Email Marketing and Communications
Electronic communication vehicles work hand-in-hand with website content and print marketing, as part of an overall marketing strategy within the college’s brand guidelines.
Electronic communication introduces new and efficient ways to communicate with Fisher’s audiences and relay Fisher’s brand identity and awareness.
Fisher needs to interact with various constituents differently depending on the nature of the content and how the messaging fits into the list of marketing tactics needed to execute a campaign.
Email Communication Laws
Information Technology Services can help with email templates, communications, and distribution needs, as well as coordinate efforts with the Office of External Relations marketing and communications team.
For optimal effectiveness, certain design, quality, and technical guidelines for email need to be kept in mind due to the limited functionality and display limitations present in email clients like Outlook, Gmail, Windows Live, and Yahoo.
There are also considerations for the type and value of content, while making sure the message is delivered and passing SPAM and Junk Mail filters, as well as complying with federal laws.
Federal Trade Commission Email Law Highlights
- No false or misleading header information. An email’s “from” and “to” must be accurate and identify the person who initiated the email.
- No deceptive subject lines. The subject line cannot mislead the recipient about the contents or subject matter of the message.
- External recipients must have the ability to opt-out. We must provide a return email address or another Internet-based response mechanism that allows a recipient to ask us not to send future email messages to that email address, and we must honor the requests.
- A physical address is required on email communications. A valid United States Postal Service address is required to be listed.
Fisher Email Templates
Fisher email templates were created to help units market their programs, events, and news. Bringing consistency to Fisher email messages enhances Fisher’s brand, as well as the credibility of the email message to the external or internal recipient.
View the Fisher Email Template Guide
Download a copy of the Email Content Template
The email templates are designed with flexibility and some variations for design. Before choosing a template, the message’s contents must first be determined; then, the template layout that will best communicate the message can be decided.
This template is designed for simple and clean communications that are informational or there is one key message to communicate.
The newsletter template is designed for communications that have many main articles, secondary content, and/or advertisements of college offerings or key marketing messages.
Designed as a hybrid between the basic and newsletter templates, this is a great option for messages that require call-to-action or there are many parts that need communicated along with the message.
Images and Multimedia in Email
Photos and graphics are an important part of the design, as they help drive interest and communicate messages effectively. It is best to submit photos to Fisher’s Web Services staff for online optimization.
Advances in online media technology have enabled the use of rich media like flash-embedded video and audio. This can be used in email marketing too, but it is not possible to embed the media in email like you would in a web page.
It is recommended to instead use a text or image link to these rich media presentations on a website rather than embed the file in the email itself.
Links in Email
It is important to have a call-to-action in email where appropriate. Links can provide this mechanism for recipients to “view more information” or “register online.” Occasionally, calls-to-action get buried in the content or do not catch the attention of someone skimming through the message.
It is recommended to have “cues” for recipients to go “do something.”
- Make your call-to-action clearly stand out and make sure it is extremely obvious that there is a clickable action. For example, You may want to spell it out: “ View more information.”
- If you are using images for links, make sure the image looks like a clickable image as well. Web Services created templates for the college’s use.
- Consider adding a line of linked text below linked images in case images are disabled. For example, incorporate a linked header above or below the image.
- Avoid the words “click here.” These words are “spammy” and not professional.
Today’s email technology allows many points for interaction – and rejection – before a message arrives at the receiver’s inbox. Your message may be stopped at any of these points for a variety of reasons. Depending on the Internet Service Provider (ISP), message content can play a small or large role in whether the email gets delivered.
- Reduce the amount of images used in the email.
- Make sure there is some balance between images and text.
- Avoid emails that are all images.
- Don’t use an exclamation point.
- Don’t use all caps, even if it’s only one word.
- Don’t deliberately or accidentally misspell words
- Avoid non-standard characters like “&” and “@” and “$”.
- Only use necessary punctuation. In most cases, at most you might need a comma or a dash.
- If you are using an apostrophe, make sure it’s straight, not “smarty” or “curly”. Don’t copy any such punctuation from Microsoft Word to paste into your subject line – these are non-standard characters.
Avoid “Spammy” Words and Phrases
- For Only
- Your Own
- Free Access
- Dear Friend
- Your Family
- As Seen
Guidelines for Images in Email
Fisher email templates have standard widths depending on which column the image is placed in.
Web Services should be consulted for all images designed for email communications.
Here are a few tips:
- Images used in custom HTML messages must be uploaded to a publicly accessible web server and referenced in the code with absolute URLs
- Images should feature a single element or scene, while not being very “busy”
- Images should always be in .jpg or .gif formats for the final product. Providing Web Services with the highest resolution photo will result in a better end product.
- Logos and other text-based images should be saved as .gif files. Photos must almost always be saved as .jpg files.
- Images should be saved at 72 pixel/inch resolution.
- Images should be saved in RGB color.
- Do not use spaces in filenames. For separation between words use hyphens.
- Whenever possible, images should be saved in Photoshop using “File”, “Save for Web” option, which significantly reduces the size and removes unnecessary coding from the file. 60% compression is average.
- Background images should be avoided.
- Do not enable roll-over/mouse-over images. This will not function in email.
- Animated .gif images should not be used.
- Image maps should not be used.