Do forms work in HTML emails?

Last week I received some emails with submission forms embedded in them.  This is definitely not a best practice to follow and has been very well written in this (old but still relevant) post at Campaign Monitor.

Forms can have JavaScript for validation and will redirect readers to another website URL.  Not all email clients enable JavaScript and many don’t even display the form correctly.  Most readers will receive a warning message during the redirection.  Effectively your chances of fulfilling the objectives of your campaign are far lower with a submission form.

Here is an offer from Mint newspaper to the readers of Value Research Online.

Email Marketing in India - Forms in Email

Both the brands complement each other well and hence one can understand the temptation to use a subscription form to get some readers of Value Research to subscribe to the Mint issue.  The campaign “end of doubts” seems to be key for Mint Money with a separate website for this purpose.  However I feel that with this short email the opportunity to introduce Mint was lost.  Remember these may be new visitors to the Mint website. Mint has a lot to offer.   This was an opportunity to showcase the richness of Mint’s content; show how similar readers are asking questions and getting answers and play on the whole “end of doubts” theme.  A better approach might have been to engage the reader by showing what questions people are asking and then having a call to action asking for the reader’s top investment question.  Another call to action could have been to refer their friends (possibly for some extra discount).

Email Marketing is a dialog you build over a period of time. You get to show your best attire, your personality, your wisdom bit by bit to various readers. Not all of them my convert but at least you will leave behind a good recall.  Use Email Marketing via your partners to build traffic and recall value. Remember these may be new visitors to your site.  Reserve your efforts towards direct sales to your engaged readers.

While the offer is indeed very good, asking the readers of another magazine to straight away sign up for your paper via an email form is a bit like asking a girl to marry you in the very first meeting. The girl will most probably want to know much more about you before making up her mind.


One Comment on “Do forms work in HTML emails?”

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