7 Email Design Trends Popular This Fall


From gradient “nostalgia” to the discreet charm of monochrome, up to the realism of 3D images, we’ve chosen the most in vogue graphic trends among marketers.

Companies consider September a new beginning, with renewed
objectives and new intentions to be pursued from now until the end of the year.

While not offering huge margins for radical strategy changes, September is certainly a good opportunity to review some aspects which only appear to be superficial: email design, for example.

This is exactly what we would like to discuss today, suggesting some of the more in vogue trends of the most respected marketers. There are seven graphic trends with which you can align your email marketing campaigns.

1. CSS animation: an incentive to click

Generally,
CSS animations are applied to call
to action
buttons and images.

The main
objective is to emphasize the potential
action
triggered by the recipient’s click on the highlighted item. To make
the concept even clearer, here’s an example of CSS animation applied to an
email button and image:

All you need
to set up CSS animation is a few simple operations in the HTML code of the email. Here is the code needed:

2. The minimal-animated layout

A minimal
style is always effective: it offers
clear, clean solutions that make an impact
, despite the bare layout.
Minimalism makes it possible to enhance the key elements of an email: the copy
and the images of products or services.

But a recent
trend has led some companies to create emails that combine conciseness with animation.
The result is brilliant, as in this email from NiftyImages which uses white
spaces and reduces the number of colors in the palette to a minimum while
leaving room for movement and dynamism in the illustrations.

3. Accessibility

Accessibility
means designing emails that guarantee all recipients – including recipients
with disabilities (for example,
blindness) or recipients who use assistive technologies (such as screen readers) – the full use of
message content.

Designers
and marketers are becoming increasingly
aware of the issue
of accessibility, so much so that they want to transform techniques and best
practices in email marketing as well.

Here are a
few requirements for ensuring good accessibility to emails:

  • Pay attention to the color contrast. A great tool for testing email contrast is WebAIM 
  • Keep the characters legible. Never go below 14px for normal characters and 16px for lighter ones
  • Always underline links  
  • Avoid light text colors, because they are more difficult to detect, especially on a light background
  • Align the text on the left, as it is more readable than when centered
  • Keep a logical structure, using a hierarchical modular layout that organizes the main header, the descriptions, the subsections, and the body copy, closing with the footer
  • Don’t forget the alt text, which must be descriptive and explain the image
  • Always include captions in videos.

4. The “tactile realism” of 3D images

3D has been in vogue in the world of graphic design for several years now,
and it’s not surprising that it has also reached email design.

The potential of 3D images lies in their realism, in giving email a greater degree of depth, having a stronger impact on the recipient who senses
something “graspable”.
Here is a great example:

With tools
like Adobe Dimension CC, email
designers have the opportunity to experiment with 3D images and enrich the
visual potential of their emails exponentially.

5. Gradient energy

Gradients seem to be seriously back in style. Some people love them and some people hate them. With their bright, slightly fading tones, gradients are captivating and energetic.

An
interesting fact: according to some people, the origins of the gradient should
be traced back to the psychedelia of the 60s. Making it come
back in style would indeed be indeed that dominant feeling of our times: nostalgia.

6. The realistic illustration-image combo

Illustrations
are also quite in vogue at the moment: they are elements that capture
attention, urging the observer to linger, as if standing in front of a
work of art. Here is a modern and captivating example that stands out in an
overall minimal email.

Another
emerging trend accompanies the illustrations with realistic, photographic images. This combination has great
potential: here is an example of a newsletter that combines a pastel
illustration in the header with photographic images of the product.

7. The discreet charm of monochrome

There are people
who experiment with color and matching and there are people who, in contrast,
prefer a single color: monochrome is
destined to make a bigger and bigger comeback, also in email marketing and web
design.

The most
popular choice today is within the black
and white scale
. This color (or rather, non-color) palette creates
surprising contrasts and manages to make the best elements and key content of
an email stand out.

Summing up

Email design
is always seeking a compromise between personal experimentation of each brand and the ability to
take advantage of the most popular current trends.
  

Our advice is to stay up-to-date always on email design trends with the dedicated section of Email Blog: it has examples from real companies, best practices, and real practical guides for email design.

Without forgetting that with the BEE editor, you have the most advanced email creation tool available on the market. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can request a free trial of the Email platform in which BEE is integrated and all its features are accessible.

