Designing Overview

If the world were perfect, your email would look exactly the same whether you opened it in an Outlook email client, Hotmail, Yahoo! or Gmail. However, in truth, your specific email template may display entirely differently in each of those email clients. To add to the challenge, how an email displays in an email service provider is somewhat of a moving target since email service providers themselves often change their parameters and rules. What you're reading today may be entirely out-of-date in less than a year. However, most of the tips and tricks below have been fairly consistent for years now. While it's always important to test your email template across several major email service providers, here are some things to keep in mind when designing for the big email service providers.

Decide Which Email Service Providers are the Most Important

The first step that you'll want to take is to examine your current email marketing list and determine which email service providers are important enough to design an specific email template based on. Chances are that the bulk of your email list is Hotmail, Yahoo! and Gmail. In the near future (possibly already depending on when you're reading this), you may be sending to a Facebook email address. Take a look at the list of email names you have (and perhaps a second look at the list of the most active email users that you have). Then determine which specific email service provider or providers are most important for your specific email template to display perfectly in. If you don't have an existing email database list to study and are just starting to build your contact list, then it's safe to assume that Hotmail, Yahoo!, Gmail, and any email address viewed in an Outlook client will all be important to you.

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