Christian Heilmann

Do you really need an HTML email christmas greeting?

Monday, November 28th, 2005 at 5:32 pm

I got 5 test emails from different web developer friends today asking me if this christmas ecard in email format looks good in my email client. Most looked messed up in one way or another, and all had the images initially blocked and flagged up the loading as a security issue.

So here are some of my thoughts on HTML email:

  • email is probably the most spammed way of technological communication
  • most security issues and virus breakouts are caused by email or messaging software and users who do not know better than to click a link or run an attachment
  • If I wanted to know that you read my emails, I’d embed a cgi script as an image
  • the display size of email programs is totally unknown, and I don’t know anybody who opens emails fullscreen by default
  • Multipart emails (embedded images and HTML) might be filtered out as spam or possible virus threats
  • different email clients support CSS/HTML to different degrees, in addition to online email clients like gmail, yahoo or hotmail. It is a bit like trying to make everything perfect for about 20 different browsers.
  • Multipart HTML email can get rather big

Now, do you want to spend a lot of time on something that is very likely not to work out and spook your clients or wish them happy christmas?

The solution for wishing them a happy christmas: Host your ecard on a server, send them a link. You’ll know that the email will arrive and not cause warning lights to go on and you draw visitors to your site to boot.

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