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Granicus Employee

This is part of a series aimed at improving your outcomes with govDelivery emails. Keep an eye on govCommunity for more helpful and informative ideas.


It's always the little things

This has definitely happened to me, and I am sure it has happened to you, but have you ever sent an email to a large group of people only to notice later that you made a sloppy mistake that you could have avoided if only you had taken a closer look before sending? This article isn't going to nearly cover all the potential little things that can cause you to bang your head on your desk, but I will give you a handful, and hopefully help you come up with your own checklist of things to review before you hit send on your next big email blast.

Clean up odd formatting

tb.jpgHere, I copied someone else's template, and made it my own. I didn't like the background color, so I set it to white. But because I had to meet a tight deadline, I forgot the top "View as a webpage" section also had the background color on it. Now it has that light grey color, which makes it look just a little bit off. It isn't anything that sticks out like a sore thumb, but little design elements like this add up and can make your overall design feel a bit thrown together, rather than tight and tidy.

ex5.pngIn this other example, there wasn't any padding in the container I wanted to use to put some story text in. Does this look okay to you? It looks like a problem to me, and something I will regret after I rush to send the bulletin. I think it's always worth it to do what I can to make my emails look well put together, and representing me and my agency in the best light.

Before you hit send, are there any little (or big) design elements that you can clean up to make your email feel crisp and clean?

Check for text that will get autolinked

ex-al.pngThe classic case is putting an email address or phone number, unlinked, on a nice dark background, then when it lands in someone's inbox, the email address link is blue, and you now have an accessibility issue. This can be a very simple one to solve, just link the text and style it appropriately. Sometimes you don't want that text linked, but you are really in a tricky situation and should probably just link the text so you don't have any issues. Addresses can be a tough one. Where do you link your agency's address to so it doesn't get autolinked and turn blue? You may consider linking it to a map of your location, or else just back to your contact page on your website.

Don't build tables with the Sections tool

ee.jpgIn govDelivery's Flexible Template Builder, you have a number of options when it comes to constructing your email with sections. Unfortunately, these sections are not a great way to build a table for your content, and it all comes down to how they perform on mobile devices. When a 3-column section hits your phone, for example, the left container will stack on top of the middle, which will stack on top of the right. So what may work quite well on a desktop email client will look pretty strange and a little disorienting on a phone. Consider using the table tool, or reorienting your content in a way which doesn't require tables.


I hope that these few examples have inspired you to look a little bit closer at your own emails next time before you hit send. (And of course, it never hurts to send a test bulletin!)


If you have questions, the Communicators Group is a great place to learn from your peers, and of course the Granicus team is here to help and support your efforts.


About the Author

Huck Tate is a govDelivery expert at Granicus, who spends much of his time helping Granicus customers design beautiful and effective email templates.

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