Email newsletters are key resources for small and medium businesses

If you or your clients are targeting small to medium businesses, a recent survey entitled "Optimizing Email Newsletters for Small/Medium Businesses" has some useful information for you.

According to the study of over 300 executives, email newsletters rank highly as sources of information, beating out websites and blogs, and matching print media for importance. A weekly or monthly newsletter was the preferred frequency, and 'how to' and product information the top content areas requested.

This is some more valuable information you can use to explain the benefits of email marketing to your clients. Although the study specifically focused on small to medium (less than 500 person) businesses, it would be safe to extrapolate that out to most businesses and consumers.

We'd be interested to know how often you or your clients send your newsletter - have you had the best results with monthly news, or weekly? Or something completely different?

Read this post Posted by Mathew Patterson

Selling the business case for email to your clients

A while back we wrote about 5 ideas you can use when pitching your email marketing services to your clients. These covered ideas like showing them how easy it is to measure the results and how targeted it can be. All very useful stuff, but probably not enough focus on the most important thing in your customers minds. How will it help me grow my business?

Today, one of my favourite email marketing blogs pointed me to this great article by Loren McDonald on this exact topic. While the article is penned from the perspective of selling the benefits of email marketing internally, it's just as useful when read from the perspective of designers and marketers pitching email to their clients.

Instead of focusing your next pitch on the pretty reporting interface you can offer, or how you handle unsubscribes automatically, take it from an ROI angle. Drive home how you plan to use email to drive more sales, increase conversions or achieve some other tangible benefit. Something tells me you'll be improving your own conversion rate in the process.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner

“My clients have been clamoring for a product like Campaign Monitor”

I couldn't be happier with your product. I run my own design and communications company in Boston and my clients have been clamoring for a product like Campaign Monitor. Your pricing model is spot on and a huge improvement over your competitors, plus your interface is top notch.

Keep up the *great* work.

Karl Stier, Watershed Media

Read this post Posted by David Greiner

Windows Live Mail drops a little more CSS support

As part of a check up on our updated guide to CSS support we released around 6 weeks ago, I've just done a quick re-test in some of the major web-based email clients to make sure the results are still spot on.

Well, my first test in and I spotted some discrepancies. Turns out Windows Live Mail's recently noted decline continues with the e:link, e:active and e:hover CSS selectors no longer being supported. These changes make it much harder to style any links in your email, and because they can only be declared through the selector, can't be solved by going the inline CSS route.

We've updated the original article to reflect these changes, as well as the PDF summary, which you can re-download below:

PDF iconDownload the updated 2007 results for all email environments (52kb)

We'll keep checking each environment on a regular basis to stay on top of any minor changes, and if you guys ever spot anything amiss, don't hesitate to let us know.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 7 Comments

Great new gallery entries

Inside Packaging Stags' Leap Magento

We're showcasing a diversity of subjects with our recent gallery entries - commercial packaging, a winery and open source software - but they're all great email designs.

Don't forget to subscribe to the gallery's own RSS feed to be notified when we add new entries.

Read this post Posted by Mathew Patterson

Default image blocking continues to gather momentum

For the most current results on image blocking in email clients, view our updated post.

Screenshot of the new AOL.com mail interfaceAOL recently updated their web-based software for all AOL.com and AIM.com email accounts. We've had a quick look around and even done some preliminary CSS testing. The good news is that CSS support is top notch, as in as good as Yahoo!, which was great to see. The not-so-good news was that images are now blocked by default for all unknown senders.

In the scheme of things, this isn't really that big a deal. Image blocking is the norm in most modern email clients and we've been promoting the idea of designing for images being turned off for the last couple of years.

So why are we even bothering announcing this? Because some people need to hear things 10 times before they sink in. We still see the occasional customer sending largely image based designs for their clients. We point them to our makeovers and reports, but some still don't seem to get the point.

Consider this another tap on the shoulder about image blocking.

On top of getting your design right, make sure you check out our other tips for minimizing the negatives of image blocking, such as becoming a "safe sender".

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 5 Comments

T-shirt update: The votes are in!

First off, a big thanks to everyone who voted and left comments in our quick survey. We had hundreds of votes cast and decided to go with the top 3 designs as voted by you. Luckily for us, there were 3 fairly clear winners, and the number one choice got a vote from almost half of you. That one's gonna be popular.

Not long now...

Right now we're working with a professional designer to bring the selected designs to life, and as soon as that's been finalized we'll be announcing the winners and final designs here. Hopefully this won't take more than a week or two to wrap up.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 9 Comments
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