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6 Email Design Guidelines You Should Follow

There are two primary areas to focus on when designing emails and newsletters: structure and content and there are some very important rules to follow on both of them.

1) Structure

  • Size: Design HTML messages with a maximum width of 600 pixels so it can be viewed in the preview pane of email clients. Limit the size of an email to 150k, including images, to prevent long download times.
2) Use table for layout
  • Email clients, like Gmail and Outlook 2007, have poor support for HTML tags like float, margin and padding, so tables work best as the framework of any email.  For the best results, keep the following in mind when coding your table structure.
  • Set the width in each cell, not the table.
  • Use a container table for body background colors.
  • Avoid unnecessary whitespace in table cells
3) Use Inline CSS and general font formatting

Gmail is the principal culprit for this one.  Since Gmail strip out the CSS from the <head> and <body> of any email, all CSS must be inline. The good news is this is something you can almost completely automate.  There are some services like Premailer that will place all CSS inline with the click of a button.  If you use such a tool you can leave this step to the end of your build process so you can utilize all the benefits of CSS.

4) Top 300 pixels is above the fold

Small email preview panes on many email clients require that the most compelling content is in the top 300 pixels.

5) Don’t assume that images will be viewed.

Many email clients have image blocking on by default so:

  • Set the height and width of your images to help your message maintain its proper layout even if images are turned off.
  • Never use images for important content like headlines, links and calls-to-action.
  • Use alt text for all images and always include the width and height so blank placeholder images don't throw your design out when images are disabled.
  • Test your design in a preview pane, full screen and with images turned on and off and tweak the structure accordingly.
 

 

6) Always include a plain text version

  • It helps with delivery, enough said.  If you’re only going to send an HTML version, then at the very least, Use both HTML text and images in the message, not all images.  That way, recipients can still read the message if the images are turned off.

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It is all about good service

Last night I was cleaning my inbox from all those unwanted emails, that I'm sure we all received, and realize that not many marketers take the time to thank their clients for their business.  We as marketers are so focus on selling that we forget that besides giving out discounts what really gets a person to buy is the level of service a company provides.

So from now on we recommend that you should include in your marketing mix, campaigns that develop customer loyalty. Loyalty campaigns will separate your emails from the bunch and will transcend the level of support that you currently offer to your customers, to your promotions. Always consider your audiences when creating the campaign because knowing who your clients are, it’s what separates you from those who give meaningless thanks. It shows that your company actually cares.

With that tough in mind, don't forget to thank your customers this holiday season for being your loyal customers and subscribers. Remember marketing campaigns are all about building long term relationships with your customers.

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How can you define direct marketing success without testing?

A lot of small businesses focus on creating sales campaigns and forget that the best way to reach goals is to make sure you are delivering what your clients really want. With that in mind, the key elements of a successful campaign are to test, test, and test and then measure the results. Marketers often struggle to meet all the deadlines for each email blast, monthly newsletter, and social media updates, not to mention all the other things in between. In this frenzy marketing mix, few take the moment to ask themselves, “Did we remember to test what we're doing?”

Why aren't marketers testing?

Most people focus on how time consuming it is to create a test than just to create the campaign alone. Even the simplest test requires modifications of some sort and this can take a lot of taught and planning. However; the payback can bring a higher return than just emailing your campaign. By testing, you can find out if future campaigns would work as good as they should.

The take away

Smart marketers should always test and the best way to do this is by doing an A/B test. Legendary retailer John Wanamaker once said, “Half of my advertising is wasted, I just wish I knew which half.” Not only does testing improve the campaign that you are testing, but it can also lead to new ideas that will make the next promotion more effective from the start.

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How to do Top of the Line Email Marketing

Make sure you build a legitimate list of contacts, permission provides a foundation for delivering value, because the people on your address list are interested in the emails you send, so what you really want is the biggest possible list of individuals who have asked to hear about what you offer, and not just a lot of random email addresses. Also, choose a great ESP such as Emailbrain for your needs: An ESP (Email Service Provider) hosts email marketing software online, which is specifically optimized to do the heavy-lifting for bulk newsletter sending. Before you start emailing, it’s vital that you choose the best choose the best ESP for your business.

