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Practical Tips For HTML Email Design And Newsletter Marketing

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Essential HTML and CSS topics for professional newsletter marketing

By Editorial Team on 2018-11-20

Digital marketing professionals usually use email and newsletter marketing for reaching out their customers and clients. Often, they require doing some light HTML and CSS coding to customize their email messages. Thus, this article reviews major topics that newsletter marketing professional need to learn for launching successful marketing campaigns. We also cover many practical tips for HTML email design and development.


HTML Email Design
To do successful HTML email deign, you need to learn how to create eye-catching HTML emails & newsletters that work on a consistent basis across multiple email clients and platforms. You should be able to visually communicate & market with custom, branded mass email campaigns. From designing and coding emails from the ground up to responsive techniques and email client testing, you should use codes to improve your designs and communication.

HTML Email Designer Tasks
The following are major tasks for a newsletter or HTML email marketer:

  • Setting Email marketing goals and strategies
  • Planning and Email campaign management
  • Designing messages for the inbox
  • Coding your Email messages in HTML
  • Understanding permission and spam
  • Optimizing for effectiveness and high conversions

HTML Email Design Topics
The HTML email design tasks are for anyone that needs to create or manage email campaigns. Although not required, prior experience in web design coding would be great for making custom email campaigns. The following are major topics for mastering html email design and newsletter marketing.
1. How Email and Spam work
2. Planning an Email Campaign
3. Designing for the Inbox
4. Coding Your Email Message
5. Understanding Permission for spam management
6. Selling Email to Your Clients


HTML Email Design- Best Practices
According to Mailchimp Company, there are a few things to keep in mind when designing HTML email campaigns as follows:

  • Emails should be 600-800 pixels maximum width.
  • Design for simplicity. Use grid-based layers and avoid complicated elements that require HTML floats or positioning.
  • Assume images will be initially blocked by email clients, or that certain images—background images, for example—will completely fail to load.
  • Don’t design an email that is essentially one large, sliced-up image. While these kinds of emails look pretty, they perform poorly.
  • Use basic, cross-platform fonts such as Arial, Verdana, Georgia, and Times New Roman.
  • Avoid elements that require Flash or JavaScript. If you need motion in an email, a .gif is your best bet.
  • Don’t forget about the mobile experience! Is your email readable at arm’s length on a small screen? Will the images slow its load time on a mobile device? Are your links easy to press with a thumb?

HTML Email Development- Best Practices
According to Mailchimp Company, much like with design, there are best practices to follow when coding HTML email as follows:

  • Code all structure using the table element. For more complicated layouts, you should nest tables to build complex structures.
  • Use element attributes (such as cellpadding, valign, and width) to set table dimensions. This forces a box-model structure.
  • Keep your CSS simple. Avoid compound style declarations (IE: “font:#000 12px Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;”), shorthand code (IE: #000 instead of #000000), CSS layout properties (IE: slot, position, clear, visibility, etc.), complex selectors (IE: descendant, child or sibling selectors, and pseudo-elements)
  • Inline all CSS before sending.
  • Use only absolute links for images, and host those images on a reliable server.
  • Do not bother with JavaScript or Flash—those technologies are largely unsupported by email clients.
  • Account for mobile-friendliness, if possible. Use media queries to increase text sizes on small screens, provide thumb-sized (~46x46px) hit areas for links. Make an email responsive if the design allows for it.
  • Test, test, test. Create email accounts across various services, and send emails to yourself. Do this in conjunction with your email service provider.

Summary and Additional Notes
Now that you have learned the main topics related to HTML email design and newsletter marketing,, you need to plan for your next training possibly in one of the following six areas: 1- Become a digital marketing specialist by learning advance newsletter marketing with HTML and CSS coding, 2- Become frontend or User Interface specialist like web design freelancer by learning advance topics like HTML5 and CSS3, 3- Become a Content Management System by learning WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, 4- Become a  back-end developer by learning Linux, PHP, and MySQL, and Apache, 5- Become a FullStack developer by learning JavaScript frameworks like Angular, React, jQuery and even Node and Express, 6- Become a mobile App developer by learning jQuey Mobile, React Native or Ionic along with HTML5.

It is advisable to consult with an IT career counselor to understand what career options best fits your skills. For instance, if you want to be a software engineer, learning HTML and CSS might not fit the bill. Here is an excellent article for learning more on coding and technology career roadmap. Once you know what career path you wish to pursue, you can make a plan on what, when, and how to learn. There are lots of online resources for learning coding and technology in general. For teenagers and high school students, High School Technology Services offers variety of hands-on training. For adults and professionals, Coding Bootcamps and DC Web Makers Companies offer basic to advance project-based programming and technology classes.

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