Friday, November 29, 2013

Gene Marks: Email Marketing Thoughts

A guest post by Gene Marks

Every month my company sends out five newsletters and another five to ten mass emails to other groups.  We've been doing this for ten years.  And it works.  Most of the time.  We've had a ton of failures.  But mostly success.  So what have I learned?  Lots.  Let me at least share these three things.

1.  Have many lists.  No one does email “blasts” anymore. Today, you're sending targeted messages.  The size of your list really doesn't matter.  It's the quality.  What good are 1,000 people on an email list when only 20 actually read your newsletter?  Look at your database and then segment, segment, segment.  Ask yourself, what do these people want to hear about?  A specific product or service?  Issues affecting their industry?  Don't just blast out an email to everyone.  Blast out ten emails to ten different groups who have ten different interests.  And schedule your emails depending on the group.  The suspects who gave you their business cards at tradeshows might want to hear from you three or four times a year.  You're A-list customers should be getting messages from you at least once a month. The prospects who showed some interest in your products or services and may be interested again someday should be getting information from you every couple of months.   Your lists will be ever changing.

2.  Educate, don't sell.  No one wants to get emails with sales pitches jammed down their throats.  Instead, come up with two or three pieces of advice you want to give to your audience.  They may be specifically or indirectly related to your product or service.  They may have something to do with your industry or region. You're an expert.  You can come up with these topics.  Help your readers get smarter.  Sure you can plug your products somewhere on the sidebar or bottom of your message, as long as it's done unobtrusively.  But your first goal is to educate your reader.  Give them some food for thought.  Elicit some action, like a click to a more detailed article on your blog, a request for a whitepaper, a sign up for a seminar or webinar.  Establish your company as a thought leader in your field.  Use your email messages to show how good you are and justify why the reader should be comfortable doing business with you.  Don't like to write?  Then come up with an idea and hire someone who can.  Which brings me to my last item…

3.  Invest and commit.  This is not a campaign.  It's a long term commitment. An email service may be relatively inexpensive but it's really just a fraction of the overall cost.  To really get results you have to do this for a long, long time.  You have to build a devoted readership.  People will be drawn to your emails if they're getting useful information in a reliable and consistent manner.  You don't have the time to do this yourself.  You're going to have to hire or contract someone to help you.  This person will have a lot to do:  maintain and update your database, craft the messages, administer the emails, oversee your “opt-in” process, make sure people who respond get noticed and keep things interesting.  Again and again and again.  This will take time and money.  But doesn't everything in business take time and money?

Just remember:  you can't put a gun to someone's head and tell them to buy from you.  All you can do is stay in their minds just enough so that when there's an interest your company is thought of first.  That's the goal of an effective email marketing process.  Oh, one more thing:  grow a thick skin. Because that guy who opted in two years ago may for some reason be in a bad mood when he gets an email from you and responds with a nasty-gram.  This has happened to me a lot over the years. Oh well.

Friday, November 22, 2013

On Track With Jack: Email Deliverability

Happy early Thanksgiving JangoMail Users!

Can you believe it?  Thanksgiving is next week, which also means that you are going to start sending your holiday emails.  Before you add the final touches, take a look at my tip, well question, of the week:

Are you a Safe Sender?

In this day and age, post Pilgrim and Squanto times, email clients have become quite good at upping their security measures, which can affect your email deliverability and send your messages straight to spam.

It's important to make sure you are a Safe Sender, and encouraging your recipients to create a Safe Sender, or White List, will ensure deliverability.

To start, I would recommend sending an email with step-by-step instructions on how to create a Safe Sender List, and remove emails from spam.   Step-by-step guides with screenshots work best.  If you're concerned that your users never check their Spam Folder, post a guide on your website and social media networks.  They work well near your opt-in form and confirmation page.

In JangoMail, you can determine which email client your subscribers use most and shape your instructions around those providers.

