How To Code An Abandoned Cart Email With MJML

Black Friday is here and we all know what that means: hours of browsing through the Internet to find the best deals, adding items to wishlists and starting purchases that might not even be completed.

With the date fast approaching, we’re here to make sure you’re ready to give your customers that extra nudge and remind them about those items they once left behind in their carts. Even better you are going to make them even happier, by telling them that those items are on sale. 😏

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

A templating language for your transactional emails

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

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

Mailjet’s Templating Language

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

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

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

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

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

How to code an abandoned cart: Quick Introduction

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

abandoned-cart-preview

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

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

A proper abandoned cart email should include the following:

  1. The items left in the cart.
  2. An incentive, such as a discount or a special deal (and now you have the best one – Black Friday), personalized for your user.
  3. Some new articles your user may prefer.

Let’s focus on these points.

How to create an abandoned cart email

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

Coding the abandoned cart section

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

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

Coding the body of the template

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

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

Defining the items in the cart

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

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

Coding the section with the additional discount

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

How to code section with other suggestion

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

How to code CTA button

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

Time to jump on Github

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

Github-tutorial-blogpost-banner 4

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

How to create an e-commerce receipt email

How to send a welcome series email

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

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

Email Blast: 4 Tips to Send Better Email Campaigns

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Author’s Note: 

So let me clarify some things up:

Mass email campaigns ≠ Email blast

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

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

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

 

1. What is an email blast

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

 

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

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

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

2. Why should you stop sending email blast marketing campaigns

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

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

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

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

3.1 Grow your email lists organically

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

3.2 Segment your email lists

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

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

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

3.3 Send personalized email campaigns

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

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

3.4 Follow email marketing best practices

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

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

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

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

4. Get creative

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

This list is endless.

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

Introduction to Email Marketing: The Basics Marketers Should Know

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.

email marketing weight
Source: Econsultancy, 2016

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.

But remember, under GDPR, you need to ensure that you’re only emailing people that have given you explicit consent. Make sure you have a clear consent message and that you’re keeping proof of consent for all your customers.

Using all the marketing channels at your disposal

Website

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.

email marketing example
Email marketing collection example
Social

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.

Offline

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.

 

email marketing guide content
Exemple of email list building – Mailjet’s form

 

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.

Never buy an email marketing list, this can hurt your sender reputation with ISPs and with your customers. Here are a few reasons why:

  • These lists likely include addresses mined from the web by spambots.
  • These users are probably already being bombarded by other buyers, and are very likely to delete, unsubscribe or mark your email as SPAM.
  • There’s also a big chance that they’ll include SPAM traps, email addresses set up by ISPs to catch spammers.

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.

Want to learn more about how to have a great email deliverability? Check out our Email Marketing Deliverability 101 Guide to learn more.

Keep your contact list clean

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.

Check out our complete guide, to become an expert in growing and building your email marketing list.

Email marketing goals: How to define them

As we said at the beginning, email is the best marketing channel, driving the highest ROI. It’s a great way to attract new customers and keep existing ones engaged. But, just like with every other marketing channel, email is nothing without a clear email marketing strategy.

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.

email marketing structure example
Newsletter structure example

Subject line

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.

From Name

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.

Preheader

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.

 

email double optin example
Example of Double Opt-in

Check out this article to learn more about double opt-in.

Following up with a drip welcome series

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).

 

Welcome email marketing
Welcome Email Example

 

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.

 

email marketing example
Newsletter example

 

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.

 

Mailjet's responsive email marketing solution
Mailjet’s responsive email marketing solution

 

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.

To learn more about how to avoid the spam filters, consult our complete guide.

Designing email marketing for user psychology

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.

Color for your context and audience

The colors you choose will influence your customer’s feelings for your email and your brand in general.

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.

 

Kissmetrics about email marketing
Source: KISSmetrics

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.

Learn how to do it with Mailjet through this step-by-step guide.

Personalization is at the heart of conversions

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.

 

Example of email marketing personalization
Example of email marketing personalization

 

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.

If you want to master Email Automation, our Email Marketing Automation Best Practice Guide has everything you need.

Get to know your customers better

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.

How Email Can Make Up For Declining Organic Facebook Reach

If you’re like 55% of marketers, you have seen a significant decrease in your Facebook page’s engagement since they changed the algorithm to encourage “more meaningful social interactions with family and friends.” While social media platforms are, of course, an important way to connect with your audience, it’s increasingly become clear that doing so means you are communicating on someone else’s property – not your own. You do not own the relationship, the channel, or the data, and therefore are at the mercy of how other platforms decide to distribute your content.

