Instagram-User-Engagement-e1485214898357

Increase Your Instagram Engagement

How Businesses Can Get More Engagement on Instagram

Instagram is definitely the place for pictures. So if your business is a photography studio you should have joined Instagram long back! But, Instagram is not just about who has the best photography it is an awesome way to showcase your brand, tell your story and interact with potential customers.

So why the Instagram platform?

According to stats – Instagram has over 300 million daily active users, and the monthly new follower growth rate on the average account is about 16%. Instagram pulls in over $595 million dollars in mobile ad revenues and engagement rates are 58x higher than Facebook and 120x higher than Twitter. Getting your business on Instagram is a no brainer.

Using social media will help you grow your email list.

Drive more customers into your website when you use your bio link. The benefit of growing your social media followers can also help you grow your email list using your eMail Networks eMail Marketing Suite. Simply send your users to a landing page where you can capture their contact details. Make sure that when you collect contact data or new subscriber data you always verify it to make sure it is real. You can use a real time email verification tool like XVerify to quickly approve or reject incoming email data so that you avoid dreadful hard bounces and improve your deliverability.

Captivate consumers with beautiful photography.

The secret is you don’t have to be a photographer, you can put beautiful stock photography that coordinates with your brand on your Instagram which will attract followers. Another thing that instagrammers love is motivational messages over top a background image. For one of my personal favorites I enjoy using the wordswag APP to create attractive photos.

Other Apps Great for Photo Editing:
Boomerang – Instagram’s app for creating animated Gifs from your Camera
Over – An app for putting graphics over images contains over 10k graphics, fonts and images
Afterlight – Quick straight forward editing of images such as filters, cropping, framing, textures.

Captions allow you to tell your story and you get a lot more space than Twitter allows.

Instagram don’t make it easy for link sharing, as you can only place one hyper link in your profile bio, but when it comes to letting you caption your images they don’t limit you like Twitter does. I use to think no one is here to read these captions, they just want to look at images. But I was wrong, dead wrong. People are reading those captions and responding to what you have to say.

Make your captions Whitty, funny, motivational, creative, invoke emotions, or simply ask your followers a question. The captions are there to allow you to share your special moments so this way you can stand out from the competition by adding something unique.

@Mentions aka Shoutout

Make people feel special by giving them a special message that you are paying attention to them.
This will draw their attention to that post. If you see another post that you think one of your followers would also enjoy you can tag them over there as well.

Hash Tagging

The cool thing about being on the Instagram platform is that you can go buck wild with hashtags, it’s just not recommended. The idea is to do your hashtag research and find out which ones are going to be the best fit for the image you are publishing. As a rule of thumb it is a good idea to keep your hashtags to less than 15 per image.

When doing hashtag research and you come across a tag that may not be the most popular it can still be just as valuable. Keep in mind that popular hashtags will push your image down fast, while hashtags that are not as popular will be more likely to display your photo longer when looking at recent posts for that tag.
Comment Comment Comment

Instagram is a platform for communication, and that’s exactly what it wants to you to do. You should comment on your follower’s photos. When you comment on their photo it tells that you have interest in them and will help them keep your brand in mind.

Let them know what you think, and they will be likely to reciprocate. When other users see that you are also getting comments on your photos it will inspire them to join the conversation as well.

Don’t forget you can also comment and ask users to take some action such as clicking on the link in your bio, but if you want them to do that then you should be offering something of value. For example, offering them a discount code or telling them about a current promotion and asking them to click the link in your bio.

Direct Messaging

Direct messaging is amazing. Being able to engage in a one on one conversation with someone is priceless.  In the Instagram community you can message anyone, if they don’t like what you are saying or find you offensive they can block you but most messages get engagement. You can even create groups to have a discussion.

Keep your users engaged by asking them questions in group chat. Other people will chime in and that will build up a conversation.

Bring Users into Your Site
Promote, the link in your bio. Remind users to click the BIO link and have it coordinate with something that you are posting about. As you drive new users into your site don’t forget to capture their contact data. If you are not driving the users into a landing page where you collect their details then you are missing a window of opportunity.

Start taking action today

If you don’t already have an Instagram account I challenge you to set one up this week. As a business it is a good idea that you post about 7-10 images per week and make sure you have a strong call to action. Strategically set up your bio so that it lands on a lead capture page so you can draw those interested into your email list. As your number of followers increase so should your post engagements, but make sure you carve out time to like, comment and message others on the platform.

Contact our sales team today at (866) 271-5908 to learn more about email marketing best practices including email list verification.

Image Ad Sizing for Websites and Emails

Image Ad Sizing

Ready to do some on-line or in email ads?  Call us for assistance.  Here is some information to get your project started.  Here are the standard “acceptable file” formats: .GIF, .JPG, .JPEG, .PNG

Recommended file size limits: 150 KB or less for all files.

Standard ad sizing for static ads:

250 x 250 square ad

This ad size can appear at the top, on the side, or on the bottom of the page.

 

200 x 200 small square ad

This ad size can appear at the top, on the side, or on the bottom of the page.

 

468 x 60 banner ad

This ad size can appear at the top, in the middle, or on the bottom of the page.

 

728 x 90 leaderboard ad

This ad size can appear at the top, in the middle, or on the bottom of the page.

 

300 x 250 inline rectangle ad

This ad size can appear at the top, on the side, or on the bottom of the page.

 

336 x 280 large rectangle ad

This ad size can appear at the top, on the side, or on the bottom of the page.

 

120 x 600 skyscraper ad

This ad size can appear on either the left or right side of the page.

 

160 x 600 wide skyscraper ad

This ad size can appear on either the left or right side of the page.

300 x 600 half-page ad

970 x 90 large leaderboard ad

Contact us at (866) 271-3902 or www.e-MailNetworks.com for more information.

eMail Networks HTML Tips

eMail Networks HTML Tips

Checkout these HTML table properties and styles that will help you create a beautiful email message.  If you are trying to solve some specific issues with your messages, please take a look at our HTML Email Design Guidelines.

