Email Design Specifications & Guidelines

When preparing your HTML email campaign, we advise you to keep the following in mind.

Email Creative Size

Your email content and creative should be kept to a maximum of 600px so that it will display in email application viewing windows to best effect.
We encourage you to maximise the content 'above the fold' and recommend limiting the length of the email to 800px.

Alt Tags

Ensure that all your images have an alt property that will provide descriptive and meaningful content even if images are not displayed for any reason.

Declaring Image Heights and Widths

Always specify the width and height of images contained in the email to keep formatting consistent in case images do not load.

Background Images

Support for background images in email is very poor, notably in Outlook 2007. Try to design your email creatives without relying on background images and compensate by specifying a background colour which will appear if the images do not render.

Default Link

The Default link is the main link that you would like the list subscriber to click on when they receive your email. You can have as many links within your email as you like, but the Default link is the most important one.

Clean & Simple Layout

CSS positioning elements are not supported in most web-based email clients. For this reason, it is recommended that you use tables to format your emails.

Inline Styles

Inline Styles are preferable to other style definitions as many email clients strip out all information not contained within the body of the email. Keep styles as simple as possible - many advanced CSS properties are unsupported by email clients.

Image File Sizes

Images should be kept to the lowest file size possible to improve email loading time.

Tips to Avoiding SPAM filters:

Image to text ratio

The greater the text to image ratio the better chance you have of avoiding spam filters. i.e. use more text and less images.


Length should be less than 50 characters. Ideally your subject should be between 4 - 8 words written in sentence case and refrain from exclamation marks. The best subject lines are descriptive of the content and capture the viewers interest.

For spam reasons avoid the following words (especially in ALL CAPS): free, offer, 50% off, click here, subscribe, earn, bonus, guaranteed, act now, while supplies last, why pay more, visit our web site, time limited, plus all the obvious pharmaceutical and sexual words.

Body text

Apply the same guideless to your body text as we have suggested for the Subject. Emphasis on using sentence cases and avoiding ALL CAPS.

Avoid using large font sizes and stick with only one or two different fonts and/or sizes.

Recommend Against:

Please do not use any of the following in your email campaigns:
Java, Javascript, VBScript, form elements, frames, ActiveX, animated GIFs, Flash, or embedded video.
Many email applications do not support these elements.

For more information regarding these Guidelines, please contact us at:

C/- ExtraCorp Pty Ltd
339 Queensberry St
North Melbourne VIC 3051, Australia

Phone: 1300 731 254
Fax: (03) 8080 9898

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