Articles by Jillian Wohlfarth


As SendGrid's Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, case studies, and more. An editor and writer by trade, Jillian considers The Chicago Manual of Style one of her favorite reads.

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2016 Email Marketing Guide: 26 Tips to Kickstart the New Year

Email Marketing
2016 Email Marketing Guide

Last week, we were excited to introduce our new full-featured email marketing service, Marketing Campaigns, and now we’re thrilled to say that we have over 1k paying customers benefitting from its features. To build off of that momentum, we want to equip you with even more resources and tips (26 to be exact!) to make your email strategy successful in the new year. So our experts have compiled our top tips and tricks for 2016 in our new A-Z of Email Marketing guide.  It guides you through key email marketing terms and concepts that not only set the foundation for your email program, but also enhance your current practices. Each letter serves as a checklist to reference before you next hit “send” and also pointsRead More ›


Announcing New Marketing Email Tutorials To Help Improve Your Email Engagement

Product
email marketing templates

We’re excited to announce several new video resources to help you get the most out of your marketing email campaigns at SendGrid. We know how important engagement segmentation, list building, and email templates are to the success of your sends, so our customer support team has created new tutorials to help make sure you’re maximizing your marketing email. We’ll introduce a few of the new videos here and you can always reference our documentation for more information. Account Settings/Sender IDs The first stop in our new video series is the Marketing Campaigns overview video. It covers how to get your account set up and how to create and manage your sender IDs. A sender ID is a collection of information thatRead More ›


Email Trick or Treat: Do Subject Lines Affect Your Delivery?

Best Practices
email trick or treat

Kate introduced our “Email Trick or Treat?” series last week with a trick—larger lists don’t always mean better lists. But what about subject lines? How do they affect your delivery? This tip is going to be a TREAT courtesy of Jacob Hansen from our delivery team and Victor Amin from our Big Data team. In Jacob’s 5 Common Email Misconceptions video (below) he shares that getting creative in your subject lines may not be as dangerous to your delivery as it used to be. While using words like “free” and special characters like exclamation points may trigger spam filters, they might not land your email in the spam folder.   Take some chances More and more lately we’re seeing marketersRead More ›


5 Rules for Writing Polished Email Marketing Copy

Email Marketing
email marketing editing

As a copywriter, I’m often asked to proofread email copy here at SendGrid. Outside of common spelling and punctuation errors, there are a handful of style hiccups that I see crop up fairly regularly. So to help out my fellow email marketing copywriters, I thought I’d share 5 of these common style errors, in the hopes that they’ll prove useful before the next time you hit “send.” 1: Capitalization inconsistency This is a commonly overlooked edit in email copywriting. It’s important to decide how you’ll standardize capitalization for both the headers and bulleted lists that you include in your email and then stick to it. Some things to consider: Will your headers be title case (where you capitalize all theRead More ›


SendGrid Releases Study On Email Engagement and Subject Line Data

Best Practices
global email stats

To commemorate the 33rd anniversary of the invention of email, Aaron Beach and Victor Amin from our Big Data team revealed the results of a study on global email engagement and email subject line analysis. With high engagement rates being every sender’s goal, knowing what devices are most popular for interacting with email and what content is resonating most with readers, are two of the best ways to help you get there. Following is a guest post from Aaron and Victor that shares the results from their study. Global Email Engagement Study (The data for this study was collected over two 10-day periods in 2014 and 2015 respectively, with a data set spanning more than 10 billion emails sent.) Apple-manufacturedRead More ›


4 Factors that Affect Email Deliverability

Best Practices
email deliverability tips

The following is part of a series of guest posts from Windows IT Pro that takes an in-depth look at SMTP. So far, we’ve learned about the history of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) and examined various definitions for when an email is considered “delivered.” In this final post from Windows IT Pro, they examine 4 key factors that affect email deliverability. Many factors can affect deliverability, including having a good sending reputation, properly authenticating your mail through SPF and DKIM, and having strong permission practices. But four factors really stand out: The health of the messaging infrastructure What’s in the message Who’s sending it The receiving system’s availability Message Infrastructure Health Network and infrastructure health will obviously have a hugeRead More ›


