Thursday, December 29, 2011

Your reporting data will now last longer

I've spent the last few days analyzing and re-tooling our algorithms which purge data from your account after its reached a certain age.  In the past, we've had some hard rules, like mass email campaigns are deleted after they're one year old, and the list of addresses that opened are deleted 90 days after a campaign.  While this kept the size of our database manageable, it was frustrating to lower volume users who needed the data longer than we made it available.

We've now changed our data retention scheme such that the less data there is in your account, the longer it will last.  Specifically, the following rules for data retention will apply:
  1. Email Campaigns: Users with over 10,000 campaigns in their account will have their campaigns deleted after the campaigns are one year old.  Users with less than 10,000 campaigns will have the campaigns preserved indefinitely. Only about 1% of JangoMail users have more than 10,000 campaigns in their account.  Email campaigns include the content of a campaign and the summary stats for that campaign, such as total opens, unique opens, total clicks, etc.
  2. Detailed Recipient Data: Users with over 10,000 campaigns will have this data retained for 90 days.  All other users will have this data retained for 180 days.  Previously it was 90 days.  This includes the final recipient list for an email campaign.
  3. Detailed Open Tracking Data: Users with over 1,000 campaigns in their account will have detailed open tracking data purged after 90 days.  All other users will have detailed open tracking data purged after 365 days.  This data includes the email address that opened, along with the time, IP address, email client, and location.
  4. Detailed Click Tracking Data: For all users, detailed click tracking data will be available for 180 days.  Previously it was 90 days. This data includes the email address that clicked, the URL, the position, HTML or Plain Text message, the IP address, browser, and location.
  5. Detailed Web Site Activity Tracking Data: For all users, detailed web site activity tracking data will be stored for 365 days.  Previously it was 180 days.  This data includes the page on your website a recipient visited after clicking a link in an email, along with the IP address and browser used, along with any custom tagging applied to particular web pages. PDF on activity tracking
  6. Transactional Email Data: For users with more than 100,000 total transactional emails, this data will be available for 120 days.  For users with fewer than 100,000 transactional emails, this data will be retained indefinitely.  This includes the recipient address, from address, from name, subject, size, and other properties of transactional email but does NOT include the body of each transactional email.  We never store the content of individual transactional emails.  This also includes detailed open and click tracking data associated with transactional email. Web page on transactional email
  7. Email Lists: All of your Email Lists are maintained indefinitely while your account is active.
  8. Unsubscribes, Bounces, Complaints, and Survey Data: This data remains indefinitely while your account is active.
  9. Incoming Email Data: Incoming email messages, such as replies, bounces, manual unsubscribe requests are stored for 7 days, and is unchanged from before.  This includes the full content of all replies that are gathered after an email campaign is sent.  This includes the content of the bounced message and the content of the unsubscribe request, but this does NOT include the actual bounced email address and the actual unsubscribed email address, which are both stored indefinitely.
  10. Autoresponder, recurring, confirmed opt-in, trigger, and forward-to-friend campaigns: This data is stored for 30 days, and is unchanged from before.. 
We know that having access to historical data is important, as it allows our users to send campaigns based on historical data.  We're always working on ways to improve our data storage and efficiency, and if you have any particular storage needs related to your account data, let us know, and we'll do our best to accommodate you individually.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Interview with Josh Malks, author of Cord Complete

Recently we had the pleasure of catching up with JangoMail customer and classic car buff Josh Malks. Josh is author of Cord Complete and a first time JangoMail client who saw great success promoting his book via email. After selling on web marketplaces for over a year, he sold out all remaining copies of his book using an email promotion - no mean feat! We enjoyed talking to Josh and are excited for his next book (and email) project. Here's what Josh had to say about his experiences:

JangoMail: Hi Josh. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us. You have been using JangoMail to market your new book. Could you tell me a little about your book?

Josh: My book is a huge "coffee table" reference work on the Cord automobile. Sounds a bit esoteric, but the car has a large following and the book itself is just beautiful. See

JangoMail: It sounds like your book sold out pretty quickly! Congrats. What did you do to advertise it and what made you try email marketing?

Josh: The book as been on sale on the above website, on Amazon, through bookstores, in car museum giftshops, etc, for about 18 months. There were still several hundred left in stock that I wanted to clear out.

JangoMail: Could you tell us how you used email marketing to help with your sales? Were there any newsletters that were particularly successful?

Josh: I decided to use the thousands of names of purchasers of my previous six books on antique cars to drive potential purchasers to the website, where a final clearance sale is being held.

I have never used a service like JangoMail before. I found the system to be simple to use, and Anne's support was outstanding. If/when I write again, I will use JangoMail at the beginning, not just at the end!

JangoMail: We are happy to hear that! Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us!

Thanks to Josh for sharing his experience. If you have an interesting story on how JangoMail has helped drive your sales, we'd love to hear it!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Leverage Your Reports Part 3: Social Media

This week I'll continue our series on leveraging your reports to improve your email campaigns by addressing social media. Let's take a look at some of the ways you can use social media and social networking data to improve your email campaigns.

Use Social Networking Data
With JangoMail, you can add publically available data from Facebook to your reports. Using Age, Gender and Location can help you increase the relevance of your emails.

Think about your subject line. Will both males and females find it exciting or should you use a different subject line for each gender? What about age? Will both younger and older people be interested? Try segmenting your customers and addressing each segment with a unique subject line.

Once you have your subject line perfected, think about the content. Consider composing different messages for the same event. Do you have a clothing sale to promote? Consider marketing it separately to men and women, choosing images and messages that appeal to each gender. Remember, unless it's the holidays, most people will be interested in shopping for themselves, so think about targeting your message differently for men and women. Or, during the holiday shopping season, you might consider tailoring your content to their gift giving.

Also, do some research! Find out which age groups tend to enjoy certain activities. There is endless data out there on gender, age, location, and more. Use it to your advantage.

Tweet Your Subject Line
Every time you send an email newsletter, share it on Twitter. Include a Twitter Share Button in your email (or just a simple View as a Web Page link) and click it yourself after you receive it. Then before you tweet it, add in your subject line.

