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Beautiful Email Marketing For Gmail. Early Preview!

green take a look EEEEE background
  • Create emails inside Gmail with our drag & drop editor
  • Build mailing lists to target your Google contacts
  • Track emails & content to measure performance

New Feature (Beta) – Share an email template with your team

We’re testing a new feature that allows you to share one of your email’s as a template with the rest of your team.

The feature is not totally baked – it’s fully functional but not very polished. We want to get it in your hands for some feedback, so let us know what you think.

How it works

The feature lets you share an email you have created in your Flashissue account with others in your team so they can use it as a template of their own. Once shared, they are  free to edit the email as their own – it will leave the original email in your account unchanged.

Try the example from the video (click the link): 
http://app.flashissue.com/newsletters/company-template-2/share

Note: this is NOT a feature that lets you “collaborate” on an email with others.; it allows you  to share an email as a copy with others.

Step #1: View Email

Go to your Reports tab and hover your mouse over an email you would like to share with your team. Click the “View Email” button and you will be taken to the web view of the email.

view email

Step #2: Create link

Now the email has opened in your browser create the link  to share with your team.

Add the following text –  /share - to the end of the page URL so that:

The original link: 
http://app.flashissue.com/newsletters/company-template-2 
Becomes:
http://app.flashissue.com/newsletters/company-template-2/share

add share to your link url

Step #3: Share the link

Email the URL you created in Step#2 to your team i.e. Just paste the link into a regular Gmail email and send it to your team.

When your team receives your email all they need do is click the link and your Flashissue template will load as a new email in their Flashissue account.

 team clicks link

template loads

Try this example (click the link): 
http://app.flashissue.com/newsletters/company-template-2/share

Some important tips

#1 Close the webapp view: If you and your team use the Flashissue Gmail Inbox integration your team members will want to close the webapp view of Flashissue that loads the template and return to the Gmail Inbox view of Flashissue.

 close webapp share

 

#2  Duplicate from Drafts: Remember, if your team wants to preserve their new template in its original form instruct them to use the green Duplicate button found on the Drafts tab when opening the template.

 duplicate button

Vote for this feature if you want us to add more to it.

 

View more helpful articles on using Flashissue.

 

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How to solve problems of importing to Google Contacts

upload google contacts

Importing contacts into Google Contacts should be pretty straight forward. In theory, all you need do is import your .CSV file containing your contact list into Google Contacts.

However, sometimes the import fails and it’s hard to know why.

The issue is often that the .CSV you are uploading is formatted incorrectly and Google rejects the data in the file.

One way to solve the problems of importing files into Google Contacts is to make sure that you are using the correct CSV file format that Google Contacts will accept.

Getting access to this format is as easy as downloading a Google Contact “template” CSV file. Then all you need do is copy/paste your data into the correct columns and upload the updated CSV back into Google Contacts.

Follow these steps:

  1. Download a correctly formatted Google Contact CSV file. You can download one here or create your own (see bottom of this post).
  2. Copy / paste your Name and Email contact data into the correct columns (B, D and AC)
  3. Save the updates to the Google.csv file.
  4. Upload the Google.csv file to your Google Contacts (See Importing Google Contacts)

google csv

 

We have created a Google.CSV file for you or you can create your own like this:

export contact

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How to embed a video in an email

unnamed

As you may know, it is not possible to embed video in an email using YouTube or any other type of video file like .mp4 or .avi.

If you want to embed a video in an email, the nearest you can get  is to embed a static image of the video in your email that clicks over to a web page displaying the full video.

I’ve been experimenting with a new way to add video to emails using an old technology – the animated .gif.

You will have seen animated GIFs around on many web sites. Most of the time they’re pretty obnoxious.

captain kirk ball header

An animated .gif is just an image file so it’s possible to embed it in an email. Take a look at the one below i created to showcase our drag and drop feature in Flashissue; it’s so much more effective than trying to describe the feature and the concept can be conveyed in just a few seconds.

drag and drop demo5

Here’s another one I created for announcing a new feature to Flashissue users. In this case, the 3 second “video” GIF explains how you can use email an alias to send an email. It explains something visually that would take a whole paragraph of words and I used it in the announcement email.

 drop down alias animation

3 animated GIF creators

I tested 3 different products for creating an animated GIF. They all work well.

  1. LiceCap (Windows and Mac) – it’s free to download and use, very utilitarian with not many features but great for the job.
  2. GIFBrewery (Mac only) – packed with features but still easy to use. You do have to buy it (I think it was $5).
  3. Makeagif.com (web based) – You get less control with this service and they watermark your GIF but it’s the best of the free online products.

Remember, animated GIFs are created from a video so you may need a desktop screen recording product to create your video before converting it to a GIF. I use a product called Camtasia for recording my desktop videos.

