You've probably heard that all of the cool kids: Windows Live (Hotmail), AIM Mail (AOL), Yahoo! Mail (Yahoo!), and Gmail are turning off images by default. To avoid a costly detour by this potential roadblock you could include the old standby "If you are having trouble viewing.." message in your emails. However, does this messaging really help your bottom line? As a consumer, I bet you don't even see those words anymore. You've subconsciously trained yourself to read right over it at the speed of light. Some phrases - like the ones in my Gmail inbox have become so overused that eventually, they go overlooked and "unread," wasting valuable email real estate. I see the words: problems, trouble, online, web version, click here, viewing, and email being used too often in ineffective ways, such as:
  1. If you are having trouble viewing this email, view it online.
  2. Problems viewing this email? Click here to view a web version.
  3. If you are having trouble viewing this email, click here.
  4. Problems viewing this email? Click Here.
If you think you're a culprit, instead of restating the obvious, I challenge the you to be like Apple of the late 1990's and "Think Different." What would happen if you put a "call-to-action" as your first line in addition to the online version (gasp). Dare to be different...add some spice! For example...
  1. View our entire collection now or the simply check out the online version
  2. What are you waiting for? View all offers now.
  3. Short on time? Go straight to the source.
As we always stress at Bronto: Test, Test, and then Test again. You may be surprised at the results. Just beware, after making this change your next problem maybe your subscribers are too busy buying a featured product than reading your message! Not a bad problem to have...

DJ Waldow
Account Manager at Bronto