Default image blocking continues to gather momentum

For the most current results on image blocking in email clients, view our updated post.

Screenshot of the new mail interfaceAOL recently updated their web-based software for all and email accounts. We've had a quick look around and even done some preliminary CSS testing. The good news is that CSS support is top notch, as in as good as Yahoo!, which was great to see. The not-so-good news was that images are now blocked by default for all unknown senders.

In the scheme of things, this isn't really that big a deal. Image blocking is the norm in most modern email clients and we've been promoting the idea of designing for images being turned off for the last couple of years.

So why are we even bothering announcing this? Because some people need to hear things 10 times before they sink in. We still see the occasional customer sending largely image based designs for their clients. We point them to our makeovers and reports, but some still don't seem to get the point.

Consider this another tap on the shoulder about image blocking.

On top of getting your design right, make sure you check out our other tips for minimizing the negatives of image blocking, such as becoming a "safe sender".

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 5 Comments

T-shirt update: The votes are in!

First off, a big thanks to everyone who voted and left comments in our quick survey. We had hundreds of votes cast and decided to go with the top 3 designs as voted by you. Luckily for us, there were 3 fairly clear winners, and the number one choice got a vote from almost half of you. That one's gonna be popular.

Not long now...

Right now we're working with a professional designer to bring the selected designs to life, and as soon as that's been finalized we'll be announcing the winners and final designs here. Hopefully this won't take more than a week or two to wrap up.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 9 Comments

Add inline CSS to your web version, unsubscribe and forward to a friend links

If you're used to coding your email newsletters for Gmail, you're probably an expert on inline CSS by now. As our recent CSS research highlighted, Gmail doesn't support the <style> or <link> element. This means if you want your links to be in a size 11 font and a light blue color, you'll need to code something like...

<a href="" style="font-size:11px;color:#4fb5e9;">Visit the web site</a> to find out more

OK, kind of annoying but it works. But what about our automatically generated links for unsubscribing, linking to a web-based version and adding a forward to a friend link. As you know, these are generated after you import your design from the tags present in your HTML, such as <unsubscribe> and <webversion> and up until now you couldn't add your own inline CSS to them. Well, not until today anyway.

Introducing the style="" attribute

By adding a style="" attribute to the unsubscribe, webversion and forward a friend tags, we'll automatically add that inline CSS to the personalized links we create for each recipient.

Using our example above, let's say we want to make our unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email blue and in size 11 font.

<unsubscribe style="font-size:11px;color:#4fb5e9;">Unsubscribe</unsubscribe> from our monthly newsletter list

We'd get <a href="" style="font-size:11px; color:#4fb5e9;">Unsubscribe</a> from our monthly newsletter list

You can use exactly the same technique for the web version and forward to a friend tags too, such as <forwardtoafriend style=""></forwardtoafriend> and <webversion style=""></webversion>.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 15 Comments

Testing the plain text version of your email

When you create a campaign with Campaign Monitor, you can select to send it in plain text, just html or multipart text+html formats. Now testing an email that is just text is pretty straightforward, and testing the html portion is also easy, but how do you see the plain text part of a multipart email? Here's how to check what people will see if their email client is setup to show text only.

Testing using Thunderbird

Thunderbird screenshot showing View menu

Thunderbird is a cross platform, free email client, and it lets you easily view the plain text version of a multipart email.

View / Message Body As / Plain Text

Testing using Apple Mail

Mail screenshot showing View menu

Apple Mail has the same functionality built in:

View / Message / Plain text alternative

In both clients, you can swap back and forth between html and text views.

Outlook: Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a way to view the plain text in Outlook. We'd suggest you just grab Thunderbird and use it to check your campaigns. Now that Campaign Monitor remembers your test addresses it's even easier to set up a consistent test process.

Read this post Posted by Mathew Patterson - 8 Comments

Fresh new gallery entries

The Medium Competitive Review Desktop

We've been adding fantastic new entries to our design gallery recently, in a variety of different styles. We've also made it easy to browse the 20 most popular gallery entries; perfect for some instant inspiration.

You can also subscribe to the gallery's own RSS feed to be notified when we post new entries.

Read this post Posted by Mathew Patterson
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