When you ask a rich media email provider (one that sends emails with audio, Flash or other streaming video), "will it work in my lists' email inboxes?" they always say, "Oh yes!!!" Thing is, that's not always true. One Sherpa subscriber told me last week that he did a $10,000 test campaign with a well-known company that promised that 80% of recipients would be able to see the rich media properly. Results showed that only about 20% of recipients were capable of seeing it. (These numbers are not click through or open rates -- just capabilities.)
He suggests that if you are planning to test a rich media campaign, instead of spending the money on the test, first set up your own test email boxes at AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, plus one using MSN Outlook and one using Eudora, and then ask the provider to send sample emails using their technology to you at each of these boxes. Plus if you are sending B2B, also get a test at a box using Lotus Notes for email (you may need a pal at a company that uses that system to agree to tell you if it worked.)
Also note: yes, you can add a line at the top of an email saying words to the effect of :"If you can't see this email properly, please click here for the online version" ... however bear in mind, hardly anyone ever clicks through. They just hit delete and move to the next email. (Maybe copywriting that line so it has a strong offer -- click here for $100 discount coupon -- would help a bit.)
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