In the past few months, I’ve grabbed a hold of my client’s Email Marketing program (well, only half a hold*) and have begun to master it. One change was to move from using established templates offered by the email provider to using custom templates that I created.
While we lost the ability for my client to edit the emails (darn, I’m heartbroken), I did gain the ability to create a branded look & feel. I also obtain a better understanding of tracking between email (HTML) and web sites, which I’d like to share with you here. Note that I’m at the beginning stages, and there may be several inaccuracies or inefficiencies. So send me a comment if things could be done better.
Creating the HTML email
I use Dreamweaver to create the email, as a copy will be online as a view option (best practice). Once I finish creating the email and tagging it up with the various tracking tags, I then copy/paste the styles and HTML code into ConstantContact.
Recently, I’ve found myself creating design, not for the web, but for HTML emails. It has been an experience reverting back to techniques used in the previous century, prior to the advent of CSS. I’ve also learned from mistakes made, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you.
Use a Email Management Service
Using one of the many services out there (i.e. ConstantContact, MailChimp, Lyris, etc.), you can send out effective and professionally designed HTML email communications without knowledge of HTML by using pre-established templates. These services also allow those marketers with the proper skills to create custom HTML emails. Most systems are designed to ensure the greatest compatibility with the greatest number of email clients. They also offer great reporting and metrics to provide information on open rate (for HTML emails only), clicked links, etc. Lastly, the systems handle all subscriber management tasks, such as subscribes, un-subscribes, etc.
Layout with Tables