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Email Templates Are Not Print Graphics

Posted on | October 9, 2009 | No Comments

You would not believe the number of calls we get in Ennect Customer support from new users who cannot figure out why their PDF and/or print graphics are not translating well into email templates. It’s simply because email templates are based on HTML, and HTML layout is not the same as print layout.

template-codeNow, don’t get me wrong.  Your final HTML email template can be rendered to look like your print graphics, but such a creation requires careful planning and some amount of knowledge of HTML layout, differences between e-mail client programs, and the limitations of graphics – this planning and implementation of knowledge can either be done by the person sending the email or by a service that creates templates for the email user.  Ennect is one such service (we will create templates for you for a fee); if another person/service does this for you, that HTML can be pasted into Ennect Mail.

Let me detail a couple of things to be aware of in creating such templates:

  1. Know your audience: are you sending to recipients using enterprise email clients such as Outlook 2007 or Lotus Notes, or do they use browser-based email clients such as Yahoo!, Google’s Gmail, or AOL?  Each of these handle HTML email in different ways, and all of them may block the initial viewing of images (images are how you know if someone has opened an email and often present much of your message).
  2. Know the difference between a Word Processor and an email-specific HTML template: Word Processors create specialized HTML that’s designed for the Word Processor itself.  Inserting text from your Word Processor into an email HTML template can break either how the email template works before sending, or after recipients receive it.  Paste cleansed text or face the consequences.
  3. Know your graphics:  are you using your graphics to present the bulk of your message (text built into the image), or are the graphics merely accents to enhance your message?  If text is in the images, and an email client blocks images, then part or all of your message is not getting through.  Similarly, if your template assumes the use of background images, then recipients with email programs that don’t allow background images will not get the same experience as others.

If you are not able (due to time, money or inclination) to internalize these details for creating email templates, then identify a resource that can implement them for you… but take care that your resource knows email/HTML layout and graphics in addition to print layout and graphics.

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