By: Chris Lewis
Since there was such a great response to this subject, we now explore new ways to get your email through and read by the recipients. We have found that effective email marketing is not a one-time ordeal but a conversation with the recipient.
User questions are great content for newsletters - The goal is to create more ways to encourage the recipient to open your email or benefit from the content. To do this you need to have content they will enjoy or benefit from. If you create a weekly or monthly newsletter, get together with a group that deal with clients and see what questions have come up. If some people are asking the same questions, then it will be certain others will be interested in the answers.
Use your brand in the subject line - Spark interest in the reader and make them comfortable with opening your email.
Test your links - Emails with dead links are obviously bad, but you would be surprised how many emails do go out without a good test of these critical links. Many SPAM filters will test these links to make sure they are live, and if not, will score down the emails and many recipients will not even get them. Right before you are about to hit Send, send a test message to yourself, or better yet, someone else, and test to make sure every single link in your email is active. Even after the email goes out, for a day or two, test the links in the email again. With active marketing departments that change things up a lot, you never know when something might change that effects your email.
Send a Plain Text version of your email along with the HTML version - Many SPAM scoring systems like to see an alternative plain-text version of emails. If you are using Campaign Enterprise, after you have completed your HTML message, you can go into the Plain Text editor and import the HTML into the plain text area. It strips away all HTML tags and allows people without HTML viewers to be the message. Watch out to make sure your plain text version of the message is the same as the HTML version. If you make changes to your HTML message, update your plain text version too. If you don't some SPAM scorers will think you are trying to trying to send two different messages.
If you need to move your EMD installation to a new computer, simply download the evaluation of the program, then move the campaign.sto, the campaignlists.sto, and the content folder from the old installation to the new. Your SN, campaign configurations and email lists are stored in those files. Your HTML messages are stored in the content folder.
On Windows XP, the location for those files is usually:
On Windows 7, the location is typically:
You can use the search feature in Windows Explorer and search for .sto. If you don't see anything, you may need to unhide the programdata folder or simply copy and paste the file path into Windows Explorer.
If you want the old Logs, you can move that folder as well.
By: Chris Lewis
One of the greatest things about email is that you can present your information to a targeted audience and you can spend time on making the emails attractive enough to capture attention. One of the elements in these email is graphics, and these elements can be an awesome addition or they can be the death of your email. As in all things, there is a balance, and we will discuss some of them.
Number of Images - When embedding images, each image in the email becomes an attachment to the email. Because of this, each email will have to be read from the disk, encoded, then appended onto the email message and this adds to the email's overall size too. If you have 10 images, then it has to do this 10 times. I have seen some emails with 100 embedded images in them. Creating the email with lots of embedded images is one thing, but the people receiving the emails will have to able to read them too and they might have limitations themselves. I tell people if you start exceeding 20 embedded images in emails then you are pushing it. Yes, the technology at both ends will handle it, but it is a matter of practicality.
Size of Images - We have had some clients call and say their emails are going out so slow. After analyzing it we will find they included a single embedded image that was 4 megabytes. Now it is possible to send and receive this size of email, but as the email size goes up, the amount of time its takes to send increases too. Other things to consider is the recipient's email system may reject these email sizes, or the recipient may still be on a dial-up or slow DSL and will not appreciate your email taking 30 minutes to load. This is a huge consideration especially for international email lists. So, consider this, you may have an image that is 4 megabytes because it is super high resolution. For an email, you are not going to need that resolution or size, so open the image in an image editor and reduce its size so it fits in the email space nicely. You will find these images will reduce in the the 10-90KB range and now that is a good size to send.
All Email Clients Not Created Equal - There are several email clients that will just not show embedded images. May portable devices are like that. When you create your email, test it will several different email clients like gmail, yahoo, and hotmail. Also, check portable devices like Androids, iPhones, and iPad to make sure the email looks like you intended.
Having to post images to website - An alternative to embedding images it to post the images to a website somewhere and reference these images in the email. The advantages to this is that your email is very small and will deliver quickly. Images from webservers load very quickly, much faster than an email system. The disadvantages of this is that your email is not a complete unit on it's own and the recipient will have to be on the internet to see the entire content of the message. This is usually not a problem though because you are usually on the internet when reading email anyway. Also, you will have to coordinate the availability of the images being on the website for the email's use.
By: Chris Lewis
Here are Arial we get many instances where clients send email perfectly for long time and then bamm! things start falling apart. Many times a software is, like ours, is blamed for the issues because it is a logical thing to look at first. The truth of the matter is that Campaign Enterprise, Email Marketing Director, or any other emailing software does not change...but the circumstances around it do. Sometimes a dreaded OS update happens overnight and introduce new "support files" that your emailing software requires that causes a difference in functionality than before. You might have a corruption of some of the email software files, but this is rare.
The #1 culprit of these "it just started happening" scenarios is Blacklisting. The internet is a dynamic place. New technologies to protect the general public from SPAMers, Phishers and the like come online unknowingly and what was working great before all of a sudden just falls apart. Email distribution management is not a noun but a verb. It is an active thing that requires monitoring and maintenance. Part of your maintenance schedule to make sure everything is working well should include a scan to see if your SMTP server system is on any blacklists. We recommend using a website called http://mxtoolbox.com. With using this website, you can find out in an instant if you are being blacklisted by many blacklist sites. It only take a few problems with your SMTP server or a few complaints from cranky recipients to be blacklisted so check it at least weekly or before you send out any major email blasts.
As email distribution professionals, we need to play by the rules and be good internet citizens even if the rules changes. Remember, it is not IF the rules change, it is WHEN, so stay diligent.
Also, with visiting a free analysis tool like MXToolBox, be sure to visit a few of their advertiser and support their effort.
By: Chris Lewis
Mass Email Professionals have a job to do, and that is to get the emails into INBOXes. To make an email campaign successful, there are things that need to be in place before you hit the send button or it is possible that even though all your emails seemed to go out, many of your emails could be in the SPAM box which is as good as the recipient not getting the email at all. So, in order to increase your effectiveness in getting those emails delivered correctly, there are some guidelines you should follow that will be true for many of the big email providers like Gmail, AOL, and hotmail.
Make sure you have an SPF record in your DNS!
This is the #1 problem why email does not make it to the recipient, and many times you wont even know it. Gmail requires this, and every email sent to it, it makes sure the SPF record is there. At best, it goes into the Spam folder, at worst, it does not make it at all.
Make sure your links in your emails are not IP addresses and that they use port 80 (HTTP)
Many times you can just cut and past a URL not really noticing that the URL is an IP address or that it may even use a non-standard port. These are huge red-flags to recipient email systems. Also, try not to make the "test" part of a hyperlink the same URL. Use real words like, "Click here to see..." or something.
Make sure your subject line is not too "flower-y"
Using all upper case words or lots of punctuation in your subject line can cause a higher spam score. You want to attract attention to your subject but it should be done tactfully. Use some type of useful information that is very specific to the recipient so that you may attract their attention. Just mentioning their name is not good enough, and can sometimes be annoying and look like SPAM. Be specific! Think about what you would click on if you saw your subject line. Getting an email to an INBOX and not having the recipient even open it is a crime! Bad examples of this are:
YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS!
Hello Chris, I think you will like this
It sounds simple, but you would be surprised by how many do this type of thing in the subject. This happens a lot too when the email is not written by a person not using primary language skills or different cultures. I don't mean to be harmful here, but many terms and sayings can be outdated or actually repelling, so make sure you edit things before sending out. Overall, write emails like you were just writing to one person in a normal scenario.