In another article, Ryan Doe discussed some things to avoid when designing HTML email.
To follow-up, he will share some HTML email design best practices which seem to work pretty well.
In a previous article, you shared some advice about what to avoid when designing HTML email. So, what kind of HTML should we use for our email newsletter designs Ryan?
Number 1: DO USE nested tables to create your HTML email layout.
This may seem counter intuitive for website designers, but you should consider that HTML email standards development is several years behind current HTML web standards.
Number 2: DO Include a plain text part with your HTML email message.
If you send an HTML-only message, some antispam filters will block your messages from being sent to the inbox, and some recipients will only receive a blank message (i.e. those who have email clients configured not to view HTML email.) Therefore it is important to also include a text-only version of your HTML message. GroupMail makes it easy to include a text-only part with your HTML email.
Number 3: DO define styling in your HTML email using standard HTML attributes.
Standard HTML attributes include specifying height and width for images, font style etc. If you use CSS, these elements should also be defined directly within the HTML tag.
Good advice Ryan. Is there anything else that might be useful?
Number 4: Test, test and then test some more.
The more testing you can do upfront, the better idea you will have about what works best for your specific and unique requirements.
What about images? Should we insert local images from our computer or use image links to remote images we have hosted on our own website or image sharing site?
This is a gray area. Personally, I use locally embedded images from y computer, but I make sure that the images I use are small and optimized to a web resolution of 72ppi.
[That looks like another blog post to me!]
However, whether you choose to use local or remote images is really a personal preference, and there are pros and cons for both approaches.
What HTML design software would you recommend to help people create better HTML email?
Well, our GroupMail newsletter software includes its own WYSIWYG HTML editor, which works quite well; but if you want to go with something a little more robust, I would recommend using Adobe Photoshop for manipulating images, and Dreamweaver for designing the HTML.
Any final thoughts, Ryan?
For testing, it is a good idea to either create email accounts with as many of Desktop and Web-based email clients as possible. Alternatively, you can use an email analysis tool to test your HTML email across a number of popular email clients (Email on Acid is really cool & free).
So there you have it. Some practical HTML design tips for your next email newsletter.
Interested? Start implementing these tips and testing your own HTML email designs with our award-winning GroupMail newsletter software.