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email newsletters

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by charles, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. charles

    charles Senior Member

    Hidey ho,

    I am setting up a personal email newsletter and understand that it should be primarily formed of html and maybe some css (but not too much as not all email apps can't interpret it?).

    So my question is how much css can be used safely so will still display all elements?

    I plan to use text/images only and would like it to fit to window width.

    tank you

    Charlie
     
  2. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

  3. charles

    charles Senior Member

    spot on! thank you
     
  4. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    nps, your welcome.
     
  5. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    I've been building HTML emails lately. I fooking HATE them. For best results across all platforms you're best off not using any CSS whatsoever.
     
  6. Sunburn

    Sunburn Active Member

    they really are bad, i loathe building them and receiving them
     
  7. Harry

    Harry Senior Member

    Took me a day and a half to build an email in tables. I could have done it in under an hour with CSS!
     
  8. charles

    charles Senior Member

    I've just downloaded a template and edited the html and images etc, was already verified to work in all of the major browsers.

    not sure what difference my code changes will make though :cry:
     
  9. Mikey

    Mikey Member

    I've been doing newsletters too! Designing part if fun, the coding not so! Wish I didn't do something so difficult now!

    Only problem is now is it loads fine in some applications and not in others!
     
  10. blueocto

    blueocto Senior Member

    Takes ages to do, especially with challenging designs (cheers Lee!)
    But they always seem to work out ok in the end (even in IE6 yey!)
     
  11. darren

    darren Member

    The best way to get any design across that you want as an email newsletter is to simply remove all css and only have a few lines of html that links to an image.

    You might have seen this from all the top sites.. Ebay, Amazon, Overclockers , Ebuyer to name a few. The only issue with this is that email clients stop the downloading of images until you authorise them. And the reason for that is tracking.. these emails are tailored and quite unique to you. Even though it is the same newsletter that everyone is receiving there are many things about it that enable tracking.

    I can tell, who authorised images in their emails, when you read them, which links you clicked on. blah blah blah.

    But its still the best way to get a decent advert/newsletter out with a few lines of html.

    bare minimum;

     
  12. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    @Darren,

    We deal with a lot of email campaigns at work and is it not that case that you need a relative balance between content and images? else you will just end up as spam?

    Also how would you deal with multiple links in the email? (goto shop, goto article etc etc?) ((would image maps work?))

    sure an image with text would work if you simply wanted to send a message but then why not just use text anyway?

    I'm curious to know your reasons here because what your saying pretty much goes against everything that makes sense to me on this?

    I believe emails should be made of text and images (all with alt tags so you don't end up with an email full of empty boxes prior to image downloading). Sensible length subject line, careful use of copy so not to flag up any spam words etc etc - obvo you need to build them like its 1990 mostly thanks to microsoft.

    Perhaps your method is fine for Amazon and the likes as they will likely already be in your address book, having accepted a confirmation email on signing up - but I think that method would be useless when targeting new customers or just those who's address books you won't be in? surely your just committing yourself as junk mail?
     
  13. darren

    darren Member

    Yeah sure but I never said anything about spam, what I said was that was an example and "bare minimum" obviously you would add alt tags, text, multitple images etc. The examples I used Ebay etc all use many images/tables etc.

    But what I mean was for the deisgn side of things.

    And yes I know exactly what you mean about spam emails, I have written many newsletter applications. I even wrote one that is used by a pharmaceutical company (and ended up being used by more) so you can imagine how the words in those emails affect the spam rating (drugs, pills etc) and this is a 100% legitimate company. What I did for this newsletter software was to actually use PHP and the Linux Shell to dump the email as a file on the server, run this through spam assassin (linux email spam filter) and provide a "spam score" and show this to the person creating the email before it was sent. To avoid blocking. It also posted the email to a test addresses that could be checked.

    What I posted was an example of another approach to including a nice design without hardly any code - specifically removing css etc, you can build on that how you want then. Never said anything about spam, that depends on a lot of things, including email headers, if the originating server/domain sent the email etc etc etc the list goes on.

    Sorry for the confusion.
     
  14. tbwcf

    tbwcf Active Member

    Darren, thanks for the response, you've shown you know your stuff via your posts on here so wanted to check I wasn't missing something!

    I guess how you build it (what you can get away with to make your life easy[er]) depends on the situation.

    Sounds like we share the same pain on this front...

    Trying to achieve a decent success rate for a pharmaceutical company is about the toughest task I can think of on the email front!
     
  15. darren

    darren Member

    Haha we certainly do, lets not get into...

    Bounced emails
    Unsubscribing
    etc

    :)
     

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