Try Email'

Notes:

(1) CSS animations:a web motion design tool that makes CSS3 available. CSS animations let you gradually change the style of an element of a webpage or an email. For each style change, you must specify a keyframe, which determines the type of style to apply to the element at a specific moment in time: in practice, it represents the “code” for executing the animation.Torna su

(2) Accessibility:according to the National Federation of the Blind, in the United States approximately 1.3 million people are blind, and every year 75,000 people become blind or visually impaired and continue to rely on their mobile devices.Torna su

(3) Gradients:their fundamental characteristic is to fill a space with progressive gradations of two saturated colors. A perfect example is the Instagram logo, which goes from midnight blue to an intense yellow. The brand identities of all the main hubs of the tech world, from Airbnb to Spotify, have used gradients at some point in their past.Torna su


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Why Email Signature Marketing Is More Powerful than Social Media Marketing


How much time do you
spend on social media for the sake of marketing? How many emails do you send
per day?

If you’re like most business owners or marketers, your social media activity prevails. Instagram is way more fun than email. But does that mean we should neglect email? On the contrary! In most situations, email marketing is more effective than social media marketing. Facebook Ads may get you leads, but there’s nothing more effective than direct messaging when it comes to nurturing those leads.

Nate Elliott, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, recommends us to stop making social media the center of our relationship marketing activities. This is what he stated for Fast Company: “If you have to choose between adding a subscriber to your email list or gaining a new Facebook fan, go for email every time.”

You’re sending email messages to leads who are already ready to take action. It makes sense to pay more attention to that aspect of nurturing. You have to consider all details, such as the timing, subject line, text, offer, closing line, and signature.

Signature marketing, in particular, makes a big difference on how your message is being accepted.

What Is Email Signature
Marketing?

We already know what email marketing is – a strategy for attracting and nurturing leads, which eventually sends them down the sales funnel.

Including the signature in this story is one of the most prominent email marketing trends at the moment. This is the part of the message that’s right below the closing line. It’s important for raising brand awareness, simply because it mentions the brand and provides contact information. It’s the signature that takes people to your website.

When you elevate the signature to the “marketing” status, it will support the goal of reaching conversions.

How Can You Use Email
Signatures in Your Marketing Strategy?

There are few opportunities to blend signature, sales and marketing.

Use Them for Boosting Brand Awareness

Here’s how the signature of Dropbox looks like:

It’s pretty clean and minimalistic. But it’s still noticeable at the bottom of the message. It mentions the company’s name and address, so it puts the “Dropbox” name again in your head. But the signature also links to the website.

Dropbox is a well-known brand, so it doesn’t have to try hard with elaborate signatures. When you want to boost the awareness for a startup, you can take things further. You can include the company’s logo in the signature, and even mention what the business does.

Use It as a Banner

Banners are noticeable! They give you space for creativity, so you can share the most important message in a prominent way. Check out this one included in an email signature:

You can use this strategy to promote a special offer, the latest post, or any other thing that gets people to your site.

Special Signatures from Each Department

Not all email messages come from the marketing department. Some are from the business owners. Others are from the management or human resource department.

You can use unique email signatures to distinguish all these email messages.

Email Signatures for Ongoing Marketing Campaigns

The signature can label the continuity of your marketing campaign. You have a campaign for a specific product? You’ll use the same signature for all messages from that campaign. But when you promote another product, you’ll use another signature to make it recognizable.

Email Signatures for Boosting Sales

Let’s say a writing service sends a message to a subscriber. The message will feature a discount code, and then it will have a closing line: “Get your essay support here!” Most recipients won’t notice the link if it’s hidden in the text. But if they can click a styled signature that features the brand name, they will do it.

You can use product images as an email signature. When the recipient clicks on it, they will get to the exact product at your site.

Tips: How to Develop an
Email Signature Strategy

Now that you know how you can use signatures to enhance your marketing strategy, let’s see: what are the best practices for email signatures?

  • You need a compact strategy. You won’t design a new signature for each message. You’ll have a recognizable design, which you may shift depending on the purpose of the message.
  • Make the signature clickable. It’s a marketing channel, which will bring people to your website.
  • Include the brand’s name and address. That’s how the signature works towards greater brand awareness.
  • The signature may have an informative purpose. Use it to feature new products or offers.
  • The design has to be perfect. Whether you opt for minimalism or you want a prominent signature, it has to fit within the overall design of the message. And it should be great!

Are You Paying Enough
Attention to the Signature?

