Creating HTML Emails Everyone Can Love

One of the constant challenges for marketers is creating HTML emails that work with everyone’s inbox. There are some commonly known tips and tricks for creating effective emails, but there is no hard-and-fast rule book. Today MarketingProfs posted an article reviewing common issues marketers face in building their emails. Many of these items are ones I’ve discussed before in this blog. Here are some that I found most valuable:

  • Around 600 pixels wide is about right for emails
  • Don’t use external CSS for formating. Some programs, including Microsoft Outlook 2007, don’t support CSS.
  • Avoid flash.
  • Test in multiple email clients, if possible. Don’t forget to test on mobile devices as well.
  • Be aware that not everyone loads HTML. Use alt tags for those who may view text only emails or are using a mobile device.
  • Use fully qualified links. Remember that using something like <img src=”images/headline.gif”> may look fine on your internal servers, but it won’t render externally.

One of the best ways to spot-check your templates is to send the email to a small test list of colleagues or trusted partners. As with proofreading a paper, this will ensure that you don’t miss anything. It’s easy to brush over details if you’ve been staring at the same email for too long. It also allows you to gather feedback and see your email from a different perspective, making sure you don’t get tunnel vision.

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