How to add a left-border and right-border to a table and color it.

Within the table or the table cell tags, you can use the border property (border-style, border width, and border color)  to specify the style and color of an element’s border.

The <table> tag defines an HTML table.

The <td> tag defines a standard cell in an HTML table.

To shorten the code, you can specify all the border properties in one property, this is called a shorthand property. For the border properties, the “border” values are:

  • border-width: used to set the width of the border, set in pixels
  • border-style: specifies what kind of border to display.
  • border-color: used to set the color of the border
Example table border
<table>
    <tbody>
        <tr>
            <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;">
                Height
            </td>
            <td style="border: 1px dashed #000000;">
                Weight
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td style="border: 2px dotted #FFFFFF;">
                Males
            </td>
            <td style="border: 2px double #FFFFFF;">
                1.9
            </td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
            <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;">
                Females
            </td>
            <td style="border: 1px solid #000000;">
                1.7
            </td>
        </tr>
    </tbody>
</table>

 

It does not matter if one of the values above are missing (although, border-style is required), as long as the rest are in the specified order.

Also, you can even use “border – individual sides” properties so that it is possible to specify different borders for different sides (definition shown below).

Here are the Optional Table Attributes

DTD indicates in which HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0  DTD the attribute is allowed. S=Strict, T=Transitional, and F=Frameset.

align left     center     right Deprecated. Use styles instead. Specifies the alignment of a table according to surrounding text TF
bgcolor rgb(x,x,x)     #xxxxxx     colorname Deprecated. Use styles instead. Specifies the background color for a table TF
border pixels Specifies the width of the borders around a table STF
cellpadding pixels Specifies the space between the cell wall and the cell content STF
cellspacing pixels Specifies the space between cells STF
frame void       above       below       hsides       lhs       rhs       vsides       box       border Specifies which parts of the outside borders that should be visible STF
rules none       groups       rows       cols       all Specifies which parts of the inside borders that should be visible STF
summary text Specifies a summary of the content of a table STF
width pixels       % Specifies the width of a table STF

 

Here are the Optional TD Attributes

DTD indicates in which HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0 DTD the attribute is allowed. S=Strict, T=Transitional, and F=Frameset.

abbr text Specifies an abbreviated version of the content in a cell STF
align left
right
center
justify
char
Aligns the content in a cell STF
axis category_name Categorizes cells STF
bgcolor rgb(x,x,x)
#xxxxxx
colorname
Deprecated. Use styles instead.
Specifies the background color of a cell
TF
char character Aligns the content in a cell to a character STF
charoff number Sets the number of characters the content will be aligned from the character specified by the char attribute STF
colspan number Specifies the number of columns a cell should span STF
headers header_id Specifies one or more header cells a cell is related to STF
height pixels
%
Deprecated. Use styles instead.
Sets the height of a cell
TF
nowrap nowrap Deprecated. Use styles instead.
Specifies that the content inside a cell should not wrap
TF
rowspan number Sets the number of rows a cell should span STF
scope col
colgroup
row
rowgroup
Defines a way to associate header cells and data cells in a table STF
valign top
middle
bottom
baseline
Vertical aligns the content in a cell STF
width pixels
%
Deprecated. Use styles instead.
Specifies the width of a cell
TF

 

Border Style values

none: Defines no border

dotted: Defines a dotted border

dashed: Defines a dashed border

solid: Defines a solid border

double: Defines two borders. The width of the two borders are the same as the border-width value

groove: Defines a 3D grooved border. The effect depends on the border-color value

ridge: Defines a 3D ridged border. The effect depends on the border-color value

inset: Defines a 3D inset border. The effect depends on the border-color value

outset: Defines a 3D outset border. The effect depends on the border-color value

Border Width

The width is set in pixels, or by using one of the three pre-defined values:  thin, medium, or thick.

Note: The “border-width” property does not work if it is used alone. Use the “border-style” property to set the borders first.

Border Color

The color can be set by:

  • name – specify a color name, like “red”
  • RGB – specify a RGB value, like “rgb(255,0,0)”
  • Hex – specify a hex value, like “#ff0000”

You can also set the border color to “transparent”.

Note: The “border-color” property does not work if it is used alone. Use the “border-style” property to set the borders first.

Border – Individual sides

The border-style property can have from one to four values.

  • border-style:dotted solid double dashed;
    • top border is dotted
    • right border is solid
    • bottom border is double
    • left border is dashed
  • border-style:dotted solid double;
    • top border is dotted
    • right and left borders are solid
    • bottom border is double
  • border-style:dotted solid;
    • top and bottom borders are dotted
    • right and left borders are solid
  • border-style:dotted;
    • all four borders are dotted

The border-style property is used in the example above. However, it also works with border-width  and border-color.

Here are all the Border Properties:
border Sets all the border properties in one declaration
border-bottom Sets all the bottom border properties in one declaration
border-bottom-color Sets the color of the bottom border
border-bottom-style Sets the style of the bottom border
border-bottom-width Sets the width of the bottom border
border-color Sets the color of the four borders
border-left Sets all the left border properties in one declaration
border-left-color Sets the color of the left border
border-left-style Sets the style of the left border
border-left-width Sets the width of the left border
border-right Sets all the right border properties in one declaration
border-right-color Sets the color of the right border
border-right-style Sets the style of the right border
border-right-width Sets the width of the right border
border-style Sets the style of the four borders
border-top Sets all the top border properties in one declaration
border-top-color Sets the color of the top border
border-top-style Sets the style of the top border
border-top-width Sets the width of the top border
border-width Sets the width of the four borders

In this example, here’s a simple table that illustrates some of the features of the HTML table model. The following table definition:

<table border="1">
            <caption>
                <em>A test table with merged cells</em></caption>
            <tbody>
                <tr>
                    <th rowspan="2"></th>
                    <th colspan="2">
                        Average</th>
                    <th rowspan="2">
                        Red<br>
                        eyes</th>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                    <th>
                        height</th>
                    <th>
                        weight</th>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                    <th>
                        Males</th>
                    <td>
                        1.9</td>
                    <td>
                        0.003</td>
                    <td>
                        40%</td>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                    <th>
                        Females</th>
                    <td>
                        1.7</td>
                    <td>
                        0.002</td>
                    <td>
                        43%</td>
                </tr>
            </tbody>
        </table>

 

In the eMail Networks editor, you can do an Inbox email preview in your account:

Now, let’s add a 5px solid green border around the table, a 3px red dotted border around the 0.003 table cell, and a 6px blue dashed border around the 43% table cell.

