HTML mail allows the sender to include headings, bulleted lists, emphasized text,
subscripts and superscripts, and other visual and typographic cues to improve
the readability and aesthetics of the message. Long URLs can be linked to without
being broken into multiple pieces and it allows in-line inclusion of tables and images.|
HTML mail can also avoid having to include an attachment in the e-mail which,
for a number reasons, should be avoided unless unavoidable.
Unfortunately the road towards creating the perfect html e-mail is littered with many
pitfalls to trap the unwary, most notably the differing levels of compatibility
shown by differing e-mail clients - what works with one may not work with another.
To create that ideal html e-mail you need to:
Before you rush off and try this, there are, inevitably, some limitations you need to be aware of:
- Use an html editor (like DreamWeaver, BlueGriffon, Bluefish, Kompozer or even a text editor such as notepad++)
and create the email in the editor. Then save the file to your PC with an “.htm” extension.
- Open that htm file in an internet browser (like Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer,
Google Chrome, etc). If you just click on the file it should open directly in a browser,
since your computer should be configured to know that a “.htm” file should
be opened in a browser. If the file does not open directly in a browser, simply open
a browser window, and then in the browser menu go to “File->Open File”, and choose
the .htm file.
- In your browser menu, choose "Edit", and then “Select All” or Ctrl+A ( or Command + A
if you are on a Mac) to select everything that is displayed in the browser. Then
from your browser Edit menu select "Copy" or CTRL+C which stores all the HTML onto your clipboard.
- Next, in your e-mail client, start a new mail message then choose "Edit" then "Paste" ( or CTRL + V, or Command +V)
the html into the blank mail message. You should now
be able to see the HTML directly in your mail message.
- Throw away most of your up-to-date web authoring skills; you are
going to have to revert to using some bad practices
- External css files cannot be used, you have to use in-line css and, even then, not all
css will work
- Just when you had accomplished a conversion away from using tables and even nested tables
to control the format of a document, you will have to relearn the skills.