Give Trees a Chance.

Plant-It 2020
Here at Emma, we're big fans of trees. From the noblest Redwood to the teeniest Dwarf Willow, we love them all, and we suspect that you, dear reader, do too. With that in mind, we recently forged an exciting partnership with Plant-It 2020 to give our Emma community an easy way to participate in non-harvest reforestation efforts across the globe. The idea is simple – for every new account we open, we'll plant five trees with the help of Plant-It 2020. Already in the first month of the initiative, we've donated the money to plant nearly 1,000 trees in the lovely state of Oregon. And with nearly 300 fabulous organizations joining us each month, we hope to donate more than 15,000 trees this year.

Founded by John Denver in 1992, Plant-It 2020 plants an indigenous tree for every dollar they receive. Their savvy approach to reforestation ensures that the trees they plant will live a long and happy life. They'll be nurtured in their natural environment with ample light and water, and they will never be harvested. Perhaps they are also lulled to sleep at night by "Rocky Mountain High." Okay, we can't guarantee the lullaby, but it's a nice thought. If you’re curious to learn more about Plant-It 2020, visit their website and subscribe to their email newsletter (powered by Emma, of course).

As we grow as a company, we look forward to forging more partnerships with cool companies dedicated to positive change. We invite you to be directly involved in making our world a more sustainable place. So, go forth and plant some trees, do-gooders! We salute you.
[tags]plant-it 2020, reforestation, trees, myemma.com, environment[/tags]

The Brainiac Guide to Welcome Email Automation

Giving back for the holidays.

Emma gives back for the holidays
We decided to adopt a family for the holidays through St. Luke's Community House, a fabulous organization (and past Emma 25 honoree!) that provides a wide variety of social services for the West Nashville community. Everybody chipped in to help, and we were able to give our family some fun stuff, like a tea party set and Lightning McQueen race car, as well as some practical stuff, like winter coats and bedding. Not that winter coats aren't fun. Just don't try and race a parka.

Anyhoo, a big thanks to St. Luke's for giving us the opportunity to give back. Between the bake sale to raise money, the present wrapping bonanza and the many shopping trips, we had a great time doing some good. To find out ways you can get involved with St. Luke's, visit their website or sign up for their email newsletter (powered by Emma, of course).

In the picture, from left to right: Kendall, Taylor, Emily, Kathleen, Christina, Erik, Sara, Erin, Rachael, Dave, Cliff, Gina, and Kris.

[tags]St. Luke's Community House, volunteer, adopt-a-family, myemma.com, Emma 25[/tags]

Send some email, do some good.

Emma 25 - Email marketing accounts for nonprofits
That's the motto for our Emma 25 program, the annual initiative where Emma customers tell us about the great non-profits in their communities, and we pick 25 and award them with a free email marketing account, html email template, and service that's renewable year after year. In its fourth year, we hope that giving away free accounts through Emma 25 makes it easier for deserving charities to get the word out about what they're doing, stay in touch with donors, organize events and do even more great work.

And these organizations are all about great work. They're doing all sorts of fabulous things, like organizing a 4000-mile bike ride from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska to raise money for cancer research, providing cost-free arts programs to underprivileged kids in Australia and raising money to fight hunger in Massachusetts, just to name a few. For the complete list of this year's Emma 25 honorees, including their websites, visit the Emma 25 landing page.

Oh, and here are some Emma staffers who pitched in to help with the selection process, standing in front of the infamous Emma 25 Selection Process Whiteboard. We really should think about a new name for that. From left to right: Christina Griffith, Cliff Corr, Gina LaMar, Kathleen Cotter and Suzanne Norman. Thanks to Laura Key and Dave Delaney for helping as well, although we have to give them the dreaded "not pictured" label.
[tags] nonprofits, charity, email marketing, Emma 25, myemma.com[/tags]

Emma customers helping Emma customers

Vaco Celebrates its fifth anniversary in style, by doing some good for Safe Haven Family Shelter
There's nothing like a rockin' party for a worthy cause … except perhaps a rockin' party for a worthy cause with an ice sculpture.

