Fire Engine Red (FER) is an online system for sending formatted emails for marketing to large groups of contacts. Users working with FER accounts can send emails, test them, make their own templates, upload and manage contact lists and track the results of email campaigns.
Email marketing rates
University unites who would like to have the Office of Web and New Media send a single message on their behalf can do so for a minimum charge of $50. Additional charges may apply based on the length of the contact list to be used.
Setting up an account for Fire Engine Red is free, but messages blocks must be purchased to use the service. The smallest block of messages available for purchase is 5000 emails for $75. Emails cost 1.5¢ and can be purchased in any amount above 5000. At amounts of 1,000,000 and above emails cost 1¢ a piece.
Training and support for FER
Free training is available to users who want to set up their own account for Fire Engine Red. Training takes 90 minutes and is done over the phone. To schedule training, email support team member Robert Fitzhugh at Robert@fire-engine-red.com.
For users looking to set up their own account and service with FER, be sure to include the name of the main contact for the account, a phone number where they can be reached, and the name of the department to use the service.
You can also contact help and schedule training by emailing Support@fire-engine-red.com. The address is monitored every day from 5am-10pm CST. If you have an issue needing immediate attention, prefix your email's title with "URGENT:" as it appears between quotations.
Creating your own materials for email marketing
University units who chose to create their own accounts are responsible for contact lists and content, but those who wish to use the service a single time through the Office of Web and New Media should still create their own materials ahead of time.
Contact lists should be created using Microsoft Excel, saved as either Excel or CSV files. FER will not accept xlsx files without being converted or saved in compatibility mode. Contact lists should be formatted clearly, with columns for all the available and pertinent information, including first name, last name, full name, email address, and so forth.
Content for messages should include both HTML and Plain-text version of the emails to be sent.
Special notes to consider:
Hyperlinks in the HTML version should not take the form of the address in the content. For example, if a user wanted to include a link to the Missouri State website, it should be formatted "Click here to visit the Missouri State website" rather than "Please visit http://missouristate.edu." This will prevent your message from being marked as spam by some filters.
Linked text should reference the absolute path rather than simply www.yourwebsite.com. Be sure to include "http://".
Templates for emails can be created by users with HTML experience. Web & New Media can also create custom templates for $300.