a mountain of emails each day with discounts and promotions from each and every brand they’ve ever subscribed to.
Raise up, email marketers: it’s time to design the perfect Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails. Just follow our steps and you’ll create a masterpiece.
Black Friday: Email Marketing Do’s & Don’ts
Choose a good, responsive Black Friday email template
Yes, we’re being Captain Obvious here. But no matter how attractive the prices you offer are, you can’t afford to send out an average looking Sale campaign with multiple CTAs, a festival of different fonts and kaleidoscopical colors. Last Black Friday, we still saw A LOT of these.
DON’T do this:
A few rules to avoid a design disaster:
Stick to a simple structure with columns (easier to get your email responsive)
Keep a fair mix of images and text (about 60/40)
Align fonts and size of your messages
Decide which CTA buttons to use and make sure they are clearly displayed in a contrast color
Don’t get us wrong – we just told you to make sure your email looks pretty, but going ahead, you also need to make sure design and content go hand in hand. For the past years, we’ve seen a minimalist trend out there with a lot of really, really beautiful Black Friday emails that just don’t tell you much about the sale, because… they’re just pretty.
DON’T do this:
Unless you’re sure everyone knows perfectly well what you offer already…
Sure, a sleek design and a good CTA can go a long way, and some Black Friday emails are real works of art. But think again -this could work fine when you launch a brand new mysterious collection, to tease your loyal customers. But here, we’re talking about THE most competitive time of the year in the inbox; plus there’s little surprise/suspense effect on what a Black Friday offer can be made of.
If your contacts don’t immediately get what’s on sale, it’s double or nothing: either they’ll be intrigued and click to see more, or they’ll be slightly annoyed that you’re asking them to search by themselves what you’re offering and move on to another email. (Yes, your contacts can be lazy: never underestimate that.)
Respect your brand identity in your Black Friday emails
We’ve said it before: having a dedicated email voice helps you stand out and be more easily identified in the inbox. It’s even more crucial during a noisy period like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when all the brands are going to use the same wording and content with percentages of discounts, as well as potentially similar designs. By the way, don’t feel like you have to go black: you can also make color the new black and use a dark touch only here and there.
DON’T DO this:
There’s no one recipe to create the perfect Black Friday email. The main idea is to make sure that your customers recognize you when they receive your email and read it in the crowd of other Black Friday emails. So we recommend that your emails clearly display your brand identity (logo, style, voice, type of subject lines, images…) in order to enhance your chances of capturing your reader’s attention.
DO this instead:
Or DO this with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns:
Another thing you can do to make sure that your contacts recognize you is to pair your Black Friday and your Cyber Monday emails: similar designs, slightly different messages, like Jonathan Adler.
Make sure your Black Friday email stands out in the inbox
We’ve already said this: your contacts’ inbox will completely full on Black Friday, and most likely the majority of your subscribers will only dedicate a few seconds to each email they’ve received. But… you don’t want this to happen to your campaign and you’re prepared to do whatever it takes to prevent it. Great.
To stand out in the inbox and ensure that your contacts pay attention to (and appreciate) your offers, sometimes you have to go all in and give your campaign an innovative touch.Want some design ideas that can capture your readers’ attention? You can play with these elements to create an unforgettable email:
It’s your turn: create a stunning Black Friday email
And voilà: now that you’ve got all our master tricks, you’re all set to be the next Picasso of email marketing this season.
Remember the tips:
Choose a responsive email template and throw in the right number of CTAs (that is, not many).
Add a few carefully-selected images from your brand library that highlight your top products.
Respect your brand image so your clients know it’s you.
Add interactive content and GIFs to stand out in the inbox.
With Mailjet’s drag-and-drop email editor, Passport, you can easily build a stunning email from an existing gallery of templates, so you didn’t need to stress about getting it right. We’ve got a great template gallery for you to choose from.
Getting ready for Halloween is fun but it can be hard work too. Hollowing out a pumpkin. Carefully applying fake blood. Trying to put together a costume to rival Chica the spider-dog’s. Like most prep, crafting a Halloween email campaign that gives your subscriber goosebumps (in a good way), takes preparation and creativity.
To help you out, we’ve handpicked some scarily good ideas to help you spice up your Halloween emails. Check out these tips and start brainstorming how to turn your campaigns from good to… devilishly good. 😏
Include a trick and a treat in your Halloween emails
Ensure your Halloween email marketing looks devilishly good
Halloween is the perfect opportunity to dress up your emails to give them an edge. Mango stays true to its personality with this elegant, yet rather cheeky, message. The title is eye-catching, set in sharp contrast against the white background, and the paragraph adds a twist, combining its spooky theme with some intrigue.
Mango’s Halloween email design is elegant and clean.
