Why Your Ezine Looks So Awful

MarketingSherpa has a report on formatting your ezine for different email clients – I’m almost scared to read it.

Here’s a quick test we’d like you to try right this minute:
Step #1. Turn on one of the preview pane options in Outlook.
Step #2. Turn off (block) images. (here’s how)
Step #3. Pick an HTML email alert or newsletter in your inbox.
Step #4. See what it looks like in preview.
Step #5. Gasp in horror.

And my favorite part

Nearly all email users everywhere see about 350 pixels across.

I’m booting up Dreamweaver to make a new template.

9 thoughts on “Why Your Ezine Looks So Awful

  1. Steve Troutman

    You have some interesting stuff going on. Hope all is well with you.
    Your new newsletter format looks good on my Lotus Notes mail, although the header fonts are a little larger than necessary (Default Serif 24 font is what I see)

  2. Andy Wibbels

    Yeah I like the old one better too but unfortunately I do lots of fun graphics stuff that doesn’t seem to play nice with Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo Mail. 🙁
    I’ll bring headline font size down for next time.
    Thanks you everyone for your feedback so far…

  3. Terri Z

    One thing I noticed as I read this study more carefully, is that the folks surveyed were “marketing professionals from companies of all sizes” — meaning not solo entrepreneurs or even small business owners. I wonder if a survey of the latter would show a different breakdown of users that block images, etc.

  4. Andy Wibbels

    I’m betting so since more people outside large companies would be more likely to not be using Outlook (which often a company will deploy with certain defaults turned on).

  5. Tom Gray

    Andy – It looks horrible. The creativity you used in your design is one of the reasons I read your stuff. Now it looks like your pissed and yelling at me. Go back, please! Seriously, you don’t have to sacrifice design on the altar of normative statistical crap. You CAN have your DESIGN cake and EAT it too! I’m not saying you won’t benefit from a redesign, just don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
    Yeah, I use the preview pane and images are automatically blocked but if I know who it’s from and the subject line intrigues me like “AOL Screws Up Big Time” or “Andy Wibbels is Bill Gates Love Child” then I’ll turn the images on and go at it.
    To paraphrase Bill Clinton, “It’s the content, stupid!”
    If you do decide to keep the Ugly template then at least downsize the headlines and use a sans serif font. But please, fire up DW again and take another stab.
    Thanks for listening, I feel so much better now…


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