Do not forget that it is also important to target your data and that sending irrelevant or generic emails can be risky, as these may provoke recipients to ignore your messages or mark them as spam. Since subscribers have individual likes, as your list grows it becomes important to identify groups that share similar interests and use segmentation (the practice of clustering addresses) to improve your results, by sending appealing content targeted to their specific wants.

Also, it is important to design your newsletters With Mobile in Mind, with email inboxes more crowded than ever, at least half of the battle is in finding ways to stand out from the masses with the quality of your design. Make sure to add a clear unsubscribe link, spam complaints can have a disastrous effect on your sender reputation. Unfortunately, even when people have explicitly signed up for an email they may still use the "report spam" button. Some readers even use the report spam button instead of going through the proper unsubscribe process, since both tactics have the same outcome for them. Always write an appealing subject line and increase your open rate. By writing a subject line is a very important element of your communications strategy that you shouldn’t leave until deadlines are looming. These first few characters are the doorstep to your emailing success; since it’s all you have to entice readers to open your message. Since a subject line should distill the essence of an email, consider writing it first, as this will help keep your content from straying off topic.

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4 reasons to prefer Email Marketing

4 reasons to prefer Email Marketing
We give four reasons why you should prefer email marketing:
1. People like to receive emails
Research has shown that buyers say they are willing to buy more if they receive emails with information and / or promotion of products or services from its suppliers.
2. Help to stay competitive
Keeping customers informed, helps keep them up to date on what you do and offer.  It is an excellent channel for contact, without being in a face to face conversation.
3. Easy Segmenting
You can decide who you want to send your emails to and you can send it right if you wish. By segmenting your lists you can know who responded to a particular message and how they can buy more, based on the interest they show.
4. Email marketing is very inexpensive
This type marketing is one of the most economical means today. Make sure you know how to use and not abuse the trust of your customers.
Here are four reasons why you should prefer email marketing:

1. People like to receive emails Research has shown that buyers say they are willing to buy more  products or services if they receive emails with information and / or promotion from their suppliers.

2. Help to stay competitive Keeping customers informed, helps keep them up to date on what you do and offer.  It is an excellent channel for contact, without being in a face to face conversation.http://www.es.emailbrain.com/ebs_members/3989/ftp/pictures/four.jpg

3. Easy Segmenting You can decide who you want to send your emails to and send it right away if you wish. By segmenting your lists you can know who responded to a particular message and how they can buy more, based on the interest they show.

4. Email marketing is very inexpensive This type of marketing is one of the most economical means today. Make sure you know how to use it  and not abuse the trust your customers give you.

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Tips for success in your Email Marketing Campaigns

Tips for success in your Email Marketing Campaigns

1.    First of all, make sure you clearly determine your Email Marketing campaign objectives: what is it that you would like achieve: more readers, brand recognition, sales increase, etc. It is crucial that you know what you really want and where you are going before you start.

2.   Know what distinguishes you from your competition. This way you can give your customers added value.

3.   Nowadays, it is very easy to locate any information on the Internet. For this reason, we recommend that you investigate what (sources or resources?) may be useful in creating useful content for your customers.

4.   Learn (recognize) who your reader is, what they would like to receive, and what they want to know about you or your company.

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Help save the Environment re-using Email Marketing

Creating fresh content is not always about inventing all from scratch. As a matter fact, many  companies have a lot of unused content lying around and some of that is really good too, like blog posts from a year ago that could have been written a week ago. Check out what content had some good impact before. There are lots of ways to expand your information when you have a great foundation.

For example:  A customer feedback that hasn’t been used, why don’t you compile your three most successful campaigns from last year and use them again?

Grab that content, and refresh it, make it even better than it was. This is not only very efficient use of your resources, but also very rewarding, because you will almost surely see the outcome be su

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Write down your goals for each specific campaign

It is really motivating to work towards a goal that you have set up. A goal should be SMART. Specific, Motivating, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

Make sure you create a campaign that is specially designed to get people that haven’t opened their email in a while to interact. Think about including new and stimulating ‘from names’, great  subject lines, pre-headers, preview pane design and all elements to re-active that interaction-lagging subscriber

All email marketers have goals to reach. Even if the goals aren’t written down (yet). Email marketers want new subscribers to sign-up, they want to increase sales or stimulate customer loyalty. Or even measure their impact through the more simple metrics in life such as increasing email opens and click throughs. Make sure you write down your goals and follow them through! It is a great way to measure your work!

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