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.