 

<table align="center" bgcolor="white" border="5" bordercolor="green"
style="border-style: outset;" summary="This table gives some statistics
of average height and weight, and percentage; with red eyes (for both
males and females)." width="600">
            <caption>
                <em>A test table with merged cells</em></caption>
            <tbody border-style:dotted="" solid="">
                <tr>
                    <th rowspan="2">
                        &nbsp;</th>
                    <th colspan="2">
                        Average</th>
                    <th rowspan="2">
                        Red<br>
                        eyes</th>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                    <th>
                        height</th>
                    <th>
                        weight</th>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                    <th>
                        Males</th>
                    <td 2px="" dashed="" red="">
                        1.9</td>
                    <td style="background: white; margin: 0px auto; border: 3px dotted red; width: 100px;">
                        0.003</td>
                    <td>
                        40%</td>
                </tr>
                <tr>
                    <th>
                        Females</th>
                    <td>
                        1.7</td>
                    <td>
                        0.002</td>
                    <td style="background: white; margin: 0px auto; border: 6px dashed blue; width: 50px;">
                        43%</td>
                </tr>
            </tbody>
        </table>

Slicing Images for HTML Email

Slicing Images for an HTML Email

Wondering how to slice an image and put it into an email message?

Because “hot spotting” can be problematic we suggest you use this technique if you need to link different parts of the images to different web pages. Below you’ll find directions for how to insert sliced images into an HTML email and avoid the most common issues.

Let’s take a look at our sample email design, and see how to convert this image into an email message with sliced images and a table structure.

 

 

There are two issues you should avoid when slicing an image for an HTML email.

Issue #1: Arbitrarily Slicing the Image

The image below displays the sample email with slices. At first glance, we have captured all the important hot spots of the design. Every area that we would like to hyperlink has been selected. This is a common mistake made when the slices are cut without considering how it will fit in our HTML.

Every area designated with white icons on a blue background are the slices that we have selected. Notice there are additional areas designated with white icons and grey backgrounds. These are slices that are auto generated by the application. Although we have selected 18 areas, upon exporting this file there will be 43 image files with almost none of them being in the same column or row. Even the most skilled coder would have a hard time making it display across a number of email clients. Not to mention forty three ALT tag descriptions.

Issue #2: Auto Generating HTML in Photoshop

With applications like Photoshop, you can auto generate HTML and image assets. This would be an incredible feature if we were designing a webpage, but email clients are not as forgiving as modern web browsers.

Lets take a look at the code block below. Notice that application generates one large table with COLSPAN and/or ROWSPAN in virtually every TD. This table is very complex because of the slices added haphazardly, as shown in Issue #1.

Auto generated HTML with image slices  Expand source

 

The image below shows how this messages displays across email clients.

Email clients will struggle to render so many different columns and rows. In fact, the only content that rendered correctly did not include COLSPAN or ROWSPAN.

Solution: Keep It Simple

When slicing the image file, take care to keep the slices simple, with horizontal rows stretching across the whole width of the image. This image is sliced into exactly 18 areas in a way that we can create the simplest table structure possible while keeping all of the original hot spots.

Slices have been carefully placed to ensure columns and rows line up as much as possible. This is done to minimize the need for spacer images and in this instance we have eliminated the need for them altogether. Also make sure not to overlap slices and ensure each slice borders the next.

In the auto generated table above, we saw that the table had multiple COLSPAN and ROWSPAN declarations throughout the table. Now that we have created a much simpler table, the message will render correctly in most email clients. As a general rule of thumb, we want to nest tables instead of using ROWSPAN and COLSPAN. This is just one additional step that can be taken to ensure our message renders correctly.

Let’s skip the auto generated code and build an outline of the table from the sliced image.

Figure 1.1

Figure 1

Here we have the outline of our table. Now we can add images, hyperlinks, and fill in the ALT tag descriptions to complete the message.

Figure 1.1 codeblock  Expand source

Cleaning up

Since nested tables were used, we want to make sure that we removed all borders, margins and padding from the tables to make sure no spaces are created between the images. In this case, we have added the following attributes and styles to all table tags within the message.

border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border: 0; margin: 0; padding: 0;"

Finally we want to add an inline styles to all <img> tags to prevent gaps below any of our images.

style="display: block;"

We end up with the resulting code:

Using nested tables  Expand source

Despite all of our efforts, we open the message and see this:

This is one of the drawbacks of slicing images for email campaigns: if the email client blocks images by default, the subscriber will have to click to download the images.

Mobile version

When slicing images for an email campaign there is a very good chance you will need an entirely different image for your mobile version. If the image you slice contains any photographic elements such as pictures and backgrounds, scaling down the content will result in a loss of image quality. If your design consists of only vector based graphics; using width percentages, and nested tables as described above will enable you to scale down your desktop version for mobile devices.

Our sample design is graphic heavy so we will use our alternate mobile design.

Here is the sliced image created using the sample principles from our desktop version.

Notice that there is one area that we did not create a slice.  In this case, we can create a table to display the text since this section is text only on a plain navy background.

Mobile version with nested tables using %’s  Expand source

The mobile version renders on our mobile device below.


Hope that helps.  Call our support team at (866) 271-3920 with any questions.

