Friday, April 26, 2013

New Feature - Campaign Send Approval

Question: Are you the manager of the email marketing department at your company?

  • Do you employ other talented individuals to write marketing emails for you?
  • Do you want those authors to have access to create emails on JangoMail on their own terms?
  • Do you want to be in control of the emails that actually get sent to your end customers?
Seems impossible to have all of these features at once? We think not. That's why we developed a feature for JangoMail that makes this level of engagement and control available to those "heads of marketing" out there.

Grant Your Approval to Send Campaigns...

Typically when you share a JangoMail account with different members in your organization, you create what are called Other Logins under your Account Settings. Other Logins are separate usernames and passwords that can have different restrictions to access different parts of the JangoMail service.

We added a new restriction option you can place on one of these Other Logins that allows you to restrict the ability for the account to send a message. Already an account could be blocked from accessing messages all together, if you select to restrict them from the "Messages" page. But now you have the fine grain control to allow a user to access the "Messages" page and create messages while you remain in control of actually initiating the sending of campaigns.

An account with this sending restriction applied can still create emails, preview, and save them.  When the author is content with an email design, instead of a "Send" button, they are presented with a button to "Submit for Approval".

Upon sending for approval, the account master (you) will receive an email with the summary of the email campaign. From here you are provided with a link to login to JangoMail and approve the campaign for sending. We added a convenient section to the top of the dashboard to display these campaigns awaiting approval.

In 2 clicks, you can review and then initiate sending of a mass email campaign to your audience. Need to make modifications? No problem. One click brings you to the editor where you can make changes before sending. If you need to disapprove or remove a campaign, simply delete it from the messages page.

That was easy.

And we like it that way. If you have any questions, comments, or other features you'd like us to build, please don't hesitate to ask.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Serving Up Outside Ads in Your Email Campaigns

Imagine, if you will, you're 'Joe's Pie Shop'.

It's almost swimsuit season, so business could be better. Time to amp up your marketing outreach and remind customers why your pies are worth the thighs. What do you do? You turn to a targeted email campaign.

You want to reach out to customers to elicit a reaction - a click to product, information, or a customized traffic lane on your website.

After devising an extremely clever and meaningful subject line that grabs their attention, recipients open, determined to dig deeper into what this communication's all about. Then, they're greeted by ...

SERVE IT UP RIGHT! Check out fancy, forever servewear on 

Customer: "What? You have pie AND you're offering a value-add to enhance my pie eating experience? You're the best, Joe."

Well, at least that's the preferred reaction. But the flip side is that your customers' spammy senses could start tingling - damaging your reputation and the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns. Even if you're benefiting from a financial or product trade with this partner, that short-term benefit can get old, very fast, with potential, long-term customer relationships.

The good news is that if you present outside advertisements or endorsements in the right light, mutual success (for you, your partner and above-all your customer) is easy to achieve.

Here are some common sense tips:

1. Be relevant. You're a pie shop. So, skip the ads for gas stations. Unless, of course, you're empathizing with customers about tough economic times. Notifying them of a pie sale - and sharing an ad to the cheapest gas in town (to get to your place) is thoughful. Even better: Presenting an ad for $.50 off vanilla ice cream for Joe's Pie a la mode.

2. Be honest. Why the ad, Joe? If there's any confusion about why there are ads in your emails, address it with customers head-on. "We're including these ads to help keep our pie costs low" or "We provide ads for our community partners as a service to you". However you spin or explain it, your customers will appreciate your honesty. Here's an example from the web that still holds relevance for email: is a successful, live music streaming website - and they're not afraid to share with customers why they need to include ads.

3. Protect your reputation. Congrats - you're hitched to your advertiser in reputation. Now that your brand is tied to another's, beware. If that partner isn't as attentive to retaining ethical marketing as you are, what they do can hurt your business.

4. Exercise moderation. Don't overdo it. Consider there are times your customer simply wants some alone time. That means one-on-one communications between you and them. Email campaigns that includes outside ties or advertisements can be perceived as anything but personal, especially when it happens frequently. Customers may even feel 'sold out'.

5. Go full circle. Cross-branding like this is also an easy way to upsell back to your own products or services. If a tool makes it easy to serve up your pie, why not offer a discount on pie plates to complete the "set"? In this way, all products on the table present a relevant, cohesive offer that makes sense to a recipient. The information evolves from pure ad form to one of a trusted adviser who offers insight based on what you know your customers want or need. How well-thought out of you, Joe!

Have a question or comment about this blog? Looking for more insight to make your email marketing the best it can be? Contact us any time. We'd love to hear from you.

Until then, have a great rest of the week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Your Emails Will Get to The INBOX (and other lies)

Any email marketing partner who promises 100% of your emails will hit the recipient's inbox aren't just misinformed - they're lying. The truth is, there's simply no guarantee of a foolproof method to dodge every spam filter or customized filter established by every potential recipient.

