Should Digests Emails (html version) contain a summary with anchor links?

I get digest emails from Yahoo Groups and they contain a summary of messages at the top. Clicking the link in a summary takes me to an anchor within the email, so I can skip right to the message I want to read. Other digest emails, like the Burning Man newsletter, include a summary at the top, but you still have to scroll on your own to find the part you're looking for.

I hear that anchor links in email is a bad practice, but I rather like the experience. What are the best practices for designing email digests?

1 Answer 1


If the email is being delivered as HTML, adding the links is a useful affordance. The email still needs to work in plain text (a delivery option Yahoo supports), so it depends on how you're emitting the digest. If you can put links in the HTML version without messing up the plain-text version, I don't see a downside. If the recipient of the plain-text version is going to see a bunch of noise in the summary (making it hard to read the actual text in it), then you should address that.

  • Thanks for reminding me about the plaintext version. We send MIME multipart type, so both versions are available. I'm mostly concerned with the HTML version here, and if anchor links in the summary are okay.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 17:25
  • @tajmo, why do you think they might not be ok? If we understand what's prompting the question we can do a better job of answering. Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:25
  • My developer tells me so. I want to hear if there is any reason not to. Otherwise, I recommend using them.
    – Taj Moore
    Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 19:33

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