This page is meant to answer all your questions about email newsletters. If you have any other questions or ideas for how to improve this resource, please leave a comment at the bottom of the page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Get Them To Read Your Email
- Make Sure It Displays Properly
- Know Your Newsletter Tool Options
- Choose Which Tool To Use
- Get A Customized Header Banner
- Use The Outlook Template
- Use SendMaket (And Get Help)
- Use McCombs Branding With Convio
We collectively create thousands of impressions of McCombs every day with the emails and newsletters we push.
In order for our email to be opened and read, we have to earn the trust of our recipients by using their email address considerately, by being their filter for important information.
You can’t create a good impression with your message until they open and look at your email.
Ensure proper display by routinely viewing and testing your emails as your audience does, on a variety of devices and email applications. Make them look good by using branded McCombs templates.
At the very least, before sending your final email, send it to yourself and make sure it looks good, maintains its formatting. You might also try sending to your Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or MSN account to see what it looks like. Try viewing it on a smartphone or other mobile device.
It’s helpful to send to a colleague for content and presentation feedback.
- Outlook - our simple, default desktop email program through which we typically access our email lists
- SendMarket - our robust, online tool for creating text and formatted email newsletters, importing and managing our lists, and tracking open and click-through rates
- Convio - the alumni and development offices have contracted Convio for all the stuff that the rest of us use SendMarket to do, ie. branding and sending communications, managing lists
We all use Outlook by default and we have an Outlook template for sending branded emails. Why would you consider something else? Try SendMarket if you want…
- More than a simple, one-column template; the two-column templates help drive traffic by offering more ways to present information (call out links, event list, people, testimonials, etc.)
- To auto-detect and send a text version in addition to the visually-rich version, out of consideration for those who’s email clients don’t display visually rich content, particularly mobile device users
- Track open and click-through rates, measure success and improve effectiveness
- Manage your recipient list (instead of being tied to the lists accessible through Outlook)
- To preview what your newsletter will look like in several email clients (like Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
- A SPAM filter score and suggestions how to make your newsletter less SPAMY
- Offer subscribe/unsubscribe options instead of giving people no way of opting in or out
- Automatically personalize bulk email (eg. “Hello [firstname],”)
- Schedule sending for later, or periodically
If you want these capabilities jump down to the How To Use SendMarket section.
April Wright or Dale Allen, in Media Services, can create a customized header for you. Fill out the Graphic Request Form specifying at the bottom what you want the title and image to be (if you want something other than UT’s Tower)
Here are a few examples of headers with various titles and stock images. The Tower is the most commonly used default image. You might improve upon that by providing pics of/by your audience members, or ask Media Service to help personalize with images they can provide. Letters from your director can be personalized with a cut out headshot.
We have an Outlook template that uses a header that is meant to be customized to your office or unit. Here’s how to get and customize the template:
- Open the generic McCombs Outlook template – blue or orange – in Internet Explorer (IE)
- In the IE menu go to File > Send > Page by email… which should open the template in a new email message
- Switch out the demo header for your customized header by clicking on the image to select it and then going to Insert > Picture > Browsing to and selecting your new header. (You may notice a dark line on the left of your header image. Don’t worry, that will go away once you send to yourself.)
- Forward to yourself before customizing further.
- Customize the subject line and date, directly under the header image.
- Customize all the body text.
- Customize the contact email info in the footer, or remove.
- When finished customizing, forward to yourself, edit, repeat till you’re happy with it and ready to send. Don’t forget to customize the subject line and remove the “FW:” text that gets injected when you forward.
SendMarket is a Web-based newsletter creation, sending and tracking tool hosted and managed by Go9Media here in Austin. Nalani Jefferson put together a manual: How-To-Use-SendMarket.doc (click to download).
If you have any questions that aren’t answered by the Help link (in the upper right of the SendMarket interface) email Nalani@go9media.com, or call her at 512-707-1776.
How To Use McCombs Branding With Convio
If your office uses Convio to send email newsletters, you can still use our headers and templates in the Convio system but they need to be imported and reformatted using the Convio interface. Contact email@example.com for help.