A Primer on HTML E-Mail and Templates and Thunderbird for Creating HTML Codes
Create the HTML codes for e-mail on Thunderbird in four ways: 1. Start from scratch and type the HTML tags and their attributes in the Insert HTML dialog of that e-mail software. 2. Copy the code, for example, of an HTML e-mail template, and paste the same in the above dialog. 3. Use the WYSIWYG editor of Thunderbird. 4. Use software like Dreamweaver or HTML Editor like Coffee Cup. Here is some intro first.
What is HTML E-mail?
An HTML e-mail message is a web page, which can have elements that include text, photos, clipart, tables, charts and animation. Polls and surveys are also part of some HTML e-mail. You can also embed audio and video links in such messages. In essence, use HTML e-mail to compose messages that are rich in visuals and or have interactivity. Here is a sample HTML e-mail: When you create an HTML e-mail in Thunderbird through its WYSIWYG feature, it in the background creates the HTML code. What happens when the recipient opens your HTML e-mail? The desktop or web-based e-mail client the recipient uses will process the HTML codes in the background and displays the content.
At what speed does the software open an HTML e-mail? You have to wait usually for only a few seconds to view the mail. How fast the content appears on screen depends on how graphic intensive is the mail and the type of connection you use for internet access.
Advantages and Disadvantages of HTML E-mail
If you wish to send e-mail messages with rich visuals and links to video and audio, then HTML e-mail is the answer. Such messages have the potential to draw and sustain the interest of the readers. Whether you want to inform or persuade to buy your products and services, HTML e-mail is a powerful tool you can leverage to accomplish your goals. A well-designed HTML e-mail can engage the user with the message through targeted content and interactivity features like links, newsletter archives, surveys and others.
HTML e-mail messages file size can be large because of the size and number of images it may contain. The time, therefore, to download graphic-intensive message will be more relative to text-only mail. Today, many users have broadband access to the internet, so speed is not a barrier. Yet, bandwidth- and security-sensitive companies and individuals and dial-up users would dislike HTML e-mail.
A challenge that you’ve to deal in your HTML e-mail campaign is compatibility. What looks perfect on your e-mail client may not be the case with one or more of other desktop and web-based e-mail software. For example, images may not appear on some e-mail software. Why? The reasons include that graphics may be not be linked properly or the web-based e-mail service may have blocked the images for security reasons.
How do you overcome compatibility issues? Follow the mantra, “test, test early, and test often" to the core. Overcome the HTML e-mail roadblocks through strategies like letting the user to opt for text or HTML mail, using text and colors creatively for the newsletter masthead instead of images, giving the option to view the newsletter on your website and using a third-party e-mail testing service.
Advantages of Thunderbird as a Desktop E-mail Client
Here are some of the benefits of this versatile e-mail software:
Thunderbird is a free, full-fledged open source e-mail software available for the three main operating systems Windows, Linux and Mac. Use Thunderbird to operate your multiple e-mail accounts effortlessly. This desktop e-mail client’s adaptive junk mail control stops spam mail in their tracks. Thunderbird can also fight phishing attempts: It alerts you if a message is a potential e-mail scam.
Want to setup filters to handle incoming e-mail? Use the powerful Message Filters option of this smart e-mail client to establish one or more filters. These help you better organize and manage your messages.
The signature feature of Thunderbird is versatile. Add an image, HTML elements, or even an HTML file to your signature.
HTML E-mail Templates vs. Thunderbird HTML Editor
Why re-invent the wheel when you can use free, HTML e-mail templates? In a template you’ve to just remove some of its elements or tweak its code to derive an HTML e-mail layout that meets your needs. Just plug-in your images, links and text, and you’re all set.
If you try to write the HTML code from scratch in the Thunderbird HTML editor, you’ll find it to be primitive. You have to type each and every HTML tag, as that editor doesn’t have, among others, the feature to insert markups and their attributes.
Two of the excellent resources for free HTML e-mail templates are Campaign Monitor and MailChimp. A salient feature of the templates available from those two sites is that the templates are tested on a number of e-mail clients.