Email Standards Project


Architexture helps clients get their online marketing and email campaigns off the ground. We offer great looking email marketing campaigns tailored to a businesses brand with results that traditional media cannot measure. Through a well crafted HTML email you can reach out to your customers directly like you never have before. Simply put, HTML email gets results. Recent studies have shown that email marketing can provide a better return for each dollar spent than any other direct marketing channel.

But what does this all mean if what your customers are viewing looks different in every email client? Suddenly your well crafted, professional looking and visually stunning email falls apart and frankly looks like crap. Crafting an HTML email that renders correctly on most email clients is a delicate process which typically involves extra coding and a lot of guesswork.

The web has really matured over the past number of years and if there is any industry right now that provides opportunity, it is the web. With that maturity comes the responsibility of ensuring usability should not be pushed to the wayside and standards focused development should be at the top of any companies list of priorities. Having a resource like the WC3 works great for web standards and helping to ensure the long-term growth of the web, but what about email? Lets introduce the Email Standards Project.

The Email Standards Project is attempting to follow the example of the Web Standards Project, but for email clients, web and desktop-based to try and make HTML email creation less hit and miss process.

Email Standards Project

The Email Standards Project is about working with email client developers and the design community to improve web standards support and accessibility in email. The project was formed out of frustration with the inconsistent rendering of HTML emails in major email clients.

Our goal is to help designers understand why web standards are so important for email, while working with email client developers to ensure that emails render consistently. This is a community effort to improve the email experience for both designers and readers alike.

Web standards make sense for email

  1. It removes the guess work from email design
  2. Faster loading and reduced bandwidth consumption
  3. Makes your email accessible to all

Other Initiatives

Fix Outlook is a new initiative using Twitter to spread the word of Microsoft’s decision to avoid using a browser to render HTML emails in place of a word processor. This immediately took standards-based email design off the table, forcing designers to abandon web standards for tables and font tags.

Microsoft have confirmed they plan on using the Word rendering engine to display HTML emails in Outlook 2010.
This means for the next 5 years your email designs will need tables for layout, have no support for CSS like float and position, no background images and lots more. Want proof? Here’s the same email in Outlook 2000 & 2010.

Futher Reading

Architexture – Light at the end of the Tunnel

E-mail is not a platform for design

If you’re business might be interested in trying out email marketing email Architexture today to schedule a demo.