HootSuite Inspires New Users to Get Tweeting (with Email!)

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I signed up for HootSuite a few weeks ago, but haven’t had time to try it out yet. As a result, HootSuite has been sending me a series of emails (about 1 email a week) to encourage me to use their services. While they’ve all had helpful content and sleek design, one in particular caught my attention with its great subject line, content & simple imagery.


The first thing I noticed about the email was (obviously) its from name, subject line, and preheader. The “from name” is the field that appears first in most email clients. It tells recipients who sent the message, so it should be recognizable and trustworthy to external audiences. HootSuite’s “from name” is simple — it’s “HootSuite.” What’s more recognizable than that?

I also really enjoyed the subject line of this email, “We Miss You at the HootSuite Nest.” Since the HootSuite logo is an owl, I really liked their referral to a nest in the subject line — it was a cute touch!

The preheader of this email was an added bonus — “It appears you haven’t been around the nest much. Is there anything we can do to get you started?” Since some email clients (Gmail, Outlook, iPhone, Windows Mobile 7) will display a portion of your preheader text as “preview” or “snippet” text, it’s important to use these few lines of text to your advantage and HootSuite definitely does this successfully. The preheader sums up the content of the email: addressing the fact that I haven’t been using HootSuite & offering their assistance.

However, they didn’t get it all right. The reply-to address — no-reply@hootsuite.com — is an extreme negative in my opinion. It appears unfriendly, uncaring and definitely doesn’t encourage customers to interact and respond back to the email. HootSuite is offering their assistance to help me, but yet their reply-to address doesn’t convey this sentiment at all.


I was impressed with the email’s content and simplicity. As we’ve stated in so many of our blog posts, relevant content is key to getting your subscriber’s attention and, since this email serves as a helpful guide on how to get started with HootSuite (a service that I had just signed up for), the content is definitely relevant to subscribers. HootSuite only includes pertinent information about how to add a social network profile in HootSuite and offering their assistance if their subscribers have any questions. The information they provide in the email and the help article they push users to are both extremely helpful and informative. The direct, helpful content in this email is definitely a positive!

I also really enjoy the simplicity of the imagery in this email. The only images in the email are the Hootsuite logo, an image of an “empty nest” (ha!), an image of the process of adding a social network profile, and 3 small icons at the bottom that point subscribers to different places that they can find help. The simple imagery goes well with the direct content of the email, so it flows very nicely.

Prevent Unwanted Blue Borders On Linked Images

In a handful of email clients, such as Gmail (Explorer), a blue border appears around the linked images in the email.

This is a result of HootSuite not specifying a border of zero or none in their code. As Justine explains in her post, “Prevent Borders on Linked Images,” you can prevent this easily by using either HTML or CSS. If using the HTML method, you’ll want to set the “border” element of all your images to “0”. If you prefer the CSS fix, set the property “border-style” to a value of “none”.


<img src=”image.jpg” border=”0″>


<img src=”image.jpg” style=”border-style: none;”>

It’s important to note that images without links aren’t affected by this email client quirk, so if the images aren’t linked then there won’t be an issue! However, Justine recommends always including a border declaration in case a link is added at some point in the future.


While it’s nice that HootSuite uses personalization in their email by including my name, I was a little turned off by the fact that it wasn’t properly capitalized. Granted, I know that it’s a result of me not capitalizing my name when signing up (oops!), but HootSuite could have worked around this. Some ESPs allow you to normalize data on-the-fly to fix common personalization issues like mixed capitalization. Alternatively, they could do periodic passes on their user data to normalize entries and be sure all first names have the proper capitalization.


Do you have an email that you’d like us to feature in our inspiration series? Send it to us at inspiration@litmus.com!