About HTML tags and basic page formatting.
This is a short tutorial on the basics of HTML for creating and sending out email blasts. While the ability to save any document as HTML is now native to many applications, it still helps to know the basics in case something goes wrong. By learning the short list of commands outlined in this tutorial you will be able to add simple text formatting, add an external link, add images from the server, add an email link, and test your email before sending out.
You can create your email blast in any text editor application your are most familiar with. Notepad, Dreamweaver are two recommendations. A word of caution regarding Microsoft Word, while I recommend using it to test and send your final file, Word has a tendency to add proprietary HTML code that adds to your final file size. Also, authoring in Word can have some unique problems. The goal of this tutorial is to quickly show you what you really need to send out a clean HTML email. While you can author in Word, just be aware that odd things can happen.
Remember that not all email clients support HTML formatted messages. Lets get started.
This tutorial will cover the following:
- Basic text formatting
- More text formatting options
- Adding images
- Adding external links
- Adding a link to an image
- Adding an email link
- More email link options
- Get your email blast ready
- Testing your final email
START with basic HTML text formatting
Congratulations! You have successfully created and tested your first HTML email blast. That is all there is to it. Once you have the correct images and external links tags down the rest is formatting. Make sure you test your email blasts before sending out to the masses, as once you hit “SEND” you can not make any changes. Yikes!
There are many more formatting options and tags available with HTML that are not covered here. For more information:
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How to get your email blast ready
It’s always a good idea to test your email blast a few times before sending it out to a huge list. Always check every link by clicking on it, and make sure every image is showing up. Remember that HTML email files are larger than plain text and will take longer to download. So that 3MB image should really be resized and scaled down. ha ha.
- Now this is the cool part, Word is going to do all of the heavy lifting for you. Ah! this is great.
Choose File > Send To > Mail Recipient
- You will notice the top of your document now has an email form fields. Put your email address in the TO: field
- Hit “Send a Copy’
- Now, check your email and tada! There is your HTML formatted email. Cool!
Important tip is to make sure that you have your email set to “Send as HTML”. By default this is turned on, but has a tendency to get turned off. To check your settings in MS Outlook go to Tools > Options > Mail Format (TAB) > Message Format and make sure the pull down box reads HTML.
>> NEXT HTML Basics: Congratulations