Email Guidelines

Granted, the social media hit the World like a Big Bang. Anyone who is anyone is now a chronic blogger, and anyone who is not in it looks like a dead man walking. This may very well be, but one thing stands out. For you to be able to open a social media site and integrate yourself into the frenzy, the minimum basic requirement is an email address. From Face book, to Twitter, to Google plus, Email, is what they all have in common.

The social media frenzy caught up with Yahoo, and they soon came up with yahoo messenger. Despite all this, Emails still remain one of the most effective communication tools thus far. What is interesting is the fact that email marketing generated more than any other marketing channel. So in terms of marketing, it’s still bigger than the likes of Facebook and Twitter.

Email designing has a lot of sides to it, but its all comes down to simplicity, and regular product testing, the email being the eventual end product. It is doable, challenging, yes, but doable nonetheless. When designing an email, there are, certain email guidelines to consider.

Email Guidelines – Where to start

The key here is to capture attention. Do not let it wonder. Create something that does just that. This implies that you mainly invest in content as opposed to an influx of pictures that leave no space for the actual content. Yes, images are just as important, so put an equal mixture of beauty and content to balance it all out. The general email guidelines here are to have 1:4 ratio in terms of images to text content.

This means that the text content in your email should be more than the pictures, four times more. It is also important to steer clear of words such as ”buy now”-this is referred to as Spam content and it doesn’t do your email any favors. Try and mix it up a little, use other appropriate words to showcase your product.

It is all advisable to put small size photos. This email guidelines is meant to reduce the overall size of your email. This seeks to decrease the bulk and make it into a favorable weight. You’re ultimately trying to engrave your brand in your subscriber’s subconscious. The key here is to avoid too much variations. Identify a template and run with it. Using it frequently will get you an edge and ultimately a seat at the table.

It is not a popular practice, but it is advisable. It is important to maintain your corporate colors. This puts a feeling of your product being a professional brand.

Check service provider email guidelines options. How does your email look in the list of different inboxes? How does, for example, yahoo compare to Hotmail? This one of the more important aspects of email design. On some level, this may also apply to cell phone applications.

Lastly, try push in some fun, a bit of humor. Your email should not be stiff. Divert from the norm, try change things around, every so often, see how it works out.

Email Best Practices For Email Delivery

Email best practices are very important. This is because in the current world of information and technological advancement, emails have become a very important means of communication. This is because they enable people to send files with ease and faster. However, sometimes you may not know if your email was sent or not.

Sometime an email may be flagged as a Spam yet the sender may not know this. This is because they do not get a response after sending their email. This is when you may realize the benefits of email best practices. It is important to know that delivery of an email is determined by its reputation. Thus, it is not the content, which determines whether your email is delivered, or not. As such, the most important of email best practices is ensuring that you meet what your reader wants. Sending irrelevant information will have your email flagged as a Spam. This is very important if you want to have the delivery rate of your email improved.

Other email best practices include:

Be precise and concise:

Avoid attaching large files on your email. This is because many readers get bored by large files. Instead of doing this, just give detailed information about yourself, your CV or give the reader a directive of where they can get your portfolio.

Avoid nagging the reader with follow-ups:

Some people assume that just because the person they sent email to has not responded they did not receive their email. They respond to this by sending them a full email again. This should not be the case. Instead, send them a short notice wanting to find out if they received your first email. This is the best way to avoid nagging them.

Be easy to identify:

You should always ensure that your client identifies you with ease. You can achieve this by using similar name and email address. Using a different name every time you send an email will end up making your readers unable to identify you. This is one of the most important email best practices.

Be clear:

You should ensure that you are clear and direct in your message. Do not leave the audience to struggle trying to find out what you are telling them. This is because you will bore them and they will not read your message. In addition, make sure your identity is clear. This is because many audiences will not spend much of their time trying to find out who is the sender of an email. Therefore, making your identity clear is one of the email best practices.

It is important to know that emails are a very important form of primary communication. Therefore, when the recipient does not read your email, it simply means you have failed in your primary communication goal. It plays a very important role in various campaigns by companies and organisations. Therefore, ensuring that you observe email best practices is very important if you want to succeed in your campaign.

Email Marketing, What is it?

Email marketing is when an email is sent out to an entire list of people to promote and potentially sell them a product. This method is also to get your brand known and to build a relationship with customers.

Saying that, today email marketing doesn’t seem to have a good reputation. This is because, the majority of people who receive marketing emails, tend to either delete it or consider it as spam. However, there are ways in which you can practise email marketing successfully.

1. Track Data

If you are working with email marketing, tracking data is easy. Why is tracking data important? Well, if you are constantly watching what’s happening, this makes everything much easier to run. You can be on top of your email marketing campaigns and monitor how they are doing. Tracking data allows you to monitor how many people are reading your emails, if your links are being clicked and even how many times you bag a sale. You can even monitor the number of customers who have unsubscribed to your emails, forwarded them or who has considered them as spam.

