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This is a great article with a general overview of some of the more common best practices to developing HTML for email clients. One thing to remember about developing for email is there are no standards. As such, there are no hard and fast rules. How you coded one template might not be the best way to code for another. There’s not necessarily one right way to develop, but there are a lot of wrong ways to develop. You have to mix and match best practices according to your design, in order to achieve the best rendering across the intended audience. Also, if you revisit the code a month later there’s likely a better way to do it (which may have been how you were doing it 5 years ago).

While you may not be able to achieve pixel accuracy in every email client, you can successfully code in such a way that the email degrades in such a way that the message is still communicated.