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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?

Blog Post

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.

Blog Post

Maximum Width for HTML Emails

You’ve probably noticed that the majority of email newsletters you receive these days are designed with a fixed width as opposed to a fluid layout. This is because the majority of email clients and web-based email providers don’t use the full width of your screen to display an email message. Whether it’s ads on Gmail, a menu in Hotmail or your Inbox in Outlook, a chunk of screen real estate is often already being used. Remember, your recipients are busy and impatient, so horizontal scroll bars are even more of a no-no in email than a web page. Because of this, it is a good idea to keep your emails to a fixed width of no more than 550-600 pixels. This should ensure that in most cases, your subscribers can view your email as you intended. What about height? Obviously the height of each email you send will vary depending on the amount of content. At the same time, it’s good to keep in mind that a lot of your recipients may scan your email in a preview pane before they decide to read the entire thing. The average preview pane is around 300-500 pixels high, so make sure you include any important bits of your email in this area. First impressions count.

Blog Post

Email Newsletter Design Resources

We’ve been seeing some great looking email newsletters being sent through our software of late. This got us thinking… are there any good resources out there that email newsletter designers can turn to for inspiration and insight? We’ve been looking around for a few days and haven’t come up with much. Sure there are some great resources for web design, but html newsletter design seems to have been largely ignored. Because of this, we’re considering posting some of these great designs here occasionally (with the designer’s permission of course) with a little review on what we liked about it. We also had a few other ideas, like the ability for you guys to submit, vote and comment on designs as well. What I want to know is, would you find this useful when looking for inspiration for your next newsletter design? Update: You wanted it, so here it is, the Campaign Monitor Newsletter Design Gallery.

Blog Post

How Can I Ensure All My Campaigns Are CAN-SPAM Compliant?

We often get asked by you guys if your campaigns are compliant with the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) act of 2003, which went into effect in January 1 of last year. While certain aspects of the law still remain a little cloudy, there are some simple steps you can follow with Campaign Monitor to ensure you’re on the right track. To make things easy, we’ve compiled a quick checklist for our US customers that you should try and follow to lessen the likelihood of unknowingly violating any of the sometimes ambiguous CAN-SPAM laws.

Blog Post

How Can I Ensure All My Campaigns Are CAN-SPAM Compliant?

We often get asked by you guys if your campaigns are compliant with the CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) act of 2003, which went into effect in January 1 of last year. While certain aspects of the law still remain a little cloudy, there are some simple steps you can follow with Campaign Monitor to ensure you’re on the right track. To make things easy, we’ve compiled a quick checklist for our US customers that you should try and follow to lessen the likelihood of unknowingly violating any of the sometimes ambiguous CAN-SPAM laws.

Blog Post

Why Can’t I Permanently Delete Sent Campaigns or Subscribers?

This is a question we get asked a lot, but when you think about it, it does make sense. By not allowing you guys to permanently remove who’s in your lists or who you’ve sent campaigns to, we provide you with an audit trail that you can use to protect yourself against a complaint. If a subscriber complains about not being removed from one of your lists, you spamming them, etc, there is always a way to confirm the date they subscribed to your list and when they were removed from it. As long as you’re following best practice and have obtained permission, you’re covered. Of course, you can always set a subscriber as inactive if you don’t want them to receive any campaigns or hide any test campaigns from your clients with a single click.

Blog Post

What’s the Best Day and Time to Send My Email Newsletters?

A question we often get asked by our customers is “What’s the best day and time to send our clients’ newsletters?”. Firstly, let’s look at what some of the more popular research out there is telling us. Just keep in mind that this research is conducted across a range of markets, so it might not always be right for you or your recipients. In July 2004, delivery consultancy Return Path analysed over 3.4 million email messages and found that email sent on Monday is more likely to get opened, and anytime between 6am and 10am is the best time of the day to send. These findings were later confirmed by media company Marketing Sherpa. Today however, it was revealed that this might no longer be the case and that emails sent from Wednesday to Friday maximized open rates. So which one’s right for you? The truth is, the optimal delivery time will depend on what you’re sending and who you’re sending to. Luckily, one of email’s strengths is it’s just so testable (is that a word?). You should use the time of day and day of week as variables in your tests. Try splitting your subscribers into 2 separate subscriber lists and sending to one half at one day and time and one half at another. Run a comparison of your results in the Reporting section and learn from what you see. Running tests like this over the course of a few campaigns is the only way to really know when you should and shouldn’t be sending.

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