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Now in your Emma account: A simplified send page

Sending email campaigns is easier & quicker with a new one-page sending process

One-page sending process | Emma Email Marketing
See all delivery settings on one page.

Last month, we released a simplified sending process in Emma Preview, our beta environment. Lots of customers logged in to give it a try, and to offer thoughts and suggestions. Your feedback was terrific, and we're happy to announce that we've released the enhancement across the board for all Emma accounts. Our new one-page sending process allows you to:

  • Manage all delivery settings — like from name and address, delivery style, scheduled sending time and more — on one page.
  • Change delivery settings at any time without hitting the back button.
  • Set up mailings to groups or searches, or based on a triggered event, simply and quickly.
  • Confirm delivery settings at-a-glance in the Mailing summary sidebar.

We hope you'll log into your account and give the new sending process a try. If you notice any trouble, make sure to clear your browser's cache or hard-refresh the page before continuing. And if you need help along the way, visit our Help Guide or don't hesitate to get in touch with our support team.

The Brainiac Guide to Welcome Email Automation

Design showcase: A month of delectable designs

Just the mention of July brings a smile to my face. Besides hot days and beautiful sunsets, this mid-summer month also brings its fair share of food-related holidays. If your prime summer month has been lacking in the delicious treat department, here is your chance to catch up and celebrate in the name of calories.

National Fried Chicken Day | July 6th
Client: Otters Chicken Tenders
Designer: Leigh Bernstein
Design level: Concierge Design

Anyone who takes a day to celebrate fried chicken is a friend of mine. A typical offering in the Deep South, fried chicken is undoubtedly worthy of a wacky food holiday. In fact, July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day — and what a delicious holiday it is.

Leigh stepped up to the plate (pun intended) to set up Otter's Chicken Tenders with the ideal email stationery for their campaigns. She created a balance of rough burlap texture, vibrant colors and enticing photos of Otter's delicious food. Leigh used their brand colors of red and yellow, which also happen to be known for encouraging an appetite. It certainly worked on the design team!

Chocolate Day | July 7th
Client: Olive & Sinclair
Designer: Kelly McClain
Design level: Concierge Design

If you haven't enjoyed a chocolate bar with a hint of salt and pepper, your taste buds are missing out. While it may sound like an unusual combo, it is just one of many exciting flavor profiles from Nashville's premier chocolatier. Olive and Sinclair is a boutique chocolate shop located on Nashville's East side that boasts creative artisan chocolate.

Scott Witherow, the shop's founder, owner and a chocolate maker himself, came to us with amazing branding. His website is a piece of art — much like the product he creates. Kelly was happy to take on the challenge of reflecting the website without making it a perfect replica. The final product was an inspired stationery ideal for email inboxes and smartphones alike. She used textures that give depth and make the reader want to reach out and unwrap the tasty treat. The slightly distressed detail and muted colors are perfect accents that delight rather than overwhelm.

If you're intrigued by what sets this shop apart from the rest, be sure to watch their behind-the-scenes video. They give us a good excuse to celebrate "National Chocolate Day" every day.

National Ice Cream Day | July 17th
Client: Sweet Cece's Knoxville
Designer: Kelly McClain
Design level: Concierge Design

One frozen yogurt shop is taking Tennessee by storm! Sweet Cece's is the perfect cure for a hot summer's day. Our friends at Sweet Cece's in Knoxville, TN requested a stationery that would help extend their youthful, energetic branding.

Our resident ice cream connoisseur, Kelly, was more than happy to oblige. The brand's signature colors shine in this stationery, which is simply and cleanly designed so as not to compete with the content area. The simple scallop element hints at the treats used for toppings, and the custom buttons that Kelly created for Twitter and Facebook make this stationery tailored, whimsical and just plain sweet.

National Blueberry Month
Client: Avalon Acres
Designer: Lauren Johnston
Design level: Concierge Design

What better excuse to highlight local farms than National Blueberry Month? Jennifer Bodnar and the fine folks at Avalon Acres are kind enough to provide lots of Nashville locals with fresh quality fruits and vegetables delivered directly from the farm. This CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, is a rapidly growing concept as we move toward sustainable nutrition.

