Thursday, April 17, 2014

On Track With Jack: Welcome Newbees and Deliverability Buzz

Finally, spring is here! With the warm weather comes a swarm of newbees, new free trial users that is. Over the last month or so, we've had the most sign-ups to date, and today we're going to review what you need to do to get started with JangoMail.

Existing users, you can benefit from this post too. Use it as a checklist to ensure you have everything in place with your account. These steps will also help with deliverability. Check out these five simple steps to get started:

Get started in 5 Simple Steps:

Click here to Activate your account. Step 1: Activate your account. Note: Your Full-Featured Free Trial Account is valid for 30 days.
Send from your company's domain. Step 2: Send from an email address at your company's domain. If you do not have a domain, read this article.
Set Up SPF. Step 3: Set up SPF. An SPF record tells recipient servers that your JangoMail account has permission to send messages as your company.
Set Up DKIM. Step 4: Set up DKIM. Messages with DKIM signatures prove that your From Address is legitimate.
Consider Custom Tracking. Step 5: Set up Custom Tracking. A custom tracking domain adds another level of authenticity to your messages if you want to track opens or clicks.


So, what's all the buzz about deliverability? Deliverability has been a serious issue lately, not just with JangoMail, but everywhere with any ESP. In an effort to prevent spam, email clients have upped their security measures. They have gotten so strict that sometimes messages from a trusted sender falls into spam until it's added to a safe sender list.

What can you do? In addition to following the above steps, your first message should be a welcome email announcing that you've switched providers. If you're not a new user, send a just checking in message. Encourage your subscribers to do the same. Why? Once you're on their safe sender or white list, your message will stay out of spam.

In our emails, you may have noticed the link up top: Add Our Address to Your Safe Sender List. In addition to your welcome/checking in email, create your own link that will be placed at the top of all your messages moving forward. Write up a new blog post or landing page on your site that includes these steps. If you're concerned that your users never check their Spam Folder, post a guide on your website and social media networks. It will work well near your opt-in form and confirmation page.

In JangoMail, use our Delivery Optimizer, Spam Score Checker, and Delivery Health Check. Read this step by step guide on our Delivery Optimizer. View the Spam Score Checker with any broadcast message you send, and if a specific email address still isn't receiving your message, check it with the Delivery Health Check tool beside the Delivery Optimizer on the Reports page.

Think you have all your bases covered? Create and send your first email.

To recap: Follow the above steps to make sure your account is set up to properly deliver your email messages. Send a welcome email encouraging subscribers to add you to their safe sender/white list.

Still have questions? Ask. Dial 1-888-465-2646 or drop us a line here.

Jack the Jangolope
Department of Awesome
JangoMail



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 marketing@jangomemail.com with the subject line: On Track With Jack.  Follow Jack on Facebook

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heartbleed Bug

By: Dave Walker
Technical Support Engineer


A vulnerability was discovered recently in OpenSSL.  This vulnerability is known as "Heartbleed." OpenSSL is a tool which is used by many websites for secure communications. The JangoMail team has performed a full review of our systems. JangoMail does not use OpenSSL in its communications, and was not affected by this vulnerability. There is no need to change your password due to this issue in OpenSSL.


As always, of course, we do suggest that you use a secure and unique password for your JangoMail account. You should not share passwords between sites or accounts. Changing your password periodically is a good idea, but not required at this time.


More information about the HeartBleed vulnerability can be found at http://heartbleed.com.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Yahoo Policy Change Impacts Delivery

By: Chris Reibold

Senior Email Analyst

While I did put considerable thought into titling this blog post “Yahoo breaks the internet!”, I thought that might be a little dramatic, but it was tempting.

Within the last 48 hours, Yahoo made a bold move in updating their DMARC policy setting to "p=reject." Therefore, mail containing a Yahoo from address is no longer considered legitimate if it does not contain an authentication signature, or if it did not come from properly identified Yahoo infrastructure.

What does this mean? If you are sending from a Yahoo address, to Yahoo users, your emails will always be bounced. Essentially, if the from address is @yahoo.com, and your message is not originating from Yahoo infrastructure (using their web interface, or sending with your Yahoo account from outlook, your iPhone, android, etc), it will never make it to the recipient.

