A quick escort to HTML Email: Introduction to building and sending an HTML email


A quick escort to HTML Email: Introduction to building and sending an HTML email


A quick escort to HTML Email: Introduction to building and sending an HTML email

Jamais Cascio said, “The difference between email and regular mail is that computers handle email, and computers never decide to come to work one day and shoot all the other computers.”

Quick summary:

It’s well said by jamais, as guns don’t matter when it comes to computers, code is the utmost game of computers. Designing an email is a monstrosity. Email vendors are not so progressive as web browser vendors in adopting new standards. This blog will provide you with a perception of the world of building, writing, and sending an effective HTML email.

HTML Email

These two words when combined can bring tears, even to a developer’s eyes. As a web developer, it is assumed that coding an HTML email will be a task that gets dropped on you whether you like it or not. It’s an Old school technique. If you are responsible for your company’s email campaign then you fully need to know how this works, legal requirements, and how to deliver your email and get the best out of it.

So let’s take a look at how companies send a few different types of mails:

  • Marketing Email
  • Transactional Email
  • Life cycle email


Legal framework/requirements for sending an Email: If not fulfilled your mails can go to senders spam so avoid these

  1. Don’t use misleading/false header information ever.
  2. Don’t use elusive subject lines.
  3. Tell recipients your location and how to opt out of future emails from you.
  4. Promptly honor opt-out requests.
  5. Identify messages as an advertisement.

Marketing Email

Email marketing is the function of a business message, mostly to a group of individuals, using mail. It requires using email to send commercials, appeal, or request sales and campaigns.

Transactional Email

Transaction mail is defined as automated mail between sender and receiver. Regular transaction emails use cases include:

  • Account creation mails
  • Notifications,
  • Reset passwords
  • Acquire receipts
  • Social media accounts and upgrades.
  • Followers notification and many more.

Lifecycle Email

Lifecycle and conduct-based email services help with enrolling, meeting, and more. It helps your customers be rewarding at every stage.

It helps to create an expected, integrated, and good experience that builds trust and commitment.

Forward results and popularity-

Your emails have popularity and results associated with them. This influences how mailbox providers deal with your email, whether they accept or reject it. They can send this directly to the recipient’s inbox or straight to spam.

Some characteristics are:

  1. Your IP reputation.
  2. Tour domain name signature.
  3. Bounce rates.
  4. Low complaints.

HTML Templates

A lot of imperfectly built emails are out there on the web, as building a perfect HTML email template can be a struggling process. If you want a dare or need your mail to look unique then building your own can be rewarding and fun. Alternatively, good templates are available on the below links:

Let’s dive into basics of Building an HTML email template

Client rendering services

Due to the countless email clients and devices, your email will get furnished for users in a variety of ways.

Email clients use different engines to furnish HTML email.

  1. Webkit is used by Apple Mail, Outlook for Mac, Android Mail, and iOS Mail.
  2. Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013, 2020 use Microsoft Word{Yo Word}.
  3. Outlook 2000, 2002, and 2003 use Internet Explorer{yes that’s true}.
  4. Web clients use their browser’s corresponding engine (Safari uses WebKit and Chrome uses Blink).

Basics: How To Create HTML Email Template?

Includes two parts

  • Header section: All media queries, CSS, animations, and styling must be specified in this section. It includes any type of code placed between <head> and <head>
  • Body: Rendering engines use the code present in the body to create an HTML email structure. Code placed between <body> and <body> is included in this section.

Steps include:

Head section of simple HTML mail resembles this code.

  1. <DOCTYPE html PUBLIC >
  2. <html xmpls=”https://www.vif3.org/2020/xhtml”>
  3. <head>
  4. <title>
  5. <meta http-equiv=”type of content=”text/html/>
  6. <meta name=”viewport”
  7. <style>
  8. <……CSS code ….> (if any)
  9. <style>
  10. <head>
  • The rendering engine identifies <DOCTYPE> and then uses this information to expect the set of rules CSS and HTML adhere to.
  • <meta http-equiv> is used to specify how to process the text and characters in your email. “Text/HTML” guides the engine to consider the following strings of text as HTML.
  • “Viewport” instructs the device to set the viewable area of the email as per the required screen width.
  • Title is written between the <title> tag. When a client clicks on “view”, the title of the email is displayed on the browser of the client.

Clients add their flavor and garnish of styles on top of yours.

For example, Gmail, Outlook.

Look at your statistics and campaign so that you know what to design for.

A huge step for the email development industry is taken by google as it supports media queries and embedded CSS (cascading style sheets) in Gmail.


Sticking with the standard system fonts is the easiest practice, however, one can use web fonts such as google fonts.

Images and Media

Some organizations tend to show images by default and some won’t. All you need is to manage your content according to your client’s benefit.

  1. Apple mail and Gmail do not support images.
  2. Outlook black image rendering by default.

Always include good Alt text for all of your images. The text should help the user to describe what the image implies or describe what you want them to understand.

  1. Most clients support animated GIFs.
  2. Always remember to compress your media assets and use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) such as amazon web services.
  3. For Outlook, remember you need to specify the width of the image. Otherwise, it may render the actual width of the image and break your Email.

Video in Email

iOS, Apple Mail, and Outlook.com support video. You can use queries to show or hide a video based on the client’s preference.

Preheader Text

Preheader text is very important if you are targeting iOS, Apple Mail, Outlook, and AOL as some clients show previews under the subject line so that clients will be able to grab the first glimpse of text and display it. Make the most of this technique and you can add a hidden character to your body’s content that appears first. This text should be able to provide an extra incentive for the user to open your email instantly.

Responsive Email Design:

Mobile and Tablet devices are in great use nowadays. Your mail preferences should rely on the current statistics and which kind of users or clients you are tending to as this is an important chapter of your overall success. You can also imply several techniques:

  • Fluid: Make your email fluid, which means that as the viewport shortens your content area also shortens with it.
  • RESPONSIVE AND ADAPTIVE: We can use media queries and breakpoints, we can also furnish alternate styles for different sized viewpoints, and can also hide or show elements. But, as we have seen, media queries are not supported everywhere so this is not always reliable.
  • HYBRID AND SPONGY: This uses a bit of both of the above techniques to make your email as interactive as it can get.

The images you want to add to your mail must be responsive to attract the desired group of clients.

Testing Email

You are indeed unable to send a successful email the first time you try, there is something to fix, always a typing error, a rendering issue, or something u forgot to add. You can test your email in few ways:

  1. You can send an email to yourself and check it out on a desktop, or a web client like Gmail and your mobile (IOS mail).
  2. Check the layout rendering and proofread the content every time (It is a good practice to follow).
  3. Using online tools to test the various content, content length, header/footer, and subject lines.
  4. Automate tests provided by some web clients like Litmus, etc.

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions)

Plain text mail is just plain text and an HTML email is precisely HTML. Most of the Emails you send/receive are MIME multi-part emails, this combines both plain text and HTML. This helps the clients to decide which to render. So keep this in mind while sending Emails and include both HTML and plain text.

Some clients may render plain text email as HTML. Gmail is a perfect example of this as it will add some default designs and turn URLs into links automatically.

This intro here is a brief overview, you could dive deep into every one of these points. I am hoping that this gives you a good insight into the galaxy of building and sending Emails.

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