Avalon Acres provides its members with seasonal organic food and does so with style. Their brand new website needed a matching stationery to help tell their story, so Lauren worked with Jennifer to create a simply beautiful design. Jennifer requested something "rustic, farm-y [and] classy" so Lauren took the opportunity to include lots of images of life at Avalon Acres. Jennifer was thrilled with the outcome and has sent several campaigns since the CSA season begin in May.

(Author's note: Want to celebrate Blueberry Month in style? Scout out your own local CSA or make Blueberry Boy Bait like our very own Megan Feltes did this week. We're a spoiled bunch!)

Time to grab a fork and work your way through July's delectable holidays. Happy snacking and happy sending!

Until next time,
Your Emma design team

5 questions with Emma’s Margaret Tyler

If you're an Emma customer, you've likely gotten to know members of our sales, support or design teams. But, you may not have had a chance to meet the people behind-the-scenes. In today's 5 questions edition, I sit down with Margaret Tyler, a member of Emma's people development team. She shares how her team keeps up with Emma's new hires (we crossed the 100-employee mark this year!), how she enjoys Nashville summers and more.

Margaret Tyler | Emma, Inc.
Margaret is a member of our people development team.
Tell us a little bit about a day-in-the-life of people development.
We focus on supporting Emma's teams and our staffers in all sorts of fun ways, from hiring and recruiting to thinking creatively around benefits we can offer our staffers. No two days are ever the same for the PD team.

How has Emma changed since you started two years ago?
It's changed a lot, and not at all, all at the same time. There are 45 folks at Emma who weren't here when I started two years ago, and they're contributing to Emma's product and culture in incredible ways. However, even with all of that growth, Emma doesn't feel that much bigger to me. Which I like.

What's your idea of a perfect summer day in Nashville?
Nashville can be pretty hot in the summer (okay, really hot), so my perfect summer day begins with an early morning beat-the-heat breakfast on our screened-in porch and ends with pool time anywhere I can find it. It likely includes a cold beer and some good music, too.

What's your brand crush?
This is a tough one. I have lots, but I'll go with Patagonia. They are known for their commitment to the environment, which I'm into, but I also love their customer service. I choose their products because I know they perform well, and the company stands behind what I buy with a lifetime guarantee.

You're stuck in an elevator. What 3 items are essential for your survival?
My husband and his sense of humor – that counts as one, right? I'd also need to have my one-year-old there, which is saying something because a one-year-old in an elevator doesn't sound all that awesome. (Cue husband's sense of humor.) Finally, an iPad chock-full of John Prine and This American Life podcasts.

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Want to work at Emma? Excellent, because we're hiring. See our current openings here.

Interested in hearing more about the future of email marketing?

Join Clint Smith for a lively conversation in Portland, OR

This summer, the Portland office is happy to welcome our co-founder and CEO, Clint Smith, as he spends the month of July with us. He travels out here quite a bit, but this extended stay is already shaping up to be a good time. Especially considering the lovely weather and how many breweries we want to introduce him to. (Hello, Hopworks.)

But despite Clint's reputation, he doesn't party all the time. On July 12th, Clint will be leading the lunch discussion on the future of email marketing for the Oregon AMA. Speaking to the role of technology in an expanding marketplace, he'll focus on the most innovative ways companies are using email alongside social channels and what marketers can expect in the future. Clint will also share success stories, in both the business and consumer sectors, from current clients working with Emma.

Prior to starting Emma, Clint was an editor with TicketMaster/CitySearch and the vice president of product for Smallbusiness.com. Currently, he guides the Emma brand, ensuring we stay on top our game through smart technology, exceptional design offerings and unparalleled customer service. All of this is just a fancy way of saying he knows his stuff, and he's a nice guy to boot.

Join us for what will surely be an entertaining and informative discussion. You can register here, and please appreciate the irony that the event is being held at Bridgeport Brewery. Maybe Clint's back on the party train after all.

You’re getting an Emma Moment!

Celebrating the accomplishments of our customers

It's no secret that we love our customers. We have the privilege of working with some of the most fantastic organizations and individuals around — clients from all over the world that are doing incredible things, sharing awesome stories and making the world a cooler place.

