Articles by Warren Duff


Warren is the Content Marketing Manager at SendGrid, specializing in email and content best practices, targeted content generation, and editing blogs, case studies, and guides.

5 Email Deliverability Tips from SendGrid Experts

Best Practices
email deliverability
We recently published SendGrid’s 2016 Email Deliverability Guide that was written by two of our in-house Delivery Consultants: Luke Martinez and Taylor Ferguson. If you haven’t read it yet, make sure you check it out. In this post, they’ve answered a few questions about common email misconceptions and what they look at when evaluating customer email programs: Read More ›

SendGrid’s 2016 Email Deliverability Guide

Best Practices
2016 Email Deliverability Guide

Whether it’s transactional or marketing email, or if you’re sending 100 or 100 million emails a month, making sure your messages are getting to your recipients is essential for any business. SendGrid’s Email Deliverability Guide has always been the best resource for improving deliverability, and we’ve improved it for 2016. ReturnPath’s 2015 Deliverability Benchmark Report recently stated that 21% of all legitimate, wanted emails go missing or end up in the spam folder. We want to make sure that isn’t happening to your messages. For SendGrid’s 2016 Email Deliverability Guide, we worked with our internal Delivery Consultants, Luke Martinez and Taylor Ferguson to refresh content, provide new insights, and provide you with key steps you can take to improve your


Email Click Delays, Unsubscribes, and Engagement Rates: How Are They Affected By the Holidays?

Technical
Device Delays

One of our data scientists, Victor Amin, has been diving into the email data that we collected during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A couple weeks ago, we took a look at how email engagement was affected by including discount percentages in subject lines. Today, we’re looking at how long it takes for recipients to click on emails and how unsubscribes relate to engagement. While the following insights were developed by using really specific dates around Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we were able to look at over 3 billion marketing emails to develop the insights below. Click Delays Click delay could also be referred to as “time-to-click,” and the concept refers to how long it takes for recipients to


Customer Spotlight: Bandsintown

Company
Bandsintown_Mock_4

At its core, Bandsintown enriches lives by connecting fans with the artists they love. Through the Bandsintown Concerts app, users are able to track artists they love to listen to, and see when they’re coming to town and where they’re performing. Today, over 20 million music lovers have registered with Bandsintown to track their favorite artists and learn about upcoming live performances in their areas. Currently, Bandsintown sends almost 50 million emails each month to their various recipients. While Bandsintown communicates with customers via push, SMS, and email messages, they’ve embraced email as their core communication channel. Bandsintown uses SendGrid to send users transactional emails about their account settings, as well as marketing emails that inform fans about the artists


Learning From Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Discounts in Your Subject Lines

Best Practices
Chart of engagement with subject lines that have discounts.

According to The Washington Post, email marketing drove 25% of all online sales on Black Friday. Meanwhile, PracticalEcommerce is reporting that email advertisements accounted for 22% of Cyber Monday orders. Even though Black Friday and Cyber Monday happened a couple months ago, SendGrid’s Data Scientist, Victor Amin, has been looking at the marketing email SendGrid delivered during the largest shopping days of 2015. By analyzing the subject lines and delivery metrics of the marketing email we sent, we’ve come up with some great insights for email marketers, regardless of the time of year. In this post, we’re looking into discounts in subject lines. One of the tactics used to increase engagement is including the sale amount, or percentage discounted, in


The Benefits of Email Marketing in 2016

Email Marketing
benefits of email marketing

At this point, email is a form of communication that’s largely taken for granted. With more communication channels and social media sites than ever before, it seems easy to discount email as an outdated method of reaching users and customers. The fact is, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth. Despite the popularity of other types of communication, email marketing is still a cornerstone of any successful business, whether the organization is a mom and pop shop or a multi-million dollar corporation. But why is email so important? Why is it a marketing strategy that you need to take advantage of? Below, I’ve compiled some of the biggest reasons email marketing is crucial to the success of your business


