Email Marketing Creative Guidelines

Below are the various topics we will cover to help you create better-looking emails with a much higher chance of rendering correctly.

While there may be other things, these are the most common problems we see:

Accepted Email Creative Formats

We accept email creatives in the following formats:


This is an already built HTML file where images are hosted on a server. This file will also contain CTURLs already coded into the file. Please see HTML Creative Guidelines for more specific information.

  • Email creative builders such as Mailchimp can be used, but any wrapper text or mention of the creative builder
    must be removed from the HTML file (code) file before submitting creative.
    • If you are using Mailchimp, as mentioned, you will need to remove some code in the HTML file you download.
      Please follow the steps on the last page of this document.


JPG, PNG, GIF, or PDF image file to be made into an HTML file with provided CTURL(s).

  • If you supply multiple links to splice the static image into, please ensure you provide a link map explicitly stating what element the image links to.


An HTML file that does not have images hosted on a server and is sent via a .zip file. Please ensure the .zip file is sent to us in the following format:

  • The creative (HTML file) must be named “index.html” and located in the root folder.

  • Images referenced within the HTML must be located in a folder called “images” within the .zip file.

  • Images referenced within the HTML file must be relative URLs, with “images/[image name]”. Replace [image name] with your actual image name. No spaces are allowed in the image name.

For all CTURLs, we highly recommend appending a UTM to any links leading back to the advertiser’s website. Our team can create a UTM for static image creatives only. We cannot adjust HTML code to append a UTM to CTURLs coded in.

Creative Size

Width: 650 pixels wide is recommended.

  • Minimum 550 pixels wide

  • Maximum 750 pixels wide

Height: There are no real restrictions on height except for images within your creative. Keep in mind that shorter creative will not get snipped by Gmail.

  • Images cannot exceed 1728 pixels in height.

File Size: A standard email should only be 200kb (including images and any other assets)

Creating HTML

  • If you aren’t coding the HTML from scratch using a text editor, it is best to use an HTML editor software such as Adobe Dreamweaver.

    • We can build custom HTML creative for you, but there is an additional cost to be quoted by our team, which depends on the amount of work needed.

  • If you just have one large image and want to apply multiple links to it, we recommend using Adobe Fireworks. It’s a slicing feature that can create compatible code. We can also create this for you.

    • We can also create this for you, but there is an additional cost for 1-6 links. Please reach out to your account manager for details.

  • We can create the HTML for you for free if you have just one large image and only one link.
  • We have successfully used emails exported from third-party vendors; however, we do not recommend it as they usually aren’t meant to be shared or work properly outside of their platform. This includes added extra code that you may need to remove.

  • We also have creative templates you can use!


Your HTML creative must have a structure or frame built with tables and DIVs if you want it to maintain a certain width, otherwise, it will expand horizontally. Keep in mind that the CSS property max-width is not supported by Outlook. So ensure you have a fixed width applied to the main container table. Without a table, links applied to images won’t work in Outlook.


Tables are the safest. Unless you have good knowledge of Outlook's limited support on DIVs, go ahead. For consistent rendering, your main structure should be built on tables, with some mild usage of DIVs inside of them.


Please always include the doctype and meta tags in your HTML. And always have this one in particular:

<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=UTF-8”>

Not having this can cause characters to not be translated correctly. Font styles should be included inline on table cells.


In general, stick with websafe fonts for the best compatibility. Hosted fonts do not work in all email clients. If symbols are not appearing correctly, use the HTML entity of that character (for example, © needs to be imputed as &copy).


Avoid email delivery issues and tracking inconsistencies by keeping them out.


This built-in feature on some email clients gives recipients a glimpse of the email content. This space is great for complimenting subject lines since it appears right next to or below them. Just add a <span> tag right after the <body> tag, like this:

<span style =”display:none; font-size:0px;”>PREHEADER TEXT HERE</span>


If your images don’t display for some reason, alt text will display in its place, giving recipients a glimpse of what they missed by having images turned off or having internet issues. Always use alt text, it improves our email scoring with SPAM filters, and people with disabilities can read its content.



Please do not use background images. If you must, please use a background color instead of an image. You can set up foreground images instead. However, please keep in mind that you need more text than imagery in your email, as having too many images will trigger spam filters.


No spaces on image names, or they won’t load in Outlook. Same for images with file names that are too long.


Emojis can be used. Ensure the character/emoji you want to use is an actual emoji, not a Unicode character.


We are not able to support video within an email. A workaround would be to include an image or screenshot that appears to be a video with a “play” button imposed on top so that when a user clicks the “play” symbol, it takes them to the video on your website.

Spam Triggers

  • Misleading subject lines that don’t match the content of your email.

  • Creatives with only images and no or very little live text content. Keep the image-to-text ratio at a minimum of 75% images to 25% live text. Ideally, you have 50% images and 50% live text.

  • HTML/CCS coding errors or broken links

  • Subject lines with less than 50 characters

    • Avoid words like “free”, “last chance”, and “offer”.

    • Excessive characters like $ or %

    • All caps