I just wanted to brag about one of our customers, Vaco, whose recent five-year celebration (cleverly dubbed Cinco de Vaco) was not just about recognizing its staff or all its success in the recruiting field. Or dancing to 80s music. Or admiring the ice sculptures (though they are lovely, aren't they?). It was also about helping Safe Haven Family Shelter, a fabulous Nashville non-profit working to fight homelessness. By the end of the night, Cinco de Vaco guests had donated more than $2,000 for families working with Safe Haven. Muy bien!

Social responsibility points go to Vaco for taking what could be just another corporate party and turning it into a stylish party for a really great cause. And if you're in the Nashville area and want to find out more about Safe Haven, you can subscribe to their email newsletter here. And yes, we're proud to say they're dear members of the Emma community – they joined us four years ago as an Emma 25 honoree during the program's first year.

[tags]vaco, safe haven, emma 25, nonprofits, myemma.com[/tags]

Photo by Steve and Angela Purinton of Pure Photo

Where email newsletters go to die.

I was cleaning out my inbox folders today and rediscovered my "to read later" folder, which is supposedly the handy organizational device that lets me "catch up" on "important" emails when I have "time." I should probably rename it the email graveyard, because it's where emails go to die. I don't have to unsubscribe. I don't have to delete it. I can just "file" it like a responsible subscriber and tell myself that I really will scroll through fifteen inches of articles later. When I have time. Uh huh. Sure.

In fact, most all the emails in my "to read later" folder shared a common trend of being really long and text-heavy, with no good introduction to what was inside. And I understand that some organizations – universities and non-profits, typically – will often have longer articles that they want to put in front of their subscribers. But if sending a novel is going to land your email newsletter in the email graveyard, what's an email marketer to do?

Use landing pages. That way, you can tease articles with a blurb, then link your readers to the full article hosted on your site. It keeps your email short, sweet and tidy – plus, it directs traffic to your website (always a good thing). And if you're checking your response results (you are checking those, right?) you can use the link tracking to see which articles garnered the most interest.

We actually just got an email from the stylish Emma users at Haverford College that's a perfect example of the landing page newsletter done well. Check it out here, won't you?

[tags] email marketing, email newsletters, landing pages, Haverford College, myemma.com[/tags]

Can’t video and email just get along?

We get a lot of questions about embedding video in emails. Typically they go something like, "Hey, can I embed video in my email?" People tend to get right to the point around here.

Anyway, we've found that attaching or embedding video tends to be a red flag for server and spam filters, and a lot of email clients don't render or play video in the way you'd hope. Instead, we suggest hosting the video on your site, on YouTube or, if you're an Emma customer, in your document library. Then you can include the link to the video's online location in your email.

To show you what we mean, here's an example from a fabulous email newsletter we got this week. It's from the folks at Opportunity Green, which is a sustainability conference happening in L.A. this Saturday (we'll be there, by the way, and if you're in the area, you should come, too). They feature a couple of YouTube videos in their campaign, but they didn't just opt for simple text link. Instead, they took a screenshot of the opening frame, player and all, included it in their campaign as a jpeg and linked the jpeg to their video on YouTube. We thought it was a great way to give a campaign a video-ish touch without affecting its delivery.

Update: We're sorry to say that images in the Opportunity Green email are no longer available.

[tags]email marketing, email newsletters, sustainability, opportunity green, myemma.com[/tags]

Are you a friend? There are 51 million Facebook users and counting…

Friends of Emma
According to Facebook's statistics page there are 51 million active users today. Are you one of the 51 million? If so, we'd love you to drop by and join our new Friends of Emma Group. Of course, membership is free.

We'll be adding news and links to goodies in the coming weeks. Join today and add yourself to the discussions on topics like: email marketing, newsletters, new media, and any other topics that come up.

We hope to see you there.

[tags]Emma Email Marketing, Friends of Emma, Facebook, newsletters[/tags]