If you look inside the SMTP logs of a message sent to Yahoo, it will look like this:

Message+not+accepted+for+policy+reasons.++See+http://postmaster.yahoo.com/errors/postmaster-28.html - - 0 0 0 SMTP - -

At JangoMail, we discourage our users from sending with a from address of major free email providers like Yahoo, Gmail, and Hotmail.  With the new change, however, users will be flat out blocked if they try to send from a provider. While this move seems drastic, it will limit the amount of spoofed email to Yahoo accounts to zero.

Since Yahoo is a major source of email on the web, you can expect Hotmail and Gmail to follow suit. Do not think of this as some security experiment that Yahoo is performing, but a real and secure change in the way email is handled on the internet today.

Bottom line: Do not use a @yahoo.com, @gmail.com, @hotmail.com, or other free email provider address to send your emails. Instead, set up and send from your own domain. Learn how to here.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Command Center: Conditional Logic

By: Dave Walker
Technical Support Engineer

Meet Bob. Bob has a problem. Bob owns a car dealership, and it's time for the new models to arrive. There's a new sports car, a new family car, and a new truck. His problem is that he only has one contact list, and he wants to send different announcements to different customers. There's no need to send an email about sports cars to truck buyers, and the young rich kids don't want the family sedan.

Bob can always split his list into parts. He can make a list of sports car buyers, and a list of family car buyers, and a list of truck buyers. Bob, though, works out of this same database on a regular basis, and it already identifies the customers appropriately. Splitting the lists is extra, tedious work.

Bob uses JangoMail to save time. Good for Bob! JangoMail's “Conditional Logic” feature lets him use his existing database of contacts, and still send different messages to his customer segments.

Bob creates a single message. The top and bottom of the message contain fairly standard stuff. He has a logo, his address, greeting text, and other content that will not change from segment to segment. In the middle of the message, though, Bob is having fun.

Using Conditional Logic's power, Bob puts three different pieces of content in the middle of the message. Each has a photo of the vehicle, text describing it, and a price. Bob creates one message with all three pieces of content. Using some basic scripting commands, Bob links these pieces of content to the data field for customer interest.

If the customer is interested in a sports car, we'll give that customer the sports car content. Likewise for family car and truck buyers. At send time, JangoMail looks at the contact data, and inserts the appropriate content for each recipient. If the database field says “sportscar” then that recipient will only see the content provided for that segment. Everybody wins!

You can be like Bob. JangoMail's conditional logic feature allows you to customize text, images, layout, and many other aspects of your message based on data in your list's contact data. One message to rule them all.






Monday, March 24, 2014

New Gmail Unsubscribe Implementation

By: Chris Reibold
Senior Email Analyst


Google has started displaying unsubscribe links at the top of messages in its popular web client for Gmail:



Essentially, Gmail looks for the List-Unsubscribe header and pulls the information, displaying the above hyperlink next to the sender address. As a measure of security, DKIM/Domainkeys is verified before the link is displayed in a message.

This is actually a rather good move on Google’s part in helping email marketers and newsletter senders like yourself. By emphasizing the unsubscribe link at the top, the recipient of the message is more likely to simply click that instead of the “spam” button that is above it.

Please keep in mind that this change has come at a time when Gmail’s FBL (Feedback Loop) is being implemented for companies like JangoMail to use. FBLs send a message that goes to the sender whenever a subscriber hits the spam button. Eventually Gmail’s use of the unsubscribe link will be gathered, along with the FBL data, to tell us how well your engagement is with Gmail-using recipients.

There is an obvious shift in the way Google wants Gmail to operate; they have added tabs, turned on images by default, made the unsubscribe link more prominent, and now they are implementing an FBL.

It appears that Google really wants to cleanup the inbox and minimize the amount of spam their users are receiving. This is a double edged sword.  On one hand it can make your message emphasized over others, but on the other it will also make it harder for you to land in the inbox.

Only time can tell how well this new feature works, but Gmail putting an emphasis on unsubscribe over spam is a good thing indeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

JangoMail Command Center: The Right Tools, The Right Way

By: Sarah Dyer
Customer Service Manager


In 2011, I quit my comfortable desk job to work alongside my husband, Todd, in his renovation business. Shortly after we purchased our first house flip, Todd had to run to another house and I was left in charge. Despite being married to one of the best home renovation experts, I have absolutely no renovation experience.


