Over the years we've received loads of inquiries about the use of forms in emails, such as newsletter subscribe forms, event registration and surveys. So we decided to run some tests to get to the bottom of just how well forms are supported in all the major email environments.
Is it okay to use forms in emails? It’s not the best idea. But what do you say when your client asks you to put one in an email? You can either tell them “no” for reasons which may not make sense to them, or you can back up your defiance with some hard evidence.
The short of it is that email clients consider email forms to be a security risk.
While some email clients simply warn you of potential danger, others outright disable the forms.
So if your client wants to send out a form, they should know that most of their recipients will never be able to use it. And for those who can, they’ll think twice about submitting data when they see a warning from their email client.
Common email clients share a propensity to distrust forms in email messages.
But they differed greatly in how they handled the intruding forms.
|Client||Form is displayed
||Form is functional|
|Yahoo! Mail Classic||Yes||No|
|Windows Live Hotmail||Yes||No|
|Penelope (Eudora 8)||Yes||Yes|
|Windows Live Mail||Yes||Yes|
|Lotus Notes 8||Yes||Yes|
Given the sporadic support for forms in emails, we recommend linking to a form on a website in an email rather than embedding it therein. This is the safest, most reliable solution to pairing an email message with a form.
More people will see it and be able to use it, and as a result participation will increase.