I find there are a lot of short cut approaches to html emails. A lot of “how to” blog entries and template shortcuts thrown all over the web by people who have obviously not spent much time down in the email trenches. Well, I’m here to set the record straight… there is no html email genie!
There, it’s out in the open for the whole world to know. The best thing I can recommend is hard work and practice. (I know, I kind of felt a little dirty using the “p” word.) The truth is, html emails are more a recipe than a template. A dash of this, a pinch of that… and it all depends on the content.
Recipe for perfect email cookies:
1. Content. We all know that content is king when it comes to SEO; the same is true for html emails.
2. Text only versions. This is the most overlooked nugget of awesomeness that will ensure deliverable. Never ever forget to have a text only version.
3. Subject line. Be short, be concise and stay away from words like free, win and viagra. Our subject lines not need a virile treatment.
4. Image to text ration. This one is for my fellow designers… emails are not a website, you doofus! Learn the medium you’re designing in for goodness sakes.
5. Unsubscribe link / SPAM Law Compliance. Be smart. I mean, it’s the law to NOT send mail to people that don’t want it… so suck it up and to your homework.
There it is… the simple recipes for a successful start to your html email. One of my favorite resources is actually mailchimp.com. They have some really fun documentation that make for a quite entertaining read. Enjoy.