Some day, when historians are writing the grand saga of Jilt, 2019 will be known as the year when Jilt became an all-in-one email platform. We’ll get into the specifics in a bit, but long story short, over the past year we added a bunch of features to Jilt to enable stores to use it for all their email marketing needs. To pull that off, we added more than a dozen people to the team, and the early returns are fantastic—since January, we more than doubled the number of customers using Jilt to power their email marketing!
As you can imagine, this year’s numbers have been in a completely different league compared to last year. Let’s take a look at a few that really pop off the page:
- ✉️ Stores sent a lot of emails through Jilt this year. More than 46 million emails, in fact. If you assume each of those emails could be printed on a single page, the stacked paper would stretch more than 3,000 feet into the air—or just about two Empire State Buildings!
- 📣 Even though we only launched the beta of Broadcasts in May and rolled it out to everyone in August (see below), stores on Jilt sent a whopping 32.5 million broadcast emails this year. For comparison, we 5.6 million emails total in all of 2018.
- 💰 Jilt helped stores generate more than $48 million in email-driven revenue this year via smart, segmented, personalized email marketing. That’s enough to buy about 1,420 Tesla Model 3s, or just over half of one Jeff Bezos NYC apartment.
- 🛒 We recovered 345,000 abandoned carts, which is good news for stores, because abandoned cart recovery emails drove more revenue than any other kind of email—by a wide margin. We found that Jilt users generated an average of $4.80 per recovery email sent. That’s $4.80 for every email, not just ones that resulted in an open or a click.
- 🛍️ 2019 was a successful year for Jilt customers, and this year we tracked more than 8.6 million orders (which explains how we nearly doubled that attributable revenue number above!).
- 📆 We had our biggest Black Friday weekend ever with 4.1 million emails sent, during which Jilt helped stores generate an additional 17.7 percent in email-driven revenue vs. a typical week!
- ⛑️ One of the things we’re most proud of is our kind and responsive support team who help stores of all sizes get the most from their email marketing. This year our support team had 6,064 conversations with Jilt customers!
- ✍️ We published nearly 100 blog posts on the Jilt blog, plus more than a dozen guest posts on partner sites. Thanks for reading! 🙂
To make the above numbers a reality, we worked really hard as a team. But it wasn’t all work. We also made room for a lot of fun as a team, including flying everyone to Scotland to re-enact Downton Abbey for a week in a gigantic Scottish estate. Seriously, look at this place:
Of course, our team retreat coincided with MailChimp exiting the Shopify space, which led to a huge spike in pre-sales and support inquiries here at Jilt—so it wasn’t all play. But we still found plenty of time to do ridiculous things as a team, like whatever the heck this is:
So how did we go from sending 5.6 million emails in 2018, to more than 46 million this year? Let’s take a stroll down memory lane see how our product evolved in 2019.
We launched transactional emails
In March, we added transactional email support to Jilt. Transactional emails, like order receipts, shipping notifications, and refund confirmations, are vital emails for online stores to send. Not only do they tend to have much higher open rates, they’re often required by law in many jurisdictions. Every eCommerce platform already sends transactional emails, because they’re a business requirement, but it’s almost always impossible to customize or personalize them.
When your customers give you their money, they expect to hear from you with updates about order stats, shipping notices, and other important information about their transaction. By using Jilt, stores can make sure those emails are just as beautiful, personalized, and on-brand as all their other marketing emails—and they can get all the same detailed analytics Jilt offers for other email types.
Then we added broadcast emails
Perhaps the most important addition to Jilt this year was broadcast emails. Support for broadcast emails, like newsletters and sales announcements, made it possible for stores to use Jilt for all their email marketing.
We started beta testing broadcasts in May with a small group of stores, and 10 million emails later, we rolled it out to the world officially in August. Stores that send broadcast emails through Jilt average about 8 cents per email sent (that’s all emails, not just the ones that are opened or clicked on). On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that number skyrocketed 110 percent!
We gave stores a new way to collect email addresses
With the addition of Broadcasts, stores are no longer using Jilt to communicate only with customers; they’re now using Jilt to send emails to prospective customers, too. So many stores on our platform started asking for ways additional ways to invite visitors to their stores to join their email lists.
That’s why in October, we rolled out pop-up forms in Jilt. Stores are now using these timed or exit-intent pop-ups to capture email addresses from potential customers who have not yet made a purchase. This is a crucial step for using email marketing to turn window shoppers into loyal customers.
We also recently announced an integration with OptinMonster to help stores collect emails in more complex ways. (And we’ve got more integrations on the horizon—stay tuned!)
We overhauled the UI
Among all the new faces at Jilt this year, we brought on a product designer (👋Jules) and a pair of front-end engineers (👋Wes and Alex). We put them to work completely revamping the user interface to be more modern, more organized, more consistent, and easier to use.
This is what Jilt looked like last year:
And here’s what it looks like today:
So much better, right?
And we launched a new email editing experience
The number one piece of feedback we heard from users this year was that our email editing experience was… only okay. In November we launched a brand new version of our email editor, available for broadcast emails, that offers some huge improvements over our current editor.
The new editor is more powerful and flexible, and gives store owners much more control over the look and feel of their marketing emails. We’re already seeing stores send out beautiful emails designed with the new editor, and we’re excited to roll it out to all email types in early 2020!
With all those changes to Jilt, we wanted to get the word out. One of the ways we did that was by sponsoring and attending conferences.
This year, we took a slightly different approach to events than we have in years past. We decided to narrow our focus and sponsor a handful of larger events like WordCamp EU in Berlin, new (to us) events like PressNomics in Tucson, and targeted, niche events the virtual conference WooSesh (where we had four speaking slots!)
Our biggest event of the year, though, came in October, when we teamed up with our good friends at Post Status to throw a party for more than 200 people at WordCamp US in St. Louis!
We had a ton of fun hanging out with many of our customers and people in the WooCommerce community, and we made lots of new friends, too! Check out our full recap here.
We didn’t just sponsor conferences and throw parties in 2019. Our team could be found all over attending and speaking at events, too! We sent team members to WordCamps in Sacramento, Osaka, and Tokyo, SaaS North in Ottawa, CaboPress in Cabo San Lucas, the Texas eCommerce Summit in Dallas, and Design & Drinks in Denver.
Plus our Head of Product Beka Rice spoke at WordCamp US (see video above), our Customer Success Lead Tabitha Turton spoke at WordCamp Sacramento, and we had four people (Beka, Tabitha, Content Marketer Sam Greenspan, and myself) speak at WooSesh!
2019 was huge for Jilt, but we’re not planning to slow down in 2020. Here’s a taste of what we have in the works this year:
- More email design templates – This was something we teased in last year’s recap post. We focused instead on revamping our email editing experience, but now that that’s done, adding additional pre-made templates is high on our to-do list in 2020!
- Integrations with other apps you use – We want to help stores unlock as much value as possible from Jilt, which is why we’re planning to integrate with a bunch of other apps in 2020. First on the list? A brand new version of our Zapier integration and a few more email collection tools!
- A new platform – Jilt is currently available for stores running on Shopify, WooCommerce, and Easy Digital Downloads. We can’t say much, but by the end of 2020, we expect stores on at least one more major eCommerce platform will be using Jilt!
- A huge content initiative – We’ll be taking the wraps off a new online learning section of our site designed to help stores become masters of email marketing. It’s something we’ve been working on since mid-2019, and when we say “huge,” we mean it!