HTML Email Design Guidelines

HTML Email Design Guidelines

Email Layout Guidelines

When designing your own template, please keep the following specifications in mind:

  • Designed HTML email templates should not be wider than 700 pixels. Many email programs are unable to display wider templates properly.
  • Use basic HTML 4.0 when customizing your own email message. The following are discouraged: scripting, embeds, frames/iframes, image maps, and attachments (i.e. no important content in images only).
  • Table layout is heavily preferred over using Cascading Style Sheets, which some email clients ignore.  Nested tables and advanced formatting such as colspans and rowspans can also be used, but using a stacked table structure is recommended. This type of structure is more stable across all email programs. Please test your template by sending it to yourself (using as many different email accounts and email programs as possible) before sending to actual recipients.

Email Formatting

  • Inline style tags can be used to format text, however, using regular HTML font formatting is recommended for guaranteed universal acceptance. External style sheets are prohibited by nearly all email programs. Using inline style tags in the header of your HTML template is also prohibited by most email programs, as HTML emails have no HEAD or BODY tags.
  • JavaScript is prohibited. Most email programs will not accept it.
  • Forms are not recommended, but can be used if the mailing doesn’t include recipients using AOL®, Hotmail®, MSN®, or people who use MS Outlook® 2007. If absolutely necessary, the form should be very basic and not employ JavaScript.
  • Use absolute paths for images. Images should be 72dpi. Define both height and width to prevent distortion of your image. Do not put important content in images only.
  • Flash or other plug-ins should not be used within an email template. If plug-ins are required for your email campaign, consider directing the user to a hosted landing page to view the plug-in content.
  • When designing plain text emails, wrap the text after 65 characters so that it renders well in text-only devices such as PDA’s, BlackBerries®, phones, etc.

Email Content

  • All featured creative like banners, navigation bars and content that has a high priority should appear near the top of your email so that it will be displayed in preview panes, such as in many versions of MS Outlook®. The average measurement for this area extends down to approximately 300 pixels from the top of the email.
  • Featured content should also appear “Above-the-Fold” when using a web-based email program, like Gmail™ and Yahoo!®, so the recipient will not have to scroll down to read more content. The average measurement for this “Above-the-Fold” area is approximately 420 pixels in height starting from the top of the email.
  • The entire template design should be encased in a 1-pixel border. This will “seal-off” the template and present it as a unified design element to the user.
  • Consider adding more organic shapes into your template design. Email creative is usually displayed through applications which have very rigid, box-like layouts. Adding images with people, or designing with curves will make your template visually appealing to attract the recipient’s interest.
  • Make sure that the featured content in your email exists in HTML text, not only images. Most email clients do not display images by default, so the user won’t be able to see any content that’s in an image unless they take action to turn on the images.
  • In order to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act, an unsubscribe link must be available within your email message. Critical Impact will automatically add the required unsubscribe link to your email message before it is sent to your recipients. Be aware that it will be added to the bottom of your template. If you wish to preview your message with the unsubscribe link included, send a test email message to your email account prior to sending it to your contact lists.

Trouble Shooting email problems

  • If you notice strange spacing in Outlook with images, and you use a spacer pixel, make sure the spacer pixel is 10×10 and transparent.  Outlook will only space a 1pixel image 64 pixels over.
  • If images are being resized to their original size in Outlook, you’ll need to save the image with less than 96 dpi resolution or save the image file itself with the dimensions you would like to see in your email message.
  • If “Sliced” pictures are showing incorrectly in gmail or other free email clients (with excess padding) use style=”font-size: 0;” in your table or <center>
  • Also, make sure to use <img src=”#” style=”display:block;”> in your images if you continue to have that problem with gmail or other free email clients
  • Also, Outlook 2013 requires that you add a line-height to the table cell containing the image if the height of the image is small.  For example, <td style=”display block; line-height:10px;”><img … style=”display:block; height:10px;”></td>
  • To remove the “dark blue” border that you see surrounding a hyperlinked image, set the image border=”0″ to hide it
  • If background colors are not appearing properly in some email clients, check to make sure that there are no extra spaces in a bgcolor=”#000000″ tag or use the syntax: style=”background:#000000;”

Email rendering issues and fixes for Outlook Web App (OWA)

  • If extra padding is still added to the bottom on images in Outlook Web App, add this style to the top of the body:
<style type="text/css">/* FIX FOR OWA */
.bdyItmPrt IMG {display:block; !important}
.bdyItmPrt table IMG {display:block; !important}
.bdyItmPrt {  font-size: 0; word-wrap: break-word; }</style>

Text resizing issues on mobile (iOS) devices

  • If text is being resized on iPhones or iPads, add this style to the header of the email to prevent iOS from resizing the text
<style type="text/css">
    body {
        -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%;
        -ms-text-size-adjust:none;
    }
</style>

Easily Create, Send And Track An Email with Email Networks

Creating An Email

 You can create an email by selecting a preexisting template and customizing it, selecting a custom made template, or creating a blank email and customizing it.

How to use your own custom HTML to create an email

To create a blank email:

  1. Click the Messages folder
  2. Click Create New Message
  3. Click Blank Email to create an email from scratch
  4. OR click Paste in Your Code if you want to directly paste your HTML code into the editor.
    1. To preview your email in the WYSIWYG editor after pasting in your HTML code, click Source
  5. Click Save

Insert Email Content

  1. Type in the Subject and Name of your email
  2. Enter the body of your email in the large box. You can format it using the tools below.
  3. To save your progress, click Save.  Or, when complete, click Save and Close.
  4. To send a test email, click the Send Test Email button.

Familiarize yourself with the basic editor controls:

You can edit the email using HTML by clicking on the Source button on the top left of the toolbar.

Spam Report / Link Verification Tool

You can also check the quality of your email to find broken links and check for spam indicators. To do this:

  1. Click Test, then Spam / Link Check. The dialogue box appears letting you know the results of the test. You will receive a spam score based on a scale of 100.

