It’s Okay If You Block My Tracking Pixel

We’re sending and receiving more email than ever, and that’s not just because people love email so much that they can’t help it. It just works. And to understand which emails are working and how well, we’ve got  a few tricks up our sleeves. What doesn’t always enter the conversation, though, is whether or not the user is comfortable with these methods.

Recently, there’s been an uptick in the popularity of plugins and extensions that block the functionality of tracking pixels. As a marketer, it may be your instinct to panic at this thought, but there are other options, perhaps even better ones, to give you insight into the performance of your emails.

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How to Send Email like Uber

Uber is a company built around the customer experience; from the slick app to professional drivers, every step is designed to convey a professional brand and experience.  One of my favorite parts of the Uber customer experience is the receipt email you get after taking a ride. Why? Aside from being an email buff, Uber does an exceptional job of including Dynamic Content in the subject line of every ride receipt.

Take a look at a snapshot from my inbox:

Dynamic Content in Uber ride receipts

Dynamic Content in Uber ride receipts

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Getting the Most Out of Your Preheader Real Estate

What Exactly Is a Preheader?

When your email client displays the contents of your inbox, it gives you a couple of pieces of information. Most obviously there’s the sender and subject – these are handled pretty much the same universally. Then there’s some information on when the email was received, if it has been read, and a bit of text offering a preview of the contents of the email body. That last piece is the “preheader.” Most email clients will just populate the preheader with the first plain text in the body of the email. In the case of a simple note between friends, this works great, but what about your full-featured HTML emails?

plain text header left blank

Some templates, like this one here, create placeholder text that will populate the preheader. You can also see in this image where the name comes from. If you’ve got something like this, just make sure you actually replace it with the text you want, or you’ll end up with this…

don't forget a plain text preview

If your template doesn’t have a built in placeholder, in most cases you’ll end up with some weird administrative text or a repeat of the subject line (if it’s used as a title in the body) so how do you customize it and get the most out of your real estate?  Continue…