Use Google Analytics to track the activity you received from Twitter.
  1. First, make sure Google Analytics is set up to track your emails.
  2. Sign into Google Analytics and select your account.
  3. Navigate to Traffic Sources in the left-hand navigation and click on Sources.
  4. Click Referrals and find in your referral list.
  5. Navigate to Secondary Dimension, which is under the graph.
  6. Choose Traffic Sources > Landing Page. Take note of the URL you tweeted earlier.
  7. Once you choose your date range, you can see the number of people who clicked on the link you provided in your tweet.
This data will help you measure the effectiveness of using Twitter to promote your email campaigns.

Include Social Media Sharing Buttons
Let your customers help you spread the word. With JangoMail, it's easy to add social media sharing buttons to your email. Check out our instructions in our blog post on how to add Social Sharing Links. Is it worth it? One company found that including social sharing buttons increased their click-through rates by over 30%. Give it a try. You may find similar results.

Twitter, Facebook, and Email: When do you use them?
There have been endless publications that claim or argue against the idea that [insert social media tool here] is an email-killer. The fact is that email and each of the major social media outlets serve a different purpose, and all are valuable. Used well, they can complement each other, rather than compete for attention. So what should you use them for?

Twitter is great for pointing to new announcements, whether emailed, blogged, or announced via press release. You can only send short messages to your followers, so if you have something quick to say, an emergency to announce, or somewhere you want to send your fans, then Twitter is the tool to use.

Some companies also use Twitter for limited customer service. It can be challenging to fully address most questions, but it's an easy way for customers to initiate contact if they have a problem. Many companies move the conversation to email in order to address the rest of the question. Keep in mind that when you open up Twitter as a customer service tool, conversations are usually public.

Facebook is great for networking and, like Twitter, keeping fans up to date on your company. If you are a B2B company, you might find it less useful as many of your business clients probably don't spend a lot of time on Facebook looking for other businesses. If you are a B2C company though, you can gain new customers by encouraging your customers to follow you and share your announcements with their friends.

Facebook is a place where you can interact with your customers; encourage feedback and reviews of your company. Show the public that you care by responding to their posts. If you have the resources and are ok with addressing questions publicly, you can use Facebook for customer service as well.

Email Marketing
Send an email newsletter when you want to provide more in-depth details and/or target specific customers based on demographics. It's hard to get your full message out on Facebook or Twitter, so compose it in an email, post it to a web page, and then share it through social media.

Email can use customer demographics to point each individual customer to the store closest to them. Also consider that not all customers want to be social media friends with the businesses they interact with, but many of them are willing to hear the latest news via email.

Transactional emails are very important to customers as well. They are customer-specific and private. They serve as a receipt, remind them of what they ordered, and provide information such as how to track a purchased item. There are some aspects of business that shouldn't be public. Email gets these important messages across without announcing them to the world.

As you consider how you might use email and social media, remember that they have different audiences and different purposes. Social media is often used to attract new customers, while email can keep current customers informed and interested. Together, they form a powerful marketing team. By using reporting to learn more about your audience, you can target your marketing and perfect the messages you send.

That sums up our three-part series on leveraging your reports into better email campaigns. If you missed part one and two, you can read them here:

Part 1: Leverage Your Reports into Better Email Campaigns

Part 2: Leverage Your Reports: Geotracking and Browser Data

Monday, December 05, 2011

Leverage Your Reports Part 2: Geotracking and Browser Data

Last week I introduced you to the idea of using your open and click reports to improve your email campaigns. This week I'll go one step further and talk about leveraging your Geotracking and Browser Reports.

Geotracking Data
JangoMail collects location data from everyone who opens your email. Look at the raw data in an Open or Click Report and you will see each recipient's city, region, zip code, country and even latitude and longitude. JangoMail also displays this data on a map.

Why is location data useful? You can use this data to cater your future email campaigns to your recipients in a number of ways.
  • If you have a retail store, try emailing only those in driving distance and encourage them to come in. Give them an in-store coupon.
  • If it's baseball season, try sending emails that mention each recipients' home team.
  • Do you get better responses in a certain part of the country? Find out. Are your winter-themed emails not getting through to those who live in the south? Are you sending people in Florida "Hooray for Summer!" emails? Try targeting your features based on the climate your recipient is in.
  • Consider how location influences culture. Cater to each location group separately based on the prevalent culture of that area.
  • Find out where the biggest concentrations of your customers live and increase your advertising efforts there. These reports are a great way to figure out where to boost your local ads.

Browser Data
You definitely want to know what browsers your customers are using. Most browsers display what you need them to, but what if your recipients are using smart phones? You may have lost their interest if your wide, complex email takes a lot of effort to read and interact with. Now is the time to find out: what percentage of your recipients read your emails with their phone?

Check out our Email Client report. If you have a significant number of smart phone users, consider emailing them separately with a smart phone-friendly format. Or, consider linking to a "smart phone-friendly" version at the top of your email.

How should your email newsletter format differ for a smart phone? Here are a few ideas, but remember - always test! What works for one company may not work for the next.
  • Shorten your message. Make it clean and concise with a clear call to action.
  • Simplify your format and decrease the width. An iPhone is 320px wide by 480px high. Even in landscape mode, that is probably a lot thinner than your current email newsletter.
  • Consider creating larger links and buttons that are easy to press with your fingers. A user is likely to give up if your link is too small for them to visit with a tap of a finger.
  • Preview your email on an actual smart phone. Make sure it looks good!
Finally, ask your recipients which format they would prefer. They may check their email on their phone, but wait to actually read it until they are by a computer.

So now you have some ideas on how to use Geotracking and Browser Data to improve your email campaigns. Are you ready to send out a more personalized, targeted email?

Create and Send to an Email List Based on Your Data
It's easy to create and send to an email list based on your Geotracking or Browser Data. Once you've analyzed your reports and decided who to email, all you need to do is pull up the report with the recipients you want to email and click the Create Email List or Send Email Campaign icon.

Full instructions are in our blog post titled: New Feature: Use a Report to Create and Send to an Email List.

Next week I'll talk about using social media to improve your email campaigns.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Leverage your Reports into better email campaigns

At JangoMail, we’re all about email, of course. Compose your message, build in all the bells and whistles of personalization, send quickly and efficiently, and then watch the results come into your Reports.

