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Q&A from our "Write Your Email in 15 Minutes or Less" webinar

Moderator

 

Our "Write Your Email in 15 Minutes or Less" webinar was a great success. Here you'll find the questions asked by our attendees during the webinar and information on where to find the recordings. 

 

Workshop Series Questions:

 

Q: Where can I find out more information about the series, like past webinars, worksheets, and future webinars?

A: You can find information about this in plenty of places!  Here are links to the different parts of the series:

Also, right here in this Community board you will find posts for all of the different webinars that have the worksheets, recordings, and registration links for future webinars in their respective series. You can also find more information on the Constant Contact Blog and our Events page.

 

 

Campaign Content Questions:

 

Q: How can we get access to the Third Generation Editor (3GE)? Is there a cost associated with this new editor?

A: You can get in touch with our support team to request use of 3GE. Feel free to post a comment here, or use one of the various ways to get in touch with us listed in our Help Center.  There is no cost associated with access to the Third Generation Editor. There are some features that are only available in certain plans. Take a look here for more information.

 

Q: How many call to action buttons can you have in one row? 

A: You can only have two blocks next to each other in 3GE. This could be two call to action blocks, two images, or an image/button next to text.

 

Q: How many features/things should be in each email?  Is there an optimum number of photos/images? How many topics would you suggest for an email?

A:  Keep your message simple because your readers are getting tons of messages in their inbox and their time is precious. Our formula is 3 things: a picture, a paragraph, and a call to action. You can find more on this here. In general, we suggest no more than 3 topics. If you have a lot to cover then it might make sense to send shorter emails more frequently (i.e.- weekly instead of monthly.)  Want more information on email design best practices?  Take a look at this guide!

 

Q: How many words show in preheader? What are your suggestions for subject and preheader? Is the preheader worth writing? Just to clarify---If I leave preheader field empty, will the preheader default to the first few words of the message?

A: The amount of text/characters that shows in the preheader depends on the email client. This article goes into further detail.

Also, the preheader is DEFINITELY worth it! With the increasing number of people opening on their mobile device, it is more important than ever to add something to this field.  If you do not supply anything for the preheader, it will autofill the first section of content from your email. For example, with a branded template the first thing that shows is typically your logo. If you do not put anything in the preheader, the link for your logo might be the first impression you get in the inbox. Make sure to take a minute and update the preheader to get the most of your marketing!

 

Q: If you’re writing shorter messages and encouraging people to click through to your website should you create a new, separate webpage for each section/link you provide in your email?

A: When you are linking off to your website, you can use the same link multiple times. It might also make sense to point to a blog within your website. Blog posts are super easy to publish and won't require as much work as creating new webpages every time.

 

Q: Can you talk about connecting emails to events through Constant Contact? How can a RSVP and payment option be combined on the same page?

A: While using an RSVP block can work for many events, you may want to consider running an Event Campaign if you need to accept payments, communicate with your registrants easily, sell additional items, or need more information from your registrants. When using an Event Campaign, you can create a landing page, a registration form, and invitations! This allows you to send confirmation and reminder emails along with having a “one-stop-shop” for managing your event.  To learn more about this campaign type, take a look here.

 

Q: This is great, but what about specifics for my industry?

A: We’re glad you asked! We have a whole website that has various resources for all kinds of industries. You will find design ideas, content recommendations, success stories and more. Want to find out how you stack up against the competition?  Take a look at our FAQ with open rates for different industries.

 

We also wanted to call out that for non-profits specifically, we will be running a nonprofit webinar in May with John Haydon. Hopefully, you can attend! Until then, we have industry specific tips at the website mentioned above and nonprofit tips on the Blog.

 

Q: Is it a good idea to put product prices in your email?

A: Absolutely! If they are interested in the image of the product and the price is what they're looking for, they'll be more likely to click and purchase from you.

 

Q: What is the recommended size for images in your campaigns? Can you edit images in your account? How do you make images clickable links? Can you use images from your account in social media posts?