Create Halloween emails that build up the suspense
A mystery deal can be a great way to keep your subscriber hooked and get them to visit your website. Pull & Bear’s ‘Trick or Treat’ Halloween email campaign invites customers to play a virtual scratch game to win a discount.
Spicing up your emails with a sense of mystery will help your click-through rate, as your contacts are likely to be tempted to try their luck, which will translate into visits to your website.
Try including a game, like Pull & Bear does in its Halloween email campaign.
Customize your Halloween email marketing
Subscribers are mostly engaged by helpful, relevant email. This can be anything from including on-trend topics, customizing email to their preferences, or catering for their Halloween needs.
This NOT ON THE HIGH STREET.com campaign includes useful content for the time-strapped shopper, with links to everything one might need for the perfect Halloween party, from sweet treats to fancy dresses.
Let the reader know that you have a cure for all their pain points, that you have what they are looking for, and that they won’t need to look anywhere else. They won’t need to do any tiring Halloween costume hunting after work or spend endless evenings crafting decorations. Their Halloween party can be sorted in just a few magical clicks!
NOT ON THE HIGH STREET’s email includes everything you need to enjoy this Halloween.
Free all kinds of creative monsters in your Halloween emails
Make your Halloween email stand out by being bold and using fresh, innovative content. Lands End does this cleverly, by bringing its products to life with the use of an animation, an element that will most definitely attract the reader’s attention. They also give their email a different twist, opting for ‘Black Magic’ as their title, rather than the usual ‘Trick or Treat’ They even top it off with a short Halloween themed poem.
Be creative, innovative and original and you’ll see how your effort pays off.
Want to see the animation in Lands End’s Halloween email? Check it out here
Bonus: Adapt your Halloween email marketing to your industry
While for some industries Halloween-ifying their email content can be quite straight-forward , others might have a bit of brainstorming to do. If you’re not feeling your most creative self today, here are a few ideas on how to give your holiday metrics some oomph:
E-commerce Halloween emails
Bring your products to life in Halloween style. List the essential ingredients for the perfect party, and let the reader know that you have everything they need for it.
Software Halloween emails
Add a spooky twist to your product, perhaps include an invite to an exclusive Halloween event, or unlock some scarily remarkable feature or content.
Travel & Experiences Halloween emails
Draw together some Halloween events or experience days local to your subscriber, or use this opportunity to promote some inspiring destinations. Many places have their own local traditions around Halloween (like Día de los Muertos), it could be a great opportunity to promote them!
Food & Spirits Halloween emails
Give your contacts Halloween recipes so good your readers will want to stay up cooking all night. Focus on classic ingredients (pumpkin!) and on spooky-looking dishes. Want to make it even better? Run a contest and ask your subscribers to share photos of their creations with you. User generated content will be your new best friend!
Beauty & Well-being email Halloween emails
Let your subscribers know that whether they want the perfect make-up for their costume or they actually want to look a bit less like a monster, your products can do the magic.
These marketers know that it takes work to turn a great idea into great copy and design. Draw inspiration from these campaigns and make sure your email wins best-dressed in the Halloween inbox. As for your own winning costume, you might need to look elsewhere. Happy Halloween!
Do you have any great ideas or advice for a Halloween campaign? Feel free to share them with us on Twitter!
This blog post is an updated version of the post “Fright School Friday: Email That Wins The Holiday Inbox“, published on the Mailjet blog on October 30th, 2015 by Sasha Seddon.
At Mailjet our goal is to make your life easier! That’s why we are offering you a gallery of free newsletter templates that you can easily customize and adapt to your needs with our drop-and-drop email editor. So, if you don’t know how to code (or really just don’t want to), you won’t have to! The best part is that all our templates use responsive design. That means all emails will display perfectly on both your computer and your mobile devices and across multiple inboxes.
In this article, we have carefully selected 5 free newsletter templates and we explain how to best use them.
Classic free newsletter template
Let’s start with a classic newsletter template, which you can use no matter what your line of work is. We’d recommend you use our “Edge” newsletter template to promote your latest blog posts.
Hot Tip: When creating your newsletter, be careful with the elements that are visible in the inbox before the message is opened, namely the sender’s name, address, email subject and pre-header. And most importantly, you can try out these various elements all you like using the A/B Testing feature.
Free newsletter template for Ecommerce
Do you work in ecommerce? If so, you’re probably aware that your newsletters provide an excellent opportunity to boost your sales. That’s why we advise you to use our “BlueStyle” template.
Hot Tip: Bear in mind that it costs 5 times more to get a new customer than it does to hold on to an existing one. So, it is in your best interests to value the people who have already purchased from you and make sure they keep you top of mind! As a result, we advise you to identify these people and send them promo codes or special offers such as free delivery on purchases.
Free Email Newsletter Template for Events
If you work in the events sector, you know how important it is to send out information on upcoming dates for things like concerts and ballet performances. And what better way than to send regular newsletters to your contact list?
