What’s with the Gobbledegook?
Do you know a lot of your e-mailings may arrive in in-boxes looking something like this?
Your E-mail Punctuation is Often Letting You Down, Buds.
I get TONS of e-mailings that contain stuff that looks like this. From you. Yup, that’s right. Lots of my buds are sending me e-mails that have all sorts of random symbols where you meant to put quotation marks or semicolons and other punctuation. I just opened 3 e-mailings from wonderful fellow entrepreneuresses that all had this problem, including from people with well-known names.
It’s not that easy to read through this stuff.
It looks yucky, unpro and can be hard to decipher.
This can affect your engagement and conversion rates.
What’s Causing This?
This problem happens with e-mail list providers like MailChimp, MadMimi, AWeber and even biggies like Ontraport and stems from their systems not converting symbols from different applications and alphabets properly.
It’s annoying — or worse — to your customers.
It’s easy to fix.
To avoid this:
Don’t Copy Text Directly from Word Processing Docs into E–mail Provider Systems.
And don’t use any “smart” symbols when you’re e-mailing (do use them for print purposes).
All you have to do is enter your text in a “plain text” editor like TextEdit on the Mac.
If you’re used to writing in a word processor like Word and feel you must, then just copy your text into a plain text editor when you’ve finished. Within TextEdit (or any plain text editor), you can select “make plain text” and that will strip out “fancy” formatting.
You can also comb through your copy in your e-mail provider’s software and send a test to yourself but that’s not a foolproof test method because your own system may not be catching all the random symbols that will show up on other people’s systems.
Plain, simple keyboard characters within your native e-mail marketer’s campaign builder are what you need to use to have your e-mailings show up the way you intend. Use regular characters for punctuation.
If you use “nicer” smart symbols such as what in typographic lingo are called “smart quotes,” (so the quotes in certain fonts bend around the letters instead of looking like straight sticks) you’re going to run into this problem.
Please know that it’s not just “fancy” symbols. It’s ANY symbols you’ve copied from software like Word. So if you have ANY quotation marks, commas, em dashes — they’re all likely to come out looking like the above gunk when you send them through your e-mailing system.
Prettying Things Up.
Bring your copy into your e-mail system as plain text. Once you’re in there, you can use your provider’s native tools to add bolding but don’t use symbols except for simple keyboard characters or you’ll get the same problem again.
This will pay off in customers who can hear what you’re saying better.