The Ancient Art of Email Templating

This Ancient Art of Email Templating PDF Guide by MailChimp made me laugh out loud. The intro paragraph says it all:

Take off that beanie and put that Zeldman book down, you hippie. There are no standards in HTML email. Email programs are all over the place in terms of how they render HTML. You will need to think different. Fight different. Yes, you will need to resort to dirty “street” style tactics to make your email designs look consistent. Medieval stuff like:

– Table layout. No CSS Positioning. Not only that, but…
– Embedded Tables (gasp!) Shim-GIFs (double gasp!)
– Videos, Flash, ActionScript, DHTML, Javascript, and all that other fancyschmancy stuff is not going to work. Most anti-virus software block them from working inside email apps.

Download The Ancient Art of Email Templating PDF Guide.

8 Comments leave a comment below

  1. It’s amazing how backwards e-mail templating goes when talking about web standards. It’s coding like it’s the 90’s again!

    I also love the way Mailchimp “talks” to you. Their interface is always filled with funny messages, makes using their system a pleasant experience.

  2. i’ll have to check this out, I have been doing a lot of E-vites, E-alerts, etc for clients lately. Hate coding them.

  3. Ignore there instruction at your own peril. I know from experience and have since humbled myself to their most awesome wisdom.

  4. An inline styles parser and keeping things simple. That’s my email Jitsu. Funny guide though, agreed.

  5. Interesting reading. The guys at MailChimp are spot on. Recently I wrote a guide to building emails for the company where I’m currently working. The methodology differs a little from MailChimp, in that it uses inline styles exclusively. They do however work equally well delivering reliable rendering in Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, gmail and Apple mail. The finished guide, not as creatively laid out as MailChimp’s, is here . Any feedback would be very welcome.

  6. This is great! I am just working on building a small newsletter “builder” for a client and these tips are going to be very helpful. Thanks for sharing SwissMiss!

  7. My Mondays and Tuesdays are filled with coding HTML emails. It’s awesome for someone who doesn’t want to learn anything new after 1998. It’s a shame that I’m not that person.