Where Apple went oops on Email Marketing

Apple has a big following of loyal customers and fans who are truly enthusiastic about almost every bit of little news they bring out. That’s impressive.

Their email marketing messages? Not so much. It even sucks, big-time. And that is strange for a company that normally scrutinizes every detail of their products.

Here is a dutch example of an Apple email marketing message, fresh from the inbox.

Why this Apple email isn’t up to par:

1. White on a light blue background makes it hard to read anything.

2. The main message and Call to Action (the button) are images, not visible with images off. Images off is standard for many email clients these days.

3. The email isn’t tested for proper rendering. In outlook the image of the girl is split and has big dark blue borders running through it.

4. One email isn’t enough, let’s put a precisely identical one underneath it, which is broken even more. That is called an #emailfail. This is most likely caused by bad @media query programming.

5. For people with microscopic laser view, look at the disclaimer and figure out which “click here” you have to click. This is probably done on purpose, but it doesn’t add anything over just linking the words and making them readable.

Six lessons learned

1. Make sure you put enough contrast in your messages.

2. Put important elements like your main message Headline and Call to Action in real text.

3. Always check your email in the most popular email clients before sending, it is best to use a pre-flight checklist.

4. If you are doing fancy mobile email optimized emails @media queries, don’t forget to check how they turn out in all email clients.

5. Want to make life hard for your readers, hide service links. If you want to make their life easier, just make them visible and big enough to read.

6. So even if you are Apple you can go oops on email in email design and always do  proper email testing.

Update: No lessons learned at all.

Here is chapter two to this story.

More than two weeks after the email presented above, I got the second one. Click on the image to the right to see the full version.

A lack of preparation
I like the fact that they used similar imagery in both emails. That is very strong. If you look at both emails, it actually could spring some campaign recognition for this even though they are different images.

But I was triggered into making this update by the main headline of the second email. It reads: “It’s not because of a lack of preparation”….

Uhhh, yes it IS because of a lack of preparation that you were able to send an email with such an obvious problem in the coding that it displays the email twice.

Again, the double trouble with the duplicated design and the hidden Call to Actions and headline when images are turned off. Let’s see how long they can keep this up until someone notices (or points them to this blogpost).

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Jordie van Rijn

Jordie van Rijn is an independent email marketing consultant. He specializes in smart email marketing, event-driven campaigns and email tool selection. As a consultant, Jordie will help you get the most out of your email marketing efforts.