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CSS in HTML Email Senders. Is it Safe?

Short answer: If you're safe, except not if you are sending to lots of hotmail users.

What can I expect?

You can expect most email programs, including web-based email readers, to render most of your styles correctly, if you follow some simple rules:

  • Avoid linking to external stylesheets. Most email clients will strip them.

  • Put the style in the body section of your email. That's because many clients will strip out the head section completely.

  • Do not use generic "class" styles like
          .small {
    in your styles. The dot gets hacked out off the beginning by some. Instead, be explicit like
    to define exactly what tag will get the class.

  • Do not rely on your stylesheet for your message appearance.

  • Avoid positioning. It probably just won't work.

  • Don't style the body tag. It might get stripped out too. Instead wrap your email in one big div tag with your style on it.

  • Use care if you style the hyperlinks or add hovering behavior. Add a custom class to all your a tags or you may conflict with a webmail client email reader.

  • Javascript? HAHAHAHA! Do you want popups when you read your email? We can hope that mail clients never support javascript.

That's really the long an short of it from what we've gathered. Here's a great technical page describing the gory details...

Of course, you should always follow some other practices when you are composing any project for your email blast software:



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