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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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“The Holy Grail of Email Newsletter Software”

“It’s only taken me 4 years of searching for a fast, reliable, and smartly-designed email service and I’m thrilled that we’ve finally found the holy grail in Campaign Monitor. It’s a truly private label tool that actually does justice to Web standards based emails.” Andrew Boardman, MANOVERBOARD

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“Like Manna from Heaven!”

“If Campaign Monitor did only what I thought I needed, I’d be happy – but it does way more. It integrates and automates processes that used to be a chore, and its reports and tracking tools are like manna from heaven!” Ryan Deussing, ELSEWARES

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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.

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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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“When My Clients Are Happy, I’m Happy”

“I have been using email marketing programs of one kind or another since the late 90’s. Whilst each have had some merit, it has been only since I started using Campaign Monitor that I found a solution that meets all my requirements.” “It is easy to use, time saving and my customers love the fact they can monitor everything. When my clients are happy, I’m happy, so thank you Campaign Monitor.” Daren Bach, Provoke Design Limited

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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.

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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.

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Update: Importing an Email with Dynamic Images

We’ve just implemented a change that will allow you to include dynamic images in your email campaigns. Huh?? Glad you asked. Basically, some Content Management Systems (CMS’s) and Ad serving applications reference image sources to a dynamic web page as opposed to an image file. For example: <img src="http://www.adserver.com/display.php?ad_id=233"> One of our customers pointed out that this was breaking a few of their images when importing. At first we modified the code to grab the dynamic image and store it locally, but then we realized that if your dynamic images are being tracked through an Ad server or similar technology, it would be better if they stayed on the server. So in the end we decided that all dynamic images will be fully referenced to your server. Whad’ya think? Prefer it to act differently? Let us know in the comments. Oh yeah, we sneaked in a little bug fix as well. In some circumstances the bounce reports wouldn’t show the email address of the bounce recipient. That one’s been squashed!

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Downtime Notice

Campaign Monitor was unavailable from between 12.20pm and 4pm today due to a problem with the surveillance on our server. Our HUGE apologies for this and any inconvenience it might have caused. The system is running smoothly again now and we are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Update: While the application itself was unavailable, all subscribe forms, client extranets and campaign tracking was unaffected. Your subscribers and clients wouldn’t have missed a beat. And no, while the timing was terrible, this wasn’t a bad April Fools joke!

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Update: Exporting Subscribers Improved

We’ve just extended the Export Subscribers feature so that along with active subscribers, you can now export a list of unsubscribed, inactive, or bounced subscribers. Along with this we have also brought the export facilities up to speed with the recent Custom Fields update by including the ability to export any custom subscriber data you might have in your list.

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