My background is in print media - I have been asked to create an email blast for a client - usually i would simply do this in mail chimp or some other email marketing platform, but the company that is assisting with this process is asking that I supply the email to them as HTML.

here is the exact list of required deliverables:

Deliverables required for email blasts:  Subject line  HTML  Test and final seed list  Name(s) of the person who has final approval

Following are the corresponding Requirements/Best Practices.

Subject Line: Try to stay to max of 50 characters Test and Final Seed List: Maximum of 8 email addresses **Indicate who on this list has final approval. Images: Keep to a minimum. Many clients default to an ‘images off’ setting which leaves blanks where images would be. Must include full paths to the images you are hosting. Hanley Wood can also host the images. Image should be optimized for the web (i.e. images size should be small so they load quickly.) Timeframe: All deliverables are due no later than 2 business days before email blast date. Date and Time: Specify date and time (EST) that you would like email to be scheduled.

COBRAND OFFERS THAT MAY BE DECLINED: Surveys Single image HTMLs Lead generation services Subscription offers Non-HW newsletters

I have contacted the company directly for more specifics to help me out and this list is what was supplied to me -

Any help with identifiying a program that could help me with creating "HTML" for email blast would be greatly appreciated.

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it has nothing to do with graphics or graphics apps.
    – xenoid
    Sep 13 '17 at 15:11
  • Which program will be used to blast? I have some experience using Outlook. CSS must be inline only, and only basic styles. The HTML needs to be minimized. If it will be sent by outlook or other office software I heard you can use word to design the message.
    – Webster
    Sep 13 '17 at 15:29
  • 2
    Since when is HTML not about "graphics"?
    – Scott
    Sep 13 '17 at 16:33
  • @Scott HTML belongs on Stackoverflow though. And technically HTML is not about design at all I guess, it's just information structure.
    – Summer
    Sep 14 '17 at 11:23
  • Well, questions regarding fixing markup certainly are StackOverflow questions.. but question regarding design and layout are graphic design questions. It is called web design after all.
    – Scott
    Sep 14 '17 at 17:03

Emails are essentially just web pages.

With that in mind, you have to create a web page, with all it's requirements. What you use to create the web page is your choice. I prefer to write HTML/CSS by hand in a text editor and use browsers for testing.

Some important factors:

  • All external links must be absolute, never relative
  • CSS should be inline for optimum results.
  • You are going to need to pick what you wish to support more - Outlook or modern devices. Many things required for modern devices are not supported by Outlook and there's little you can do. So it ultimately comes down to an either/or choice.
  • You need to keep responsiveness in mind. More people check email via mobile devices than desktops. SO, you'll need to construct the web page with proper break points and responsiveness factors. You can use media queries in the head section of the page and !important to override inline css.
  • Limit background uses. Some web mail apps, such as Gmail, will limit the use of background images or colors to a degree, images especially. So test, test, test whenever possible.
  • For best results, keep things simple.

Ultimately I don't think there's a single app that will just format everything for you. If that's your goal, you may be better off configuring the email in MailChimp, CreateSend, ConstantConact or some similar service then merely copy/pasting the HTML/CSS to a stand alone text file to further adjust.


  • Node has some libraries like Juice that can inline your CSS, so you can write more normal markup. There's also a few frameworks like Foundation emails that target HTML email. Sep 13 '17 at 15:59
  • Yeah it really cannot be stressed enough: HTML is very poorly supported in most email clients, even the most common ones. Bear in mind that (in my experience) 50%+ of emails are going to be viewed mobile iOS. Using MailChimp and sampling the email code (no the web preview) is a good jumping off point for those familiar with HTML etc.
    – Yorik
    Sep 13 '17 at 16:53

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