This is a graphic email message. If you are reading this message
then your email program does not support HTML format. We recommend
upgrading the program you use to read your email.
Dear Correspondant, i’d like to note that there is absolutely nothing wrong with my email package. It displays HTML mail (when i allow it) just fine and dandy. In fact, it does and exemplar job of doing that. But you see, email isn’t HTML, much the same way that when i want to send a nice note to my Aunt Tillie, i don’t send her a DVD.
Email is about text, and has been since, well, the first message appeared on a terminal. In addition, bad people tend to use HTML email to try and sell me all natural, herbal breast enhancements. Since i have no interest in looking like Meatloaf in Fight Club, i tend to prefer looking at just the text of the message.
But let’s get to the heart of the matter. Switching my message view to the non-standard “HTML”, shows that the graphical wonder i’m deprived of is simply a notification that some tax documents are ready (with appropriate links to where i may view them). While there are certain elements that appeal to your inner Rembrant, the actual text of the message requires no graphical formatting at all.
So in other words, the only reason you felt compelled to send me this was so that you can have it look “pretty”. Something that your visually impared customers are probably not particularly pleased realizing once they attempt to understand why their mail reader is telling them they have to upgrade to read the graphical email.
Please, i know that the urge to “Look the part” can be tremendous. i know that you never get a second chance for a good first impression, but ultimately what “closes the deal” (to use the parlance of the business type) is the ability for me to actually use the information you’re providing. If i can’t use that information, providing me a very pretty interface is not going to make me feel better about doing business with you.
That’s why i’ve attached this message as a Microsoft Word 2004 document and set the subject to “Attention Legal Department”. After all, why should you have all the fun?