Last week Adam Holden-Bache showed how analysis can greatly improve email marketing results. Rendering also has a great effect on an email campaign. We've all been reading a great deal about email rendering these days and the direct impact this issue has on a mailer's brand, delivery, reputation and performance. Press can be great because it raises awareness and educates folks on how to identify and solve problems they may not have even realized were there. However, as so often happens with the issue "du jour," good information is often paired with bad, as everyone jumps on the bandwagon to capitalize on the latest hot topic.
Below is a list, in no particular order, of some of the questions we've recently received from confused mailers on the topic du jour. How would you answer these questions? At the end we include a link to our answers, where we've done our best to help clarify this important issue.
1. I already get a test message from my [designer/agency/esp/design-software] and review it before I mail. I don't understand what all the hoopla is about -- isn't what I see what my customers will see?
2. Doesn't my [Agency, Designer, ESP] already QA my email in the various email readers for me?
3. Are images "off" by default in every email reader/client?
4. I was told using Goodmail turns my images on everywhere. Is this true?
5. Some third-party companies offer you the ability to get "white listed" and thus say the images render. Is this true?
6. Do I have to pay somebody in order to view what my email looks like in the various email readers?
7. If images are off, doesn't the text version of my email show?
8. If images are off, do ALT-TAGs always show?
9. Our email design software already has a built-in HTML Validator. Isn't this good enough?
10. Why all the hoopla about the preview pane -- is it important?
11. Does my design affect my delivery, reputation, and/or ROI?