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What programmes do I need to create an email newsletter that can contain hyperlinks, artwork, video or links to video etc . For a long time I've been making our charities' newsletter /posters in PS / AI and sending them either as an attachment or inline in email.

But now we have more activity with social media/youtube I'd like to be able to create eye catching emails with clear links to youtube , without simply pasting an ugly link !

I've seen quite a few websites that offer a template type platform for emails like this but Ideally Id like to learn how to create it from scratch etc ... but if this involves lots of code then perhaps i should try a template

Any suggestions?

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You only need a graphics program to make the images that will go in the email but for the layout itself you do not need to use any specific program. You could code it in notepad or an online code editor like jsFiddle. Just remember to use inline CSS and tables!

If you want to design an email from scratch then you will need to learn code (HTML and CSS). You still may need to learn some HTML and CSS if you plan to edit a template from an email marketing company like MailChimp or Constant Contact.

If you have no to little experience coding I would suggest you use an online email marketing service to edit a template and make it your own. A template is just a starting point and you should be able to change it to your liking.

In my experience Constant Contact gives you a lot of control but is annoying to use and MailChimp is very easy to use but less overall control.

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    And code like it's 1999. If you don't know HTML/CSS do not start with emails! – Cai Sep 19 '16 at 14:10
  • Ok thanks... If learning code, are you suggesting starting really simple then? @Cai – Rachel Sep 19 '16 at 14:12
  • @Rachel yes start simple, but honestly start with anything and everything before emails. I've been coding websites for a long time and I still struggle with emails. – Cai Sep 19 '16 at 14:15
  • @Rachel I would recommend starting with an email marketing company to design emails based off a template. I would also take some online HTML and CSS courses like code academy to learn the basics. – AndrewH Sep 19 '16 at 14:17
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    @Rachel Emails are either just text or HTML – joojaa Sep 20 '16 at 15:13
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JUST DO NOT DO IT!!!

I know. It's a worthy cause. Etc.

Everyone believes that. Even used car salesman, home loan lenders and chemists specialising in viagra for perverts.

Use email in the most modest, humble, honest way you can. Provide the information for the call to action on a website. Use the modest, humble honesty to direct them to the link.

Less effort, higher conversion rates.

  • Interesting. We don't have a website, but perhaps that is the way forward, – Rachel Sep 20 '16 at 14:28
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    Cheaper than an app :) – Confused Sep 20 '16 at 14:29
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The best way to make some email campaigns is to use MailChimp. You create the assets, in this case to make it interactive, you could add gifs and videos etc. Whatever you can create really. Plus they offer a great beginner package and they make suggestions etc to help you out.

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Graphic Designer here that does to many emails.

adding anything "interactive" is a no-go. it relies on script and server communication. which gets stripped by most email clients. the effort to put it in, isn't worth the amount of people that will actually see it. factoring in the open rate, code stripping, spam filters, etc. spending 3 hours on an email only to have 20 people see it is annoying to me, and my boss. code stripping was done, I'm assuming, because it dramatically slows auto replicating computer viruses. I would be willing to bet good money that spammers would start adding malicious scripts to emails if they could, if they aren't already.

for adding videos, you're best bet is to feature them with a thumbnail, at the top of the email content, then make sure the link is pointing to youtube (whitelisted by many clients, and people), and clearly labeled as a youtube link.

if you're unfamiliar with coding, a WYSIWYG editor would be your best bet. I've use constant contact at work, and hate it. i use mailchimp for anything non-work related, and it is much better and free-ish, it has a WYSIWYG editor, and you can also copy/paste your own code if you feel adventurous.

  • Thanks very much @BrianC for the advise. What is your opinion on having our poster/information in a pdf in the email, that is what we do currently as we have images and words to share with our recipients. – Rachel Oct 3 '16 at 13:32
  • I'd advise against anything as a traditional attachment when sending an e-blast. open rates plummet, spam reports and bounces skyrocket. generally it's better to include a link to the pdf instead of adding it as an attachment. even better, making the pdf a landing page instead, or taking the content from the pdf, and creating an email from it. unless there's a reason you absolutely need to attach a pdf; don't. – BrianC Oct 4 '16 at 17:14
  • how do you do that? – Rachel Nov 19 '16 at 18:28

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