During demolition, we encountered hardwood flooring that was glued to concrete slab. I was on my hands and knees with a hammer and chisel for an hour only to get through three feet of this stuff! The task was daunting, to say the least.


Todd stopped by for a cold drink, saw what I was doing and handed me a floor scrapper. He showed me how to use it, and I removed more flooring in one minute than I had in the last hour! Frustrating, yes, but now I had the right tool to get the job done much quicker. Having the right tool to fix any problem makes all the difference, and knowing how to use it the right way is equally important – the same goes for email marketing.


JangoMail can be used in so many different ways, and sometimes you don’t realize what tools you have right at your disposal. I have heard the excitement of so many customers when they discover some of our automated features, for example. From setting up birthday messages to reorder reminders, and so much more. If you have data, we have automation that can help you put it to work for you.


So before you go scraping the floors on your hands and knees, spend a few minutes on the phone with a JangoMail expert, also known as a jangolope. You can reach us from 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. (US/EST) at 888-465-2646. We’re here to listen and discuss your business needs. Our team of jangolopes will get you on track to using the right tools, the right way! Look for our monthly support blog straight from the JangoMail Command Center.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

On Track With Jack: Mobile Best Practices


I hate to break it to all of my admirers out there, but I’m in a serious relationship with my smartphone. She’s the first thing I see in the morning, and the last thing I see when I go to sleep. Day in and day out, I check my email, catch up on the news, and connect with friends on social media. And, I know I’m not alone.

In a recent survey completed by Acxiom...
91.4% of respondents said they use their smartphone to check personal email. - Acxiom "Email Marketing and Mobile Devices: A Survey of Consumer Habits and Perceptions"(2013).

So, what does that mean for email marketing? It means that more and more people are reading email on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Here’s my tip, well question, of the week: Are your emails mobile friendly?

Here are a few pointers to get you started on the mobile track:

  1. Clear and concise content is key. While content always needs to be compelling, cut it down so readers can skim and scroll. Space is limited on mobile, so don’t weigh down your message with too much information. Short clear paragraphs and bullet points are ideal.

      
  2. Scale down your design. The dimensions of the email should also be reduced since mobile screens are a lot smaller. We recommend keeping it between 320-550px wide. Note: Check out our new mobile Smart Templates under the mobile tab.
  3. Use larger text. Fonts should be larger than those in traditional emails. Keep body text at a minimum of 14px and headlines at 22px.
  4. Larger images and spacing. Touch screens are here to stay! Instead of clicking, people will touch. Balance your design with well-spaced images and icons to accommodate fat, I mean healthy, finger errors.
  5. Alt text is a must. Include alt text on your graphics for a responsive design. Note: Image blocking will occur by default, a prompt will display urging users to display messages, similar to desktop. The only mobile OS that does not block images by default is iOs.
  6. Short and sweet subject lines. Long subject lines get cut off, but shorter ones between 24-31 characters work best. Tell your readers what’s inside!
  7. Call on your new Call To Action (CTA). What do you want your readers to do after they receive your message? Include a call to action, but do not use ‘Click Here’. Mobile users cannot click, however, they can tap and swipe.
  8. CTA + Buttons = High CTR (Click-through rate). Make your CTA stand out with a big button. Link out to your website or landing page for more information.  Buttons should be at least 44 pixels and should be centered or left aligned.
  9. Include links. Unsubscribe, Forward to a Friend, Subscribe, and Social Media links are still a must.  Be sure to also keep any View as Webpage link just in case your readers want to view your message in a browser.
  10. Preview, preview, preview. Take a look at the different mobile previews in JangoMail to see how your subscribers will view your message on their mobile device or tablet. Select different Mobile Clients to test your message. 

To recap: With the increasing use of smartphones and tablets, make sure your emails are mobile-friendly. Check out our Mobile Templates to get started! 

With those steps in mind, you are on your way to mobile-friendly messages, and for me, my relationship with my smartphone has never been stronger.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a JangoMail expert today at 1-855-709-4099.

Jack the Jangolope
Department of Awesome
JangoMail




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 marketing@jangomemail.com with the subject line: On Track With Jack.  Follow Jack on Facebook