When I was a kid in high school, one of the rites of passage was a driver’s license. This was one more step into adulthood. This meant freedom! This meant you were a cool! This meant parents didn’t have to chaperone! I had a friend we’ll call ‘Jane’, and together, we were literally counting down the days until she got her license! Her parents purchased a really nice used convertible sports car for her, and we were going to do so many things without the parents!
The day arrived, and Jane and I decided to hit the mall after school. We shopped, we flirted, we gossiped, we re-teased our mall bangs in every mirror we found. It was bliss. On the way home, at a red light, a couple of guys pulled up next to us. They were hot. We knew we were. The guy driving revved his motor.
So did Jane.
The light turned green, and off we went! By the time we hit the ramp for the interstate, we were going a whole 55mph!
Being the Super Bad chicks we were, I told Jane to burn this guy and speed passed him. She hit the gas, and we didn’t speed up. She floored it....and we stayed at 55mph. The two hot guys in the car zoomed past us going at least 75mph, and Jane and I were confused. Later that week, we learned about a device that can be installed into a car called a Speed Governor – it limits how fast a car goes. Jane’s dad had installed it to make sure that while we were without parental supervision, Jane still went the speed limit. As teenagers, this was an outrage. Looking back on the whole situation as a parent? Jane’s Dad was wise! The device was for our safety to ensure that we weren’t put in harm’s way.
I bet you’re wondering how I’m going to tie all this into a helpful article for your YAC services, aren’t you? Well, let’s talk about our Email Marketing! A lot of our customers are confused as to why they can’t place a full sized flier into their message and send it out. Some of you have done this, and the result is a message that says your Spam Score is over 0.8 and also says:
“Too much of the content of your message are images. Include some text in your message.”
Ladies and Gentlemen, this message is brought to you by, what I like to refer to as, The Spam Governor. We absolutely want you to use your Email Marketing to its fullest extent, but emailing an image-only message is seen by most servers as – you guessed it – SPAM! Mind you, servers can’t see what the image is; it’s just an all encompassing RED FLAG that pops up when you don’t actually put TEXT in your message. You can thank Adult Sites, Spammers, and Hackers for this flag because, that’s what created a call for action on image-only messages.
We’re sure that you’re not sending pictures that are on the randy side, or images that have a hidden code that could take possession of someone’s PC, but again, servers can’t see what the image is, they just know it’s an image. So, just as Jane’s dad was trying to protect us, our Email Marketing module is actually protecting YOU as our customer. If we allow these message to go out, over time, this could get you blacklisted as a SPAMMER, and we don’t want this to happen. These efforts are put in place to keep servers and your online reputation clean.
We try to alert you before you send your message that if you send an image-only newsletter; it’s probably going to go right into a SPAM or Trash folder. Your Spam Score has to be below 0.8. Let’s say you get it to 0.6, you should still be aware that your message could end up in File 13. It isn’t that you can’t add images to your messages, it’s just that there are some general rules that you should probably follow. Let’s go over some guidelines.
Size Matters – Let’s put this debate (about pictures) to rest. An image that is the same size as a piece of printer paper (8.5 X 11 inches) is too big. I love graphics and flashy photos too, but you’re really going to have to think more along the lines of a postcard. Let’s say 4 X 6 inches. The resolution of the image should only be 72 dpi. If you’re not sure what the size or the resolution of an image is, you can open the image in Microsoft Paint. Go to the start menu and click on PROPERTIES – you’ll see this info:
In this example, the information says that the image I was viewing is 96 dpi (Dots Per Inch...so we’re good there), and that the size of the image is 6.51 inches by 6.90 inches. That’s a little too big. So we’ll have to crop it. This also something you can do in Microsoft Paint. Once you have it cropped and ready, save it to your computer and place it in your newsletter.
Text Content - So you aren’t the best at writing a message, or even an email. That’s okay! Writing with the eloquence of Tennyson, Frost or Shakespeare is not required. Even if you list the exact same thing that’s on your specials this week, do so. Your message should be all text, and if there is imagery, consider a small graphic. Remember, this is a newsletter, not a new-image. Still struggling? Call us! We can help with whatever special, or event that you want to market!
And finally, my Surprise SUPER Tip!!!
Tricking the Spam Governor – Oh yeah...see, if the Spam Governor wants to play dirty, so can we! Now, before I share this Super Tip, you must understand this. This doesn’t work on all images. An image that is too big and a lack of content will not get you home free here. However, let’s say your image is a little bigger than a postcard. Here’s what you can do.
Here’s some specs about the image I’m using - It’s 6 inches by 5 inches and it’s 96 dpi. I can adjust the size of the image by using the slider or the numbers in the boxes under ‘Dimensions’. (Circled in Red)
The other cool feature is that you can enter something called Alternate Image Text. What this does is tricks the Spam Governor into thinking that your image is text!!! (See circled area in blue with terribly drawn star!!)
Now, as far as how much text should you enter; if you copy and paste a few paragraphs in there, you’ll be fine. I personally try to fill up enough content to fill the frame of the image.
Once you have your image placed and your message written, try sending yourself a preview to see how it look. We recommend this to catch typos and to just review how your message layout will look when your customers receive it.
Once you’re happy with it, it’s time to send out your newsletter campaign. Please remember that with an image it’s highly likely that you’ll have a 0.6 Spam Score. This means that there is a possibility that the message could end up in a Spam folder. The absolute best way to prevent this is to ask your customers to add your newsletter email address to their address book. Not sure what your newsletter email address is? No problem! It’s your primary keyword @yourareacode.com. So for example, if Harvey’s Print Copy Service has the keyword ditto that means his newsletter email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Your newsletter email address is outbound only, so keep that in mind.
Finally, if you’re still struggling to get your newsletter out, call us! We’re happy to help!