How to Insert an Image into Your Email Message

Use our insert image tool to add an image.

Insert a Custom Field

You can add a new custom field under the subscriber menu area.  Use the add a custom field tool for proper “text” to add.

Insert a link within the body of your email

  1. Highlight the text that you would like to link and then click on the Link icon.

Sending an Email

Test Send

Please make sure to test before making a live send.  Different email clients render HTML in different ways, so you’ll want to send yourself test emails before sending a live email message to your subscribers.

To send yourself a test message:

  1. Open the message in the Messages folder
  2. Click the Test button in the top right corner of the message editor
  3. Enter your email address (up to 5 test emails can be sent from this window)
  4. Optional Features
    1. Impersonate Recipient: enter a subscriber’s email address in order to receive this test send as if you were that subscriber.  It will populate the mail merge variables with this subscriber’s information
    2. Add a Note that will be added to the top of the test messages
  5. Click Send

Inbox Preview

Preview your email in 65 combinations of the most popular email clients and mobile devices. Run an Inbox Preview. Contact you account manager if not enabled at support@emailnetworks.com

Send an Email Message

  1. Click the Messages folder in the left-side menu
  2. Click the Message Folder
  3. Click the message you want to send from the list shown on the right
  4. Click the Send Message button
  5. Select the desired “From Name” from the drop-down
  6. Choose the desired list(s) by checking the box(es)
    1. Note: Each subscriber will only receive one copy of an email message, regardless of the number of selected lists that subscriber may be on
    2. Lists are pulled at the time the email is actually sent.  This means that the estimated send size can change if new people are added to the list, subscribers unsubscribe, etc.
  7. Click Send Immediately or select a date and time to send
  8. Optionally edit the Advanced Options by clicking the arrow next to “Advanced Options”: select a Footer or enable Google Analytics™ Link Tracking
  9. Click Next
  10. Check the box to confirm your selections are correct
  11. Click Send Email

Tracking and Email

The Email Tracking report displays a summary report for all of the messages that are sent.  This report shows an overview of how an email send performed by displaying opens, clicks, and delivery information.

To view all tracking details for an email send, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Reports Folder
  2. Click Email Tracking
  3. Highlight the email campaign you’re seeking
  4. Click the View Tracking Report button
  5. Download a PDF version of the report by clicking Export 
  6. Click the tabs to view and download detailed report information:
    • Unique Opens: lists all subscribers who opened this email and how many times they opened it
    • Links Clicked: lists all links that were clicked and the total number of times the links were clicked
    • All Opens: lists all subscriber opens, organized by date
    • Who Clicked: lists all subscribers who clicked this email and the links they clicked
    • Unsubscribes: lists all subscribers who chose to unsubscribe after reading this message
    • Hard Bounces: lists all email address that could not receive the message due to permanent conditions
      • This typically results when an email address no longer exists or is inactive
    • SoftBounces: lists all email addresses that are valid, but the message couldn’t be delivered most likely due to a temporary encumbrance
  7. If you would like to view a visual representation of where subscribers clicked on a message, click the message once and then click View Click Overlay

Please contact support at (866) 271-3920 or email support@e-mailnetworks.com for assistance.

How to Create Mobile Version of an Email Message

Make Your Mobile Email Message Version

As more people now regularly view their emails on smart phones and tablets, email rendering on mobile devices has become a crucial part of email marketing success.  Our email system delivers a reduced version of you main email to iPhones and PDA devices unless you create a separate “mobile” version.  The necessity of creating a specific mobile version varies by industry.  Our message editor gives you the option to create both a normal HTML message and a mobile version of your message that will be seen only on mobile devices.

Getting Started

To create a version of your message that will be seen only on mobile devices, open the second tab of the message editor, called Mobile Message. Insert your content into the message editor like you would for the desktop version.

If the Mobile Tab is left blank, the desktop HTML Message will show on desktop and mobile devices.  Only use the Mobile Message tab if you want to create a unique version to make the message easier to read on mobile devices.

If a message is created using a template, that template must have an editable content region set up in the Mobile tab.  Otherwise, the mobile tab will not be editable.

Best Practices

Copy Content from Desktop Version into the Mobile Version

If you leave the message blank in the Mobile Message tab, mobile devices will receive the email from the HTML Message tab, too. When creating a different version for mobile devices, you can use this option to replace the mobile version with a copy of the desktop version.  To copy the HTML message and paste it into the mobile message:

  1. Click the Options button
  2. Click Create Mobile from HTML
  3. Edit the content in the Mobile Tab so that the mobile version is different from the desktop version and click Save

Preview

After creating the mobile version, click the refresh icon and navigation arrows to preview approximately how the message will look on an iPhone.  Click the center circle button to center the iPhone preview.

Use Template Blocks

Template blocks are a great way to quickly create a mobile message. You’ll be able to insert predesigned templates, layouts, and content regions.

  1. Click the  icon in the Mobile Message tab message editor toolbar
  2. Select a simple layout or a designed mobile template like shown below:
  3. Edit the content and you’ll be ready to go.  Please also review the Mobile Guidelines and Known Issues below.

Mobile Design Guidelines

Mobile Design Layouts

Most of the successful mobile layouts are reduced to a one column layout.  If the desktop version has multiple columns, consider positioning them vertically on top of one another.  The image below shows how you would want to move a left navigation column to the top of the one column mobile layout.

Making it “Touchable”

Since users will be using their fingers to click buttons and links, you should think about making buttons large enough to touch easily.  A good sized click-able area is 44×44 pixels.  If you use a 32×32 pixel image, try to surround it with 12px of padding.

Screen Size

The iPhone 5 has a width of 320px and a screen has to have a width less than 480px to display the mobile message.  Therefore it’s suggested that you use percentages, such as a width of 100%, in order to scale with various mobile devices.

Mobile Message Editor Tips

Image Size

If the estimated iPhone preview shows that the message runs way past the right side of the screen, even after you set the width to 100%, please look at the image sizes in the message.  If they have a width of 600px from your desktop version, resize the images to a smaller width such as 320px.

