Thursday, August 25, 2011

Open MailTo links with GMail in Chrome

Update:

Old post below:

I don’t know why Google’s chrome browser does not know how to open Gmail for email, but it’s not just you. Google notifier will work for IE and Foxfire has the option to choose Gmail as the default email.
If you want to use chrome and make it open Gmail for mailto: links, you have to set it up yourself.

This is the extension that integrates Gmail into the Chrome browser.

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/dgkkmcknielgdhebimdnfahpipajcpjn

This is the “Default Maker” that makes Mailto Links point to chrome.

http://gmaildefault.codeplex.com/

With the two of them, you should get MailTo Links to open Gmail.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Adding Address Two as a trusted internet site in Internet Explorer.

To prevent a few annoying security messages you can add Address Two as a trusted site.

1. In internet explorer, go to tools, internet options.









2. Click the security tab, select trusted sties and click the sites button.













3. Be sure to uncheck the “require server verification” checkbox and add
http://addresstwo.com in the address box and click add.






Thursday, August 11, 2011

Spam Filters and the "art" of good Email Design & Content

AddressTwo's campaign manager follows all the best practices and industry standards to ensure a positive relationship with Email Service Providers (ESP's) like Gmail, AOL, GoDaddy, et. al.  This prevents the blacklisting of our IP Addresses and permits us to send emails "from you" (as explained here).  Nevertheless, some users occasionally experience the dreaded junk-box relegation.  Why does this happen and how can we prevent it?

First of all, please let me say that it is not a "setting" we can turn off.  We've received a hand full of inquiries over the years that read: "can you please change my account so that my emails go to inboxes and not the junk mail box?"  If this were a setting, we'd LOVE to toggle it.  The fact is, the decision to put your email in the junk box is not ours, but is up to each individual recipient's ESP.  In fact, the same message could reach one recipient's inbox while it gets put into another's junk box.  This inconsistency is evidence of the reality that junk mail designations are case-by-case and, therefore, tricky to avoid.

That said, there are some things that you can do to keep your email out of the junk box.  It's a simple matter of controlling the content so that your email does not look like "spam."  Imagine this: when you do receive unwanted spam in your email, what are the common characteristics of it?  If you avoid those, you can avoid the junk box.  Simply put, junk mail filters were programmed to look at these characteristics. 

Here is what a junk mail filter is asking about each message it receives:
  • Does this email have a lot of exclamation points, all caps, and bold text?  People don't typically write letters like that.  People write ads like that.  If your email is filled with exclamatory statements, it's likely to get flagged as spam.  
  • Does this email have a lot of red-flag words like "free" or "exclusive offer?"  Once again, people don't write ordinary messages chock-full of these terms.  If the density of such words (the number of times the appear as compared to the overall length of the message) is too high, it can get flagged as spam.
  • Does this email have a large amount of embedded images and colors?  Are you noticing a trend: people don't compose simple letters this way, people compose ads this way.  When a spam filter sees HTML with pretty images and ornately designed color schemes, it knows that it's likely a promotional email (and they'd be right).
  • Does this email have a lot of hyperlinks?  I'm beginning to sound like a broken record.  People don't write emails to people like this. They write ads like this.  
So, write like a human. Keep images, color, and other style-points to a minimum.  Avoid exclamatory language and attention grabbers like bold or all caps.

Don't believe me?  Try this.  Open an email account from some free ESP like yahoo or gmail.  Write an email to yourself and break all of the above rules.  Subject: "Great FREE Offers!" and in the body, abuse all these rules.  See if your own Outlook doesn't filter it as spam even though the message never hit a bulk-email server like AddressTwo.

Who Does the Email Come FROM?

We get this question from time-to-time regarding our Campaign Manager. Who does the email appear to come "from"? Does it send via my own Outlook, gmail, or whatever email program you may use, or does it come from AddressTwo?

The answer is both yes, and no.

No, the Campaign Manager emails that are sent will not be sent using your email service provider, nor will they channel through your own Outlook or Gmail, or what-have-you. In order to track the recipients, their opens/views, and their clicks, as well as provide an automated unsubscribe feature, we need to send the emails using our own server.

However, the answer is "Yes" it does come FROM you. The email will appear to every recipient as though it is from you. The sender will be your name and return email address as you set it up in the "Sender Profile" section of the Campaign Manager. And, as expected, any reply to that email will come directly to you just as any ordinary email. In no way will the email be sent "from" AddressTwo in any way that a recipient could determine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Change the background color of a table in your email template.

First put your cursor in the table you want to change.



Then find the table in the html tree (gray bar at the bottom) .




You will know the selected table by the white squares in the outline. Then click the background color tool box.





Finally, you can select the color or type in the hex code.







This will change the background of a table.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Required fields in Address Two Contact forms

Here is a simple JavaScript field validation that you can use on your address two contact forms. You will need an Address Two contact form and a little HTML know how.

Step 1 - give the form a Name(A2Form) and add the onsubmit call.
Change:

<form action="http://www.addresstwo.com/cf/function_addaccount.asp" method="post" style="padding: 0px;" target="_top">

To:

<form name="A2Form" onsubmit="return validateForm()" action="http://www.addresstwo.com/cf/function_addaccount.asp" method="post" style="padding: 0px;" target="_top">


Step 2 -add the validation script into the <head> section of your page.

<script type="text/javascript">
function validateForm() {
// repeat the following for each required field
     var x = document.forms["A2Form"]["FieldNameHere"].value;
     if (x == null || x == "") {
     alert("message here - Field Required ");
     return false;
     }
// end repeating code for each required field
}
</script>


Special Note: Validating Checkboxes
Checkboxes and radio buttons are a special breed of input that you cannot validate based simply on the value attribute.  Instead, the code for a required checkbox input would look like this:

     var x = document.forms["A2Form"]["FieldNameHere"].checked;
     if (x != true) {
     alert("message here - Field Required ");
     return false;
     }


You can see this script in action at http://www.w3schools.com/js/js_form_validation.asp

Happy Validating!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sending email before you are logged out

If you have ever seen an error when sending Campaign Emails, specifically an error that looks like something/email_newtriggercampaign and some line number, you may have been logged out for inactivity.

You can usually see under campaigns, manage, Sent items; that no email went out.

This can happen anywhere but usually happens while composing an email.

The server holds a session open for about 20 minutes. If there is not a request to the server in that time, the session is closed to save resources.

You can prevent this by writing your emails as a saved template and saving often. Then you can make a change, save the change and send yourself a test email in rapid succession. Then when it’s time to send the email, you can pull up the contacts, open the template and send it on its way.

Another time saver is to create a mostly empty template that conforms to your branding under email templates and then compose the text of your email in another text editor program. Then when you are ready to send the email you can query the recipients, open the empty template, and paste in the text. The idea is to compose the email first, then send it to the appropriate contacts.

This prevents the frustration you experience when you put effort into pulling up the right group of contacts and get logged out while composing the email.