That said, there are some ways to improve the chances your emails hit those hard-sought targets.

8 ways JangoMail
gets your emails to the inbox

1. Separate yourself from the pack.
Use a branded "From" address rather than your complimentary "From" address. Ex.s: or Using your own domain, or creating a subdomain of your own carries your branding consistently throughout the message. Also, a key benefit is that each address can have its own SPF and DKIM records. These are "reverse lookups" that tell the receiving server that we have permission to send on behalf of your domain(s). There's also a SMTP level benefit, in that a branded sub-domain allows the SMTP MAIL FROM command during the SMTP transaction between our sender and the recipient server to show your sub-domain rathern than Details

2. Keep track of yourself.
By default, every JangoMail account is assigned a system tracking domain that's shared among multiple clients (ex. By setting up a branded tracking domain based upon your organization's domain name, you can isolate yourself from the activities of other clients. To set this up, just go to Settings > Tracking > Tracking Domain. Details

3. "Up" your trustworthiness.
Setup DKIM for the domain use in your "From Address".
Yahoo! Mail and Gmail look for DKIM signatures in the headers of incoming email messages, considering them confirmation that the email was sent by who was purported to send it. In other words, consider it a sign of trust. Details

4. Clear the path for complaints.
After creating a DKIM record, click the link in the confirmation email from Yahoo to postmaster@yourdomain. Here's some background: When you create a DKIM record, Yahoo sends this confirmation email that includes the link to activate a "Feedback Loop". That loop is where Yahoo processes any complaints, and communicates those back to JangoMail. If you don't click the link to activate, complaints won't be properly reported and delivery to Yahoo will be negatively impacted - specifically folks looking for your unsubscribe list.

5. Stay master of your domain.
Setup SPF records on your domain, and then set your email campaigns to use your own "From Address" as the SMTP-level MAIL-FROM address. Details

6. Send backup - plain and simple.
If you're sending HTML email, always include a corresponding plain text message. Spam filters can still get hung up on heavily-coded emails, even though they've proven more effective in communicating a customized message to and eliciting ROI from email recipients. To ensure greater delivery success, simply set your plain text messages to "auto-generate", which triggers plain text to be generated (base don your HTML message) at the time of email sending. Details

7. Get certified in success.
Enroll in the Return Path Safe List program if you have a complaint rate of 0-0.1%. Once enrolled, your emails are sent from safe-listed IP addresses. Yahoo, as a primary example, prioritizes emails sent from listed IPs. Details

8. Anchor yourself in phrases only.
If you use click-tracking, you'll want to submit anchor text in phrases - not URLs. Spam filters can consider URL anchors as fraudulent and indicative of a phishing scam.

Good click-tracked link:
<a href="">Visit our web site.</a>

Bad click-tracked link:
<a href=""></a>

Here's what success looks like
Successful email campaign open rates are in the range of 15-35%. Take into consideration that some of your opens may not register if recipients have to 'view images'. But, if your rate is even higher than this, it's definitely reason to celebrate.

And if you're seeing lots of response to your behavioral goals (i.e. "click on this to get this deal/offer/information") then you also get a seat in the VIP section at Club Jango.

Already a rock star?
If you've had some amazing results from email campaigns and want to share them, tell us. We love to hear and share new tips to enhance email communications. Who knows? What you tell us today could be the next, new JangoMail feature we unleash tomorrow.

As always, give us a shout with any questions or comments. Until then, we leave you with a blast from the past commercial. We hope you've never met ANYONE like this:

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When Good Emails Render Bad

Houston, you have a wingdings problem

Your email newsletter may have been conceived in love and raised under a watchful eye, but now it's talking in wingdings and ignoring every golden layout rule in Yahoo, Outlook and Gmail.

So, how do you teach it to play nice?

Exhale: HTML is still your baby
HTML email campaigns are not only more visually cohesive and polished than Plain Text, but historically also produce more clicks, consumer interest and traceable sales. It's obviously more appealing to show product pictures to your customers or include live links to relevant information. In addition, the DOS-reminiscent presentation of Plain Text is never a match for the brand-reflective power of HTML.

But if you're not following some simple Web Standards, your well-intentioned email campaigns can look like more of a maniacal bomb threat than a customized handshake.

5 tough love solutions for your HTML emails:

1. Avoid background images.
To efficiently separate content and design elements, images should be displayed inline. The CSS property, background-image is often not supported.

<background image: supported>

<background image: unsupported>

2. Keep FLOAT and CLEAR in proper balance.
FLOAT is the glue to your layout, while CLEAR ensures your FLOAT doesn't mask any images. If in doubt, avoid using FLOAT all together. Read more details here.

