Of course it’s important to create nice looking emails to send to your constituents, but did you know that some of your email elements could actually be keeping them out of inboxes? Use this article as a resource when crafting emails to ensure that they are deliverable and spam filter approved!
Images, videos and files, oh my!
Not all screens are created equal! To maximize the chance of your email displaying properly and loading quickly for your audience, a general guideline for maximum image width is 600 pixels for desktop and 320 pixels for mobile.
But you don’t have to choose between desktop and mobile dimensions! The BEE email builder in GAIL has a hide on desktop/mobile feature that allows you to optimize your email design for both screen types. As you can see from this recent Tips & Tricks email on the right, it can look a little strange while you’re creating the email. Everything looks great in your inbox though!
While videos often increase open and click-through rates, it’s safer to link to a YouTube or Vimeo video than to try and embed the video into your email. Embedded videos can cause your message to be caught up in spam filters or load slowly if they’re delivered. We’ve made this simple through the BEE editor; all you need to do is drag the video content piece to your email and add the hyperlink.
If you need to add a file or form to your emails, make sure they’re hosted somewhere on your website and link to them rather than embedding them. Just like embedded videos, they can cause your email to be blocked by spam filters. BEE is also a little particular about files; there cannot be any spaces in file names that you send with a BEE email.
A Subject Line worth 1000 words
Half of the battle with email marketing is convincing your audience to open the email at all. Even though they’re small elements, the from name, subject line and teaser text all have a big impact on the success of your emails.
From Name: This element begins building trust with your readers. With phishing schemes becoming more and more believable, it’s important to make a personal connection with your audience. You should plan to include your school/college/unit as part of the from name, but you may personalize it further by including a faculty or staff member’s name as well. For example: Emily at DAR Client Services
Subject Line: Keep your subject line short and use it to highlight the most important part of your message and grab readers’ attention. Did you know you can A/B test different subject lines through marketing efforts in GAIL? Reach out to Emily Clary for more info.
Teaser Text: Teaser text is a short line of text that follows the Subject Line in an email client. It should work together with your Subject Line to paint a larger picture about your message and draw your readers in. In BEE, a text box is built in at the top of the basic email templates. If you don’t change the text before sending, your email will display “Email teaser goes here” in constituent inboxes. If you simply delete the teaser text, email clients will display the first element in the email, which is usually an image. In that case the text under the subject line in your constituents’ inboxes would read something along the lines of “Horizontal-Shield-Full Color-Logo” and nobody wants that!
Staying out of the Spam Filter
While concocting those Subject Lines and Teaser Texts, spam filters should be top of mind. Companies and mailbox providers have software in place, known as spam filters, to review incoming email content and sort out the good emails from the bad. Here are some email characteristics that are commonly caught by spam filters and kept out of inboxes:
STUCK ON CAPS: Avoid using all caps in your email subject. It might catch your readers’ attention, but it seems spammy.
So Excited!!!: While you’re at it, stay away from multiple exclamation marks too. We all love the Dawgs, really. Use language to convey your love for this great institution rather than serial punctuation marks!
Dear Friend: Certain greetings are also commonly blocked by spam filters, such as the ever-popular “Dear Friend…” Other frequently blocked phrases include “we need,” and “urgent.”