Writing a note
Writing a note to a customer
Instead of just sharing stories around the office about the cool things our customers are doing, we thought we should recognize those things in a special and unique way. We didn't think we needed to go all "Oprah" on folks and award a new car or iPad (although that'd be pretty awesome). Instead, we wanted to take a simple, personal approach. A phone call, an email, a small gift or a handwritten note goes a long way when it comes as an unexpected surprise. For some time now, we've been running with this new approach to celebrating the Emma community, and we call them Emma Moments.

Jonathan Rundle shows off his Emma t-shirt.
Ryan with his medal
Ryan Roullard sports his medal of hopheadedness.
Ron Shearer poses with his medal of awesomeness.

In our daily work and communication with clients, we talk a lot about email and strategy, but the conversations often take other routes, too. We love hearing what our community is up to — may that be a blog post, article, award, company milestone or marketing success. As we kicked off Emma Moments, we started awarding medals of awesomeness, Emma fan club t-shirts and even a couple free custom designs, all for small but significant things, like: killer response rates, reaching a fundraising goal, successfully integrating email and social media, being featured in a magazine story and more.

So far this year we've created 220 (and counting) Emma Moments, and the response has been quite nice. Customers have been tweeting and sending us photos of their notes, medals and t-shirts, and a few new friends have dropped by our offices to meet us. We might enjoy sending out these little surprises just as much as the Emma community seems to like receiving them.

Truth is, we want to celebrate you as well. Have you recently tackled social media or won an award? Are you sending your very first email campaign, or did you design a stylish campaign using your own HTML? If you're up to something cool, we'd love to hear about it. Drop us a line on Twitter or Facebook, or email us and tell us the scoop. We're looking forward to hearing from you!

Stylishly formatted email campaigns, part two

How customers are making the most of Emma's layouts

Last month, we brought you five examples of customers using Emma's simple, newsletter and advanced layouts in stylish ways. We received a lot of great feedback — most notably, that seeing solid campaign examples helps folks conceive their own fresh ideas — and so we wanted to follow up with some more outstanding campaigns.

Take a look at these examples, and why they work so well.

The Jane Goodall Institute (Hong Kong) | Layout: Newsletter 7

Jane Goodall Institute | Layout: Newsletter 7
Click the campaign example to see the full version.

The Newsletter 7 layout combines alternating text and image boxes — without image captions — and works well if you've got short, differentiated articles to feature. (If you like this layout but need image captions, use Newsletter 9.)

Why it works:

  • The Jane Goodall Institute does a lovely job creating visual balance. Images are about the same width and height across the campaign, and each story's copy extends to the bottom of each image, and not much farther.
  • They've selected images that complement the colors in the stationery's header, lending a professional look to the email.

Creative Advocacy Network | Layout: Advanced 14

Creative Advocacy Network | Layout: Advanced 14
Click the campaign example to see the full version.

In last month's post, SoDA also used the Advanced 14 layout. Its sidebar is ideal for special offers, ads and reminders. Here, CAN features a "Donate Now" button and an event calendar.

Why it works:

  • Images are small and equally sized. (You're sensing a trend here, right?)
  • CAN features longer stories in the main well and reserves the sidebar for short calls to action and reminders.

Brad Paisley | Layout: Newsletter 8

Brad Paisley | Layout: Newsletter 8
Click the campaign example to see the full version.

Brad Paisley's account, a sub account of Emma agency partner MusicCityNetworks, utilizes the Newsletter 8 layout to announce ticket sales and details about fan club membership.

Why it works:

  • At the risk of sounding like a broken record (no pun intended!), short text blurbs and consistently sized images really do work.
  • Horizontal lines, added using the Emma editor's toolbar, break up sections of the campaign.

Spice of Life Catering Co. | Layout: Newsletter 4

Spice of Life Catering Co. | Layout: Newsletter 4
Click the campaign example to see the full version.

Newsletter 4 works well if you've got a selection of images to highlight, with a longer story for the main text box on the right.

Why it works:

  • The campaign announces upcoming Plated Landscape events (a series of "traveling dinners" in city gardens, fields and on rooftops), paired with images from prior events, to bring life to the events.
  • The content in the main text box is a perfect length, minimizing white space at the bottom of the email.

We hope these examples have inspired you, and if you've got questions about arranging your campaign's images and text, our support team is here to help.

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Have you designed a stylish email that you'd like to share? We'd love to see it. Share its URL in the comments below or over on Twitter.