Reports, on the surface, contain really great information. At a glance, and in real time, I can watch my campaigns go out and see the tallies of opens and clicks mount up. More opens/clicks, the better my campaign is doing, right?

That is a part of the picture, but only a part. Taking it one step down the road, you can complete the picture by really analyzing how these results can be leveraged into better email campaigns, with greater ROI.

The same lists, with better return? That’s what we’re all looking for. There is a lot of data there for the taking, so I’m going to do a few posts on what you can glean from your current campaigns to make future ones even better.

Let’s start with the basics. We all like to look at our open and click reports over time. Are they improving? How did the latest email do? But how many of you actually do something to try to improve your open and click rates?

Are your Opens low?

Look at your subject line and find out what works best for you.
  • Is it short and concise? Is it longer and descriptive? Is it so long that it gets cut short in some email readers?
  • Do you include your company's name?
  • Do you include your recipient' name?
  • Do you keep your subject line consistent or change it up?
  • Do your subject lines vary based on your customer demographics? One company doubled open rates by catering their subject lines to a recipient group's age demographic.
  • Does it look spammy to you? Would you open it?
There's no one way to best format your subject lines, so test different formats. You'll surely notice that your recipients find certain subject lines more appealing than others.

Segment out your inactive customers. 
  • Did they ever open? Find out what made them open your email. 
  • Look at the data you have. Send an email catered to each customers' preferences and demographics.
  • Send a reactivation campaign. Ask them their preferences. Would they like less email? Something different? Encourage them to unsubscribe if they no longer want to hear from you.
  • If your inactive customers remain inactive after a number of attempts, it may be wise to remove them from your email list.

A note about Open Tracking -

Open Tracking works by tracking the display of an invisible image. Many email programs turn that off by default. If your message contains no other images that your recipients would want to see, they have no reason to enable images, possibly throwing off this metric. Plain text readers can't report opens either, so always evaluate this, along with Click Tracking, to look for trends over time.

Are your Clicks off?

Work on a strong CALL TO ACTION.
  • Are you telling your recipients to click?
  • How many call to actions do you have? Try to minimize the number of calls to action so that it's clear where you want your recipients to go.
  • Do you have social media buttons? Encourage your recipients to join you in the social sphere. One study found this to increase click through rate by 30%!
This process should get you in the habit of using reports to improve your email campaigns. Test constantly! There are few guaranteed best practices. Find out yourself what works for you.

Next I'll talk about using geotracking and browser data to improve your emails.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Why URL shorteners and email don't mix

As you may know, a URL shortener is a service that allows you to input a long URL, and receive a much more concise address. This shortened version redirects the user to the intended location. There are two main benefits of these services:

1. The shortened address can be more easily shared with others. This is especially helpful for mobile text messaging.

2. Many allow you to track statistics on the number of visitors to that address.

A few examples of commonly used URL shorteners are,, Google's, and Twitter's

Here's the big problem with using these in your emails:

Spammers use them too!

They are attractive to spammers because the address of the true destination page is masked by the shortener.

When you send an email, the receiving server scans the message to try to determine whether or not it is spam. One item that is commonly checked is any URLs within your message. Therefore, because spammers have damaged the reputation of these URL shortener domains, including them in your emails can hurt your deliverability.

The good news is that it's easy to avoid having to use URL shorteners in your emails. If the full URL is unsightly due to its length, send your emails in HTML format and hyperlink the full URL with some short descriptive text. If you require statistics on visitors to your links, JangoMail includes a click tracking feature that can be branded with your own domain name.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New personalization option: a mail-merge tag for the Email List name

You can now personalize broadcast emails with the name of the Email List.  Use this special merge-tag:


You can use this notation in any of the fields that support personalization, including Subject, HTML Message, Plain Text Message, SMS Message, and the From Display Name.  For example, if you're sending an email campaign to three lists, and they are named "Press Contacts", "Corporate Contacts", and "Friends", your email might look like:

Subject: Hey there %%EmailListName%%


Dear %%EmailListName%%,
How are you doing? ...

Of course, if you can personalize with the recipient's first name, your email will have more of an impact, but personalizing with the Email List Name is now possible.  We added this functionality at the request of a JangoMail user.  Do you have a special request?  Let us know.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Can JangoMail do that?

Every now and then we get an inquiry from a prospective customer that speaks to a wide variety of JangoMail capabilities.  Sometimes, but not often, I like to give my sales team a break, and post the answer in a blog post for the world to see!

Here is an recent email from a prospect:

We're looking for an e-mail provider that has robust API's and
segmentation capabilities. Triggered e-mails are also a high priority to handle transactional type data. We're also in need of dynamic content features and potentially regional targeting.
We would love to see a demonstration of your product.

And here is the answer.

Robust API - we have one of the most robust and flexible.  Multiple methods can be used to accomplish the same task.  See our full API at

Segmentation capabilities - if you're storing your data with us in Email Lists, then this doc is all about segmentation:  If you're storing your data in your own database and just using JangoMail to connect to it, then you can use any SQL query you wish to segment your data.

Triggered emails - emails can be triggered when a recipient joins your list, opens another email, clicks a URL, or lands on a particular web page.  For more information on triggered emails, see

Transactional emails - JangoMail has one of the most robust, feature-rich, and flexible transactional email platforms available.  Connect via our transactional email API or via SMTP relay.  More information here -

Dynamic content for regional targeting - There are a couple of ways to create dynamic content.  Want each individual email to pull content from a URL on your own server?  Use our content-pull feature.  More information here -  Want to script your email to deliver content based on a recipient's individual profile?  Use a subset of VBScript to "program" your emails.  More information here -

Most of our features are developed after requests from our users.  Have an idea for a neat feature?  We'll likely build it for you if you tell us about it.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Two API methods to manage IP addresses for SMTP relay

JangoMail's SMTP service now allows you to manage authenticated IP addresses via two new API methods. The methods, SMTPRelay_AddIP and SMTPRelay_DeleteIP, simply take an account's credentials and the IP address that the user wishes to add or delete to the SMTP service.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The importance of setting up a custom tracking domain for email marketing campaigns

Setting up a custom tracking domain is one of the easiest ways to improve your email deliverability for broadcast and transactional email campaigns.

