Effective HTML Coding

Proper HTML coding will increase the likelihood of your e-mail messages being delivered without interruption. Here are some HTML coding tips that will help prevent your message from being diverted by e-mail filters and firewalls, or landing in junk boxes.

HTML File Specs

  • Maximum File Size: 50kb
  • JavaScript: Do not use JavaScript. Most filters block all messages that contain JavaScript. Unethical senders have been known to exploit JavaScript to transmit viruses and other malicious code.
  • Style Sheets: Do not use style sheets. Various e-mail readers interpret style sheets differently. This may cause problems in how your message is displayed.
  • Body and HTML Tags: Do not create unbalanced body and HTML tags. Every opening tag should have a corresponding closing tag.
  • Table Tags: Avoid missing close tags on tables.
  • "Tbody" Tags: Remove all tbody tags. These tags have no effect on the appearance of the message. They are primarily used in web page design and filters look at them as sloppy or lazy coding.
  • Title Contains No Text: If you have a title field be sure that there is a name inserted.
  • Title Contains "Untitled": Same as above.
  • HTML Message is a Saved Web Page: If the message is a saved web page there will be a comment within the HTML code indicating so. This comment should be removed prior to deployment.
  • Remove Comments: Some HTML editing programs add unnecessary comments to the finished document. For instance, they may identify what program was used to create the message. You can recognize these comments by “<!---->.” Filters look at this as sloppy coding and add “spam points.”
  • HTML Link Text says "CLICK": This should be avoided.
  • Color and Fonts: It is best to stay within the safe 6x6x6 color palette and use only standard fonts. Avoid using multiple code fonts within a message.
  • Thick Borders: Avoid using a border size greater than 2 pts.
  • Image Tags: Some e-mail designers use Image Tags to track open rates. Filter programs look for these and view them negatively.
  • Text to Image Ratios: Avoid creating messages that rely too heavily on graphics. A message with a high ratio of image to text appears as spam to many filtering programs.
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