Keep HTML Emails Sexy

Not sure if you’ve heard about the Email Standards Project, but if you haven’t: the project seeks to connect email client developers and the design community to improve web standards support and accessibility in email.

You may ask why this is important – just like Internet Explorer 7/8 may be the first browsers that finally get in line with everyone else, delivering websites consistently across platforms and browsers, we still have a long ways to go with email clients. Sure, every company loves to dish out a nicely-styled HTML e-newsletters, but how do you know that the email arrives as it was intended?

A related article by David Greiner explains what you need to do to ensure that your emails not only look great in today’s email clients but also actually make it to where they’re going.

Greiner goes through the gory details of just how backwards you’ll need to code (circa 1997 standards), and then touches on something very much overlooked when dealing with e-newsletters these days: “Even though achieving consistency in how your emails are rendered is a challenge in itself, you’ve still got a long way to go before it actually arrives in your subscriber’s inbox. The world of email deliverability has changed a lot in recent years. Originally, content was king. As long as you weren’t blacklisted and your email content didn’t include lots of “spammy” words, then you had a good chance of getting delivered. Today however, ISP’s and spam filtering technology has got a whole lot smarter and more aggressive.”

“Who is sending the email is becoming more important than what the email says. ISPs are doing this by watching their customers reassign habits and use of the “Mark as spam” button, and then tying that back to the sending domain and IP address. If a subscriber is regularly opening your email then you should be in the clear, but if a decent number rarely open your email and mark it as spam then you might not make the inbox much longer. Known as your sender reputation, it’s the most important factor in getting your emails delivered today. Just like the real world, having a good reputation ensures trust, and if ISP’s don’t trust you, you’re in trouble.”

How to Maintain Good Sender Reputation? Read the full article »