What is the best page width to use for my templates. I've been using 600px width, maybe sometimes 680px wide. Can the be wider...780px?
Thanks in advance
I personally wouldn't go any wider than 650px, but it does depend on your client specifications.
Keep in mind the 'preview panel' in Outlook, as the last thing you want is to force a user to scroll. A good design can make do with a narrow design, so you should try and re-think how to build your template and perhaps sacrifice a few elements to make this happen.
Good advice...I think I'll stay with 600px
Chad White of the retailemailblog just released a study on email width, "Soon Even More Emails Won’t Be Optimized for Width" I downloaded it here:
Of the 108 major online retailers he tracks, the average email width was 638 pixels.
The report stated:
"In general, we recommend that emails be between 600 and 700 pixels wide, but we default to 650 when we can. We were leaning toward 700 pixels until more folks started using preview panes and mobile devices.
With the rise of mobile devices even 650 might be heading into dangerous ground. Not to mention those pesky preview panes. What I generally suggest is if you want to go wider make sure the most meaningful content is visible on the top left, that way if it's cut off due to a preview pane people will be encouraged to fully open/scroll. Doesn't help much with mobile though!
As things like the iPhone, Android, Palm etc become more and more popular it's going to become more and more meaningful. If you've got that savvy technical audience already then it's probably already heading in that direction.
600 and you're absolutely safe. 650 and you MIGHT get scroll, but it tends to still display just fine in majority of email clients.
A recent study found that the most common width for the most popular websites around the world is about 900px but their content was only about 568px. A very notable exception were the three sites: Google, Amazon and Wikipedia, all of which are very successful and seem to be coded well.
With regards to Diana and mobile devices, I do a lot of mobile sites. They are a "semi-pain" to construct and validate. Based on my experience, it would seem like a real gamble on mobile device compatibility between solutions like Campaing Monitor and an iPhone, Blackberry, Opera Mini, and so on for the hundreds of devices.
On another note...I LOVE CAMPAIGN MONITOR. I just received my first PayPal deposit for campaigns I "marked-up" for my clients, and while it's a small amount of money, I also made $1,800 for the custom templates. The whole thing worked great and I've got more clients wanting to send out newsletters.
Bravo on a great solution...
HTML email on mobile devices is a lot different than mobile website development though simply because there aren't actually all that many devices that support HTML email right now and except for the horror show that is Blackberry, support actually isn't that bad (not saying it's great but as we already deal with Gmail and Outlook '07....). A lot of the time it's really just a matter of making sure your design takes the smaller screen into account.
Not saying anything about using Campaign Monitor on a mobile device though :) that isn't something we've specifically coded for. I've also done mobile website development and I hear ya on the "semi-pain" aspect. I was just suggesting looking at the width of email with those devices in mind, as more and more people check their email on their phone (myself included).
I tend to use 550px. This way I know that there will be very little chance of a horizontal scroll. The emails look OK in mobile devices and in gmail with the Google ads not causing any display issues. It also forces people to really think about the length of the copy that they are putting into the email.
600 is still the safe standard, although many B2C emails are now being set at 700 or even 750 (Borders books and some from Microsoft.)