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Tips for creating emails and templates

In this article we will show you some tips you should consider when creating your emails and your own templates.

Legal requirements:

  1. Place an unsubscribe link clearly and legibly in your mailing.
  2. Your email must have a legal notice.
  3. The sender address must be an active and retrievable email address.

Layout notes

  1. The width of the email should be between 600 and 700 pixels. The CleverReach templates are optimally designed for a width of 600 pixels.
  2. Design your email in a way that it also can be read without images, in case the images are blocked by email clients or can't be downloaded.
  3. Always place an alternative text for your images as the images might be blocked by some email clients.
  4. No images larger than 500 KB can be integrated via our image database. In general, the images should be kept as small as possible in terms of memory size, since they are always reloaded by the email client every time the file is opened.
  5. If you have several articles, use a table of contents (so-called anchor) so that recipients can jump to the respective article.
  6. Keep your layout clear (use margins, don’t fill spaces unnecessarily)
  7. Give all images a fixed width (WIDTH) and height (HEIGHT).
  8. Don't use background graphics. Some emails clients (e.g. Outlook 2007) have trouble displaying them.
  9. Personalize your email with placeholders (e.g. first name, last name etc.).
  10. Don’t copy/paste text directly from Microsoft Word. Ideally you will insert the text from a Word Document into a “neutral” text file and subsequently copy the text from this file to CleverReach. This will help you avoid adding Word formatting into your emails. We also recommend you do not copy entire tables from Word or Excel.
  11. Avoid using hard coded blanks. Some email clients will display them incorrectly or not at all (e.g. Lotus Notes).
  12. When working with our drag & drop editor,you can create your email in a modular way, i.e. you can create separate elements for each article. These elements can then be rearranged and even deleted if needed.

Technical notes

  1. In general, we recommend using Firefox or Chrome as a browser in their latest version. We do not recommend using Safari or Internet Explorer.
  2. Browser PlugIns such as Skype, Firebug or AdBlock should always be deactivated for the CleverReach domain, since these can write partly incorrect source code into the HTML mails.
  3. Don't use div layers, but tables (except CleverReach- and drag & drop templates). Under no circumstances should you use absolutely positioned div layers.
  4. If CSS-Styles are used, then they should be kept inline if possible. Outlook 2007 and 2010, for example, can only interpret CSS styles declared in the head to a limited extent. Basically, however, CSS styles should be avoided as far as possible, especially class and ID selectors (with the exception of CleverReach templates). Under no circumstances should external CSS files be included.
  5. Try not to use link descriptions with 'http' to avoid phishing warnings. The link addresses must of course be provided with 'http'.
  6. Width specifications of a table (WIDTH) must be in 'TD' and not in Table. In addition, you should define the width directly in the TD attribute, not as a CSS style.
  7. Avoid using rowspan within tables, work with nested tables.
  8. If possible, do not place images with float. Especially inline styles with float are completely ignored by Outlook 2007 and 2010.
  9. Use the inline style display:block if you want to string images together in your templates (this prevents incorrect blanks in the layout).
  10. Don’t use percentages when defining a height, especially with images (this does not apply to responsive designs).
  11. Keep link texts short. Otherwise the table / column will automatically adapt to the length of the link.
  12. Under no circumstances make use of conversion programs that can transform image files into HTML files. HTML code generated in this way will lead to display errors in many email clients.
  13. Use simple labels when naming your image files. Names such as “image_1900_x_1600.jpg” could cause errors or not be displayed at all in some clients. Also avoid spaces in file names and only use small letters (e. g. logo.jpg).
  14. Don't place a <title> tag in your template. This is automatically set by the system through the subject when you send your email.
  15. If you want to use your template in the Drag & Drop Editor please observe our template technology.
  16. Whenever you insert images the source file should always have the optimal resolution.
  17. Use hspace and vspace for image spacing, since padding and margin as CSS style are not supported by some email clients.
  18. Don’t use animated graphics (e.g. roll over functionality or animated GIF files). Outlook e.g. does not support this functionality on principal.
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