What is a tracking domain?

A tracking domain is the domain used in various tracking mechanisms, such as the open-tracking, click-tracking and forward-to-friend tracking. It is present throughout the HTML portion of your email campaign. Without a custom tracking domain, a system default domain is used, like If you setup a custom tracking domain, based on your organization's domain, then the domain might look like

Why is setting up a custom tracking domain important?

It allows your domain to establish its own reputation with email receivers, not clouded by other JangoMail users. By setting up your own, you can isolate yourself from the activities of our other clients and ensure higher deliverability. Additionally, your emails will be further branded around your own organization, not the email service provider.

How do you setup a custom tracking domain?

First, choose the domain you'd like to use for your tracking domain. If your domain is, then setting up makes for the perfect tracking domain.

Secondly, an entry needs to made in your DNS (Domain Name Server) system. You can do this yourself if you have access, or you may need to contact the technical person who manages your domain. You need to modify your DNS settings such that you create a CNAME record for your chosen domain to alias to Detailed instructions are also on the Settings/Tracking Domain  page under About Tracking Domain. Lastly, enter your tracking domain in JangoMail by going to Settings --> Tracking --> Tracking Domain.

After completing this final step, you will notice that your custom tracking domain will now appear in the URL for click-tracked links, in the open-tracking pixel reference, and in other places throughout your HTML email campaigns.

Other deliverability optimization steps

Setting up a custom tracking domain is just one of many measures you can implement to optimize your email deliverability. To read about other steps, see the blog post entitled: Optimizing deliverability with JangoMail

Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Feature: Segment an Email List based on Survey Responses

updated October 17, 2011

You can now segment an Email List based on whether its members have responded (or not responded) to a survey. You can segment based on a survey taken in any campaign, a particular survey taken in a particular campaign, or any survey taken in a campaign.

Step by Step Example:

To do so, select the Email List you wish to filter, and then click the Advanced Filter button.

Select an Email List.

Click Filter and Send.

Switch to the Advanced Query Editor.

Similar to how you can segment based on opens, clicks, and other actions, you can now segment based on responses to a survey. The virtual table syntax for survey respondents is as follows:

where you would replace MassEmailID with the actual ID number of the email campaign and SurveyID with the actual ID number of the survey. If a MassEmailID is specified, you need not specify a SurveyID, and if a SurveyID is specified, you need not specify a MassEmailID. The combinations and their meanings are below.

  1. (##MassEmailID.SURVEYTAKEN-SurveyID##) --- respondents of a particular survey in a particular email campaign.
  2. (##MassEmailID.SURVEYTAKEN##) --- respondents of any survey from a particular email campaign.
  3. (##SURVEYTAKEN-SurveyID##) -- respondents of a specific survey taken from any email campaign.

In the below example, the segment will result in any respondent of any survey in campaign 234879837.

Similarly, you may want to send an email campaign as a follow-up to just those members that DID NOT take the survey. To do this, you simply use the NOT keyword in your SQL:

More Information:

You can segment your Email Lists in almost any way imaginable -- based on opens, clicks, replies, web page views, and now survey responses. For detailed information on how to segment Email Lists, see the comprehensive tutorial: JangoMail: Advanced Filtering of Email Lists.

Do you want to send a follow-up campaign to past recipients that answered a survey question in a particular way? For example, if you conducted a survey where you asked:

Are you dissastisfied with our service?

You may want to send a follow-up email message to those that responded YES to this question. You can do this under the Reporting tab. Access your survey results, and filter the results down to this question with the answer YES. Then click the icon to send a follow-up campaign. For more information on how to do this, see our past blog post on this topic.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

JangoMail's Upcoming New User Interface

We're really excited to announce a big improvement coming to JangoMail: a completely redesigned user interface.

After a year of development, we're almost ready to roll out the brand new JangoMail user interface. We’ve revamped the interface, making it more user-friendly, intuitive, and streamlined. Take a look at what you’ll soon see in JangoMail.

Sending Emails:

Compare the screen you used to see when you started a new campaign to what you'll see in the new interface:

With the new interface, you get immediate access to your past email campaigns, making it easier to edit, copy, and relaunch them. Starting a fresh campaign is also streamlined - simply click the plus sign to go to the New Message page:

Email Lists:

The Email Lists section of JangoMail's new interface is also more user-friendly. The new interface puts your Email Lists and databases at your fingertips, so you can search, edit, copy and send to lists right from the main screen. Check out how much faster and easier it is to access your lists in the new interface:


We’re trying not to play favorites, but the new Reporting dashboard just might be the most exciting part of our new interface. Compare the old Reporting dashboard with the redesigned one:

By separating your reports for broadcast messages, transactional messages and management, the new interface makes it easier to get insight into the success of your campaigns. You can choose to view reports for all your campaigns at once or look in-depth at the reports for a single campaign.

These are just a few of the changes you'll see in the redesigned JangoMail. You'll still be able to access the old interface for a period of time after the launch, but the new interface will be easier, more streamlined and more intuitive - increasing your productivity and making your overall experience that much more satisfying.

In a month, we'll invite a select number of JangoMail users to test our new interface, and it will go live for all JangoMail users in approximately six weeks. If you would like to test the new interface before it goes live, contact our support team and let us know.

This has been one of our largest development efforts to date, and the whole JangoMail team is really excited about it. If you have any thoughts, we'd love to hear them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to use the SendTransactionalEmailRaw API method


The SendTransactionalEmailRaw method is a special API method that allows you to send a transactional email, but requires you to assemble a MIME compliant message body on your own. By contrast, the more common method, SendTransactionalEmail, need only an HTML body, a Plain Text body, and optional attachments, and then the API will assemble the MIME-formatted message automatically for transmission to the recipient.

SendTransactionalEmailRaw is the method that is used behind-the-scenes by our SMTP relay service. Anytime a user relays a message to, our code internally calls SendTransactionalEmailRaw. This method was originally developed just for our internal use to enable our SMTP relay, but since it appears in our full method listing, our clients have begun inquiring about how they too can use it, and that's why we are publishing this article.


In this article, we'll look at examples of manually assembled MIME parts and how to submit the raw message to this method.

