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Effective HTML Email and Newsletters
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Deciding when and how to test email


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Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

with Tim Slavin

Video: Deciding when and how to test email

Testing HTML email before you send it out is a critical step. You don't know, for example, how your email will appear in different email software. This video shows basic ways to test your HTML email. Because most software used to open and display HTML email uses web browsers on the computer, the first way to test your HTML email is to use different web browsers. Start with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari to see how your email displays with standards-compliant email software.
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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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Effective HTML Email and Newsletters
2h 24m Appropriate for all Jun 22, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course provides hands-on training on all aspects of email marketing, from crafting emails and setting up effective marketing campaigns to managing spam filters and evaluating delivery services. Author Tim Slavin introduces the fundamentals of email marketing, including the differences between HTML email and web pages, how to code emails that display properly on receipt, and ways to stay current with HTML email standards and capabilities. The course includes several project-oriented tutorials on creating multi-column newsletter layouts and multi-product offer emails, and also explains how to automate email creation, test emails prior to delivery, outsource campaigns, and address common coding problems.

Topics include:
  • Understanding MIME types
  • Reducing spam potential in an email or email list
  • Creating content for email campaigns
  • Understanding the design constraints of HTML emails
  • Building email address lists
  • Understanding the ideal coding process
  • Designing a plain text email from an HTML email
  • Deciding how and when to test an email
  • Sending email with canned templates
  • Troubleshooting layout, spacing, and image issues
  • Adding video to email
Subjects:
Business Online Marketing Web Email Marketing Marketing
Author:
Tim Slavin

Deciding when and how to test email

Testing HTML email before you send it out is a critical step. You don't know, for example, how your email will appear in different email software. This video shows basic ways to test your HTML email. Because most software used to open and display HTML email uses web browsers on the computer, the first way to test your HTML email is to use different web browsers. Start with Firefox, Chrome, or Safari to see how your email displays with standards-compliant email software.

So, call up your email locally as you build your email in Firefox to confirm that your email displays fine. Do the same with Safari. For example, Mac Mail some or all of the Safari web browser to display HTML email. Google Chrome is another standards-compliant web browser that can help you identify any problems, as well as confirm that your email displays fine. If you're on Windows, whatever version of Internet Explorer is on your computer you might want to test in that environment as well.

We can see here with Internet Explorer 9 that we have borders around two of the images. Once you test your HTML email locally, the next step is to test with a service like BrowserLab at Adobe. BrowserLab is a free online service from adobe.com that allows you to see how your HTML email will display in a range of web browsers, including Internet Explorer 6, which is used in older versions of Outlook. BrowserLab provides you with a little bit more insight into how your code might or might not display with older email software.

Once you log in to BrowserLab, you click the Browser Sets link at the top, you select from the list of available browsers, then you click the Test link. You type in the URL to your HTML email as a web page, and BrowserLab displays it in whatever browsers you have selected. In this case, we've selected Internet Explorer 6. We can scroll down, and we see that images also have borders.

Explorer 7, everything displays fine, except a few of these images have borders, and finally, Internet Explorer 8. That's the only issue are the borders around the Explorer buttons and the Buy buttons and the Book buttons. This raises the key question about testing: How far do you go? Only the most primitive email will display perfectly in all email software. It's also true that most of your readers may not use older versions of Lotus Notes, which is a very primitive email software.

How far you test is up to you. How far you test depends on the email software your readers most commonly use. Most people test locally on their computer with a few web browsers as they build their HTML email. Then they use online testing services to confirm their email display is fine across many kinds of email software. The next video describes how to use more comprehensive online email testing services.

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