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Finding a Designer-Friendly Platform for Enewsletters

Posted on | February 8, 2010 | No Comments

blue tomato®, a seven-year-old Pittsburgh-based graphic design firm, is the brainchild of Kim Collins, whose work is known for its sophisticated creativity and functionality.  While blue tomato’s work covers the full gamut of design projects, the bulk of its work is Internet-based, including solutions that help companies maintain ongoing and direct touch with their customers through the Web. 

“We work with idea makers, entrepreneurs, and start-ups – businesses like NeuroInterventions and Carmell Therapeutics. We love working with innovative clients,” says Collins.

Email as Effective Marketing Tool

Collins often designs emails for her clients and herself.  Collins regularly puts out Tomato Sauce – a custom-designed newsletter built on the Ennect Mail platform. The enewsletter keeps contacts abreast of blue tomato developments and is a regular reminder of the creative work they do. 

“It’s been a very effective tool for blue tomato,” says Collins. “I usually include an article from a recent press release and showcase a client project we are working on. We send it out to our house list of customers and prospects which we’ve built over time.”

Last month’s enewsletter focused on the South Side Pittsburgh Tree Project – a local community effort to spruce up the neighborhood by planting trees. To increase reader interest, the email included a YouTube video that showed off the volunteers’ efforts.

“As a design shop, we have the capabilities to do custom built designs for the newsletters. We’ve tried using other email programs for this.  A client once asked us to send out their emails using another vendor’s product, because they knew the name.  We tried doing a custom-build in that product and it was a nightmare. It took so long. It never worked right,” says Collins.

Designing Special Email Greetings

“We didn’t create a special holiday email greeting to send out this year, but we’re definitely going to do one next year. For one thing, it’s greener than sending out holiday cards by regular mail,” says Collins who thinks sending custom-designed holiday emails is going to become more and more popular for companies in coming years. “I received lots of Christmas cards and only a few emails this year, but I think holiday emails are going to be a bigger thing next year,” she says.

In fact, blue tomato has been creating holiday “ecards” on the Ennect Email platform for clients, like Vertical Claims Management, for five or six years. “The nice thing about it is that once an ecard is created, we can send it out right away – even if it’s last minute,” says Collins.

Collins is also the current president of a local networking group, called BNI RainMakers, for which she sends out email announcements to networking breakfasts. “In the invitation I ask them to text me ‘Rainmaker’ if they are able to attend. This is an easy and effective way for me to take a head count. I do this for all of the parties and events I throw now.”

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