Hot Tip: Feel free to play on the exceptional and exclusive nature of the events that you’re promoting. For example, you can tell you readers that only the first to reply will be accepted, or that there are only a few seats left. Creating a feeling of urgency among your recipients is always a good way of getting them to take action! FOMO baby!
Responsive Newsletter Template for the Travel Industry
Use your knowledge of the travel industry and insert great colorful images: everything from heavenly beaches to the great monuments of the world’s capitals and not forgetting those lush natural landscapes. Let your customers dream! We recommend you use our “Worldly” template for this type of newsletter.
Hot Tip: Always be aware of good practice and avoid having your emails end up in the spam folder. For example, remember to respect the ratio of 60% text and 40% image and optimize the size of your photos. This will let you improve your deliverability and, therefore, the success of your emailing campaigns.
Newsletter Template for the Sports Industry
As a sports and entertainment professional, you can use newsletters to provide information on all your upcoming events and promotions. Sports is a visual product, make use of images, GIFs, videos, and more in all your campaigns. Our “Colorado” is just the template for you.
Hot Tip: There’s no one more passionate than a sports fan, so draw on the passion. Fuel the flames with exclusive content, opportunity to connect with the team or players in person, and use the email platform as a visual medium to build a community around your team.
Easily manage your newsletter templates
To access our templates, all you have to do is create a free Mailjet account. Once logged in to your account, you will find all our templates in the Mailjet templates gallery, which you can access from each of the “Campaigns”, “Transactional” or “Automation” menus.
From the gallery, you can sort, search, create, delete, edit, export and download your templates. And this is where the magic happens because now you are free to create new versions of templates.
And by using Mailjet’s groundbreaking new teamwork features, you can now work on your email templates as a team in real time. You no longer have to wait for your colleague to finish editing an email before you can check or change parts of it.
In fact, there can be even more than two people on the same email template or the same campaign and all working at the same time. With Mailjet you can also add comments directly into your templates on each content block (text, image, button, etc.) to make it easy to communicate recommended changes.
When you’re just starting out with email marketing, it can seem like there’s a never-ending checklist of to-dos. Building your contact list, planning your email marketing strategy and learning from your results… There’s just too much to think about.
Don’t fret though, we’re here to get you started without breaking a sweat. This guide’s going to cover the ins-and-outs, the A to Z of all the essentials. Ready to kick-start your email marketing strategy? Read on!
What is email marketing?
Email marketing is one segment of a company’s overall digital marketing strategy.
Email marketing is the use of email to promote products or services and to develop a relationship with a database of existing and potential customers, that helps us achieve our marketing goals.
Why email marketing?
Email marketing is still the best performing marketing channel, outperforming others like social media, search engine optimization, paid search and affiliate marketing. In fact, according the the DMA, email marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is up to £32.28 for every £1 spent, from £30.03 the previous year.
The main reason is that email marketing is the only channel that allows companies to target their audience with personalized messages, which not only enables them to promote their products/services, but also to build and nurture relationships with clients at different stages of the customer lifecycle.
How to do email marketing right
We’ve told you how effective email marketing is, and probably by now you’re already eager to get started. Worry not, we’re here to tell you what you need to do.
Build your email marketing contact list
Step one when planning your email marketing strategy is actually having people to send your emails to. There are many ways to grow your customer base organically: using your different channels, providing incentives, relying on word-of-mouth… Overall, emailing is all about testing different things. One method might work more quickly for you, or a combination might be best, so it’s a good idea to try different ones out.
Your website should be the first place to start when building a contact list. Customers visiting your blog or feature pages already have an interest in what you have to offer and enticing them to sign up might be easier here than anywhere else.
Here at Mailjet, we incorporate widgets into a range of content, including blog pieces, whitepapers and case studies, and we’d advise you to do the same. Include an opt-in form at the bottom of each blog post and make sure white papers, as well as on- demand webinars all include lead gen forms. To further incentivize sign-ups, leverage social proof by including a counter that shows how many happy subscribers are already receiving your newsletter.
Integrating your social media and email marketing strategies is a great way to leverage both. If you’re looking to grow your contact database through your social platforms, then you’ll need to tell your followers about the benefits of joining your mailing list, whether that is great content, competitions or exclusive deals.
The Twitter Lead Generation Card allows you to easily attach an email signup box to a regular tweet. You can also use these cards as part of your ad campaign to reach new prospects.
Facebook’s call-to-action (CTA) function allows you to add a range of buttons to your business page. At the bottom right corner of the cover photo, you’ll see a button that says “Create call-to-action”. When you click this, a pop-up screen will appear with more options for customizing your sign-up button. The next two screens will then allow you to further define the ‘landing page’ across mobile devices; you’ll be able to choose whether the button directs a customer back to your site or to a mobile app.
