A Brief Overview of Need of a 'Plan B'
As Email Marketers and Email Designers, we have come across clients that have either:
1. Used a self-service tool and made an error in their campaign and sent it themselves.
2. Sent a full brief, went through several revision cycles, a full battery of testing and approval and the campaign has an offer error(ie the campaign says 20% off, when it should be $20 off).
A good way for a clever email designer to handle these issues is by using a 'plan b'.
What is 'Plan B'?
Plan B is, quite simply, a single pixel gif file hosted on your dedicated email marketing image host. This single pixel gif has many uses; including the ability to amend/change/send an alert to an already sent campaign.
To start, create the single pixel transparent gif file in the image editor of your choice, and name it whatever you wish to. In this example, I will be calling it 'planb.gif'.
Embedding Plan B into an email
Immediately after the open body tag and prior to the opening containing table, I put the code in place for Plan B.
<p style="text-align: center; margin: 0px; font-size: 0px; line-height: 0px;"> <img src="http://your.server.com/campaign_date_name/planb.gif" alt="Pre-Header Text Goes Here" border="0" /> </p>
This means, without a more elaborate php backend, you will have to manually create directories and save individual planb gif's for each campaign created. I am currently working on a php script to automate this process a bit more seamlessly, and will link it when it comes closer to completion.
Advantages of Plan B
Immediately, you can use the alt text of the Plan B image to put in the pre-header text of the email. Also, if a client ever has the 'oopsie' moment, you can then go onto your hosted image server, and swap the 1x1 pixel Plan B gif with an image of any dimension or size, with the amended message and/or correction required. This saves your client from having to send a whole 'correction' campaign.