[thelist] reasonable expectations for email delivery of HTML

Tim Palac tymartist at gmail.com
Wed Nov 7 13:50:39 CST 2007


Honestly, I'm going to say that based on Usability studies I've seen, people
respond better when emails are geared differently than websites.  For
instance, let's say you go to the home page of a website, and you've got
tons of things in your viewport - banner, navigation, content, footer, etc.
It's very general, and even the specific pages on the website are prepared
with the intention of getting you to other places on the site.

In email, you are generally going for a very specific message - maybe it's a
sale, special offer, member update, or whatever.  The point is, you want
them focusing on the message, and not the pretty graphics.  I'd say graphics
are only useful in making the message have more impact - for instance, a
header graphic will get them to the message better (I read that a while back
on MarketingSherpa), but once they're in the message you don't want them
distracted by other website elements.

The only emails that look more website-like are the monthly newsletters like
we have at my company - even then, I limit the content to a single column,
since the more columnar you get, the less likely people are going to focus
on something.  I did see a good example today of a two-column email, however
- the main content had a yellow gradient background, and the right side was
a black background with white text.  It's a whole different ballgame.

So no, I think if anything things should be headed in the other direction -
email is for messages, and too complex messages will most likely end up in
spam anyway!

On a technical sidenote, it's difficult to duplicate a website in an email
because it's recommended that you go no wider than 500 pixels with an email,
whereas most websites are 700px.  Also, there's a lot of CSS issues, so it'd
pretty much be like redeveloping a website for a new platform!

Just some thoughts :)

IM: TymArtist

I will take a look at the article.  Maybe I miscommunicated the thought,
> though.  I am not asking about opt-in/opt-out.  This works fine.  I have
> a joomla-based site (although this is not really the issue), this one
> based upon tables (ouch - not by choice).  It includes fairly simple
> hover-enhanced navigation with a number of pics, including some linking
> to the shopping cart.
> When I use dadamail to send out an html copy of the site/page to
> subscribers (me at this time) it is displaying surprisingly well to me
> in both Outlook and Thunderbird, but not well at all for my customer.
> In my mind it is possibly due to his monitor or perhaps some
> customizations to Outlook.
> What I am asking, "Are we at the stage where a customer should expect
> that we can deliver/mimic his/her website in the body of an email
> message?"  To me it 'feels' like this is a different ballgame, adds a
> new set of variables, time/effort to be included in the basic package?
> Seems more like the 'platinum' version with 'platinum' testing/time.
> -Bob
> --
> Bob Meetin
> dotted i - Internet Strategies & Solutions
> www.dottedi.biz
> 303-926-0167
> --
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