Archive for the ‘SubscriberMail Tips’ Category

3 Quick Tips on Surveying Your Customers

Posted by Nick Murphy on December 21st, 2015

NMBlog_121715Imagine seeing a piece of art that is so beautiful it captures your attention, heightens your senses and provokes a feeling. These emotions are not directly connected to survey design, but just like captivating art, if you create a survey that touches a nerve, you’ll find yourself in a position where your customers will want to answer your questions. But where do you begin?

1. Think about the story you want to write. Before you can even begin to put together a survey, research the motive behind the creation of it. Really pin down what it is you are looking to accomplish and create questions your customers can answer that will help you do so. Forget about simple yes and no answers. It’s important for you understand why a customer feels the way they do. Ask them why and don’t only focus on negative scores. Positive feedback is just as beneficial. According to Huffington Post, “If a customer gives you the highest rating, you need to know why, so you can replicate that same experience and outcome with other customers and clients.” (1)

2. Build your survey upon a fundamental aspect of growing your business. One of the most central questions you can ask is, “How likely is it you would recommend this company to a friend or colleague?” Harland Clarke Digital recommends using the “Net Promoter Score” method. Extensive research as shown that, “Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, acts as a leading indicator of growth. If your organization’s NPS is higher than those of your competitors, you will likely outperform the market.” Not only does this question address the participant’s interest in your company, it also indicates your value and their loyalty. (2)

3. Don’t overcomplicate your questions. Using technical jargon, run-on and complex sentences, only makes the survey participant more agitated and less likely to complete your survey. According to Harvard University, “Words used in surveys should be easily understood by anyone taking the survey. Examples: “Do you support or oppose tort reform?” “Should people held on terror related crimes have the right of habeas corpus?” (3)

Understanding these main principles of survey design is just a stepping stone into the world of knowing and understanding your customers. Forms + Surveys from Harland Clarke Digital makes it easy for you to communicate with your customers and gather valuable insights that can help your organization grow.

To learn more, contact our HCD Support team at 630-303-5000 or simply e-mail your questions to



Simplify SubscriberMail® Reporting with Link Labels and Link Rollups

Posted by Nic Winters on December 8th, 2015

Millennials ShoppingMany of our SubscriberMail® users rely upon the Message Summary Report within their account to provide them with actionable information about their past campaigns and help them communicate results with others at their company. However, sometimes we find that the complex URL structure used by some clients can lead to a click report that is less than ideal (especially for those that may not have worked on the email project and are simply looking for quick details).

For example, these URLs may make sense to the person that crafted an email campaign:

… but to others on their team, they may not know what products were included on those pages, etc.

With the Link Label feature within SubscriberMail, you can update these types of links so that they are more informative, such as:

MyWebsite – Home Page
MyWebsite – Specials & Promotions
AnotherWebsite – Featured Product #367

Upon creation, Link Label entries will automatically update relevant links within the Message Summary Report area and continue to apply them to all subsequent messages sent from the SubscriberMail account where they were created — there’s no need to recreate existing ones for future messages.

In addition to Link Labels, our Link Rollup feature allows for the grouping of related links that would normally be listed individually in reports. For instance, consider the following unlabeled links:

Although the three raw URLs above all lead to the same product pages, each one would normally be treated as an individual entry in the Click Through Details portion of the SubscriberMail report. However, you can use the Link Rollups feature to combine such similar links to be displayed like this:

…then create a label for the rolled-up link to make it appear like this: – My Page

Grouping related links via a Link Rollup allows for much easier data comprehension. In the example above, we only are dealing with 3 links, but imagine a scenario where you’re dealing with far more URLs. Using these features, you can see how Link Rollups and Link Labels can make for a much cleaner report.

Please contact our support team at and we would love to walk you through the process of creating link labels and rollups within your SubscriberMail account!


Boost Engagement Rates with Inactive Resends

Posted by Alex Wolski on July 30th, 2015

CreativityLike many of us, I sign up for and receive a lot of commercial email. Thanks to the nearly unlimited amount of storage offered by the free webmail providers, I have something like 15,000 emails across all of my personal inboxes. I don’t think I am alone in this.

Every now and then, I’ll find a past unopened message offering a great deal that has since expired. It’s not that I consciously decided not to read it; I just didn’t have time. Maybe it caught my eye but my phone rang, or the oven timer went off, and I had to deal with something else. By the time I get back to my inbox, which might even be the next day, I may have forgotten about that intriguing email. Now, it’s buried under a pile of other messages.

Looking at this from an email sender point-of-view, distracted customers can represent a largely untapped opportunity. We may assume each recipient is making a conscious decision to open or not open our email, but through testing done by Harland Clarke Digital™  focusing on various clients in a variety of industries, we have found that this is often just not the case. Resending the message can actually provide a lift in render and click rates… and this lift can be significant.

According to Bill Leming, VP Strategic Services at Harland Clarke Digital, “We’ve seen instances where it doubled the render rate and click through rates and instances where it increased responses by about 40 percent”.