100K followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn is not nearly the same as 100K subscribers on your newsletter. Assuming you land in 99% of inboxes, and get a respectable open rate of 20%, you are already well above the rate of Facebook followers that will even have a chance of seeing your post. Way back in 2012, organic reach on Facebook was at an all time high of 16%, this was down to 6.5% in 2014, and since changes to Facebook’s algorithm this year brands are seeing organic reach around 2%.

While social media offers the benefit of personalization and targeting in a way we didn’t know possible only a few years ago, email marketing is right there with them and in fact is doing so in a way that is based on the explicit permission of the audience. Something that is, of course, becoming increasingly important in a new age of Data Privacy and GDPR.

The question then is when do you want to use paid and organic content on social media platforms? Do you want to be paying for one click to your website, or do you want to be paying for the beginning of a warm and recurring relationship with your audience? By growing your email list, and from there building a quality, permission-based, relationship, you are building value in your own property.

To make up for this diminishing impact of organic reach on social media platforms, it’s important to apply what you’ve learned from social media’s personalization and data analysis to your email marketing.

 

Email Marketing & Personalization

Email offers the unique ability to personalize content to your audience – who they are and what they like. Personalization extends beyond just calling out their [First_Name], allowing marketers to curate content, links, images, and even videos based on any data and metrics you have received from the user. This is especially true for online retailers who benefit more than many other brands with advanced data including buying history, location, and more. Today, however, only 39% of online retailers send personalized product recommendations.

At first, personalization can seem daunting when you think about customizing a message to every single individual in your list, a list that may reach into the millions. Personalization, however, doesn’t need to be about one-to-one relationships, instead it is about personalizing your content to broad categories like interests, behaviours, or any attribute that can be shared by many. If you know from previous email engagement, through your website, or any other data collection method, that an email address is associated with a certain attribute – you can use this to personalize future emails.

For example, did they open a previous email about a shoe sale? Did they click a link about women’s jeans? Did they select a specific dropdown item from a menu?

The Miami Heat captures your favorite player when you sign up for their email list. How do they use this information? In any an infinite amount of ways – they could segment their list so only people who select that player receive the content (more on that below) or they could feature a rotating case of players in their bulk email and personalize who will appear in the email based on the user. If you’re favorite player is Dwayne Wade – guess who’s video interview the Miami Heat include in their email?

 

Email List Segmentation

As alluded to above, personalization and segmentation are in the same family but are different for a few important reasons. Whereas personalization is about substituting content, images, text, etc. based on data within a mass email, segmentation is about chopping up your contact lists and sending only to certain people…based on data. This could be based on their location, whether they’ve recently opened an email, their level of engagement in your products, who their favourite player is (again), their favorite color, whether they identify as a dolphin or a poodle, whatever you can have fun with and use to serve up content they’d enjoy.

Segmentation is a great way to not only personalize content, but to save money and dramatically increase your ROI. For instance, Mailjet is a volume-based email model meaning our plans are priced on the number of emails you send. If you send an email to every single one of the 100K subscribers of your newsletter, you will be paying for 100K emails.

However, if you segment your list so that only active users receive the email about new product updates, or only US-based subscribers receive your email about an upcoming event in San Francisco, then you not only increase the likelihood of engagement, of return of investment, of the reputation of your domain to inboxes like Gmail – but you also save money. In fact, according to research from Liveclicker, a company that provides personalization services, behavioral targeting delivers an 8 percent increase in email revenue.

Our friends over at Google Cloud Platform know this well. Do you think everyone on their newsletter list received this email? Or only those in the Bay Area?

 

Email Automation & Integrations

Almost as important as sending the right content to your audience, is sending at the right time. Marketing automation tools, paired with the personalization tips above, allow for you to communicate with your customers at the optimal time based on any number of triggered events or actions such as newsletter signup or purchases. For example, when users make their first purchase on your website, or sign up for your newsletter, you can increase engagement and personalization through a drip campaign customized to their interests and behaviours.

