A lot of awesome things come in threes, like primary colors, the Hanson brothers and the number of days you have off this weekend to name a few. Before you head out into your three days of fun, go ahead and check out three best practices (and more goodies) that we rounded up from the web this week.
Everyone's talking about mobile email right now, but with all the chatter, it can be hard to know where to start. Never fear – we've got five easy tweaks you can make to your next email campaign to ensure it looks great on screens big and small.
Shorten your header. A simplified header that's 50-100 pixels in height looks just right on a mobile device.
Enlarge your text and buttons. Body copy should be about 14 pt and buttons should be 45 pixels. That keeps everything fingertip friendly.
Choose your images wisely. Bold images with a single focus render great on mobile devices. You can get more brainy image advice here.
Think about the next step. Make sure you're linking to mobile-friendly sites. You don't want to create dead ends for your email readers.
Streamline your layout. A single-column layout works best for mobile. If you like two column layouts, just use a responsive template in your Emma account! You can have your sidebar on desktop views and we'll automatically create a single-column layout for folks who read it on mobile.
Let us know if you have any questions, and if you're doing mobile email right, be sure to share a link in the comments. We'd love to see!
Digital Summit (a.k.a. #dsum13) was so much fun this year. We met a ton of awesome folks in Atlanta, saw lots of Instagrams and tweets from people loving their Emma swag (thank you!) and generally had an awesome time. That wasn't the only fun to be had this week, though. Just take a look back at some of the best social posts...
If limiting your soul-baring tweets to 140 characters is a challenge, think smaller when it comes to your emails. Much smaller: Smart phones only display five or six words of your email’s subject line, so the gist of your message needs to be conveyed in about 20-30 characters when in portrait orientation.
Being concise is already a great parameter to have in place if you’re a known rambler (like moi), but you could be missing out on business if your subject line runs on or doesn’t grab attention. Smart phones don’t have preview panes, so it’s important to use what you’ve got: a clearly identified from name that builds trust and a short subject line that does its job of getting the email opened. Put the most important information first, and be aware of truncation – A subject line like Free gas at your Mapco station for one lucky winner could display as Free gas at your Mapco station.
From my own inbox:
You had me at "happy hour" with 35 characters total.
The entire subject line of 27 characters displays on my iPhone. This also lets me know that the email makes sense for smart phone use.
This one reads Up to 74% off artisan-inspired furniture, high-style home designs, distressed decor, The Farmhouse Kitchen & more – Hello, run-on: 113 characters. Luckily, the from name for this biweekly email is consistent, so I know it isn’t spammy, but it still doesn’t grab my attention. Delete.
Next step: a split test to find which of your clear, concise subject lines is best-liked.
How do you make sure your emails look great on screens of all sizes, automatically, and engage your readers instead of driving them away?
With Emma's responsive templates, of course! We've optimized every template in our gallery of free readymade designs (which work alongside our new drag & drop editor), so all you have to do is add your content and send.
What is responsive design?
Put most simply, responsive design is web or email content designed to respond differently based on where (i.e. the type of device) it is being viewed. Emma uses media queries to determine which device is receiving the email and serves the appropriate template version accordingly.
When rendering on your desktop, the templates will range about 650-700 pixels in width. This remains true for most tablets, including iPads, as an iPad's screen dimensions are 768×1024 (landscape). For phones, we're building for the industry standard median width of 480 pixels. So whether your reader opens your email on their desktop, tablet or smart phone, they're sure to see a beautiful email campaign that fits their screen just right.
And you don't have to do anything extra for that to happen. Pretty great, huh?
What are the benefits of responsive design?
Let's take responsive design a step further. We don't just resize the templates. You'll notice that on the smaller devices your email has:
Larger font sizes for easy reading
Sidebars and horizontal content stacked in a single column
A streamlined design that lets your content shine
Besides not driving three out of every ten of your subscribers to opt out, responsive emails have also been shown to increase click-through rates by 10%. And now that you have so many gorgeous mobile-optimized templates to choose from, there's no reason not to log in and send one now. Go ahead, and tell us what you think!
