Email Rendering can be a very complex part of creating marketing materials. With print, you know exactly what you are getting when you Render, Website rendering has more variables because of differences in Operating systems, screen, and window size of the user. Email rendering has all the complexities of a website with the added difficulties of the the long list of email clients that potential customers can use, If images are enabled or disabled, as well as the differences in email marketing platforms that can be used.
Even though there there are many factors that can affect email rendering, HTML emails are still proven to be more effective
Below are the five major factors that determine how an email renders:
- Email Service providers (ESP)
- Operating system (OS)
- Screen size
- Images enablement
- App and Web based email clients
Email service provider
Email service providers (ESPs) may edit the code in your email as well as add tracking pixels and links.
ESPs may adjust the code to make sure your messages don’t get stuck in content filters, but this can change the rendering of your emails.
This is why Using the Preview function when creating a new campaign is a part of the campaign creation flow and a Revinate best practice.
Operating system and Email clients
There are many different operating systems and devices your guest will access their email. These devices and OS’s can change the capabilities of the email client that is being used. Operating systems like Windows, and iOS have different versions that are in use by users globally and all interact with programs differently. Within the preview section, you can click the “SPECIFIC EMAIL SOFTWARE” button to view how your email will display on specific devices or clients.
Email clients can interpret HTML code differently, leading to variations in email rendering accross platforms. To ensure consistent and optimal display, we encourage you to test your emails on popular email clients and devices to identify any rendering issues and make necessary adjustments.
A Guests screen size and monitor quality has a huge effect on the way your email will render. There is a big difference in how an email looks on a large monitor vs a small mobile screen, not to mention the different dimensions of cell phones
Images may be enabled or blocked in different email clients, this can cause emails to render in ways that are different than intended.
App and web-based email clients
There are thousands of webmail clients and over 200 mobile email apps. The clients and apps all can render differently so it is important to be aware and test your emails well.
Dark Mode is specific to the device in use and can be challenging to design for because inbox providers like Gmail & Outlook, as well as email applications (Apple Mail, Android apps, etc.) all handle Dark Mode differently. Some email clients will invert colors, while others will simply change all colors darker.
Although there is no way to confirm that what leaves your inbox will be viewed ‘as is’ in dark mode, here are some recommendations across the industry:
- Add a white border to any logos or icons to improve readability
- Use transparent backgrounds for images (rather than white backgrounds), including logos.
- Use text instead of images when possible
Email Design Best Practices:
- Keep the design simple and clean: A clutter-free and visually appealing design ensures that your message is easily understandable and engages your audience effectively. Avoid overcrowding the layout with excessive elements or complicated formatting.
- Optimize your design for mobile devices: With the rise in mobile email usage, it's crucial to create responsive email designs that adapt seamlessly to different screen sizes. This ensures that your emails are easily readable and visually appealing on smartphones and tablets.
- Use images judiciously and consider image blocking: Many email clients block images by default or require users to manually enable them. Therefore, it's important to strike a balance between using images to enhance visual impact and providing alternative text to convey your message, even if the images are blocked.
- Choose web-safe fonts for better compatibility: Selecting widely supported web-safe fonts ensures that your email's typography appears consistent across different email clients. These fonts are more likely to be rendered accurately, even if the recipient's device or email client doesn't have extensive font support.
- Ensure a good balance between images and text: Use a combination of well-crafted copy and visuals to effectively communicate your message. Avoid relying too heavily on images, as some recipients may have image loading disabled or experience slow loading times. Strive for a harmonious blend of textual information and visually engaging elements.
- Make your call-to-action buttons prominent: Clear and visually striking call-to-action (CTA) buttons enhance the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Use contrasting colors, appropriate button size, and compelling text to grab readers' attention and encourage them to take the desired action.
- Test your emails on multiple email clients: Email clients can interpret HTML code differently, leading to variations in email rendering across platforms. To ensure consistent and optimal display, test your emails on popular email clients and devices to identify any rendering issues and make necessary adjustments.
- Pay attention to rendering in different email clients: Each email client may have its own rendering quirks and limitations. Keep this in mind during the design process to ensure that your emails are displayed as intended across a wide range of email clients and platforms.
- Be mindful of spam filters: Spam filters analyze various elements of an email to determine its legitimacy. To avoid triggering spam filters, avoid using spam-like content, excessive capitalization, and certain keywords that may flag your emails as spam. Craft your emails with valuable and relevant content to enhance deliverability.
- Regularly test and preview your emails: Testing and previewing your emails before sending them to your subscribers is essential. By doing so, you can catch any formatting issues, broken links, or design inconsistencies that may negatively impact the recipient's experience. Previewing your emails across different devices and email clients helps you ensure a consistent and visually appealing presentation.
By following these HTML email design best practices, you can create visually captivating and engaging emails that effectively deliver your message to your audience, regardless of the email client or device they use.