Did you know that email comes in two main formats – plain text and HTML? You may not be aware as almost any email in your inbox from an online retailer, social media website, or service is the HTML (or Hyper Text Markup Language) version as it is the standard for branding and professional communications.
Visually, the emails simply look better and provide many more options that plain text including wording, color, or design options. Hubspot has a great overview available including best practices for HTML email and there many options for creating such and emails such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and more. However, most email generated from library ILS systems are plain text meaning custom HTML versions are not possible. Why be limited by your systems?
Advantages of HTML Email
HTML emails look just like a webpage, because they are! They use the same programming language, so they have the same look and feel, and can add a brand-new facet to your ILS notification emails.
Embedded links help tracking
HTML makes it simple to link to clickable images, buttons, icons, and text in emails and generate tracking statistics.
Higher open rate
The more attractive and inviting HTML format leads to more recipients acting on their emails- whether it is clicking links, returning library materials, or visiting your branch.
Examples for Public Libraries
Below are two versions of a hold email and you can see that the HTML version mirrors much of what you see in your inbox daily vs. a plain text version:
Hold notice Plain Text Sample
Hold notice HTML Sample
As you can see, Standard ILS-generated transaction emails are a tired, outdated, and poorly formatted method of communication that leave your patrons uninformed and confused. Fortunately, MessageBee from Unique Library empowers your library to have the best of both – ILS automation AND fully customized, attractive email communication.
MessageBee HTML Email for Libraries
MessageBee uses HTML to transform useful yet bland transaction emails into attractive communications that are fully customizable with your logo, photos, book covers, fonts, and social media links. The MessageBee process works to get data from the ILS and send in the format and design created by your library. With the convenient MessageBee dashboard giving you total control of the process, libraries can track clicks, schedule and management marketing inserts and update verbiage all in real time – no additional IT time or support required.
In addition to the transaction ILS emails, MessageBee allows for list-based communications to library patrons. Libraries can create and schedule campaigns such as newsletters, welcome emails journeys, birthdays all within a single interface turning your library into a patron engagement magnet.