Some Import Things Need to Remember
Useful Links for you
HTML emails are not the same as HTML pages, sure you can view them in the browser and they appear fine, email clients are basically all different, some remove things, some don't show things etc It is a great idea to read up on some guidelines, and good practices before you jump in - here are some useful links for you:
NetTuts Article on HTML Email Tips
HTML Mail resources and guides at Campaign Monitor
MailChimp Articles and Resources
Email CLIENT TIPS & TRICKS
Inline CSS Tools
Tips for Your Email Campaign
Use images properly -
- email clients can tend to load images slowly and too many images ratio to text will cause your email to be classed as spam.
- Make sure you optimize your images for low bandwidth
Use a 3rd party service such as Mail Chimp or Campaign Monitor -
- they have relationships with service providers which increases your chances of delivery considerably and they use their own high standards to ensure that your email campaigns conform to anti-spam policies.
Ensure that the Email is sent to the right person -
- Always ensure that whoever you are sending a campaign to, has explicitely requested to receive communication from the company sending the email, use double opt-in methods for new subscribers and make sure you have their confirmation details in case they attempt to black-list you.
Using a third party service enables you to provide unbelievable statistics to your client -
- live graphs, click-thru rates, what they clicked etc Clients really love this and it adds further benefits, and an easy way to work out their ROI for each campaign - the stats provided help you to increase effectiveness and the best times to send campaigns.
Ensure that the mailing list address is correct -
- Take a look and spend some time reviewing your email subscriber lists, try to see if most email addresses are work emails. if so then send towards the end of the day - around 4pm, as most workers slow down towards the end of the day, especially Fridays. Sending in the morning is pretty useless as it's the busiest time for people, sending at night is not a good idea as it can get buried in their in-box.
Don't think of an email as a way of giving a large amount of information -
- it's meant as either a teaser for a product or service with clearly defined goals and message with a large click-thru area (or several) if you are using it as a newsletter for information then try to use the email as a launch platform to get people to the bulk of the article on your website with some teaser text and "read more" buttons or links.
Follow the guidelines from 3rd party services and you will have successful campaigns -
- for instance Mailchimp/Campaign Monitor's system enables you to place all your css inline - I recommend doing this as it will ensure maximum display - although we have the CSS in the html and everything works - it's best to run with their recommendations.
- Most 3rd part services allow you to place specific "tags" in the content of your template to bring details in from your subscriber database such as their name, email etc etc - even unsubscribe links can be automatically generated and an archive of previously sent campaigns - use these yo your benefit and replace my standard text for things like who the email was sent to, the unsubscribe link etc.
DO NOT FORGET that this template calls it's images from the local files - (Not including sample images)
- you will need to change the refer src for images to your own server - example being the location of an image in the html would read - <img src="images/*.jpg"> you will need to change it to something like: <img src="http://www.YOURWEBSITE.com/digicola/*.jpg">
ALWAYS setup a text based version of the email -
- your 3rd party service will probably instruct you to do this anyway, Mailchimp/Campaign Monitor can grabs the text from your html automatically - just check no changes are required. When a campaign is sent both versions are delivered and the appropriate one for the email client will display ensuring your message can be read.
About the Email Layout Width
The width of an email campaign is very important. You will see that they are "thinner" in width than webpages for a real reason - email clients have a preview window that is generally not as wide as a browser window - guidelines differ wildly, however anywhere between 500 - 650 is acceptable - these templates are all 620px.
About the media file