Why Email Links are Bad for Feedback?

Are email links like mailto: bad for Feedback? We all have used forms for sending feedback on websites. Why are forms better for feedback?

Lets what happens when you click an email link like the one below –
Email me at – [email protected]

  • Buzzing noise of the computer hard drive
  • Desperate search by your computer to look for the default email client (like Eudora, Outlook)
  • Ok found it – lets say it is Outlook Express (Gosh! I have only used Eudora!)
  • If it is password protected – do you remember the password
  • Now the ‘Compose’ email window pops up with recipient’s email filled up
  • Type subject and text
  • Click ‘Send Email’
  • Is the email gone? Have you configured the account settings on the email client. Forget about it if you are on public computer as in a internet cafe. Also many libraries have disabled use of email clients
  • Still didnt go? Is your email account “SMTP” enabled. It is a protocol for sending email from email clients. Most free email web accounts do not offer this facilty. The most prominent free email service offering free pop and smtp access is Gmail.
  • If all else fails, then note down the email address on your palm (still cant find a piece of paper!)
  • Open your web email in your browser (still stuck with dial up!)
  • Go to compose mail – type the email scribbled on your palm (I hope you didnt wash your hands!), type subject and text. And Send email (I hope you copied the email address correctly, was it [email protected] or [email protected] !!)
  • Grrrrr……

Now we know why forms are convenient for website users.

You do not have to wait for their email client like Outlook or Eudora to load and to see if you can use it. You dont have to see if your email client is configured to send mail or if your favourite free web email supports smtp access. Forms also protect your email by not revealing it in the page source code and protects it from email spam.