Ryan Allis



Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In 2005, Ryan was named by BusinessWeek as one of the "Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25." Ryan is also the author book Zero to One Million: How I Built a Company To $1 Million in Sales and How You Can Too, published by McGraw-Hill. As an email marketing expert, Ryan will provide guidance in his blog posts on how to enhance and improve your online marketing campaigns.

In my previous blog post, I went over the importance of having good subject lines to avoid having your email messages flagged as spam. Today, I will discuss the question of whether to use or not use backgrounds in your email newsletters.

When you are in the process of creating your newsletter, you will usually have the option to format the background that goes behind the text in your message. In many cases, an aesthetically pleasing background can have a positive affect on the way your customers perceive your business. They may find your messages to be visually appealing, increasing the chance of them reading through your entire newsletter. A background can also help make your message content easier to read, depending on the color of the font you are using.

However, please be aware of one thing regarding backgrounds for your email messages: many email services, such as Yahoo and AOL, ignore backgrounds in emails. This may make your messages look completely different for each of your customers depending on which email service they use.

Several email services do not fully support the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), including those aspects that deal with background colors or even images embedded in your messages. To help ensure that your customers will see your email messages like you originally intended, limit your use of CSS and don’t use a fancy background.

I hope you all have a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to bringing you more email marketing tips next week.

Cheers,

Ryan Allis