First, let's look at the input parameters of the method. Some should be self-explanatory, so we won't include explanations of those here.

Options: This input value represents the same as for the SendTransactionalEmail method, so we won't cover them here. Here you can set options like open tracking, click tracking, a custom reply-to address, and much more. For more info on the Options parameter, see

ToEmailAddress: This is the email address that will receive this message.

ToHeader: This is the email address that will show in the To header of the email message, which technically doesn't have to be the recipient of the message. It is important to distinguish between ToHeader and ToEmailAddress. In most business cases, these will be the same email address and therefore the same value. If I want to send an email to, then and, because I want the To header to show the same email address to which the message was sent.

Scenarios where the To header and the receiving email address differ include situations when CC and BCC are used. If I send an email to and BCC, then in the background, two distinct emails are actually being transmitted:

1. and
2. and

Content-Type: This is the RFC 2045 Content-Type header of the email message.

Example values are:
  1. text/plain
  2. text/html
  3. multipart/alternative; boundary="----=_NextPart_000_2424_01CA056C.1610FF60"
RawMessage: This is the pre-assembled MIME message and is closely related to the value for Content-Type. If Content-Type is text/plain, then the value for RawMessage could be any plain text message:

Example 1

Content-Type: text/plain
This is a simple plain text message.

Example 2

Here's an example of a body with both HTML and Plain text message parts.

multipart/alternative; boundary="------------020009050405090403020909"

Example 3

Lastly, here's an example of a plain text message with an attachment.

Content-Type: multipart/mixed;

Test Form:

You can experiment with the method using the test form at This form has textareas instead of text fields for those input parameters that warrant them, making it easier to test than the API-generated page at

Lastly, here is a screenshot of the test form filled out for the third example (plain text message with attachment), so you can see exactly how the method would be called:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Email Marketing Review Sites: The Good, The Bad, and The Unresponsive

Potential clients often stumble upon one of the many email marketing review sites in search of some help with their decision on which email company to work with. There are certainly a lot of them!

After reading reviews of our service, they come to us with questions and sometimes concerns. We've had some interesting interactions with these sites, and we thought it would be helpful to tell you about them. We've learned ourselves that some online review sites aren't what they appear to be, while others go out of their way to ensure accuracy.

The Good

Let's start out on a positive note. There are a few sites out there that really want to do a good job comparing email companies. These sites have reached out to JangoMail personally to ensure that their site information is accurate. Often, they miss features that we provide as they quickly run through our email marketing site, but they are happy to correct their review when we point this out. One site, Social Compare (Beta) even had us fill out the information ourselves to make sure that our feature set was accurate.

So without further adieu, here are the sites we've found to be the most interested in accuracy: - They email us periodically to ensure that their review is still accurate.
- Their initial review had some inaccuracies, but they were happy to fix them when we reached out. They now continue to reach out to us periodically for updates. Since we add new features often, this is a great practice.

Social Compare - They had us fill out the feature and pricing information ourselves. We love that!

The Bad

A few months back, one of the more popular review sites reached out to us. At first, we were excited, then they wanted us to pay to be one of their highest ranked providers. The more we pay, the better we rank. We decided to pass. It's very frustrating though, to know that we may be losing potential clients because one of our competitors paid to rank higher than us in this review site.

The Unresponsive

A major thorn in our side is They have some very inaccurate and damaging reviews on our deliverability. We have reached out to them countless times, yet have never received a response. We tried sending long explanations of the errors that they made while testing. We tried short emails voicing our concern. We tried submitting comments on our review. Nothing. It's clear that they reviewed every service once, years ago, didn't put much effort into the reviews, and have not touched it since. Our pricing is even outdated. The most frustrating thing about this site is that it has strong natural search rankings on Google, so we can't escape their false statements about our company.


If you decide to use one of these sites or others like them to help you in your decision about email or other services, make sure to do your homework. Check for accuracies and keep in mind: You just might be looking at a site where the highest payer just happens to be first on the list!

Friday, June 17, 2011

When does it make sense to confirm / double opt-in your email list?

Sometimes less is more with your Email Lists

When I help clients build web-site sign up forms to tie in with their JangoMail accounts, I highly recommend making use of our Confirmed Opt-In feature (sometimes known as “double opt-in” in the marketing world).

With an Email List that is Confirmed, any address that is added to the list first receives a brief confirmation message to ensure that the owner of the email address is, indeed, the one who registered and wants to receive mail from the sender. The email address will not be eligible to receive messages from that account unless the custom confirmation link in the message is clicked. JangoMail allows complete customization of this message, so it is easy for the branding and content in this confirmation to be recognized by the recipient, encouraging a quick click to confirm!

This makes sure our clients get nice clean email lists, and ensures that a recipient cannot be “signed up” by a third party for any reason.

As Director of Operations at JangoMail, I also find myself encouraging clients to make greater use of the Confirmed Opt-In tool in ways that go beyond the simple validation of web registrations. Sometimes, it can be an integral part of great list maintenance as well.

I know this can be a difficult message, and an odd one for a company that wants you, as our customer, to send out more emails!

After all, you go to great effort to build and expand your lists. It is perfectly reasonable to be reluctant to cut them back down. So, when does it make sense to re-confirm your data and prune the lists a bit? Let’s take a look.

Your list is getting old, and you haven’t sent to it regularly.

Lists that have aged are a bit notorious for causing spikes in complaints when you begin sending to them again later. The recipients haven’t heard from you in a while and often don’t remember signing up at all. If they do remember, their needs or interests may have changed. It’s a quick solution on the recipient end to hit the “spam” button to just make it go away. The problem is, this affects your reputation as a sender.

You are starting a new position or project, and you cannot find the original source of opt-in in your list data.

If you receive complaints from your campaigns, you will need to be able to respond very specifically to the complainant as to where and how he/she asked to receive your emails. If you don’t have this data now, it’s time to think about it before you begin sending email.

Often, people inherit lists from others in their organizations that came from a time when it wasn’t a big deal to keep good records. Email has changed over time in response to the abuses that are out there. Updating your records is a win for everyone.

