Bad design drives unsubscribes?
More tears were shed in 2007 over rendering problems than perhaps any other email marketing issue. Outlook 2007 broke some designer hearts and much ink has gone into suggesting ways to ensure your design works well wherever people look at it.
Not much actually gets said, though, about the consequences of emails that look ugly in particular clients or webmail services.
We kind of assume it hurts response rates, but is the reaction more extreme than just a missed click?
Buried deep within a small survey by StoneShot of the email habits of independent financial advisers (see press release) is this little gem…
When asked “What would cause you to unsubscribe from an email?”, 73% said irrelevant content. (Another vote for relevancy and targeting there). But 8% said “Email does not display properly.“
Leaving aside the statistical significance of that result, it’s certainly a warning to those (ahem…like me) who thought a few ugly emails can’t do too much harm.
Email has this nasty habit of inviting negative responses rather than just an absence of positive ones. A critical point.
Write a bad newspaper ad, people ignore it. Write a bad email, people report you as spam or unsubscribe from all future emails from you. Nobody can unsubscribe from your newspaper ads.
Just another reason to keep on chasing those best practices.
Talking of design and best practices…a couple of new links to help…
Mark Wyner tested various clients and webmail services to see how they handled image maps. Here are the results.
And Anna Billstrom has added another example to her one-woman crusade to bring home the importance of image blocking to email design.