Design Tip of the Week: Why Does Yahoo! Put Additional Links in my Email?

For some time now, Yahoo! Mail has had a feature called Yahoo! Shortcuts. Yahoo! Shortcuts scans each email as it is displayed and places a dotted-underline link on any of a number of actionable items. According to Yahoo!, these links are "waiting to save you time." Yahoo! Shortcuts recognize and link many types of items, including the following:
  • Street addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Locations
  • Calendar events
  • Email addresses
  • Videos
Yahoo! Shortcuts screenshot
The street address in this screenshot is a Yahoo! Shortcut to a Yahoo! Map.

To use these Shortcuts, the user simply hovers the cursor over the link, and a pop-up appears with action items on it.

Can I disable Yahoo! Shortcuts?
As an email marketer, unfortunately, there is no way to fully disable Yahoo! Shortcuts. It is worth knowing, though, that your subscribers can disable Yahoo! Shortcuts by clicking the Options menu, then clicking More Options..., then simply unchecking all of the associated items under Shortcuts.

One Option
There is one work-around that you can employ to remove the dotted underline from Shortcuts, though it does not have any effect on the color of the text. Yahoo! creates the Shortcuts by adding a .yshortcuts class to a container <div>. You can override this style by simply adding the following code before your </head> tag:
<style type="text/css">
.yshortcuts {border-bottom: none !important;}

This will still leave seemingly random pieces of text colored blue, but at least they won’t also have a dotted-underline under them. The Yahoo! Shortcuts will still function upon rollover, of course. The decision is really yours: if you feel the Shortcuts would look less offensive to your email design without a dotted underline, this is a great solution; if you prefer them to definitely look like a Yahoo! feature, then you might just want to leave them as they are.

Overall, Yahoo! Shortcuts is a great tool for Yahoo!’s end users. Unfortunately, it somewhat compromises the design integrity of emails since it colors and underlines as it chooses. This is important to keep in mind especially when including information such as phone numbers, street addresses, and email addresses in your emails.

For more information:
Why are some words underlined in my email?
What sort of things are detected in Yahoo! Shortcuts?
Receiving Email Messages: Working With Shortcuts
How do I turn off Yahoo! Shortcuts?

Michael Thom
ExactTarget Campaign Solutions Team

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