How to Prevent an Email Campaign Epic Fail
Follow other basic rules, like keeping your call to action close to the top. Balance your images with your text content. Use white space as needed. Don't go too wild on design, otherwise your email risks looking cluttered. Simple design is beautiful design.
Once you have your email design, make sure that it is usable in email. Design for a maximum width of 600 pixels (px) for a general audience. However if you know your target audience is using an email client that can accommodate wider emails, you may design up to 750px safely.
When you code your design, remember that, when it comes to email, basic HTML is your best friend. For some Web-based email services, CSS is not in the dress code, and will be disabled when your email hits the inbox. Make sure you use tables as your framework and nest appropriately when padding and margin are needed. Not every email client can handle inline styles to allow for margin or padding. You can add CSS and do things that allow email clients like Apple Mail to render a beautiful email, but don't punish Outlook users.
Not every email client is the same. But you still want your design to make it into every possible inbox—legibly. Adapt accordingly. For example, if you need a background image, know that it probably won't show up in some email clients. Design for fallback elements of design, such as solid colors rendered by HTML.
Here are some additional tips:
- Create a plain-text version of your HTML email by sending it in Multipart/Alternative MIME format.
- Images should be hosted on your publicly accessible Web server.
- Use valid, clean HTML. Nobody likes dirty laundry at a party.
Be sure to run your campaign through its paces before it hits the open air. If you don't have one already, create a checklist that includes, in order, the tests you need to do before releasing a campaign.