HTML email has transformed Internet communications from a standard text correspondence into an environment where users can choose to send and receive messages in the same format as online web pages.
There are many ways to create HTML emails. The first is to buy an email generator program that comes with customizable templates, or you can just pay someone else to create one for you. Alternatively, you can also build it yourself.
In this article, we’ll examine one of the many do-it-yourself techniques, starting with the creation of a standard HTML page that will be pushed into an email client (Outlook Express 6). Then we save and test the message.
Code your HTML page
Create a file in Notepad like a standard HTML web page. To reduce download time when submitting later, reference your graphics with their full URL.
The good news is that recipients don’t need to download images with your email. The bad news is that if you’re not connected to the internet, you won’t be able to view the graphics.
You must be careful to limit potential discrepancies between the way different email clients interpret your message. See the Basic HTML Email Guidelines heading below for more information. You should also validate your code with the HTML Standard 4.01 validator, which can be accessed at http://validator.w3.org/file-upload.html.
Submit your code
Once you’re sure your code is correct, open your email client. In Outlook Express 6, click the Compose Email button in your navigation menu. In the window that appears, choose Format and make sure Rich Text (HTML) is checked. Make sure Source Edit is checked in the View drop-down menu. Your window should now have three tabs at the bottom labeled Edit, Source, and Preview (see FIGURE 1).
press the source Tab where the HTML will be inserted. You can remove the existing code that simply provides you with an HTML framework if you choose to code directly in the client rather than in Notepad first. Now just copy and paste all your code from Notepad into this frame. press the preview Tab to show how the email will appear to recipients using Outlook Express.
Save your message
To save or send your message, you must first click on To edit tab, and then select Save as of the file Menu. Make sure “Files of type: Mail (*.eml)” is visible and name your file. You can now open and reopen this saved email file at any time.
Test your message
while in To edit Enter your own email address in the tab to perform a test send. It makes sense to send the email to different clients. For example, I send test emails to a Lotus Notes account as well as to Outlook Express to make sure I catch potential bugs. To make sure you’re not accidentally sending pictures with your email, go to format menu and make sure Send pictures with message is not selected. If you are satisfied with the result, click Send Button.
Basic HTML email guidelines
- Make sure your message isn’t too text-heavy — people don’t want to read too much text.
- Inline links (links from one position in the message to another) do not work with all clients.
- Frames are not supported satisfactorily.
- Avoid general comments (< !-- Text hier -->) in your code as they unnecessarily increase the download.
- Special characters such as B. Non-breaking spaces ( ) are not supported. To mimic a room, use a transparent graphic with a width and height of the desired dimensions.
- If you are using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), paste only the necessary code. Don’t link to a large style sheet when only three styles are required.
Pros and cons of HTML email
- Distinguish your email with HTML formatting.
- Insert logos, product photos, charts and more.
- Use headings, tables, and images to structure or emphasize specific parts of your message.
- Include user-friendly hyperlinks to make navigation easier for the recipient.
- Spam marketers often use this email format.
- HTML emails have a larger download size than text emails.
- Email creators cannot customize content for display in a variety of email clients.
- Not all email clients support HTML email.
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