If you'd like to code your own HTML email template, rather than use one of our pre-designed template options, there are a few things to keep in mind when you create your content.
In this article, you'll learn some common HTML coding errors and how to avoid them.
Preview and test
Campaign wasn't fully tested
Before you send your email, thoroughly test it first. We recommend that you send test emails to all common email services, like Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail. If you know your contacts use a less common email client, consider taking the steps to test in that program, as well. Use our Inbox Preview tool to preview how your email will appear in multiple clients or refer to our campaign testing tips.
Emails created by a web designer weren't tested
If you ask someone else to create your email for you and paste in the code they give you, you should still send yourself test emails and make sure everything displays the way it should. Check that it wasn't designed too wide to fit in the preview pane of most major email programs. Test the images and links to make sure they work as expected and are set up as absolute paths.
Code and software
Microsoft FrontPage, Word, or Publisher was used to create HTML content
Using Word, Publisher, or FrontPage to generate HTML content can result in extra code added to your email. This can break your design or result in your email getting filtered as spam. Instead, use a basic text editor and then import the template or paste the code into Mailchimp.
CSS used incorrectly
Most email applications strip HEAD and BODY tags from incoming email to keep embedded CSS from interfering with their page CSS. We recommend you use inline CSS or that you embed your CSS just before your content after the <BODY> tag.
Using spammy content
Most of us receive spam. The subject lines tend to be in all caps, letters are highlighted bright red or bright blue, they use lots of exclamation points, and they use phrases like "hottest," "best," or "click now!"
Keep your subject lines brief and to the point, keep your content relevant, don't try to use gimmicky catch phrases, and always avoid spammy words.
No unsubscribe link
We require all marketing emails sent through Mailchimp to have our *|UNSUB|* tag. There's absolutely no exception to this rule. It must be present in both the HTML email and the plain-text email.
No permission reminder
All our built-in templates automatically ask you to create a permission reminder, but if you code your own, you'll need to include one in your template code. Permission reminders briefly tell your subscribed contacts how they signed up for your marketing, for example, "You received this email because you subscribed at www.example.com for our newsletter." Permission reminders prevent false abuse complaints, which could get your company's domain name denylisted (other providers may refer to it as "blacklisted").
No postal address
We require that all our users include a valid physical mailing address on all emails sent through our servers in compliance with the U.S. CAN-SPAM law. The address is automatically inserted whenever you use our built-in HTML email templates, so if you're coding your own you will need to add it manually.