Archive for the ‘MessageSender’ Category

Email Subject Lines

The success of an email campaign can come down to something as small as the subject line. Why? Because many recipients use the email subject line to decide whether to open or delete an email. In addition to this, spam filters are set up to identify certain trigger words that are common in spam emails and stop them reaching the inbox. Having these trigger words in the subject line can mean your email might never get to its recipients.

In this blog we will cover 10 tips to help increase the effectiveness of your subject lines and your email campaigns on a whole.

1. Subject line length

People receive many emails a day and most of the time they don’t have time to read through each email and so rely in the subject line to decipher whether the email is of importance or interest to them. For this reason it is recommended to keep the subject line less the 50 characters (including spaces) so that the line doesn’t extended beyond the email client’s (Outlook, Hotmail, etc )viewing plane.

It is sometimes argued that having a long subject line reduces the number of opens but may increase the number of click through rates because the recipients know exactly what the email is about and by opening is interested rather than just curious.

2. Get the Key Information in early

As mentioned in point 1, the subject line should be kept short to help increase the chances of the recipient opening the email but also that having a long subject line is not always detrimental. Whether you chose to have a short or long subject line this rule applies to both.

With an email subject line you should always try and get the key point in early so that it attracts those recipients who skim the subject lines and email clients don’t have a set number of characters before it’s cut off. So it’s vital to main the key points at the beginning if the line before it is potentially cut off.

For example:

“Ten tips for improving your email marketing” can be re-arranged and shortened to “Email Marketing: Top 10 tips”

3. Provide an immediate benefit

If you include an immediate benefit or some sort of urgency tag in your subject line then the recipient feels the need to act quickly for the fear of miss out. This is of course dependant on the content of the email and sometimes a time scale or deadline would apply to it. Examples of this are:

  • 10 best places to play golf this week
  • Order now for Christmas day delivery
  • 24 hours left before our sale closes

4. Be truthful

There is nothing people dislike more than someone they deam as untrustworthy. Don’t stretch the truth in the subject line or promise more than the email can deliver, or make grand claims that readers will find hard to comply with in order to get a special offer or benefit. Readers will distrust you (and reach for the report-spam button) if your subject line doesn’t reflect the email content and will most likely automatically delete future emails without a glance.

5. Think about the Spam Filters

It is a thin line between “Catchy” and “Spam” and trying to get this correct is one of the hardest parts of Email Marketing. There are certain words that trigger the Spam filters and if these are used to often in the subject and email body then the email will be automatically put in the Junk Mail. It is always best to run your emails through spam checkers before sending them out to your mailing lists.

6. Support the “From” Field

It is a common mistake to include the company name or organisation in the subject line in the belief that it will increase brand association and forget about the “From” section. If your company name appears in this field then it is unnecessary for it to also be included in the subject line.

7. Personalise

Personalise email subject lines based on users’ previous history of engagement with your emails. If you know what products or content preferences, interests, past purchases, Web visits or links they have clicked then you have an amazing insight into what works for them in email copy. Be careful when personalising on past purchases, however, because the purchase could have been a gift for someone else and might not relate to your reader’s real interests, but it can still provide a vital insight. Always make it easy for readers to find and update their data and email preferences, through an “Update my preferences” link. Avoid using the recipient’s name in the subject line unless you are sure your database is up to date. There is nothing worse then sending out emails with incorrect names in the subject lines.

8. Write the Subject Line early

It is common that the subject line is forgotten about and left till last when building an email but it should be one of the first parts of the email you should think about. As you plan a email marketing campaign, start thinking about what will go into the subject line. That will help you sharpen your campaign’s focus and may even change or tweak the offer or article focus.

9. Look back at previous Emails

The best analytics you have are from previous emails you have sent to be sure to always refer to what you have done previously when writing new subject lines. See which email subject lines delivered the action you wanted – the most conversions, the highest average sale per order, the highest click-through rate, etc.

10. Test, Test, Test.

Test continually to determine trends and styles that appear to work. Pre-test if you can. Add a day to your campaign-creation schedule to give you enough time to try out different email subject lines. Opinions and attitudes changes so don’t assume what works now will work 6 months later.
I repeat – Test, Test, Test

Writing subject lines are too important to ignore or to write at the last moment. Take your time, try out various possibilities, follow the advice of the experts, and you may see your open rates go up.

August 25th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

MessageSender – What is it?

Ackura MessageSender is a powerful yet easy to use Email Marketing web tool. It allows people with a non-technical background, such as marketing and operational personnel the ability to manage successful email marketing campaigns.

Creating, editing and sending your emails is a breeze. MessageSender also has all the reporting tools you need to be able to monitor the success of your campaigns.

It's easy to edit the content of your email

It's easy to edit the content of your email

One of the things that makes MessageSender special is the ease at which you can manage your recipient list based on response and use this information to tailor your future activity. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content to your audience based on their previous behaviour.

