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Aug 07, 2003
Blog Post

Switching from text-only to HTML: Ouch

SUMMARY: No summary available.
By Managing Editor Anne Holland

Having published hundreds of articles about HTML email, I have to admit that I had *no idea* how hard doing it ourselves would be.

The design was the fun part.

First I picked a simple color palatte because it would help our brand stand out in a colorful marketplace.

Plus, fewer colors means "high value" at a gut level to many businesspeople. (Think about it, no-cost or low-cost trade magazines are colorful while valuable research reports are often black and white.)

Next I trolled the Web looking for design ideas to steal. My faves:'s newsletter, Barry Parr's blog, and the interior pages of You guys rock.

After hours of tweaking with our Web designer Ryan Manville, I handed the HTML layout over to our email broadcast vendor.

Then the hard part began. Turns out great Web page design from style-sheet perspective is often too heavy for great email design. Oops. Also turns out folks using Compuserve or Netscape got a horrible-looking version of our HTML. Oops.

The good news is, SherpaStore sales are up roughly 70% since we made the switch last Friday. That will probably stabilize to a lot lower once people get over the novelty factor, but it's still a happy thing.

Next time I have to pound it into my head! Test much more prior to launch!
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