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I Got This List From…. Is It OK to Use with Campaign Monitor?

When putting together the design for a client’s email newsletter, the last thing we usually think about is importing their list into Campaign Monitor. What we fail to realize, is that the quality of our client’s list is going to have as much impact on the success of the campaign (and the perceived quality of our creative) as the design itself. As we’ve stated before, a smaller permission based list is ALWAYS going to out perform a larger unsolicited list. If you or your client has an existing list you’d like to import, make sure you review the following scenarios to ensure your list is permission-based and OK to use with Campaign Monitor.

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Quick Tip: Track Which Page Your Recipients Subscribe From

If you’ve got a subscribe form on more than one page on your site, Campaign Monitor provides a really simple way of tracking which pages or forms your subscribers are signing up from. Here are the steps: Add a custom field to your subscriber list called “source” (or something similar). Head into Create a subscribe form and make sure you select the new “source” custom field to be included. Save your changes and copy the supplied code for your subscribe form. Add the subscribe code to your site, but change the text for the source field from <input type="text" to <input type="hidden". Place this code on each of the pages on your site, and give the hidden field a value. For example, the front page could use value="frontpage" and the contact page could be value="contactpage". Every time someone completes these subscribe forms, they’ll be added to your list and the hidden form value will passed into the “source” field. This gives you an easy way to find out which pages on your site are converting the most subscribers.

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Optimizing CSS Presentation in HTML Emails

This article is a sequel to one that appeared on A List Apart shortly after…

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AOL Delivery Issues

We’re currently experiencing delivery problems to AOL recipients. We’ve been assured by AOL that this is only a temporary problem and will be fixed within the next 24 hours or so. We recommend holding off on sending any campaigns to AOL recipients today. We’ll update this alert as soon as you’re good to go. If you’ve got any questions, please let us know. UPDATE 20/7: We’re still working with AOL to resolve this problem for you guys. In anticipation of this delay, we’ve taken a number of steps to ensure that if they take another 24 hours, we’ve got other options. Right now, we’re sitting tight and waiting for news. If another day passes, we’ll flick the switch on our alternate option and you guys can start sending to your AOL recipients. More news here shortly… UPDATE 21/7: We’re back! You can now send any campaigns to your AOL recipients without fearing any bounces. In fact, this incident has only reinforced our AOL whitelisting status. Thanks so much for your patience. We’ve learnt a lot from this experience and have put a lot of new measures in place to help combat any similar situations in the future. Finally, a big thanks to Robert at AOL for his dedication to getting to the bottom of the problem at their end.

Blog Post

Our Position on Permission

What’s OK, what’s not OK and what’s just plain illegal? As web designers, we often face this dilemma. Your client approaches you about designing their next email newsletter and sends you their list of 2,000 email addresses, explaining: “We got this list from a partner of ours but it’s 100% opt-in and we’re in the same industry.” You design the newsletter, import the list and send away. But guess what, you just breached our Terms of Use and probably just broke the law. We all hate spammers, and the last thing you want to do is become one. Permission doesn’t need to be a gray area, so weíve put together a checklist you can go through each time you import subscribers into your account. As part of our terms, make sure you’ve got the following covered EVERY time you import a list: My list is 100% permission based. Every individual on my list has explicitly asked to receive email from me or I have a proven relationship with the recipient. I did not purchase this list from any source. My list does not contain email address that have been automatically captured or scraped by surfing the Internet or using an email scraping tool. We’ve gone so far as to build this checklist right into the software, so from today youíll need to tick each box every time you import a list into Campaign Monitor. It’s your responsibility to make these points very clear to whoever supplies you with a list. It goes without saying (but Iíll say it anyway) that any violation of these rules will result in the immediate termination of your account. Did I mention we hate spammers? At the end of the day, a smaller permission based list is ALWAYS going to out perform a larger unsolicited list. It’s just common sense.

Blog Post

Quick Tip: Getting Additional Information from Your Subscribers

For a lot of our customers, placing your subscribe form on the front page of your site (or on every page for that matter) is an important method for encouraging as many people as possible to sign up. The only problem is, you don’t want to overload these pages with a bulky form, so you end up only asking for a name and email address. For a lot of you guys, this is enough. But if your interested in a quick and easy way to capture additional info and still keep a small form on your main pages, then read on. If you want to capture the extra details for every new subscriber, then you should change the subscribe form on the front page to submit to a second page on your site. This will then pass the subscribers name and email address in to the real subscribe form where you can capture all details. To make this work, you would pass the subscribers name and email address into hidden fields on the second subscribe page. This page would then use the supplied Campaign Monitor subscribe code (just change the name and email fields to <input type="hidden") and capture all the extra details for your subscribers. Once submitted, the user would then be redirected to your own custom confirmation page. It’s important to remember that unless the subscribers completes the second form, they won’t be added to your list.

Blog Post

Dealing with Images Not Loading by Default

Derek Harding put together a great read on the increasingly more important problem of email clients not loading images by default. Some of the most popular email environments including AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail, Outlook 2003, and Thunderbird have images turned off by default. This can obviously have a huge impact on the design and effectiveness of your email campaign. Derek offers a number of suggestions on dealing with this issue, namely: Designing and testing your emails to get the message across even when images are turned off. Getting added to the recipients address book, bypassing the problem altogether for the majority of email clients. Definitely worth checking out.

Blog Post

SSL Problem Fixed

Our apologies for the SSL problems you guys have been experiencing in the last 12 hours. This was actually a DNS issue. We tested the new server from multiple locations around the world and it seemed that our DNS changes had completely propagated, but it now seems a few customers ISP’s were still seeing the old SSL connection. We’ve manually switched to the new SSL certificate now (secure2.campai…), so until propagation is completed in the next 12 hours or so, you will see a small security alert when you send a campaign. Ignore this, your campaign will be delivered and the alert will soon disappear.

Blog Post

Using Flash in Email Newsletters

I’m sure a few of you have come across this scenario before – you’re putting together a newsletter for a client and they want to jazz it up by adding some flash to the email. You might be left wondering, is that going to work?

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Email Newsletter Design Gallery

A couple of weeks ago we noticed a real lack of good online resources showcasing excellent email newsletter design. It seems you guys agreed, so today we take great pleasure in launching the Email Newsletter Design Gallery. Aimed at highlighting some of the great designs that pass through our software, we hope to provide you with a useful resource where you can discuss what you think works and doesn’t work in email design. Feel free to post your own thoughts on each concept, be it positive or negative, as long as it’s constructive.

Blog Post

Using Forms in HTML Emails

Sometimes it can be very handy to include a HTML form in an email campaign. Whether it’s a quick customer survey or a subscribe form for another list, they can be a good way to interact with a recipient right there in their email client. We even use them occasionally to get feedback off you guys. While they can be useful, there are a number of precautions you need to consider before using them.

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