In our case, Outlook ranks high and Gmail is king.  Here are the steps we suggest:

Microsoft Outlook 2010 / 2013

To remove from the Junk Folder:
1.  Check your Junk Folder
2.  Click on the email message to highlight it
3.  Go to the Home tab
4.  Select the arrow on the Junk drop-down menu
5.  Choose Never Block Sender's Domain

To create a Safe Sender List:
1.  Under the Home tab go to the Junk drop-down menu and click on Junk Email Options
2.  In the new window click the Safe Senders tab
3.  Click the Add button and enter in the desired email address
4.  Click OK


To remove from the Spam Folder:
1.  Go to the Spam Folder
2.  Locate message from us
3.  Select the message
4.  Click the "Not Spam" button

To create a Safe Sender List:
1.  Enter JangoMail in the search bar
2.  Click arrow in the right of the search bar to filter
3.  Click Create filter link at the bottom right
4.  Select Never send it to Spam
5.  Click the “Also apply…” box to apply to similar messages
6.  Choose the blue Create button

To recap: Make sure you are a Safe Sender before your next email campaign.  Send an instructional email to your subscribers to show them how to add you to their Safe Sender / White List.


Jack the Jangolope
Department of Awesome

About Jack
Jack the Jangolope is our JangoMail mascot.  Each week, look for Jack's emails for marketing advice, trends, and quick tips on how to grow your email marketing plan to the fullest!  Hop into email marketing each week with Jack's helpful tips!
We want to hear from you. Remember, at JangoMail it's your email, your way.  Have a topic you would like Jack to cover?  Email us at with the subject line: On Track With Jack.  Follow Jack on Facebook

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Gene Marks: Mobile Website and Search

A guest post by Gene Marks

Here's an interesting fact:  there are more than 400 million mobile users in the United States today.   Actually, what makes this fact so interesting is that there are only 330 million people in the entire country.  But I know I saw this somewhere on the internet.  So just work with me on this for a while, OK?  This point is that there are a lot of mobile users.  No one can deny that.

And do you know what these mobile users are doing on their mobile devices?  Yes, texting and emailing and wasting time.  No one can deny that either.  But most of all, we are searching.  Searching for a great sushi place in San Antonio (yeah, keep searching), a movie time, a news article, another photo of Miley Cyrus twerking.  Or maybe…just maybe…we're doing something more productive.  Like searching for products and services and other stuff we want to buy.  Maybe we're searching for…you.  And your company.  So will we find you?

Not if you don't have a mobile optimized website.  Do you have a mobile optimized website?

That's because the search application (which is most likely Google) on your iPad or Samsung or Nexus is using a different search algorithm than if the user was doing the same on a desktop computer.  It's actually looking for mobile optimized websites.  So let me ask you again – do you have a mobile optimized website? You better.  Soon.  Now.  What happens if you don't?

Then your customer, or prospective customer looking for you doesn't find you.  Or instead, they find your competitor first because they're ranking higher on the search results from Google and that's because they've got a mobile optimized website.  Or maybe your customer has stumbled on your site, or clicked on a link from an email marketing message he's reading on his iPhone, and what does he find?  A site that renders terribly, forcing him to scroll and enlarge and hunt and peck and squint and ultimately get annoyed enough to go to someone else's site because it's easier to navigate.  This is why you need a mobile optimized website.  Soon.  Now.

Having a good mobile website is also essential if you plan on doing online marketing campaigns.  You might decide to use Adwords or banner ads somewhere.  You may decide to list your company on sites like Yahoo, Google Places or even Mapquest.  Perhaps you want to get involved with daily sites like Groupon or Living Social.  Or you want customers to check in through Foursquare or leave reviews on Yelp.  People are doing this stuff from their smartphones and tablets, all the time.  And if you want these visitors to ultimate get bounced back to your website you'll need that site to be ready.

Making your website mobile optimized isn't that tough actually.  You could go to your Internet Service Provider, the people that host your website, and ask them.  Many of these providers have services that will convert your site into a mobile site.  You could go to online companies that provide this service independently like DudaMobile – they're relatively inexpensive.  Just make sure to have them host your site using your domain so you're getting the web traffic and not them.  Or you can learn more at Google's HowToGoMo site.  You don't need to mobilize your entire website.  Instead, just choose some of the key pages you want to make mobile, like your homepage or “About Us” or “Contact Us” page.  It won't take long.

It's a mobile world.  And whether it's 400 million, 330 million or even 10 million people doing searches on their mobile device there's no argument that it's a lot.  And it will continue to grow.  Put this on your task list.  Make your website mobile optimized.  Soon.  Now.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

New JangoMail Smart Template Sneak Peek

By: Melonie Mottice
Marketing Specialist

The wait is almost over!  At JangoMail, we've been working hard to bring you the best email templates in the industry.  Sending eye-catching emails that will grab the attention of your readers will be easier than ever with our brand new Smart Templates.  We've put together 150 brand new templates, a new template menu, and editing tips.  While we are putting on the final touches, enjoy this exclusive sneak peek:

 Once our templates are live, you can access them by clicking the JangoMail Smart Template button:

You'll be able to use the templates as a starting point for your email design.

