Firefox & You – Now in Russian and Indonesian!

The email newsletter sign-up forms for “Firefox и вы” and “Firefox & Anda” are now live and ready for subscribers as of noon Wednesday PDT!

This project has been many months in the making, and would not have happened without the hard work, patience and persistence of our Russian team, Oksana and Yury, and Indonesian team, Benny and Romi – nor without the hard work of web developer extraordinaires: Pascal and Rik.

The best part of this successful launch? As soon as I emailed the teams to let them know we were live, they immediately replied: “Yay!  When can we start promoting it?”  To which I said “Now! Go for it! :D”

And here’s what happened -

Benny tweeted (Note the translation means “New from the oven:” – awesome.) :

Tweet1

Oksana took over Mozilla Russia’s communication channels with posts on mozilla-russia.org, Twitter, VK.com, and Facebook:

Mozilla Russia Facebook

In the coming weeks we will work together to find ways to promote these newsletter opportunities to our users (I’m looking at you about:home snippets, and what’s new and first run pages) and prepare for our first newsletter launch October 30th.  Please feel free to share the sign-up links far and wide!

The “Firefox & You” newsletter is one of the main ways we communicate with our Firefox users to empower them to stay safe online and help them get the most out of their Firefox.  By truly localizing the newsletter content, the relationship and email content becomes a million times more relevant and meaningful.

This is a huge step forward in making sure we’re developing relationships and engaging with our Firefox users worldwide.

Indonesian and Russian are the latest 2 locales to be added to the current 5 languages of “Firefox & You”: English, Spanish, French, German and Portuguese.

What’s up next? Chinese, Japanese, and Bengali.

Let’s rock-n-roll.

11 locales and 27+ localizers?!

I don’t know about you, but the month of April flew by!  Before we embark on May, I have to post some truly exciting things that have happened in the last several weeks.

We currently have 5 email newsletter locales:

Those newsletter subscriber numbers are growing (approaching 5 million total), and we’re working on ways to further promote this resource to our Firefox users – especially the localized versions.

In January, we started working on the localization preparation to launch Hungarian and Indonesian.

Last month (March), we got the ball rolling to launch the Russian locale.

But that’s not all that’s cooking.

This month we have started working on laying the groundwork to launch “Firefox & You” in Japanese, Chinese, and Bengali.

Talk about craziness!

What’s even crazier than 11 locales gaining traction in a matter of weeks?

It’s all happening because of the work of over 27 (and counting!) awesome contributors.

27. Awesome. Contributors.

I must give a special shout out to each and every one of these inspiring individuals:

Thank you for being awesome and for your hard work and enthusiasm to bring localized versions of “Firefox & You” to Firefox users in your country and/or who speak your language. It is an absolute pleasure to work with you all. And to those who are working on locales already launched, it is incredibly exciting to see how many people enjoy and engage with our Firefox newsletter content across the world.

Onwards into May we go!  Who knows what this next month will bring.

4 million emails a month!?

In last week’s post I mentioned that across all of our email newsletter lists, we send over 4 million emails a month – and this number is only growing.

This might spark some more questions like “How in the world can we send 4 million emails a month?” or “Is it possible to send 4 million emails a month without getting blocked by spam filters?” or “Do you have tools to monitor deliverability?”

These are all excellent questions that can be answered by three important facts:

  1. We use a great Email Service Provider (ESP) – Exact Target
  2. We have our own dedicated IP addresses from which we send our email campaigns
  3. We are smart about how we engage with our Firefox & You subscribers via email

I can go into the role of an ESP (they communicate to email domains and ISPs on behalf of our 2 dedicated IP addresses, throttle our email sending to a rate at which a particular domain/ISP can accept it, handle spam complaints, unsubscribes, hard & soft bounces, etc.) vs. responsibility of the email marketer using an ESP (send to 100% opt-in subscriber lists, send only good and relevant content that matches what the subscriber sent to, don’t send too much mail, etc.) – but I’m just too giddy to write about anything else other than the deliverability tools we get to use in Exact Target.

To show how slap-happy I get re: deliverability metrics, check out this photo Jane snapped of Winston and me the day we dove into the Inbox Tools:

jesswinston_metricshappiness

Yes – I get that excited about deliverability metrics. (And yes – those are 2 My Little Pony ponies)

Exact Target has all the tools needed to monitor:

  • the rate at which our emails are being accepted at different domains
  • deliverability by ISP broken down by Country
  • the % of emails that make it to the inbox vs. % that make it into bulk

Even cooler is that we can set up custom alerts to email us if there is a deliverability problem (Ie: less than x% of emails don’t make it to the Inbox, or x% are being delivered to bulk, etc).