Depending on your business, you might have face-to-face contact with your customers in physical stores or at events. Make sure you’re making the most of these opportunities to drive your users to your digital experience and use email to join the dots between your presence in the real and digital worlds.
You can offer to send customers an e-receipt instead of a paper one if they purchase something from your store, or just encourage them to join your contact list with exclusive deals. On top of that, ensure that all your print materials, including pamphlets and business cards, draw attention to your email program and the value of subscribing.
Incentivize and grow your email marketing list
If you’re an e-commerce business, you’ve likely used incentives to drive sign-ups, like providing a discount off of the first order. This is especially effective in capturing that wavering customer who wants to purchase an item that’s just a little over budget.
No matter what your industry is though, incentives are always a great way to convince users to subscribe. Trading an email address in exchange for a gift (whether this be a free eBook or a product discount) doesn’t seem like too bad an offer.
One downside to keep in mind, though, is that some subscribers may sign up for the offer, intending to unsubscribe shortly after. Keep these contacts engaged with a drip welcome campaign where you show them how your product will continue to add value after that first purchase or action.
Email marketing subscribers can’t be bought
Growing a list organically can be hard work and some people might be tempted to purchase a contact database as a short-SPAM cut, not realizing how much it can compromise their whole email strategy.
However they are generated, SPAM complaints can greatly damage your sender reputation and therefore your deliverability, which is your ability to send your campaigns into the inbox. Understanding the kind of things that can impact your deliverability and following the best practices is essential if you want to succeed with your email strategy.
Emailing contacts who have no interest in receiving your campaigns is both pointless and harmful. People that don’t really want to read your emails will ignore them and delete them, which will make your engagement rates go down. Some contacts might even feel bothered by the amount of undesired messages they receive daily and end up marking them as spam, which will negatively impact your sender reputation.
To ensure your contact list is clean and you’re only emailing people that really want to receive your emails, make sure your Unsubscribe link is easy to find at the end of your email. Also remove inactive contacts every three to six months, to prevent unwanted spam complaints and lower engagement metrics.
Before doing so, though, you might want to send your subscribers a re-engagement campaign, asking them whether they still want to receive your messages.
So before you jet off thinking you’re all set, you need to define your goals. Decide what constitutes success for each campaign and use this as a benchmark in A/B testing and comparing campaign performance. This will give you a clear indication of your ROI and whether you’re doing all that you can to boost it.
What does success look like for your campaign?
Before designing and sending a campaign, you’ve got to know why you’re sending it. Always ask yourself: “What do I want to achieve with this email?”, and then find the most appropriate way to assess if you’ve achieved your goals.
If you’re looking to drive exposure to your brand through a referral campaign, you’ll be aiming for an increase in sign ups, email forwards and possibly social shares. So, when A/B testing different CTAs for a promotional email, you might want to pay particular attention to your click-through rates. Success will have a different meaning in each of your emails, so bear this in mind as you’re planning your campaigns.
Once you have an email marketing list and your goals are clear, you’ll be ready to start emailing your contacts and driving engagement with your campaigns. You might even be feeling a bit overwhelmed, though, unsure of what emails you should be sending and what you’ll need to include in them.
Mastering the secret weapons of email marketing
In absolutely every email, there are a number of elements that are always present and that could make the difference between someone opening your message or moving it to their trash.
The subject line should make your email stand out in the inbox. Although it’s important to keep the tone and voice true to your brand, don’t be afraid to try different approaches. Funny phrases, questions or even emojis can help draw attention to your email.
The From Name is your way to tell your contacts who’s emailing them. Ensure it’s recognizable by using your brand’s name or, if you opt for a more creative or personalized From Name, help your contacts know it’s you by keeping these variations consistent.
We like to call it “the unsung hero of email”. Many people forget about the power the preheader has to summarize the content of an email, especially on mobile devices. It should complement your subject line and draw attention to your campaign.
Call To Action
Think about your goals when creating your CTAs. Consider what you want your subscribers to do after reading your email and design clear CTAs that are easy to navigate on desktop and mobile.
Email campaigns to get you started
The great thing about email marketing is that you can gain real-time, in-depth insights into your audience and use this to hone your marketing strategy. Whether your first campaign’s metrics successfully meet your goals or not, it’ll be an excellent learning experience.
Before you get to know your subscribers better and adapt your email marketing to their interests, you have to rst check that they’re happy to be contacted by you.
Starting off with a double opt-in
This is an automated triggered email sent to someone right after they opt-in to confirm their interest. This ensures that your recipients are invested in receiving your emails and that their addresses are correct and active. Checking all of this from the beginning helps you maintain a stronger sender reputation down the line.
The key to a winning drip campaign is to engage customers, drive value and enhance the experience at each onboarding step. For example, the first campaign sent to new subscribers can include an enticing, personalized subject line with their first name. The second action you might want to communicate on is completing an account or making a purchase.
