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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Email CTAs: 6 Design Tips To Make Sure Your CTAs Don’t Get Clipped

Best Practices
Email clipping

We talked a lot about email calls to action (CTAs) last year. This year will be no different. Why? Because CTAs are one of the most powerful tools in your email marketing strategy. An effective CTA determines whether or not your email gets a click. It’s as simple as that. As we’ve discussed, the placement and content of your CTAs is important, but so is the design. What’s the most effective way to visually represent your ask? Should it be an image, text, or html? This is where it can get tricky… Image, Text, or Both? When you’re creating your email, (and your CTAs) it’s important to first dig into your email marketing analytics to see how your subscribers areRead More ›


12 Days of Holiday Sending: Don’t Stop Testing

Best Practices
holiday email sending

To close out our final section, metrics, in our 12 Days of Holiday Sending series, I want to re-emphasize a point that Kate made around testing in our ninth day of sending. “Your subscribers matter, and learning what they respond to best is just one way to show them you care.” In order to show your subscribers that you care, and in order to optimize your emails as best as possible, you need to make testing your emails a part of your daily practice. Kate stressed the importance of testing one element at a time, but that doesn’t mean that once that one element is tested, you’ve found your winning variation forever. Your subscribers are constantly evolving, (and hopefully so is yourRead More ›


12 Days of Holiday Sending: Watch Your Metrics

Best Practices
holiday email sending

On the eighth day of sending, I talked about the importance of listening to what your subscribers want—that low engagement rates and high spam complaints and unsubscribes can be a sign that you need to adjust your content. But how do you find this data and what other metrics should you be looking at? Today, on the tenth day of sending, I’ll break down a few more of these metrics and how you can access them using SendGrid. When talking about engagement metrics, two to really focus on are open and click rates. Opens are an indicator of interest in your brand and a sign of how effective your subject lines are. Your subject lines set up the success ofRead More ›


12 Days of Holiday Sending: Listen To Your Subscribers

Best Practices
holiday email sending

For our eighth day of our 12 Days of Holiday Sending series, we’re closing out our “Subscribers” section with a reminder to listen to what your subscribers want. If you’re noticing that your subscribers are not engaging (clicking, opening, sharing, replying) with your emails, or even worse, if you’re seeing lots of unsubscribes or spam complaints, it’s time to take a look at your sending frequency and most importantly, your content. Are your low engagement rates and high unsubscribes telling you that there is a disconnect between what you’re promising your subscribers and what you’re delivering? Do a deep dive into the content of your messages to find out where you’re getting off track. Look at your: Subject line: AreRead More ›


12 Days of Holiday Sending: Don’t Be Too Aggressive

Best Practices
holiday email sending

For our fourth day of holiday email sending tips, we want to talk a little more about monitoring your sending volume. Yesterday, Kate shared the importance of maintaining relevance in your emails as you ramp up your volume (not ramping up your sends just for the sake of staying top of mind). I want to take it a step further into today’s tip to make sure that your sending patterns don’t become erratic during the holidays. Sometimes, you can get so filled with the holiday spirit, that you get overly aggressive with your sending volumes—one day you send a discount opportunity to a large portion of your list and then the next day you send a reminder email to a smallRead More ›


Are You A/B Testing Your Emails?

Best Practices
email a/b testing

Before you answer this question, let us clarify–are you testing your emails on an ongoing basis? There is no one and done methodology with email. Your customers are constantly evolving (and likely so is your product), so it’s imperative that you keep testing  different elements of your emails to ensure that you are sending the most optimized campaigns. Email Testing Categories When it comes to email testing, there are three main categories you need to cover – content, design and timing. Content consists of everything from subject lines, to headlines, to calls to action, and each have their own significance in driving response from your users. Design testing has to do with the look and feel of your email, but has a primaryRead More ›


12 Days of Holiday Sending: Personalize Your Content

Best Practices
holiday email sending

To kick off our “12 Days of Holiday Sending,” Kate discussed the importance of staying consistent with your branding (especially your “from” name) during the holidays. Now for Day 2 of our 12 days of tips, we’d like to share another content tip: remember to always (not just during the holidays!) personalize your content. There’s no excuse to not at least address your subscriber by name. But why not take it a step further—customize your messaging based on your subscriber’s past purchase behavior or past engagement behavior. Customize Your Message You should treat your most engaged users with different attention than your less engaged users. After all, these subscribers are your real brand advocates—the ones who are more likely toRead More ›


A Q&A With Sameer Dholakia, SendGrid’s CEO

Company
Sameer Dholakia

We were happy to welcome Sameer Dholakia as SendGrid’s new CEO at the end of September. As we approach the close of the year, we were excited to talk with him about his new role, what his first 30 days on the job were like, and what he sees as priorities for SendGrid moving forward. Q: You’ve been a CEO of a startup before and an executive at a large enterprise IT company. How does that experience carry over to your new role as the chief executive of SendGrid? A: SendGrid is at a great inflection point. I’m excited to help carry on this entrepreneurial fire that will allow us to continue the success that we’ve had to date. As we goRead More ›


What is the Objective of Your Email Call to Action?

Best Practices

In support of the release of our CTA Guide (How to Build a Strong Email Call to Action), we’ve been sharing some tips on how to create a CTA strategy. We started by talking about tips around where to place your CTAs (and how many CTAs should you include in an email) and today, we’ll cover the descriptive text in your CTAs. To begin, your CTA should meet two main objectives: CTA Objective #1: Tell the reader what to do. Rely on the main message of your email to showcase the benefit of your offer and leave the role of closer to your CTA. Keep your CTAs short and sweet, providing clear direction as to next steps. Use phrases likeRead More ›


Your Quick Guide To: Email Reputation and Email Engagement Metrics

Best Practices
best practice

ISPs use a series of reputation and engagement metrics to determine email deliverability. By understanding all of these factors, you can better influence the outcome of your email program. In this post, we’ll break down 3 factors that can affect your reputation and 5 behaviors that show engagement.  Reputation Metrics It’s important to know that each time you deploy messages to your email list, your reputation is impacted. While thresholds vary by ISP, these 3 factors will definitely make an impact: 1. Spam Complaint Rate This is the percentage of subscribers who have reported your email as spam. A high complaint rate is the number one factor used by ISPs to determine whether or not to deliver your email messages.Read More ›


MythBusters: 2 Email Shortcuts to Avoid and How to Turn Them Into Wins

Best Practices
myth versus reality

Who isn’t looking for a quick shortcut or hack to improve email response rates? Marketers are constantly on the hunt for ways to improve the success of their email program. On this quest, it’s important to never lose sight of your subscribers’ wishes. Keeping them happy and engaged is the ultimate key to your success. Recently, I’ve heard about two shortcuts that I think might hinder this happiness: ignoring inactives and implementing “Re:” and “Fwd:” in your subject lines. I want to dig into why these could be potentially harmful to your email program and how you can turn them into wins. Myth #1a: Ignoring Inactives The first shortcut is ignoring your inactive subscribers and re-sending the same emails toRead More ›


Your Email Call to Action: 4 Quick Placement Tips

Best Practices
email CTA

Getting subscribers to respond to your messages can be challenging, especially with all the email flowing into their inboxes. According to The Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report for 2013-2017, over 100 billion business emails are sent and received every day. To cut through the clutter, marketers need to focus their efforts on content, but more specifically on a strong call to action (CTA). CTAs are a prime email engagement tool–they help to determine if your email drives a response. Whether it be to make a purchase, download a whitepaper, or share your content, your CTA has one responsibility—to generate a click. To point you in the right direction, we released a guide How to Write a Strong Email Call ToRead More ›