 

 

When you first sign up for a weekly newsletter, it may take up to 7 days to actually receive that first newsletter in your inbox, depending on when you signed up. You devoted all of your energy and money in order to (1) identify your target audience, (2) find out how to get their attention, (3) provide value or serve up an ad to get them to sign up for their newsletter, and then after all that you just add them to a long list of other users. They are as hungry for your content as anyone on that list, but you don’t serve them what they want, when they want it.

Automation allows you to send the content they are craving right away so that the weekly bulk newsletter isn’t the first email they receive from you. Perhaps the first one is a welcome email featuring a blog or video you think they will enjoy (ideally based on the data they’ve given you already). Perhaps the second email is something of even more value, like a discount code or a one-time sale. By building trust and offering value right off the bat, you can count on this user continuing to open your emails moving forward.

You can take your automation even further by integrating apps like Shopify, Wufoo, and yes even Facebook.

Many brands use integrations like Shopify to leverage the data they receive from triggers like purchases and abandoned carts to better personalize their campaigns and segment their lists. Doggyloot for instance keeps their customers coming back with e-commerce integrations into their email marketing to not only personalize the content but also target their sending to those they know are already interested in purchasing a product.

Doggyloot

Permission-Based Targeting

As organic reach on social media declines, and we move increasingly towards a permission-based marketing world, it doesn’t mean we need to move away from tailored content informed by data. In fact, as opposed to relying on a mysterious algorithm on property you do not own, learn more heavily into your own permission-based data collection tools on property you do own: your email lists.

Mailjet Helps Facilitate Inter-team Collaboration

If you are already a customer or you follow our news, you know that over the past few years we have been taking the use of our tools very seriously, allowing you to better collaborate with your teams.
Now, we have decided to go a step further and offer even more new features:

  • Advanced restrictions
  • Blocked sections
  • Draft mode

More Sophisticated Advanced Restrictions To Share Only What You Choose

Now, you have the possibility of giving access to your account or sub-accounts to other employees. Now, you can go even further in the management of access sharing by selecting advanced restrictions.

Improve exchanges between your teams by giving specific roles to your employees. You can also set who has the right to block sections, manage your gallery or edit your e-mail templates.

In your account, head to My Account > Account Sharing. Here, you can invite new users and set which pages and which of your account features you would like to give them access to.

Let’s take a specific example: you want to invite your designer to create templates on your account, but you don’t want to let her send an email, because you would like to validate each of her creations before they are used.  

Simply select the role “Designer” when you invite her to your account. She can access all the templates but can only save them in ‘Draft’ status. She will also be able to block the formatting of some sections to prevent other employees from modifying them.

EN-Restricted-Access-Menu

If you don’t want to choose one of the predefined roles – Accountant, Developer, Marketer or Designer – you can choose the “Customized” option and individually select the pages or features to which you would like your colleague to have access.

EN-Personalized-Menu

You now know all you need to ensure that your team members only manage actions they are responsible for, according to the roles you yourself will have set.

This feature is available only for Premium subscriptions starting with Cristal. The number of people to which advanced restrictions can be applied is limited based on subscription type.

Block Section Editing

When you edit a template, you can now choose to block one or several of its sections to prevent one of your employees from editing or deleting them. That way, you can better protect the design of your emails and make work easier for your teams. As for your employees, they can focus on tasks that are assigned to them.

  • When you click on a section, blue edges appear:

Locked Sections

  • Click on the lock and a pop-up will appear to let you select the limitations you would like to implement for each section:

EN-menu-Locked-Sections

  • You can choose to:
    • Completely lock the section so that it can no longer be modified or deleted
    • Authorize only changes to text and images so that the formatting of your section can no longer be modified

Users for whom you have not assigned modification rights for the locked sections will be limited when editing a template. If you have completely locked the section, no access will be allowed (as shown in the image below). If you have blocked editing for formatting only, they can update content without having any impact on design.

Section Locked

This feature is only available for Premium subscriptions.

Edit Your Template Safely In Draft Mode

You can now edit your email without needing to publish it. Why is this useful? You can modify your template without worrying about affecting a template which is already in use. While waiting for a template to be validated, you can simply save it as a draft.

EN-Publish_Draft-Templates

Saving a template in draft mode also lets you authorize members of your team to work on it without necessarily granting the right to publish, leaving you as the designated person in charge of publishing the final version.

 

EN-menu-Save-Draft

That way, your marketing templates in draft status won’t be visible in your gallery when you create a new campaign. Additionally, changes made to an automated template won’t be applied to a workflow once it has been published. Lastly, the final ID of a transactional template will not be provided unless you have published it, thus preventing you from affecting an email in production.

