Email Marketing

The Power of Images: A Fast, Simple Way to Amplify Emails and Websites

When I got my first email address around the age of twelve, I remember the sheer disappointment I felt when I composed my first message. Sure, it was cool to be able to instantly send someone an email, but I yearned for a way to make the emails more, well, pretty. Different font sizes and colors just didn’t cut it for me.

Things have certainly changed since the first days of email communication, as well as website design, but we are often led to believe that creating a truly captivating email message or website requires a large amount of expertise to make them look good. Don’t believe any of that! Instead, use the power of imagery to quickly and effectively make a email or web page pop.

Here’s an example:

Image

Even though you can’t read the content, which page would you choose to read? The one that features a better ratio of text and images, most likely. You can use images to divide up a website that normally has very few layout options. The simplest way to do this is:

  • Determine how many sections your page will have
  • Decide if you can cut any text-heavy sections, or perhaps shorten them
  • Create image headers for each of the desired sections. In my example, I created a Photoshop template that I used for each web page in order to maintain consistency. Using a big, bold font to display the section names over the images is a great way to naturally draw the eyes to certain areas of the page!

What about emails, you ask? Enjoy the cheat sheet I’ve made for using images to make a nice-looking email blast in a pinch (click the image below to view the full-sized version):

Quick Image Tips for an Email BlastSome pointers:

  • Let’s say you want to create an email blast for internal use, or you are only planning to send the email out to a few people and require no tracking information (in other words, you are sending the email directly out from your personal inbox). Using this template requires zero HTML: simply open a new Word document, insert the header and footer, type your email message in between, and copy and paste it into a new email. Keep in mind that layouts/images tend to show up funny in Outlook sometimes, so I would recommend building a table of the layout in a Word document first and then inserting the images and text.
  • If you have Photoshop or similar image-editing software, create a template (a .PSD file, for example) of your header and footer. That way, if you end up sending out multiple emails for an email campaign, you can quickly replicate the size, colors and fonts of your previous emails.
  • Don’t have image-editing software? Not a problem. Microsoft Paint can help you create the images, too! Alternatively, you can insert an image in Microsoft Word, click in the Format tab and select to change the shape of the image to a rounded rectangle, which rounds the corners of the image.
  • Remember: the cleaner your email, the better. Rely on the bold colors of the header and footer, and the image you place in there, to call attention to the content of your email. Then, stick with as short of a message as possible. Have more information that you need to share? Create a PDF of that information and link it into the email or send it as an attachment. If people want more information, they’ll click on it. If not, you’ve still held their attention because the email isn’t text-heavy.
  • There’s plenty of fun, free fonts out there! Check them out. 
  • Need help determining a color scheme? This site has you covered.

Even if you’re on a strict deadline or don’t have much web design or graphic design experience, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t create an email or web page as pretty as the pros. Share your other quick design tips in the comment section below!

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Move Away from the Cubicle! Why Working Out Is Great for Your Job

yoga at pyramid of Giza

 

From my junior year in high school until six months out of college, I worked in retail. I’ll never forget how I felt the first week on the job: my legs and back were sore from standing up so long, my glutes hurt from bending down and getting up again to restock the shelves, and I found myself constantly drinking water due to the humidity in the stock room. I felt exhausted and completely out of shape, and I was convinced I would never get used to doing my job.

Speed up to 2011 — I had just graduated from college and had landed my first “big girl” job. “Yeah, I get to sit down at this one,” I remember boasting to my retail co-workers. When the time came to set up my cubicle and bask in the luxuriousness of sitting down all day, however, I felt… lazy. I found myself itching to move around because I was so used to it. After a few months, I realized my body was less toned and I had even gained weight. I discovered what I had at my retail job, although painful at first, was actually really good for my body and well-being.

A few months ago, I decided to sign up for a membership at a gym about ten minutes away from work. My decision was based on two things: I wanted to stay healthy, and I also really wanted a way to move around on the days I was sitting down at my desk all day. After two months of going to the gym at least three times a week on my lunch breaks, I can confidently say it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. So, without further ado, 

Why Working Out is Great for Your Job

  • It gets you out of the office. It’s important to step away from your work environment and give your senses something new to experience. 
  • It refreshes your mind. Yes, sweating on the treadmill isn’t exactly the most relaxing way to spend a lunch break, but it puts your brain back on track. Boosting your endorphins, moving your body and gulping down a lot of water afterwards (so many people forget to drink water during the day!) can give the jolt you need to come back to work and really be productive. 
  • It is great ‘me’ time. Answering your phone, responding to emails and staring at a computer screen all day is not about you — it’s about doing your job right. And while that’s important, doing something for yourself is, too. I find that on some machines, such as the stationary bikes, I can actually double my ‘me’ time by multi-tasking: I’ll place my Nook in front of me and read a few pages of the book I’m reading while on the machine.
  • It saves you money. Before I joined the gym, I’d spend my lunch breaks going out to eat or trying on clothes that I didn’t really need. Yes, gym memberships aren’t cheap, but spending money on things you don’t need isn’t cheap either! Now that I spend my lunch break at the gym, I am forced to pack a lunch and only do my basic errands after work, and it’s really made an improvement on my finances. A lot of companies will reimburse or partially pay for gym memberships, too… make sure to ask your employer before you get a membership!
  • It manages your stress and helps you stay healthy. It’s obvious but true: working out is a natural stress reducer and can help you live longer and stay healthier. Take an hour to remove yourself from the stress in your personal life or job: get on a machine, sweat out those toxins and focus on your breathing instead of the crazy chatter in your head. You’ll be amazed at how you feel when you return to your desk.