The definition of HTML email templates
As the name suggests, HTML email templates are HTML files. Now, let’s break that down a bit:
HTML (hypertext markup language) is the code that defines the structure as well as content in an email. HTML, along with CSS (cascading style sheets), allows you to personalize your emails to a far extent by adding copy, images, and links. This way you can compose visually appealing emails that reflect your brand or company style and deliver a uniform message to your clients.
The core feature of a template is its reusability. Templates are typically saved in your email service provider (ESP). They serve as a base on which you can add images and links that mirror your brand and are specific to your current email campaign.
The benefits of using HTML email templates
There are numerous reasons to make HTML email templates part of your email marketing campaigns:
They improve efficiency: Templates are one of the key tools that help our email marketing agency stay on top of its game. Since the underlying code of your email is already written and reusable, you can produce campaigns much faster. Instead of writing an entire email from scratch for each of your recipients, all you need to do is add copy, links, and images to a predefined template, test it, and hit Send. And with the extra time on your hands, your team can focus their effort on producing better content and copy for your cold email campaigns.
They provide consistency: HTML email templates benefit your company’s reputation by keeping your emails free of errors and in tune with your brand’s look. To err is human, and rewriting the code for each email increases the chance that an error or a typo might slip by your developers. This can lead to broken emails and a bad user experience. In an unforgiving world of online marketing, damaging your brand reputation is something you can’t allow.
They enable scaling: With the help of HTML email templates, creating campaigns is no longer reserved strictly for developers. Using templates is fairly simple, so we suggest creating a shared document such as a Google Doc with instructions on how to use them. This way, you can even employ your non-coding staff to work on new campaigns.
You can track more metrics: HTML emails allow you to track more metrics than plain text emails, including, but not limited to open and click rates. You can check all of the metrics from the dashboard of your email service provider.
Crucial elements of HTML email design
As we have already mentioned, HTML emails can incorporate various elements. These include:
Copy and headings that use various fonts, sizes, and colors Different graphic elements such as photographs or illustrations Logos or other branding elements Eye Catching backgrounds Highlighted offers and CTAs Dos and don’ts of HTML email design
When designed properly, HTML emails can be a powerful tool to drive sales in your email marketing campaign. However, it is easy to get carried away and go overboard. If you do, it’ll often result in off-putting emails. Here are a few best practices to follow if you wish to design effective HTML emails:
The message that you intend to communicate should be the main focus of your email, not the design Don’t go all out with different visual elements so you don’t confuse your visitors. Make your call-to-action button highly visible Nobody enjoys reading long emails, so you need to keep your message short and simple Incorporate responsive design so mobile users can read your emails Always include a plain text version of your email for those who can’t view the HTML version How to create effective HTML email templates
The most important thing to remember when creating HTML email templates is that most email clients either offer no support for CSS layouts or make them frustratingly difficult to use. This is why we recommend using
Nest tables to provide consistent spacing – Nesting tables inside your main table is a tried and true method for avoiding inconsistent results across all email clients, even if margins and padding are already supported. Set a background color on a container table – When you set a background color on the tag or in your style sheet, there is a chance that some email clients will ignore it. You can avoid this issue if you have a wrapping table around your content with a bgcolor set. Don’t ignore whitespace – While in theory, whitespace in HTML files should be ignored, in practice, this can cause many rendering inconsistencies. This is especially bound to occur if you have whitespace between table cells. Removing spaces between the closing tag of one and the opening tag of the next cell is a great way to avoid layout problems. Use inline CSS
When you apply a style inline, you give it a priority over styles that are further away. This way you can work around those email clients (like Gmail) that strip out CSS from the head or the external CSS files.
While the Gmail app with non-Gmail addresses (GANGA) is currently the only major client that strips all other types of CSS, embedded