You can head right over to your account to implement advanced restrictions and make collaboration easier between your teams.

We hope you like these new features. Feel free to tell us what you think on Twitter.

Manage Your Templates Easily With Mailjet’s Gallery

A few days ago, we came out with quite a few improvements and features. Today, we’re taking a closer look at the ones that involve managing your templates, to help you get the best use out of them. These new features will let you organize yourself better and save precious time.

Template-Gallery

As a reminder, Mailjet gives you free access to more than 50 templates to get inspired, but you can also create your own easily with our intuitive e-mail editor.

Find your templates easily in your Mailjet gallery

Once you’ve created or modified a template, you can save it and find it directly in your gallery. We have improved its interface so you can find the templates that interest you in just a few clicks.

A new scrolling menu to rank your templates

In your gallery, you’ll find a scrolling menu in the top-right corner  that allows you to organize your templates in the order that you like. You can now sort them by alphabetical order, last modified or creation date.

OrderMenu-EN

Advanced search to find the template of your choice

In the top-left corner of your gallery, you now have access to a search field that lets you find one or several templates by searching by name, desired language or applied labels (learn more about labels below).

EN-SearchMenu

Improved management of your templates

If you click on the small nut above your template to the right, you can choose from a variety of options. Since last year, you have been able to export templates to a sub account  or download your template in HTML or MJML in order to make collaboration easier with your teams.

Today, we have added two new options: adding categories and viewing editing history.

Adding categories to your templates

Most of our customers use Mailjet to create newsletters using different themes, and with more than twenty templates, it can be difficult to find your way around.

In order to quickly find the templates you’re interested in using, we have implemented labels. You can now add labels to your templates to easily find them in your gallery using their colour or apply a filter to group them together easily when you are searching for them from the search field.

In your template gallery, above the menu to the right:

  • Click on the Manage labels button

EN-ManageLabels

  • Then on the button Create a label

EN-2-Create-a-Label

  • Give the name of your choice to your label and select a colour, then click on save and your label has been created!

EN-3-NameOfLabel_Color

To add the label to a template:

  • Click on the nut on the template of your choice and then on Assign a label

EN-4-AttributeALabel

  • Select the label of your choice and click Save

EN-5-SelectALabel

  • The label will appear on your template.

EN-6-LabelCreated

This feature is only available for Premium subscriptions.

See publication history for your templates

EN-Preview_History-link

Hover your cursor over the template of your choice and a new “Preview & history” link will appear. Click on it and you’ll land on a template previsualization page where you can find up to the last 5 published versions of your e-mail. That way, if you’re not satisfied with the most recent changes you made to your template or if you want to see what it looked like before you made them, you can easily turn back the clock by selecting a previously published version.

 

History-Dashboard-EN

Now head to your template gallery to test out these new features.

We hope you like these new features. Feel free to tell us what you think on Twitter.

How To Use Facebook Messenger Chatbots To Boost Your Marketing Efforts

Many marketers view chatbots as an alternative to email, with some even proclaiming chatbots as the “death of email.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. Much like how content marketing can be used alongside email marketing, chatbots are a powerful additive channel that can boost your email marketing campaigns.

Customers are increasingly ready to embrace messaging apps as a customer service channel, and younger demographics even more so, according to HubSpot. This means it’s a trend that will only increase with time.

Chatbots are the next frontier of marketing automation. They create relationships with your customers through a live experience, instead of overcrowding their inboxes.

 

What are chatbots?

The easiest way to think of chatbots is as the next iteration of Live Chat.

As Live Chat became more widely adopted by brands and used by customers, it failed to live up to its “live” name. Today consumers wait on average 2 minutes and 40 seconds for a response on Live Chat, and 21 percent of their messages go completely unanswered. From a customer’s standpoint, that’s unacceptable.

Chatbots bring the immediacy back to live chat. Even better, they speak to your customers wherever they are, rather than forcing them to come to your website. Thanks to advancements like Facebook Messenger, chatbots are no longer clunky or robotic. They can handle a lot more functionality, and sound more like humans.

 

Can chatbots and email marketing work together?

