Emails are integrated into our lives – they are often checked multiple times throughout the day. It is important to learn about why and how emails are an effective source of communication from your dealership to customers and potential customers! With proper coding emails will be easy to view, links should direct viewers to appropriate sources, and supply data to your dealership on what content is interesting to your viewers.
The Foundation of Building an HTML
All emails start with coding behind them, it’s the foundational structure of an email. Email creative is put together to show what the completed email will look like when launched. Once the creative is approved by the dealership the process begins to build the HTML. The creative is broken down into individual slices, each slice will then be labeled and exported through Adobe Photoshop. These slices are our “building blocks” for when we build the HTML to the original format from the approved creative. Labeling is a critical step for later when we are building the HTML file. If the slice names are long and confusing it will be harder to remember what you named them, and the slices won’t load properly in the HTML file. When naming slices, it is also important that there are no spaces and that the labels are sensitive to capitalization, this will cause an error later when building the file. This can always be adjusted later, but it is better to get into a routine from the beginning to ensure there’s a system in place to save troubleshooting in the future.
Once the slices are exported, they are then saved on a server host that holds all the images there. Adobe Dreamweaver is then opened and where the actual HTML coding process begins. Within the HTML file, it will be coded directly to pull the image slices from the server using the names that were previously labeled and placed into the HTML file into tables. Tables act like a group within the HTML file that keep the slices together, whether they are stacked on top of one another or side by side. This is an important step because if coded wrong the slices will show disorganized and not laying properly in an even column when a viewer scrolls down an email. Side-by-side slices always must be within their own table separate from slices stacked on top of one another.
When a viewer gets an email and they click on an image in an email, it typically brings them to a website. This is the next step in building an HTML. Once the slice is pulled from the server it gets attributes added to it. It will be coded in the HTML directly so that when a viewer clicks this one individual slice it will link to a URL, phone call, or email when applicable. Each slice will also get a UTM code, this code is highly useful for tracking the email. UTM codes show who is the sender, what type of email list the email is being sent to, and what email went out. Once an email is sent out this data will help show how many people opened what email and how many clicks each slice receives. This becomes useful data to evaluate the launched email and what seems to be drawing the most traffic to your dealership’s website. If the UTM code isn’t managed properly the data will be funneled wrong and will no longer be accurate. While this is certainly a lot of work, an individual or automotive marketing agency like Digital to Dealer Direct, who are properly trained in coding can get this done for you!
Get The Most Out of Emails
Building an HTML file has many steps and if not done accurately it won’t be successful to meet your dealership’s goals. Proper HTML formats and processes help an email look functional as well as provide useful data for your dealership. Take advantage of technology and spread your dealership’s specials through emails to all your current customers as well as protentional customers. D2D can manage everything from email campaigns, database marketing, BDC support and so much more. If you need help making sure your dealership emails stand out above the rest, contact us today!