Targeted email restrictions:

200k max file size for all code and images

600-750 pixels wide (fixed, centered 600-750 wide table)

linked call to action in the first 400 pixels vertical

no Javascript

no Macromedia Flash

no video

no audio

no plug ins (including Java)

no forms or form elements

no using images for body copy

no CSS for positioning

no CSS layers

no background images in tables or table cells

no animated gifs — there is limited support for animated gif, in some

environments only the first frame is displayed

no words that will trigger a spam warning (FREE, $$$, mortgage, rolex,


all IMG SCR paths must be fully qualified — i.e. start with “http://”

Some Notes on Microsoft Outlook:

1. float attributes – avoid

2. using UL and LI tags for spacing attributes – avoid

3. TD padding must be uniform for the entire table, if you need different cell

paddings, you need to build a new nested table

4. font-family needs to be re-defined for each TD if other style attributes

are specified

5. margin tags and other complex padding styles need to be avoided

Complex CSS styles often get ignored or altered in microsoft outlook.

Specifically, if you try to specify padding and margins with left, right, top,

and bottom values, outlook will often just use the largest value and apply it

to the element for all 4 sides. as an example, if you had a table cell (TD)

and applied style=”padding-top:60px; padding-bottom:0px;” it would apply

padding of 60px to the left, right, top, and bottom values

Some notes about Google Mail:

Gmail does not recognize cellpadding, cellspacing, or embedded styles.

You must use inline styles in the TD or SPAN tags to specify fonts and

table padding in table cells. Example: TD style=”padding: 12px; color=blue;

font-family: arial;”

The most common problems with advertising layouts are below:


1. PROBLEM: Large file size. The combined file size of all code text and

images must be under 100k. Remember that this size limit includes images

that are specified in the HTML but retrieved off a server.


2. PROBLEM: Use of images to represent text. While headlines and logos

can be raster artwork, the body copy has to be actual machine readable

HTML (ascii) text characters. Do not use gifs or jpgs to display your body

copy. This is one of the first things that spam filters look for.


3. PROBLEM: Use of non-standard typefaces for body copy: Because

running body copy must be actual text and not images we are limited to the

industry standard subset of acceptable typefaces that can be predictably

found on most users machines. These include: Helvetica, Arial, Times,

Verdana, Tahoma.


4. PROBLEM: Trying to place copy on curves or in odd-shaped containers

and advanced typographical executions. This can also include “floating”

copy blocks used in captions or descriptions. While this is easily done in

print, it can create massive problems when designing emails. Email

programs do not predictably render the CSS code required for advanced

layouts that require this method — the layout would have to executed

through complex hacks using table tags which can cause many problems

when viewed in different email environments, and in some cases users will

not see the layout at all. However “boring” it may seem, please use a “table

grid” layout to ensure the best result.


5. PROBLEM: Advanced paragraph specifications. Because we are at the

mercy of dozens of Web browsers and email clients (programs) and even

different operating systems, trying to overly specify type structure will lead

to problems. While there are some HTML methods to attempt to control

specifications such as line height, font size, tracking, leading, kerning,

hyphenation, widow and orphan control, advanced typographers marks,

non-western characters, etc. they are not recommended. If you attempt to

overly adjust the body copy for one particular user’s email environment, it

will be sure to cause problems in other environments.


6. PROBLEM: Horizontal layout. Because we are limited to 600 pixels

across, It is more effective to use a vertical layout to ensure there is

enough space to present the photography, copy and logos. The reason we

limit the width to 600 pixels is because while the email ad is previewed in a

standard web browser, remember that in most cases the actual email will

be rendered in the significantly smaller preview window of an email reader.


7. PROBLEM: Designing for one users environment. Just because you are

using a 1997 Macintosh computer with a 2400x1200 monitor and using

Netscape Communicator 4 email composer does not mean that you are

seeing the ad the way everyone else is. Every email is going to look

slightly different on each machine, so please understand that no one can

guarantee 100% uniform appearance.