Social media ads and posts have great competition. They struggle to catch the attention of a person with a low attention span. But if someone subscribes to your email and opens your message, you get higher chances for your message to be heard.

This is your chance.

The entire message should be perfect in design, text, and point. The signature is part of it. Believe it or not, it can drive more conversions than your social media campaign. Are you doing enough to achieve such an effect?


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How To Plan The New Season of Email Marketing


Summer vacations draw to an end – it’s time to kick-start the new season and raise the bar of your Email Marketing efforts.

Everyone is back to the office, except for the naive few traveling in
September. People are back at their desks, struggling with loose ends to
tie up and new projects to launch

Today, let us focus on this last one and suggest what, in our opinion,
are the key activities to be done when coming back from vacation. This
will set the foundation for a new season of Email Marketing from today to 2020.
Let’s get started.

Give yourself new
performance goals

Tools 🛠

» Reports & Analyses

Complexity 💪

Before looking ahead, we need to look back at
what was done in the previous months. We suggest taking stock of the results
from last year’s mailings
.

Aggregated reports allow you to
consult the overall trends of your campaigns. It is possible to choose the most
indicative time interval for your business, such as the last three months, the
last semester, or the last year.

In doing so, you will have a performance
overview on your email campaigns: delivery rates, opening rates, and click
rates. Once this trend is grasped, set a new goal for the new season—one
that is possible and achievable, yet not too low.

Give an ultimatum to inactive recipients

Tools 🛠️

Complexity 💪

⭐⭐

The second step is to work on your database. Each company should “delve into” its lists of recipients to identify contacts that have not interacted with emails for a while.  

Considering a large number of inactive
recipients can cause delivery problems, cleaning your lists of inactive
recipients is essential for improving the deliverability [1] of future
mailings. More and more, some email providers (Google, Yahoo…) use the
“inactive recipients” value to decide whether messages sent by a
certain sender should be directed to either an inbox or spam.

A list typically has about 50% of recipients that can be classified as
inactive, i.e., they have neither opened nor clicked on any message sent to
them in the last three months.

What you need to do is pretty simple:

  1. Enter the platform and find the percentage of inactive recipients by looking at the gray portion of recipients in the Analysis and comparisons report in Statistics > Email > Analysis and comparisons.
  2. Use activity filters to limit inactive recipients. You can do so by creating an activity filter to define recipients who have not made any action in the last X amount of days. The value of X varies depending on how many emails you send to your list.
  3. Plan a reactivation campaign to regain and capture the attention of inactive users. The most effective campaigns generally involve sending two messages. This invites the user to reactivate. A final message notifies the user of his/her future unsubscription. For these mailings, you will need the previously created activity filter.

Once the reactivation emails are created, you
can automate the mailing by setting a time interval after which the inactive
contact will receive the messages.

Send a profiling campaign

Tools 🛠

» Profiling form

Complexity 💪

⭐⭐

Marketers are back—and so are customers and prospects. Why not send them a welcome back email? Play with many ideas: the approaching autumn, the challenge in returning to work, or something along the back-to-school lines. Puma did just this in its animated email. It’s brilliant.

That is the minimum, though. We strongly
recommend including a self-profile invitation within the same email.
This way, the return from vacation becomes a chance for asking contacts for
further details about themselves (later, we will see why).

The profiling form can create this in just a few steps. Simply use the drag & drop editor to edit blocks and other graphic elements, such as buttons, checkboxes, and groups. All of these can personalized to fit your needs.

Data collected through the self-profiling
modules are saved in the platform’s personal data fields.

Implement a customization strategy

Tools 🛠

Separately or together:

Complexity 💪

⭐⭐⭐

What to do with already collected recipient
data collected via the profiling form? We will personalize emails based
on the characteristics, interests, and inclinations of each recipient.

Despite the challenge of personalization, this element is fundamental for companies. The McKinsey study states that personalization will be “the prime driver of marketing success within five years”.

Companies must accept this challenge. How? By
adopting certain tools and functions to bring Email Marketing to an
advanced personalization level. Let us take a look at them:

Display Conditions option

What’s it for → Personalized content blocks

This feature is available to all Email customers. While creating the message, you can set up rules for displaying blocks and whole message sections that will be filled automatically with the most suitable content for each recipient.

Practically speaking, the Display Conditions option brands can send emails with images and texts in line with each recipient’s demographics, preferences, and needs.