2. Cost Effective

Comparing email marketing with direct marketing, email marketing definitely has the upper hand. This is because a direct marketing campaign can set you back in the thousands, email marketing will never be that pricey. Another effective factor is that email marketing goes directly to the customers you want. This can build a strong relationship between you and the customers of your choosing because every email you send out, will have fresh information about your company or brand. So if you are searching for a way to promote your product which is also cost effective, email marketing should definitely be considered.

3. Boost Sales

Email marketing plays a major role in boosting sales for your company. Although, must marketing emails today are spammy, this is where building a relationship with customers is important. You don’t want all your marketing emails to look automated, so taking time out to actually build relationships and creating content within your emails can boost sales in the long run.

4. Automate your Campaigns

With email marketing you can schedule when and how many times you want your emails to be sent out. Direct marketing doesn’t allow you to do this. This automating service can bring great benefit to your company because it keeps customers informed and up to date with everything that is happening in your company. If you offer regular promotion deals or special events etc, then the automating service can be highly effective. This is where regular email newsletters can come into play.

5. It’s Immediate

As soon as you set up an email marketing campaign then everything else happens straight away. This is because the emails go directly to the customers of your choosing. You don’t have to worry about waiting on people to find your website or products via search engines or banners and promotional ads, as soon as you send out the emails, the quick the people will know about your company. If your content is rich and thought driven, customers will notice and appreciate that. So, taking time out to really build rich content will pay off by strengthen the relationship between you and the customers.

How do you attract the customers? Well, add catchy promotions or coupon codes, everybody likes to save a few here and there. Another great way to keep customers happy is offering premium codes or even gifts for long-term loyal customers. All these methods can boost overall sales.

An email signature is a block filled with text which is usually found at the end of an email. The purpose of these signatures is to have your contact details permanently attached to every single email you send out. This gives friends, clients, or whoever receives an email from you an easier option to contact you and know who you are. Thus, these particular signatures will include; your name, email address, business contact details and a website URL. You can also personalise your own messages, if you wish to have a friendly quote at the end of your emails.

Although email signatures are fairly simple to create, some people experience many difficulties, leaving unappealing and poor information. Your email signature should be attractive and stand out. You want people to take notice of your contact details and not just send your email to the junk folder! To begin creating effective email signatures, follow these simple tips;

Email Signature Check-list

Be precise and keep it concise – Keep it short and simple, overloading your signature with unnecessary information is just a waste of time. The aim is to get those receiving your emails to get to know who you are, so what more than your name, email address or website URL do you need?

Images and Logos – Although this isn’t essential, adding an image or even a logo of your company will be effective. If you do decide to include an image then ensure that the size is befitting for the information can stand out just as much as the image. Having a huge logo with tiny writing isn’t recommended.

Show your personality – You should not be afraid to show your personality, after all you want people to feel comfortable in contacting you. You shouldn’t be withdrawn in including anything in your signature which you think defines who you are. You want your signature to stand out and be unique to you and YOU alone, what good is it if your signature resembles someone else’s? In addition, you should avoid making your signature boring and should try and include creativity and ideas which come from your personal feelings and thoughts. Hence, the key to successful and interesting email signatures is to balance personal data and contact details.

Email marketing campaigns is a cost effective way to attract your customers back to your website and to regularly keep them updated. One of the most important stages in an email campaign is to add tracking to monitor
performance. Adding tags to your email campaigns allows you to track your performance, optimise your efforts and monitor your return on investment. Below I have listed the top 5 best email marketing analytics tools to help make
tracking campaigns easy and effortless.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Campaign Cog

Campaign Cog

Litmus

Litmus

Mail Chimp

Mail Chimp

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor

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A huge amount of marketeers do not fully understand how email spam filters work and that’s one of the main reasons why badly developed email campaigns fail. Understanding how spam filters work will eventually increase your deliverable percentage and hopefully keep your subscribers and clients happy. Let’s start of by listing the main spam filters used widely by large organisations and services:

  • SpamAssassin, a very popular open source spam filter.
  • MessageLabs, an expensive corporate server-side spam filter which is regularly updated.
  • Postini, server-side spam filter and owned by Google.
  • Barracuda, a hardware spam filter which is used by large organisations within their own datacentres.

Spam filters look at a list of criteria to work out if the email is spam or not, examples such as using caps in the subject line hugely increases your chances of being filtered out by spam filters. Each spam filter assigns points to every email received and if your campaign exceeds the threshold, your email will get filtered out. The threshold is different on each server depending on the user settings, the higher the settings the less spam the recipient will receive.

Common Mistakes

The following is a list of mistakes most marketeers make when developing their email campaigns. Avoiding these mistakes would greatly improve your email from being filtered by spam filters. Please try to avoid the following mistakes, please.

Using all CAPS

Using all caps in emails is not only rude but quite hard to read, especially if it’s a lengthy sentence. You don’t want to be this woman, fired for using caps in her emails.

Poorly coded HTML

Building email newsletters using poorly coded HTML is BAD,BAD,BAD!. Never convert a Photoshop or Microsoft Word email newsletters to HTML. Either learn how to code HTML the right way or hire a professional.

Few Images, No text

The amount of emails I see which is just one large image and with little or no text, makes me laugh. Spam Filters can not read images so automatically they filter this as spam. Use a combination of 50% images and 50% text and you should be good to go.