Want to learn more about what went into making all of our templates responsive? Check out this interview with a couple of our product developers.
Digital Summit is this upcoming Tuesday, and we're getting ready by packing up tons of Emma goodies to bring to the masses. If you want your own little piece of Emma swag, but won't be able to meet us in Atlanta, just leave a comment here. We'd be happy to oblige!
Now that you've just added to your wardrobe, go ahead and add to your knowledge base with a look at what went down in social this past week:
If you've ever wondered how email opens are tracked, I'm going to let you in on a little email marketing trade secret:
Email opens can be tracked two ways. The most common is by downloading images in the inbox. Emma embeds an invisible image in every email that, when downloaded, pings our server and counts the email as being "opened."
If you aren't using images or they aren't displaying, but a link is clicked, Emma also counts that as an open, because the email has to be open in order for someone to click on it.
This means the process of counting opens is far from perfect. Some (probably small) portion of your recipients won't download images and won't get counted in your tally of email opens.
And there's a flip side to that: Sometimes images download automatically, like in a preview pane, and the open gets counted even if your recipient didn't really engage with your email.
This is where Apple's iOS software gives every email marketer a boost. According to Litmus, three out of the top five email clients where mail is being opened are Apple products. Apple's iPhone takes the number one spot, with iPad and Apple Mail right behind it. Outlook and Android round out the list.
What makes this great news is that Apple iOS doesn't block email images by default the way Outlook, Android or some others clients do. So not only do your emails look great immediately upon open, but as the Apple empire grows (iPhone gained 21 million users in the past 12 months), you're likely to see a steady uptick in your email opens.
Email opens may not be a telling engagement metric, but even brief glances at your content are brand impressions, and they count for something. And understanding the iOS landscape makes you a smarter marketer.
Keep an eye out for more tips and advice about mobile engagement soon, but for now, tell us: Do you have a strategy for grabbing attention on mobile devices? We'd love to hear about it!
It's Kentucky Derby time, folks. Grab your fanciest hat, whip up your best mint julep and place your bets on any of these best practices from around the web this week. You're sure to come out a blue ribbon winner.
Good news, Emma customers: Images you upload to your account are now hosted by Amazon's CloudFront Content Delivery Network (CDN) instead of being stored on Emma's local servers.
We made the move earlier this week in an effort to scale our ever-growing customer base and to allow for faster image downloads in the inbox.
With CloudFront CDN, the images that you use in your emails are copied to servers throughout the world so that they're retrieved "locally" and can render in your recipients' inboxes as fast as possible.
So what does this mean for you?
In making the move to the cloud, we made every effort not to interrupt our customers' existing workflow, but just in case, we pulled together a few bits of need-to-know information that just might help you:
If you use Emma's campaign editor – either the classic editor or our new drag & drop editor – the process of uploading image files to your image library or directly to your mailing is the same.
That said, this is a significant change to the Emma system, so now more than ever we recommend sending a test mailing to yourself or to a small test group to ensure your images download as expected. We've heard a few reports of images rendering just fine on web clients but not on desktop clients or mobile devices.
While we're looking into those specific cases and poised to make quick fixes to any problems that arise, the best way to avoid any image problems is to test thoroughly – check to see how your email looks in different environments before the big send-off. It's worth the extra few minutes.
If you use your own HTML code to build your email campaigns, make sure you're hosting your own images.
We've always recommended that Upload Your Own HTML users host their own images and reference them in the code by the full image path URL, but we know that some customers are accustomed to uploading campaign images to their Emma library, copying the URL for the file path and using it in their own HTML code. While that has worked just fine in the past, it won't moving forward.
Since making this move to the cloud, the URLs for images hosted in your Emma image library are no longer accessible in your account, so it's important to explore options for hosting them locally on your own server or on a service like Dropbox or Amazon. And of course, test every email campaign before sending to your full audience.