Now in its third incarnation, Ackura MessageSender is the result of 6 years of development. We are continually developing the tool and hope to bring you new modules allowing you increased functionality. The aim of this blog is two-fold: to inform MessageSender users of new and upcoming features as well as providing tips and helpful resources on how to ge the best possible results from your email marketing campaigns.

After all – having the right tool is only the first step to a successful email campaign. The rest is down to you and your strategy.

February 15th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

Key Features of MessageSender

Ackura MessageSender is a powerful yet easy to use Email Marketing web tool. It allows people with a non-technical background, such as marketing and operational personnel the ability to manage successful email marketing campaigns.

Creating, editing and sending your emails will become a breeze. MessageSender also has all the reporting tools you need to be able to monitor the success of your campaigns.

One of the things that make MessageSender special is the ease at which you can manage your recipient list based on response and use this information to tailor your future activity. This makes it easier for you to tailor your content to your audience based on their previous behavior.

Now in its third incarnation, Ackura MessageSender is the result of 6 years of development. We are continually developing the tool and hope to bring you new modules allowing you increased functionality.

Create your own branded email campaigns

MessageSender allows you to create attractive branded emails through an easy to use HTML email builder.

However, should you require help with this, we have a number of ‘off the shelf’ examples or we can design and build email templates to your specifications.

MessageSender allows you to customise your content for Newsletters, e-promotions or whatever message content you wish to forward, ensuring that the email always looks professional and will generate the greatest response rate.

Easy to use formatting tools that will be familiar to anyone who has used Word

MessageSender will allow for the powerful personalisation of your emails, giving them the personal touch that increased click through rates and sales.

Emails can be sent in HTML and Text ensuring that you give yourself the greatest chance that the message will be delivered.

Multiple language character sets are supported through UTF 8

Schedule email campaigns to be delivered as and when you want to.

Manage your mailing list

MessageSender allows you to add unlimited subscribers and upload your own mailing list from CSV files.

Auto-scrubber will help clean up your list by turning invalid addresses into valid ones and removing any duplicates

Easily search and manage your recipients based on their behaviour allowing you to target specific messages to different needs.

MessageSender can add a form to your website to enable your recipients to manage their subscriptions

Track your email responses

Manage bounced emails and unsubcribes from your mailing

Track who has opened and who has clicked through and on which links

Track ‘send to a friend’ links as well as who is forwarding your email and to whom

Extensive Reporting and Analytics

MessageSender provides all the statistics you would expect from a great email marketing system, presented in an easy to analyse summary report.

From tracking the basic criteria such as open and click rates which indicate the initial successes of any campaign, to advanced search functions that allow you to pull up recipients on a wide range of criteria, including behavioural history on previous emails they have opened or links they have clicked on.

MessageSender can easily also be easily integrated within Google Analytics or other leading website tracking and analytics systems to allow you to track all website activity resulting from the email campaign.

All reports can be downloaded into Excel making the information you gather easy to share with all of those who matter.

Custom Features

Create Multiple Logins for a single account

Create client sub-accounts underneath a master umbrella with PromoSender (insert PS link)

New features request can be implemented and pushed to production

MessageSender API and web service available

February 15th, 2010 by Daniel Ashcroft |

Creating HTML Email Templates

There are a number of things to remember when creating templates for HTML emails, and I’m going to try and go through a few of them with you, the things we’ll cover are:

  1. Remember not everyone uses Outlook
  2. Remember the reading pane and preview
  3. Send a text only to gain greater audience reach

Ok so let’s run through these in some more detail.

1. Not everyone uses Outlook

An important thing to remember when creating your HTML email is that there is a large number of email clients that you will need to test on to make sure that everyone can read the information in order to get your message across. Some of the more popular email clients are Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook (& Outlook express), AOL, Mac Mail, Thunderbird, Entourage and Eudora. Because of the various rendering differences in these clients you are unlikely to get your email looking exactly the same in all of them. It can also be a time consuming job to test in all these email clients but the payoff is worth the hard work considering that the person receiving the email could be your next client.

2. Remember the reading pane

When you are reading your emails, be it in Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo etc do you open the email full screen? More than likely you are reading it through the preview pane. This means that when the user clicks on your email it’s likely that only the top 500 pixels of the email can be seen. It is therefore important to use this valuable real estate to get your message across.

If possible it is better to avoid using images in the head of the email as they won’t be automatically downloaded unless the sender is on your safe list. Using images means that the impact made by those first 500 pixels will be limited because it relies on a user action (downloading the images) before it can be seen.

3. Send text only to get greater reach

With the advent of the web being viewed on mobile devices we mustn’t forget that users are likely to read their emails on the move. An easy way to cater for several types of viewers is to send a multipart message whereby there is a HTML version sent as well as a text only so that covers all. The content can me exactly the same but you will just have to remember that any images that have a call to action will need to be changed into text links in that version.

The other advantage of sending a text only version is that it becomes more accessible to users that only use screen readers for example, there is much less information for the screen reader to get through in a text only version.

We’ll be following this post up with some more detailed information about creating HTML emails in the coming weeks but if you need any more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

February 9th, 2009 by Richard |