I’m drooling – but then life gets even better.

Exact Target integrates with Return Path!  Return Path is THE #1 resource for all things email deliverability. They rate and score your IP’s deliverability, monitor if your IP address is listed on a blocklist, and keep track of your spam complaints per volume of email sent.

How can this get even better?

This is how: if there are any problems we happen to run into, Exact Target AND Return Path work with us to pinpoint the problem and talk to the ISP to solve the problem.

I’m in love…with deliverability tools!

And that my friend, is in a nutshell of how we’re able to send 4 million emails a month and make sure that every email is delivered successfully.

What happens when you click “reply”?

We send out several different newsletters each month: Firefox & You, Beta, Aurora, About Mozilla, Student Reps, etc. Across all of these newsletters, we send well over 4 million emails a month – and our Firefox & You newsletter is growing by 20-30,000 subscribers a day. With all those emails from the Mozilla team going out, what happens when a subscriber hits reply? Does the email go somewhere? Does someone read it?

Answers: Their reply goes to an awesome email address (awesomeness [at] mozilla [dot] com). It is a real email address. And we try our best to read them all.

As part of the User Engagement team, our mission is to build friendships with every user. We could opt to have a “noreply[at]Mozilla[dot]com” for our newsletter reply-to address – but that’s not friendly – and Mozilla is all about friendliness and community. We want our users to know that we’re here for them and we like to hear from them!

Over the past few months, we’ve averaged about 3,000 reply emails a month to awesomeness [at] Mozilla [dot] com.

Many of those emails are auto-responders, some are social networking invitations, but several are real notes from people with real usability problems, and sometimes the emails are heartfelt thank you’s that just can’t go unnoticed. We love our users – we love hearing from them – and we want to help them if we can!

Despite our best efforts, as we grow our number of email relationships – and expand our locales – it’s not sustainable for us to monitor and respond to every message that comes into this inbox. I wish there were simply more hours in the day!

We want to ensure that we provide good, timely, responses to our users who ask questions or have feedback.

In thinking through how to best respond to our users, we made the decision to implement an auto-responder that helps answer a good portion of the types of email questions we receive (after going through a few thousand emails, there were many recurring questions).

The auto-responder was implemented on Feb 10th. Now people know that we are not only real, but that we love to hear from them — and they have quick answers to their most pressing questions. Our newsletter localization teams are also localizing the auto-responder so we can point non-EN users to a wiki that hosts the email content in their language!

I still go through our inbox, but with the help of our auto-responder, our users are instantly receiving the quick resources they need to answer the majority of their questions.

Next up is making sure that we have a separate reply-to email address for each of our various newsletters beyond Firefox & You, so each team can find and respond to their email subscribers in the manner that makes sense.

I’m on it.

(In case you’re interested, you can check out the auto-responder content by emailing: awesomeness [at] mozilla [dot] com)

Happy March 2nd!?

This post will seem a bit like the old “dear diary” entries I used to try to write a long time ago – “I’m sorry, Journal, that I haven’t written in awhile. Things have been crazy-busy around here! But there are lots of fun things I need to update you on. I promise to keep you updated more often.”

Here goes my grown-up job version of this – in bullet form to make it easier to read/write:

This past month has been a crazy whirlwind full of exciting things!

  • January newsletter was a great success across all locales! Email stats of open and click-through rates were at – or many times higher – than industry standards, meaning our readers like our newsletter and find the content interesting.
  • We’re almost to 4 million email subscribers (last year at this time: < 0.5 million)
  • As of yesterday – we’re now live with our new Email Service Provider, Exact Target (sign up forms live, emails triggering, house-file database migrated, templates currently being loaded in).
  • We had fun spreading the Firefox love with our Valentine’s Day email campaign.
  • “Awesomeness” newsletter-reply email inbox cleaned out, and plans are underway to organize and streamline this channel of communication (blog post about this to be posted soon)
  • February newsletter sent successfully on Leap Day!
    • Social sharing links for Facebook and Twitter included in EN version for each major article
  • Email Archive bug is filed and goal established to launch in Q2
  • March email newsletter creation is underway for a launch date on 3/28
  • Updated email newsletter creation process to allow proper time for stakeholder feedback, and localization time for our teams.
    • Currently working on way for localization teams to better guide content for localized newsletters.
  • Indonesian “Firefox & You” team is ready to start translating
  • Hungarian “Firefox & You” documents translated
  • Beginning to develop plans for the Russian “Firefox & You” newsletter
  • Marketing Collective launched and awesome people from all around the world are applying to get involved in Engagement/Marketing activities of Mozilla.

Stay tuned for more :)