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Lee Munroe is lead design for San Francisco-based OneSignal and creator of HTMLemail.io. More about Lee↬
Html To Send Email From Web Page
Email design and development is a beast. Email client vendors are not as advanced as web browser vendors in adopting new standards. Here’s an insight into the world of email creation and delivery. Here are some code snippets and resources that are sure to put a few hours back into your life.
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I’ve been using creative tools for the past few years — two of those years as product design lead at Mailgun, an email service for developers — and I’ve learned a lot about how email works and the problems developers face when building HTML email . In this entry, I will share some knowledge on the topic.
HTML Email: When those two words are put together, it brings a tear to a developer’s eye. If you are a web developer; Whether you like it or not, it’s inevitable that at some point in your career, coding email will be in your lap. HTML email coding is old school. The front page, which we use to mark our website. When using WYSIWYG editors and tables; We call ourselves “webmasters” and think back to 1999.
Not much has changed in email design. In fact, it has gotten worse. With mobile devices and a growing number of email users, we have some caveats to address when building HTML emails.
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As a developer responsible for email campaigns or all emails sent by your company, how email works; You need to know the legal requirements and how to send an email. The company sends several types of emails. Let’s see.
Several email service providers (ESPs) specialize in marketing and promotional emails: SendPulse Email; Campaign Monitor; MailChimp Emma Constant Touch Just to name a few. They manage customers; work with email templates; Provides a complete solution for running and reporting on bulk email campaigns.
Receipt in payment email; warning; welcome email; including password reset etc. This is usually SendPulse Transactional, Mailgun It works with development tools and APIs like SendGrid and Postmark. This tool is more API focused; Less CMS and WYSIWYG based. But combined with a service like Sendwithus, you can make it even more powerful.
An alternative to using a service is to roll up your own email server, such as Postfix. The downside of this is that it takes time to set up and configure and send email; It is up to him to understand the technical details of implementing tracking and subscribing and sending emails to the inbox.
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Lifecycle and behavior based email services include onboarding, It helps with engagement and more. Many ESPs that focus on marketing offer this service; But I SendPulse Automation, Interkom, Customer.io Titis, Services like Vero and ConvertKit tend to be grouped into this category.
Don’t buy an email list. There may be a handful of legitimate services, but it’s best to avoid buying lists altogether.
My experience is that anyone who buys an email list usually responds. Name their Internet Protocol (IP) address and request that their email be blocked by their Internet Service Provider (ISP) or sent to spam. According to SenderBase, 85% of the world’s emails are classified as spam. Don’t fall into this box.
This adds another step to the process for customers to verify their email address; But it makes sense and prevents others from misusing their email addresses by signing up for lists without their permission. It also helps clean up your subscription list and is a “100% valid way to verify email addresses”.
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Measure everything. You need to measure to see if your email is improving. Numbers are what you make them; Your business It will vary depending on the type of email you send and its content. But in general,
Additionally, Open rates and click-through rates can be useless metrics (read “they don’t really matter”). At the end of the day, What you want to track is the end goal or conversion. At Airbnb, they track an email quality score, which is a good indicator of engagement quality.
Your email has a reputation and a score associated with it. This depends on whether your ISP and mailbox provider accept it. Whether it is rejected and sent to the recipient’s inbox or sent straight to spam affects how your email is handled.
When you send a lot of emails (imagine a campaign with millions of emails); Not all are sent at once. It can only be sent as fast as the server and IP address can handle it. Please note that your recipient will not receive the email.
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So if you are sending millions of emails at once. You may want multiple IPs to handle the load.
Litmus tracks email subscriber market share based on its own internal statistics. Keep in mind that this may not be the same for your customer base, but it’s a good indicator to use.
Please note that not all emails can be tracked. Email tracking is done through pixel tracking; Therefore, only clients who have enabled images will be returned.
Building HTML email templates is hard work. As a result, there are a lot of poorly designed emails out there – clutter; theme, nonsensical speech Interrupted. If you like a challenge or want a unique look. Building your own can be a lot of fun and rewarding. In other words, Some great email templates are available:
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Now you know how to properly set up and send an email. The decision you need to make is whether to code your own HTML template. It’s a bit more complicated than coding a normal web page. Let’s go in.
Email design is still in the dark ages. Due to the large number of email clients and devices; Your email will appear in a different way for users.
Customers will add their own flavor styles on top of yours. Gmail, for example, sets it all up.
Now in September 2016, Gmail will support several CSS properties that make template development for Gmail easier.
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Div has positioning and box model issues in different clients — specifically, People who use Microsoft Word to create (ie Outlook). You can use a div if you want, but it’s safer to code it like it’s 1999 and stick it in a table. This means that:
Some clients (notably Gmail until recently) will strip any out-of-line CSS. You have two options here.
Writing as you go is not a scalable or maintainable solution; So I don’t usually recommend it, but I know a lot of email developers like it to get 100% control. If you write your own CSS inline; I recommend using a template language with snippets and/or partials and helpers. This will save you from repeating yourself.
For the programmer line, I recommend Node.js module Juice. Gem premailer and Roadie are Ruby alternatives.
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Trying to get the perfect cross client switch is a pain. As mentioned, you should use tables and table cells for everything, including buttons.
My preference is to use the following solution. Here’s how you style buttons for the web:
It’s just a way to implement a button in an email. Admittedly, It doesn’t always look the same on every client, but the web isn’t always pixel perfect. I prefer it because it’s simpler and doesn’t involve using image assets or VML.
What is VML If you spend time emailing, you will probably come across several references to it. Vector Markup Language (VML) is supported by older versions of Outlook. According to Microsoft, VML is deprecated in Internet Explorer (IE) 10; This means it is no longer supported in newer versions of IE. However, Outlook 2007; As long as it’s around 2010 and 2013. You’ll usually see it used for wallpaper.
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In general, Sticking to standard system fonts is the easiest. It includes Helvetica, Including Arial etc. However, You can use web fonts like Google Fonts. Put them behind the WebKit status media queries, So that Outlook doesn’t interrupt them.
We can use specific CSS styles to show or hide elements and content for different versions of Outlook.
Some clients will show a default image. Some don’t. Keep this in mind when adding images to your email content. This affects tracking metrics, as images will typically be used to track openings.
Text for all your images. Text can tell the user what the image says or describe it (for example, “company logo”). Creative alt text is available for image-disabled clients like Monks Email:
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Animated GIFs are supported.