I have had two recent experiences where lists that had substantial age on them (3+ years) now included addresses that are “spamtraps” where they weren’t previously. A spamtrap is an address that is used ONLY to catch people who are harvesting addresses from public sources. These addresses are not used by individuals anymore. We find that it is a routine practice for some services to retain addresses of former employees or other now-unused addresses for this purpose. Spamtraps can cause you major headaches. Accounts that are Return Path Certified can even face immediate suspension from the certification program until lists are cleaned.

In reconfirming these lists, the spamtrap address could not have clicked to confirm and would automatically NOT have been part of any future mailings. This would have avoided the problem entirely.

You have a new email push that is significantly different from that for which users originally signed up.

In this case, it’s time to make a hybrid of your old list.

New project? Give folks a chance to opt-in to the additional mail stream. If they aren’t interested in the latest area, then they don’t need to confirm, and they can keep getting just the emails they’ve been getting all along. You get to be the good professional in this message: “Hey! I’ve got an exciting new project coming your way that I’d like to share with you, as my long-time customer. I understand you get a lot of email, so click here to confirm that you want to see the latest. Otherwise, thank you for your business, and I look forward to continuing to communicate with you about our current service.”

This is MUCH more polite than starting something new and giving people the chance to opt-out. In fact, we’ve found that if you follow the opt-out path, you’ll wind up with too many folks just opting out of everything you do entirely by unsubscribing from your company, period.

Why? Maybe they’re not interested, or maybe they just have too much going on in their email already. Either way, err on the side of caution and use the chance to opt them in to your newest project.

How to Get Started

Sold? Ready to do more with less?

We have a tutorial that can get you started:
JangoMail Confirmed Opt-In Tutorial

Please also feel free to contact Customer Support (; 1-888-709-4099) for help! We love to hear from our customers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

New Feature: Automatically append social data to your Email Lists

We're happy to announce that, starting today, Email Lists, can now have social data appended to them. Specifically, subscribers' age, gender, and location can be added on as three additional fields to your existing Email Lists. This data is provided for free. Eventually, other socially-available premium fields will be available for a fee.


The process of appending social data to your Email List is automatic, and you only need to designate an Email List to accept social data, in order for the data to be appended. To set an Email List to have social data appended, simply select the Email List, click the List Settings Tab,  and click Yes next to Append Social Data. Then click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

How can I use this social data?

You can use age, gender, and location to segment your Email Lists and send personalized email content based on their demographic profile. For example, if your business is a restaurant, you may want to send one offer to those subscribers under 21 years of age, and another for those over 21. If you're a clothing retailer, you may want to send different content to males versus females.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: If I choose to append social data, how exactly will my Email List be modified?

A: Three new fields will be added. They are social_age, social_gender, and social_location. The "friendly names" for the fields will be Age, Gender, and Location respectively.

Q: Where does JangoMail get the social data from?

A: We use a third-party data aggregator called Rapleaf. Rapleaf retrieves its personalization data from publicly available sources.

Q: Are other data points, other than just age, gender, and location, available?

A: Yes, we will soon be providing access to premium data, which includes data points such as household income and profession.

Q: Will all of my existing Email Lists automatically have social data appended?

A: No. Social data will not be automatically appended. For Email Lists, you must set them manually to receive social data using the instructions above.

Q: How long does it take after I set my List to receive social data, for the data to be appended?

A: It depends on the size of your Email List and system load, but generally, a list under 5,000 recipients should have data appended to it within 5 minutes after you change the setting.

Q: Will the appended-data be periodically refreshed to ensure accurate data?

A: Yes, by default, subscribers in Email Lists will have their social-appended data refreshed every 90 days.

Q: How do I remove social data from an Email List?

A: After social data has been appended to an Email List, to remove it, go to Lists and click the Edit Icon next to your list. Click the Fields tab and delete the social data fields: social_age, social_gender, social_location.

Q: I don't use Email Lists to store my subscriber data. I configure JangoMail to pull my list in real-time from my CRM system. Can social data still be appended?

A: No, but we will soon be introducing an API method to let you retrieve social data so that you may append data to your own CRM or external database system.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Fix for IE9 customers using the Connect to Local Database feature

We've recently been getting reports from our users who are unable to use JangoMail's Connect to Local Database feature after upgrading to Internet Explorer 9. The browser would freeze after clicking the Connect button, and would have to be shut down using Task Manager. After some exhaustive research, we've finally found a fix.

The Fix:

The fix involves adding a registry key to the Windows registry. You can download the reg file directly from us as a text file:
  1. Click here to download the registry entry as a text file.
  2. Rename the .txt file to a .reg file, and then double-click the .reg file to run it. This will add the necessary key to your Windows registry.
If you examine the .reg file in Notepad, you'll see that the specific key added to the Windows registry is:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\New Windows]

Interested in learning more?

This issue is caused by an esoteric bug in Internet Explorer 9 involving ActiveX controls and modal dialog boxes. You can read about the bug here. We hope that Microsoft releases a fix to this in the next IE9 release, in which case, adding the above-mentioned registry key won't be necessary. Until then, please use the registry key as a workaround.


The Connect to Local Database feature is based on an ActiveX control. ActiveX technology is Microsoft-specific, and therefore this feature only works in Internet Explorer. It allows a user to connect to a local data source, like an Excel file, Access file, text file, or any ODBC data source (even SQL Server and Oracle), without having to upload the entire data file, and without having to export and import data. It's one of JangoMail's standout features, and one that separates us from our competitors. When we first launched this feature in 2004, Internet Explorer was the dominant browser. As the years went on, and Safari, Firefox, and Chrome chipped away at IE's market share, the number of users able to use the Connect to Local Database feature shrank. Unfortunately the functionality provided by this ActiveX control is extremely difficult to duplicate in a browser-universal technology like Flash, Java, or Silverlight. For now, we'll continue supporting our IE users taking advantage of this feature, but we hope that in the future, we'll be able to port this feature to a browser-agnostic technology.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

SMTP Relay and CodeIgniter

Any SysAdmin will tell you that having a good toolkit at your disposal makes your job much easier. And if you think about, it's a universal truth. Whatever your profession, you absolutely need the right tools for the job. As a SysAdmin I rely heavily on my toolkit because I know that the process of troubleshooting is much quicker when I have a tool that will uncover that critical bit of information to pinpoint the root cause of a problem, or that critical byte in the case of a recent support issue here at JangoMail.

