Study: HTML E-Mail Has Hidden Danger
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E-mail marketing company Silverpop Systems announced the preliminary results of a study that found the most popular e-mail programs did a poor job handling HTML e-mails, possibly presenting a roadblock to a fast-growing segment of the e-mail marketing industry.
The Atlanta-based company's study, which viewed 700 HTML marketing messages in nine of the most popular e-mail programs, found that 42 percent of the messages were rendered improperly, with 13 percent being unreadable or containing "extremely disruptive errors."
"Many e-mail marketers we work with are not aware of the challenges and opportunities around HTML e-mails," said Bill Nussey, Silverpop's chief executive.
The biggest problems arose in the business e-mail program Lotus Notes 5.0 and AOL's versions 4.0 and 5.0. In these two programs, which represent a combined 77.5 million users, nine out of ten HTML e-mails contained disruptive errors.
With a much higher success rates than text e-mails, HTML marketing messages have been growing swiftly, both overall and as a percentage of the e-mail marketing industry.
According to Jupiter Research, which is owned by IAR parent company Jupitermedia, HTML-formatted messages will make up 42 percent of all e-mail marketing messages this year, an increase from 31 percent last year. By 2007, Jupiter forecasts HTML messages will make up 59 percent of e-mail marketing.
The new version of Microsoft's popular Outlook e-mail program has e-marketers concerned, because it ends the process of previewing HTML e-mails, in the hopes of cutting down on a popular method used by spammers to verify e-mail addresses. Many industry watchers predict the move will drive down the open rates e-mail marketers report to their clients.
Silverpop plans to release the full report next week, at the online advertising industry's @d:tech conference.