As Joe Crawford writes in Chatbots Magazine, “Think of email as a speech, and a Messenger chatbot as an interview. Like a speech, email is a one-way communication, with all of the information being presented in one continuous sequence. Messenger is comparable to an interview in that it exists as a series of back-and-forths with one side attempting to gather information (the bot), and the other (the human) providing that information based on the questions asked.”

Email marketing and chatbots both form relationships with your customers, but in different, complementary ways.

With email marketing, you can provide a complex, visually appealing layout that includes copy, images, hyperlinks, and CTA buttons. It is perfect for more important and detailed information contacts will most likely want to retrieve, as searching for it is easier than looking through chats and notifications.

Chatbots, on the other hand, share less information, but that information is precisely relevant to an individual user’s needs and wants, depending on what they share with the chatbot. Plus, much of the desired action can take place directly within the Messenger interface. Users can answer form questions, watch video, and buy products directly from a chatbot, while an email would require them to click through a link to take action.

When compared to email, chatbot conversations are more personalized and actionable. Experience it yourself with this hypothetical chatbot user flow from Hubspot.

 

Example of a chatbot conversation

 

Facebook Messenger chatbots and Email Marketing

One of the easiest ways to add a chatbot to your marketing funnel is to implement one into Facebook Messenger. Facebook itself has its own handy bot creator for developers, but there are also plenty of services out there that will create a bot that’s tailored to your brand’s specific needs.

Having a Messenger chatbot in addition to your email marketing efforts can result in more targeted and detailed user data, and higher conversion rates overall. One way it does this is with user-dreaded forms.

Forms are a lot of work for users, especially if you got greedy with the number of fields. Chatbots relieve customers of that burden, but they also minimize the work on your side.

Verve says 60 percent of people intentionally lie or provide false info online. 33 percent use a fake email address, and customers have no problem supplying someone else’s phone number to get access to your latest whitepaper. Meanwhile, less than 5 percent of Facebook profiles are fake. Start using Facebook Messenger chatbots today and you can stop mining through fake data.

There are plenty of other benefits to using Facebook Messenger chatbots alongside your email strategy. Let’s name a few, shall we?

  • Users receive instant responses, increasing loyalty while they wait for a more detailed email.
  • Facebook Messenger chatbots feel social, lively, and fun, making customers delighted to hear from you again.
  • Chatbots can help your brand appeal to younger users, who might not be as responsive to an email as they are to a message.

 

How to integrate a Facebook Messenger chatbot in your email marketing funnel

Ready to get started with your own Facebook Messenger chatbot? Let’s review the many ways they can augment your email marketing funnel and engage your customers.

Newsletter subscriptions with chatbots

No longer do users have to leave Facebook to fill out a form on your landing page. Integrate with Facebook Connect login to enable single-click subscriptions like the L.A. Times does:

 

LA Times Chatbot

 

Content downloads through chatbots

Use Facebook’s Messenger CTA buttons to make things even easier. For instance, after they view your Facebook Live, you can include a button in the conversation that says “Send me the checklist!”, that would trigger an email to be sent with the content download link or file.

Here’s an example from HubSpot:

 

HubSpot Chatbot Example

 

Event promotion and reminders

Users can RSVP to events on and off Facebook and receive friendly reminders from your Facebook Messenger chatbot (as well as your usual automated email reminder). Disney created a chatbot persona of Officer Judy Hopps to hype Zootopia by engaging with RSVP-ed users on Facebook before the movie premiere and also before the DVD release.

 

Zootopia's Chatbot

Exclusive offers

Let users decide if they want to interact with you via Facebook, Messenger, or email. . Incentivize to connect via Facebook Messenger by offering an exclusive whitepaper, ebook, or video, and offer yet another incentive for email, like an exclusive deal. As Mixergy and Bot Academy founder Andrew Warner shows in this YouTube video, Messenger works immediately. The second the button is clicked, they get a notification via Messenger on their phone.