An example? A promotional campaign by an e-commerce website able to segment a promo sale of jeans depending on whether the recipient is a woman or a man.

Personalization Engine

What’s it for → Related/recommended products  

What if a company wants to send emails with products that are constantly and automatically updated and customized? The Personalization Engine takes care of that. It uses Liquid markup language to create emails with real-time content retrieved from a site or an external page (i.e., a site, blog, or an online store) and sent to Email. This can be personalized for each recipient.

Here are a few examples: a Real Estate company
can send its customers one email per week with new housing listings of their
neighborhood or an e-commerce site can automatically send a follow-up
e-mail the day after a shopping cart is left behind. Such an e-mail includes
either the products that were abandoned or other related products. A large distribution company can also
send coupons localized by geographical area.

The Display Conditions and Personalization Engine options are available in the Email platform. These can be activated upon request. The first can be done by all companies, whereas the second requires skills with HTML and Liquid markup Language.

Datatrics

What’s it for → Personalizing customer journeys

Using Artificial intelligence is not a utopia — every company can do it. Datatrics is a Predictive Marketing platform owned by the Email Group. It allows companies to predict customers’ future needs because of data collection involving behaviors and habits.

Here is how it works: Datatrics aggregates data from internal sources (CRM, email, social networks, e-commerce, web analytics, etc.) and external sources (demographic data, weather conditions, traffic intensity, etc.). The algorithm forecasts the interests of customers who interact with the website, emails, and campaigns on Google, Facebook, Display Adv, and other channels.

The result? High-performing personalized
customer journeys
. We would also like to emphasize that the integration
between Email and Datatrics does not require specific technical or statistical
skills.

Update your skills

Tools 🛠

» Courses, ebooks, masters degrees, and any other type of educational content

Complexity 💪

⭐⭐

To wrap up this list of recommendations for the new season, don’t forget to keep training, updating your skills, and leveling up your knowledge.

This is an essential ingredient for a
successful Email Marketing strategy and, more generally, Digital Marketing.

Wrap up

There are many other activities to carry out
for the new Email Marketing season. Today, we focused just on those that we
consider priorities.

If you think there are other essential
activities, then please feel free to let us know in the comments below.

It’s time to try Email with a 30-day free trial. Here is your chance to try your hand at Email Marketing.

Try Email


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4 ways to segment subscribers and send better emails


A regular email blast every week won’t get you 40x better results than social media. Let’s look at 4 different ways to segment subscribers so you can send better high-converting emails.

Email marketing is constantly lauded as one of the highest ROI marketing channels.

It’s better than Facebook.

The returns are higher than Twitter Ads.

In fact, it returns more than 40x what the two platforms generate combined. Even direct mail doesn’t beat it.

There’s one thing those quoted statistics forget to mention. The organizations and individuals that get results understand the nuances of email marketing.

A regular email blast every week won’t get you 40x better results than social media. Before that’ll happen, it’s necessary to segment your email subscribers and send them content that’s relevant to them.

It’s easier said than done. In this post, I’ll look at 4 different ways to segment subscribers so you can send better high-converting emails.

Why segmentation matters

The best way to illustrate the importance of segmentation is with an example.

Bob is a young professional who’s been
working in the same company for three years and just got promoted to a
managerial position. He wants to use his increased salary to buy a few suits to
look the part.

He goes into two different stores.

In the first store, a sales rep meets him at the door and tells him about the history of the company and their commitment to quality. When Bob tries to get in a word, the salesman listens, waits for him to finish, then continues his spiel.

Bob doesn’t have a chance to look around on
his own because the salesman keeps presenting different suits. Nothing the
salesman does is rude but he also doesn’t take the time to understand what Bob
wants and why. Eventually, Bob leaves the store and tries his luck somewhere
else.

In the second store, Bob walks in and is greeted by a sales rep but isn’t approached. He wanders around the store and sees a few items he likes. The sales rep eventually approaches him and asks a few questions to understand why Bob is looking for a suit.

Bob explains the situation and the rep
listens attentively. When Bob is done, the rep combines what he was told with
observations he made while Bob was browsing the store. He presents a few suits
and frames their qualities as the answer to Bob’s problem.

Bob is happy buying and the sales rep gets
a nice commission. Everyone wins.

It may not be obvious but the sales rep used behavioral and psychographic segmentation to sell suits to Bob.

In order to be successful with email marketing,
you should also be segmenting your subscribers. Here are a few ways to do that.