Beefing up your email link tracking

Get more mileage out of your URLs with Google Analytics

We email marketers love open rates and click-through rates. They tell us the quantity of attention we've won and show us opportunities to win more, whether we're out to increase alumni engagement or to hawk Corvettes.

But what do your readers do beyond the click, when they leave your email campaign to visit your website?

Add web analytics software like Google Analytics to your email marketing campaigns, and you'll be able to see what your email subscribers end up doing on your website. It'll give you invaluable data about conversions and site traffic patterns, and it'll help you plan even better marketing campaigns. I'll walk you through it.

See full article

Meet BookPage

How an Emma customer reaches readers everywhere

BookPage distributes a book review publication to more than 450,000 readers monthly through bookstores and libraries. The Nashville-based company also sends more than 270,000 emails per month. Keeping track of all of those emails — and the varying interests of their subscribers — is a challenging task, one that Associate Editor, Eliza Borné, has fine-tuned. Here, we'll take a look at one of BookPage's email campaigns and share how Eliza and her team have developed an email strategy that works for them and their growing list of subscribers.

Book Page
Click to see the full campaign.

The send-off, at-a-glance

+ Sent on Feb 1 at 6:00 am to 25,598 people
+ Open rate: 53.1%
+ Click-through rate: 53.3%
+ 26 social shares
+ Created using a custom layout

BookPage sends their bi-monthly BookPageXTRA, like the one to the left, to more than 25,000 recipients. In the two years that Eliza has been managing XTRA, its open rate has been a steady 40-50% (or more), and it's now benefiting from an increasing number of social shares on Twitter and Facebook. Maybe even more impressive than that, its list of subscribers has increased by 65%.

These striking results don't happen over night, and Eliza says they've learned a few tricks along the way. Let's take a closer look at their email strategy…

About their email strategy
In addition to BookPageXTRA, BookPage sends out a bi-monthly newsletter about books for kids and teens, a monthly newsletter to librarians and even a book review a day. They keep track of their subscribers and their preferences by posting a comprehensive signup form on their website. Subscribers select the types of newsletters they'd like to receive, and because the signup form is tied to the appropriate audience groups in Emma, the groups are automatically sorted in BookPage's account. Just after subscribing, they receive an automatic welcome email. It's an easy way for BookPage to thank new subscribers and to connect them to additional resources, including links to their YouTube page, blog and more.

Photo of BookPage employees
Managing Editor Trisha Ping, Associate Editor Eliza Borné and Associate Publisher Julia Steele work on an edition of BookPageXTRA.

 

At BookPage, email marketing is collaborative. Employees from both the editorial and advertising side of their company come up with ideas — they spend a lot of time brainstorming and plan content in advance — and everyone helps to proof the emails.

Email is the quickest way for them to communicate with their readers, and they want to make sure their content is fresh. Eliza shares some of the ways they keep their readers engaged:

We keep readers excited with "best" lists — we've found that our audience responds most to any kind of "most-anticipated" or "top 10″ list. We hook them in the email by giving them the beginning of the list, then ask them to click through for the whole shebang. Click-throughs are important to us because we want our newsletters to introduce readers to BookPage.com and our blog, The Book Case. In the email above, we asked readers to click through to our blog and comment with book titles they're anticipating but that didn't make our list. In another XTRA, we crowd-sourced by asking readers for "best list" suggestions (the best of the best lists, if you will). We also include a book giveaway in every email. Our readers know there's an incentive (free stuff!) in each newsletter.

This kind of content encourages participation and keeps readers coming back for more. Plus, it drives visitors to their website. For example, on June 7 when they sent a BookPageXTRA mailing, 75% of traffic to their site came from their enewsletter.

And they've got even more up their sleeves. They recently ran a promotion to get their Book of the Day audience up to 10,000 members. Talk about attractive incentives: they gave away a box of 10 books and a gift card to their 10,000th subscriber, and they encouraged current subscribers to share the promotion via email and social media. Random "sharers" were awarded with books, too. It was wildly popular, earning more than 400 new signups in ten days. And it was a great way to forge connections between their emails, social networks and blog. (Read more about the promotion here.)

