Email Standards Project

I just thought I’d drop a line or two about the Email Standards Project. Over the past few years I have been getting involved more and more in electronic mailers as part of marketing strategies. Designing e-newsletters and templates for Outlook and all that kind of thing is such a headache that I don’t greet these kind of projects with my usual enthusiasm. The problem is that almost all email clients view html "designed" emails differently. Some pick up and allow certain embedded css elements and some do not. Chances are that the client will have an email which doesn’t support one of the elements and so the mailer doesn’t look like how you set it in Illustrator or how you showed them it in a browser. It’s like a shoe designer producing shoes that only hang together on certain peoples feet. Anybody with a large big toe can’t wear his shoes. He wouldn’t do much business.

Anyway the main issue I have with email clients is the fact that you have to design using tables. This is like going back in a time machine to 1998 (Spice Girls and all that). I have to re-learn all the stuff I’ve trained myself to forget! Its restrictive and old and pointless and just plain wrong.

Anyway, enough already. The good news is these guys are going to do something about it. Have a good read of their site (which looks pretty tasty by the way), and spread the word. They have a good page on why web standards should apply to email.