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HTML Validation

The email editor will validate HTML and attempt to clean up invalid HTML. There are a couple reasons why your HTML should be valid. First, having valid HTML will increase your deliverability. Increasingly, spam filters are scanning the HTML of emails to validate the message. Secondly, Pardot places the HTML open tracking image between the </html> and </body> tags. In the past, if those two tags were missing in an email you sent through Pardot, we were not able to calculate the HTML opens for that email campaign.

HTML Validation without Tags

HTML Validation with Tags

With HTML validation, if the tags are missing, we will place them in the email for you. Since we’re placing those tags in the HTML, if the matching <body> and <html> tags are not in the code, the email wizard will display an error and not allow you to continue. If this occurs, click the “View Source” tab of the email and check to see if your email has the <body> and <html> tags. If not, you’ll need to add them so the HTML will be valid and you’ll be able to continue with the wizard.

Here are a few tips from Mailchimp that we found helpful:

Avoid these common pitfalls:

  • Coloring fonts bright red or green
  • Coding sloppy HTML (usually from converting a Microsoft Word file to HTML)
  • Creating an HTML email that’s nothing but one big image, with little or no text (since spam filters can’t read images, they assume you’re a spammer that’s trying to trick them)
  • Using the word “Test” in the subject line (agencies run into this all the time, when sending drafts to clients for approval)
  • Sending a test to multiple recipients within the same company (that company’s email firewall can only assume it’s a spam attack)

For more HTML email deliverability tips, check out the following articles:
Marketer’s Mix: Quick HTML Tips to Improve HTML Email Deliverability
SpamAssassin: Avoiding False Positives For Senders