Why we like it
An easy-to-spot signup form and segmented audience groups? Check. An auto-responder to welcome new subscribers? Check. Different content for different groups? A varied sending strategy (daily, bimonthly, monthly)? Check and check. A content strategy that takes into account reader participation and re-engagement? Ch– Well, you get the idea. BookPage is doing email marketing right, and it pays off in fantastic response rates, reader loyalty and new subscribers.

In short: Follow BookPage's lead, and think strategically about your emails. Use brainstorming sessions to mine your team for ideas, think about sending frequency and differentiate your mailings by audience group. Find ways to connect your email strategy to other channels. Must you do it all? Certainly not. But do the things that make sense for your business, and realize that a smart strategy doesn't just spring forth — it must be sustained.

We'd love to hear more about your organization's email marketing strategy. Share your success story in the comments below, or tell us over on Twitter.

Raising a glass to the open source community in Portland

We co-hosted a happy hour with Mozilla last week. And hey, if you haven't heard, we're hiring.

Last Thursday, we co-hosted a happy hour with Mozilla around the Open Source Bridge conference in Portland, and it went over like gang-busters. Our reasons were two-fold. Foremost, it was a wonderful way to support the open source community and let them know that Emma appreciates the work they do. We also wanted to connect with local talent that might be interested in an opportunity at Emma.

Psst, we're hiring, and we want every cool, geeky person in Portland to know about it. We want to meet you. There's so much talent in this city that it makes our collective heart flutter, and we've got some opportunities that are pretty exciting. Does talk of Python and Postgres rev up your engine? How about blending form and function to create a great UX experience?

And here's another thing that's pretty exciting. Not only do we have oodles of opportunity for the right talent, but we have one of the best company cultures around. Inc. Magazine just named Emma as one of the top 50 small business workplaces. Now, that's a huge honor in itself, but here's the insider scoop on that accolade. It is a great place to work. Really and truly.

And our Portland office has its own unique culture. I adore the cohesive, interesting people I work with every day. How we can work together all day and still want to grab a beer after hours. I also love that we're situated six blocks east of the river on Burnside. With three walls of floor-to-ceiling glass, I can see the Willamette River, the cars on the bridges, the ever-changing, epic Portland sky.

Recently, I teamed up with my partner-in-crime in the Portland office, Kevin McConnell (aka our director of engineering), to talk about the things that make Emma such a rewarding and fun place. And if this sounds like the right fit for you, check out our Portland job openings and apply.

Let's dive in, Kevin. What's to love about working at Emma?
I mostly enjoy being around a steady supply of chocolate-covered raisins in the snack cupboard. But apart from that, it's awesome to be around smart, energetic people who are interested in finding creative ways to solve problems.

You do love chocolate-covered raisins. They are Kevin kryptonite.
Yes, I am powerless to resist them. Other good things about Emma … We are lucky to have the work environment that we do: a swanky office, nice equipment, free Wednesday lunches and transit passes.

I love that we work so hard but do it joyfully. And we have a helluva good time getting it done.
Yes, the fact that we have a successful product is a great thing. We have many happy customers with whom we have great relationships. As a nerd who likes to build things, it's a great position to be in because you have an existing base to build on, and people who can give you feedback to steer you in interesting directions.

What's the most exciting thing about the present job opportunities at Emma?
There's a lot of development going on that suits different people. There's front-end work for new features as well as interesting scaling and performance problems. There's a lot of interest in smarter ways to streamline and automate our work, which is cool.

We are constantly looking for ways to get better at what we do. Whether that's adopting a new process or trying new tools, everyone on the team has an equal voice.

Outside of chocolate-covered raisins, what are some things unique to the Portland office that you really appreciate?
Maybe this is a weird answer, but I like the relationship with the larger Nashville office. We are like a smaller, sleeker and perhaps more handsome version (shh, don't tell them that) of that office, and it's fun to be able to collaborate remotely with people one minute and then gather folks around a whiteboard the next minute. It's great to watch projects and ideas bounce across the country.

It's true. So much inspiration circulates between locations and teams. I would even argue that our dedicated beer fridge helps spark conversations and collaboration. Great ideas sprout up when we unwind together at the end of the day. Moving on, what's your vote for the best Emma-sponsored Wednesday lunch ever?
It's probably Savor Soup House. Tomato soup and vegan grilled cheese. Although the day you brought in the panini press and the myriad of fixings was pretty awesome.

