Email Best Practice?
I remember saying the phrase “NOT!” quite a bit back in the day, as in “I think that is so cool….NOT!!!”. When I think about saying that I cringe.
For folks who are email marketers hopefully some of the practices below become cringe-worthy in the near future. Below are some former email best practices but are no longer relevant. Make sure you’re not including these in your email marketing:
“View on a Mobile Device” Links
There is just no excuse for still having one of these. It made sense back when BlackBerrys ruled and had horrendous rendering of HTML email, but now it’s just a relic.
Forward to a Friend
Sharing is good. Sharing through email is good. But forward-to-a-friend links suck.
Do yourself a favor and nix the forward-to-a-friend link. No one uses it, and even if they do, it doesn’t work properly.
This arose mostly from a specific interpretation of CAN-SPAM, but it never was necessary. Don’t make your subscribers jump through hoops and enter usernames and passwords to unsubscribe – that would be a CAN-SPAM violation and just plain annoying – but don’t do one-click. Your unsubscribe link should take people to a landing page that lets them know that they’re about to unsubscribe, which address will be unsubscribed, and what any consequences of doing so are. Then, have them confirm that this was their intention.
Why do this? Because users often don’t pay attention and may accidentally unsubscribe. They may also just be trying to find your profile management page. Also, there are bots and other systems that may follow all the links in an email, thereby unsubscribing people.
Don’t Use CSS
Yes, CSS in email can be tricky. Outlook’s HTML processing is exceptionally poor and webmail systems are extremely capricious about which CSS features they support and which they ignore.
But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. CSS is important and you can create cross-platform email messages that use CSS to great effect. Responsive design requires the use of CSS!