A Q&A With SendGrid’s Delivery Experts

Best Practices
email deliverability

I love working in email because there’s always something new to learn. But sometimes with all of the protocols, stats, and new laws and regulations (like CASL and the Russian Data Localization Law) it can all feel a little technical. Recently, I’ve seen a lot of delivery and inboxing stats shared in the industry that haven’t had a lot of context or explanation as to what they mean and why they’re important to customers. So I thought that I’d sit down with some members of our delivery team, especially our Delivery Consultant, Luke Martinez, to help me demystify what some of these stats mean and to get an update on how the delivery team maximizes their industry knowledge to help our customers. Q: There have been aRead More ›


SMTP and Email Deliverability

Best Practices
email deliverability

The following is part of series of guest posts from Windows IT Pro that takes an in-depth look at SMTP. Last week we shared the first in a series of posts on the history of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) from our friends at Windows IT Pro. The first post explained the origins of SMTP and how it’s influenced how we email today. It ended by saying: The use of IP means that we can depend on SMTP to eventually get the message contents to a server, but what happens to it after that is up to the server. Imagine what happens when a delivery driver leaves a package at your office on a Saturday. What happens to it afterRead More ›


SMTP and the Evolution of Email

Best Practices, Technical
SMTP

We worked with our friends at Windows IT Pro to take an in-depth look at the history of Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). The following is a guest post from their team that covers the origins of SMTP, the evolution of email, and what SMTP does, and doesn’t do. SMTP Defined The Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) has a name that perfectly describes its origin and intended purpose. SMTP was built to be a lightweight, easy-to-implement means to transfer plain-text messages between devices. The original SMTP standard distinguished between a mail transport agent (MTA)—what modern administrators would call a server—and mail user agents (MUA), which most people refer to as clients. SMTP’s goal was to provide a way for twoRead More ›


Resending Email: Good Idea or Terrible Idea?

Best Practices
resend email

In the fall, we were intrigued by an article on Forbes.com that discusses the value of resending emails to recipients who didn’t open your email the first time. It created some nice discussion in our office, so we turned to our friends at Windows IT Pro, and they helped put some of our thoughts to paper (so to speak!) below: The Findings The article states that during one test with the method, results showed that the second email helped reach 53.2% more people and saw 32.6% unique opens. Impressive stats, but it’s important that we don’t get ahead of ourselves. While it’s true that numbers don’t lie, imagine if all marketers partook in this strategy? In a world where inboxes are already bursting at the seamsRead More ›


Blacklisted? Check These 7 Popular Blacklists To Keep Your Reputation Intact

Best Practices
Blacklist sign

Earlier this spring, we shared 5 resources that can help you keep track of your sending reputation. Another good way to keep a check on your reputation is to find out if you are on any blacklists (a.k.a. blocklists). Blacklists contain lists of IPs or domains that pose a threat to consumer inboxes. Your email service provider may automatically alert you if you’re added to one, but it’s good to check for yourself. If you are on a blacklist, act quickly. Just a few spam complaints can add a legitimate sender to a blacklist. Here’s an example of what it looks like to get blocked (red line): Blacklist Resources There are a lot of blacklists, but a good starting pointRead More ›


5 Ways to Check Your Sending Reputation

Best Practices
email best practice

We always stress the importance of a strong sending reputation. By keeping an eye on your engagement (opens, clicks TiNs, etc.) and reputation (spam complaints, spam traps, unknown users, etc.) metrics you’ll get a good picture of how your emails are being received by subscribers. But if you’re looking for another measure of your reputation, you can take advantage of a handful of resources that will let you know where you stand. Here are 5 sites that will help you check your sending reputation and keep you on track: SenderScore.org Like a credit score, a Sender Score is a measure of your reputation. Scores are calculated from 0 to 100. The higher your score, the better your reputation and theRead More ›