Articles by Carly Brantz


Carly Brantz

With more than 15 years of experience, Carly Brantz is an email deliverability and inbound marketing veteran. As the VP of Revenue Marketing at SendGrid, Carly empowers her team to transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator. With a key focus on funnel optimization, Carly leads the team responsible for content creation, lead nurturing, SEO/SEM, and website optimization. An accomplished speaker, Carly shares her email delivery and revenue marketing tactics as a headline speaker on SendGrid’s international roadshow as well as other Marketing conferences.

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Planning Ahead For Your Holiday Email Sending

Carly Brantz Best Practices
holiday email sending

As a kid, I always got sick during the weeks leading to Christmas. I don’t like surprises, and the uncertainty of the holidays, which is fun for most kids, stressed me out. As an adult, not a whole lot has changed. I am not stressed per se, but that is because I am in charge of the entire gift buying, decorating, and planning process. I am a planner, and I start thinking about (and buying for) the holidays months before most people do. For those of you who may plan ahead like me, think about applying your preparedness to your holiday email sending as well. Use data to drive your holiday sending The majority of marketers tout that they are


3 Email Marketing Strategies to Jump Start Your Summer Sending

Carly Brantz Email Marketing
email marketing

A few months ago, our friends at Windows IT Pro asked me to share my thoughts on today’s most popular email marketing trends and strategies. As summer approaches and we start prepping new email campaigns, I thought it would be a good time to re-visit these tips. 1.) What email strategy should people be talking about right now? I believe that marketers can take better advantage of their transactional email messages and incorporate a relevant marketing message and call to action when sending those purchase receipts, shipping notifications, or reminders. While making the primary focus on the transactional message, use the data you have on the buyer and offer an upsell item to go with what they already purchased or


Email Marketing with the Birthday Email

Carly Brantz Email Marketing
birthday cupcake

I love birthdays, even if it means growing older. I recently celebrated my birthday and because I am constantly encouraging segmentation based on subscriber information, I was looking forward to seeing which companies would use my demographic information to target me with a birthday email. Timing Matters Two weeks before my birthday, I received my first birthday email from Sephora with the subject line “Happy (early) birthday, Carly!”. I thought this was an excellent way to not only use my birthday information, but to use it early to cut through the clutter of other emails I would receive on my birthday. Their email includes a birthday gift to collect online or in stores. Birchbox took a similar approach and sent


Make Your Marketing Meaningful in 2015

Carly Brantz Email Marketing
2015

As Lao Tzu, a 6th Century Chinese poet said, “Those who have knowledge don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.” As we head into 2015, rather than making outlandish predictions for marketers, I would rather make suggestions on three valuable things I have learned that can improve your marketing program in the new year. Tie together outbound and inbound Traditionally, marketers have separated outbound efforts from inbound. The outbound team works on awareness and bringing visitors to your site and then the inbound team is responsible for nurturing and converting those visitors. Combining these activities, specifically with SEO and content, can be extremely powerful. I would argue that content fuels the entire funnel and all marketing activities (both outbound


5 Questions to Ask When Troubleshooting Email Delivery Problems

Carly Brantz Best Practices
troubleshooting email delivery

Yikes! Your delivery rates are low and you don’t know what to do. Before you panic, remember that email deliverability is a tricky business. Accept the fact that there is always a chance that one of your campaigns will fall victim to the spam folder. Even the best senders meet with a delivery failure or two every now and then. To help, here are the 5 questions you need to ask yourself when troubleshooting email delivery problems. #1: Do you know your email sending reputation? You know this already, but it’s worth repeating. ISPs make filtering decisions based on your sending reputation. If you have a poor reputation, your mail will mostly likely end up in the spam folder or blocked


Email Delivery Failure: What Causes It?

Carly Brantz Best Practices
email delivery failure

Email delivery can be a frustrating business. You work hard to create emails that will capture your customers’ attention, and sometimes all of that hard work goes to waste. And despite your customers having asked to receive these emails, Internet Service Providers (ISPs—like Gmail, Yahoo, and AOL) and other filters can make can make 22% of them go undelivered. What’s a sender to do? First of all, it’s important to understand that it’s not personal. ISPs are just trying to sift through over 100 billion emails that are sent daily. This volume of spam makes it extremely difficult for ISPs to determine which mail streams are legitimate and which ones are just trying to dupe customers. Add phishers and spoofers to


4 Email Subject Lines To Learn From

Carly Brantz Best Practices
email subject lines

Subject lines can make or break the open rates for your email. Therefore, it’s imperative to continuously test the content, tone, and length of your subject lines to see which ones work better. Often the results of your tests will surprise you and your gut instincts will be proven wrong. It is important to having data to back up your decision-making. It’s also helpful to learn from other senders. Recently, we’ve seen some subject lines that missed the mark for being too ambiguous, too forward, or too generic. So let’s take a look to learn from them: Curious What’s Inside? (You Should Be) – Telling people how they should or shouldn’t be can have a negative effect. This subject line


Learning from a Couple Email Unsubscribe “No-Nos”

Carly Brantz Best Practices
mistake

Unsubscribing is the process by which recipients voluntarily remove themselves from your email list. When a person decides they no longer want to hear from you, it’s your job as a sender to make sure the removal process is swift and easy. The CAN-SPAM ACT of 2003 specifically addresses the issue of unsubscribe. Because of the nature of transactional email, especially relative to that of marketing email, it is exempt to the guidelines of the CAN-SPAM Act.  Specifically when sending transactional emails, a company is not required to include a physical postal address or include an email unsubscribe link. Despite that exemption, we believe it is important, regardless of the type of email send, to comply with the basics. Focus


Send Me to Greece

Carly Brantz Best Practices
sky and paper airplane email concept

I often write about how important it is to segment your lists and the many ways you can do that whether it is by demographics and purchase behavior, or by email stream or type. Today, there is absolutely no reason why you should be sending one, generic message to your entire list.  If you want to maximize ROI and response to your email, you need to segment and speak to your subscribers in a genuine, personalized, way. We say it all the time, but by sending the right message, to the right person, at the right time, you will reach optimum results. The most effective way to do this is by segmenting your lists and sending them customized messages. Personalization in


Email Subject Lines: Word Count

Carly Brantz Best Practices
email subject lines

Email subject lines are arguably your first chance to make a good impression. If you say the right words, you’re more likely to get an email open and a click if your content follows suit. A recent study by Retention Science cracks the subject line code by analyzing over 260 million delivered emails. What they found is that subject lines with:   6 to 10 words yielded the highest open rates at 21%. 5 or fewer words yielded an open rate of 16% . 11 to 15 words had open rates of 14%. Incidentally, 52% of emails fell in the last category. Here’s their chart: Subject Line Relevancy Given that less means more, you should definitely choose your words wisely.


8 Email Marketing Tactics That Need to Be Part of Your Email Program

Carly Brantz Email Marketing
magic eight ball

Sometimes the “same old, same old” can be a good thing. We’re not saying not to try new and innovative ways to engage your users, but sometimes the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has a bit more validity when you want surefire results. Our suggestion is to keep searching for fresh, new ways to increase response rates, but don’t forget the key tactics that have consistently worked for you in the first place. Here are 8 tactics that should always be included in your email program’s toolkit. Create relevant content:  You’ve heard this a million times before, but it won’t kill you to hear it again. Content is king. So, make sure your email is compelling and