Pictureless perfect: how to build emails which look good when images are blocked

Image blocking has always been a challenge for email marketers. Some email clients hide images by default, leaving your beautifully crafted newsletter as little more than a few stray alt tags scattered around in white space. So how do you make sure your emails look presentable when stripped of their images? Let’s rule out some ideas which don’t work before we look at those that do. Embedded images Adding images to a web page doesn’t necessarily mean linking to an external file. It’s possible to use a data URI instead and paste the image data right there in your HTML document. There are drag-and-drop online converters which can generate the data for you. Just feed them an image and they’ll…

How retail should use email marketing

Email marketing can be the most effective sales support for retail companies. It is undisputed that it is by far the best value for money form of advertising. For every £1 spent, email marketing generates a £38 ROI. Email has been claimed to be more than 40 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter. This is easy to imagine as people have absolute control over their inbox in choosing to receive emails from their favourite brand it is reasonable to assume a retailer will be sending emails to people who want their emails. People have very little control over the type of content they receive via social media and most retailer brand messaging gets lost, not least because people don’t…

Do image heavy emails still have a place in email marketing?

A healthy balance of live text and images in email – it’s the general consensus in email design and development as well as being best practice. This healthy balance is seen as a must to help emails land in inboxes rather than the spam folder, and to ensure our emails reach the widest possible audience. However, over the years there has been a rapid increase in the number of email clients and devices that need to be considered in email development. With each combination of device and email client/inbox provider, email marketers are faced with set after set of rules and restrictions that need to be abided by. What’ll work in one email client won’t in another. Oh, but it’ll…

Email Conversion and UX Correlation infographic

Graphic design is a visual language of communication and, like any language has its rules. Emails have become part of the graphic world so need to abide by these rules. UX (user experience) is also critical and respecting the principles of UX will improve the engagement of your audience. So welcome to our Email Conversion and UX Correlation infographic, where we look at how design and UX can work seamlessly together.

How to improve the preheader text in your email campaigns

Preheader text is a small but vital part of every email marketing campaign. If written correctly in conjunction with a concise, benefit focused subject line the two can create a powerful 1-2 combo to greatly increase open rates for your email campaigns. Open rates are arguably one of the most important statistics for email campaigns because without any opens you’re not going to get any clicks. In most email clients within the list of received emails you will see three pieces of information. The From name, the subject line and the second line is the Preheader text. The Subject line is usually darker or slightly larger in size, however most clients allow more space for Preheader text so ideally it…

Top 5 Tips for Script Writing

Due to the nature of my job a lot of script writing (SQL in my case) is done on the fly and is often written in an ad hoc fashion. This is fine for my personal use (that is until I look back an indeterminate time later and have to decipher my own work whilst trying to remember my reasoning) but if a bus that has my name on it were ever to strike me down my successors would undoubtedly struggle with some of my scripts. So, here are my top 5 tips on how to check and maintain the integrity of scripts and to make them accessible for other people to read, run and adapt if necessary.   1.…

Sender best practices

In February, the M3AAWG (Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group) released version 3.0 of their “Sender Best Common Practices”, the first time this document has been updated since 2011. This document is primarily aimed at delivery and compliance professionals at ESPs (Email Service Providers), but there’s a lot of important information and guidelines which I hope to summarise here for a broader audience looking to improve their email marketing practices. Who? The M3AAWG is a consortium founded in 2004 to bring the messaging community together to fight against abuse of the various messaging platforms, specifically things like spam, malware, bots and denial of service attacks. The group’s leaders and members represent some of the largest network providers (Comcast, Time…

It's a trap!

Spamtraps: What are they and how to deal with them

Spamtraps have been a part of email marketing for some time now and they’re not going away. Like a virus, if untreated, it can kill your email marketing in no time. So what are they? How do you get them? And what can be done about them? What are spamtraps? Spamtraps are email addresses which are monitored but not used. Any email sent to these addresses is considered to be spam as these addresses should not receive any email. They can be old email addresses which have been dormant for years, email addresses specifically setup to catch spammers (also know as honey pots) or addresses commonly used when people signup for things without wanting to give away their real details,…

SPAMMER FINED – JOHN LEWIS

In a move that sky news are saying could set precedent here in the UK , major retailer, John Lewis, has been called a SPAMMER and fined by a county court judge for sending unsolicited email contrary to the electronic communications and privacy directive of 2003. Roddy Mansfield who happens to be a producer for sky news has successfully taken direct action against John Lewis in the county court system and won. The arguments that Mr Mansfield registered his details with John Lewis and had the opportunity to untick the box and also that by browsing their website he had entered into negotiation with the company and they were only sending him goods and services that he could reasonably expect…