Guidelines. The following guidelines are for companies who develop HTML design/creative and copy.

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1 The following guidelines are for companies who develop HTML design/creative and copy. In today s environment it is imperative that mailers consider the limitations presented by readers ( readers are used to render s) and evaluate creative in each relevant reader. For example, an may look fine in Yahoo!, but in Outlook 07 images are not displayed due to the rendering limitations and the default is set to images off. One solution is to review creative in all possible different readers but this can be time consuming and cumbersome. Another thing that needs to be considered is that Internet Service Providers (ISP s) have a variety of Mail Options, Spam and Filter Settings ranging Low, Medium, High). An end user s settings can effect whether an campaign is delivered to the inbox or the bulk mail folder. End users can set filters to: automatically sort incoming messages to different folders. block addresses or domains from which they don't want to receive mail. create lists that allow only trusted addresses. block images on all incoming messages. Overall, we would recommend designing your creative to retain integrity across the lowest-common denominator of reader. This will ensure that your communication is received and viewed successfully by all intended recipients, regardless of the reader being used. The following guidelines are meant to assist you in your design efforts to address deliverability and reader rendering issues. Quick Check List - Top 10 Ten Do s and Don ts Do not use forms, flash, animated GIFs, nested back ground colors, background images in DIV tags or TABLE cells. Do not use embedded images. Do create the HTML in an HTML editor in plain HTML. Do not use MS Word, layers, CSS, PageMaker Dreamweaver, or JavaScript. Do use ALT tags as component of <img src> tag when using images. This will ensure copy shows up in place of the image for those recipients who have their image reader turned off or the reader is set off as a default. Do save graphics with large blocks of flat color or plain text as GIFs. Do not make the layout one large graphic, instead slice it into several pieces and optimize each piece. Do ensure that the entire HTML including any graphics is under 30k in weight. Do use bullets as a good way to call attention to important details. But do not use images as bullets in unordered lists (UL) Do ensure that the physical mailing address and phone number of the sender are included at the bottom of the creative as required by DMA Best Practices and the Can Spam Act. Do include a link from the footer to the client s webpage describing their privacy policies as recommended by DMA Best Practices. Major ISPs favor this practice because it shows the sender is a reputable company and not a spammer.

2 Copy Keep It Short: Catch the consumer s eye with short, easy-to-read, and relevant copy Using bullets is a good way to call attention to important details. Don t use images as bullets in lists Avoid Spam trap words Subject Lines: The first point of contact with potential clients is the subject line of your s. The goal of the subject line is to reach an audience that is literally bombarded with advertising and convince them to open your . Remember, it creates an initial impression about your business. The Subject line should be a maximum of 8 to 10 words to catch their immediate attention. The average viewer can display 60 characters in the subject line before it is cut off. Headlines: Headlines should contain the offer or savings message. Include your brand name and/or logo in the headline. Body Copy: Restate the offer from your headline at the top of the body copy. Include 1-2 short paragraphs with details of the offer and a brief description of your company, if necessary. Convey benefits succinctly Calls-to-action: Include a strong call-to-action that tells the recipient what you want them to do (i.e. sign up, join, buy, etc.) Address: DMA Best Practices and the Can Spam Act require the physical mailing address and phone number of the sender of the message to be included at the bottom of the creative. Privacy Policy: DMA Best Practices highly recommend including a link from the footer to the client s webpage describing their privacy policies.

3 HTML/Design & Creative Design for Quick Viewing: Use of Graphics: Keep layout above the fold 250 to 300 pixels Design as half-page rather than a full-page ad. Do not force the recipient to scroll. Create the HTML in an HTML editor in plain HTML. Do not use MS Word, layers, CSS, PageMaker or Dreamweaver Use bold graphics and design. Lifestyle graphics work best. When using images, use ALT tags as component of <img src> tag. This will ensure copy shows up in place of the image for those recipients who have their image reader turned off or the reader is set off as a default. We do not recommend the use of forms, flash, animated GIFs, nested background colors, background images in DIV tags or TABLE cells. We do not recommend embedded images Avoid the temptation to build your messages using only images. Try to keep a 60 (text) to 40 (image) ratio Optimize Creative: Design Format: The entire HTML and graphics must be under 30k in weight Save graphics with large blocks of flat color or plain text as GIFs If the layout is one large graphic, slice it into smaller pieces and optimizing different areas. Do not use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or JavaScript Use a banner or logo at the top of your creative to attract attention and quickly promote your product. Ensure the banner/logo links to a landing page with your offer, not your company home page. Add a text-based link to a web version of your design at the top of your creative. (Add a link to a landing page where you are hosting the marketing message so an individual can view the marketing message in its entirety.) Test your design in a preview pane, full screen and with images turned on and off before you send it. Ask your subscriber to add your From address to their address book at the bottom of the creative.

