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Email Development

Stop Yahoo! Mail from Displaying Your Email Twice

Email On Acid

If you use a simple street address in your email, there's a chance that Yahoo might duplicate your content twice, or maybe even three times.  Each time, the repetative content starts with the city and state which caused the glitch in the first place.

"Huh?" - our sentiment exactly, so let's dive straight into an example:

<html>
   <body>
     Office Address<br>
     Attn: Gift and Estate Planning<br>
     P.O. Box 55555<br>
     Austin, TX 78713-7458<br>
     Phone: 555-555-5555<br>
     Austin, Texas 78713<br>
     Austin, TX 78713-7458<br>
     Austin, TX<br>
     <div> This is a test</div>
     <table><tr><td>This is a test</td></tr></table>
     <p style="color:#F00; margin:20px">*** PAGE ENDING ***</p>
  </body>
</html>

And here is your output in Yahoo!

As you can see, the first time the email is duplicated, it starts with the first instance of the address "Austin, TX 78713-7458". The second time it starts with "Texas 78713" which means that each instance caused a repeat.

I tried to narrow this down to a particular type of format which left me scratching my head even more. In fact, I later realized that it might only happen if you use 2 instances of the city and state. For example this will not cause a repeat:

Office Address<br>
Attn: Gift and Estate Planning<br>
P.O. Box 55555<br>
Austin, TX 78713-7458<br>
Phone: 555-555-5555<br>
<div> This is a test</div>
<table><tr><td>This is a test</td></tr></table>

<p style="color:#F00; margin:20px">*** PAGE ENDING ***</p>

But this will:

Office Address<br>
Attn: Gift and Estate Planning<br>
P.O. Box 55555<br>
Austin, TX 78713-7458<br>
Phone: 555-555-5555<br>
Austin, TX<br>
<div> This is a test</div>
<table><tr><td>This is a test</td></tr></table>

<p style="color:#F00; margin:20px">*** PAGE ENDING ***</p>

So what is going on here?

This seems to be caused by the pesky ruminants of Yahoo! Shortcuts, a plug-in that has been recently discontinued by Yahoo! Mail which once imposed random links from key words within your email. In reviewing the source code, it appears that Yahoo! Shortcuts is trying to geo code your address and although it does not insert an actual link anymore, something in the plug-in is causing everything else in your email to get duplicated.

We'd like to give a special thanks to Ryan Beavers and Sarah Sauer for helping us figure this out via our online forum thread!  Yahoo Displaying Emails Twice

What's the fix?

If this happens to you, the easiest fix is to spoof Yahoo! into thinking that your city and state are just another text string. To do this, you can add an HTML entity like "&#173;" in your address so that Yahoo! does not recognize it.

<p>...
  &#173;Austin, &#173;TX &#173;78713-7458<br />
  Phone: 512&#173;-555&#173;-1212<br />
</p>

In the above example, we also inserted the same special character in front of each dash in the phone number to avoid issues in Gmail.

In Conclusion

This one topped the "strange" charts for us and that says a lot considering how many years we've spent testing HTML emails on various email clients and devices.  Hopefully Yahoo! will get around to fixing this bug soon.

About the Author

Michelle Klann

Michelle Klann

A Jackie of all trades, Michelle (aka Miki) specializes in design and has been known to knock down some pretty nifty, object oriented, JS applications. Mozify, anyone?

Join the Discussion

Thanks for the info! Great work-around.
Josh Michael
Out of curiosity: why did you have the address in there 3 times to begin with?

I really don't know, if it's some special trick for ... I didn't know, so apologies for the potentially silly question.
Marcus
In my particular case, Yahoo Beta is removing my address altogether, instead of duplicating it. What weird address treatment is at work here? And why? So odd...
abbygdc
Thank you for the tip and info. This was bothering me a lot.
Regards!
email archiving

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