A: Images, images, images!  We had so many questions about this topic. Here’s how to prepare your images for upload into your account. We recommend uploading pictures at no more than 600px wide, as this is the largest width for most email campaigns. You can also edit images that are uploaded to your account. Find out more about the editing features we have available here. To make an image a clickable link is super easy – just click on the image, click the link button, and add the link into the field. Here are more detailed instructions for you, too. There’s also a great post on the blog about using the right images in your email design.

 

To download the image from the stock gallery you do have to agree to terms and conditions stating that you can only use those images through your account. As long as you are using the social tools in your account to schedule your posts, then you will remain within the terms of use for those images.

 

Q: I know there are social buttons to drive people to our social media accounts but is there a way to add social share buttons that direct your subscribers to share the campaign on their social media accounts? Should I include all the social media buttons even if I don’t have an account on one of the social media platforms?

A: We do not have a way to add a “share this” button in your campaigns; however, you can schedule your campaign to share on your social sites and encourage your followers to like, comment or share. We also recommend linking off to any sites that you have an account on, but if you are not on Instagram or Twitter, you probably don’t want to link to those properties from your email.

 

Q: How different is the 3rd generation from the 2nd generation editor?

A: The 3rd generation editor was designed to make the email creation process easier and more efficient to help our customers get their emails out quickly and professionally. A new feature the 3GE editor offers is the ability to easily drag and drop items into and within it. We’ve reduced the amount of clicking it takes by allowing you to more simply drag images, text blocks, and other layout enhancements. Here are some additional details on moving from 2GE to 3GE.

 

While we do have some mobile friendly templates in 2GE, every template in 3GE is mobile responsive. We understand how important it is for customers to have the ability to create emails that look good on mobile devices. After all, we’ve found that more than half of email opens now occur on mobile devices. Check it out!

 

Q: The content poll is completely separate from the survey tool, correct?

A: Yes, survey is a separate tool for creating dedicated, detailed online surveys, and the new Poll Block  allows you to gain quick insights or feedback right inside your primary email campaign. While a survey might be used to ask a series of questions, the poll block’s intention is to offer an easy addition to your emails that gets your customers more engaged. Use it for quick questions such as “Was the content in this email relevant to you?” or even something as simple as “Have you shopped with us in the past six months?” The best part? The Poll Block has reporting included right inside the stats page of your email to see exactly who responded. Check one of our recent blog posts “How to Add a Poll to Your Constant Contact Email” for tips on how to leverage this for your business.

 

Q: Do you have suggestions on how to keep monthly newsletters interesting and engaging? I work for a non-profit that provides seasonal programming and also has rentals so there are many different audiences.

A: Are you segmenting your audiences? If you have multiple audiences consider sending different emails for those audiences. Here's some more information on segmenting.

 

Q: Does changing up the template often keep your readers more engaged?  Or does it confuse them?

A: I'd say keep your template consistent most of the time, but you can think about switching it up around special occasions like holidays. Take a look at some great tips here.  

 

Q: My readers like spotlight pieces for my organization. Would you say it's okay to have lengthier pieces with several spotlights or should I do only one spotlight at a time?

A: I suggest trying the following: include a selection from one of your spotlights in the email and link to the full story to your blog or website. By doing this you're driving people to your website and you can track the data about who clicked. You could put a couple of spotlights in the email that link to the full story, but try not to overwhelm your readers. Test sending emails containing one spotlight and emails containing multiple spotlights or selections. Your reporting will tell the story of what your readers prefer.

 

 

Specific Account Questions:

 

Q: Why can’t you resend an email after 80 days have passed? Sometimes I end up copying and sending the same email 3 times during the span of a year to have it delivered to the correct people.

A: We have this time frame set for emails because typically content in your campaigns expires after a period of time. If you are sending emails based off of a schedule you could use an autoresponder campaign to automate the sending based off of when someone was added to a list. You can also submit feedback about this process via the "Have Feedback" link in the account. This will be posted for others to comment/vote on the idea and it will also be seen by our product teams.

 

Q: For Spanish emails can you change the language used in the Header Options?

A: There are a couple of places within your account where you can change the language. This FAQ goes over that for you.

 

Q: How much is a customized template?

A: We’d love to talk to you about creating a template just for you! With the various offers that we have available, we recommend chatting with a member of our services team to make sure you get exactly what you need. If you want more information, please send us an email to social_support(at)constantcontact(dot)com with your username and a reference to this post.  

