Designing Plain Text Email

Plain text emails can look good too!

Recently I’ve been spending quite a bit of time designing and building HTML email templates, but the plain text version of the email always seems to be an afterthought (or ignored/forgotten about entirely). Don’t forget about your plain text email the next time you’re building an HTML email campaign.

Why spend time and resources on a plain text version of your email? MailChimp has a great article covering some of the most vital reasons for a plain text version, including:

  • Some people prefer text emails, in fact they may even block or disable HTML emails from displaying.
  • Email spam filters have gotten much more aggressive over the years, and many filters scan both the HTML and plain text content for possible triggers (not having a plain text version at all could be an even bigger spam flag).
  • Many email applications are still severely out-dated and lacking in support for even basic HTML rendering. Some of these applications even default to the plain text email if an HTML issue occurs (especially on mobile devices).

So what can you do to spruce up your plain text email template? Check out Campaign Monitor’s Designing for the Inbox articles, especially Chapter 2: Designing Plain Text Email.

Hubspot's The Science of Email Marketing

Followed a very interesting webinar yesterday from Hubspot about the science of email marketing, where they used hard data (over 9.5 billion emails from Mailchimp), focus groups and surveys to identify general trends in email marketing.

Here’s a link to the webinar in its entirety (http://www.hubspot.com/thanks-for-registering-the-science-of-email-marketing), and I’ve also included some cliff notes from the presentation:

  • ‘Email is Homework’ to users
  • Saturday and Sunday have the best clickthroughs
  • Monday/Tuesday have the highest unsub rate and Thursday/Friday have the lowest
  • Early morning is best time for clickthroughs (6am)
  • Night is worst time for clickthroughs and unsub rate (10-12)
  • 80.8% of users reported reading email on a mobile device
  • # of links doesn’t have an effect on clickthroughs
  • # of links does have a small effect on unsub rate (more links more unsubs)
  • ‘Use lots of links’
  • ‘Serialize and label your emails’ to make them fresh, new, and interesting to users
  • ‘Give your subscribers special access/make it feel exclusive’
  • ‘Send email from someone they’ve heard of’ – use the brand or an identifiable person
  • Best clickthrough is for 1 send/month, all other rates are near even (up to 30+/month)
  • Worst unsub rate is for 1 send/month, the best rate comes from 5+/month
  • ‘Don’t be afraid to send too much email’
  • 58% of users have a separate junk email inbox
  • Allow social sharing from within marketing emails

Google, Social Networking Sites (Facebook, Myspace, etc), and Your Information

With Google’s recent announcement that they’ll now be adding real time information to web searches via Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, and other social networking sites, I figured I would put together a post on the subject of online privacy.

I’m sure many of you have seen the latest wave of tweets, emails, and Facebook updates similar to the below excerpt:

As of today, Facebook will automatically index all your info on Google, which allows everyone to view it. To change this option, go to Settings –> Privacy Settings –> Search –> then UN-CLICK the box that says ‘Allow indexing’. Copy and paste onto your status for all your friends to see ASAP.

Now I’d like to dismiss this rumor as being entirely false, but the privacy of your Facebook (and your Twitter, Myspace, etc all) information is entirely up to you and your settings.

Read on to learn more about how to control your privacy, and how Google, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, and the others are using your information.

Continue reading “Google, Social Networking Sites (Facebook, Myspace, etc), and Your Information”

The Ford Story – Or how to successfully use blogging and social networking

It seems like everyday I’m hearing of a new company attempting to use blogging and social networking/social media to bring in new business, and not to be left out, Ford has joined the fray.

Ford has launched a new blogging site: www.thefordstory.com built by the direct marketing agency, Wunderman Team Detroit, with built-in social networking capabilities and social media feeds through Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more.

Continue reading “The Ford Story – Or how to successfully use blogging and social networking”