It’s also great practice to mention the original point of contact, reminding the customer where and why they first signed up to receive your email (i.e. entering their email address to RSVP to one of your webinars).
A great campaign to follow up these with is a referral email program, essentially a digital re-invention of a timeless marketing method. A business could gain good standing and market itself through word-of-mouth, and the referral email campaign of today is not all that different. It simply accelerates the process, encouraging your existing customers to spread the good news about your brand to people they know.
Driving engagement with a newsletter
A newsletter is a powerful tool for building a lasting connection with a customer. Using integrated analytics, you can understand how your reader interacts with your email and adapt your content accordingly. The key ingredient for success here is to supply your customer with content that is engaging, useful and relevant.
Use newsletters as a medium to tell your customers about company news, product updates, promotions and leverage your thought leadership content (eBooks, whitepapers, blog articles). Use a template builder such as Mailjet’s Passport, to simplify the newsletter creation process. With Passport, you can add, edit and rearrange elements and sections, insert an HTML box to inject custom code or build in media components such as a live Twitter feed.
To learn more about how to create the perfect email newsletter, feel free to check out our complete guide.
Designing engaging and responsive email marketing
We live in a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising at home and on the road. Advances in technology have meant that email marketers now have to design for both the mobile device and the on-the-go consumer. There is a demand for diverse, engaging and mobile-responsive visual material, so here are some ways to supply this.
Designing email marketing for mobile users
A subscriber is unlikely to bother looking at a message that is visually unappealing and is difficult to read. One way to safeguard your email appeal is to ensure that your design is mobile-responsive – important as 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device. If your messages don’t render properly across mobile devices, different clients and browsers, it won’t be a pretty picture for your user – or your ROI.
At Mailjet, we know this is a struggle and work to make designing responsive email an easy task. Our drag and drop email editor, Passport, allows you to easily create responsive emails that render properly on all screen sizes. Email developers can also leverage MJML, our open source markup language, which allows you to seamlessly code your email, and then generates responsive HTML code that’ll look great on all devices.
Designing email marketing for deliverability
Email size can have a big impact on deliverability. Emails that are too large take a long time to load and will be chopped by some email clients.
Knowing the appropriate size for images and finding the right balance between images and text is key to ensure your contacts see the message just as you intended them to, but it is also important to prevent them from being flagged as SPAM.
For example, emails consisting of just images tend to look spammy to ISPs, as this is a technique used by those trying to prevent spam filters from spotting certain wording on their messages.
Understanding how your readers will read your content will help you produce better emails to achieve your marketing goals.
Direct your reader
The top left corner of the email tends to be the initial focus of the reader if their native language is read from left-to-right. You can use this area to make your identity and purpose immediately clear, either by a concise, accurate description about the email or your brand logo. Make your header image clickable so that it’s easy for potential customers to land on your site.
In every case, remember to arrange items according to the order you want them to be read. This will make for a smooth user experience and, most importantly, help guide the reader to the actionable content.
Place actionable content above the fold
Most email clients allow around 300-500 pixels of space for email previews, with content located in this area referred to as above the fold (ATF). Every second and every pixel counts, so optimize this area by including a clear, but non-intrusive CTA.
A good starting point is to make sure your color scheme doesn’t impact on the visibility of the text and that it complements your brand. To launch your email marketing to the next level, make sure your color is suited to your specific context and demographic.
An e-commerce company might use a red CTA in a promotional email to create a sense of urgency and excitement. For a brand wanting to establish itself as a thought leader, a blue or purple-based color scheme will be useful in conveying reliability or wisdom.
Once you’ve chosen colors that complement your brand, don’t detract from or obscure your message, and are right for your context and audience, A/B test your ideas. Let your customers have the final say before you send the campaign to your whole contact list. You might be surprised by the result. Marketing is a brilliant combination of art and science, but these aspects have to go hand-in-hand.
Test before sending your campaign
To ensure that you’re really showing your true colors (as well as optimized images and functioning links!), you’ll need to test your email marketing before sending. You can send yourself a copy or use your email editor’s testing options.
Does your unsubscribe link work? Do your images render properly? Don’t forget to look for potential typos or grammatical mistakes, check all links and make sure your CTAs are easily clickable on mobile too.
Platforms like Litmus or Email on Acid allow you to test your email and see how it would look on different email clients. Alternatively, you can set up an account with each of the most popular email clients (e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo…), and check that your email is compatible with these before contacting your entire list.
Making email marketing relevant
Nowadays, the average person receives 130 emails a day, but according to the DMA only 16% of those are truly relevant. Understanding why your customers go to your website, their interests and budgets are essential to produce emails that are targeted to each of your contacts. To ensure your email marketing strategy is a success, you need to create unique messages that really answer your customers’ needs, and send them the right email at the right time.
