Email Best Practices

Every regulatory authority needs to communicate effectively with its membership, and emailing is often the most convenient way.

Alinity makes it easy to send beautiful mass emails, but there are still some best practices you should be following to create the most effective emails possible.

Profile Update Basics

Email records are one of the largest consumers of online storage space, but it gets even worse when you’re embedding images. When you send out a general email, you’re saving not only thousands of email records, but also thousands of copies of the images inside them.

Fortunately, there’s a way around this problem, and it brings us to our first best practice: use linked images instead of embedding them.

Best Practice #1: Use Linked Images Instead of Embedding Them

Emails with linked images in them don’t actually include the image in the email body. Instead they use a snippet of code that tells email programs to seek out the appropriate image from the internet and then display it. This way, recipients still see the image, but you’re essentially emailing a link to them instead of the complete image itself.

The only downside is that using linked images currently requires a bit of technical finesse. We’re developing an easy linked-image option, but in the meantime we recommend reviewing the related “Using Linked Images in Emails” post for more information.

Best Practice #2: Compress Embedded Images

Linked images are the best way of getting images into emails, but if you absolutely MUST embed an image instead, try to follow our second best-emailing practice, which is to compress embedded images beforehand.

Compressing an image strips out some of the non-essential information, often significantly reducing the image’s file size. There are plenty of online image compression tools but they all follow the same basic usage pattern, which is to upload your image, let the tool does its thing, and then download your newly compressed file for use in your email. This method isn’t as friendly to your online storage, but it’s still preferable to embedding an uncompressed image.

Best Practice #3: Test Your Links!

Another good practice to get into is double and triple checking your links. Alinity has built-in tools that will warn you if you’ve linked back to a Test site, but no system is foolproof. Double and triple-checking your links, both by visually examining the URLs and by clicking through them, can help avoid embarrassing emails with broken links or worse, links leading off to unknown areas of the Web.

Best Practice #4: Don’t Copy/Paste Templates Directly

And finally, don’t copy and paste your templates directly from external tools like Word or Google Docs. When you copy a template directly over, you also copy behind-the-scenes information from the original tool that can interfere with how Alinity interprets and displays the document.

Instead, copy and paste the template into a simple text editor like Notepad, which is a free tool available on virtually every machine made these days. By pasting the content into Notepad first, you strip away all that excess information, leaving only nice, clean text that you can then drop into your template and format using Alinity’s built in tools.

And that’s it! Use these four best emailing practices to help control how much online storage space your emails require, and to make sure your email templates are formatted and display correctly.

For more information about Alinity’s email and correspondence functions, contact us to arrange a free demonstration!