Browsing is a breeze with our new template menu, organized by category:

We'll have several different categories to choose from:

  • Feature templates include designs for promoting sales and bringing attention to one or more products. 
  • Greetings include designs to say "Welcome," "Thank You," "You're Invited," and more. 
  • Holiday templates provide you with designs to celebrate the holidays. 
  • Mobile templates are specially designed to be easy to read on a smartphone. 
  • Newsletter templates include space for a lot of text in the form of one, two, or more columns. 
  • Responsive templates adjust based on the email client that a recipient is using. 
  • RSS to Email is for turning blogs into a nice looking email. 
  • Simple templates are basic designs from JangoMail's original selection.
  • Recent templates include the last 20 templates that you used.

You can choose a favorite by clicking the star at the top of the design you like. To view all of your favorites, click the Favorites tab in the template menu:

 To see a full preview of a template, click on the Computer Screen Icon:

 Templates can be selected by clicking the Right Arrow Icon:

Each template contains editing tips that will teach you how to customize your message:

Our new JangoMail Smart Templates are available to ALL of our customers.  It doesn't matter if you have a free or paid account, you will have full access to all of our features, including these great new templates.

That concludes our JangoMail Smart Template Sneak Peek!  We hope you are just as excited for our new templates as we are.

Friday, November 08, 2013

On Track With Jack: Holiday Email Guide

Hi JangoMail Users!

'Tis the season to email!  From Thanksgiving to New Years, and everything in between, the holiday season can get pretty hectic - even for a speedy jangolope like me!

When holiday competition gets fierce, will you stand apart from all of the other emails just waiting to be opened?  Whether you are a busy retailer trying to keep up, a small business offering an unbeatable service, or maybe you just have a party to plan, try one of these top email marketing trends to connect with readers:

Everyone loves a surprise! Surprise your recipients with something different that will spark an emotional connection like a holiday story, carol, or greeting card in your campaign.

Cute sells.  If you don't have a cute and cuddly mascot, use an adorable photo or graphic.  A plump smiling turkey or a cute fuzzy reindeer (I'm partial to reindeer), is a must.

Create something interactive.  Engage people with your business or message, and have fun with it! Create a video or ecard that readers can forward to friends.  JibJab offers a bunch of funny ecards you can personalize, and you can share through your email and social media.

Check out Check-in Deals.  Offer a check-in deal using Facebook or Foursquare. Use your email to kick off your upcoming deal.

And the winner is...  Everyone loves a good contest, and you can never go wrong with a Facebook or Twitter contest.  With contests, people market for you.  They share, retweet, comment, like, and vote for their favorite entry, all of which goes out to their friends and family.  You can send contest reminders and results through your email.  NOTE:  If you host a Facebook or Twitter contest make sure you follow all of their contest rules and regulations.

Don't just be the life of the party, host one.  Put a face behind the name of your brand or business, and make connections through your community that will build loyalty for years to come. Send email invitations and thank you notes.

Sharing is caring.  Organize a fundraiser, canned food drive, or adopt a family for the holidays. Encourage participation through email.

Scan, you're it!  Create a QR code for your email list / opt-in form and include it in any print and packaging materials.  Once scanned, a QR code will redirect users to your opt-in form where they can signup to receive your emails.

Go the extra mile.  Offer something extra special to your loyal readers.  Show your appreciation through a small gift of your choice.  You can also provide sneak peeks or digital perks like a podcast or ebook.

To recap: NOW is the perfect time to kick off your email marketing for the holidays. Try one of these top email marketing trends to connect with your readers!


Jack the Jangolope
Department of Awesome

About Jack
Jack the Jangolope is our JangoMail mascot.  Each week, look for Jack's emails for marketing advice, trends, and quick tips on how to grow your email marketing plan to the fullest!  Hop into email marketing each week with Jack's helpful tips!
We want to hear from you. Remember, at JangoMail it's your email, your way.  Have a topic you would like Jack to cover?  Email us at with the subject line: On Track With Jack.  Follow Jack on Facebook