Email templates - compatibility requirements

I’ve been an active and frequent Envato customer for a few years now. I am also a web designer and WordPress developer, But my main professional sector is Email Marketing. I am working with big European brands designing and developing consumer Email campaigns.

Since I also do a little Email Marketing for Musicians in my spare time, I’m always on the lookout for interesting new Email templates that I can adopt for some of their campaigns. But I am continuously shocked and hugely disappointed by the vanity and misleading presentation of almost ALL of the email template designers/developers here at Envato.

There seems to be a lack of understanding of what distinguishes html for email from browser based design and build. And in order to make a sale, almost all of the templates here - presented exclusively in browser view - will end up being incompatible with a large number of receiving email clients, making the templates in use look untidy at best, broken at worst.

I am surprised that Envato does not force email designers/developers to disclose their Litmus or Email On Acid rendering reports to show what their built designs will look like in all the different email clients.

  • non-websafe fonts only work on newer Apple devices - no Windows machine will show the fancy typefaces
  • background images are not supported by Outlook - a very popular email client
  • anything above 650px width will still result in horizontal scroll bars in some desktop clients

Almost all of the templates are vanity projects that look hot in the browser with just about the perfect amount of blind text, columns always the exact same height showing the perfect scenario. But as soon as a customer edits those templates with their own content, the beautiful expression breaks apart. The next shock will be when Litmus testing the templates and realising that the background images don’t line up of disappear for some people, the text reverts to Arial or Tahoma, breaking headlines etc.

Due to those false standards, all of the submitted (and accepted) templates have started to look almost identical. The generous header images with a background image, overlayed with a non-websafe font and a rounded cornered button.

I wish Envato would be stricter with quality checks in this direction. Instead, the requirements seems to be a fancy email builder. It’s a nice to have for non html experts, but it must not be a requirement to submit a template. Envato are selling pure html templates for web applications, why not also offer pure html versions of an email template?

Maybe lack of quality of the email templates here is why I have never (!!!) myself received a marketing email that was based on an Envato template - and I am receiving huge volumes of emails.

I am missing the variety, the simpler, truly compatible designs, the rendering transparency, a reduction in misled Envato customers, the honesty, the service, THE QUALITY.

I am also 100% shocked that how SOME of those emailTemplates are there (and this is also valid for some other types of items). There are also some authors that continuously copyCating their/orOtherAuthors’ work, uploading the same design each week, and still selling here despite the fact that we mentioned the “copyCating” issue over and over again. They are still selling here ; and what is even more shocking than that, those “nonResponsible” authors are still making sales with their authorRating of “3” and with all of those complaints from the users - How do they still sell, or to be more concise, who would STILL buy from them especially when you think that their comments’ area is full of customer complaints?!

Other than the above…:

1 - EmailBuilderAccess is not a neccessity or not a “must” to upload here. It’s all about the demand (Surely I would prefer to work with pure HTML while building my own emailCampaign).

2 - Are you getting in contact with the authors before the purchase? (Of course you don’t have to, but it’s a must if you want to be on the safe side no matter what you’re buying) - Maybe you may ask to get an exampleLayout from the package you’re about the buy from the author thus you’ll know about it before the purchase ; you may perform your own tests etc. (and also this gives an idea about the “responsiveness” of the author to your questions).

3 - The most of those templates (if not all) clearly state that “the bg images will not work on Outlook versions” in their item description, if BackGround images are used at all.

1 - try it.
2 - Yes, every time. Only once has somebody sent me render results to review. ONCE!
3 - True. But why not design emails where such caveats aren’t necessary?

Hi Nadja ; also just verified it with EnvatoSupport. Submitting without a builderAccess is surely possible and allowed (as it should be). In other words, authors are allowed to submit pureHTML templates without a builderAccess. (and some authors, including us, are already including pure HTML versions inside their packages)


But just to my other points. Been through the last 30 submitted email templates. Not a single one is not using a big header relying on background image or using background images throughout. It’s all the same. Where’s the variety? The creativity? The new ideas?

It’s not so hard to provide backgrounds which work most of the clients:

I know. But unless the people who build those templates can work out the background images for ALL email clients, they should stop making them such prominent features. If a template fails in Outlook, it’s not ready for primetime. I am unable to render test these templates before purchasing and since nobody openly discloses their Litmus results (they just say “tested in Litmus” - so what?) I cannot tell how compatible they really are.

I think this is an Envato QA problem. And also a matter of one designer just copying what the previous one has done. That’s why they all look the same, use fonts that don’t work consistently and rely on background images in the header. ALL of them.

agree! I just discovered the share option of Litmus so this should be an easy way to show the actual results. So maybe there should be a “verified” badge or something :slight_smile: