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If I asked you to envision Constant Contact’s team of software designers and developers, what image comes to mind? Is it mole-like tech geeks who rarely emerge from their cubes for human interaction, peering into crystal balls to try and guess what their customers want and need, and relying only upon indirect channels of customer communication that don’t require actually speaking with a user face-to-face?

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We know GIFs as those little animated images that you see on different websites. But did you know that you can insert GIFs into your Constant Contact campaigns

 

 

 

 

That's right! You can upload and insert a GIF just as you would a regular image. Adding a GIF into your campaign can certainly liven up a static campaign and add some personality. Here are a few things you should know before adding a GIF into your campaign.

 

  • Just like images, GIFs need to be under 5MB in size in order to be uploaded into the Constant Contact library. 
  • Less = more. Putting too many GIFs into a campaign can be distracting and pull your reader away from the message you are sending. Just a few will do!
  • Right along the lines of less = more, choose GIFs that are shorter in length (like the one I used above). Longer GIFs are larger in file size and may not even upload properly but they also take your readers' focus away from your message.
  • There are some email clients that don't support GIFs and will only show the first frame of the GIF. It's important to keep this in mind and send yourself previews to make sure that the first frame still makes sense even if the GIF doesn't play. 

 

So, how can you use a GIF in your campaign? Here are few suggestions:

 

  • Display a reaction - are you excited about a sale that you are having or want to promote something great happening with your business or organization? Show your readers how excited you are by using a GIF!
  • Support your message - Maybe you work for a nonprofit animal shelter and you are trying to raise money. Try including a GIF of cats or dogs so your readers remember who their donation would be helping.
  • Show personality - Readers love seeing personality in an email. Use a GIF to have a fun opening or closing message. Maybe like this:

 

Want more ideas on how to use GIFs? Look no further than our Blog!

 

We're interested to know how you will use GIFs in your campaigns. Feel free to let us know or share your "giffed out" campaign on our Critique My Campaign board! As always, we are here to answer any questions you might have as well. 

Keeping your small business in business isn’t easy. And being a family business makes things even more challenging. If you want your business to flourish for generations to come, you need to address your biggest challenges head on. There are still many misconceptions that persist when it comes to family business, too. They aren’t just the small general stores found along rural country roads. They are major drivers of jobs and economic growth, essential for a thriving economy.

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We're excited to announce that the Community will be responsive very soon!  In order to perform this work, the Community will need to be down for a short period of time on March 29th. 

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  • Community News
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Now is a great time to see what Autoresponders are all about!

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Do you ever wish that you could know what your readers are thinking? Well, using our poll block, you have a fast and easy way to get feedback and information from your readers. Here's a quick FAQ that shows you how it works in our third-generation editor.

 

Let's say I owned a boutique and I was getting ready for fall (definitely a nicer thought than this cold New England winter weather!). For this example, I asked what my readers favorite fall fashion item was. I could use this information in a future email to promote new items, especially those that I know that my readers are interested in.  


 

Once your email is sent, you can go into the reporting for your campaign and click on Total Responses to view the results for your poll.


 

The great part of about this reporting is that you can even filter the poll by the responses and reach out to a specific group on contacts that answered a certain way. For instance, maybe I will be having a sale on boots and I really wanted to send that email to the contacts that said boots were their favorite fall fashion item. I can export those contacts and create a list of my readers who would probably love to know about my sale on boots! Or maybe you're a nonprofit and you've asked your contacts if they would be interested in volunteering at an event you may be hosting. By using the poll block, you now know who is interested in volunteering and you can contact them directly. What a great connection! 

 

As always, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask! What will you use your Poll block for?

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Did you know 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email marketing message? (Source: Direct Marketing Association)

While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools.

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  • constant contact
  • email marketing
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What is a preheader and why is it so important? This is a common question that we get in Customer Support!

 

First, let’s take a step back and start with the subject line. It’s displayed in the email recipient’s inbox. We all know its importance in stating the intent or essence of your email campaign. It gives a summary of the content and sparks the reader’s interest. Like a heading, a title or a topic.

 

A great subject line entices the recipient to open your email campaign and take action (and keeps your email out of the spam folder!) The three best practices when writing an effective subject line include: short and descriptive, avoids spam-like characteristics, and entices the recipient to read further.

 

Sounds great, right? But what if you could add even more value to the content of your email campaign?

 

This is where the preheader comes in. It’s an additional line of text that displays in the inbox after the subject line. It simply supports the subject line with a bit more detail. It can even help with brand recognition.

 

Most mobile devices and email clients automatically display it. Without a preheader, the recipient might see a URL or perhaps text that doesn’t entirely support the subject line. You’ll want to maximize this space to your benefit. Use it to create value and/or a sense of urgency. Here are some examples of preheader text: what you could use:

 

  • Sign up now - limited time offer
  • Read what they’re saying
  • Keep reading to find out more
  • Shop now and save
  • Your feedback is important
  • Check out our work
  • Don’t miss out
  • Join us

Remember, the subject line and preheader text work in tandem. Together they create a preview of the content to come, and provide you with a golden opportunity to engage your contacts before your email is even opened!

 

We make it easy for you to add this to your email campaign directly from the header block:

 

 

 

Have any questions about the above article? Let us know! We’d also love to hear your successes with including a preheader to your email campaign. In addition, if you’ve seen any great preheader text in your own inbox tell us about that too!

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Now that you’ve learned the importance of a subject line and taken a look at the anatomy of email, let’s take a closer look at the building of your campaign. We break it down into 3 easy parts.

 

Part 1: Head(er)

 

The header is the face of your email (no pun intended) and should give a good first impression. You can do this by putting your logo at the top or your company name (or both!), and a headline that conveys the main message of your email. This is crucial, as customers who don’t immediately recognize who the email is from or what it is about are apt to ignore the rest of the email. Another thing to think about (though not technically in the header) is to make sure you have a great subject line and preheader text filled in!

 

Part 2: Body

 

The body of your email is the bulk of your campaign. Here you can include relevant content about the current happenings of your business. Perhaps you’re offering a special on a new product or hosting an upcoming event. Focus on one or two ideas to draw attention. This will get your customers to focus on a certain subject matter that is most important for your business. We recommend keeping the content to 3-4 paragraphs of text, with selective use of styling (bold, italic, underline); and 1-3 links for best click rates. This could be a link to a webpage where readers can buy a product or even a link to a PDF document if you’d like to share more information with your audience.

 

Adding personality to the body of your campaign can also enhance the value of your email. Don’t be afraid to add some relevant images to help get your message across. Make sure to stick to  1-3 images to avoid going overboard and losing the audience’s attention.

 

TIP: Consider adding a salutation at the end of your message. This may sound old-school or irrelevant to your typical advertisement email. But, this is one of my favorite things to see in an email. In the age of technology, readers love the sense that a real person is reaching out.

 

Part 3: Foot(er)

 

The bottom of your email is important too. While this may be the end of your email campaign, you don’t want it to feel like the end of the conversation. Conversations work best when there is two-way communication, so make sure to link to your website and social media pages to invite more visibility to your brand, products, or services. A simple “Stay Connected” with social media buttons and “Visit Our Website” button can drive more traffic to your online sites and also give readers another place to stay in touch. If you’ve created a survey, this is also a great place to link to a survey to gain more insight on the interests and demands of your audience or better yet, add a poll directly to your email!

 

Finally, one of the best tips I can give is “less is more.” Keep it simple and easy to read. Start building emails more efficiently and your customers will be sure to keep coming back for more!

 

Additional Resources:

 

Check out some our Email Examples by Industry

 

See how your stats compare. View our current Industry Averages.

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“Open Sesame:” It Starts With a Strong Subject Line

Many people focus all of their energy on creating the best email campaign (and that’s great, there is nothing wrong with that) but they stumble when it comes to what to put in the subject line.  This makes sense because there’s little space to write something compelling and the subject line is one of the most important parts of the email. I say this because it’s not only the first thing customers see before ever opening, but can also determine if your campaign gets to the inbox.

 

Things to Include

Keep it short and sweet – we recommend 5-8 words or 40 characters. This requires you to come up with a strong statement for your subject. Longer subject lines often get cut off after 60 characters.

 

Examples: “Last chance to save 20% on all back-to-school supplies” or “The 3 biggest income tax mistakes you're making”

One subject line that got me to open an email recently was “7 Things That Will Get You Promoted “

 

Adding numbers is useful in making your subject line compelling. It also sets an expectation up front for your readers.

 

Here are a few fun tips our Content Team came up with, in “[Cheat Sheet] 12 Ideas for Super Subject Lines

 

Things to Avoid

You know those emails that you get that based solely off of the subject line, you click delete and don’t open it?  C’mon, you know the ones. Think about what made you pause before opening that email. Those trigger words that hinted to you that the email might be spam.

 

Words like free, guarantee, spam, etc. can often cause emails to end up in the spam or junk folder. But, be careful – even innocent things like using ALL CAPs, excessive explanation points, or dollar symbols can also cause trouble and make people avoid opening your emails.

Want more information? Check out Optimize the Subject Line in a Campaign Email.

 

P.S. Don’t Forget the Preheader!

Last but not least, remember to add some text to your preheader. Not all email clients will display a preheader when an email is received, but for the ones that do this can help improve the open rate too.

 

The preheader is essentially an item of text that display below the subject line when an email is received in your inbox. This is a chance to add an extra tag line, to give customers more of a preview as to what’s inside the email. Check out some preheader examples.

 

Continue the conversation with us. Let us know what kinds of subject lines you like most, or if you there’s something you’d like us to cover in a future post.