 

 Q: I have issues copying/pasting from other sources into Constant Contact. Do you have any tips?

A: If you are using our 3GE, we make this easy for you! The editor will help with any of those pesky formatting problems by taking in only the code it needs. We recommend you try pasting from word processor docs straight to the editor and see what it looks like (we think you will be pleasantly surprised.) If you are running into any issues with copying content over, we suggest using a basic text editor like Notepad or TextEdit. You can copy your content into that program, then copy it again and paste into your block. This process helps to strip out any extra code that could otherwise be carried over with the text. We recommend this process for copying and pasting from online sources so that you are not getting any of their code tagging along.

 

Q: I have an old e-mail list and need to verify if they are still valid.  Is there any way to do this?

A: For this question, it depends on how old your email list is. We typically say that contacts should be no older than 18 months; however, this also depends on when you have last contacted them, your industry and other account specific factors. While we do not have a way to automatically update a list and get rid of old/invalid contacts, we do have a delivery team who can help you to come up with a plan around the contacts for your specific account.

 

Q: I have a pdf of an article that I want to attach to emails. What's the best way without the email looking bulky? The format of the article, that I prefer, is different than online.

A: When adding your PDF, you can link off to the PDF with a call to action. For example, you could take some cues from the Read More block and use your PDF for a “Read more” link.  By using the layout of  “Teaser, then link to read more” you would not be adding too much extra content or bulk to your campaign. For more information take a look here.

 

Q: When using automation, can we use features like the poll and RSVP block? 

A: Yes! As long as you are using the Third Generation Editor, you will have access to these blocks in the Email Plus plan.

 

Q: How many times can you use your reusable template?

A: You can use your reusable template as many times as you want. The templates are created to be used indefinitely. The important thing to remember is to never edit or send the original copy. By leaving the template in Draft mode and copying it anytime you need to edit it, the template remains preserved as a fresh email template to work from (no extra code hanging out in the copies that could affect formatting). Check out these template examples that our Design team has recently created.

 

Q: Do any plans accommodate someone who only wants to send out every other month?

A: While our payments plans are set up as monthly subscriptions, you can always contact our Billing team to hear the latest offers and talk more about the specifics for your account. Their hours of operation are Monday through Friday, from 7AM-9PM EST and they can be reached at the numbers listed here.

 

Q: How do you keep from getting put in spam jail when using your reply address?

A: This post should help you avoid Spam Jail! 

 

Q: Is there an easy way to A/B test?

A: At this time we do not have a dedicated A/B testing feature, but don’t worry, we’ll show you how you can still do A/B testing in your account! There are a multitude of things that you can try A/B testing for, but three things we definitely recommend testing are: best time to send, design choices, and efficacy of your subject lines. This handy article will walk you through exactly how to A/B test the aforementioned things in your account, and the same principles apply to most anything you’d want to A/B test for. Our engineering team is looking into customer requests for an A/B testing feature, so if that’s what you’d like to see then please add your vote here! Voting on ideas and features helps our teams to prioritize future enhancements.

 

Q:  How do I create a “Did Not Open” report so that I can better manage my contact list?

A: This is a great question. Cleaning and managing your contact lists is extremely important- it helps ensure your emails are going to those who want them, it helps keep your emails out of junk and spam folders, and it helps you focus your efforts on the subscribers who read your emails among many other things. Our reporting will tell you which of your contacts have not opened your emails. You can then use that data to add these contacts to a list to either attempt targeted re-engagement emails, or to remove them from your account.

 

Q: Do you have plans to introduce a search function to quickly locate past campaigns?

A: This is a request that our engineers and developers are currently tracking. We encourage you to add your vote and share your user story here as that will help our teams to prioritize requests.

 

 

 

 

Natalie_B

Hi there, I'm Natalie! I've been with Constant Contact since 2014. I'm the Social Media Manager behind @CTCTHelp on Twitter. When I'm not in the office you can find me playing pool competitively or perhaps bushwhacking my way to a geocache. If you want to talk social media then I'm your girl, don't hesitate to reach out!