Marketing. Best Practices

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1 Marketing Best Practices

2 Introduction Within marketing, creative design serves two very important functions. First, properly composed creative ensure proper rendering and deliverability across all browsers and devices. Second, designs must take the specific strengths and challenges of marketing into accord in order to effectively capture and maintain the attention of digital consumers. This section outlines the best practices that can help orient design to support the complex demands of digital media and its consumers in the mobile age.

3 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Design for Deliverability and Rendering In the digital world, design has much greater implications that whether the aesthetic appeal is present or not. Specific aspects of design can directly impact whether the message reaches all designated recipients. Certain Internet Service Providers (ISPs) limit size, content and composition in order to shield their users from SPAM. Compliance with industry standards and the avoidance of certain design features will help guarantee that messages reach their intended targets.

4 Design for Deliverability and Rendering W3C Standards Flaws within HTML coding can trigger filters, flagging valid messages as spam. Testing documents for conformance with World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Standards is one of the most important preventative measures that can be taken. This process will not only seek out mark-up errors that may trigger spam filters, it will also point out errors that may affect rendering and accommodation within browsers. This validator program can be found at

5 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Avoid JavaScript JavaScript should not be sued, as many Service Providers (ESPs) do not support it. Additionally, other ESPs may flag JavaScript as a security risk.

6 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Keep File Size to a Minimum Many ESPs filter large-sized s as spam. Others impose general size limitations. s with imbedded images tend to increase file size and often flagged regardless of their size. In order to bypass these problems, all images should be hosted on a website.

7 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Additional Coding Best Practices and SPAM Avoidance Measures for Deliverability Code HTML as a single web page with basic <HTML>, <HEAD>, <TITLE> and <BODY> tags. Ensure all tags have supported closing tags. Attributes applied to the <BODY> tag are often flagged as spam. Do not use EMBED tags.

8 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Design with Image Suppression in Mind Many ISPs disable all images within an . Recipients are required to download images or click to view a web version of the . To ensure that recipients continue the desired path of engagement, the use of HTML alt tags is recommended. Including all relevant messages and offers in alt tags, ending with Display images for more information will give customers a preview of disabled content. Though limited in scope, recipients will be able to more accurately determine the value of an , increasing the likelihood that they will take the necessary step to view the full features of the message. The inclusion of alt tags is recommended for: Headers Section Titles Offers Pertinent images and charts

9 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Specify the Height and Width of Images If image dimensions are not manually set, a Web or browser may stretch the HTML content around the image, distorting how the message renders. This can be avoided by specifying the dimensions (height and width) of all images within a message.

10 Design for Deliverability and Rendering Additional Coding Best Practices for Rendering Use only the ASCII character set Keep s fixed at pixels wide Avoid using canvas background images Use HTML tables for design layout Do not use an external style sheet (often stripped out by clients) Avoid using CSS for positioning (support is limited and often results in broken layouts)

11 Design and Strategy for Engagement Getting an into the inbox is only the first step. The design must address the specific challenges of marketing in order to optimize engagement. While the design principles of an have much in common with those traditional marketing material, there are some additional considerations that much be taken into account in order to gain and maintain the interest of the recipient.

12 Billboard Mentality The average recipient makes a content-based value judgment in 3-5 seconds. If their preliminary skim fails to make a positive impression, they will move on. Often times they will not read small font or scroll down unless they have found something that is deemed worthy of a closer look. As with billboard design, all elements of the must be created to accommodate a quick skim. The following design tips will help draw recipients in and encourage a closer read.

13 Billboard Mentality Tips 1. Design for Speed: Recipients should be able to gather as much information as possible during their skim. Limit font variation to 3-5 for the entire message (size, color, weight, face) Use light colored backgrounds and darker, contrasting font colors Use a bright, contrasting color for the Call to Action Add white space and cell padding to make pages less cramped and overwhelming Use a few large images, rather than many smaller ones. Small images are difficult to see on mobile devices. If the recipient cannot easily see the image, they will quickly move on.

14 2. Utilize the Golden Rectangle: The area of a message that falls above the digital fold (250 pixels or 2-4 ) is considered the prime real estate of an . This area demands the most attention from recipients and should be designed to contain the most important information. When mapping out the contents of this area, images suppression must be kept in mind. Make sure that the Golden Rectangle is not comprised solely of suppressed images that require downloading. Recipients must be able to see more than a set of white boxes upon opening the ! This area should include (with alt tags where necessary): o o o o Branding/Logo Most used links Most important headlines/offer descriptions Most important Call to Action

15 Consistency in Design Consistency is an element of traditional design and branding that translates directly into digital design. All platforms of interaction should maintain a consistent look and feel without falling victim to stagnation. Recipients should be able to find comfort in familiarity without being bored by predictability. One means of freshening up design is the alternation of palettes. For each , a guiding palette should be selected and should govern color usage for the entire . By picking one palette and sticking with it, recipients are less likely to be overwhelmed and can focus on the content.

16 Leverage the Personality of the Brand All communication with the customer should be in-line with the known appeal of the brand. All presentation and messaging should meet the expectations that consumers have formed based on their understanding of the brand and associated products.

17 Support Images with Text and Vice Versa Consumers are able to determine meaning and value more readily when images and text are linked. All calls-to-action, important headings and offer copy should be supported with graphic images. Similarly, all important graphics and symbols should be supported with text.

18 Encourage Engagement The ability to link to featured products and area of the website should be made as easy as possible on the consumer. All images and major headlines within the should be clickable links that direct consumers to relevant sections of the website. Any display links in HTML should be displayed as a meaningful word or phrase instead of a URL.

19 Attract Don t Distract Animated GIFs and busy images should be used sparingly, as they can distract recipients from important messaging. If included, they should be used wisely and should be designed to purposefully direct attention. Aspects of design should serve to draw increased focus to the important offers, features, calls-to-action and themes within the .

20 Design for Readability For an to be successful, its message must be accessible. When composing copy, all point sizes should be no smaller than 10 (size 2 or 10 pixels, with the exceptional of navigational text). All copy in the should utilize a universally-supported font, such as Arial or New Times Roman. Unsupported fonts will be substituted and will most likely affect design and overall readability. In situations where special fonts must be used, such as within Brand Names, copy should be rendered as an image. copy should be succinct. Lengthy copy is not easily read on mobile devices, and like images, too much copy will discourage the recipient from absorbing the content of the .

21 Important Header Links for Improved Viewing Each header should suggest that the sending address be added to a subscribers address book, highlight that this option will allow consumers to bypass image downing in the future. Additionally, all headers should feature a trouble viewing link that directs recipients to a web version of the .

22 Text Versions While many digital consumers prefer HTML messages, text version should be made available for those who favor this format.

23 Responsive Design Due to the limited screen size of many mobile devices, incorporating responsive design into your programming is quickly becoming an industry best practice. However the rendering of CSS code is not standardized across all device types.

24 About Savicom Powerful feature sets. Experienced and knowledgeable support. If you have a need for cutting-edge marketing, Savicom delivers. We are the leader in developing next generation marketing technology. Our technology gives marketers maximum flexibility and versatility in reaching their markets 1:1. For whatever stage your business is in, and for whatever size marketing budget, you can trust Savicom to meet your needs and deliver maximum value. Savicom Next Generation Marketing You Can Contact Us By Phone: (415) By Find Us on the Web: We Look Forward to Hearing From You! 24

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