Segment subscribers based what they opted in for

Most websites cover multiple topics or audiences. For example, the Email blog has multiple topics which include Email marketing, SMS marketing, Digital strategy, and more.

The people drawn to the blog have different wants and needs. When they subscribe to the blog or download a resource, they’re clearly interested in that specific topic. For example, if they were to download Your Guide to Email Design Email would know they’re interested in direct marketing.

With that information, it can segment them so the subscriber receives information related to direct marketing and mobile marketing. When Email pitches its solution, it can frame it as the ideal solution for direct mobile marketing.

How is your website categorized?

Do you cater to people with different needs or cover multiple topics?

Does your product have multiple use cases?

Is your customer base made up of many personas?

If so, you can create multiple lead magnets for your customer personas or for different use cases of your product.

MindSumo does this well by creating multiple resources that target different customer personas. When a prospect downloads the lead magnet that’s relevant to them, they’re segmented into the proper email nurturing sequence.

Eventually, they’re pitched a demo of the
product.

When you’re creating lead magnets, be sure
to consider who you’re making it for and how you can use it to segment your
subscribers.

Survey lead magnets

Segmenting based on how a subscriber joins
your email list can be an effective method but isn’t perfect. What do you do if
someone gets multiple resources or is only slightly curious about the lead
magnet’s topic?

Your segmentation may not be as effective.

What should you do to prevent this from
happening?

You can simply ask your subscribers what they want within the context of your solution. This simple tactic can produce a goldmine of information and while segmenting them into the perfect group at the same time.

Melyssa Griffin is a blogger and entrepreneur that became popular through Pinterest. On her homepage she offers a lead magnet but requires people to answer a simple question, “What’s your biggest business or blogging challenge right now?”

There are three options and the one they
choose determines the messages she sends and the offers she presents.

Your survey doesn’t have to be long and involved. It simply needs to get enough information to make your segmenting effective.

It’s knowing what to ask that can be
tricky. How did Melyssa Griffin know those are the biggest challenges her customers
experience?

The answer is a customer discovery survey.

The nuances of that process is beyond the scope of this post (If you’re interested, you can find out more here). Ask as many questions as you want in your customer discovery survey but be sure to include the following one:

What’s your biggest challenge related to x?

X is your niche or focus. For example, what’s your biggest challenge related to email marketing or what’s your biggest challenge related to relationships?

The question is open ended which allows people to pour their hearts out in a good way. The most common answers you get are the major segments in your audience. They’ll also be the answer you’ll present in your survey lead magnet.

The team at Wild Audience does something similar to Melyssa Griffin but they ask five questions instead of one.

Notice that the first question is almost
the same. That’s because this information is important for successful segmenting.

If you’re unable to ask your prospects at the point of lead capture, you can also ask after they’ve joined your mailing list. Make each option a link that can be clicked and add a tag or add them to a specific list based on the link they click.

The end result is a better open rate, increased click through, and more revenue in your business.

Behavioral segmentation

It’s said that actions speak louder than
words and in many cases that statement is true. Survey lead magnets let you ask
your prospects about their preferences.

At times, they may not give the best answer
because they’re not 100% sure what they want as relates to your solution or they
want multiple things.

Behavioral segmentation helps you unlock even deeper insights. After someone has joined your mailing list, they’ll open specific emails and click on certain links. You may notice that they ignore emails about weight training but love emails about running.

In addition to how they interact with emails, they may visit specific pages on your website multiple times. Together, these make up their behaviors and will allow you to build out a profile of the subscriber.

For example, let’s say you have a website
that’s focused on software development. You cover a lot of topics such
JavaScript, .Net, MySQL databases, and more. A new subscriber joins your
mailing list by downloading a resource about java script so you segment them
accordingly.

After the initial welcome series, you also
send them emails for new blog posts. Over time, you realize they’re also
interested in CSS and MySQL. You can add them to nurturing sequences that cover
those topics and pitch relevant products.  

Purchase history

With behavioral segmentation, you’re making
inferences based on a few actions they’ve taken. You may be correct or it may
be a coincidence.

Purchase history gives you concrete evidence that they’re interested in that topic or product category.

