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Dedicated Emails

Planning and requirements

To execute a Dedicated Email (DE) with Environmental Leader, advertisers need to provide us the following at least 7 business days before the scheduled date:

1. Working, tested HTML including images, copy, landing page URLs (see design guidelines below).

2. Control/seed emails.

3. Advertiser suppression list in csv or Excel format. Environmental Leader applies the suppression list to control/seed addresses.

4. Email subject line. Avoid language likely to trigger spam filters (“FREE,”  “!” et. al.). Short subject lines (50 characters or less) tend to work best.

Environmental Leader reserves final approval rights over what gets sent to its subscribers. Content that we feel is not appropriate for our audience will not be accepted, at our sole discretion. Our goal is to send great-looking emails that are relevant to our audience and perform well for our advertisers. Content must be of informational value (whitepaper, webinar, research), we don’t run hard-selling emails such as incentives or contests.

The timing of our dedicated emails within the day is also under our sole discretion.

Environmental Leader will put a small space above your creative where we will notify readers that the email is being sent to them by Environmental Leader.

Design guidelines

Let’s face it, email design can be frustrating! The bottom line is that you cannot design HTML email like a web page. From a technical perspective, email clients are much less friendly to advanced techniques than browsers, a fact the arrival of Outlook 2007 and the rise of Gmail have only made worse. And from the perspective of how people consume email, involving preview panes, image blocking or mobile devices, it is likely users will see only a small part of your email at first, and possibly in a somewhat degraded state at that.

Taking these constraints into consideration, here are the technical requirements to send HTML email to our list:

HTML code has to validate at validator.w3.org and be made with email compatibility in mind. Avoid advanced CSS techniques as they mostly don’t work in many email clients including Outlook 2007 and Gmail.

If CSS is used, it should be “inline” (style=“yourstyle”) rather than within a style tag. All style tags will be removed. In other words, all CSS in the HTML head will be removed.

Use HTML tables for layout, not CSS (i.e. no float or position). CSS should be used only for typography and colors. Maximum width is 600 pixels.

Use absolute dimensions in pixels for table cells and images.

Since the email will be wrapped up within our own header and footer, provide only what should be within the body tag and do NOT include a head tag (or anything that would go within it) or a body tag.

Use GIF for images and limit them to a reasonable size (less than 40KB each). Set the ALT attributes of IMG tags to describe images to make emails more readable when images are turned off, which is the behavior by default in many email clients. Avoid PNGs, animated gifs and background images.

No Javascript/AJAX, Flash, Java, nor image maps.

Full absolute paths must be used for any image and link as in http://www.yourdomain.com/path/filename.gif. Do not use relative links such as ../path/filename.gif.

Double check all your links! You want to make sure that your links actually work and that any tracking URL parameters reflect the correct campaign information or else you will pollute the data you collect.

Questions should be sent to advertise@environmentalleader.com.

Other email production guidelines

An optional text alternative can be provided.

The From and Reply to: email address is always editor@environmentalleader.com. The From name is always Environmental Leader.

We can send you a test email a few days before the actual delivery. This is final proof only, not for QA which should be done before sending us your material.

We can execute A/B split tests with subject line and/or email content variations. The proportion between the two versions can be set freely (i.e. 50-50 or something else such as 75-25).

Reporting

Your account manager will send you a report within five business days after your DE’s delivery. We report:

Actual deliveries, i.e. number of emails sent excluding any bounces.

Unique opens, i.e. number of unique recipients who opened the DE, to the extent it’s measureable (this metric cannot account for people who opened or previewed the message with images turned off)

Unique clicks, i.e. number of unique recipients who clicked one or more links

Click-through rate (CTR) for uniques

Total opens and clicks (this accounts for multiple and clicks by recipient)

Clicks per link within the email

In the case of split tests, such reporting is done per version.

Additional resources

10 top tips for HTML email development

Guide to CSS support in Email Clients

Email client stats (note: different audiences will show different email client usage – for instance our lists show less Hotmail and more Gmail than Campaign Monitor)

How to test HTML emails

Make Email Look Good In Gmail – 8 Design Tips for Images-Off

PNG support in email

Design for the preview pane (note: in some clients, preview panes can be set either on the right or at the bottom of the application, resulting in a vertical or horizontal pane)

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