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Everyone who’s designed marketing emails has come across someone else’s work and liked what they saw. In times like those, you’d probably love to know how to use their idea or layout in your next email or campaign. Luckily, there are ways you can find out what they did.

Although, for some applications, plain text emails are still suitable, most marketing emails are content-rich and interactive.

They’re responsive and use controlled disclosures to make navigating them easy, regardless of the device.

What is HTML code in an email?

If you have no experience with HTML code, you can still view the code from every email you receive without any special software. It’s possible to access the code from desktop and web clients.

Similarly, if you’re designing your templates from Campaign Monitor, you can also check the underlying HTML. You can even download, modify, and upload it again.

And if you have no desire to learn about coding, that’s alright, too. Campaign Monitor’s drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to build beautiful emails without ever needing to touch or edit the code.

How do I view the HTML in Outlook?

In Microsoft Outlook, double-click to open an email. You’ll see an “Actions” menu under the “Message” tab. Click on that menu and select the “Other Actions,” then click on “View Source” to see the HTML code.

Regardless of what your default text editor is, the HTML file will open as a .txt file.

How do I view the HTML in Gmail?

If you use Gmail’s web client, you can right click on the email and choose “View Page Source.” However, this will show you the entire web page’s HTML code, including the message information.

Using Outlook connected to your Gmail account will enable you to only look at the email’s HTML directly.

How do I view the HTML in Campaign Monitor?

In Campaign Monitor, you can see the HTML code from the preview window. Once you’ve designed your template, you can open the preview window on the Campaign Snapshot page and choose “View Page Source.”

You can save the file by right-clicking and choosing “Save As” or by copying the text and pasting it into your favorite HTML-enabled text editor. This will allow you to modify the HTML code locally and then re-import it to Campaign Monitor to use in future campaigns.

Note that, once you modify the HTML and import it back online, you’ll no longer be able to modify it using the user interface. You’ll have to make all future changes to the email in the HTML code.

How to measure the success of HTML email code

HTML makes delivering powerful, responsive emails possible. Although plain text emails also work well for some purposes or audiences, marketers usually prefer to advertise their products or services through HTML emails.

By tracking open and click-through rates, you’ll know which format works for your specific brand and your specific audience.

By also segmenting open rates by device, you’ll see when your emails aren’t having the desired effect on mobile clients. You can do this from the “Insights” section in Campaign Monitor.

Does it really matter?

With modern HTML emails, you can add backgrounds, videos, buttons, and almost anything else that webpages have. You can also make sure your emails are responsive, regardless of the device used to open them.

Another great thing about HTML-based emails are the analytics they gather for marketers. With HTML based emails, you can track every interaction the recipient makes.

With true plain text emails, this isn’t really the case. However, plain text emails that are actually HTML emails formatted to look like plain text can enable analytics.

What now?

If you want to know more about using HTML coding in your email designs, check out this guide for more details about how to use it in templates. Although you may know HTML and CSS, there are a few caveats when using them to design HTML-enabled emails, so it’s important to be familiar with them.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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