Using Test in the subject line

Happens to agencies all the time, sending out a newsletter to a client for approval only for the newsletter to be sent to the client’s spam folder which causes a lot of problems!.

Hopefully following my advice should help your clients/customers actually receive your newsletter and make us all very rich….only kidding.

To celebrate the launch of Beautiful Emails, I have decided to give away three copies of Email Marketing by the Numbers.

How can I participate?

To participate, you must:

  1. Post a comment and Let us know what kind of content you’d like to see on Beautiful Emails.

Just remember…

  • Participants can post comments until the 1st of Feburary 2010.
  • The winners will be determined by a random generator.

What will I win?

Email Marketing by the Numbers

by Chris Baggott and Ali Sales

Email Marketing by the Numbers

“Email Marketing by the Numbers applies such modern marketing principles to the world′s greatest marketing tool—permission email. Email marketing expert Chris Baggott reveals what works, what doesn′t, and how to leverage the power of email to accomplish all of your goals.”

Remember to sub­scribe by either using E-Mail, RSS Feed or follow us on Twitter.

Email Marketing, sometimes a funny topic to talk about but when I set out to find information on email design and marketing, I noticed there wasn’t much to find. This is why I setup Beautiful Emails to help readers like you engage and exchange information and hopefully help you to become a better designer and an internet marketeer.

So, I present a list of 10 email marketing books which I feel have made a impact on the way I design and observe email marketing.

1. Email Marketing by the Numbers

by Chris Baggott and Ali Sales

Email Marketing by the Numbers

“Email Marketing by the Numbers applies such modern marketing principles to the world′s greatest marketing tool—permission email. Email marketing expert Chris Baggott reveals what works, what doesn′t, and how to leverage the power of email to accomplish all of your goals.”

2. The Complete Guide to E-mail Marketing

by Bruce C. Brown

The Complete Guide to E-mail Marketing

“In this new groundbreaking book you will learn how to create top-notch e-mail marketing campaigns, how to build stronger customer relationships, generate new qualified leads and sales, learn insider secrets to build your e-mail list quickly, deal with spam filters, and the optimum days and times to send your e-mails.”

3. E-Mail Marketing for Dummies

by John Arnold

E-Mail Marketing for Dummies

“E-Mail Marketing For Dummies can help you send your message to the inboxes of the world while observing professional standards, improving your deliverability, and executing your e-mail marketing strategy in line with current laws.”

4. The Truth About Email Marketing

by G Simms Jenkins

The Truth About Email Marketing

“Industry expert, Simms Jenkins, provides a set of best practices to help you assess and refine your strategy and tactics. Your organization can gain much from new and proven approaches to email marketing: strengthen customer relationships, create loyalty, and build trust and awareness. The result is increased responses in sales, leads, registrations, and more.”

5. Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles

by Ron Richards, Winton Churchill

Email Marketing for Complex Sales Cycles

“The principles in Email Marketing For Complex Sales Cycles have helped thousands of business people and entrepreneurs increase sales and reduce stress and aggravation…Will you be the next one to benefit? Why not generate more sales, more quickly?”

6. The Complete Guide to Successful E-Mail
Marketing Campaigns

by Robert W. Bly, Michelle Feit, Steve Roberts

The Complete Guide to Successful E-Mail Marketing Campaigns

“Direct marketing via the Internet is the best way to avoid the rising printing and mailing costs of traditional direct mail. Plus, it’s more effective! An online campaign will often turn a profit even if the entire mailing produces only 1 percent response or less! If you’re ready to try e-mail marketing, or if you’re already doing it and want to know more, Internet Direct Mail has all the information you need.”

7. Marketing with E-Mail

by Shannon Kinnard

Marketing with E-Mail

“Online consultant Shannon Kinnard offers advice to small and large businesses on how to expand and improve marketing, communications, and on-line relationships. Includes access to a companion Web site and a list of 20 relevant e-mail publications.”

8. Permission Based E-mail Marketing

by Kim MacPherson

Permission Based E-mail Marketing

To retain customers and solicit new clients, businesses need proven ways to make their products and services stand out. From subject lines that grab attention to detailed ways of calculating return on investment, every aspect of e-mail advertising is detailed in Permission Based E-Mail That Works.

9. Total E-mail Marketing

by Dave Chaffey

Total E-mail Marketing

Total e-Mail Marketing 2e draws on expertise and latest examples from leading European practitioners to detail practical tips to improve campaign results. Packed with brand new case studies and checklists to get you started or improve on past campaigns, the book covers all aspects of e-mail marketing.”

10. Successful Email Marketing Strategies

by Middleton Highes and Arthur Sweeter

Successful Email Marketing Strategies

“Email marketing began as a serious marketing discipline in the late 1990s. Since then, there has been a major seismatic shift in the entire email marketing industry. The standard approach to email marketing, batch and blast — is serious trouble. It simply no longer performs. Subscriber inboxes are overflowing with irrelevant permission-based emails that only annoy. Research shows that 60% of subscribers simply ignore the emails. There are two basic ways to approach email marketing today.”

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