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The Lunch Pail – Tips for Marketers: An introduction to HTML tables

The Lunch Pail – Tips for Marketers: An introduction to HTML tables

Tips for Marketers: An introduction to HTML tables

By: The Lunch Pail

Originally, HTML tables had one obvious purpose – to display tabular data. But the introduction of border=”0” gave designers a more aesthetically pleasing way to layout content and more control over it.

In the late 1990s, this was more or less salvation for Web designers. The ability to control how and where you could position elements on a website offered some brilliant workarounds for the limitations of existing browsers.

That’s not the case anymore. HTML syntax has seen a number of updates since the late 1990s, and tables are now relegated to doing what tables were originally meant to do – to display tabular data.

Except in emails. Most email clients lack support for recent HTML and CSS technologies, which is why tables are the best way to build entire HTML emails. Tables are bulletproof. