Zoonini Web Services - ZooNews - Issue 64 - June 2011

Welcome to the June 2011 issue of ZooNews, from professional website design company Zoonini Web Services.

-- Tip for Tat --

Have you ever opened an email newsletter and thought it looked, well, a little empty?

Most email programs do not display images by default. This is to speed up loading time and to protect your privacy, since most bulk email uses a tiny, invisible, graphic – sometimes called a "web bug" – to track which subscribers open a given message. People using mobile devices or on slow connections may also have set images to be turned off for easier and faster reading.

For these reasons, it's never a great idea to send out newsletters that include all, or most of your content, within images. Avoid sending out newsletters that look like this with images turned off:

newsletter with lots of images

Without the graphics displaying, there isn't much to read, and very little to entice readers to take that extra step of turning the images on.

Compare the above screenshot to the examples below, which include key information as text, and make sense even if a reader decides not to turn on images.

screenshot of Avenue Road Arts School newsletter Dishcrawl newsletter screenshot

Be sure to test your messages before sending them out to your mailing list, to make sure they can stand on their own with images turned off in your email program. Don't put "read more"-type links within images.

Of course, it's almost always a good idea to add photos and graphics to your email newsletters to liven them up and complement the text. Just be conscious of what information you're including in those images, to ensure that subscribers who can't see them don't miss out.

-- GeekSpeak --

QR-code cupcakeQR (Quick Response) codes have been cropping up everywhere lately: in magazines, on buses, billboards, clothing and business cards – even gracing gravestones, coins, and cupcakes. These square, black-and-white codes can be read by a dedicated scanner, or by anyone using a smartphone equipped with QR-scanning software. QR codes have been used by libraries and governments, but their use in marketing has been exploding. Scanning them will take you to online coupons, politicians' websites, movie trailers, Facebook pages, and whatever else marketing folks can come up with.

Find out more about QR codes and their uses on Wikipedia and at Fast Company.

Got a technology term you'd like demystified in ZooNews? Send it to questions@zoonini.com.

-- Liftoff --

We're currently upgrading all our hosting clients to a new dedicated web server, in order to meet the hosting requirements of the latest web software and reap the benefits of newer hardware. If you're a Zoonini web design client and don't already host your site with me, just let me know if you'd like to find out more about my hosting plans – now is a great time to switch! Just keep in mind that Zoonini only hosts sites that we've designed or built.

-- ZooBytes --

WordCamp MontrealWordCamp Montreal recently published a little WordPress Q&A with me for their Speaker Spotlight series. Check it out! I'm really looking forward to attending this annual WordPress extravaganza in just a couple of weeks and hope to see some of you there. If you have any questions about WordCamp, don't hesitate to drop me a line.

ZooNews will not be published in July and August. Have a fabulous summer and feel free to stay in touch via Facebook or Twitter in the meantime!

À la prochaine,

aka Kathryn Presner

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