Tables are Your Friend!

Almost all email clients respond well to tables built with html to format your email. In fact, it's almost imperative that you use tables because Gmail and certain versions of Outlook don't support html commands like float, margin, and padding. However, even when using tables to create your html email layout, there are inconsistencies in how html commands such as width, margin, and padding are handled in various email clients. Don't worry, you can still create a table layout that will look mostly consistent across all of the major email service providers if you keep the following key points in mind:

Assign Width in Each Table Cell: It's a not uncommon practice when developing an html table to assign the table's width in the main <table> tag. Unfortunately, when you create an html email template that includes table widths, <td> widths, <td> padding, and even CSS padding commands, your email will almost certainly look different in just about every email client. It will probably also break in at least one specific email client! How can you avoid this? Set the width in individual table cells rather than in the table itself. If you're familiar with html code, here's how it should look.

<table cellspacing = "0" cellpadding = "5" border = "0">
<tr>
     <td width = "100"></td>
     <td width = "200"></td>
</tr>
</table>

Most importantly, remember that if you forget to specify the width in an individual table cell, the email client will most likely not figure it out and your email will break in appearance in most clients. Also, do not use percentage based assignments for your table cell widths. Several email clients (particularly Outlook) don't recognize or support percentage assignments for tables.

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