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Designing effective HTML email

From: Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

Video: Designing effective HTML email

Email design is limited primarily by the software used to view your email-- most times images will be off by default, for example--and your design needs to make it easy for readers to scan content whether your email is HTML or text. The first place to start with possible email designs is your own web site design. Distill the web page design into a grid and key elements, for example, logo, top navigation, and content columns. Your goal is to convert your web page design into a grid and a series of interlocking boxes.

Designing effective HTML email

Email design is limited primarily by the software used to view your email-- most times images will be off by default, for example--and your design needs to make it easy for readers to scan content whether your email is HTML or text. The first place to start with possible email designs is your own web site design. Distill the web page design into a grid and key elements, for example, logo, top navigation, and content columns. Your goal is to convert your web page design into a grid and a series of interlocking boxes.

If you want to start from scratch with an email design, there are three essential designs used in email: one column, which is typically for announcements; two-column designs, which are typically for newsletters; and multicolumn product emails, which have multiple columns and rows. All three essential email designs use a single HTML table to wrap around HTML tables and rows and columns that will make up your email design. In this case, for example, we have a single box around the email, we have a box around the header, a box around the navigation area, boxes to hold the products, and at the bottom, a box for the footer.

Each of these boxes will be in HTML table or in a HTML table cell or a table row. Not everything should go into the email design, however. You have less horizontal width in an email, so you might need to shorten the number of links in the top navigation of your email. The tight horizontal space also limits the width of any side column if you choose a two-column design. Here's a plain text email design. The main changes here have to do with no images and displaying navigation links vertically instead of horizontally, yet both the web page and the plaintext version have to use whitespace effectively to succeed.

A clean design for your emails is one of several must-haves for an effective email and email marketing campaign.

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Effective HTML Email and Newsletters

55 video lessons · 23011 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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