HTML in Your Email
In this chapter of our continuing discussion on HTML
email, we are going to talk about the different elements which are
not really all that necessary in your mailings.
The following are not necessary for HTML email and should
be stripped out before you mail. This will reduce the overall size
of your mailing and increase the speed in which it is delivered,
rendered, and received by your customers. While this may not seem
like a big deal for a hundred piece mailing, imagine send 5 million
or so emails in a single day.
PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
All Meta Tags,
including Refresh Cache & Pragma
Many systems will disable some of these by default, however when
Outlook receives a refresh command it will merely display blank
content in both the preview and open message. Web-based systems
will usually only display context taken from between your <BODY></BODY>
The subject section of your email message takes care of this element.
Long comments or commented -out sections.
Programs that export to HTML
Dreamweaver, FrontPage, or Adobe - Any references to extensions,
styles, or Fireworks/Image Ready tables. This is most common with
Front Page extensions, which reference IE only styles quite often.
If you have a document which uses a library item, such as Dreamweaver,
you will have to break the library item apart and insert your code
as raw HTML in order for your mailing to work correctly.
Since many Web-Based email clients place their own redirects on
your links (for whatever neffarious reasons..we cannot say) if you
place your own redirects on urls, turls, or query strings, they
may break, or show up as plain text in the middle of your email.
Make sure if you use style sheets, only the elements you will
be using for a particular mailing are included. This helps cut out
bulk & unnecessary code from your mailings. This is most often
found when a mock-up contains the entire style sheet for a website,
rather than the styles used in the mailing. While this may not seem
like a big deal for a couple hundred emails, it adds up if your
doing, let's say, a Million emails in a day.
So a simple example for extraneuos style sheets would be if you
had 100 lines of code to define 25 styles from your website, but
you were only using one style for your HTML email. You could either
mark up the style in HTML code, or you could just define one style
and apply it to the entire email.
You must be mindfull when you use special characters in you HTML
email. Special characters include those which must be generated
through an escape sequence (ex: © = © in HTML) and
many email browsers will have some trouble reading them.
One character sequence to be especially careful of is the non-breaking
space character ( ). Many WYSIWYG editors (like FrontPage
& Dreamweaver) have fallen in love with this character.
Furthermore, many WYSIWYG editors use the Non-Breaking space to
wedge open <TD>'s. These will usually close up when viewed
by the majority of Netscape browsers. A spacer GIF should be used
when you absolutely have to keep a <TD> cell open in order
for your design to work.
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