Brown Blog

Brown Blog
13 Apr

Top 5 Keys to your Email Success!

Brand. Target. Design. Think. Test.

Seems basic, but if your email campaigns are falling flat or you don’t know where your emails are going once you hit “send,” getting back to basics may be all you need to punch up those results and feel good that your message is being heard. Brown Dog came away from a recent conference with a renewed appreciation for our email campaign software, and tricks we would like to pass along to you:

  1. Brand Consistency! Ensure that all your messages across audiences are brand consistent. Your emails should look like you! Don’t sacrifice your brand to a generic interpretation!
  2. Target your audiences! It’s always great to be able to boast about whose list is bigger, BUT is that giant list getting you the results you crave or, worse yet, sabotaging any hope that your message is actually reaching an inbox! Using legitimate sources for creating your lists is key.
  3. Design to the email client and like its 1999! I think we’ve all sent an email to our personal account (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) after carefully finessing it to look a certain way in our WYSIWYG, only to realize that it doesn’t look that way at all – what is going on with those green headlines or black links? We all know that using up-to-date technology is critical, except when it’s NOT – email design is one time when using the latest stylesheets can bounce you quicker than a big guy at the door of the hottest club. Web Standards do not apply, so stay away from background images, divs, and relative links; embrace those tables you thought were long gone.
  4. Think about the device! While creating a graphically rich experience for someone sitting in front of a desktop is important, don’t forget about those customers who never get the chance to catch up on email except while standing in line on their iPhones, Droids and Blackberries. Your “graphically rich experience” has caused them to not see a thing, and your email will likely get tossed to a “mark as read,” never to be looked at again!
  5. Test! Test! Test! You can of course set up various email accounts and test in various browsers…but a paid service like or (which Brown Dog uses) is worth the few dollars to ensure your emails are getting to your customers and keeping you off a spam list.

Brown Dog likes to anticipate the needs of our clients and their customers, which is why, while we are developing your website, we also customize an email template that looks like you, communicates effectively to your audiences, and uses analytics so that you can know what is hot to your customers and what is not. Have questions about whether you have an email template, need a Create Send (CampaignMonitor) refresher – we now offer monthly unlimited, want to jazz up your existing CreateSend email template? Just whistle, we’re here to help!

23 Mar

Back from the NTC, Inspired!

Returning from the NTC Conference is well, never easy!  After an action packed three days of mind-bending workshops, a Science Fair jammed with vendors that care about the mission, one-off discussions with amazing people, navigating our nation’s capitol and all the wonderful museums and exhibits in the spare few minutes NTEN gives you to not think about technology, coming back and having to concentrate on sharing what we’ve learned is hard, because … there’s so much great stuff that should immediately be shared with the masses so everyone can begin implementing and reaping the benefits of grasping technology and all it has to offer by the horns and making it work for you!

As I said earlier, the NTC is action-packed!  NTEN staff, all nine of them, pull off unparalleled scheduling feats year after year, fitting in tons of workshops – even sunrise sessions (which, for those that know me best, it has to be good to get me out of bed and functioning before 9am, let alone 7am), networking time, community service opportunities, ice cream breaks, nighttime social events, an Unconference, and lest we not forget the Science Fair…which Lesley cleaned up on the swag!

The NTC was inspiring as usual, and the Dogs at Brown Dog Creative are excited to be able to continue sharing (hopefully everyone caught Lesley’s tweets) all the great things we learned for our nonprofit clients, as well as those things that can be shared across sectors making the world of web a better place!

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