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Campaign Monitor's 2008 Email Design Guidelines

In this article Mathew Patterson discusses the technical, design and information elements that make up a successful HTML email.

Here are the quick and dirty guidelines:

  • Don’t waste your readers’ time — An email inbox is a busy place, you won’t get much attention.
  • Permission matters — Not only do you need to have permission to email people, but it helps to remind them of how they gave you permission, as specifically as you can.
  • Relevance trumps permission — Just having permission is not enough, the content you are sending must also be relevant.
  • Make unsubscribing easy — There’s no point emailing people who are not interested.
  • Image blocking is common — You can’t rely on people actually seeing your images.
  • Bring back tables — Structural tables are still often necessary for creating columns.
  • Add inline styles — Gmail removes anything else.
  • Don’t forget your plain text version —  You can make blocks of text more readable.
  • Meet your legal obligations — For example, CAN-SPAM for US senders.
  • Test, test, test — It’s the only way to be confident about your design working.

Read the full article on the Campaign Monitor blog.

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