When you create an email, several factors can make your message successful. Consider the following factors:
- Place important click-through links in different parts of the message to test click-through rates and to provide multiple opportunities for recipients to click.
- Keep the body of the message clear and concise.
- Provide a summary for longer topics with a click-through link to the complete topic content.
- Keep your important messaging "above the fold" so that recipients see the important content without scrolling.
- Many recipients use message preview, which opens the email in a small viewer within the email client. Only a small portion of the message is visible. Be sure that the important messaging is in the first 1 - 2 inches of the content.
- Be aware of spam and junk triggers based on words and phrases in the body of the email.
Campaign sends multipart MIME messages, which means that both HTML and text content are sent as part of one email. A recipient's email client receives the multipart message and determines which version to display based on user preferences. Most desktop and Web-based email readers are HTML-capable and display the HTML part of a multipart message. However, some mobile readers might be limited and display only the text part of the multipart MIME message. For this reason, it is important to always use a multipart MIME message instead of sending just a text or HTML message.
There are a couple of reasons why you should include an HTML body in your email:
- Tracking opens
When you send a text body or AOL body message, the only time you can tell if someone opened the message is if the recipient performs an action like clicking a link. The moment an HTML body email is opened, it is tracked.
HTML allows you to include links in your content. If you send a text only message and you want to track your URLs, that URL is going to be long and messy unless you use a service like Tiny URL. Unfortunately, this issue cannot be avoided. Text messages do not allow you to mask your URLs.
Most email clients today can read HTML. It is still a good idea to send a text message for those email clients that either cannot read HTML or are configured for text-only messages. Sending both an HTML and text message allows the email client to decide which one to display.
Plain text body
One reason to include a text-only version is to avoid looking like a spammer. Spammers send HTML only, so messages that don't contain a text version are more likely to be filtered as spam.
You can create a text-only version by taking the content from your HTML version and applying the following formatting practices:
- Use a plain-text application, such as Notepad. Word-processing applications can create formatting and character issues.
- Make your text content easy to scan by establishing clearly defined areas for a header, main content, and a footer in your message. Consider including an area for call-to-action links.
- Use a combination of white space and formatting visual-aids to make content easier to scan. For example, use hyphens for bullet lists and use a line of 50
=characters to separate content.
- Keep company branding and the most relevant content as close to the top as possible.
- Reduce the amount of text.
- Keep URLs on their own lines. This makes them easier to find and use. It also makes your message easier to read. If you must include a URL within the text, separate it from the surrounding content with parentheses or square brackets.
- Many email clients automatically convert text that appears to be a URL into a clickable link, which is not tracked. Make sure that your URLs are fully formed, such as:
- Use one of the following options to define text width:
- Force line breaks for the entire message of 50 - 60 characters. This limits the width of the message and makes it easier to read. However, you can't be sure where an email client or screen resolution forces line breaks. This approach works best when the message is displayed on a desktop monitors that use the full-screen.
- Don't force line breaks and let the text flow and wrap naturally. This approach works best on mobile or smaller resolution screens. The text might not be as easy to read on a desktop monitor, but text versions of emails are more likely to be read on smaller or lower resolution screens.
Note: If you create both an HTML and text body, the system also looks at the email type in the database. For more information on the EMAIL TYPE system field, go to Database fields.
Many email clients block images by default. Recipients must manually enable the display of images. Don’t rely on images to convey your message and make sure that offers and important content are text-based.
- Optimize image file size
Optimize images to keep file sizes as low as possible while keeping an acceptable level of image quality.
- Specify image dimensions
Define widths and heights for all images. This allows your layout to remain intact even when images are blocked. Messages can appear different and difficult to read when images with undefined dimensions are suppressed. You can check for this during testing by previewing your messages with images disabled.
- Animated GIFs
Web-based email clients support animated GIFs, but desktop clients such as Outlook and Notes® do not. Email clients that don't support animated GIFs display only the first frame of the animation. If you use an animated GIF, ensure that the first frame of the animation includes meaningful content.
- Background images
Background images are not supported in several email clients. If you want to use a background image, define supporting background colors that might help the look of the message where background images are not available. Text on a gradient or texture should be a standard foreground image for consistent rendering.
- Text in images
Text in images is not visible when images are disabled or unavailable. Also, text in images cannot be personalized directly from list data and require image-editing capabilities to make changes.
- ALT attributes
Altattributes provide alternative text content when images are not available. They are used by screen readers for visually impaired recipients. Consider the function of the image to help determine the alternate text. Don't provide alternate text for images that don't communicate content. For example, an image that is used as a border doesn't need alternate text. In this case, leave the value blank (