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Adding content

From: Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

Video: Adding content

In the last video, we coded the layout of a two-column HTML email. Let's work now on adding content. This is where we left off. We had a very straightforward HTML table layout, with the header, the content area, and the footer all clearly defined. If we go back to our original design, you'll see some differences of course. For example, the EXPLORE CALIFORNIA block should be aligned to the right. We need all of these images and content. We need smaller fonts, et cetera. But let's begin with the content.

Adding content

In the last video, we coded the layout of a two-column HTML email. Let's work now on adding content. This is where we left off. We had a very straightforward HTML table layout, with the header, the content area, and the footer all clearly defined. If we go back to our original design, you'll see some differences of course. For example, the EXPLORE CALIFORNIA block should be aligned to the right. We need all of these images and content. We need smaller fonts, et cetera. But let's begin with the content.

We begin with the pseudo body table and the wrapper table for the HTML email. Next, we'll add copy, so we add a link to the web page version of the newsletter if it exists. It tells readers how you got their email address and where they can unsubscribe if they want to do so. In the email itself, we add copy for the left-column area. We know, if we go back to the original design, that the W is to be large and to have color.

We won't deal with the color or the size today, but we can add a span around the letter W to remind us that we need to style this later. In addition, there is a pale green MONTHLY SPECIALS box. I have created a single image that will link to a MONTHLY SPECIALS page. Alternatively, you could code this as a table, but we'll leave it as an image. We add in the Tour header Package image that is at the top of the right column in the content area.

Then we'll add each of the tours, their logo, and their copy. You can see that each instance of a Tour Package image copy and EXPLORE link make up a single HTML table that is nested within the table data cell. If you go back to the table here where we left off, you'll see that we have the tour image as a block and the tour copy as a block, but it's still nested within the larger table data cell. After we add all of the images and the copy and the links for each of the tours, we then move down to the footer table.

If you recall, in our design the footer has two blocks of text and links and three blocks on the right-hand side for books with a BUY button for each book. Here in the footer, you can see we've added content. We've put the paragraph tag and the anchor tag on their own individual lines, the copy on its own individual line, and then we close off the anchor tag and close off the paragraph tag. This allows non-technical people to easily go into your email newsletter template to change headings, links, et cetera, without getting involved in the code.

Scroll down here. You'll see that we've added the second block of content and links, the FAQs and Support. Then we've added content for each of the books. This code is very much the same for each of the books; the only difference are the images and the URLs. We also use a target="_blank" for each of the links, so that if this email is viewed in Hotmail it will open a brand-new window instead of opening your web site within Hotmail. Finally, at the bottom we've added the copy for EXPLORE CALIFORNIA. This is all the information that email marketers need to add to comply with the US CAN-SPAM law to avoid being labeled as spammers.

This is the final result once we've added all of our copy. If you compare this with our final design, you'll see, for example, the EXPLORE links are to the right. This is what we'll deal with in the next video.

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This video is part of

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Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

55 video lessons · 21947 viewers

Tim Slavin
Author

 
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  1. 2m 25s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 24s
  2. 13m 12s
    1. Understanding differences between HTML email and web pages
      1m 21s
    2. Seeing how HTML email displays in different email programs
      3m 27s
    3. Finding Acid tests and compatibility checklists
      2m 35s
    4. Understanding MIME types: HTML vs plain text
      4m 3s
    5. Exploring the future of HTML email
      1m 46s
  3. 15m 12s
    1. Defining spam
      2m 6s
    2. Examining legal issues with permission-based email
      1m 33s
    3. Planning email campaigns
      1m 36s
    4. Creating content for email campaigns
      2m 34s
    5. Understanding design constraints of HTML email
      1m 53s
    6. Designing effective HTML email
      2m 5s
    7. Building email address lists
      3m 25s
  4. 7m 28s
    1. Choosing tools for coding HTML email
      1m 27s
    2. Coding email versus coding web pages
      1m 14s
    3. Preventing problems with email coding
      2m 49s
    4. Understanding the ideal coding process
      1m 58s
  5. 17m 27s
    1. Planning
      1m 8s
    2. Coding HTML tables
      4m 38s
    3. Adding content
      4m 49s
    4. Adding inline CSS
      6m 52s
  6. 10m 44s
    1. Planning
      43s
    2. Coding HTML tables
      2m 41s
    3. Adding content
      3m 39s
    4. Adding inline CSS
      3m 41s
  7. 13m 13s
    1. Planning
      1m 13s
    2. Coding HTML tables
      3m 4s
    3. Adding content
      2m 37s
    4. Adding images
      1m 9s
    5. Adding inline CSS
      5m 10s
  8. 7m 32s
    1. Designing a plain text email
      4m 49s
    2. Designing a plain text email from an HTML email
      2m 43s
  9. 20m 45s
    1. Automating HTML email creation
      2m 5s
    2. Automating HTML email by category
      1m 6s
    3. Automating HTML email with WordPress
      5m 32s
    4. Automating HTML email with ExpressionEngine
      4m 27s
    5. Automating HTML email with FeedBurner from an RSS feed
      4m 27s
    6. Automating HTML email with FeedBlitz from an RSS feed
      3m 8s
  10. 6m 42s
    1. Deciding when and how to test email
      3m 18s
    2. Using testing services
      3m 24s
  11. 13m 56s
    1. Outsourcing your email campaign
      56s
    2. Sending email with MailChimp
      2m 40s
    3. Sending email with Campaign Monitor
      1m 51s
    4. Sending email with Constant Contact
      2m 20s
    5. Sending email with iContact
      2m 9s
    6. Sending email with VerticalResponse
      1m 52s
    7. Sending email with canned templates
      2m 8s
  12. 14m 34s
    1. Solving layout and spacing problems
      2m 50s
    2. Solving image problems
      3m 12s
    3. Solving Gmail display problems
      2m 19s
    4. Solving Lotus Notes display problems
      1m 55s
    5. Solving Outlook 2007/2010 display problems
      2m 40s
    6. Adding video to email
      1m 38s
  13. 1m 36s
    1. Next steps
      1m 36s

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