Html For Email - Technical Tips and Tricks Developing EmailsPresentation Transcript
HTML FOR EMAILTechnical Tips and TricksDeveloping Emails
HTML FOR EMAIL: GENERAL RECOMMENDATIONS HTML for email is different than HTML for the web! Modern web design utilizes CSS (cascading style sheets) for layout. However, due to inconsistent CSS support, HTML tables must be used for email layout. CODE LIKE IT’S 1999! No standards exist for displaying HTML in email. Proper syntax still counts – use a validator to check for general errors. Make sure all open tags have a properly nested closing tag. Specify accurate table and cell widths. Improper math can cause major layout problems. Images & other elements should each reside in their own table cell. Specify desired alignments (left, right, top, bottom). If unspecified, not all email clients will default to the same alignment.
What elements are supported in email? HTML Forms
Used for surveys, search wizards, drop-down boxes, etc.
About half of email clients either disable forms or display a warning message about the form, leading to a poor user experience
Link to a survey / form hosted on an external landing page
Provide a link near the form that allows subscribers to view the email in their browser
Use images to create a simple survey and pull results from click tracking
What elements are supported in email? Video and Flash
Embedding Flash or video in an email can cause deliverability issues, and if delivered, video will be disabled in almost every email client.
Supported ways to use multimedia with email
Use a still image to link to a video hosted on a landing page
Use an animated .gif (see below)
Certified Video from Goodmail(currently only supported in AOL; higher production and delivery costs)
Supported in most email clients
Poor image quality and potential for large file size
No audio or playback controls
Use caution in Outlook 2007 – only the 1st frame will display, so make sure the 1st frame conveys your message. Include a play button on 1st frame and link the .gif.
Not supported in any email clients
Can cause emails to end up in the junk/spam folder
Background images should be added using the HTML background attribute
Background images will not display in Outlook 2007 and Lotus Notes, regardless of the method of application
Text over a background image must be readable on the background color - background images are not supported in all clients and images may be turned off.
TOOLS FOR CREATING HTML HTML Editors
HTML editors such as Dreamweaver, Microsoft Office SharePoint Designer, etc. are designed with web coding in mind, not email.
Many of the coding techniques used in HTML editors will lead to display issues in email clients - Microsoft Word, for example, will add proprietary code that will not display properly
To achieve the best results use a plain text editor such as Notepad or TextEdit
Avoid Background Images – include them only as secondary elements.
Avoid using CSS margins – use CSS padding or spacer .gifs to create spacing between elements.
Forms do not work in Outlook 2007.
Outlook 2007 is very particular. Specify accurate table widths – errors in math will cause incorrect display.
Outlook 2007 is very particular. Specify accurate colspans and rowspans – extra values creates extra spaces.
Only the first frame of an animated .gif will display, so make it count.
Only in Outlook 2007: CSS padding applied to the top or bottom on one cell in a multi-column layout will be applied to all columns in that row<table border=“0” cellpadding=“0” cellspacing=“0” width=“100%”> <tr> <td style=“padding-top: 10px;”>Left Column</td> <td>Right Column</td> <!-- The right column will ALSO have 10px of padding-top in Outlook 2007 --> </tr></table>
LOTUS NOTES & HOTMAIL Lotus Notes
Since Notes is very challenging to code for, make sure Notes users make up a significant portion of your audience before reconfiguring your code specifically for this environment.
Notes only supports nesting 8 tables deep
Specify defined widths wherever possible – avoid using 100% widths
Use spacer .gifs for all padding
Only use CSS for text formatting – font-family, size, color
Eliminate colspans and rowspans – use nested tables instead to isolate elements
New versions of Lotus Notes (such as version 8) provide HTML support much more consistent with other email clients
Avoid the background-image CSS property – use the HTML background attribute instead
To remove the extra white space that appears below images in Firefox include style=“display: block;” in image tags
GMAIL & YAHOO Gmail
Avoid embedded CSS. Gmail will strip out embedded CSS, so use inline CSS instead.
Issues exist with left/right CSS borders, use spacer .gifs or CSS padding instead.
Avoid the background-image CSS property – use the HTML background attribute instead.
Gmail Themes overwrite default link colors – always specify desired link colors.
Don’t forget closing tags. Gmail is very particular about syntax, and the layout will suffer greatly if they are missing.
The vertical space between paragraph tags <p> is not displayed – in the ExactTarget editor, use soft returns or line breaks <br> instead. In HTML paste, specify a top and bottom margin of 1em on paragraph tags. (e.g. <p style=”margin: 1em 0 1em 0;”>)
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