Cure for the Broken Link Blues
When a piece of our newsletter is broken, we have two choices. First, we could pretend it didn’t happen and assume not many folks would click the link anyway. That isn’t how we roll here at Sundog Media. We own our mistakes because it’s the best way to improve. I like to think our customers share our values of constant improvement and transparency. So here I am, giving my poor, broken August newsletter link a big ole hug.
Every month I spend hours on content for our blog and newsletter. This time I accidentally used a broken link and frustrated every person kind enough to want to read “The Rest of the Story” about our sundog team family reunion. (I’m so sorry!) So what did I do wrong?
Once upon a time, newsletters included full articles and loads of text. Today, the magical kingdom of images and links has transformed many of our newsletters into galleries with concise intros that invite readers to click the entry button for the article. When creating your article, the interface will give you a place to choose your button text and color, as well as add the link – the location to which it should transport the reader.
For our last newsletter, I added the link to the correct article. BUT, I accidentally used WordPress’ preview link instead of the actual post link. Now, I know you are saying to me – Jeni, why didn’t you proof your links?! Well, I did proof them. As did Joe, and also my teammate Shannon. However, we were all logged into WordPress and did not realize the link was inaccessible to general viewing. If any of us hadn’t been logged in, we would have caught the mistake. Checking it from a different browser would also help prevent the issue. And when I ran the error-check in our newsletter interface, it didn’t catch the error because it is technically a restricted link – not a broken one. (Gah!)
Here is my new and improved checklist for newsletter production:
- Create compelling and relevant newsletter articles on our Sundog Blog and in the newsletter.
- Link to the correct article.
- Make sure to test in at least two different browsers when double-checking the links.
- Learn from every single mistake and share the lesson.