Tag: email

Dealing with Plain-Text Email Recipients

Lindsay Khan, Ashley Gordon and Caryl Mostacho, all Senior Consultants at Perkuto, responded to user questions during Perkuto Public Office Hour. Amarjit asked them how to manage plain text emails. Amarjit reports that the html links are being stripped, probably on the client-side server, as a security measure, for example, when subscribers have a government email address. They receive the emails but aren’t able to click through. 

Plain Text Emails

Caryl hasn’t seen this happen personally, so she recommends that the full URL be placed in the content, since she doesn’t know what mechanism is stripping the links on the user’s end.  Ashley has experienced this and says that whenever you’re emailing users at government domains, put the URL in brackets for a registration page or download page instead of placing a hyperlink so they still have the information. Amarjit, however, is concerned about this solution. He doesn’t want the email to look ugly or unprofessional for subscribers who are able to see the html version. Caryl agrees, and says it’s going to be tough to get around. She recommends leveraging things like dynamic contents so that the non html users can get a different version of the email that has a different format so that the call-to-action is legible and clearly defined in the absence of hyperlinks.

In addition to Caryl and Ashley’s responses, it’s worth noting that one of the main difficulties in marketing to clients who can only access plain-text emails is that tracking pixels aren’t accessible, so marketers won’t know if an email has been read.  Setting up a separate list for plain-text recipients may mean creating custom URLS to track their activity once they click through.  Marketo allows you to set up tracked links for text-only recipients, and it does take a little more time to manage a separate list but if a significant portion of your clients are on servers that strip the html content from their emails, then it may be worth the extra steps to create plain-text versions for those clients. 

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Email Best Practices for Today’s Leads


Email-Marketing Best Practices

image via iamwire.com

According to the Email Statistics Report by the Radicati Group, there are 182.9 billion emails sent per day worldwide. That’s a lot of messages landing in peoples inboxes. How do you ensure that your messages break through the clutter and get read by recipients? Below you’ll find some key tips to help your email messages stand out from the crowd and generate more conversions.

Best Practices for Subject Lines:

Aside from the sender’s information, the subject line is one of the first things that someone reads. The ‘from’ name and email address must be recognizable to the recipient or they will dismiss the email right away. Subject lines need to be catchy, but also need to evoke that “I must read this email” feeling in the recipient. Some important tips to keep in mind when crafting subject lines include:

  • Keeping subject lines short so that they are readable in full across multiple devices.
  • Using the lead’s name in the subject line when possible – personalization in the email and the subject line catch attention.
  • Using questions and incentives have been linked to increased open rates.
  • Avoiding the word ‘free’  in a subject line – messages with ‘free’ in the subject line can get caught in SPAM filters. Also avoid using all caps in the subject line for similar reasons.

Best Practices for Email Body Copy:

Once you’ve got someone to open your email, you want them to keep reading, and hopefully convert. Emails don’t need to be lengthy – save the details for landing pages. If you want people to continue opening future emails from you, use personalization whenever possible to provide them with useful, relevant content. Some additional best practices to keep in mind for the body of your email include:

  • Keep the copy relevant to the subject line – when there’s a disconnect between the subject and the body, readers get frustrated and may start dismissing future emails from you.
  • Use readable font sizes.
  • Focus on one CTA per email – when the reader is presented with too many things to do, it’s difficult to determine what you want them to do, and it can also be more difficult for you as a marketer to find out what works and what doesn’t.
  • Use direct language – you, I, we.
  • Include information about the lead when possible – name, company name (make sure to put a default in place if a piece of information is missing from a lead record so that the email makes sense).
  • Use buttons to reinforce the CTA – use action calls for CTA button text, such as ‘Download Now’ and ‘Watch Video’.
  • Consider using video –  video can be used to personalize the message or to increase engagement and allow you to get your message across without jamming words into an email.

Email Must Haves:

Whether for compliance reasons or for the sake of creating a professional looking email, make sure that all emails include the following important details:

  • Unsubscribe link – language must be clear that this is the link people click on to remove themselves from receiving communications.
  • Physical business address – complete mailing address must be placed somewhere on the email, usually found in a footer near the unsubscribe link.
  • Emails must be responsive for multiple devices – there are many tools in the marketplace such as Litmus or Email on Acid to check email display across various browsers and devices
  • Company logo – usually located in one of the upper corners or across the email in a header, put your company logo at the top of the email for quick recognition.
  • Permission/opted-in – emails sent from Canada must be CASL compliant, emails in the US need to comply with CANSPAM. Make sure you are familiar with all of these laws when sending email communications.


In 2017, your emails have to be responsive. Stats from the Pew Research Group show that 95% of Americans own a mobile device. In their Mobile Fact Sheet published in January 2017, Pew Research Group writes:

“…a growing share of Americans now use smartphones as their primary means of online access at home. Today just over one-in-ten American adults are “smartphone-only” internet users – meaning they own a smartphone, but do not have traditional home broadband service.”

With this information in mind, emails need to display properly on a wide range of devices. Emails need to be easy to read on smaller screens, which also means that you want your email copy to be to the point, and have the important information stand out.

To create responsive emails:

  • Find the right designer – Work with an experienced designer who can code email templates that display beautifully across devices. There are different ways of coding an HTML email, and reputable designers will be up to date on the methods that work – and those that don’t – to help you create an email template that suits your needs, and those of your intended audience.
  • Test – Use services, such as Litmus, to test emails and templates for responsiveness across devices. Testing is important because the email will render differently in different browsers and on various devices, so you will need to keep this in mind when developing the code for your email.
  • Use single column emails – The smaller the screen, the more difficult it is to read emails containing multiple columns. There are methods for coding an email so that you can take a multi-column email (designed for desktop) and make it a single column email when viewed on a mobile device, but there are various factors you’ll have to consider when defining the code for the email.

Do you have any additional tips to add? We invite you to share them with us in the comments section below.


How To Build An In-Email Survey In Marketo

One of the most effective ways to disseminate a survey is using email; the process rarely changes, send a mass mailer out to your database, directing them to a landing page with a form, and based on answers there is some sort of follow up. However, low clickthrough rates to the landing page mean that these surveys are often left largely unfilled. Enter, the in-email survey.

In-Email Survey

One of the best ways around this is to create an in-email survey, in which you actually embed the survey into the email. However due to the complexities of email clients, this is not always possible or sustainable.

For a single question survey; like an NPS survey, email subscription opt-in, or event confirmation; we have come up with a surefire way to start the survey in the email.

So, how do we do it in Marketo?

First, you’re going to need to come up with your survey question. For this example, we will be asking our database if they prefer an Amazon gift card, Starbucks gift card, or iTunes gift card in our holiday email. We will create a custom field called holidaygiftcard in Marketo and block field updates, preventing a lead from changing choices.

Second, you’re going to need some assets in marketo; the email itself, a confirmation landing page, or a confirmation email.

Third, you’re going to need a program in Marketo that wraps the process up. Because this is a single question survey with a confirmation landing page making use of a URL parameter to write the value to the correct field. When a lead clicks a link going to the landing page, a trigger campaign will write their choice to the record based on the link that was clicked.

And there you have it, you have just created a simple Marketo survey program that did not require the use of multiple additional fields, additional assets, and additional time spent building.

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