I'm getting increasingly tired of companies that I'm fond of, outsourcing their campaign emails and then continuously having issues, but not changing up suppliers or even responding to me when I let them know it's all fanarkled up.
The biggest offender is Pet Supplies Plus who RARELY has the images that are embedded in the HTML email loaded on their live servers. When the entire email is image-based, this means your users open the email to nothing but blocks and 'alt-text'. A couple hours go by and I re-open that email and viola, there's my happy email campaign.
Today, however, the usually buttoned up Disney Corp has blown it. A Jake and the Neverland Pirates email is broken down.
In both cases, they do provide the link so that if you can't read the email, it'll take you to the web page, however, the images are looking for the same source and therefore, even the web page is blank with loads of 'alt-text' all over the place.
I realize that in most organizations, email campaigns are relegated down to the cheapest labor or outsourced to the big companies (Fishbowl, Constant Contact) who offer below ground costs, but it is one of the most common touch points with your brand loyalists and in a lot of cases, some early impressions with your new customers.
Get your shizzle together and proof your work, have a quality control step that someone in the organization has to punch through on the LIVE site to ensure everything has loaded before you give the push order to send the email. It's really simple and doesn't cost you very much.