Tutorial :Hand-code HTML for email? Or are there any reasonable tools or converters?



Question:

HTML Email is a whole different ballgame from Websites, which have moved away from tables and toward CSS.

I'm looking for recommendations for HTML mail tools, hopefully from someone who has actually used them (I can manage a Google search).

Anything that does a good job of converting from CSS standards to HTML mail?

Anything that can parse the HTML and point out problems that will occur in various email programs?

Or do you just hand code and try it in all the email programs? Any services like browser shots for email?


Update:

Assume the email is visually appealing--not just text, but something designed by a good visual designer.


Solution:1

Premailer works fairly well. Plus CampaignMonitor and MailChimp both provide very good free templates (good as in "terrible old school markup", but they're perfect for HTML email).

EDIT: a bit of a tangent here, but once you work with HTML email and once the feelings of rage and repulsion have subsided, you may want to check out fixoutlook.org =)


Solution:2

I just hard code my HTML for e-mails. I do make sure I keep the HTML for e-mails extremely simple.

Depending on the e-mail I typically use xslt and convert it to HTML from another document. That depends on the implementation. Many times I just build the string. Again it just depends.


Solution:3

You could try MailChimp. You can create templates and test it out there. They also offer tested email templates that works great across different email readers.

I've used the templates designed in MailChimp successfully in many cases. In fact, after you design the email, you can copy the resulting html code into your own system.


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