Email Coding 101

It can be daunting writing HTML from scratch especially if you haven’t written any HTML email code before. As someone who has coded email for over 15 years I promise you it is not as hard as it looks and everyone had a day one someday. Being able to read, write and understand HTML is a fantastic first step into understanding the internet and is a valuable life skill even outside of the email marketing environment. In this post I will guide you through the first simple steps of hand-coding your first email. Before we even get started it is worth pointing out that email code is quite different from ‘modern’ HTML you might find on the web, and without…

Pictureless perfect: how to build emails which look good when images are blocked

Image blocking has always been a challenge for email marketers. Some email clients hide images by default, leaving your beautifully crafted newsletter as little more than a few stray alt tags scattered around in white space. So how do you make sure your emails look presentable when stripped of their images? Let’s rule out some ideas which don’t work before we look at those that do. Embedded images Adding images to a web page doesn’t necessarily mean linking to an external file. It’s possible to use a data URI instead and paste the image data right there in your HTML document. There are drag-and-drop online converters which can generate the data for you. Just feed them an image and they’ll…

Gif VS CSS

Animated GIFs vs CSS Animation – The Showdown

Ding ding. We’re in for a fight night treat today as two big powers are squaring off. In the blue corner, we have animated GIFs and in the red corner, we have CSS animations. It’s time to find out who the heavy-weight champ is. Animated GIFs In the blue corner, weighing in at anywhere between 50kb to 3mb we have the stalwart of email marketing, the animated GIF. Long have animated GIFs (pronounced gif, not jif!) been used in email marketing. They are an excellent way to draw attention to a specific area of an email or add a bit of life to an email. Just take a look at this example by Boden: I love animated GIFs, but they’re…