HTML Email Code Guide: Width, Tags, Format Size and Background
A guide to using HTML for emailing.

HTML Email Code Guide: Width, Tags, Format Size and Background

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How to Use HTML to Create Perfect Emails

Creating HTML for email involves a different method than creating HTML for the web since email clients do not have the same support or standards as web browsers do..

Find the Best Tools.
There are many web editors that are popularly used for creating web pages, but the HTML they produce does not always match up with the requirements of email servers. Use plain-text editors like TextMate, Coda, and CoffeeCup for your email HTML, instead. If you prefer to not learn HTML, make use of the templates given to you by your mailing software.

Check Your Layout.
For the structure of your email layouts, use tables and make sure to nest your tables and close any open tags. It is also a good idea to avoid CSS positioning, floats, and clears.

Test Your CSS.
Use simple styles and either write them inline or through a conversation tool. Gmail does not offer support for embedding or external CSS, and many email clients back up only basic formatting styles. Avoid using shorthand to prevent unexpected results. Use the full six digits for HEX color codes and avoid RGB colors. Also, write out each CSS property individually to ensure the outcome you want.

Think about Links.
Link styles, like the mouse-over or hover effect are seldom supported in email. They are fine to add but you shouldn’t rely on these effects on your design.

Checklist to Follow Before Adding Images to Your Email.

  • Design for the email to still be cohesive without the images being shown.
  • Place alt attributes into your images.
  • Use GIF or JPG images for best results.
  • Place your border attributes to zero.
  • Avoid gaps under messages by adding style=”display: block;” to the code.
  • Always incorporate attributes for height and width.
  • Always use absolute references.
  • Remember that Outlook 2007 and 2010 do not support background images.

  • Don’t Get Fancy.
    Although there is almost no email support for Flash, TypeKit, and Javascript, animated .gifs are safe to use. But, a thing to take note of is that Outlook 2007 and 2010 will only show the first frame. In addition, avoid forms, surveys, and search boxes because they will most likely be disabled or display a security message to your email audience.

    Identify Your Viewers.
    Stay conservative if you know your audience uses Outlook, but take advantage of including drop shadows or HTML-friendly videos with clients that use Apple Mail or Thunderbird.

    Test Your Messages.
    Rendering can be affected by email clients that make unannounced changes. Always test every message in major email clients before sending them out and don’t forget about your triggered and drip campaigns.

    Catering to your email users with HTML is very important if you want a successful email campaign. You should design your messages to be viewable from any server in order to get the most out of your leads. Avoid getting too fancy, and your task will become more simple and victorious in the end.

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