For people wanting to send quick and simple HTML emails, there are many online email templates available to use. Most email platforms such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor have inbuilt functions to create a layout for your emails without writing a single line of code. But if you are wanting to stand out and go with something a bit more customised, you might consider creating your own emails from scratch.
If you are already familiar with coding for the web, it is easy to be mistaken into thinking that writing HTML emails is much the same. In reality, email platforms lag behind the times, and are not as advanced as most web browsers. This means that the way you write HTML emails looks very different from creating HTML web pages.
Here’s what you need to know.
Use inline HTML. Many email applications strip the head out of HTML code. This means that if you don’t use inline HTML, you could be losing valuable design and style directions, so your email won’t be formatted properly by the time it ends up in a recipient’s inbox. Be sure to specify all colour, size and font-faces within the individual tags.
Lay out your content using tables. Unlike web coding where you would use divs and floats to position your content, emails must be structured using tables. This means that your formatting will look neat no matter what email platform it is viewed on.
Ever received an email where the images don’t load? Yes? Well that’s because many email clients block images by default. While images are necessary to make your email stand out, they also must be approached with caution.
Never lay text over images. When the image doesn’t load, neither does the text in the image. If you have all your important information integrated within images, think of the missed opportunities when images don’t appear.
Avoid using images as buttons. For the same reason that you don’t put text in images, buttons should not be images. When the images don’t show, people won’t click through to your website. Although images might make your email look more interesting, functional buttons are essential.
Considering how many people won’t see your images, adding alt text on images is essential. When the image doesn’t load, if you add in alt text, at least people (and screen readers) can see a description of the image.
Be careful with the number of images you include. While images are great for making your email catch someone’s eye, too much of a good thing can set off spam filters.
Now that you’ve sorted out all your code and image use, one of the other most important things to consider is responsiveness. With everyone having increased mobile access to emails, you no longer have the option to assume that everyone is viewing your emails on desktops.
This means that making sure your email is responsive becomes crucial for people to be able to view your email on whatever device they are using.
When you consider the number of email applications out there, and the choice of devices people have, the amount of variables is huge. While your email might look great to an iPhone user using Gmail, the same email will look different if opened on a Samsung. That’s why testing your emails for responsiveness is essential.
Just like building your emails is essential to the success of your campaign, so is building your emailing lists. Email A-ZGovBIZ or call 02 9516 4703 to find out how we can help you find the right list and construct a truly effective email.