Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 08.51.26

Every email marketing professional has a code of best practice to work from, a set of rules and basic guidelines that apply to most campaigns. However, while some of these form the backbone of functional, professional marketing emails and are absolutely essential, you should never be afraid to question those that don’t really make sense anymore.

One of these is the ‘view in browser’ link that is included in pretty much all e-blasts and newsletters, but that marketers have recently began to question the need for. It is under scrutiny due to its position amongst the ‘prime real estate’ at the very top of an email – where the eye is drawn first and where marketers commonly put their call to action or their most compelling and important marketing message. Is it a waste to put this link in this space, leaving less room for valuable content, when it isn’t even used very much?

When designing your next email marketing campaign, here are few points to think about in relation to this:

Do the numbers – how many people use the link?

Until you can see how many of your subscribers actually use the view in browser link, you can’t make an informed decision whether to scrap it or not. If practically no one uses it, you can be satisfied that the link is pretty much redundant and needs to go in order to free up some valuable space.

Is using the link actually a sign of engagement?

If you take a look at the numbers and see that quite a few people are making the effort to click through to a web version of your email, it’s actually a good sign – they want to read your content, so you can definitely read something positive in this.

It could be seen as an insurance policy

We haven’t quite reached the point where just one email client is ubiquitous. In fact, there are quite a number of different clients, platforms and apps people can use to access their emails, and not all will be compatible with your content. Images may be slow to load, amongst other problems. Would you prefer subscribers not to have any access to your content, simply for the sake of saving a little space where the link would go? Another thing to consider, however, is how it looks to subscribers that your email isn’t displaying properly – does it reflect badly on your brand having this ‘just in case’ link there?

Mobile users may want to see the full content

Mobile internet users are never happy. While some complain that emails are not optimised for their devices and smaller screens, others are disgruntled at not getting access to the full email content or web page – they end up with a simplified, stripped-back ‘mobile version’. Including a view in browser link gives them the chance to access the full content, to view high quality images and spend time over content on a long commute, for example.