Institutional Affairs

E-mail Blasts

To request a marketing e-mail (e-mail blast) please contact the web editor with content and any image instructions at least two weeks prior to the date you would like to send it out.

Required and Recommended Content

By Federal law you are required to include in your e-mail blast:

Because you don't want to frustrate or anger your recipients, your e-mail blast also should contain:

Design for First Impression for a Number of Reasons

Preview Panes. Most people preview their e-mails within a small preview pane. Studies have shown that 70% of e-mail users use the preview pane and nearly half of them read only the first few lines to decide if they want to continue reading. Be sure to include your sender name and return address, as these are important in making the decision whether to delete or open the e-mail.

Because of preview pane limitations, the most valuable real estate in an e-mail blast or newsletter is the top left section, where the horizontal and vertical preview panes intersect. This 2-3" square area should be your "In this Issue" teaser area.

Because of the small size of preview panes, corporate identity such as your logo actually becomes secondary to getting your readers to scroll down or open the message fully. If you do want to keep your logo up top, use a horizontal rather than vertical image, as most preview panes have a horizontal orientation. Vertical images require scrolling and people do not want to scroll a lot.

Images. Sixty percent of e-mail users in a business setting use e-mail clients that block images by default. Only 30% of them have gone in to change those default settings so that they can view images. Some Internet e-mail providers automatically block images, as well.

Use text instead of images whenever possible. Use HTML and CSS design elements whenever possible, instead. If using images, use only one or two and do not make the e-mail image intensive, as this could automatically land it in junk boxes. Make sure that every image has an underlying text alternative for those who do not see images.

Mobile Users. Mobile screens require specially formatted and written text option to fit very small space. Most text messages have 60 to 80 characters per line. In contrast, mobile platforms will show about 20 to 40 characters in 12 to 15 lines per screen, depending on screen width and type style.

Truncated Messages. Messages that are not brief, even those that are only 12kb, can be truncated by some e-mail readers. Sometimes users have the option to click a button or link to read more, and if you assume anything, you should assume that they will not bother. They don't want to scroll a lot, either, so you need to use short sentences and paragraphs, and friendly urls.

Basically, you have to catch your recipient's attention, with words only, in the first couple lines of text. Give them a reason to save it and view it later on a larger screen.

Don't Be Perceived as a Spammer

In order not to automatically end up in some e-mail spam folders, and not even seen by your intended recipient, the observe the following when planning your e-mail campaign:

Do Not Include Attachments to Your E-mails. In addition to risking auto-trashing, many individuals will not open attachments for fear of dangerous viruses and malware.

Do Not Include Large Images in Your E-mails. These will be detected as spam and if they do get through, may take far too much time to open.

Avoid Extra Large Headings and Use of "Red Flag" Words. These are characteristic of spam e-mails. Words to avoid include "free," "advertisement," etc., or anything similar to the verbiage you see in the materials you receive from from spammers trying to catch your attention. Non-assumingly and simply making your statement, as outlined above, is the best way to go.

It Is Best to Send Your E-mails to Smaller Audiences. In order not to be viewed as a spammer, it would be good if you could send out your e-mails in increments of 10 at a time. If this is impractical for you, consider purchasing a program that automatically does this for you.