Why GIFs are great

If you’ve never thought about including a video in your email here’s three reason’s I’ve started experimenting:

  1. Occasionally it’s more effective to show something rather than tell.
  2. Embedding the video “image” loses people. They are less likely to watch the video if they have to click elsewhere to view it.
  3. A .gif automatically plays in a loop so there is less friction in getting your audience to view the content than having to click “Play”.

TIPS for successful giffing

  1. Use them sparingly. Bulk out your email with too and you’re drive your audience away or they become distracting (have you taken your eyes off Bones and Kirk yet?)
  2. Keep them short to just to 15-30 seconds.
  3. Make them relevant – they’re great for showing quick product shots and the like.
  4. Keep the file size below 1MB (use the correct software, like LiceCAP).

Part 2: A Step by Step Guide on how to create an animated GIF

Click here to read the second part.

 

 

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How to add an animated GIF to an email

If you try to add an animated GIF to your email using image uploader of your email program sometimes it will not work. You’ll find that the image has been added to your email but the GIF animation has been lost.

This normally occurs because during the upload process your image is rendered a second time by the servers storing the image and the animation is stripped out of the image.

To get around this issue is simple, all you need do is manually insert the image into your email using some basic HTML.

  1. Using your email software – like Flashissue – open the content section where you want your image to display.
  2. Paste the following code below into the editor box
  3. Replace the dummy link we’ve included for the image with the link for your own GIF
  4. Save and close
<p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.flashissue.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/create-animated-gif-LIEcap.gif" style="width: 295px; height: 160px;" /></p>

Your image should look something like this in the email:

create animated gif LIEcap

 

IF YOU WOULD LIKE SOME HELP ON HOW TO CREATE AN ANIMATED GIF READ THIS ARTICLE.

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5 Steps To Create An Animated GIF With LICEcap

Here’s the 5 steps to creating an animated GIF using a product called LICEcap.

(BTW you might want to check this post out first - How to embed a video in email)

I’ve experimented with a few products to create animated GIFs and I’ve ended up using a product called LICEcap to create my GIFs.

I’ll be creating an animated GIF of YouTube video below:

  1. Download & install LICEcap GIF creator (Quick links - Windows or Mac). Open LICEcap.
  2. Position the LICECap  frame close to the YouTube screen below (make sure it’s sized for the Youtube video window and your YouTube video is queued up to the correct spot you wish to record).
  3. Start the Youtube video and immediately move the LICECap frame over the YouTube video and click record.
  4. Click Stop after 5 seconds
  5. Your GIF will have been created (drag it onto a browser window to watch it. Clicking it will not work).

Create your GIF from this video.

Here’s what the finished GIF looks like.

create animated gif LIEcap

If you’d like to give this GIF a trial run in an email of your own just paste this HTML into the Source of your email (get some help).

<p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://www.flashissue.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/create-animated-gif-LIEcap.gif" style="width: 295px; height: 160px;" /></p>

Here’s the final email. You can view it online here and see the animation.

 animated gif in email

TIPS to create an animated GIF with LICEcap:

  • Keep the file size of your GIF under 1mb for email
  • Keep the screen size of your video small
  • Keep you recording length to 5 seconds
  • Trial and error is the best way to get it right
  • Note: if you trying to add an animated GIF to a Flashissue email you’ll need to read this.

create animated GIF LIEcap

How to create your own video

Say you want to create an animated GIF from something other than a Youtube video. You may for example want to create a “video” GIF or an onscreen product demo.

Here’s an example, I’ve used in emails to Flashissue users.

drop down alias animation

 

To create a GIF like this you must first create your video. I use a product called Camtasia to capture my computer desktop and record the what appears in my web browser.

I then convert this to an MP4 video and in turn create the animated GIF using LICEcap.

 

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3 Steps To Create A Table of Contents In An Email

You can add links to your email so a recipient can jump through the content of your email by clicking a link.

For example, you might want to set up a table of contents in an email. In order, to do this you will need to be comfortable writing some basic HTML.

Here’s an example of an email newsletter with a table of contents.

Clicking on an item in the Table of Contents will take you directly to the relevant part of the email. Clicking the “Back to Table of Contents” link at the bottom of the email will return you to the top of the email.

table contents email  example

Here’s the basics:

First of all you need to know how to access the HTML source for your email. In Flashissue you do like this:

  1. Click Edit Text on a content block
  2. Click the More button to access advanced options
  3. Click Source to view HTML

access email html

Example code for a table of contents

Click here to see the final email.

The name attribute allows an anchor tag to be used to point to a specific place on a web page. You might link from the bottom of a long page to the top of the page, or link from an item in a Table of Contents to the corresponding item where it appears on the page.

This is the type of HTML to use where you want to anchor TO somewhere in your email:

<a name="Table">Table of Contents</a>

This is the type of HTML to use where you want to anchor FROM somewhere in your email i.e. a user clicks this link in the newsletter and is taken to section called Table of Contents:

<a href="#Table">Table of Contents</a>

Step #1 – Create your Table of Contents

table contents html

Here’s the sample HTML for you to copy/paste into your email.