4 Copy Many marketers feel overwhelmed trying to write great copy for . And, in fact, there are a lot of elements that go into a responsive message. If you have to focus your efforts in just one place, there's no question: it has to be the call to action. In fact, this is by far the biggest missed opportunity we see when evaluating creative. If the call to action isn't clear, compelling and prominent, you probably aren't going to be happy with the results of your campaign. readers don't have time to figure out what you want them to do. You need to tell them using strong action verbs. The first step, of course, is knowing what you want to accomplish. Do you want to generate leads? Then the call to action is something like "sign up," "register," or "download." Are you looking to generate traffic to your site? In that case, you want "learn more," "read more," "find out" and "check out." If sales are the aim, then you can't do better than "buy now." Notice, by the way, the absence of the word "click". Yes, it does still work and no, it doesn't always trip a spam filter. It is certainly worth testing, but 90% of the time you can find a better, more specific verb that will really drive your recipients to, well, click! The next step is to make that call to action prominent. It should come right after your headline and both should appear above the fold in a preview window. The copy that supports the benefits of the offer should come after that, and then the call to action should re-appear in key places throughout the message. Use both links and buttons or graphics for your call to action. Creative -- Size Matters When creating an campaign, keep in mind the presentation medium. Too often, an campaign is based on a piece of print creative. and print have radically different needs and simply resizing an existing print campaign for use on the web is often a recipe for disaster. campaigns are typically presented either through a mail client (Outlook, Lotus Notes) or through a webmail application (Hotmail, Gmail etc). Either way, the usable area is smaller than most print pieces. Standard safe area for creative tends to be about 600 pixels x 450 pixels, which allows for most of the message to appear above the fold in most browser windows and mail programs. Another thing to consider is the weight of your images. s with a lot of images take a longer time to download than simpler s. Using GIF as opposed to JPEGS can help streamline the s size. Using HTML text wherever possible also reduces size and allows for some of the to get through if the images are blocked. Guidelines for HTML include: 1. Create the HTML in an HTML editor in plain HTML, not using MS Word, layers, CSS, PageMaker, or DreamWeaver 2. File-size should not exceed 20k 3. Pixel size for the should be kept to approx. 600 pixels wide by about 450 pixels high 4. Keep the call to action in the top 400 pixels of the so it sits above the fold

5 The Cold Hard Fact of Marketing Every campaign that goes out to over 1000 recipients will be filtered to some extent. No one is able to guarantee 100% delivery and if they are, you need to challenge them as to how and why. Deliverability - Filters and Settings There are several reasons why an may end up in a recipient s Junk mailbox. The 3 main filtering protocols that can stop your are: (1) client filters (2) ISP filtering (3) Blacklisting. End users may set filters to automatically sort incoming messages to different folders. Wording can be filtered so that certain From and Subject lines go directly to bulk mail folders. Users may set filters to block addresses or domains from which they don't want to receive mail. They may create lists to allow only trusted addresses. Some ISP s give you an option to block images on all incoming messages, which gives the end user the option of viewing images based on their preference. Deliverability - Trigger Words Unfortunately, spam filters can be set to block some of direct marketing's most powerful words like "free," "satisfaction guaranteed" and "click here." Use these words sparingly or find alternatives. Always test your messages with an up-to-date spam trigger database before sending. Frequently, more sophisticated anti-spam methods used by ISPs use a "point system" that identifies trigger phrases commonly used in spam. If an goes over the "points," it is filtered out and is never delivered. Some of the more commonly used phrases that ISPs and mail clients filter out include: Free! Eliminate Debt Removes "Hidden" 50% off! Double your income Collect Information you requested Click Here You're a Winner! Amazing "Stop" or "Stops" Call now! Multi level Marketing Cash Bonus Lose Weight Subscribe Million Dollars Promise You Loans Earn $ Opportunity Credit Satisfaction Guaranteed Discount! Compare Reverses Aging Hot There are other problematic phrases that can trigger some spam filters or start adding "spam points" to s sent out. These should be avoided, including: Act Now! Easy Terms Online marketing All New Get Paid Order Now Avoid Bankruptcy Give it away, Giving it away Don't Delete As Seen On Join millions Save up to Buy Direct Meet Singles Time limited Casino No cost, No fees Unsecured debt or credit Consolidate Your Debt Offer Vacation Special Promotion One time Viagra

6 For the campaign, Focus needs the following information: From Line Subject Line Test Seed List Final Seed List HTML and/or Text creative - providing both is recommended Timing: Once we receive everything listed above, it takes 48 hours to deploy the campaign. We set up tests for you to approve and once we receive your approval, we can get you in the pipeline to deploy. Sample Tracking Report: you will receive the report with 24 hours & then as frequently as you would like to see it inside of 14 days from deployment. MINI of Clear Lake Delivered Opens Open % Unique Opens Unique Open % Click Click % Unique Click Unique Click % 2/17/ ,000 6, % 6, % % % Clicks

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