These statistics will naturally vary by sender, offer and list segment. Like any other technique, it’s something that you need to test in order to see if it makes sense for you. Here are some additional considerations to take into account:

  • The easiest way to do this in SubscriberMail® is to create a Dynamic List Filter that will identify anyone who has opened or clicked on the original send. Then, you can copy your original message out of Sent Messages and redeploy it to the original list, making sure to suppress this list filter;
  • This technique will work best with your cleanest, most engaged list segments. If the list you are resending to has a high percentage of disengaged subscribers and/or spam trap addresses, it can actually work against your deliverability;
  • Thus, it makes sense to test with a small group first and, if there are no adverse effects, expand the testing group;
  • While you are testing, you need to watch your unsubscribe rate carefully to make sure the resend doesn’t cause a spike in unsubscribes.
  • You should also use the TOS Complaint Summary report to see if the resend has a higher “user marked as spam” rate than the original email;
  • You can use the Compare Message Summary report to see how the render/click rates of the resend compare to the original send and discover what sort of boost you are getting, or use the Combine Message Summary report to get the aggregate statistics of both deployments combined.
  • Not every email is a good candidate for an inactive resend. You may not see a benefit from resending a largely informational email;
  • While inactive resends can provide a boost to campaigns that didn’t do as well as you wanted the first time around, they can also work on campaigns that did spectacularly the first time around. If you get a 50 percent unique confirmed open rate and a 20 percent click through rate on a particular message, it clearly resonated with your subscribers. Why not resend this message?
  • While it is not necessary to change anything about the message, you might consider escalating the urgency of the subject line in resends. For example, “Time is Running Out…”, “Last Chance…”, etc.. This may urge distracted customers to pay more attention this time around.

Harland Clarke Digital’s SubscriberMail platform includes tools that make it easy to test inactive resend techniques and measure the effect of these techniques on your campaigns. Contact us for a demo today.


Working with Images in the New Rich Text Editor

Posted by Alex Wolski on April 3rd, 2015

Images are an important part of your email content. When properly used, images provide visual appeal, make messages look more inviting to read, and can improve click-through rates.

SubscriberMail recently made some upgrades to our Rich Text Editor, and some of the image functions have been moved around. If you have been wondering where some of these options went, or if you are a new user to the platform, these tips will make working with images easier.

1. Hosting images

In order to appear in an email message, an image must first be hosted on a server that is available to the internet. In SubscriberMail, the Media Browser provides a place for you to host images on our servers. You can load images into the Media Browser in 2 ways: from inside a Builder content item or directly from the Media Browser. If you are using Studio, you must first load your images directly into the Media Browser.

To access the Media Browser directly, click on the Content tab and select “Media Browser” from the left-hand menu. You will be able to create folders and upload images to those folders.

If you are working inside a content item, there are 2 buttons for loading and selecting images directly below the content window:


Media Browser



  • Valid file types are: .png, .gif, .jpg
  • Use RGB color mode, not CMYK
  • 72 is the maximum ppi you should use;
  • Upload images at or very close to the final size you want in the email;
  • Compress images to reduce the file size as much as possible without degrading your images. If your entire email, including all images, is no larger than 60 KB, It will load reasonably quickly even over slow Internet connections.
  • Animated .gifs can be used in email, and they are well-supported in different email clients. However, Outlook will only show the first pane of the animation as a static image…so the first pane of your animated .gif should be able to stand alone.

2. Adding images to content

Once images are hosted, you can pull them into your content. I normally add all of my text to the content item first and then add any formatting / hyperlinks. From there, I will put my cursor where want the image to go in terms of height, but always on the left hand side. Don’t worry about alignment or text wrap yet, it’s easiest to start on the left hand of the screen and align the image later.

Next, select the image you would like to use. Referring to the screen shot above, you can click the “Select Image from Media Browser” button if you are working in a Builder content item, or select “Media Browser” from the toolbar if you are working in Studio. Pick the folder you want and click on the thumbnail of the image to pull it into content.

3. Editing images

You may want your text to wrap around the image. In order to do this, you select the image alignment using one of the text alignment buttons in the toolbar:




Once you have aligned the image, you may find that the text is creeping up to the side of the image. You can add horizontal and/or vertical padding to images via the Insert / Edit Image button:


Edit Image


After you click Insert / Edit Image, a dialog box will pop up. Select the “Advanced” tab, and you will see fields to enter a number corresponding to the number of pixels of padding. So if the image is crashing up against the text, you can put a “5” in “Horizontal Space” to add 5 pixels of horizontal padding:


Advanced Tab


If you click over to the General tab, you can resize the image (though this should be used just for minor tweaks as it uses HTML instead of actually resizing the image file):


General Tab


4. Alternate text

The General tab of the “Insert / Edit Image” dialog is also where you can add alternate text to your image. Alternate text is used to replace meaning that would otherwise be lost if the reader is not able to see the image. Most webmail and desktop email clients and some mobile email clients suppress images by default, so this can be helpful. For example, if you have a call-to-action button, repeat the button text in your alternate text. If the button says “Click Here” and the alt text says “Click Here”, and images are turned off, the reader may see a text hyperlink to “Click Here” instead.

 5. Linking images

Linking images such as banners and call to action buttons to landing pages is critical to proper email design. Once your image has been placed in your content item or Studio message, click it to select it and then click the “Insert / Edit Link” button to link it:


Tool Bar


In the “URL” field, enter the web address you would like to link the image to. Make sure you are including the proper prefix of http:// or https:// in front of the web page path.

This should help you get started with the basics. In a future blog post, we will discuss some more advanced techniques such as slicing images and linking the slices to separate web pages.


Looking Back As We Leap Forward

Posted by Nic Winters on December 9th, 2014

WintersBlog_1214As we draw closer to the end of 2014, many of our clients are focusing on 2015 planning. With that in mind as this year is coming to a close, I began to look back at my past blog posts for any past notes and ideas that may be beneficial as 2015 email marketing planning is underway.

I hope that you find the following old posts helpful and perhaps they can spark your interest in taking the next step in elevating your program in 2015!

If you need any assistance regarding your digital marketing plan for 2015, please feel free to contact our support team – we would love to help!