Monday, June 26, 2006

Commercial Ads in Political Campaign Email

I just received a last minute email from the John Jacob campaign. It was a letter from his wife. The email had a graphical banner at the top. The banner was the campaign logo and a picture of Mrs. Jacob.

If you click the banner, you end up at the website for the company that sent the email rather than the Jacob campaign. There is no link to the campaign website at all in the email.

My email reader hides images in email messages by default. The "alt" text is "The Ginormous MailChimp Sale." So, instead of a picture of Jacob's wife, I'm treated to an ad for MailChimp.

If I were on the Jacob campaign I would be furious. I'd also be looking for a new email company.


Ben said...

Sometimes, I Google our company name, just to see what comes up (hey, it's the new national pastime).

That's how I came across this post about MailChimp and John Jacob's campaign.

Just so that you don't think we're complete nuts over here, I wanted to let you know that we don't insert ads into our users' email campaigns. In fact, we don't insert *anything* into users' email campaigns, and that's why most of our users come to us in the first place.

What you saw was someone using one of our free HTML email templates (available whether you're a MailChimp user or not), and they apparently forgot to replace the alt-text we coded.

The sample templates are there to give some users a "jumpstart" with their campaigns. It's up to the sender to actually customize them with their own images and alt-text and links.

I'm sure (well, I *hope*) that if you clicked "display images" the photo would have been what you expected, and definitely not our template "ginormous sale" image.

Perhaps the next time I update those templates, I'll use "Alt text goes here" instead.



Bradley Ross said...

Thanks for the info, Ben. That certainly explains it!