There are multiple ways to go about
segmenting based on purchase history:

  • Total lifetime spend
    People who’ve spent more money with you may get a different messages such as an offer to join your loyalty program or a discount. Those who just became customers may get messages encouraging them to come back and buy something else.
  • Most recent purchase
    If you choose to segment like this, you may send messages that promote other products that are closely tied to the one they just bought. Conversely, you may send informational content that keeps them engaged and using your product. This is also a good opportunity to send review or feedback requests to improve your product or show the world how awesome you are.
  • Product category of the purchase
    If someone buys a shirt then they’re likely to by another one down the line – right? When you segment based on product category, it means you send messages relevant to the kind of product your customer has shown interest in.

ASOS is a great example of this. I tend to buy shoes and accessories from the online store and it has taken note. Every few days, ASOS will send me a message about one deal or other that highlights the shoes in their inventory.

Because it’s relevant to what I’ve purchased in the past, I tend to buy something at least once a month.

Conclusion

Email marketing segmentation is the difference between campaigns that move the needle in your business and those that fall flat.

When you segment subscribers, you unlock
the true potential of your email marketing strategy. In this post, I’ve
outlined a handful of strategies you can use but it’s by no means all of them.

Use one or two as a starting point and
tweak the strategies until you find a combination that works best for you.

Let me know how you segment subscribers in
the comments and don’t forget to share.


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Customizing Emails: The Two Fundamental Tools


Imagine sending emails that are automatically composed with content that best matches each recipient. It’s easy: let’s take a look at two customization features you can use to improve performance and conversions.

If you follow our blog, you surely know this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about customizing emails. It’s a broad topic on which we invest a great deal of our technological development and training resources.

Let’s
sort a few things out, distinguishing four
parts
 of the email that can be customized:

We
marked this last item with a check because it’s what we’ll be focusing on
today, exploring two fundamental
customization features
. Let’s begin.

Email customization tools

We’re going to look at two tools that let you automate the process of customizing emails and campaigns, raising their degree of relevance, to the full benefit of the fundamental metrics of email marketing: click-through rates and conversion rates.

The two features we’ll look at are both available in the MailUp platform, and can be activated on request. The first is within the reach of all companies, the second requires skills with HTML and Liquid markup language.

Conditional display

Imagine
being able to customize emails by applying display rules for lines and entire parts of the message, which
will be filled automatically with the most
suitable content for each recipient
.

It’s
possible, and it’s also very simple: the perfect tool is Conditional display, which lets
companies set a filter in one (or more) blocks of the email during the message
creation phase.

In
practice, Conditional display lets you deliver emails to recipients which
contain images and texts in line with their characteristicspreferences, and needs. But let’s dive a little deeper.

How does it work?

Let’s
start with a practical example: imagine we want to create an email for the new
collection of jeans available on our e-commerce site. We’ll need to show our
male users the men’s collection,
while women will be shown the women’s
collection
, as in the example below:

There
are only a few simple steps:

1. Create the display conditions

First
you need to create the rules to
apply to the lines of content. Use Filters to do this (in the section Recipients
> Filters) which can regard personal data, type of business,
geographic, by device. To use Conditional display we only need to use the Personal data filters.

We
create two gender-based filters:

  • WOMEN customers
  • MEN customers

2. Apply the display rules

  • Open the email or create one from scratch with
    the drag & drop editor
  • Choose
    the content form
     to apply the condition to and click on it
  • On the menu on the left, choose Forms and Select condition
  • Select the filter you want to apply
  • Repeat
    the procedure 
    and apply the Women filter to the other line as well.

3. Display the preview

Once
the message has been created and the conditions have been applied, all that you
have left to do is display the preview.
Apply the corresponding filter in the message preview to display the final
effect.

What happens when a recipient does not fall under a filter condition? Simple, the feature is not activated and no content is displayed.

Email customization engine

And
what if instead you want to send communications to your recipients with constantly updated and customized content,
without having to manually retrieve them from the site or blog?

In
this case the fundamental feature is the Customization engine, which uses Liquid markup language to create
emails with real-time content
retrieved from a site or from a page outside
 MailUp (such as a site,
blog, or an online store) that are customizable for each recipient.

As the Customization engine is an advanced feature, it requires skills using HTML and Liquid markup language. You can find more information on how to create Liquid syntax here.

How does it work?

1. Create the external service

The
service must be created on your site. It must be a public URL that accepts a unique ID as a parameter (e.g.
email, customer ID, etc.).

