Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:email“

The Email Gnome: Shrink Your Images

by The Email Gnome

Welcome everyone, to the first installment of The Email Gnome. I’ll be giving you tips and tricks to make your email blasts faster, better, and more reliable.
Being a gnome, I’m a fan of all things small, and email blasts are no exception.

Small is beautiful.

The larger an email blast is, the longer it takes to send, and the longer it takes for your recipients to download. Large emails also increase the suspicion of spam blockers and filters, and increase complaint rates because of downloads timing out.

The optimum size for an email blast is under about 25 Kilobytes (KB), and the maximum size of an email blast is about 250 KB. As an example, a recent Friday Fiesta email was about 8 KB.

In terms of size restrictions, don't worry much about text: type away until your heart’s content, and you won't have to worry about your e-blast being too big. (I'd keep it brief, as your supporters are unlikely to want to read a novel in their inbox. But if they did want to, you could send an entire text version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and it would top out at only 177 KB!)

Where you really get into trouble is with pictures and images, especially the high-resolution ones that you or someone else took with a fancy digital camera. While these look awesome on your computer screen, they can slow email to a crawl.
Which brings us to today’s topic: image resizing.

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UCSD reminds you to target your e-mail blasts with care

by Jason Z.


UC San Diego -- a school for the smart ones, supposedly -- mistakenly congratulated nearly 29,000 applicants on their acceptance, according to university officials.

Earlier this month, about 17,000 student were offered admission for the fall, leaving nearly 29,000 hopefuls out in the cold.

But on Tuesday, the school's communications office said an e-mail was sent Monday afternoon to all 46,377 students who applied for admission -- including the 29,000 rejects -- welcoming them to the campus.

A half-hour later, school officials said, they realized their mistake. Almost two hours after the first note went out, a second e-mail was sent, apologizing to 28,889 freshmen applicants for the mistake.

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Short notice: learn the DSCC's e-mail secrets at Third Thursday Mar. 19

by Jason Z.

This is the sort of thing to make me wish I still lived in D.C.

The monthly "Third Thursday" event, which takes place tomorrow from 3 to 5 p.m. at the home office on 1700 Connecticut, is a two-parter that should be well worth the red line transfer for anyone local.

  • 3-4 p.m.: The new e-mail package.  A demo of the features in the new email tool we rolled out last week.
  • 4-5 p.m.: E-mail strategy with Lizzie Kendrick of the DSCC.  Perhaps nobody has sent more emails with Salsa than Lizzie ... and she'll share the whys and the hows of conditional blast content, A/B testing, and other advanced mail testing and targeting.

Should be a great combination useful across the spectrum of list sizes, Salsa experience, and technical expertise.

RSVP.  Your conversion rates will thank you for it.

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Get your new e-mail tool ... and take the webinar today

by Jason Z.

Salsa's campaign managers should have received the notification, but we pushed out an upgraded e-mail package last week.  Though the old e-mail tool will remain supported until June, the new tool is all that and a bag of chips right now.

Here's how to add the package:

  • Click on "Accounts" in the upper right hand corner of your dashboard
  • Then, click "Manage Your Packages" in the bottom right-hand box
  • "Click here to add the new Email Blast Package"

That's it! Once you've installed it, you can begin e-mailing with it immediately, and you'll find all the great options you're used to, plus some brand new functionality.

Not sure?  Want to test the waters?  Documentation for the new e-mail package is already available. We'll also be offering webinars to help orient everyone this afternoon at 2 p.m. and on Monday, March 30. (All future e-mail webinars will use the new package.)

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DemocracyInAction Delivers

by Jason Z.

DemocracyInAction's mass-mailing needs have made it a case study for scaling delivery for our own e-mail vendor, Message Systems.  It's a bit inside baseball, but if you've ever wondered about the scope of DIA's e-mailing and what's involved in making that happen quickly after you hit the "send" button ...

[A]s opposed to 100,000 messages per hour [years ago], DIA can now send 1.5 million to 2 million e-mails an hour. ...

Delivery Manager software['s] real-time analytics allows DIA to immediately identify why a message doesn't reach its intended target.

DIA's deliverability rate now nears 99 percent, and blacklisting from ISPs is no longer an issue.

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Email Standards Project Launches

Tags: blog:design  |  blog:email  |  blog:html  |  blog:nptech  |  blog:standards  |  Email
Comes the desperately overdue project for some kind of synoptic understanding of standards in e-mail. Sweet mercy, is that an oasis? Here's the introductory blog post:
[W]hy is it so hard to build a decent HTML email? The answer was not that nobody really cared, it was that the people who cared weren’t in a position to make any difference, or were not getting any support. That’s what the Email Standards Project is about: Making sure that people do care, that they do see why having standards support for email clients is important. And about making sure that our voices are heard by the people who can make a difference, the email client developers. This is not about complaining or being unrealistic. It’s about making contact with the right people, and getting them all the support they can use to improve their email clients. We want to work with the design community and the email clients to set some goals for email standards so that we can aim at a future when HTML email is not so hard.

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Inbox Zero

Talk about Thanksgiving. There may be a few leftovers to feed the blog, but DIA is closed for Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday. We'll catch you next week for the homestretch.

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Basic HTML E-mailing: Setting up a Template

As we've mentioned before getting email design from the interface to your member's inbox is not as simple as one might hope. Luckily, a well designed email template can not only help you deliver an email that more closely resembles your vision, but can also lead to consistency between emails and speed up the time each blast takes to create.

Use a Template

The over whelming majority of users need to use an email template. We want to use a template to 'protect' some parts of our HTML for both consistency and to ensure critical parts of the HTML are not altered during the creation of a blast.

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Email Deliverability: DIA's Automatic Unsubscribe Mechanisms

In the world of email delivery, your IP address reputation is what it's all about. In days past, all you had to do was ensure that the emails going out of your system were clean, and the spam filters would pass them through into inboxes. Now, Internet Service Providers keep volumes of data on your IP addresses and what kind of email you send through them. They also keep data on frequency, volume, bounce count, and spam complaints. In order to optimize email deliverability, one must not only ensure that emails have non-spam-like content, but also that one keeps bounce counts and complaints low: if your IP drops e-mail to 10,000 bogus Yahoo addresses, Yahoo's going to assume the other 10,000 good addresses are receiving junk and handle it accordingly. Our member organizations control the first part of that equation, and (by being ethical mailers and not uploading spam lists) a portion of the second. But a very big part of keeping bounce counts and spam complaints within ISPs' operational limits happens out of DIA's shop through processes to automatically unsubscribe addresses that have gone sour.

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Basic HTML E-mailing: The Domains Senders Must Test

Tags: blog:design  |  blog:dia-lysis  |  blog:email  |  blog:html  |  blog:nptech  |  blog:tipsheet  |  Email
A recent conversation about the vagaries of HTML e-mail on the Progressive Exchange mailing list prompted some good conversation about a perennially vexing topic: how do you keep your hard-won html design rendering properly in your recipients' mailboxes? Short answer: you probably don't. For coders who like to get into it, I've been in the habit of recommending the exhaustive sleuthing done by sorta-competitor Campaign Monitor (for instance), which blogs the bejeezus out of the issue and has great resources like 30 free design-compliant templates that might shortcut the process. The thumbnail version for the rest of us is that there's no orthodoxy. Like 4th century heretics, every e-mail provider has its own slightly different standard which on pain of hellfire and junk filtering is incompatible with every other provider's standard. What's a small organization without the luxury of coding line-by-line styles to do?

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