When it comes to emails and corporate electronic communication there is often a huge gap of understanding between Marketing and IT, regardless the size of the organisation.
This is the beginning of a talk I presented a while ago about the difficulties to understand the challenges of email communication and about one of our solutions which we developped in-house.
does not refer to IT when communicating to the outside world
does not know technical details
does not need IT ?
does not understand Marketing needs
does not communicate on technical constraints and requirements
does not communicate on technical features (tracking, personalization )
Everybody knows how to use Email, from first graders to grand parents (if not great grand parents!). Therefore, sending out an HTML newsletter shouldn't be that hard, should it? The answer is yes and no. Given the right tools and a well-thought strategy, mass mailings are indeed quite easy to manage. However, if the "add to CC" solution is chosen, many unpleasant surprises linger around the corner, of which "badly formatted emails" might not be the worst one.
From simple email to corporate Communication
- What is the scope of your mailing? Are we talking about 10 0r 10.000 ?
- Do you want to target a specific segment of your customers / audience?
- Do you need personalization for each email ?
- Do you want to keep tracks of what has been sent, addresses, errors, unsubscribes?
- Would you like to measure click-through rates or conversion rates (in case of e-commerce)?
Mass mailing has technical impacts
There are also technical aspects to consider, which may affect your mailing strategy.
- Bandwidth: How much bandwidth will you consume with 200K emails sent from your LAN ? Can your network handle it?
- SPAM : Are you sure you're doing what's needed ? There are a lot of rules to be followed to minimize spam and avoid annoying your audience. In several countries, opt in and out rules are strictly regulated.
- Website : How much traffic can your website handle? (dont send 200k emails in one go with a link to a promotion if your website cannot take high traffic !)
Not taking these purely technical limitations into consideration can seriously harm your company's image.
About the template itself
- Plain text / HTML: Do you want to send a plain text email ? An HTML one ? Don't forget that in this case you still have to provide a plain text version of it. The best practice is also to give at the top a link to a hosted version of the email in case the client software of your audience is not able to read it properly.
- Images: For the images, do you want them to be embedded (emails larger but images displayed automatically) or hosted on a webserver (client generally has to accept images before seeing them, emails are smaller) ?
- Would you like to know whether your emails have been opened, links have been clicked on?
- Would you like personalized links in the email to track visitors on your website ?