 

Exclusive offers chatbot example

 

Clear up your support team’s queue

Create a support chatbot to answer common FAQs so users don’t languish on your help page or get stuck in a long email thread with your support team. Airbnb lets hosts create custom FAQ. This minimizes frustration for hosts who get sick of answering the same thing over and over again, and it also makes things easier for customers so they’re likelier to convert faster:

 

Support chatbot example

 

Qualify leads

Program your chatbot to ask questions that further segment subscribers and qualify leads. In this personal shopping assistant example from Convo Interface, the bot could help a person make a purchase right then and there, or send them an email with several options:

 

How to qualify leads with chatbot

 

Drive conversions

Chatbots drive conversions in real time. Belly Hungry’s chatbot lets people schedule reservations, find restaurant locations, or order takeout – all from within Facebook (no more going to Yelp or Google search and finding one of your competitors instead), while still getting their transactional emails to confirm their booking or purchase:

 

Example of how to make reservations with chatbots

 

Optimize Facebook ads

Lower your CPM with more effective Facebook ads. Let customers immediately start a conversation with your sales rep, instead of having to click through to your website, as in this example from Business Pineapple:

 

How to optimize Facebook Ads with chatbots

 

Create your Facebook Messenger chatbot

So, how do you actually go about creating a chatbot? Fortunately, it’s easier than you think.

Several companies have risen to meet the demand. There are dedicated chatbot developers for Facebook Messenger like Octane AI, Chatfuel, and ManyChat. Then there are developers that work with Facebook, your website, as well as other apps like Slack or text messaging, like SnatchBot and Hubspot’s Motion.ai. Finally, some chatbot developers specialize in transforming landing page forms into a conversational chatbot interface, such as Botui.org, Landbot.io, Convointerface and Conversational Form.

Many of these chatbot builder tools helpfully walk you through the process, from mapping a conversation flow chart to adding custom buttons and more.

 

How to create the chatbot

Of course, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, you can always code your own chatbot. Distilled shared their custom chatbot code in a recent Moz article.

 

Don’t wait. Jump on the chatbot train today.

Five percent of companies were already using chatbots in 2016, and 32 percent are planning to use or pilot them in 2017. Email marketing is getting tougher, since everyone’s doing it now. Supplementing your email efforts with a chatbot can help you to outpace the competition.

 

GDPR Journal: What I’ve Learned Since Becoming A Data Protection Officer

I’m Darine Fayed, (Head of Legal @Mailjet, attorney practicing for more than 14 years) and I write from a personal viewpoint of an in-house lawyer who, along with the rest of EU and international companies, is under the pressure of getting our company ready for GDPR before May 2018. New to GDPR and wondering if it affects you? (Psst – it probably does) Head here to our GDPR resource hub.

GDPR Journal: What I’ve Learned Since Becoming A Data Protection Officer

In getting ready for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), and putting in place the measures to make Mailjet 100% compliant, one question I had to ask was: are we required to nominate a DPO?

Firstly, what is a DPO?

For background, a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is an individual – internal or external to the organization – that is involved in all issues which relate to the protection of personal data. Their responsibilities include such things as advising the company of their data protection obligations, monitoring compliance with the rules in place, cooperate with the data authorities, act as the contact point for data protection questions.

So, when do you need a DPO?

While the concept of a DPO was not exactly a new one, the GDPR has now made mandatory its appointment for certain companies. GDPR states that there are 3 cases where the designation of a DPO is mandatory:

  1. The data processing is carried out by a public authority or body.
  2. The core activities consist of data processing operations that require regular and systematic monitoring of data subjects on a large scale.
  3. The core activities consist of data processing on a large scale of special categories of data or data relating to criminal convictions and offenses.

OK, it’s nice enough to list out these specific 3 cases. But let’s be honest, it’s a bit ambiguous. Being an email service provider (if you didn’t know, Mailjet is a private company that sends millions of emails for clients all over the world) I was pretty sure we didn’t fall into the first or last case. Not the first case because we are not a public entity. Not the last case because we do not process any “special” data. But what about the second one? It wasn’t exactly clear. Large scale data processing? Regular and systematic monitoring? What was the exact definition of these terms? As a side note, and fortunately, the Data Protection Working Party on GDPR released guidelines on DPOs that helped answer these questions. But not to my luck, these guidelines came out after the fact.

Today these guidelines give various examples of large scale processing, that now clarifies the terminologies. Examples they offer include; processing of patient data in the regular course of business by a hospital, processing of travel data of individuals using a city’s public transport system, processing of personal data for behavioral advertising by a search engine.

It’s a good point to know, not all companies are required to nominate a DPO (whether internal or external to the company). For all good measures though, and since we do process data and personal data on a daily basis (personal data includes names, addresses, emails, etc.), some more thought was required.

