To professional email marketing people the tips I’m about to share will seem, well, “duh, who doesn’t know that?”
I find many clients who aren’t very techy tend to make some simple mistakes when creating and managing their email marketing systems. If you send a lot of emails, managing your sent emails, drafts and templates can be a challenge depending on the email marketing system you use.
One client has several different email templates used by both the owner and other volunteers. While I’ve trained the owner on the best practices when sending out emails and organizing his templates, I see the same mistakes cropping up when I go in to create his monthly newsletter.
Tip 1: Make a template and copy it. Don’t send it.
Yes, simple concept, but easy to forget. Create a template to use for all your emails related to that particular subject. Then save it as a template. If you send it, you won’t have a template to use the next time. Copying and updating a sent email will work the first time around, but after several iterations, links get corrupted, as well as formatting.
So, create your templates first and save them with names that include the message: COPY FIRST. DON’T SEND. This will serve as a reminder to yourself … provided you notice the template name and the message it implies.
Tip 2: Create a numbering system to easily track your templates
One particular client has several email templates for different purposes. You may as well. In Constant Contact, it’s difficult to find the templates if you have a lot and you have sent many emails to your clients. Constant Contact’s search function is not very useful since you can only search alphabetically forwards and backwards or by type. It’s not possible to search by date sent, and when multiple people use the account, getting everyone to use the same naming structure is challenging. Consequently, searching for a particular sent email can be time consuming.
At least for your templates you can set up a system that’s organized using numbers for each one such as 01-name of template, 02-name of template. You can also use A-name of template, B-name of template, etc. Just don’t accidentally include spaces before the numbers and letters or before or after the dashes or in the template names on some but not all, since email systems, Constant Contact in particular, count those as part of the name. That will throw your organization out of whack.
Examples: 01-name of template vs. 01- nameoftemplate or 01 – name of template.
Consistency is the key when naming your templates in order to ensure they get organized properly. It is also key when creating your emails and sending them out. Unfortunately, it’s just too easy to copy that last email you sent out and update it instead of using a template.
But what if the last email had some information in it you want to share again which is not in the original template?
Select the html code for that article or snippet and copy and paste it into your template.
Yep. If you created an article in one of your recent emails that you want to keep using – such as an event promotion – and it’s not in the original email template, copy the html code and paste it into the template. Then save the template. If you don’t know how to do that, contact me, and I’ll show you.