<h2><a name="TOC">Table of Contents</a></h2>
  <ol>	
     <li><a href="#Great-Things">Great Things</a></li>	
     <li><a href="#Better-Things">Better Things</a></li>	
     <li><a href="#Best-Things">Best Things</a></li>
 </ol>

Step #2 – Create your section links

table of contents email section

Here’s the sample HTML for you to copy/paste into your email:

Section 1

<hr />
<h2><a name="Great-Things">Great Things</a></h2>
<p>These are great things to eat.</p>

Section 2

<hr />
<h2><a name="Better-Things">Better Things</a></h2>
<p>These are better things to eat.</p>

Section 3

<hr />
<h2><a name="Best-Things">Best Things</a></h2>
<p>These are the best things to eat.</p>

Step #3 – Create your “Back to top” link

table contents email back to top

Here’s the sample HTML for you to copy/paste into your email:

<hr />
<p><a href="#TOC">Back to Table of Contents</a></p>
<hr />
<p>&nbsp;</p>

You can repeat these steps as many times as you like throughout your email.

 

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New Feature: Send-As Email Alias & Custom Email Addresses

Today we launched our email alias feature.

The *Send As Email* feature allows you to select from multiple email addresses in the “From / Reply-To” field when you send an email.

For example, you may build your mailing lists using the Google contacts from your personal Gmail account but you want your emails to appear to come from your business email address.

Once you have added an email alias you can select it from the Editor tab when sending an email:


To add an email to the alias list do the following:

  1. On the Editor tab click the “From” drop down
  2. Select the “Add sender”
  3. On the Editor tab select “Send-As Email” from the drop down menu (top right screen)
  4. From the Send Mail As setting page click the green Add Sender Email address button
  5. Retrieve the verification email from the inbox of the email address you are adding (click the verify link)
  6. To finish click the Back button to return to the Editor tab.





To manage your alias emails

You can access your alias setting page by selecting “Send Email As” from the drop down menu on the Editor tab.

To remove an alias email click the cross icon next to the email address.

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5 Ways to Avoid Gmail Sending Limits

It’s quite easy to fall foul of Google’s bulk sending limits, so here are 5 ways to avoid Gmail sending limits.

If you need to send an unusually large amount of mail, such as for a marketing campaign, consider an alternative to regular email, such as:

  1. Chrome Store market place. Download compatible applications. Here are the results for “email newsletters“.
  2. Google Groups for Business. Distribute messages to many email addresses using a single address. For example, administrators can use Groups to contact all users in their organization by adding everyone in the domain to an email list. For any Groups-related issues, please refer to Google Groups limits.
  3. Google App Engine for Mail. (For developers) Increase mail limits by building a customized application.
  4. If you have a local mail server, you can send to the recipients directly and avoid the sending limits. This local server should also be added to your SPF record to stop the messages from being marked as spam.


 

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Feature Update: Flashissue for Gmail Gets 4 New Features

We just added some handy new features to  Flashissue for Gmail.

These features are available to our free and paying customers, except the ability to remove branding that is a premium feature.

  1. Remove the FlashIssue logo from the bottom of emails you send.
  2. Make your email private: disable the online view option of the email and remove the social share icons from the top. 
  3. Remove the social share icons from articles.
  4. Set the text for the “[continue...]” link

There are 4 options for you to access under settings. Click the drop down and then the Settings option.



Here’s what the Setting options mean:





You can try out these options during your free trial period (except turning off branding). After that you will need to subscribe to one of our paid plans.


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Create email newsletter templates in Gmail

Here’s how to create email newsletter templates in Gmail using Flashissue.

The “duplicate” an email feature in Flashissue lets you create a clone of any email you have in your Draft folder or any email you have previously sent.

Using the Duplicate button you are able to set up an email to be used repeatedly as email template. Every time you want to use the template just go to your Drafts and click “duplicate”.

To get started creating your newsletter templates follow these steps.

Step 1: Open a new blank email

  • From the Editor tab click the New Email button at the top of the screen and a new blank email will load in editor.
  • Add any content you wish to include in your template (banner, introduction, sections, footer etc).

create template 1

Here’s an example:

create template 2

Learn how to create a footer like the one above with social icons by clicking here.

Step 2: Go to Drafts to access your template

When you want to use your template instead of using the New Email button to create a new email, go to the Drafts tab and click the green Duplicate button.

This will load your template in the editor and you’re free to make changes and add content before sending.

Make sure you go ahead and do this now for the first time before you start adding any more content to your email.

create template 3

Note: Creating a copy of a previously sent email

You can also create a Duplicate of any email you have previously sent by going to the Reports tab and using the Duplicate button.

Mouse-over the report for the email you’d like to clone and click the green Duplicate button. This will load a copy of the email in the Editor for you to use again.

create template 4

 

As well as creating email newsletter templates in Gmail you can also try the follow:

Create a mailing list from Google Contacts in Gmail

Send personalized emails from Gmail 

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