I decided to investigate further…

I invited an attorney (recommended by our own CTO) specialized in personal data matters (data processing and data protection rights & CNIL declarations and controls) to the office to have a chat on what types of assistance he could provide to us. After over an hour of discussion with him, I realized one thing: the new GDPR regulation is so new, that no one is an expert. We were all in the same boat trying to figure out at the same time what GDPR really means and how we could implement the specific provisions. We were all on the same learning curve.

So after analysis of his proposal, evaluation of the costs involved (not a small chunk of change!), and after discussing internally in our company with our CEO and CTO, I decided against the hiring of an outside DPO. The time and money involved to learn our data systems and processes in place did not pan out.

Of course, if you do not have an in house legal counsel or compliance officer in your organization, you may need to call upon an outside external expert to take your company on the right path towards GDPR compliance.

A new challenge for yours truly

Yes, I already was pushing through as Head of Legal of our company with all the myriad of responsibilities that go along in that respect. I had to now add the task of DPO and GDPR compliance to that list! But since I can never turn down an interesting opportunity… I accepted the exciting challenge! And took on the designation as – Darine Fayed, DPO.  It made the most sense, since I was already dealing with the legal aspects of data privacy on a day to day basis. I was entering into data protection and EU Model agreements regularly, acquiring knowledge cloud processor requirements and rights of recipients daily.

Now to tackle being GDPR compliant and as I do best: setting an ETA way ahead of schedule! End of year is just around the corner!

Are you on a GDPR compliance journey? Have you too taken on the challenge of DPO, tell the Mailjet team about it on Twitter.

This post was first published on the Mailjet Medium account.

3 Zapier x Mailjet Updates
That Will Save You From The Q4 Rush

Summer in the office doesn’t have to be boring. Actually, you better start bracing yourselves now, because before you know it…

giphy (5)

Winter is coming

Exactly. And so is the usual Q4 rush. Exciting period in which, all of a sudden, everything starts happening at the same time. You know what that means: now is the time for preparation.

Give Your Workflow An Automation Boost

Here at Mailjet, we use a variety of apps to handle different – yet often related – sides of our business: CRMs, CMS, ESPs … Each of these bring their fair share of value in their own area, but creating workflows that combine their individual strengths together allows us to get a lot more out of them.

This is what that led us to integrate with Zapier.
Zapier is an awesome IPaaS tool that lets you automate your workflow by connecting your apps together (Psst. they record over 750 web apps!)… all without having to drop a single line of code (promised).
Essentially, the platform allows you to use ‘Triggers’ and ‘Actions’ to create your own scenarios: when this (Trigger) happens, do that (Action).

If you’re new to Zapier and would like to hear more, catch up over here!

To recap, the automation scenarios are endless. But what if we told you that we’ve actually found a way to take endless even further? Ladies and gents, here come our new Mailjet x Zapier Triggers and Actions… and three ways to use them to make your life easier!

1. Synchronize Data Out Of Any Email Event

Trigger: New Email Event

This trigger lets you automatically transfer your email event data to your other apps.

This means that you can enhance what information you track from your leads by automatically feeding your CRM system with detailed data on how they engage with your campaigns.

Whenever your hot lead shows interest in your email campaigns by opening them and clicking on the associated links, you’ll be able to keep an eye on their behaviour directly in your CRM – and be ready to attack with an tailored strategy!

Here are a few examples of automation scenarios you can create thanks to Mailjet’s ‘New Email Event’ Trigger:

   

2. Update Contact Properties Across The Apps You Use

 

Action: Update Contact Properties

  We already made it quite handy for you to automatically add new contacts to your Mailjet lists simply by adding them as new rows in Google Sheets. Now, if you were to organize an event where you collected new details about your leads – you’ll want to use this key information. This is where our new Action Zap comes into play: add any extra contact information you’d like on your Google Sheet, and you’ll have that contact information automatically updated in Mailjet. And the more you know… the more automation scenarios you can create! Take tailored communication even further with endless automation scenarios based on any contact property update.            

3. Send Responsive And Personalized Emails

Action: Send Email Using A Saved Mailjet Template

If you’re a Mailjet user, chances are you’re already familiar with Passport, the easy-to-use responsive email template editor. If not, give it a try and be prepared to fall in love .

With Mailjet’s latest Zapier ‘Action’, you can automate sending personalized Passport email templates following any trigger. When a new lead is added to your CRM, you might want to let your team know. You can automate sending previously created detailed updates on Passport to your teams including your leads’ contact information, so they can take action fast.

