Browser Competition Renders Email Previews A Necessity

Competition for European email subscribers’ attention is at an all-time high following an increase in browser options available to internet users. Mozilla’s Firefox recently knocked Internet Explorer off the top of the European internet browser ladder for the first time. This is partly as a result of the European Union’s competition case against Microsoft for abusing its dominant position in the browser market and because Google’s Chrome stole customers away from Microsoft as it tripled its market share in 2010.

Microsoft, conceding to implementing its Browser Choice Screen in March 2010, enabled European Windows users the choice of 12 different internet browsers, rather than simply being supplied with the default Internet Explorer option. Research from StatCounter into browser market share in Europe further highlights Chrome’s growth, mostly at the decline of Internet Explorer.

This increased competition in the Internet browser marketplace is excellent news for the internet industry and European consumers, but it poses a huge problem for email marketers competing against fellow marketers for email recipients’ attention. They need to make sure their emails appear flush in Firefox and not gobbledygook in Google Chrome.

Potential customers will only engage with a brand if they can easily read, understand and digest marketers’ messages. The key to achieving this is ensuring all emails render properly in whichever browser. To avoid being inundated by customer complaints and to increase response rates, marketers must now ensure their email campaigns are fully compatible with more than 50 email interfaces, including mobile environments like Blackberry and Windows Mobile.

Naturally that’s the reason Return Path continues to develop and enhance Campaign Preview, which enables marketers to assess how their emails will look and function in different internet browsers. Problem links and poorly formatted images can be identified and rectified before hitting the send button – not only to avoid being consigned to spam filters, but to keep the brand’s identity intact.

Any marketer that hasn’t been worried about how their emails appear in all interfaces, be it online internet browsers or mobile formats, needs to start doing so. Bad rendering delivers a bad user experience for the recipient.

With internet browser competition ever-increasing, the race is on for marketers to ensure their emails stand out from their rivals in the inbox. Marketers must make sure all their emails render properly so that every email they send is readable for every single email user on their database. Those that don’t will be left behind in the competition to attract email subscribers’ attention.

This blog post was originally written for the Return Path In the Know blog and can be viewed here.

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