Ugly email in preview panes

MarketingSherpa talks about email today (only available through Aug 14, 2006):

SUMMARY

… if your readers use Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Mozilla Thunderbird (or a host of others), chances are your email templates need a redesign … as of yesterday. Why? Your email may look close to unreadable in more than 60% of their in-boxes.”

Aaahhh, those lovely html emails with beautiful images that don’t show up when images are blocked, or carefully layed out pages that don’t shrink to fit the preview pane. I can’t count the number I get from various advertisers of online products, office supplies, or software, that are like downloading a webpage that’s not set to fit in an email preview pane. Most of them just get boosted into the delete folder after they’re marked read.

The curious thing was that the email from Marketing Sherpa was set out in two columns – advertising and images on the left, and the content extending well past the right margin in my preview pane.

Hmm…well, it sounds like 74% of readers prefer their reading panes horizontal, under the message. I keep mine on vertical, on the right – 26% prefer that.

The article offers some help to deal with images and advertising. Worth a read if you get some time before the 14th.

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