Leading CRM and Email Marketing SaaS Providers, Hatchbuck, Benchmark, Merge

Product & Design - Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Leading CRM and Email Marketing SaaS Providers, Hatchbuck, Benchmark, Merge

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HTML Email Tips for Web Designers

Beyond • February 25, 2009

Note: This article is valid only for people using their own custom HTML. If you use our pre-designed email templates you don\'t have to worry about this. An HTML email communication might look good on your computer but fail completely on the contact\'s because it depends on graphics, fonts, and CSS files which only reside on your system. When you are creating your email in outside HTML editors like Microsoft Publisher, Dreamweaver, or FrontPage, remember that you are designing for email and not a website. If you design the email as if it were a web page, it may not display correctly in your contacts\' different email and web mail clients. Do not reference external CSS files. Most email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, .Mac, AOL Web, etc) wont reference these external files, because it interferes with their own CSS coding. Use in-line CSS if you have to use CSS at all, and make sure you test your email in the top email clients so you can check for mistakes and inconsistencies.i) Reference to external CSS file will not work <link href=\"css1.css\" rel=\"stylesheet\" type=\"text/css\">ii) Putting css style in the head of the email and calling the it in the body will not work <style> .main{font-size:16px;} .subhead{font-size:14px; font-weight:bold; color:#cc0000;} </style> <span class=\"subhead\">Newsletter Article</span> Use Inline Stylesheet: <span style=\"font-size:14px; font-weight:bold; color:#cc0000;\">Newsletter Article</span> Do not use one large image that takes up your whole email. Most email programs will block images by default, so all your recipients will see a blank screen when you send it. Make sure your email is not too wide. The idea is to design an email that will fit in the viewing area of most email clients. A width of 650 pixels is ideal and would fit in most email client windows. If you have any doubts about this, set up a few free accounts with Yahoo!, Gmail and the like, and send your email to see how it shows up. Remove junk code from your HTML. If you have used Microsoft Front Page, Microsoft Word, or Microsoft Publisher to design your email, please note that your template will include all sorts of junk code that can break up your layout and cause problems. At worst, sloppy code can get your email filtered into the spam file. Make certain you clean up unwanted/empty tags, unnecessary attributes, comments and other junk code before you you upload your email. The following are some examples: <v:shape> <o:column> <b:Xl> ![endif] Flash, JavaScript, ActiveX, embedded movies and sound files do not work in an HTML email. Even though those things may make your email cooler, anti-virus software will block all those things. Save the movies, sound files and more for your landing pages and link to them from your email. Make sure all links to images are complete, Web-based URLs. In many cases where this has become a problem, we\'ve found that clients have linked to images on their hard drive rather than on a Web page.Relative URL (will not work): <p><a href=\"lastpage.htm\">This text</a> is a link to a local page, either on your computer or within the same website.</p>Full URL (will work): <p><a href=\"http://www.microsoft.com/\">This text</a> is a link to a live webpage on the World Wide Web.</p> Test your emails in at least three or four email clients like Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail, just so you can check your layout and see any mistakes. You should send a test email to all the free email accounts you\'ve created and check your layout to make sure the images show up, your links work, your colors look like you want them to and more.


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Announcing the launch of new Benchmark Email!

Announcing the launch of new Benchmark Email!

Beyond • January 20, 2009

In August 2008, we began a broad, sweeping plan to re-imagine Benchmark Email. We\'re almost ready for launch. The new Benchmark Email will be faster and more powerful, completely redesigned and far easier to navigate than ever before. We\'ve kept the core features of Benchmark Email and added a slate of new ones, taking the things you loved most about the old system and re-packaging them in a dynamite new format. On the back end, every single line of code has been optimized. We\'ve even added a brand new infrastructure to make 100% certain that Benchmark is more powerful, scalable, stable and secure than ever before. We can\'t wait to unveil the new Benchmark and show you what we\'ve been working on, and we\'re certain you\'ll love it as well. Here\'s a list of some of the improvements we\'ve made: New Design and BrandingView Screenshots   Email Creation made very simple One thing we went for with the new email creation module is simplicity. Some of you complained that the old system had too many steps and different elements, making things too confusing to create an email campaign in a flash. We\'ve listened to what you\'ve had to say and streamlined the entire process. We\'ve made things sleeker and faster than ever before. The last system had email creation and email campaigns in two separate sections. You had to go through two sets of steps. For the new Benchmark, we\'ve combined the two processes under one umbrella: \"Emails\" . We\'ve added an extra layer of efficiency to cut back on all those steps. Now you can pop in, select your layout, edit it and schedule your campaign in record time. If you\'re running up against the clock and have to create a campaign on a moment\'s notice, you\'ll now have that option. View Screenshots Surveys made very powerful Our new survey and polling section gives you even more options than before. You have two choices: create an email survey or paste one on your Website. You can even do both at the same time! We\'ve also created a set of pre-made email templates complete with generic questions. You can edit those questions to suit your needs or leave them intact. You can also customize your surveys down to the very last detail, adding your logo, changing the colors and fonts and more. Spreading the word on your survey is easy. Place a link in your email campaigns or paste the code directly on your site. Invite your clients to take your survey with an email invite. With our sophisticated, real-time reports, you can view the answers to your survey immediately after customers complete it, and even track how many surveys were completed. You can now export the survey results to a PDF. View Screenshots Email Campaign ArchiveDon\'t trash your emails after you\'ve sent them – put them online and gain an entirely new audience! With our email campaign archive feature, you can take your emails, gather them in one easy-to-find place, and turn them into Web pages that both your current customers and potential new customers can find. Let your viewers see your past promotions, how-to tips, company emails and newsletters and more, long after you\'ve sent them out to your audience. View Screenshots Graphical ReportsWith the new Benchmark Email graphical reports section, your data never looked so good. View your email campaigns autoresponders as colorful pie charts. See bar diagrams of your surveys and polls. Gain revealing, up-to-the-second insight and feedback via graphics and charts that can be refreshed and updated around the clock. View Screenshots But Wait, There\'s More! Here\'s a list of other changes that we think you\'re gonna like... All new Embed Videos -Embed YouTube videos in your emails. In case the email client does not support embedded videos, we redirect the viewer to a web version of your email to play the video All new \'Segment\' your Lists - Slice and dice your email lists based on any field in your Contact List. You can create a segment based on the sign up date, zip code or customer type. Any field, or combination of fields, can be the basis of your segment. All New Dashboard - The dashboard is now an actual dashboard. You get a birds eye view of your account, with statistics on your last sent Emails, graphs for Emails sent, Image Gallery usage. Revamped Infrastructure - We\'ve improved the underlying architecture of Benchmark to make everything faster, more stable, and even more secure. As a result, you can expect some very powerful new reports and new ways to manipulate your data in upcoming releases. Test Campaigns Work More Like Real Campaigns - In the past, test campaigns had some broken links and merge tags, and looked a little \"broken.\" In the new Benchmark Email, we made significant changes that make test campaigns work a lot more like real campaigns. Compare Email Performance - You can now compare your Email performance based on Opens, Bounces and Clicks. Survey Templates - We now have preformatted templates to kick-start your survey creation process. You can update the questions and options to suit your needs. Export Results to PDF - We now support export of most of your reports in PDF format. We\'ll be posting more about the new Benchmark Email as we get closer to launch. Right now, we’re undergoing final QA. The new Benchmark Email will launch in February, and will be automatic and totally free for all our customers.


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