If I had a subtitle for this it would read: The Problem With Anchor Links.
Do you use email marketing? Perhaps you send a newsletter to subscribers. Well this subject could be very important to you!
As you may know I am the editor of Writers World a newsletter devoted to issues concerning writing. I have been noticing a recurring problem with my newsletter for the past several months. I finally asked my email marketing provider MailChimp about it and they looked into the situation. And gave me a disquieting report.
Before I speak further let me explain the situation.
In my newsletter I offer writing tips, reprints of this blog, as well as publishing and marketing tips. In order to make navigation easier for my readers I placed a TOC at the top of the letter. In that TOC I created anchor text that linked to the appropriate title, thus enabling the reader to click on the link and go immediately to the article. Unfortunately it didn’t always work.
Back to the report. Upon investigating the matter MailChimp told me that while anchor links work within the MailChimp environment they may not work within certain email inboxes. Links going to URLS work fine, it is just the TOC links that have a problem.
The problem is that not all email providers are created equal. What that means is that some email providers recognize and use anchor links correctly, others may not. In fact, in one of my email inboxes the link absolutely didn’t work, while another inbox opened a new browser window and loaded the inbox.
Interestingly enough anchor links work in most email inboxes, but not all. But therein lies an additional problem. The subscriber may be using an inbox that is incompatible with the use of anchors.
Moreover, the problem is not just with MailChimp but with any email marketing provider!
What should you do?
In our case we removed the TOC and replaced it with text that informs the subscriber of the newsletter’s content. You may choose to leave it as is.
If you wish to read the report you can do so at: Anchor Report.