2. Set up the service on MailUp

From
the menu on the left, select Configurations > Advanced
options
 > Customization > New Endpoint. Then
you must set the following information:

  • Endpoint
    name
    : identifying name of the service that will respond with the
    data
  • Endpoint
    URL
    : URL of the service that is called by MailUp to obtain the data
  • Authorization: to be activated to
    enable the endpoint itself if access is required
  • Custom
    HTTP headers
    : lets you add additional information using your server as a
    source
  • New
    parameter
    : this section is used to set the values that are passed to the
    endpoint (e.g. Customer ID, City, Date cart abandoned, etc.)

3. Create the message

At
this point everything is ready to create the message, via HTML or with the drag
& drop editor. The email must contain one or more HTML forms in which to insert the Liquid code. Here is an example of a
template with HTML forms:

4. Send the campaign

Once
the message has been created, you have to associate
the endpoint
 created during step 2 on your MailUp platform. On the
message Summary page, select Advanced Options > Enable
advanced customization
 and enter the endpoint name under Endpoint.

When
MailUp sends the campaign, it will query the preset endpoint URLs for each
recipient and the tags built with
Liquid will be replaced
 with
the values
 obtained from this query.

Use cases

The
Customization engine lends itself very well to multiple use cases. Here are
some examples:

  • Recommended products
    A real estate company can send a weekly email to its customers containing all the new announcements for houses in the area where they currently reside.
  • Abandoned cart
    An e-commerce site can set up a follow-up email to be sent to customers one day after their order was abandoned, containing all or some of the items left in the cart. Here are two examples of workflows:
    ›› Abandoned cart workflow: send emails to propose the products in the cart again
    ›› Dynamic workflows based on clicks (recommended products): users who click on specific products will receive an email offering similar products
  • Real-time segmentation
    A company operating in the large-scale retail trade can use the customization engine to send coupons localized by geographic area.

Combining features with consulting: Liquid support

As
mentioned before, Conditional display and the Customization engine are two
features of the MailUp platform that only need to be activated, and can
be managed independently by
each company.

But
there is another possibility here. In fact, MailUp offers a consulting service called Liquid support, which is divided into
two solutions:

Total support
This lets companies entrust MailUp with the management of all activities aimed at creating a responsive communication, including Liquid markup, to allow maximum content customization.

Consulting 
A coaching service that includes:

  • Technical
    email analysis
    , to identify those parts of the message that can be translated
    into Liquid language
  • The
    drafting and delivery of a document 
    which, for each element of the identified
    email, provides guidelines for managing content using Liquid language.

To sum up

Customization is perhaps the key topic of email marketing for companies that want to take their strategies to an advanced level.

This is because the ability to increase the degree of emails’ relevance strongly affects the most important email marketing metrics: clicks and conversions, on which the return on investment directly depends.

If
you haven’t done so yet, we suggest taking the first steps in this direction:

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what you can do with Filters

Let’s look at the activities which can be performed with them to take your Email Marketing strategy to an advanced level.

Our launch post promised you new filters and we are now ready to go, initiating a cycle of publications dedicated to segmentation and email personalisation tools.

Today’s post is an overview of everything a company can do with the advanced filters. As you will discover, our objective is to show you how segmentation, personalisation and automation activities may be linked to each other.

A mixture of functions which unleashes the full potential of Email Marketing because, as we are always saying, the future is in one to one relationships with customers.

You can do everything with the new filters

Advanced Filters allow you to link different conditions together and define target recipients with maximum precision. This results in an ever-increasing potential for engagement and conversion of emails.

To summarise the innovations, with the new Filters you can:

  • Create a filter by linking up to 20 different conditions
  • Create subsets and condition hierarchies
  • Obtain a preview of the segment created
  • Share the filter with all the lists
  • Create a copy of the filter.

However, as we will see, filters play a fundamental role in other Email & SMS Marketing activities, as they assist in personalisation and automation operations as well as in segmentation.

Let’s look at the possible uses of the Filters, point by point.

1. Performing advanced searches and identifying new target segments

Let’s start with the simplest, though not the least important: searching for a segment within the database.

Searching with a filter will allow you to check your database’s composition: in other words, you have an extra ally to guide your campaigns according to your business. Filters allow you to understand which, and how many, targets you can direct your brand at, thus saying farewell to mass mailings and creating a set of diversified campaigns on the basis of the characteristics, interests and specifics of your database.

In this way, thanks to the filters, you can perform searches to find various targets to whom similar Email or SMS campaigns may correspond.