Segment your email marketing campaigns
Segmenting your campaigns based on the data you have available is a great way to send your customers emails that are more relevant to them.
Anything from the contact data you gathered during the signing up process, any behavioral data you have from their engagement with your emails and any data based on your users’ previous interactions with your website will allow you to target them better and to send them contextually relevant emails. Splitting your lists up by gender, location, behavioral patterns or purchase history can help add context, making your customers feel like you know them.
Personalization allows you to speak to your customers as individuals and engage with them on a one-to-one basis, at scale. It ranges from the simple details, like including your contact’s name in the subject line, to adding dynamic and tailored content that targets each and every one of them. Some recommendation tools allow you to personalize your emails based on previous activity or browsing history, similarly to what brands like Netflix and Amazon do.
Email marketing automation
Email Automation allows you to send the right email to the right contact, at the right time. Automating this process will not only save you resources, but it will also strengthen your relationship with your customers, increase engagement, build trust and, most importantly, improve your ROI. Email Automation allows you to set predefined scenarios that trigger a series of workflows, like welcome drip campaigns, anniversary messages or abandoned cart emails.
For some, sending campaigns might look like a rather straightforward process: gather ideas, design the email, press SEND. However, limiting your email marketing activity to this could mean repeatedly delivering messages that don’t work, or missing out on the opportunity to learn from past experiences.
A/B test your email marketing campaigns
A/B testing is a simple way to try out new ideas and to make sure your email content is the best it can be. Instead of going with your gut feeling and assumptions, A/B testing gives you results based on actual behavior – allowing you to find a subject line that really speaks to your user, or a CTA that will ramp up your click-through rate. Pick one variable to change (e.g. subject line) and keep the rest of your email constant, so you can pinpoint exactly what caused the result.
There are multiple ideas you could test, and different businesses might find that what works for others doesn’t work for them. Here’s some inspiration to get you started:
Emoji vs. text-only subject line
The use of emojis in subject lines is becoming more popular, but not all audiences react to it in the same way. Depending on contact list demographics such as age and social media usage, emojis might have a varying success rate, so it’s worth testing whether it drives higher opens.
Sending at the start vs. end of the week
Are customers most likely to be receptive after a refreshing weekend or during the week? Perhaps they completely unplug during the weekend and are most active on Monday mornings. Or, you may find that they don’t have time to check personal email during the week and are in the mood to purchase or engage during the weekend.
A left, right or centered CTA
If you don’t need to provide much information, a centered button might capture attention best. Or, positioning the CTA to the left or the right might work better with directional cues present in the email, like arrows, or with the natural reading direction of the user.
You don’t have to limit yourself when experimenting, though. If you have a lot of ideas for a single element, find the winner with our A/B testing feature, which allows you to test up to 10 different versions to get even more granular results.
It’s important to remember that this shouldn’t be a one-off project – keep testing to make sure your email marketing co-evolves with your audience and its preferences.
Asking your customer for their feedback
Measuring metrics such as open and click-through rates is useful in pinpointing what is and isn’t working in your email campaigns. A useful strategy to complement this is to collect customer feedback.
By asking users to leave a review, you can better understand why they love (or hate) your brand in general, giving you ammunition for future marketing. You may be asking for a favor here, but remember that all customers like to be heard. This type of campaign shows that you value each and every user’s opinion, while also providing useful material for customer success story campaigns.
Conclusion on Email Marketing
Although creating a winning email marketing strategy can take some time, in this guide we’ve given you the tools to get you started. There may be a fair bit of ground to cover before sending that first email, but we’ve broken the process down into simple steps. However, email marketing is a learning experience, and even if one thing works for some businesses, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for yours.
You’ll be able to find out a great deal about your contacts through analytics, A/B testing and Campaign Comparison, which will allow you to master the art of emailing your own audience.
The world of email is in constant change, so make sure you’re staying up to date with the new trends and don’t forget to share your tips and ideas on Twitter.
Imagine… you are setting up your email templates for the start of the school year, your entire team is mobilized and you just need to get that email validated by the end of the day. Your inbox is flooded with emails addressing different changes, the phone won’t stop ringing, and you just end up sitting at your colleague’s desk, finishing off that super urgent template together on his computer.
All the round trips related to email creation often waste a lot of your time. Yes, we know: sending out important emails can be a nightmare. That’s why we set out to transform the way teams work on email. 😎
Thanks to Mailjet’s latest functionality, you will be able to easily communicate with your team, directly within our email editor. Say Hello to our new feature: Comments! ✨
Our new feature will simplify the way you work with your colleagues on the creation and validation of your email templates. You’ll now be able to add comments directly on the block you’d like your team to work on, without losing information or wasting time in an endless back and forth to get the changes done.
