Worst practice: scrollbars

A few days ago we received a new email in our inbox. As Valentine’s Day comes closer and closer lots op companies start sending promotional e-mails on great gifts. They all try to influence the reader with romantic messages, useful tips and emotional call to actions.

As we did some research about this email, we found out that a company offers very basic email templates, that you can use to send basic HTML emails with a standard layout.

The designers of this email have clearly done research on email marketing best practices, specifically on tips in email visibility. They have probably read a tip that your full message must be visible in one eye touch, but implemented this remark in a completely wrong way.

Correct, their header and footer are visible in most email clients without scrolling, but then they mess up.
Images are essential on a topic as gifts and presents, but never underestimate the power of the content text. Readers should have a general overview of what the email is about if they want to scan the email. In this email, designers saw it as an adventure to discover the message in the email. You have to scroll in the email itself, if you want to read the message!

Look at this email without downloading the pictures and without the scrolling. What do you see? ‘View the website’ or ‘send an email’. Why should I do that if I even don’t know what this is all about?
The scrolling makes it so inconvenient that we think you already lost your readers before they even start to feel the desire of reading the message.

Off course we overact a little bit, but presenting your message clear and simple is essential in such a fast consumable medium as email.


One Comment

  1. Posted January 30, 2008 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    lol, this is a nice example how is should NOT be done. Also funny to see how the email is a mix of English (header + the quote) and Dutch.

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