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Now, your lead has already subscribed to your newsletter, and due to your brilliant email marketing efforts, just turned into a customer… yay! What better way to celebrate than by sending them a nice tailored welcome email? Good news again: you can now automate sending personalized emails following any defined action using Passport templates.

You get the idea: the possibilities are endless. Use our pre-made Zaps or create your own to connect Mailjet with your favorite apps. Setting up automation scenarios between apps does not only save precious time, it also enables you to leverage these tools’ power and boost your teams’ productivity like crazy.

Feedback? Zap suggestions? Share them with us on Twitter and let’s go crush Q4!

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Love,

Mailjet Partners

The Myths Of Switching Email Service Provider

“I no longer have a reliable Customer Success Manager.”

“My current ESP is no longer investing in their email solution (!!).”

“My Open Rate is declining, I’m not even sure my emails are landing in the Inbox.”

“I can’t afford the costs or downtime incurred with switching to a new ESP.”

We’ve all been there: the company you work for relies on a business critical software solution. We put up with a few aches and pains, as this is probably the best it can get. Sounds familiar?

I imagine the answer’s “yes”. Let’s take a look at the most common myths of switching and show you that the grass can be greener on the other side. Well, yellower if you move to Mailjet .

Switching ESP

5 myths of switching Email Service Provider

Myth #1: A complex process

First up, where do you begin? Moving all your contacts and email templates to another platform sounds daunting enough. But, then you consider all your integrations, your API keys, configuring your SPF and DKIM authentication, sending addresses and domains, dedicated IPs… The list goes on.

At Mailjet, we believe it can be simple. Leave the complexities of switching to us. We’ll tailor an onboarding plan bespoke to your business, removing the headache, and allowing you to see tangible results fast. Our Customer Success Team will make your success their priority, with an actionable project plan to get you sending with Mailjet ASAP, offering helpful advice and best practices along the way.    

 

Myth #2: Difficult integration to insights solution, CRM, and other systems

When you think about your email activity, you have your three main types: marketing, transactional and automated emails. But each of these does not operate in a standalone way. Data from your other systems feeds into your email communications.

Your CRM might store all your contact information for your marketing emails, your ecommerce platform might store all your transactional data, so you send that all important order confirmation email at the right time, and your insights solution might help your automated emails to be even more relevant to your recipients. So how do you ensure all these emails keep sending?

Our team of API experts is here to support you with all your integration needs, Ensuring that your business critical emails keep sending in the way you want them to.  

 

Myth #3: Downtime in email activity

Switching ESPs will mean you have a period of time when you cannot send emails. Won’t it? Well, actually no. At Mailjet, it’s is possible to transition smoothly from your existing email service provider with minimal interruption. Linking back to Myth #1, a tailored onboarding plan, bespoke to your business needs, will reduce disruption.

To ensure optimal deliverability, we recommend warming your IPs up (if, a dedicated IP is the most suitable option for you), gradually moving your sending across to your new provider (hopefully us ).    

 

Myth #4: The new solution might not solve delivery issues

What happens if we make the switch and our deliverability gets worse? At Mailjet, we’ve put all the necessary processes in place to ensure it won’t. Starting from your initial conversations with Mailjet, we’ll point you in the direction of best practice resources.

Before you sign up to our solution, your current sending activity will have to pass a compliance process. Sometimes, we might need you to make some changes to your data collection methods to ensure your activity is compliant. This vetting process ensures our high deliverability standards, and is part of the reason why we hit the Spam Traps so infrequently.    

The successful configuration and warm-up of your account will give you the strongest chance of having a great sender reputation with the ISPs. Similarly to building a house, strong foundations are key. Our deliverability team will be with you every step of the way during the first few weeks. But, fear not! They’ll be monitoring your IP and sender reputation throughout your journey with us.  

 

Myth #5: It’s expensive

When email is great, it can be your best performing channel. But don’t listen to us – take it from the experts. Econsultancy found that 73% of marketers rank email ROI as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. The DMA also reported that 18% of email marketers see an ROI of more than £70 in their email marketing campaigns. Initial switching costs might seem like a waste of money, but it could be money well spent if you can maximize your ROI potential.

See? We told you… Sometimes the grass can be greener (yellower) on the other side. 

If you’re thinking of switching ESPs or have recently switched, why not share your views, fears and relief with us on Twitter? We’re always keen to hear your stories.