Add comments and respond to existing ones
Mailjet’s new feature allows you to add comments directly on each content block (text, image, button, etc.).
You can of course edit and delete a comment you made, and reply to other comments made by your team members.
Keep your comment history
All comments are listed on the right side of the email editor and are linked to the relevant content block.
Have you resolved a comment? Then, it’ll be archived in the “Resolved” tab. You can re-open resolved comments at any time to display them again.
Questions? Thoughts? Just want to let us know how much you love our new feature? Leave us a comment on our comments!
(See what we did there? 😎)
NB: this option is only accessible when working on an email template. Comments are not active in campaign mode. This feature is available for Premium plans.
Mother’s Day is coming, and on top of Sunday brunches and maybe a couple mimosa’s, you can also expect an increase in soft pinks and flower GIFs in your inbox. By the way, this year it’s May 13th – here’s a Google Calendar link so you don’t forget. :)
We love these times of year, including Holiday Season, Valentines Day, and Summer Break, because it brings out the most creativity in marketing departments and brands trying to distinguish themselves from the crowd. This is especially true for ecommerce and retail sites who are emailing about upcoming Mother’s Day sales, but just as interestingly, brands of all stripes are celebrating mothers in their own unique way.
Applying Best Practices to Your Email Campaigns
In honor of our mothers, we wanted to showcase some of the more effective and beautifully designed emails and newsletters, and give you a little look into what we love about them. Each of these campaigns utilizes many of our recommended best practices, including using images and GIFs to increase engagement, clear calls-to-action, simple design, alignment to your overall brand, and more.
BUT, we also would love your input! As you take a look at these campaigns, be sure to vote on your favourite at the bottom of the page, and we’ll tally these up to present to the world what the Mailjet community considers the best Mother’s Day newsletter 🏆.
Anthropologie: Power of Simplicity in your Email Campaigns
First up is Anthropologie’s To Mom With Love email. What we love about this campaign is its simplicity, focusing the email on one clear purpose: shop Mother’s Day Gifts.
The image is simple yet beautiful and brand-aligned, making it clear right off the top what this email is about. Their call-to-action, “Shop Mother’s Day Gift”, is more descriptive than many in this list, which simply state “Shop Now”. They also use colors really effectively, creating a clear emotional reaction of energy, love, and motherhood.
Jack Spade: Email Design to Increase Clicks
We warned you about soft pinks. This email continues the trend started by Anthropologie with it’s simple yet impactful design. They also take advantage of the fact that many of their customers are used to shopping on their website, and so they maintain this brand consistency with the website heading at the top, which creates familiarity and allows readers to navigate to any page on the site they want.
But make no mistake, the page THEY want you to go to is the Mother’s Day “Shop Now” link. The witty (and all too relatable) headline “You Never Call Anymore” literally forms the top of a funnel that pulls your eyes downwards to the one CTA, “Shop Now”. Brilliant.
SeatGeek: Brand Alignment
Next up is Seat Geek’s campaign, which is powerful for two reasons.
First, they know their audience, and as a result they are branding this email not like what we’ve seen above with Mother’s Day colors and flowers, but instead with their on-brand blue and yellow. Their audience, as a sports ticketing mobile app, is predominantly younger users who interact with their product on a mobile device.
Second, SeatGeek is the only example in this list that utilized a GIF in its email, and it does so in a creative way that (1) reveals more information the more you watch, and (2) draws your attention to the core message of the email: It’s Mother’s Day and she just wants to spend time with you.
Dr. Martens: Email Personalization
Our last contestant is Dr. (Doc) Martens. I’ll push past the obligatory beautiful flower arrangement, bold headlines, and website-navigation and instead focus on their email personalization. While this email is clearly a Mother’s Day email, trying to remind their audience that they have some gifts to buy, it’s also using past click behaviour and engagement data to curate a list of products that they think will be interesting to the user.
Plus, the way the flowers grow out of the text? Love it (Pro tip: just as with your mother, it’s always good to show respect to a designer).
Key Takeaways: Email Inspiration for Mothers Day
All together, these campaigns touch on some of the really important best practices you need to consider when putting together your emails campaigns, and especially your Mother’s Day campaigns.
Keep it Simple: Your campaign shouldn’t be asking your audience to do too much. One clear Call-to-Action and one core message is ideal to generate the most engagement.
Keep it Brand Aligned: While the soft pinks may feel like a necessity at Mother’s Day, don’t forget that you have a brand you need to maintain.
The Power of GIFs:A cat GIF is one thing, a custom GIF that can showcase your value, stay on brand, and also communicate your core message? That’s the tops.
Personalization: With your email platform, there is so much you can do to personalize content and segment audiences to increase engagement on your emails. Your Mom’s favourite Mother’s Day gift is a one-of-kind homemade card, why would your audience be any different.
