Ridiculous Use of Email Marketing

I receive an email every week or two (I’m not sure which because I delete them) from Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick. The show is focused on business in the Indianapolis Region. The show is pretty good and, in the past, the newsletters were really informative. However, someone decided over there that since they are predominantly a visual medium, that’s how they are going to send their emails now.

This is a ridiculous use of email. In email, a picture is NOT worth a thousand words. Email is a medium where the users expectation is to read, not watch. Here’s the key issues:

1. When the email comes in Outlook, there is nothing to read. The email is composed of an image. So… everytime I see it, I’m not sure if it’s spam or something I really wish to download.

Inside Edge

2. When you actually click to download the images, you still don’t know what the heck the email is about.

Inside Edge Content

I am willing to bet a Qdoba lunch with 2 folks at INside that if they changed the format of the email into a simple combination of text and images, they would increase their click-throughs by a minimum of 10%. Put each of the 6 videos down the email with a short description of what it’s about out to the right. If they are really up for it, I’d also put a link to the article or the video. My guess is that at least 10% more people will read the article then watch the video. In fact, I’ll bet a St. Elmo’s dinner for 2 on that! 4 Newsletters your way, 4 Newsletters my way and we’ll see who wins.

If any of my readers know Gerry Dick or anyone at INside Indiana Business, please let them know about this. It’s a ridiculous use of email. People scan emails quickly for content that they are interested in. There’s not enough time in the day to click and watch 30 seconds of a video to see if I’m interested in the topic. I’ve never watched one yet and won’t.

I’m not going to unsubscribe from this email… I’m simply waiting for their doomed format to die its inevitable death.


  1. 1

    Holy image overload. What is the motivation here? You mean I have to click on something to take me to another place where I could get asked to click on something again that takes me to a place that I am not sure I want to go to? Word to the wise, tell me what I am clicking on before I go there. You never know. I might actually be interrested.

    P.S. This looks great on my Treo… Not…

  2. 2

    You never know what happens next! Inside Indiana Business is now a client of ours! This weekend I finished writing up a best practice for them to improve their email readership and click-through rate by changing the format of their email. I’ve sent it along to their Account Manager. 🙂

  3. 3

    Hi, Doug.

    Great meeting you while you were at our show taping. And, it was great to
    learn about your reccomendations for improving our product. I stumbled accross
    this today while conducting a Goggle search and am anxious to hear your
    reccomendations you wrote and offered to Emily. We met with Bitwise Solutions
    yesterday to start discussions for improvement and think the timing is great
    to review your thoughts.

    Looking forward to working with you,
    Ryan Chelli

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