Best practices for writing campaigns

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

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Warning: at the moment Liquid code or named parameters do not render in email campaigns, take a look at the BC.Next and email campaigns technote for more details.

Newsletter coding guidelines

There are two main concepts to consider when writing a newsletter email campaign. The first is the content (what your newsletter will say) and the second is the structure (how the newsletter is coded in HTML). 

When coding a newsletter, make sure that the HTML code you use will be compatible with majority of the email clients used by recipients. If possible, send test messages and check the results using Microsoft Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and others (as desired).

Consider the following tips:

  1. Use table-based layouts instead of CSS-layouts with <div> tags. Often, the email clients are more reliable at rendering the content in tables. Some programs, such as Microsoft Outlook 2007, do not support the float tag when using CSS to create columns.
  2. Use inline CSS. Avoid linking to external stylesheets or embed your styles inside the head section of the page, because some email clients do not support this type of code. Gmail and Outlook 2007 will ignore any code placed above the body tag.
  3. Test, test ,test and then test again. Send test messages and view them with multiple email accounts and multiple email clients.

For more tips and and further information, search the Internet using the subject: Email Newsletter Guidelines. Sitepoint's site offers many helpful tips and suggestions.

Newsletter content guidelines

  • For trial sites we recommend sending email campaigns to no more than 10 recipients
  • If an "In progress" campaign is deleted, the messages will still be delivered. Deleting an in progress campaign and re-creating it will cause the emails to be sent twice.

However, email newsletters aren't just printed newsletters delivered electronically. They must be written using a different style for a unique reading environment. These top 10 points will help you publish a successful and valuable email newsletter.

  1. Remember that your newsletter is on a screen, not a printed page. Readers incur more eyestrain than reading a printed page.
  2. Readers are likely to scan a page, looking for key words or phrases to get the information they need without reading every word. Recent studies find that 79 percent of people who visit web pages, don't read them...they scan them.
  3. You only have a few seconds to capture your reader's attention. Highlight valuable information without a lot of introductory material.
  4. Write short concise messages. Write about 50 percent less than you would include in a printed newsletter. Each article should be "above the fold" if possible (visible without scrolling vertically) with a maximum sentence length of 15 to 20 words. Use a maximum paragraph length of five sentences, and a maximum article length of four paragraphs. Remember...these are maximum values.
  5. Write in a conversational tone. Newsletters are written with "friendly authority". Let your personality show through and readers will more likely invest their time reading what you have to say.
  6. Use bullet points and numbered lists. Lists are easy to scan and they help the reader absorb each item one at a time.
  7. Limit each article to a single concept. Add resources such as web sites where longer articles or more information can be found.
  8. Remember that email newsletters are easily forwarded. Never write anything that you wouldn't want the whole world (including your competition) to read.
  9. Send your newsletter out consistently and reap the marketing rewards of regular contact. Email newsletters are one of today's most economical and successful marketing tools. 
  10. Be sure your information is accurate and newsworthy. Enjoy the marketing advantage while maintaining integrity to your readers.

These tips were picked up from the Power Home Business website .