Email Stationery and Email Templates – EXPOSED!

Okay, you have now crossed paths with email stationery, whether it was at your inbox or somewhere else on the Web. The concept seems great, but you are asking yourself this: why isn’t email stationary everywhere? Shouldn’t it be as mainstream as traditional paper stationery is, in business? How can companies still be sending emails with little or no branding on them, when their paper communications all look so good? The fact is, email in general, has long since dominated human communication…in business or anywhere else. So how is it that it took this long for me to even witness email stationary then?

The answer is, well…technical. And I like to call it the “Double D”; which stands for Deliverability and Display: If you’re considering using email stationery or email letterhead for yourself, be sure to consider this:

1. Deliverability (before all else). It might look great, but does it work great? This is probably the single most important factor in all things email stationery:

Will the use of email stationery cause your emails to start going to people’s junk mail folders? Or even worse, not get delivered at all? As priority #1, you need to know if the graphics are embedded, or non-embedded. If they are embedded, as most email stationary / letterhead products are…don’t walk away from it, RUN! Embedded graphics greatly increase the file size of your email (by as much as 1000%), and will get rejected by most spam filters today. I have seen branded emails that were a ridiculous 100KB and more in file size….with honest senders left wondering why their emails never arrived/got delivered at all. A good email branding system, such as Fabusend.com, will only utilize non-embedded graphics, in addition to other techniques – such as image optimization and compression. This ensures proper deliverability, by keeping the branding very light in weight (more like 5KB…same as a plain text email). On top of correct deliverability, this also means your branded emails will also open up quickly for your recipients.

2. Display. Is it Email Letterhead, or is it Email Stationery? What’s the difference?

Truth is, you should only consider email letterhead. Most, if not all email stationery is exactly that: stationery, which includes a header with sides and a bottom, known as the footer. The problem with having sides and a footer is that they “frame” your email/message…and frames “break”. In many instances, the frame will actually break in email threads (replies and forwards), making the stationery (and you) look amateur and un professional. This is also true with email templates. You can only imagine what would happen when someone replies to your special framed email stationery/template, with sentences that are wider than your side frames….yikes!

There is also something known as “nesting”, which happens in a branded to branded environment (where both parties have email stationery). The first framed email stationary will continually “swallow” the other, getting bigger and bigger, and looking sillier and sillier, until finally it breaks (okay: snaps!). I repeat: Yikes! Fortunately, nesting never happens with a well designed email letterhead as there are simply no sides or bottom to break in the first place.

A final note of caution is that framed email stationery and templates will also negatively affect your character/word wrap. What I mean by this is when you type a sentence and hit your carriage return key (Enter tab on your keyboard), weird things start happening. All of sudden, your text is not exactly as you just typed it. Paragraphs and line breaks can start looking incorrect. People receive something that looks much different than you had thought you sent… that’s because the side frames of the email stationery are having to “auto-fit” all of your written text to accommodate their width limitations. Again, not good.

This is why you should only use email letterhead for branding your emails. And Fabusend.com is a great example. They call their product “Smart Letterhead”, as it has several other features, such as built-in email tracking, and “Live Links” -which generate free website traffic for you. It is a top-floating, “unbreakable” letterhead, with no sides and no footer, thus eliminating all the associated display problems. Basically, it easily achieves the branding purposes of your email letterhead, without any of the otherwise inherent problems.