What's your stance on inner-office pranking?
I'm generally for it, except for that one time I came into work to find my desk covered in St Patty's stuff. It was cool, but it took forever to hoover up the shamrock confetti.

Finnish Flag
We're a pretty nerdy office, and most nerds like weird office trinkets. It goes without saying that we have our fair share. Do you have a favorite?
I like the Finnish flags around the office. As in *finish.* Like we finished a project and it's time to fly the flag.

Last question, Kevin. We've done some fun Emma socials in the past (bowling, movie night, marathon dinners at Pok Pok). What's your pick for the next one?
How about fruit picking?

We could go to one of the beautiful farms on Sauvie Island to pick through the summer bounty and then have a "farm to table" potluck.
For the longest time after moving here, I thought it was Suave Island. I pictured a whole island sipping martinis and talking philosophy.

And there you have it. If you are particularly suave or have a predilection for chocolate-covered raisins, you know where to find us. We've got the need for great developer and UX talent, so inquire, okay? We'd love to meet you. And we'll share the raisins.

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Read more from Kevin and our developers on Emma Tech, and more about Portland from Kris here.

Unopened emails “nudge” subscribers to action

It may come as a surprise that unopened emails can still be effective

An email can affect a recipient's actions, even if the email goes unopened.

At first glance, that seems unlikely. Isn't an unopened email akin to putting music on but not putting the headphones in your ears? Pretty much no benefit, right?

According to Dela Quist, the perception that only the opened emails affect purchasing behavior may be selling your subject lines and greater marketing efforts a bit short.

The simple effect of seeing your brand in the inbox reminds your subscribers of your existence, as well as your new product line, sale, or whatever else you mention in your subject line. That can influence people to visit your store, recommend you to a friend or even make a purchase, without ever opening your email. (Read the full article here.)

You can loosely measure this by comparing the direct success of the campaign to its indirect success. If you know the exact number of people who clicked through to make a purchase from the email, and yet you had a jump in purchases above that number, the nudge effect may have something to do with it.

Here are some recent examples from my inbox. Each of these campaigns went unopened, and yet the underlying message reached me.

Subject Lines that work for the Nudge Effect

1. Sender: Redbox
Subject line: New to Rent This Tuesday
Why it works: Even though I have a busy week coming up and I know that I won't be renting a movie, it reminds me that a fast and affordable movie night is within walking distance. I can picture where my local redbox is located, and I think back to the last movie I rented. (It was Iron Man 2. I admittedly don't rent a lot of movies.)

2. Sender: Vera Bradley
Subject line: Shop Summer Sale and ship for free (ends today!)
Why it works: I recently moved and have put a strict no-buying policy in place until I find a spot in my apartment for everything I already own. However, it has me dreaming of a new summery bag, and I make a mental note to check their site once the dust settles.

3. Sender: Amerigo (a local Italian restaurant)
Subject line: Join us on Memorial Day for a special offer!
Why it works: I see this one after Memorial Day, so I don't bother opening it. But, just hearing the name Amerigo has me thinking of their tiramisu, which is bound to get me in there soon.

4. Sender: The Limited
Subject line: Save $15 Off Every $50! 4 Days Only!
Why it works: Due to my aforementioned no-shopping policy, I don't open this one either. Before I remove temptation from my inbox, I can't help but notice the math on that deal. 30% off is a nice deal, and I appreciate that they reward their email subscribers with a discount. Positive brand experience!

5. Sender: Amazon.com
Subject line: Amazon.com: Kindle with Special Offers from $114
Why it works: I'm already thinking of buying an e-reader, but I haven't committed to one yet. Though I'm not quite ready to buy, I process the decreasing price of Amazon's version. Due to the simple exposure of it, they're my most top-of-mind vendor right now.

Pretty impressive how much I'm affected by these subject lines alone, right? Still, remember that the subject line's purpose is to get your subscribers to open, not to do the email's whole job. But, if you're sending close to the deadline, on an unusual day, or just want to reach those non-opens for a change, try designing a subject line that stands on its own to remind your recipients why they buy from you.

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Want to read more strategy tips for reaching your audience? Consider segmenting based upon the customer lifestyle or split testing your emails.