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Janet Roberts

Confirm Notice Helps Solve Format Errors
By Janet Roberts

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One of the givens in email publishing is that some of your recipients won't be able to read your HTML emails because their clients don't support it.

A recent study by email-marketing consultant Silverpop outlined just how pervasive the problem is, especially in email marketing.

You can head the problem off at the pass right in your confirmation notice. I found a good one from the friendly people at Lands' End, the catalog retailer, which does a lot of things right in online marketing. [More].

The notice arrives in HTML, which some would criticize, but it serves the purpose here. This is the message body:

"Thanks for subscribing to the Lands' End Newsletter.

"The Lands' End Newsletter is designed to display in your email reader as a full-color, graphics-enhanced HTML document. Unfortunately, not every browser and email reader combination can display HTML properly.

"So here's a test: if you see a full-color Lands' End label above, your email reader is compatible with HTML. Life is good and you don't need to read any further.

"If, however, you don't see the label, you will need to request a text-only version of the newsletter by visiting this link.

"Make sure you specify text-only. When you submit your info, your existing subscription will be automatically updated. The text-only version will display complete page links which can be copied-and- pasted into your browser window. Again, you only need to make this change if you DO NOT see a full-color graphic at the top of this message.

"Your friends at"

This should get the job done for a couple of reasons:

  1. Your users can see right away if their clients can't read HTML. They won't lose out on news or deals because graphics don't load or links are broken.
  2. They can solve the problem with one click, without having to resubscribe or re-enter their information. Granted, some might just not bother, but you always have a few of those on every list. Your most motivated customers -- the ones most likely to buy -- will make the switch.

More on the Silverpop HTML study...

Ezine-Tips for December 09, 2002

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