2. Launching segmented campaigns in detail

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter. You’ve designed the campaign, you’ve created it, all you have to do is send it. The filters allow you to find the right target in just a few clicks.

The new MailUp filters are so advanced that, within a database of, let’s say, 100,000 contacts, you can search for and identify even the smallest niche of recipients in line with the campaign.

The more limited the segment identified, the greater will be the campaign’s performance as it will definitely be relevant to those recipients. What advantage would there be in sending it to all 100,000 contacts in the database? None, in fact there are probably somewhat contraindications, such as a higher rate of unsubscription.

Let’s take an example of segmentation with filters. In this hypothetical campaign we have selected two:

  • 1 activity filter: First send
  • 1 personal data filter: women

Within a database of almost 50,000 contacts, the filter detected a sample of 13 contacts in line with the preset conditions. This is an extreme case but it illustrates the filters’ potential; how they allow identification of the target for each campaign.

3. Converting a combination of filters into a Group

After the target has been identified, the brand will very probably want to send further campaigns to that same segment in the following months.

In other words, that segment becomes a consolidated rather than an improvised target for the company, to be nurtured over time.

In this way filters can help to create a new Group. To create this group, you go to Recipients >Groups and click on the NEW GROUP button in the upper right corner.

After choosing the name of the Group, you click the Actions button and select the View email or View SMS function: you can now access the searches of the recipients with the filters.

4. Exporting the Group of recipients

Anyone who works in Email Marketing has found themselves, or at some time or another will find themselves, exporting contacts in the form of an Excel or csv file.

To do this you go to the Recipients >Export page. At the top of the page, you make sure you select the Export label and you choose how to segment the recipients for a targeted export: we will do it by group membership. Finally, you choose the format of the export file and click the Export button. So simple.

Once the export is finished, you click on the top Export list section. You now click the Actions button and then Download. You can open the file or save it to your computer.

5. Automating the personalisation of emails

We have now reached one of the most advanced uses of filters. This is aimed at personalising emails by applying rules for displaying lines and entire sections of the message. These will be automatically filled in with the most suitable content for each recipient.

To do this, tou use the Conditional Display function as well as the filters. This allows you to apply a filter for one (or more) blocks of the email when creating the message. Basically, Conditional display allows you to deliver emails to recipients which contain images and texts in line with their characteristics, preferences and needs.

The following is an example of an email in which Conditional display has been applied to show products for women or men according to the recipient.

Differentiation is possible thanks to the Filters, which will be applied to the content module.

6. Setting up an automatic mail

Filters are also essential for activating a triggered message, be it an Email or an SMS.

By combining Filters and Marketing Automation functions you can, for example, activate automatic mail to customers who have made a purchase in the last 30 days.

Alternatively, a common scenario in e-commerce, you can send abandoned basket recovery emails. We will use a personal data filter and an activity filter to create this automatic function. The following is an example of a possible flow:

As we said, to create it you need to apply a personal data filter which searches for all recipients who abandoned their basket three hours ago.

Another filter will be needed for the reminder, this time an activity filter, to segment the recipients who received the first email and opened it exactly 24 hours ago.

7. Setting up an automatic campaign

Last, but not least, the use of filters to create an automatic campaign.

What do we mean? We mean emails and newsletters which are automatically composed, by taking external content from a source and inserting it into the body of the message.

This type of campaign is based on two elements:

  • The sources: these are like chests storing your contents. You can install these in the email via RSS or ATOM Feed or via a File, by uploading a .csv, .json or .zip file (max 5MB)
  • Content modules: those elements which, when inserted into the body of the message, will be automatically filled in with the content stored in the source.

Filters are also essential for this type of campaign because they allow you to segment your audience by selecting different target recipients. An E-commerce campaign can, for example, create two different automatic campaigns:

  1. An automatic campaign for men, so as to only automatically forward the latest new items in the men’s catalogue to male contacts
  2. An automatic campaign for women, so as to only automatically forward the latest new items in the women’s catalogue to female contacts.

However,
there are lots of possibilities.

To sum up

We wanted, with this article, to show you just how linked and interdependent segmentation, personalisation and automation activities are and how indispensable filters are in these activities.

Our desire is to make more and more companies take a one to one approach with customers and prospects, and to make advanced use of Email Marketing technologies which, as you must have noted, are available to everyone.

Finally, if you haven’t already tried MailUp, we invite you to request a free trial of the platform. You will have 30 days to try all the features and tools seen so far. See you soon!

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