Mail Chimp have released a funny but true guide called “Email Jitsu”, looking at the email design and coding tactics required to create a suitable email template.

From Combat Tip #1:

“Take off that beanie and put that Zeldman book down, you hippie. There are no standards in HTML email. Email programs are all over the place in terms of how they render HTML. You will need to think different. Fight different. Yes, you will need to resort to dirty “street” style tactics to make your email designs look consistent. Medieval stuff like:

  • Table layout. No CSS Positioning. Not only that, but…
  • Embedded Tables (gasp!) Shim-GIFs (double gasp!)
  • Videos, Flash, ActionScript, DHTML, Javascript, and all that other fancyschmancy stuff is not going to work. Most anti-virus software block them from
    working inside email apps.