How to make your bulk emails unreadable

You have to wonder if companies ever test how their marketing emails look or behave in the real world. I use Outlook 2013 and Thunderbird (Mozilla). Now I know Outlook is notorious for not being standards compliant. But, it IS still the #1 desktop email program in use today.

Yet, in the quest to create bigger, badder, more graphic-y emails, much of what I get these days isn’t even viewable. It’s like someone did a cut and paste from some CSS heavy code generator like Dreamweaver. Hell even if they’d used Word for HTML, the results would at least be viewable.

I’ve looked at the source on these abominations and there’s often only two lines of real text and info surrounded by tracking links and graphic links that are 5 miles long. Even a simple “Unsubscribe” link from the most recent offender of unreadable emails (, was something like 300 characters long.

Sadly, Twitter, Pinterest and others have fallen into the trap. Maybe they assume people only read their mails in IOS or with Word as their HTML renderer? And half of them don’t even show up for me correctly on my Android phone using the default Gmail app or K9.

Does anyone actually want their corporate to user communications read? Some words of advice — always preview your corporate emails on other platforms and email programs. Don’t assume that because your bulk mail platform (whether in-house or something like MailChimp or Constant Contact) is doing what you want. All the tracking data and graphics in the world are worthless if the customer unsubcribes or never opens it.

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