Over the last few years, our development team at Emailcenter UK Ltd has been working solidly on bringing you top-of-the-range email marketing tools and features via the Maxemail user interface. This includes a mobile responsive drag and drop email builder, dynamic content component, social media tools, powerful reporting suite, enhanced security and much more.Read more…
Increasingly as Email Marketers get more sophisticated and look to push more data into their ESP, trigger emails and download reporting into their own systems, they need an API to achieve this. API stands for Application Programming Interface – essentially it is a set of commands that allows a 3rd party system to use functionality of the ESP with no human involvement.
Here is my guide on what to look for when assessing the API of an email vendor:
Does it do everything?
Not all API’s are equal in terms of their capabilities, as some have been developed to only handle a few minimal features. However if there is missing functionality in the API it can stop an integration project in its tracks – and despite how much scoping you do, you may not find this out until it is too late. If an API is important to you, look for an ESP with a fully featured API that means anything you can do in their interface can be achieved with their API.
Theme tune for this post isThe Ting Tings – That’s Not My Name
In the last update to Maxemail we made some changes to the terminology we use to describe basic reporting stats such as opens and clicks… First of all let me explain the thinking behind this and then I’ll cover each one with a short description of what they mean and why you should be taking notice of them.
Way back when Emailcenter was knee-high to a grasshopper, some decisions were made about the naming conventions for particular features. This worked fine to begin with, but over time we have watched the rest of the email marketing industry closely and observed some standard terminology emerge and evolve. At Emailcenter we simply wanted to align ourselves with these in order to make sure we are singing off the same reporting hymn sheet as others. This also comes in handy when new customers move to Emailcenter and Maxemail as their ESP of choice, as they will be faced with the reporting terms they have become used to over the years, and will see immediately where the additional stats they now have available to them are, enabling them to gain the benefits from these right away.
So with that cleared up lets look at the key data every Marketer should be looking for on all their email campaigns…
SentThe total number of recipients sent to. Obvious maybe, but a good reminder about the total number of recipients you intended the campaign to go to in the first place.
Building better relationships with your customers.
We’ve talked in the past about shopping cart abandonment and even best practice for Magento users, but now we give you the all-new Maxemail for Magento Extension! Now you can create intelligent, hyper- personalised email campaigns based on abandoned items, previous orders and related products, so you can drive revenue and increase brand loyalty.
As with any eCommerce platform, you have the ability to gather lots of information about your users like; personal details, what they have previously bought and even items they have browsed. But the real question is…what do you do with that information once you have it?
With The Drag & Drop Email Builder nearly a week old I thought it would be a good time to explore the way email layouts work and the kind of things a designer must keep in mind while creating them.
In order to keep some level of consistency across all clients, whether web based (like Yahoo! or Gmail), Smartphones or even good old Outlook, emails use HTML tables for their layout. A HTML table is exactly as you might expect it to be and is made up of rows and columns (just like in your favourite spreadsheet program). Regardless of whether you are creating an email in the Email Builder or hand coding it yourself, this is the way you would need to think about layout when designing your emails. To use the Builder to its full potential it is important that you understand this concept so I shall try to explain it in full within this article.
How to think like an Email Builder
Creating the layout for your design using columns is easy in the Email Builder as it provides a number of structural components to let you define the wire-frame to then position your content exactly where you want it.
Take the following email as an example:
We can see how most of this email neatly falls into one, two and three column sections and how we might divide that up. But this concept doesn’t stop when we come to looking at the more complex areas such as the footer. Let’s take another look at that section with the show/hide regions option switched on:
We can see now how this seemingly more complicated layout still can be achieved by simply nesting different column layouts within others. Specifically this layout is:
- A 1 column layout with the dark grey background set on it.
- Inside that we have a 2 column layout for the email preferences text (left) and the contact details (right).
- Below that (but still within the overall 1 column) we have another 2 column layout for the copyright info (right) and the standards compliance logos (left).
When it comes to the logos we could, of course, uploaded these as a single image to save ourselves some complication but in this case we want each logo to have a different link set on it so needed them to be separate images. It is not possible to simply sit images next to each other in the same column (they would automatically be positioned one under the other) so what we have done is to nest a 3 column layout inside the left hand column of the 2 column layout that we already had in place. This allows us to place each image in it’s own column and so effectively position the different images next to each other as we want.
Nearly all emails can ultimately be broken down in this way which makes our job as an email builder nice and simple. So take another look at your designs to see how they might work within The Drag & Drop Email Builder and let us know in the comments section below how you get on.