Background Colors

When a colored background is applied to the body tag of the desktop version, the body of the mobile version will also appear in this color.  To use a different background color for the desktop and mobile versions, don’t put a background color style in the body tag.  Instead, place tables with widths of 100% inside the two versions and add a background color to each table.

Text Handling

Font Size

Some mobile devices resize text automatically.  To prevent this on mobile devices, you can add this to your embedded style:

<style>
* {-webkit-text-size-adjust: none}
</style>

Or you can also control text on a case by case basis by adding the following inline CSS:

<font style="-webkit-text-size-adjust: none">
Example
</font>

Sometimes other devices such as Androids will display text as a slightly different size.  To be safe, make sure that your design is flexible enough to accommodate for a 3% increase or decrease in your font sizing throughout your entire email for optimal results on the Android.

Stop iPhones From Underlining Dates, Phone Numbers, and Addresses

The iPhone will automatically create a link around dates, phone numbers, and addresses in an email message.  To prevent this, add the following style to the header of your email.  Then surround the text with this class.

<!--Place this style in the header-->
<style type=""text/css"">.appleLinksWhite a {color:#ffffff; text-decoration:none;}</style>
<!--Insert this class around the text-->
<span class="appleLinksWhite">TEXT</span>

Known Issues with Mobile and Desktop Emails

Warning: Use caution when creating mobile versions of an email

Since web browsers, email clients, and mobile platforms are constantly changing, the HTML and Mobile versions may appear in unexpected ways.  The media queries used to automatically show or hide the Mobile version will break under certain circumstances.  Do not send a message with a mobile version unless you avoid the known issues listed below and thoroughly test before making a live send.

Here are some known issues with the HTML and Mobile versions, as well as ways to work around them.  We also suggest creating a version of your email in the Mobile Message tab that is very simple to avoid other issues.

Images

When an image in the Mobile tab has an assigned alignment property, it will show below the desktop version when viewed in some email clients like Outlook 2013.

Mobile Image Alignment Issue
<img align="right" ...>

To fix this issue, please take out the align=”right” or align=”left.”  You could also consider making the image appear across the whole width of the mobile device.

Tables

If there is a table in the Mobile tab with multiple rows, but a varying number of cells per row, the table may show.  The height of the table will show as a short block colored with the background color of the table.

In this example, the inner table has two rows.  The first has one cell that spans over 3 columns, and the second row has one cell that spans over 1 column.  Since this is technically an invalid layout for a table, this will cause a block to show with the color red (#FF0000) at the bottom of the desktop version in some email clients.

Mobile Table Issue
<table bgcolor="#FF0000" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="color: #000000; ">
            <tbody>
                <tr>
                    <td width="14">&nbsp;</td>
                    <td width="408">
                        <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0">
                            <tbody>
                                <tr>
                                    <td colspan="3">&nbsp;</td>
                                </tr>
                                <tr><td>&nbsp;</td></tr>
                            </tbody>
                        </table>
                        With new: TODAY!
                        <p>&nbsp;</p>
                    </td>
                </tr>
            </tbody>
        </table>

Hint: To fix the example above, you’d want to take out the colspan=”3″ to make the table have one column in the first row and one column in the second row.  Alternatively, you could add two more table cells to the second row to make it 3 columns on top of 3 columns.

Forwarding and Replying Breaks Media Queries

If an email with a mobile and desktop version is forwarded, both versions will show.  Many email clients/applications will forward your HTML email and keep the formatting completely in tact. However, some programs will break the code used to generate the original email, causing it to appear in the new recipient’s inbox with both desktop and mobile versions. In some cases it’s not even the email client that’s breaking the forwarded email, it’s the email server.

To allow your subscribers to forward the email that they receive, please use the Forward to a Friend link. This merge field links to the Forward to a Friend form which allows your subscribers to send the original email to a friend.

Please be aware that email clients and standards are constantly changing, so emails should be thoroughly tested before being sent out.

Contact our Sales and Support Teams at (866) 271-5908 with questions or for more information on mobile email versions.

Inserting and Editing Images in eMail Networks

Insert and Edit Images

In order to insert an image, simply press the  button on the toolbar. Click Browse Server to upload the image to your account.  The Image Properties dialog window that will open lets you set configuration options that define image source, its size, display properties, or other advanced properties. 

Image Info

The Image Info tab is the default tab that opens after you press the  button on the toolbar. It allows you to set the image URL and configure the way it will appear in the document.
Below is an overview of all Image Info tab elements:

  • URL – the web address of the image. The image may be located on the same server as the web site you are currently in or on an external server.
    • External server: If you want to use an external address, use the full absolute path.
    • Local server: If the image is located on the same server, you can use a relative path that omits the domain name and starts with a slash.
  • Alternative Text – a short textual description of the image that tells users with assistive devices (like screen readers) what the image is about. You should always provide your images with meaningful alternative text in order to make it accessible to users with disabilities.
  • Width – the width of the image in pixels. By default this is the size of the original image.
  • Height – the height of the image in pixels. By default this is the size of the original image.
  • Border – the size of the solid border around the image in pixels.
  • HSpace – the horizontal spacing (or margin) between the image border (if present) or the image itself and other document elements that surround the image, in pixels.
  • VSpace – the vertical spacing (or margin) between the image border (if present) or the image itself and other document elements that surround the image, in pixels.
  • Align – the alignment of the image in the document. Available options are Right and Left.
  • Preview – a preliminary view of the selected image formatted according to the options chosen on the left.

The Link tab lets you assign a link to an image inserted into the document, effectively converting the image into a clickable link. The link can point to any kind of object available in the Internet, like a simple URL address, a PDF document, or an online video.

This might prove especially useful if, for example, you want to add a thumbnail that would lead the reader of your document to a full-size copy of the image or add a company logo and point to its website.

