HTML Emails: Ugh!

Our Communications Coordinator has just gone on leave at work and whilst she’s away I’ve assumed responsibility for the research newsletter. We’re not talking some massive broadcast here, it could be much bigger, but they really don’t push distribution as they should. Currently it’s run on this bullshit old listserv, talk about hello 1990s. Finally, I have managed to wrangle the manager into letting me move them to the modern era of email campaigns and tracking user interactions.

One of our other team members uses MailChimp to send broadcasts to businesses about events, so I thought I’d also investigate despite having previously used Campaign Monitor. Like CM it was a simple interface and ended up being simple to establish my desired template, import our existing user list and begin next week’s newsletter. That’s where my being impressed ended, as I was entering the newsletter I noticed it was not so nice with handling the formatting, I was forced to double-return to separate paragraphs – WTF!? It turns out that MailChimp was not using paragraph tags on the content, instead it was just separating each with break tags, queue my horror.

I convinced the manager to look at Campaign Monitor, I prefer this product anyway having used it for several years, and I knew it most certainly did not have lazy formatting. Tonight I setup the same template and tomorrow will import the list. The beauty of CM was it offered additional font choices not available on MailChimp, the choices were visually more preferable for our newsletter. I think CM also handled the whole Desktop / Mobile / Tablet scaling better than did MailChimp, I could be wrong and maybe it was just Outlook.com web client not scaling imagery, I am not sure.

I look forward to our first campaign going out on Monday and being able to provide the managers statistics from the first week so they can see interactions by users, and how many of our user base are interacting with us, something we have never known. The statistics may help them to better target those things they provide and perhaps eliminate items in time that perform poorly.

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