3. Be careful with your use of MARGIN and PADDING.
MARGIN alignment is the key to avoiding all-out text chaos in a bad render. PADDING is similarly critical, especially when used in conjunction with BACKGROUND-COLOR, LIST-STYLE-IMAGE and BORDER. Render test your emails first and find some fixes here.

4. Consider a different code to denote LINE SPACING.
To create a new line space, try using <br/> (shift+enter) instead of <p> (enter). Some readers push together new paragraphs, making your text look like this:

5. Don't ignore the importance of WIDTH and HEIGHT.
WIDTH directly impacts FLOAT and TEXT-ALIGN, so it's crucial to the overall look and tightness of your email. HEIGHT also lends a firm hand to overall readibility.

Phew - your HTMLs just avoided military school. But if they ever get out of line again - or you just want to learn more ways to enhance your email marketing - contact our JangoMail Support. We'd love to hear from you.

Have an idea for a future JangoMail blog? Talk to us

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Improved Spam Detection for Response Emails

Response Email Spam FilterWhen we receive a response back on one of your email campaigns, we process and forward those on to you, based on a number of rules in your account Settings. We have just updated the spam detection for response emails we receive so we can prevent forwarding spam responses to you as much as we possibly can. How? We implemented a Spam Assassin filter to clean out the spam. Emails that are most obviously spam will now be rejected. Thus you'll be happy not to be receiving such email in your inbox anymore.

Note: You can manage your reply settings under Settings —> Reply Management —> Reply Handling

Friday, April 05, 2013

This message opened by ... Anonymous

Email Address Privacy
We had a prospective customer recently come to us with an interesting request with regard to the privacy of their campaign recipients. They wanted the campaign actions of users to be anonymized in such a way that it in no way would it be possible for anyone to determine which specific email addresses on the list opened, clicked, unsubscribed, or experienced a bounce for a given email.

The prospective customer had a real concern for the privacy of their recipients but still desired the aggregate campaign reporting metrics that make things like measuring the effectiveness of a campaign possible. Total clicks? Great. Who clicked on which link? Gone.

We were happy to custom-develop this feature for the customer. And since we developed the software to do it for them, we can make it available to you  upon request.

The feature ensures that the specifics on email addresses for campaign actions are overwritten in the database and removed from the SMTP logs after receipt, ensuring they cannot be retrieved or compromised by anyone. 

This feature is a good example of how we're willing to go lengths to fulfill the needs of a customer who knows what they want. While this may seem obscure, if you'd like this feature added to your account, or have another custom feature in mind, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Getting The Full Benefit of vBulletin?

The first step to maximizing the effectiveness of using popular forum software packages, like vBulletin, is to enhance them through configuration with JangoMail or JangoSMTP.

In case you're unfamiliar with vBulletin, it's a helpful forum software package that facilitates online community discussions on the topic your website is focused on. The system also sends a variety of emails: new registration confirmations, topic reply notifications, PM notifications, mass email newsletters and more.

So what's the JangoMail connection?
It's about more than expansive reporting features you won't find in vBulletin's baseline. JangoMail's pinpoint and reliable email deliverability ensures that your signup confirmation emails will go through the first time. It's a common issue with forum software - if a user doesn't receive their confirmation email, they can't use your forum. The result is that users need to contact your forum administrator to activate their accounts manually. This may seem like a minute hassle, but considering the size of most forums, the potential problem can cause some big issues down the lines in terms of boosting your user list size - and saving the sanity of your administrator.

Here's how to set it up:
1. Log into your vBulletin Admin CP
2. Go to Settings - Options - Email Options - Edit Settings
3. Scroll down to choose the following settings:

  • SMTP Email: Yes
  • SMTP Host:
  • SMTP Port: either 25, 2525, 587 or 465 for SSL/TLS connections
  • SMTP Username: use your JangoMail username
  • SMTP Password: user your JangoMail password
  • SMTP Secure Connection (can be enabled if port 465 is used)

vBulletin can also be used to send mass email newsletters to your users, to keep them engaged. To do so, go to Users - Send Email to Users within your Admin CP.

As always, if you have any questions or need extra help configuring your vBulletin account with JangoMail, contact our Support team at any time.

Have a great rest of the week, everybody!

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Quick Account Usage Info at Your Fingertips

At  your request, we have now added a quick go-to menu, accessible at the top of every JangoMail page that shares some of your account's vital statistics at a glance.

Quick Account Usage Stats
(account info displayed on mouse-over)

When you are logged into your paid account, you will now see a link at the top of every page identifying how many days are left in your usage cycle. Mousing over the link produces a dialogue with some useful stats—among them:

  • # of Messages used
  • # of Messages remaining
  • Volume of Data used
  • Volume of Data remaining
  • Messages and Data Available in the next cycle

Currently these quick usage stats are restricted to standalone accounts, and not agency accounts with combined volume usage. Further support for these agency customers may be available in the future.