How to Format Emails for Specific Providers

Here is a cheat sheet on formatting your marketing emails based on what specific email providers do and do not accept/display.

Gmail

• Gmail will not render stylesheets and DHTML properly.

• Forms work properly in Gmail.

• Colspans will not render properly in Gmail.

• Gmail modifies the settings of certain HTML components including borders and background colors.

• By default, images are suppressed in the Gmail user interface; therefore, include a link to a hosted HTML version of your email.

• Gmail forwards all email content as plain text.

Recently, there has been a behavioral change in Gmail. Until now the images when blocked as per the default setting would appear as a blank box with a “X” indicating the image section in the email. In the latest version this email renders without any indication of the blocked Image. The only display that Gmail handles is ALT Text Message which appears in place of the blocked Image.

Hotmail

• Hotmail strips out stylesheets that are located in the header.

• Hotmail strips out Flash entirely. Use an embedded static HTML image in the mailing.

• We recommend you speak with your Account Manager prior to sending a mailing using Flash.

• Hotmail ignores <body alink=”#8C9284” link =”#8C9282” vlink=”#8C9284”> or <font color=”#8C9284”><a href=”URL”>Link Text</a></font>

• Border color tags will be ignored.

Yahoo!

• Yahoo! Mail does not accept Javascript. If used, the Javascript code will appear in the body of the email.

• Yahoo! Mail strips out Flash entirely. Use an embedded static HTML image in the mailing.

• We recommend you speak with your Zeta Interactive Account Manager prior to sending a mailing using Flash.

Lotus Notes

• Using too many images or images that are too large can cause them to be misconfigured.

• Lotus Notes does not support forms.

• Lotus Notes strips out Javascript (may vary by version).

• Lotus Notes strips out stylesheets (may vary by version).

• Rowspans and Colspans will not render properly in Lotus Notes and therefore should be coded as stacked or nested tables instead.

AOL

• AOL strips out Flash entirely. Use an embedded static HTML image in the mailing.

• We recommend you speak with your Account Manager prior to sending a mailing using Flash.

• AOL strips out form tags.

• AOL will not render stylesheets of any kind, so use standard HTML to format text.

Netscape

• Netscape strips out Flash entirely. Use an embedded static HTML image in the mailing.

• We recommend you speak with your Account Manager prior to sending a mailing using Flash.

• Netscape strips out JavaScript.

• Netscape reapportions extra space proportionately throughout an email. Avoid extra space.

• Border color tags will be ignored.

Internet Explorer

• There is a bug in IE in which white space is interpreted as an actual space and can cause your images to be misaligned. This will affect web based email clients running on Internet Explorer. IE, however, is very forgiving and will correct many formatting errors, such as extra space or non-closed HTML tags. Therefore, always test your content in Netscape and various email clients in addition to IE.