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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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. Read More ›

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 Read More ›

Always and Forever: HTTPS Encryption for Gmail

Carly Brantz Best Practices

No love has been lost for the National Security Agency after it was revealed that they were intercepting data between servers and computers. And it had yielded a strong response from Google. On March 20th, Google posted that they will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection whenever users check their mail. This move ensures that no one, not even the NSA, can listen in or read user messages as they move through Gmail’s servers. HTTPs encryption was offered by Google since Gmail launched and was enabled by default in 2010. However, users had the ability to disable it. Today, “always on” HTTPS encryption ensures (to the best of Google’s ability) complete privacy and safety of your messages touting 99.978% uptime Read More ›

SPOILER ALERT: Cloudmark’s 2013 Global Messaging Threat Report Findings About SMS Spam

Carly Brantz Best Practices
Email to SMS

While your email program is humming along, spammers are still hard at work trying to devise ways to send malicious messages to your customers. Mobile is now the new frontier for these elusive thieves, allowing them to be even more creative in their approach, and according to Cloudmark’s 2013 Global Messaging Threat Report, they are making good progress. It’s important to stay on top of trends with spammers in all channels, so we’ve provided some highlights of the report here: Phishing tops the list. In 2013, phishing accounted for 20% of SMS spam in the U.S. with 67% of those SMS spam messages pushing financial offers. Spammers are using their tried and true methods and applying them to mobile. Therefore, it Read More ›

Why You Need an Email Preference Center

Carly Brantz Best Practices

An email preference center is a tool that helps you establish a healthy communication cadence with your subscribers. It provides an easy way for your subscribers to manage their email by giving them a centralized portal to control what they receive and how often they receive your messages. What might motivate you to set up a preference center? Let’s start by taking a look at this survey from HubSpot that explains the main reasons why users unsubscribe from your list. It may come as no surprise that 54% of respondents said that they were receiving emails from a sender too frequently. And that 49% of respondents said that “the content became too repetitive or boring over time.” Both of these Read More ›

5 Tips To Creating A Memorable Welcome Email

Carly Brantz Best Practices

Ah the trusted “Welcome” email! This simple message is one of the most important, yet overlooked, emails that you can ever send. Remember the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” It’s never been more true than with welcome emails. Your welcome email sets the tone for every subsequent email that you deliver to your subscriber…so make it a good one! Here are 5 tips to help make sure your welcome email is memorable and effective. Tip #1 – Make it personal. Establish a connection with your subscriber early by addressing them by name. During your sign up process, you’ve probably asked for first name, last name, and email address – since you have the information on Read More ›

Infrastructure: The Foundation of Email Deliverability Success

Carly Brantz Best Practices

Do you know the current state of your email infrastructure? Here are 5 questions to ask to help make sure you’ve established a strong foundation for sending: 1. Are you using a dedicated IP Address? If you’re a high-volume sender who is working with an email provider, make sure you have an IP address dedicated to your mail stream. Ideally, have at least two IPs, one for your transactional email and a second for your marketing/promotional email. (Transactional email tends to have higher delivery rates than marketing email, so separate your mail streams to keep their reputations distinct.) Sharing an IP address with other senders means their practices and reputation will have a direct impact on your deliverability—and that’s not Read More ›

SendGrid Cabo Kickoff 2014

Carly Brantz Company
Kickoff Montage 2014

I have been extremely fortunate to be with SendGrid for 2 1/2 years and to attend not one but all three SendGrid company kickoff events in Mexico. I am one lucky lady! I can confidently say that each one has been a special trip where I learned about the company, my coworkers, and our plans for the year. Our first trip we traveled as a group of 50 to Cancun, last year was nearly 100 when we kicked off the year in Puerto Vallarta, and this year, we almost took over the entire resort as our group of 180 arrived to the Fiesta Americana resort in Cabo San Lucas. The size of the trip alone should give you an indication Read More ›

What is “List-Unsubscribe?”

Carly Brantz Best Practices

We’ve provided a lot of strategies and best practices to ensure delivery, improve delivery rates, and show how they will benefit you in the long run in posts like: ·   How Poor Email Deliverability Impacts Your Business ·   Email Deliverability Metrics: 7 Metrics to Watch to Prevent Delivery Failures ·   How Email Deliverability Directly Affects Your ROI There is, however, one practice that we could provide a bit more detail on; one that is quite simple to implement and that has a host of benefits to your email program. That best practice is to add a List-Unsubscribe header. Here’s a high-level look at List-Unsubscribe as shared on the List-Unsubscribe blog. List-Unsubscribe The List-Unsubscribe header is an optional Read More ›

5 IP Warm Up Tips That Will Get You To The Inbox

Carly Brantz Best Practices

We’ve talked a lot about why it’s important to warm up your IP, tips on warm up timelines and sending volume, and top questions you should ask your ESP before getting started. At this point, you may be asking yourself…why not just jump in head first and see what happens? While it may be tempting to fast track your IP warm up process, remember, patience is a virtue. Recovering from a bad move can be more costly than taking the time to build a good reputation. If you keep these 5 tips in mind, you’ll be off to a great start: 1) Starting cautious is good. It’s very hard to repair a bad reputation. Oftentimes, senders need to be more Read More ›

Why Postini is Moving to the Google Graveyard

Carly Brantz Best Practices

Postini is (or was) a product that provided email security, instant messaging security, and email archiving services founded in 1999. By 2005 Postini processed over 2.5 billion email messages on a weekly basis and provided anti-spam services for over 4,200 companies. Acquired by Google in 2007 for $625 million dollars to support the Google Apps platform, Postini is now dying a slow, but inevitable death. With more and more businesses moving to the cloud and Google Apps expanding into the enterprise, Postini has waned in value and was scheduled to be phased out in 2013. So is Postini officially dead? Postini is on life support, and the plug will soon get pulled. Google stated that transitions would take place throughout Read More ›