The JangoMail support team had an issue pop up whereby some users of the CodeIgniter PHP framework were not able to successfully send messages via the JangoMail SMTP relay. A cursory check of our incoming logs showed that in all cases, the SMTP transaction was stalling out at the DATA command. All other parts of the system were in working order and we had no complaints from other users. It was a good time to open up that SysAdmin toolkit and see what else we could dig up.

For my money, Wireshark is an indispensable tool. It has been a lifesaver for me on multiple occasions. The old-school Unix/Linux admin would likely use the tcpdump tool for similar reasons. These tools capture all network traffic on the computer and dump it in a human readable format. Wireshark has an especially nice GUI and a helpful feature to trace an entire TCP stream and decode the application layer protocol as necessary.

Back to our CodeIgniter issue... after firing up Wireshark, it took just one SMTP transaction with CodeIgniter to pinpoint the issue. RFC 2821 requires commands to be terminated with CRLF (that's carriage return followed by line-feed), but the CodeIgniter client was only sending a LF character. As a result, the JangoMail SMTP relay server was waiting for more input until it ultimately timed out, resulting in an un-sent message. One single byte was the reason messages were not flowing!

A quick Google search turned up the fact that CodeIgniter defaults to using only LF as its line terminator, but that can be adjusted. The code to set the proper line terminator is as follows:

$config['crlf'] = "\r\n";
$config['newline'] = "\r\n";

A good illustration of the fact that when communicating between systems on the Internet we should try and follow Internet standards as much as possible. Perhaps it's also time we all finally agree on a single line-terminator. Microsoft's Windows, Apple's OSX and the Linux operating system all use different line-terminator character sequences by default(!) - CRLF, CR and LF respectively.

Solving a problem often comes down to having the right tool for the job. So what does your toolkit look like?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Enhancement: Much faster sending for broadcast email marketing campaigns

We deployed a code change last week that will allow for significant faster email sending for our high volume clients. The change allows for true parallel sending of email messages across multiple IP addresses hosted on a single server instance. In the past, we employed a round robin approach to sending across multiple IPs, in the case where a set of IP addresses was hosted on one server. With this change, sending speeds will increase by five-fold in some cases.

JangoMail has always used a custom, coded-from-scratch MTA (Mail Transfer Agent). Most email marketing service providers use one of several third party commercially available MTAs, but we chose to build our own for the absolute tightest integration with our Reporting system, and because it allows us to adopt standards faster than our competitors. For example, JangoMail was one of the first Email Service Providers to offer support for DomainKeys/DKIM and allow complete control over domains and their associated keys.

Internally, we call the JangoMail MTA the JangoMail Sending Service, or JMSS. It's a Windows Service written in .Net, and is tightly integrated with SQL Server, which is the core database platform for JangoMail. Over the years, third party MTA vendors like Port 25 and Message Systems have pitched us on their solutions, but in our evaluation, we've found that JMSS better suits our clients. And now, with the speed improvement and an upcoming announcement regarding better DKIM customization, we're more confident than ever in our choice to continue using our homegrown MTA.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Feature: A two-step unsubscribe process

We've added a new setting under Settings --> Unsubscribes, that allows you to ask your recipient to confirm intent to unsubscribe after clicking the unsubscribe link in an email campaign.

By enabling the two-step unsubscribe process, a recipient that clicks the unsubscribe link will be taken to a web page where he needs to click a secondary link to actually unsubscribe. Without this setting, clicking the original link in the email will unsubscribe him. This feature enforces a two-step unsubscribe process versus a one-step unsubscribe process.

Our clients have been asking for this feature because:
  1. Often times subscribers click the unsubscribe link unintentionally. With this feature activated, clicking the link in the email will not immediately unsubscribe a recipient.
  2. Some anti-spam systems scan the body of an email and programmatically visit every URL in the email, thus triggering the click of the unsubscribe link. The two-step confirmation process will prevent software from automatically unsubscribing a recipient.
By default, this feature will be off. You must check the box to turn the feature on.

Monday, May 16, 2011

New Feature: Event API for Transactional Emails

We are excited to announce our newest feature: an event API for transactional emails. The transactional email event API is a system that can call any web service or web page on your server upon a specified transactional email event. The following transactional email events can trigger a call to your web service:
  1. A sent email
  2. An open of an email
  3. A click of a URL in an email
  4. An unsubscribe
  5. A bounce
  6. A complaint, via Feedback Loop
The transactional email event API is now offered in addition to our long-time existing broadcast email event API, which is covered in this PDF tutorial, this blog post for ASP.Net users, and this blog post for users who use a custom web service.

Why is the transactional email event API important?

You can now easily sync transactional email data with your own database or CRM system using the Event API. You only need one script on your web server to handle the calls from JangoMail. The calls are made in real-time when an event happens.

How do I set up an event-based web service call?

To set this up, go to Settings --> Integrating JangoMail with Other Systems --> Transactional Event API.  Click on the tab for each event for which you would like a web service called, and then enter the details for the web service.

What is the difference between the "Transactional Email Event API" and the "Standard API"?

The Standard API allows a programmer to interact with JangoMail much like a user would interact with JangoMail through the web-based interface. With the Standard API, you can pull reporting data, and send transactional email. The Event API pushes event data (opens, clicks, etc.) to your system when the event happens. The Standard API needs to be polled by your system to retrieve open or click data.

Some notes on this feature:
  1. If there are 1,000 consecutive failures when calling a specific web service for a specific event, then calls to the web service will cease until the URL or one of the parameters is modified. A failure is any HTTP response that is not status 200.
  2. When you first designate a web service and its attributes, JangoMail will call the web service for the last seven days worth of data. So if you specify a web service for the "open" event today, open data from the last seven days will immediately be posted to the web service.
  3. The parameter values will be URL-encoded before they are passed to your web service via HTTP POST or GET.
  4. You do not need to specify all parameters for a particular event. You only need to specify those parameters whose values you'd like your web service to receive.
  5. Every time JangoMail makes a call to your web service, it is recorded in the Event API Log, which can be viewed under Reports --> Logs --> Transactional Event API. From here you can see a list of all successful and failed calls to your web service.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Feature: Preserve the Message-ID in Transactional Emails

JangoMail now has a new checkbox on the Settings --> SMTP Relay page, that allows you to preserve the original Message-ID of an email sent via the SMTP relay. By default, the Message-ID is overwritten by the JangoMail system Message-ID.

