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Peter Mescalchin

Superb article David.

Having done my fair share of HTML newsletters for clients – I have pretty much followed the same rule of thumbs you have outlined over the years after many hours of frustration and surprises! – it makes you feel dirty using <tables> for the task – but like you say, it’ really is the only way to get consistent output across the bulk of email clients.

Besides the markup side of things – on the actual email sending aspect people should also be looking at implementing SPF DNS records for their outgoing mail server domains, providing a text based equivalent of newsletter content in the same message (using multipart/alternative MIME types) and ensuring reverse IP lookups can be successfully done against their domains.

With HTML emails always rating high on the ‘spam-o-meter’ with most webmail clients (Hotmail being the notable standout here – their spam pass/fail filters are nothing short of pathetic IMHO) ensuring these checks above are in place will help in getting your message through to your recipients.