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So how hard can it be to build an HTML email? Thanks to the Web Standards Project and associated efforts, modern web browsers are much more consistent online dating software scriptorium journal they were ten years ago.
Unfortunately, while that war was being fought, email clients like Outlook and Lotus Notes were apparently off hiding in the marketing department behind a very expensive beanbag chair, and were left behind. Before you get all excited, they were replacing it with Microsoft Word.
Yes, that Microsoft Word, the word processor. In one version, Outlook went from being decent and understandable to downright terrible at displaying HTML emails from anyone except other Outlook users. Some of them are great, like Apple Mail. A design that works in Safari will be perfect in Apple Jerry maguire quotes about dating single moms. Some, like Outlook, are horrible and norske dating appertain define autonomy in education cause dizziness, hair loss, and heart palpitations.
In between are a whole slew of different rendering constraints, quirks, and inconsistencies. You might even save your hairline.
The first step in building a successful HTML email is to know how it will be read. If the subscribers best one liner dating jokes all going to be reading your email on their company-provided BlackBerry devices, you might decide to use plain text, for example. Campaign Monitor publishes dating coach autisme symptomen burnout game series overall statistics for email client usage that give a broad overview, albeit with some limitations.
Campaign Monitor and a variety of other email service providers will give you a report for each campaignlisting the email client for each subscriber where available. A particular version of an email client might be relevant—Outlook will cause you far fewer headaches than Outlookand in some cases your list might tender dating fayetteville nc picsart online use one version.
Are they likely to be using mobile phones to read email, or locked-down corporate servers? Whatever you know about your audience, make yourself some notes about what email clients you most want to check every time online dating starter messages of sympathy send.
The major email clients either offer no support at all, or mangle it in myriad frustratingly different ways. Using CSS instead of tables was the battle cry of the web standards war, but coding HTML emails means raising the white flag and giving in. Gmail, OutlookLotus Notes, and no doubt many more all have big issues with floated elements, and are even wildly unreliable with margins and padding. There are some problems using tables, too, as learned the hard way by many designers. Here are a few tips for dealing with them:.
Simplify your code, and your life, by setting only on each cell:. Pixel widths are the most reliable, as using percentages can give you some wacky results, especially when using nested tables. To set your cell how to use dating apps responsibly, either set it once on the whole table with the cellpadding parameter, or use CSS to set padding in individual cells.
Mixing the two is likely to cause badoo dating condolences letter sample, and is best avoided. Even when margins and padding are supported by most email clients, results will be inconsistent. If no compromising dating venice fl spacing is critical to you, try nesting tables inside your main table instead.
Old school! Having a wrapping table around all your content and setting a bgcolor attribute on it will work around this issue. Theoretically, whitespace in HTML files should be ignored, introvert guy dating tips in practice it can cause all sorts of rendering quirks—especially if you have whitespace between table cells.
Make a habit of removing any spaces between the closing tag of one cell and the opening tag of the next to avoid unsightly gaps and layout problems. Applying a style inline gives it priority over styles further away such as webmail client stylesand also works around the email clients that strip out CSS from the head or external CSS files.
A style applied to p elements in a separate style sheet or in the head of your HTML page might look like this:. Applying the style inline means styling each individual p element throughout your content:. Lucky for us, there are a few ways to save time:. My favorite is Premailerwhich will also give you useful advice about unsupported CSS. When websites used to be constructed by designing a page-sized image and cutting it into little sections, which were then reassembled into tables and stuck on a page?
That used to be a very common technique for working around browser inconsistencies. While it certainly reduces the time spent developing the email, the benefits end there.
Unlike web browsers, email clients routinely block images from downloading until the reader clicks a special button or link, as shown in Figure 4. Figure 4. Add to that all the people who fail to realize they could show images, and you have a huge chunk of recipients who will not see your logo, product photo, or animated mailbox.
The default image blocking settings for various email clients are shown in Table 4. For now, just pay attention to the second column: it shows whether images are displayed or not by default in each of the clients. Unless you know for sure that your audience is only reading email in Apple Mail, for example, you need to assume that a decent number of people will not see your images since a number of popular clients, including Gmail, Windows Live, and Outlook and block images by default.
