So You've Bought An Email...Now What?

After you've booked a Standalone Email and secured a date to send to our list, take a look at these tips for next steps on building your email.

What You'll Need To Send Us

These are the deliverables that we will need 7 business days in advance of your email drop date:

  • Fully coded HTML for your email, with ALL images hosted on your server
  • Text version of your email as a backup for our readers not viewing HTML, with URLs on their own lines (.txt file)
  • Subject Line (or Lines, if you're doing an A/B split)
  • Proofing email addresses: separated by commas, of people to receive email test proofs
  • Seed Email addresses: separated by commas, of people to receive email seeds of actual send
  • Suppression file (optional) of email addresses only, in Excel or CSV format. We cannot suppress general domain names.

Technical Tips

  • Email creative should be no wider than 720 pixels. There is not really a height limit, but please note that the call to action (CTA) should be "above the fold" (approximately 420 pixels in height), and readers shouldn’t have to scroll forever to read the email. We have found that “short and sweet” copy that gets to the point quickly is best.
  • Do not use JavaScript since most email clients will not accept it.
  • Inline stylesheets can be used to format text, but we recommend using regular HTML font formatting for guaranteed universal acceptance.
  • CSS code styling is also NOT recommended as this causes rendering problems with different email providers, especially different versions of Outlook. As a guideline, please read here for specific types of code that are not recognized by Outlook and will likely cause issues rendering your email across browsers (especially Outlook 2007/2010/2013, which is a significant portion of our audience).
  • Your code should also be responsive across devices (use of @media queries), as 35%+ of our readers are viewing email on mobile.
  • All images need to be hosted on your server with global links to the images (src=”http…).
  • Forms are not recommended, but can be used if the mailing doesn’t include AOL or Hotmail users. Even then, the form should be very basic and not employ JavaScript. Always provide the user with a link to a hosted version of the form.
  • Creative can be coded using colspans, but we recommend using a stacked table structure since it is more stable across all email clients.
  • Flash should not be used within an email template. If Flash is required for the campaign, consider directing the user to a hosted landing page to view the Flash piece.
  • We also strongly recommend testing through Litmus to see how the email renders across different browsers and mobile devices. We test all proofs through Litmus across browsers and will let you know if there are things that are not rendering and need to be fixed.
  • MarketingProfs handles all unsubscribe information for our list in our footer (which will appear below your HTML), so if your email contains your own unsubscribe links we will need to remove or redirect these. This has been a policy since 2014 and is enforced.

Creative & Design Tips

Interested in what we've seen working in 2015? Check out our report on The Most Clicked Email of 2015 for specific ideas on creating an effective campaign.

  • Your company’s logo and branding needs to be prominently "above the fold" or in the header of your email. While the email is being sent by MarketingProfs on your behalf, it should be clear that the offer is coming from you and not MarketingProfs. We also require your company to have name/address/contact information in the footer of your email.
  • If you are promoting a live event, your email creative and offer will be subject to MarketingProfs approval prior to sending as this may represent a conflict on our end. There are certain dates and time periods during which we do not allow for the promotion of any live events (check with your Client Hero prior to your send).
  • We do not offer first or last name personalization in the emails as we don’t have this information on file in our database. Please provide a generic greeting as personalization will need to be removed.
  • Featured content and navigation should also appear “above the fold."
  • The entire template design should be encased in a 1-pixel border. This will “seal off” the template and present it as a unified design element to the user.
  • Consider adding more organic shapes into your template design. Email creative is displayed through applications which have very rigid, box-like layouts. Adding images with people or designing with curves will make your template work better visually to attract the users interest.
  • Incorporate a main navigation bar into your template. This provides the user a “way out” in case they’re not interested in the main content.
  • Clear “calls to action” (CTAs) should be used to designate clickable areas.

As always, please reach out to your Client Hero or creative contact with any questions during the process. We are here to help!


Product Manager