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Creating an HTML Email Newsletter

Creating your tables for the email


From:

Creating an HTML Email Newsletter

with Tim Slavin

Video: Creating your tables for the email

In the last video we extracted color information dimensions and other details and wound up with a worksheet that look something like this. To start coding we'll have in our interface a blank HTML file, we have our prep code file for HTML; we've added the doc type, body etcetera. We've got our CSS prep code, we have our email copy to save us a lot of typing, and for our discussion later when we add the background image we have our VML code for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010.

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Creating an HTML Email Newsletter
55m 25s Appropriate for all Dec 07, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author Tim Slavin shows how to design and code an HTML email newsletter, including setting the final dimensions and color palette, placing images and copy in the code structures of the file, and defining the newsletter's parameters with tables within tables. The course demonstrates each step of building an HTML newsletter, up to testing and sending the email.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting margins and padding in the code
  • Setting the look for headers and footers
  • Testing the code with tools like BrowserLab
  • Building a TXT equivalent of an HTML email for simple email readers
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Email Marketing
Author:
Tim Slavin

Creating your tables for the email

In the last video we extracted color information dimensions and other details and wound up with a worksheet that look something like this. To start coding we'll have in our interface a blank HTML file, we have our prep code file for HTML; we've added the doc type, body etcetera. We've got our CSS prep code, we have our email copy to save us a lot of typing, and for our discussion later when we add the background image we have our VML code for Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010.

So we'll start with our email invitation. We're going to start off very simply. No big scary leaps, we're going to add code in layers not all at once. The first step is to go to our HTML prep code, highlight, Ctrl+C or Command+C to copy, Ctrl+V or Command+V to paste. What I do want to add is an HTML comment that tells us this is our Wrapper, our pseudo BODY tag table.

As we add layers and layers of code these comments will help us understand where things begin and where they end. It will save us a lot of time. I'll copy and paste and this is the close Wrapper pseudo BODY table. We have our Wrapper pseudo BODY table, we need another table for the background border and for the content, and in addition we're going to need to create these very simple tables at the top and bottom for links.

Here's how we code all of these tables. We'll highlight, Ctrl+C or Command+C to copy, Ctrl+V or Command+V to paste, we'll indent, two stops. This minor table handles the view to web version link, I mentioned of the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email and any other data of that sort. So we'll call this basic links. Next, we'll create our background table.

I'll highlight, copy, paste, we'll type Background table and the other major table I'm going to do here is for the bottom links, the unsubscribe links. I'll highlight, copy, paste. As I mentioned earlier we want these tables to manage our links to ensure everything is centered.

Now let's go back to our background table, we'll highlight, copy, and paste. We'll indent this table, two stops, and this is our content table. We'll go back to our original design and you see that in our content table we have several rows. We have a row that holds our logo image, a row for the copy, a row for the olive branch image, and we have two rows for the footer.

So let's create those rows. This row will be for the logo. We carefully select just the table row, not the entire table, Ctrl+C or Command+C to copy, Ctrl+V or Command+V to paste. This will be our copy area. Next we need an area for the olive branch. We need an area for the top of the footer, so this was the address information.

And finally, we need an area for the copyright, Facebook icon. So now we have accounted for all of our tables. The next step is to go back to our worksheet and to begin to add the width to all the different elements. Let's begin with the background table and the 25 pixel wide borders. We want a background table, what we'll do is we'll make the cellpadding 25 pixels wide, that will give us plenty of space for our background image.

We also know that our background image is 550 pixels wide, so we will add that both at the table and at the td tag level. It's important especially for older browsers to specifying both locations. We know the width of our content table is 500 pixels wide, so let's simply highlight copy and paste our width for all of these table data cells. Our final step in this video will be to check our work in a local Web Browser on this computer.

Let's go to the File Browser and open the saved HTML file in a Web Browser, we'll open this with Firefox. We can see that we have all of our elements for our table and we see that we have plenty of room for the background table but we can see several adjustments that we need to make. The Wrapper table needs to have its width set, and we need to center all of the table data cells within our content table, so let's make those changes quickly. We'll set this width at 99% for webmail software to give us a gutter around our email.

And we want to change all of these alignments from left to center. We'll highlight, copy, and then paste. And we can see because of our bookmarks we are at the bottom of the content table. We miss the alignment for the Wrapper table, let's make that last tweak, and there we go. We have all of our tables all lined up, everything is centered with plenty of room.

With our email structure coded out, next we'll add images.

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