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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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 small


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 primary


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 to


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 go


What is the Objective of Your Email Call to Action?

Best Practices
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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 like


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.


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 to


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 To


SendGrid and Sendwithus: A Video Tutorial

Product
Sendwithus VidGrid

In June, we happily announced a partnership with email optimization and segmentation company, Sendwithus. Sendwithus is a premium template service that enables your marketing team to take more control of email and allows your developers to focus more time on your application. As part of this partnership, all SendGrid customers receive Sendwithus’ “Starter” plan for free. To provide some more detail on how to set up your free account with Sendwithus and how you can access their email templates to send transactional, drip, and segmented emails, we asked Matt Beers from our Support team and Matt Harris, CEO at Sendwithus to give an overview of the process. In this short tutorial, Matt Beers highlights where to access Sendwithus in your


Email Reputation 101: IP Reputation vs. Domain Reputation

Best Practices
email reputation

Email deliverability is influenced by a lot of factors, including signing your mail, keeping clean lists, sending wanted content, having a good sending reputation, and much more. Your sending reputation is how ISPs identify you as a legitimate sender. Every time you deploy an email campaign, you are providing them with valuable data that says whether or not you follow proper sending practices. There are two types of email reputation—IP reputation and domain reputation. Let’s take a look at the difference between the two and why paying attention to both is important. IP Reputation Email is sent from IP addresses, which serve as unique identifiers of email streams. Some companies send from a shared IP, which means multiple companies use


Improving Deliverability of Business-Critical Email

Events
email deliverability

When your phone doesn’t ring, there are two possible causes: either it’s broken, or no one is calling you. The same is true for email. When you send messages to customers, employees, or partners, how do you know that it got there? This Tuesday, October 8th Paul Robichaux, Senior Contributing Editor for Windows IT Pro and Kurt Diver, Enterprise Deliverability Analyst at SendGrid will share their expert insights into the importance of tracking your email delivery and will cover the steps you can take to improve your email performance in a free webinar. Paul will lead off the webinar by sharing: The history and evolution of SMTP How to measure email deliverability Common challenges to email delivery How Microsoft has


How to Write an Email Call To Action (CTA)

Best Practices
Email CTA

You work so hard on your email strategy with one primary goal – to get a response. However, some subscribers continue to elude you. What if you could fix that with your call to action (CTA)? CTAs are one of the most important pieces of copy you write, but can sometimes be the most neglected. Instead of redesigning your entire email strategy, why not add to it? Re-examine your CTA to see if a few tweaks can give you the desired lift. We share several tips in our new guide How to Build a Strong Email CTA, but here some tips to get you started: Placement: Where you place your call to action is critical. Short copy lends itself to a