Curious to see the results? View our blog post, ‘How wide are HTML emails today‘.

In our original post on the maximum width for HTML emails (2005), we recommended that you design your HTML emails to be no wider than 550-600px for the preview panes of the day. Since then, the average display has gotten a lot bigger.

With this in mind, what’s the maximum width that you use when designing an email?

Three respondents will win a luxe Campaign Monitor t-shirt.

Update: The poll is now closed – many thanks to everyone who voted!

  • Andrew Beeston

    p.s. Wufoo rocks!

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Wufoo is absolutely amazing, Andrew! Thanks for your vote :)

  • Stephen Muchmore

    Although the average display is getting bigger, we find that business to business still requires using the 600px limit and it sucks especially when the whole agency has 1920px wide screens…

  • Tim Bennett

    I agree with Stephen Muchmore.

    I think although screens are getting bigger the width we build websites and emails for is almost going to be capped. As your screen gets bigger you fill it with other windows. For example, I work on a 27″ iMac and hardly ever have a window more than 2.3 the width of the display.

    600px always for me.

  • Chriz

    650 px. Not to forget, that all relevant details for recognizing the brand are within a height of 250 px.

  • Antti Pietilä

    For B2B customers, 600 px, so that it fits nice to Outlooks Preview pane.

  • David

    At the end of the day it is easy to alienate customers with old smaller screens that can not read your missives, but you will not upset someone by not exceeding the 600 px standard all be it an old one.

  • Abdelmonem NAAMANE

    600 px is the best width.

  • Jonathan

    When companies make super-wide websites, you can always be sure that the boss has just bought himself a new super-wide monitor. I’ve often found that people look at their web stats and see the size of the screen people have, and work for this, which I believe to be a mistake – unless, like some I know, you suffer from maximize-all-windows-syndrom …

    On the 250px rule quoted by Chriz, it’s curious to see that lots of the best designs in the Gallery ignore this.

  • Ben Poole

    People are increasingly seeing email messages on phones and mobile devices before seeing them at their desk, I think the more important target is either fluid, or a mobile-friendly resolution. I for one, catch at least 75% of my email on my phone first. This has actually resulted in me unsubscribing from a lot of lists who don’t appear to understand this trend. Oddly enough, it’s the text-only messages that get my attention now, rather than the image-heavy marked-up ones.

  • Newsletter Templates

    We always use 600px.

  • Matt Bee

    A bigger display for me means a wider folder siderbar, or more features open in my email client, and the preview pane hasn’t really got much bigger, just means it doesn’t have to take up my whole screen when reading emails. I might say 800 is good for me, but its still a case of check you audience if possible and design based on screen size facts from your recipients.

  • Serge D

    I would say that email reading screens are getting smaller. More and more our traffic is coming from email campaigns that are being viewed on mobile devices.

    People are comfortable/used-to the standard 600px on any desktop monitor size, so now the main concern is too be able to properly display your campaign for someone with a fraction of the screen real estate.

  • Philip Moore

    600px here. I must agree with all comments regarding displays getting bigger.

  • Stefano Bagnara

    SOME display is getting bigger, but this is already took into consideration by email clients that uses much more space for folders, message lists, chats, social stuff and similar things leaving the old good 600px to the message pane. I’m on 1920 but my reading pane is at 500px. Mobile having 320px wide screens usually render email zoomed out, so that 500-600px email is rendered fine, just make sure to not use small text.

  • Adrian Neal

    I’ve been using 600px (because CM recommended it) but this really has me thinking. I’ve recently acquired a 27″ iMac, but I still view my emails in the preview pane no wider than before (agree with Tim Bennett). I’m also hearing Serge D in that campaigns are often now first viewed on mobiles.

    I’d like to say 100% fluid is the answer, but if they are viewed in a big window on a desktop, the line length would become intolerable.

    I’m a big fan of responsive website layouts, e.g. 1140 CSS Grid. I wonder, is there something similar for emails? Or at least @media queries? I feel some R&D time coming on…

  • Isabel

    Agreed on all points of mobile screens and clutter: small is the new big. Besides, from a simple legibility standpoint, would anyone actually maximize an email message window to fill the entire width of a 27″ screen? In our email campaigns, we send a simple message with the goal of getting a click-through. The email is just the vehicle.

  • Denis Graur

    We should not forget about the raising number of mobile devices used for reading emails.

  • Rich Simisker

    540px max for me, because it’s the most that GMail’s preview pane can accommodate @1024×768. 600px just gets clipped or overflows, depending upon the browser.

    The loss of 60px of width isn’t that big a deal; if anything it nudges you towards mobile-friendly single-column layouts.

  • Anna Yeaman

    Can I pick more than one :) I’ve seen an increase in horizontal emails in the past year, as the maximum horizontal scroll in Outlook 2007 is 2110 pixels I’d say 2110px.

    Saying that I just sent out a 320px wide email this week and I do heart fluid…If I had to pick a traditional fixed width I’d say 480px. lol no answer at all!

  • Dan

    I use 650px but now we have to think about mobile phones. There is more and more people who read emails on their handheld device. Fluid layout will help but it is not suitable for every customer

  • Megan

    650px – still wide enough to get the content to layout nicely, but still narrow enough to fit within the default preview size within Microsoft Outlook…

  • Matthew Luxford

    +1 for 650px

  • Rian

    What was the result of the poll?

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    @Rian – We’ll be publishing the results in this blog tomorrow – stay tuned!

  • Ken L

    Definitely 600px and try nothing more than that!

  • ReaderX

    Is there a link to the poll? I’m curious to see the results.

  • Ros Hodgekiss

    Hi ReaderX, I can see you found the post – for reference, the results can be found here.

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