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How do they do it? Newsletters

perfect html newsletters, everytime!

     
10:40 pm on Jun 13, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hello,
I usually get email newsletter from companies like Adobe or Career builder and they look perfect! (My Yahoo mail or my Hotmail donít even ask me to download the images). My question is: how do they do it? What kind of secret code, server are they using? While other newsletters block images.
1:43 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jab_creations is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Get a copy of WinMerge, copy and paste the HTML source from two emails and break it down until you find the area where the email's HTML starts and ends. I would imagine there is a lot of inline styling offhand.

- John
1:58 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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One of the keys to working out a good newsletter template is having test accounts on a wide variety of email clients. The oddities that they represent are like browsers of ten years ago - except there are so many more email clients!

Here's a solid post that's now over five years old, but it's still well worth the read. Email seems to be evolving a lot more slowly than the rest of online technology.

The Challenges of HTML Email [webmasterworld.com]
(check out the second reply from Don_Hoagie - message #608568
2:44 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I tried to get the html from these perfect newsletters and every time I try to use my own pictures and send it to myself, the images are blocked. How do they do it?
4:43 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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For starters, try forwarding it to yourself. Any changes? Are the images included in the e-mail, or online? You may have separate prefs for the two.
8:30 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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+1 to lucy24's and tedster's suggestion.

The various email clients treat the display of inline objects differently depending on if the message has been sent or not. Also how images are attached and linked in a message differ between email clients.

Take a message from your Inbox and reverse engineer it by looking at it's source. Much to be learned!

Your target audience will determine what formatting and objects can be used. For CSS support see Guide to CSS support in email clients [campaignmonitor.com]

Also don't forget to test your messages in SPAM testing portals. Some marketspeak and formatting can and will get your message rejected; worse it could get your domain blacklisted.
9:33 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I think most email clients only block images that are being loaded from a remote server,

If you include or embed the images then it shouldn't block them.

The reason email clients started blocking remote images is because it was a way of determining what email addresses opened an email and when they opened the email. Often times this was used to spam. A spammer would send out emails to auto generated email addresses a@example.com, b@example.com, c@example.com

then they embed an image tag with a unique query string attached to it

<img src="http://example.com/images/image.jpg?id=a@example.com" >

Then they look at their server logs to see what query strings loaded that image and then they can tell which email addresses have actual people opening the emails at.

If you embed the image in the email then you can't track it and your email client won't block it. However embedding images has the effect of making the email size much larger.

You can look at some Image to CSS converters.

I am not sure what Adobe is doing but it could be they have white-listed some of their servers with some email providers. I know Thunderbird blocks images from them.
9:39 pm on June 14, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Email seems to be evolving a lot more slowly than the rest of online technology.


Thanks to Microsoft who decided it was more important for Outlook to be compatible with MS Word's garbage HTML code, when you export a page, than modern HTML, HTML emails are stuck in 1998. That's the secret.
1:48 pm on June 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Saving a document in Word using 'Save as HTML - Filtered' strips out MOST of the propietary fluff added.