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CRM Email Templates

Submitted by Kate on November 23, 2010 - 1:52pm

Progress Out of Poverty wanted to have a new email template with which to email their supporters. They use a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) called Convio to process donations, organize donation databases, and maintain their supporter information. CRMs are extremely useful for nonprofits and businesses alike, as they keep everything nicely organized in one place.

To design an email template in Convio, we used an example email that Progress liked to build an HTML document with embedded images, links, and content. We then broke it up into pieces: the header and footer, which became the "Stationery" in Convio; and the text and inline images, which became the email content. The stationery is not likely to change very much from email to email, but the content of each email certainly will, so we want to make sure that the text and images in the content are easy for the Progress staff to edit.

Designing an email for a CRM is fairly simple with some HTML and CSS know-how, but making sure that all email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc) display the email in the same way is a bit trickier. For this, we use Email on Acid and Litmus, which test the code of an email in all major email clients. They even check mobile email and iPads to make everything look right.

The benefit of using Email on Acid is that it tells you exactly what is wrong with your code and gives suggestions on how to fix it for each client. Litmus is fine, but it does not give quite as much information.

After a few tests, we have the stationery that is ready to be uploaded and content that is ready to be sent to Progress for editing. If they need any help, such as HTML or Convio training, we'll be glad to help!