We’ve love your thoughts – which email best captures the Mother’s Day spirit? Which email are you desperately trying to click on? Leave your vote here!
Ta-da! WE’VE DONE IT. What are we talking about? A solution that will make life easier and allow you to collaborate on beautiful emails with ease.
So, what is it? Teamwork in real time!
Now you can work on your email designs with others, at the same time, from anywhere. Finally, the same collaboration tools you expect in all your documents, you can now have in your email campaigns.
Real-time teamwork to create your emails
Are you designing a campaign where you have to write the content? Does your designer have to update the images and ensure that the brand guidelines are adhered to? Working with others on emails often turns out to be complicated and all the extra back-and-forth can waste a lot of time.
Well, here’s something new from Mailjet (and new to email campaigns anywhere): we are developing solutions that will make designing, writing, and sending emails as a team much faster, and easier. You can now work with anyone, anywhere, to build emails at the same time. No more waiting for your colleague to finish editing an email so you can begin to make your changes, join them in our new collaborative editing tool.
How exactly does this work?
It couldn’t be easier
If you open an email campaign or template and someone is already making changes to it, just join the session. The initial of your first name is displayed as soon as you join:
The best advantage is that you can’t overwrite the changes your colleague is making when you join the template, and vice versa!
You can see, in real time, what your colleague is doing. You can then make your own changes and they will also be visible in real time:
View person 1:
View person 2:
To make teamwork easier, Mailjet blocks the section (text, image, etc.) you are working on so that nobody can make changes while you are working on it:
Extra secure, for everyone!
This feature is available as part of Mailjet’s Premium and Enterprise subscriptions.
The Teamwork feature is not activated for customers using our Basic plan. However, in Basic and Free accounts, you will be alerted if someone is already working on a campaign or template that you want to edit. You can choose to not edit that email, or else you can retake control.
If you’re always changing things up and switching between different sections and email templates, then you’re going to love this. Mailjet already lets you both save and block sections.
But now you can also link saved sections to email templates, and apply any changes you make in those sections to all linked templates with a single click!
It’s for real! You can decide to have your changes applied everywhere automatically.
Say you use the same header on multiple templates and you want to update – for example – your logo, this new feature will undoubtedly save you a significant amount of time. Pay attention to what comes next ;)
Let’s start at the beginning: creating and saving a section
A section is a part of your email (e.g. the header or footer). You can create, change and save them to reuse them whenever you want in other emails.
There are two ways to create and save a new section:
Within an email template or as part of a campaign (either new or existing): you can save a section that you want to reuse by clicking on the “Create a saved section” icon. That section will then be added to your library (“Saved sections” in the left-hand menu), where you will be able to find it later on.
Directly in the “Saved sections” menu, by going to “My Templates” and clicking “Saved sections”.
Link and watch it spread!
Now Mailjet has something new for you. Your saved sections can be linked to email templates so that any changes are displayed automatically. Forget the days when you needed to go back over your templates to update them all manually every time you wanted to change something.
Now you get a smoother, quicker, more efficient experience. Sounds great, but how does it work?
How do I link a section to one or more email templates?
Bear in mind that this feature can only be used when you start with a template. So first you need to go to “My templates” to either open an existing template or “Create new”.
You will then have two options:
Did you create the section as part of an email template? Save the section. This will automatically link it to that template.
Did you create the section in “Saved sections” or as part of a different template? Open the template that you want to use and add the section to it. This will then automatically link it to that template.
Making and applying changes
Do you use the same header for four of your templates? Have you recently changed your logo and want these changes displayed on all four templates?
All you have to do is edit the relevant section in “Saved sections” and click “Save and Propagate” to apply the changes to the templates in which the section is linked.
If this section is linked to all four templates, they will all be updated automatically. Warning: please check carefully that you want changes to show on all linked templates before applying them everywhere.
A few extra details to help you find your way around
In an email template
You can only link or unlink sections in an email template. Sections created in a template are automatically linked to that template. Sections created in a campaign are not linked to the campaign template. Warning: if you modify a section in a template, it will be saved, and changes will be applied to all the other email templates linked to that section. If you only want to modify the section for the template in use, you must unlink it from the others.
In “Saved sections”
You can only create and update sections here. If a section is linked, changes will also be applied to any linked templates.
In a campaign
Saved sections can only be linked to templates. They will be converted to regular sections for campaigns.
To link a section that was created as part of a campaign: save it, then look it up in the “Saved sections” library, drag it to a template and link it to that template. Repeat for as many templates as you want.
Unlink linked sections in a flash!
If you want to unlink a section from one or more templates, all you have to do is go into each of your templates and delete the link. If you don’t want subsequent changes to the section to display on that template, then click “unlink”.
Once it has been unlinked, the section becomes just a regular section. If you want to relink it, you either need to save it as a new section (if you have made additional changes) or delete and re-add it from “Saved sections”.