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Challenges with Email Design

Today has been full of email design challenges for me. I’m working on both internal emails and a project for a client in which I’m struggling to ensure that messages render correctly in various email clients. This is a problem many marketers face. Unfortunately, HTML is not a totally universal language and some programs render HTML in different ways than others. Just when I get something to look perfect in Outlook 07, I realize it is misaligned in Outlook 03. We face the same challenges as we try to design our websites and landing pages to “play nice” in Firefox, IE 6 – 8, Safari and new additions like Chrome.

So, what’s a marketer to do?

Well, according to a new piece from BtoB Online (which I so appropriately received today in the midst of these projects), the thing to do is just relax!

The article points out that a lot of companies are so concerned about a pretty, perfect image that they decide to use one large image containing their message instead of creating an email with HTML. While this does ensure that things look the way you intended, it also ensures that up to half of your recipients will never see your message, since most email clients don’t load images by default.

More important, says BtoB, is that you use colors and design elements consistent with your overall branding. As long as your emails, landing pages and website flow together in a cohesive manner, customers will get the message and you will still be building your brand.