Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Why I Don't Send HTML Newsletters

You've got to wonder about marketers who send those horrible emails where everything is in 8-point type all jammed on the left side of the page and completely unreadable. I own a one-trick-pony software app called SmartWrap that is designed to strip out all the > characters and bad line breaks in multi-quoted e-mail--but it's also very useful for converting those scrunchy e-mails into something my 49-year-old eyes can handle. If only it supported the page-down key, I'd be all set.

As for my own newsletter prep: I do three monthly newsletters, all in plain text, none of them with pix. I could probably increase deliverability by posting the whole thing on a web page (we do archive them later, but only the main articles) and sending an email with a URL pointer--but I think the higher deliverability would be countered by the lower readership, especially as two of my newsletters target the frugality market and therefore can be expected to have higher-than-usual percentages on dialup.

When I was on dialup, pretty much the only outfit that got me to click to the web was; now that I'm on broadband, I'm considerably more willing. a recipient, I loathe HTML, find that in 98% of newsletters with graphics, the graphics are unnecessary--I keep them turned off, so for the most part, I don't even see the "pretty" pictures--and 3/4 of the time I do turn them on for a particular newsletter, I wonder why they bothered.

As for PDF as an attachment versus a webpage, I'd let it be the reader's choice. But I do remember that PDF downloads on the web were very annoying when I was on dialup--attachments were better, but only if they weren't too huge. If a lot of readers are on dialup, it's probably better to format a page in HTML and send a link. Or just post on a blog!

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Shel Horowitz is the award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books, and the creator of the Business Ethics Pledge to make crooked business as unthinkable in the future as slavery is today.


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