Newsletter headaches…

I’ve been working on some newsletters over the last few months and in general they have gone fairly smoothly. We’re using mailchimp to send and its a great tool but at times it really does my head in.

I’ve come up against a few cases where things have disappeared and other issues within their UI … its also at times a bit of a nightmare navigating through things in there or maybe its just me. It also at times feels incredibly slow navigating through it. Will this stop me using it ? Hell no .. their pricing model is very good not to mention the reporting on your campaigns I find out of this world. I just however felt the need to voice my ARGH with the system.

Yesterday I’ve been coming up against a few cross “browser” / Email Client issues which were doing my head in.

First up is the gmail image spacing issue. You may notice sometimes on emails that your images have extra spacing around them this won’t matter unless of course your design is calling heavily upon a graphical design.

Solution: Put display:block; in the style for all the images you’re using. This will remove the extra padding / margin / space that seems to creep in .. and then style away as normal

Second issue was in the use of background URL images a number of “browsers” / Email Clients will display your lovely background in all its glory. However gmail and the likes won’t. Solution .. well I went ahead and used the background image anyways BUT .. I also added in bgcolor=”#333333″ or whatever relevant colour in there. The style background colour wasn’t being picked up upon in the various clients. Annoying or what. Some are going to display things great others not so great and its all about as much consistency as possible across the various clients.

Thirdly MailChimp also seems to pull the text for the plain text emails out and what it generates is a steaming pile of … “interesting content” I’d strongly recommend going and formatting this nicely in a text editor or something. If it looks good as plain text hopefully it’ll look good for those end users with html off for their emails. I unfortunately made this mistake in the first few newsletters and the plain text came out a bit funny to say the least

Ah well you live and learn and they hopefully will get better and better you can see the past newsletters here

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