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Nearly 50% of all email today are viewed on mobile devices, and this number is rising rapidly. Almost 20% of people who read email on their mobile devices read it in only text view, where images, don't get seen. With this in mind...

should we use images?. Well yes, you should use images. and keeping a few simple rules in mind, you can make great email campaigns.

Setting up your email campaign

Choose an email template that you feel suits your business and stick to it. People get used to seeing your email coming into their inbox and recognize it. If your last email was interesting it will make an impression on them and they will see your next mailing campaign as welcoming.For responsive layouts it good practice to use single column layouts. Use your company colors, company font, and company logo. Add social media buttons and a contact us button. But most important have an unsubscribe button. To keep in compliance of the CAN-SPAM Act you must allow email recipiants the option to unsubscribe with Opt-Out to be carried outwithin 10 days. And finally content for your mailing.

Spammy emails

Your email can get cought up in spam filters even if you not spamming. Spam filters work on a points system, and Images, just as text can be seen as spam in your email campaign. Using more images and less text can be seen as spam. A few examples of spammy words are: "Click here", "Free", "As Seen", "Buy" "Earn" or "GUARANTEED", Using capital letters, especially in the subject line, gets your email campaigns seen as SPAM.

Subject line

The subject line is very important. It can determing if someone opens your email or just clicks on delete. It should not contain any words that might sound like SPAM. do not USE CAPITAL letters or any spammy words at all. The subject line should reflect what actually is in your content. Dont try and trick readers or fool them into opening your email. Keep it clear and not too long.

Header section

Try and keep your template smaller than 600px wide and if you decide to use a header banner don't forget that the header section might have padding on each side of your banner, so a banner of 600px is then too big, make it 580 if the padding is 10 on each side. The image that you use should be in the following formats: .jpg, .gif, or .png. Images that you use in your mailings should be saved in rgb format CYMK are not always visible in some email programs and CYMK is basically for printing. Make sure that your images are optimised or exported for web use, you do not need a an 900kb banner.

Body section/Content

This is the reason you are sending your email campaign. This is where you get your message across. You content should be short and sweet, just a few sentances and to the point. Your offer, your product, your news. Have a link to your website where the product is, or a link to contact you for more information on your news etc. You can use buttons or text links. You can also use an image or two. It is good practice to fill in, alt text for the image, most email programs will have posibilities to fill in alt text, alt text tells search engines, and screen readers what the image is.

Footer section

Here you state your mailing address, your unsubscribe link, you can put your social media links down in the footer and some companies will have copyright notices etc in the footer section. Having a link for readers to update their subscription information is a good move as this helps to keep your contact records up to date. Linking your contact information in a Vcard can help customers easily update your contact information in their system.

Sending your email campaign

The big moment has arrived, time to send your email. After you click the send button it's too late to do anything about that typo you missed, so send a test mail to yourself, read it, view it on your mobile phone to see the general look and feel of your email on mobile devices. Check your spelling, check it again, let someone else check it, and check it again. Then send yourself another test email and print it out, sometimes you only see a mistake after it's too late.

Time of day or week to send your campaign

The time you send your mailing is very important. A lot of research has gone into the best time of day, or the best day to send email campaigns. If you are sending a business mailing, it's probably not  a good idea to send it Friday, late afternoon, as the receiver might not see the email until Monday morning. MailChimp send more than 50 million emails every day and a MailChimp study shows that an increase of email openings rise after 12:00 in the afternoon and between 14:00 and 17:00 shows the peak time of day for people opening email campaigns. Marketing companies seem to be sending more mail campaigns on Tuesday's and Thursday's, Thursday being the best day for opening mail, and  during the weekends a sharp fall in the amount of emails been opened. Nearly 30% of email campaigns are opened within the first hour of being sent and after 4 hours the chance that your email will be opened is less than 5%. Outside of email campaigns most email gets opened betweeen 08:00 and 12:00. It is important to do your own research on your customer target, and try and find the best time of day, and the best day of the week to send your own email campaigns to your customers.

Mailing programs

I have used quite a range of mailing programs, and I have to say MailChimp beats them all. With MailChimp you can have up to 2000 contacts and send as many as 12,000 emails per month for free. With professional responsive templates and excellent built in tools for tracking your emails, integrating social media, and organising your contacts.

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