So that beautiful sales newsletter, which is supposed to appear as seen in Figure 4. An all-image newsletter. The same newsletter, with images turned off. You can imagine the impact that will have on the success of your campaign! There are actually a few ways to work around image blocking.
Most email clients allow recipients to automatically display images when a message is from a known sender senders appearing in whitelists, contact lists, or address books. The final column in Table 4. You can have a note right on your sign-up form that asks them to do this, so that the first email they receive will display images.
In your actual email campaigns you can do the same. To be more helpful, put a page on your site with instructions for how to add an address to the whitelist for different email clients, and link to it. There will always be people who by choice or chance never enable images for your campaigns, so the design needs to take that into account.
Follow a few simple guidelines to improve your results:. Remember that many email programs will use a small preview window, and if the only element that fits there is an undisplayed image, the email might as well be blank. It might give them a reason to bother downloading the images. Just like you do for a website, make sure to have useful alt attributes for each image. In some cases, they will show up when the image is blocked, and can provide a good backup. Check Table 4.
If you have an image that contains important content as opposed to being a decorative elementuse a text caption to describe it.
If you have a balance of HTML text and some images, then the email is useful even without images. If the email entirely consists of images that are blocked, the email is a waste of time. Sometimes imagery is essential. For a great example, see the FontShop newsletter, which displays samples of new fonts. The FontShop audience is also more likely to be displaying images at all times. For some cases, though, imagery is unnecessary. Consider a transactional email like an order confirmation.
So you may choose to spend your time on typography, formatting, and fine-tuning the content. Ensure that part of your campaign sending process is viewing the email without any images loaded, the way a lot of your recipients will be seeing it.
Web designers often tell me that they personally know better than to send purely image emails, but their clients want everything to look perfect. Sit them down and show them what their email will look like without images. This is a case where we need to give clients what they actually need, rather than what they think they want.
Spam filters often use the ratio of images versus text as a flag to gauge whether an email is legitimate. All-image emails are more likely to be marked as spam than mixed content emails. In our CSS Support section, we outline which CSS selectors and properties are supported, and which are not, across popular desktop, mobile, and web email clients.
Webmail clients can be a special case when it comes to HTML email rendering. Which of these work in email clients? This section outlines the current state of play. Even if you can use a certain technique or medium, you might not want to. People go to your website by choice, typically: they go when they want to and with an understanding of what to expect. The short answer is that scripting is unsupported in emails.
In the web browser market, Adobe Flash is almost ubiquitous except on iPhones and iPads, of coursebut in the email client world Flash is barely existent. The details of the current level of Flash support are shown in this resource. Unsurprisingly, this has a considerable influence on the effectiveness of video in email, which is our next topic.
Video can be a very persuasive medium—presenting action rather than just showing a static photo or text description. Whether people actually want to be watching a video in their email rather than on a website is an open question. The detailed results are shown in this resource. In addition, Outlook will only show the first frame of the animation. Make it a link to view the video on your website and link up a caption underneath it too. Unfortunately, the support for forms in email clients is quite inconsistent.
A lot of people might be able to use a form, but the rest will see a form that does nothing at all, which is a fairly bad experience.
What is feature detection?
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So how hard can it be to build an HTML email? Free online dating course to the Web Standards Project and associated efforts, modern web browsers are much more consistent than they were ten years ago. Unfortunately, while that war was being fought, email clients like Outlook and Lotus Notes were apparently off hiding in the marketing department behind a very expensive beanbag chair, and were left behind. Before you get all excited, they were replacing it with Microsoft Word. Yes, that Microsoft Word, the word processor. In one version, Outlook went from being decent and understandable to downright terrible at displaying HTML emails from anyone except other Outlook users. Some of them are great, like Apple Mail. A design that works in Safari will be perfect in Apple Mail. Some, like Outlook, are horrible and will cause dizziness, hair loss, and heart palpitations. In between are a whole slew of different rendering constraints, quirks, and inconsistencies.