To use the Link functionality, first you need to insert an image into a document using the Image Info tab. After you configure the display options, switch to the Link tab and configure the image target using the available options.

Below is the overview of all Link tab elements:

  • URL – the web address that the image should be pointing at. This may be a plain website address, an image, or other file that is located on the same server as the web site you are currently in or on an external server.
    • External server: If you want to use an external address, use the full absolute path.
    • Local server: If the target location is on the same server, you can use an absolute path that omits the domain name and starts with a slash.
    • Browse Server button: select an image or a file from the ones that are available on the server.
    • Target – the window where the assigned link will open after clicking the image. You can choose between New Window (_blank), Topmost Window (_top), Same Window (_self), or Parent Window (_parent).

If you want to edit an image that is connected to a link, use the context menu and choose the Image Properties option. The Image Properties window will let you modify both the image and the link that it is pointing to. If you double click such image instead, you will open the Link dialog window that will only allow you to edit the link properties and not the image itself.

Upload

The Upload tab of the Image Properties dialog window allows you to send your own images to the server.

To upload an image file, click the file input field or the Browse button next to it. When the file browser of your operating system opens, navigate to an appropriate folder and choose a file by double clicking it or using the Open button. To send the file to the server, click the Send it to the Server button.

Advanced

The Advanced tab lets you configure additional image options such as assign it an ID, a class, a longer description, a tooltip, or CSS style properties. It is meant for advanced users with knowledge of HTML as well as CSS, and gives nearly endless possibilities as far as the presentation of the image is concerned.

Below is the overview of all Advanced tab elements:

  • Id – a unique identifier for an image element in the document (id attribute).
  • Language Direction – the direction of the text: left to right (LTR) or right to left (RTL) (dir attribute).
  • Language Code – the language of the image element specified according to RFC 1766 (lang attribute).
  • Long Description URL – the web address of an HTML page containing a longer description of the image (longdesc attribute).
  • Stylesheet Classes – the class of the image element (class attribute). Note that an image element might be assigned more than one class. If this is a case, separate class names with spaces.
  • Advisory Title – the text of the tooltip that is shown when the mouse cursor hovers over the image (title attribute).
  • Style – CSS style definitions (style attribute). Note that each value must end with a semi-colon and individual properties should be separated with spaces.

How to Edit an Image with the Message Editor

To edit an image:

  1. Click the edit image icon: 
  2. Click Edit photo
  3. Use the image editor to resize, enhance, or add text to the image
    1. Note: One advantage of resizing the image using this editing tool is that you can reduce the image size and the time it will take readers to download it.  Whereas if you only type in the width and height in the image properties window, the file size will remain the same.

  4. When done making changes, click Apply, Save, Close, and OK

Contact eMail Networks Support at (866) 271-5908 with any questions.

Guidelines to Avoid being Marked as SPAM

Avoid Your Emails Being Marked as SPAM

General Guidelines to avoid content spam filters

Spam filters are very private about why your email passed or failed. They do this to ensure that spammers don’t figure out their techniques.

There is typically not one simple change in order to let your email pass by a spam content filters.  Instead, most filters use a scoring system, if you score high enough, they block your email.  An “all caps” word may be one point, repeated words may be another point, and $$ in the subject may be 10 points!   Once you are over a certain score, you email is blocked.  There are 100’s of spam filters, each with their own unique settings.

Things to Avoid

Spam-like words
Free, guarantee, credit card, sex etc.

Red text
Red is a loud color and can be hard to read. It is also a spam tactic that may trip an email filter.

All capital letters
Resist the temptation to use capital letters and over-punctuate. When you use all capital letters, there is no differentiation in your words. This makes them harder to read. It COMES ACROSS LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING, makes your email look like spam and will dramatically increase the likelihood of your email being filtered.

Incomplete information
Your physical address is required by law. Always include your reply email address and your Web site URL, if you have one. Depending on your business, you may decide to include your phone number as well.

Excessive punctuation !!!, ???
This is likely to trip email filters especially when used in conjunction with spam-like words and capital letters.

Excessive use of “click here” especially in all capital letters
Make your call-to-action links more specific to avoid filters.

Excessive use of $$, and other symbols
Again, this tactic is likely to trip email filters. Use just one dollar sign for currency and use descriptive words instead of symbols to get your message across.

No “From:” address or noreply@
It looks like spam and will increase the likelihood of your email being filtered.

Misleading (or missing) subject line

Include both a HTML and text version of your email

Words to Avoid in Subject Lines

This does not include any inappropriate subject lines:

  • All caps
  • dollar amounts
  • spammy looking monetary reference
  • owe
  • indebted
  • other
  • wipe out
  • remove
  • get (?:rid| out) of| eradicate)
  • (?:owe| debt| obligation)
  • (?:alert| response| assistance| proposal| reply| warning| noti(?:ce| fication)| greeting| matter))
  • \bsecurity (?:[a-z_,-]+ )*?measures?\b/i
  • (?:Jan| Feb| Mar| Apr| May| Jun| Jul| Aug| Sep| Oct| Nov| Dec)\S* \d+% OFF/
  • “At No Cost”
  • Cheap in Caps
  • talks about money bonus!
  • low rates
  • looks like Fharmacy spams.
  • starts with Do you dream,have,want,love, etc.
  • starts with Lose
  • says will help
  • Re: new \d\d\d
  • Attempt to obfuscate words in Subject:
  • line starts with Buy or Buying
  •  starts with dollar amount

Contact our support team at (866) 271-5908 for additional assistance.

eMail Delivery Success – Troubleshooting Email Block and Filter Issues

Email filtering and delivery rates are based on many factors, including:

  1. Complaints: Occur when subscribers mark your message as spam. Complaints happen for a variety of reasons, but may indicate that you have insufficient permission for some or all of the addresses on your list.  In addition, complaints can cause future campaigns to be blocked and sent straight to the spam folder.
  2. High unknown user rates: When a message is sent to many email addresses that have become inactive or do not exist anymore.
  3. Spam trap addresses: Email addresses that are used by a blacklist to test if the email address was obtained by a bot that is crawling for addresses.  If a message is sent to a spam trap, your IP reputation will drop.
  4. Content: Spam filters look for specific words or characteristics from each message that are weighted based on their likelihood to indicate that a message is unwanted or legitimate mail. Spam filters are always adapting and learning more about what is and isn’t unwanted mail, so it is not possible for us to offer specific advice about improving your mail content.
  5. Sending Consistency: Sending with consistent volumes and frequencies month over month is ideal. Spammers tend to “pop up” on an IP and disappear.

