Email Design Podcast #76: Litmus Community Q&A Rapid Fire

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In the 76th episode of The Email Design Podcast, Kevin Mandeville and Jason Rodriguez answer recent questions from the Litmus Community in a rapid fire format, including topics on Yahoo! Mail alignment issues, Apple Pay in email, best practices for reply-to addresses, image compression and optimization, and more. Be sure to follow along and join in the discussion on Twitter using #EmailDesignPodcast.

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In this episode:

  • (0:36) Code yourself vs. WYSIWYG editor: If you are comfortable with HTML/CSS and overcoming email client quirks, coding yourself gives you more flexibility than you have when using a WYSIWYG editor. However, if non-technical users have to build emails, WYSIWYG editors may be a better option. For WYSIWYG editors, our favorites include Taxi for Email, StampReady, BeeFree, and Campaign Monitor’s Canvas.
  • (3:28) Yahoo! alignment issues: Previously, Yahoo! Mail required table-layout: fixed; on wrapper tables as a hack to center the layout. This hack is no longer needed and can be achieved by ensuring you have align=”center” on the proper table cells.
  • (4:35) Can you use Apple Pay in email? No, Apple Pay isn’t supported in any email client currently as it relies on JavaScript to implement. We expect that to change in the future and predict Apple will add that functionality natively to iOS Mail at some point.
  • (6:45) Can I open any native calendar app with a link? Apart from any native functionality built into a client, it is not possible to open the native calendar app. But, you can for instance link to an .ics file or Gmail calendar event and have a blank event to get users to a calendar.
  • (9:19) Featured Jobs: Email Developer at King Arthur Flour | Freelance Email Developer at REBEL | Digital Marketing Specialist, Email Marketing at National Geographic
  • (11:37) What are best practices for reply-to email addresses? We always recommend providing an email address for subscribers to respond to you. We strongly advise against using no-reply addresses.
  • (13:51) What is the best method for image compression? Use JPEGs for photos and PNGs for more vector type images. Saving JPEGs at 80% or using PNG-8 instead of PNG-24 are quick ways to reduce file size. Image compression services like ImageOptim, Kraken, TinyPNG, or JPEGMini can come in handy for optimizing your images, too. You can also use the srcset attribute to progressively enhance to more retina images for retina environments. Compressive images—scaling an image up to 4x the desired display and saving at 0%-10%—is another method you could look into, though this technique is ever-changing with increasing pixel density devices.
  • (17:18) Is there a reliable method to identify dynamic content in an email? Unless you can see that assets are being hosted by third-party dynamic content services like Movable Ink or LiveClicker, there is no direct method to identify dynamic content. Any absolute URL to an external asset can in nature be dynamic as the content can be updated at any point.

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