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Debbie Mayo-Smith international inspirational motivational how-to speaker technology, time management, improving business performance
Motivational Speakers, Sales, Marketing, Time Management, Productivity, Technology, Tips

What You Need To Know About Email and Newsletters

Here's the technical lowdown (explained in simple terms I hope) on what you need to know for email marketing.

Three Types of Email You Can Send
3 Options For Personalized Email Merge
Tools You'll Need To Do Email Marketing Yourself

Three Types of Email You Can Send

1. Plain text
2. Simple html – (Rich Text) simple formatting
3. Advanced html – complex formatting = tables, forms, graphics, columns.

1. Plain text = old fashioned typewriter
Plain text is just that. Very, very plain text.

This is the only way to be technically sure that every single email will be legible to the reader. You must have a plain text option for your online newsletter templates.

First to define HTML
HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s simply formatting instructions put in markers, called tags. Don’t be afraid. The HTML coding is simply the email (or webpage) talking to your computer saying “make this text blue, end the paragraph here, put a graphic from this webserver right here; make this text bold and right align it.

When you understand the concept, it really is quite simple.

2. Simple HTML– simple formatting
Your email can have simple formatting text with it. This includes the ability to change your font, its size, colour or orientation (left, centre and right aligned). The ability to have bullet points or numbered lists.

Your Outlook/Outlook Express email formatting toolbar will show you exactly what you can SAFELY do (see below).

DO NOT paste tables, columns, graphics, forms etc into Outlook, Lotus - your email software. You'll never know if the recipeitns see it in the form you send.

3. Advanced html – complex formatting with tables and forms and graphics
You know those emails you get in that look like web pages? They’re colourful. They have images. They could have built-in forms that you answer. Text looks like it’s in columns. There's background colour. This is what I call advanced HTML. It’s the next step up, simple to do once you know how – and the tricks.

These email and online newsletter templates require the use of web designing software to create them.

Learn more from Successful Email Marketing - Your Complete 'How-To'successful email marketing tips hints tricks pitfalls to avoid

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3 Options For Personalised Email Merge

1. Sending plain text or simply formatted emails
If your list isn’t tooooo big, why not use the Microsoft Office email merge facility?

If you have Microsoft Office 2000 or a newer version, you can do a personalised email merge or newsletter template (remember simple formatting only) using Word as the base for the email message. It then will link up to a database and create individual, personalized (with any field in your database) emails. The emails are routed to Outlook/ Outlook Express and sent from there.

MS Office 2000 can only do a plain text email merge.

MS Office XP and 2003 does a beautiful simple HTML email merge. Remember – that’s only using formatted text, bullet points, numbered lists. You cannot use graphics, tables, columns, pictures, forms. I know I'm repeating myself here- but this is a huge area of confusion.

By the way, in Professional Online Newsletters and Emails there is step by step instructions on how to do the Word Personalised online newsletters design tips hints how to do your ownEmail Merge.

2 & 3 Advanced Newsletter Templates

For emails with tables, graphics, forms you need to go the next step up.

First you must start working with advanced software – normally Microsoft FrontPage and Macromedia Dreamweaver. they are WYSIWYG design tools (what you see is what you get) that create the HTML code for you automatically.

You do have to become familiar with HTML coding – not scary, I promise. You don’t need to know how to write code, remember the software does it for you, however you need a basic understanding to fix probems if they occur.

Then you must either buy personalisation software and use your computer/ISP/Server to send them out or to use an ASP – Application service provider. This is an online distribution service that will either give you access to their site to send your emails out over the Internet, or they’ll do everything for you.

Purchasing Your Own Personalisation / Email Merging Software

I recommend one of two systems:

Worldmerge
This is inexpensive software that you purchase and load into your computer. It will link your database with the email / online newsletter that you want to send – and send them one by one by one – each personalised.

The emails are sent out through Worldmerge. It links directly to your ISP or company server. It does not send them through your email client – Outlook, Lotus etc.

This software is solely for distribution. It does not track who reads your emails nor manage subscribes, unsubscribes and mail delivery errors.

GravityMail
This is a web application that you set up with various newsletter projects. Because it is a website based in the states, they handle all the bandwidth of sending emails for you. They also have very quick servers that can send emails out to more than one person symultaneously. This is what I use personally, but your needs may be different.

For more information see the book Successful Email Marketing - Your Complete 'How-To'.

Using An Online Email Service

They offer online distribution; tracking and list management.
A little more costly, but the added benefits are enormous.

Tools You'll Need To Do Email Marketing Yourself

  • You'll need to have good to intermediate computer skills in-house.
  • Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver (or something similar).
  • Database not in an address book or contacts
  • Access to your website and file transfer software

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Your Computer

Internet Distribution

 

Outlook / Outlook Express

Purchased personalisation software

Outsourced or you send

Recipient

2000

XP (2002)

2003

Single plaintext

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes


Single Simple HTML

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes


Single Advanced HTML***

x

x

x

yes

yes


BCC

yes

yes

yes

yes

yes


Personalised Plain text

Word merge

Word merge

Word merge

yes

yes


Personalised Simple HTML

x

Word merge

Word merge

yes

yes


Personalised Advanced HTML

x

x

x

yes

yes


Tracking Reader Response

x

x

x

x

yes


Managing Your List Automatically

x

x

x

x

yes



This article is copyright to Debbie Mayo-Smith & SuccessIS. You may use it for your newsletter, website or as an article. It can be reproduced - but in its entirety and with inclusion of Debbie Mayo-Smith as the author and the weblink www.successis.co.nz


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