A Guide to CSS Support in Email – What Works and What Does Not
December 14, 2011
Rich HTML email campaigns are an excellent way to brand your communication with your clients or subscribers, but with so many different email clients and mobile devices out there it can be a daunting task to design and develop a custom email template that renders consistently. Support for even the simplest CSS can vary to a large extent between different versions of the same software so how can you be sure that everyone on your mailing list is seeing the same thing when you send out your campaign?
1. Keep Things Simple!
This is probably the most important rule to follow when designing HTML rich emails. Aside from the challenge of ensuring your email will render properly and consistently across all the major email clients, size is an issue. With more and more people reading their email on their smartphone while on the go, it’s crucial to keep your file sizes small enough to render in a few seconds or you risk losing the viewer before the email fully loads.
2. Know Your Audience
With Google Analytics available for free, there really is no reason not to have this software installed on your website which will offer valuable user data about what your audience is using to browse your content and what content they are accessing via email campaign. We use Campaign Monitor exclusively for our email campaigns, which offers very specific analytics data about your email subscribers and what software and version type they are using to view your campaign as well as device type. Be sure to make use of this data and you will be able to gauge which email software you should be most concerned about targeting and which you can sacrifice design for if need be.
3. Stay Current
It can be a challenge, but staying current on the best practices, most popular software and every changing techniques will ensure you’re delivering to best possible user experience to your audience and converting the most click-throughs into new business.
Campaign Monitor has been kind enough to compile a table displaying CSS support and compatibility for the ten most popular email clients.
For the complete report on all 24 email clients across the desktop, web and mobile email environments you can download the complete guide in PDF format.