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MailChimp: Spammy email design whoopsies

Ben Chestnut over at MailChimp posted something quite interesting yesterday on some research they conducted on campaigns being sent through their systems: they used Amazon’s Mechanical Turk for review of certain email messages by humans to see whether they’d consider it spam or not. The interesting part of the research is that some email template designs were considered spam while they certainly were just not that.

In total, some 7000 email campaigns were reviewed and the review process was designed in such a way that people couldn’t judge too fast whether something seemed spam or not. What was so interesting about the results? This:

  • Some emails were considered spam because of design / render mishaps
  • Hard blue colored fonts for weblinks and ‘basic’ gfx in logos
  • Too basic all text designs (in HTML) without borders or colors
  • Website urls in message text shortened with services like bit.ly

These are all avoidable email design mistakes, or at least it’s possible to make the quality of the messages that much better that they will not be considered spam by people. Read the full post on the MailChimp blog.

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