In Praise of the Email Standards Project

Published on 29th November, 2007

A few days ago, the Email Standards Project was officially launched. Put simply, Email Standards have the potential to completely change the quality—and economic viability—of HTML email, much as Web Standards did for web sites.

If you’re a business owner and think that this only applies to us nerdy web designer types, think again. HTML emails can provide a better return on investment than any other form of direct marketing, but without decent support for Email Standards the cost of developing them escalates dramatically, as does the likelihood that a decent proportion of your customers won’t even be able to read your carefully crafted missive.

Speaking as a nerdy web designer, I dream of the day when I will no longer weep silent tears of frustration as the simplest of HTML email layouts falters in Outlook 2007 or Gmail.

I also silently wish for the moment when a perfectly reasonable client request for a good-looking, on-brand HTML email can be answered with a simple “Yeah, sure”, instead of the sort of response typically reserved for those demanding the moon on a stick.

To find out why Email Standards are the stuff of dreams, both for the people who create HTML emails, and for the people who pay people to create HTML emails, have a quick read of Why Web Standards Matter for Email on the Email Standards Project web site.