Helping DonorsChoose.org Crowdfund School Projects

Company
DonorsChoose-org-logo

With the holiday season upon us, we wanted to highlight one of the great non-profit organizations that chooses to send their email through SendGrid. DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that helps people find and then help fund school projects they would like to support. DonorsChoose.org pioneered the idea of crowdfunding for charity in April 2000. Today, nearly 66,000 schools participate in sharing classroom projects that need additional support from donors. How DonorsChoose.org Works Teachers from all over the country can post projects on DonorsChoose.org that need to be funded. Types of projects can include: Field trips Books Team sports Art supplies Math supplies In addition to choosing the project type, donors can choose the location of the project, allowing them


Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Email Subject Line Insights

Best Practices
subject words

We provided some volume and engagement data and insights earlier in the week in our post, Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Using Data to Gain Email Insights. Today, we’re expanding on that data with some email subject line analysis. SendGrid’s Victor Amin, Data Scientist, looked at data from Black Friday and Cyber Monday in 2014 to see if there are any takeaways for senders. Below, we’ve provided some of the plots we think are interesting about subject line wording. You can find some potential takeaways at the end. Subject Line Wording In addition to the volume, engagement, and usage data we gathered originally, we wanted to see if there were particular words that occurred more often around Black Friday and


Black Friday and Cyber Monday – Using Data to Gain Email Insights

Best Practices
volume trends

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are terms nearly everyone is familiar with. The two shopping events kick off the holiday shopping season ahead of Christmas with thousands of stores and online retailers offering limited sales and deeply discounted items. Americans alone are expected to spend $5.7 billion on the two largest sales days of the year. This year, we worked with SendGrid’s Victor Amin, Data Scientist, to look at data from 2014 to see if there’s anything that may be helpful to senders this year. We’ve also provided some tips for senders that are planning on messaging their customers or users around that weekend. What We Looked At To focus this study on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we concentrated


Nudgespot Case Study: Using SendGrid to Power Contextual Email

Product
Nudgespot + SendGrid

Nudgespot is a communications app that is helping businesses send contextual communications to their customers. As a Marketing Solutions SendGrid partner, Nudgespot uses SendGrid to deliver the one-to-one emails their customers need to send. In addition to SMS, push notifications, and in-app messages, Nudgespot provides businesses a platform to send three different types of email: Transactional email – Messages that notify recipients of important account information, like receipts and privacy updates. Marketing email – Messages that are sent to many recipients to promote engagement or make announcements. Triggered email – Behavior-based messages sent to specific users in order to drive revenue. Nudgespot’s customers span a variety of business types—from ecommerce to SaaS, including: Decathlon – A global sports chain with


The Strava Case Study: Consistent Changes Create Email Successes

Product
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Introduction to Strava Strava is the premier social fitness app that tracks running and cycling activities so that you can track runs and bike rides, compete with friends and other users, and see what your favorite athletes are doing. They began sending transactional email through SendGrid in 2011. Since then, they’ve scaled exponentially, and they continue to use SendGrid’s cloud platform to communicate with their users about different Strava features, including: Kudos and comments on activities within the Strava app Group conversations and updates Challenge completions, follow-ups, and exclusive offers Account sign ups, settings, and notifications Training plan updates and alterations Strava’s Email Marketing Manager, Justin Fritz, notes that email communications are critical to the success of the app and the


Doubling Email Volume With 99% Delivery: How Nextdoor is Leveraging SendGrid

Product
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Nextdoor is using today’s social media and communications technology to revive local community connections and bring people together. On Nextdoor, neighbors create private websites for their neighborhoods where they can ask questions, get to know one another, and exchange local advice and recommendations. Since its inception a little more than three years ago, Nextdoor has seen incredible growth and adoption. Today, the company provides a communication platform to more than 69,000 communities in the US. “We’ve seen communities alert members of lost pets, dangerous animals, or witnessed crimes. With our partnerships with local public agencies, police forces have come to depend on Nextdoor to get the word out about urgent safety issues. As it has become a go-to communication platform