Here is an example of a JangoMail system Message-ID:

Message-ID: <>

It's a unique number followed by We have received a few requests from JangoMail clients to preserve the original Message-ID of the message transmitted through the relay instead of overwriting it with the JangoMail system generated Message-ID. For example, an email sent using Mozilla Thunderbird has a Thunderbird-generated Message-ID that looks like:

Message-ID: <>

In this example, Mozilla Thunderbird's Message-ID contains a unique string of alphanumeric characters and uses the domain of the receiving email address. If you check the Preserve Message-ID box, this will also be the Message-ID in the final email delivered to the recipient. If you leave this box unchecked, this Message-ID will be replaced by the JangoMail system Message-ID.

Calling the API directly

If calling the transactional email API directly via the SendTransactionalEmail method, you can specify a custom Message-ID in the Options parameter using the CustomHeaders attribute:



Why is this useful?

The new Preserve Original Message-ID setting grants you full control of the Message-ID header value. This is useful if you have a custom reply management system in place, such that responses and bounces can be tagged with their original Message-ID.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Issue Resolved: Delivery of SMS text messages to Sprint via the email gateway

Several weeks ago, a client reported that transactional email sent to the SMS email gateway for Sprint ( domains) were not being delivered. Upon investigation by our deliverability team, we found the SMTP logs showed successful delivery, which indicated that some type of filtering was taking place after receipt by Sprint's email servers but before delivery to the customer's phone. Isolating the issue proved to be difficult, as the postmaster team at Sprint was unwilling to assist our deliverability team in resolving the issue. Through a series of trial and error tests, the issue was isolated to the Message-ID header present in all emails sent from JangoMail. Typically, the Message-ID header looks like:

Message-ID: <>

It's a unique number followed by the domain, which is a domain not used for anything else except the Message-ID header in emails sent by JangoMail. The Message-ID must be a syntactically valid email address, but not a real-world valid email address, as specified by RFC 2822, section 3.6.4.

In our trial and error testing, we found that the presence of the domain resulted in non-delivery of the text messages to Sprint phones. Changing the domain in the Message-ID to, another one of the many domains used throughout the JangoMail application, resolved the issue.

Message-ID: <>

Therefore, all emails, including both broadcast and transactional emails, delivered from JangoMail to recipients will have a Message-ID containing, while all other emails will use the traditional Message-ID domain of Furthermore, we will soon be launching a feature that allows you, the user, to completely customize the Message-ID header with your own internally generated identifier.

We don't yet have an explanation as for why results in delivery while the presence of results in non-delivery, but we hope this information proves useful to JangoMail customers and the email marketing community at large, in resolving delivery issues to the SMS email gateway for Sprint.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

New Feature: RSS to Email Campaigns

This morning we're excited to announce the launch of our RSS to Email feature -- the ability to have JangoMail monitor your blog, and automatically email your subscribers whenever a new article is posted. The JangoMail RSS Email Campaign generator supports the following feed types:
  • RSS 1.0
  • RSS 2.0
  • Atom
There are two steps to setup RSS to email publishing for your blog.

Step 1: Create an RSS email template

Go to the Messages section and click on Compose New Message. You can either create a campaign from scratch, or use the existing Basic RSS to Email Template that appears as an option when you click on with a JangoMail Smart Template. Click the Select icon to select this template.

An RSS campaign template can have the following personalization variables in the Subject and Message areas:


The provided basic RSS template makes use of all of these variables. You can also customize the basic template by choosing it and then making your own modifications.

Important Note: To save your template to the system, just Send or Preview it to at least one recipient.

Step 2: Setup your blog's RSS feed in JangoMail

Next, set up your blog's RSS Feed under Settings --> Sending and Receiving --> RSS Feeds.

If you don't know your blog's RSS feed, try your blog address, followed by "atom.xml" or "rss.xml". For example, the feed for the JangoMail In Progress blog can be accessed at either: or

You will need to know the location of your blog's feed before you can proceed with this feature.

Click on Add RSS Feed and fill out the rest of the form, as shown below. In this example, we are monitoring the TechCrunch blog, and the feed URL is We have to set it to send immediate email notifications whenever a new blog post is published, and the emails will go to the List #41172369, as well as to recipients from the web database included in the given SQL query:

Choosing Recipients

When specifying which recipients will receive RSS email campaigns, you can choose from:
  1. An entire Email List, or multiple Email Lists.
  2. A segment of an Email List. If there are no items in the dropdown menu, you can create List Segments under Lists. Click on the Edit Lists Icon next to the list you would like to filter. Then click the List Tools Tab and go to Filter and Send. Choose your filter settings and save the query. It will now show up as an option undder Send to List Segment in the screen above.
  3. A SQL query called against your web site's database. For this to work, you must have a Master Profile already set up under Settings --> Integrating JangoMail with Other Systems --> Set Master Profile for Web DB. Once this is set, specify a SQL SELECT statement in this box.


JangoMail will check feeds for new posts once every minute and will send out your new post to your subscribers almost instantly, if you have your feed Schedule set to send Immediately. If you instead set it to Daily and enter a time of day, then JangoMail will wait until the specified time, either on the same day, or the next day, before sending out new posts.


After you've sent some RSS email campaigns, you can view your campaigns' statistics under the Reports tab. Go to Broadcast Message Reports and click the Filter icon. To view just the statistics for RSS email campaigns, set the appropriate Filter:

How is JangoMail's RSS-to-Email feature different from other RSS-to-Email services?

JangoMail's RSS to Email campaign feature does much more than other RSS/email tools, including allowing you full control of the design of the emails, full tracking (opens, clicks, integration with Google Analytics), and complete list management (unsubscribes, bounces, complaints via feedback loops).

Additionally, JangoMail's tool allows you to send to an entire Email List, a segmented portion of an Email List, or a set of recipient data pulled in real-time from your web site's database.


To read more about RSS and ATOM specifications, see the articles: