Email

The Tools of an HTML Email Workflow

Last week's ShopTalk Show was all about HTML Email. It's such a fascinating subject, as technically it is front-end web development, but it almost feels like a bizarro alternate universe.

We have dozens of browsers to worry about, they have hundreds of clients to consider. We worry about whether fancy new APIs are supported, they worry about whether padding is supported. We have grid layout, they have.... grid layout?!

It's tempting to make the joke: "It's coding like it's 1999!", but as we talk about in this episode, that's not really true.

Aside from all that, another thing I thing fascinating are all the tools involved. Lemme think this out.

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Client Email Helper

For all you freelancers out there, Jessica Hische has written some copy to help you articulate saying no to things you should be saying no to.

I’ve created this handy tool to help you say “no” to free and low-budget work and to help ask for more favorable contract terms before the start of a project.

Inky and Slinky

Inky is kinda like a preprocessor for HTML created by Zurb, specifically designed for responsive emails.

I'm sure a lot of us have hand-coded HTML emails (I do it regularly) and know that it's typically <table></table> soup. It's not even just the tables that are annoying, but the fact that there are so many of them nested to do even fairly simple things it's hard to keep straight.

Inky's appeal is pretty clear from the first demo in their docs:

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A Guide for SVG Support in Email

We’ve talked about SVG quite a bit here on CSS-Tricks, but one area we haven’t quite touched on is email. Now that browser support for SVG is all in the green, it would be easy to assume that we can start using SVG everywhere. However, if you’ve worked with email before, you may know that it often follows way behind the web as far as feature support. You know, kinda the way California looks at North Dakota with trends: just a few years behind. :)

This article takes a deep dive into four different ways SVG can be used, and compares support for those methods across several of the most popular email applications. Let’s see where we get the most support.

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Override Gmail’s Mobile Optimized Emails

Many emails are designed with a large screen in mind. Text that looks great on a large screen can be difficult to read on a mobile device, though. If Gmail deems that the font-size of any text in an email is too small to be legible, it will increase the size and flag the message. That’s pretty nice. What could have been illegible is made legible, eliminating the need to pinch and zoom our screens. It can also be a little frustrating.
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