Here are some specific recommendations to consider that can help improve delivery rates:

Complaints

  • Clearly offer an unsubscribe option to subscribers and honor unsubscribes requests. Opting out should be just as simple as opting in
  • Add text reminding subscribers where they opted-in to receive your email
  • Monitor your complaint rates
  • Validate you are adhering to applicable anti-spam and privacy laws and policies
  • Ensure your marketing communications are timely, relevant, have been requested and that you have permission to send them to the user
  • Consider the frequency of your mailings. What are the user’s expectations?
  • Check if you imported new emails that were unverified or from an outside source. Email addresses such as info@, sales@, and webmaster@example.com are a clear indication that the list is not 100% opt in
  • From address should be working email addresses that are well monitored

High unknown user rates

  • Maintain your mailing lists. This includes purging old, bad or inactive addresses from your mailing lists.
  • Acquire names responsibly and send mail only to users that opt-in to receiving your email.

Spam trap addresses

  • Monitor and manage both hard and soft bounces. Bounce notices can provide invaluable information regarding the ISP’s treatment of your email.

Content

  • Choose content wisely and verify URLs look normal and point to valid domains
  • Use your own domain in your From address. Don’t use free email addresses as your From address as all DMARC compliant mail receivers (including Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail) are bouncing emails sent as “@yahoo.com, @outlook.com, @gmail.com” addresses that aren’t sent through their servers.
  • Ensure emails are cleanly formatted and clearly identifiable as originating from your service.
  • Use a friendly from name and email address to help subscribers recognize and trust emails sent from you
  • Implement outbound email authentication using a sender authentication package. This helps protect from spoofing and ensure the Critical Impact mail servers are authorized to send mail, while protecting the brand and domain from threats to their brand and misrepresentation.
  • Segment or separate traffic by brand or type of mail. Corporate email, customer acquisition, customer retention and transactional emails should be segmented. Senders who wish to maintain separate reputations for each should consider segment mail streams by IP address and utilizing separate authentication packages.
  • Follow content and formatting best practices: use the Spam/link checker tool to help remove known spam keywords and broken links.

Sending Consistency

  • Be consistent. Send email from the same IP’s
  • Less is more. Send less mail more often vs. lots of mail for short periods of time

The bottom line to remember is: if as little as 1% of your customers complain, the inability to communicate with your entire customer base may be the end result.

Finally, please thoroughly test before launching any campaign. This means frequent testing with recipient accounts using various clients and major email service providers to ensure that communications are being received in a desired fashion.

Delivery Rate Scenarios

 

Scenario 1: Your email is being delivered to the Junk email Folder
Symptoms:

1.  Open, click and unsubscribe rates decline

2.  Recipients inform you that your email is delivered to the junk folder

Common Causes:

1.  Too many recipients reported your previous emails as spam

Recommended Actions:

  • Be consistent. Send email from the same IP’s
  • Change the Subject lines of your messages to be more relevant.
  • Make sure the From address is recognizable and would never be perceived as deceptive.
  • Reduce the frequency of your messages.
  • Make sure you are sending what the recipients expect to receive.
  • Increase the relevance of your messages.
  • Reduce frequency to addresses that have not opened or clicked recently.
  • Make the Unsubscribe option easy to find and use.
  • Send an immediate confirmation message.
  • Add more relevant text content to your messages.

2.  Too much of your mail is sent to invalid or inactive email addresses

Recommended Actions:

  • Avoid mailing addresses that have not responded to your mail (i.e. opened or clicked) recently, or from users that have requested to be unsubscribed
  • Please contact support@emailnetworks.com for help to create an exclude list and properly import.

 

3.  Your sender authentication record is incorrect or missing

Recommended Actions:

  • Ensure your outbound mail is compliant. Contact support@emailnetworks.com to verify your sender authentication is set up correctly.

Scenario 2: Your message is delivered successfully without a bounce but not delivered to the Inbox or junk mail folder

 Symptoms:

1. Open, click and unsubscribe rates decline

2. Recipients inform you that your email is not delivered to the Inbox

3. Some or all of the email sent to your personal email account is never delivered to the Inbox

Common Causes:

1. You are sending to dynamic spam/trap accounts

Recommended Actions:

  • Reduce frequency to addresses that have not opened or clicked recently
  • Contact Support to create a Dynamic Exclude List.
  • Segment mailings (transactions, newsletters) by IP address and try to identify bad data segments or sources

2. Too many of your email messages have been detected as SPAM by internal filtering and reputation systems

Recommended Actions:

  • Change the Subject lines of your messages to be more relevant
  • Reduce the frequency of your messages
  • Make sure you are sending what the recipients expect to receive
  • Increase the relevance of your messages
  • Reduce frequency to addresses that have not opened or clicked recently
  • Make the Unsubscribe option easy to find and use
  • Add more relevant text content to your messages

 

Scenario 3: Your mail is blocked or mail is bouncing

Symptoms:

1. You receive an unusually high number of bounce messages

2. Open, click, and unsubscribe rates decline significantly

3. Recipients inform you that your email is not delivered to the Inbox or the junk mail folder

4. Some or all of the email sent to your personal email account is never delivered to the Inbox

Common Causes:

1. Volume Caps

Recommended Actions:

  • Utilize additional IP addresses with the same sender authentication

2. Blocklists

Recommended Actions:

  • Contact support@emailnetworks.com