Mark Wyner, Mark Wyner Design, gave a great and thorough talk on all the aspects to consider in building a better HTML email for you and your company.
- Your desktop is not a launch pad.
- Comic Sans is the devil.
- How do you deploy? Use an email-administration application. Create your own or use one of the many on the market. Mark uses Campaign Monitor and MailBuild.
- Techniques and best practices: The web-standards battle – standards-focused web designers use antiquated markup for design integrity
- Some benefits of web standards:
1. Increased use of handheld/mobile devices, disparate support for presentation layer
3. Spam filters assess content-to-code ratios
- Embed your style sheets
- An email is a single document
- Account for all scenarios: build for progressive enhancement and create simple experience for lowest common denominator
- Image usage: display contextual images inline (products, people, etc) and display template images as CSS backgrounds
- Email clients offer image blocking
- Preserve format upon forwarding: forwarding-methods vary – as attachment, source code revealed, converted to plain text, converted to proprietary HTML
- CAN-SPAM Act compliance
- Comic sans is on the prowl
- Appropriate imagery encourages reading
- Emails benefit from web standards
- Embed style sheets
- Build for progressive enhancement
- Implement a forwarding utility
- Send multipart messages
- Contextual images inline
- Account for CSS on, images off
- Test like maniacs
To Sum Up:
You can find these notes in more detail in Mark’s Conference Slides here.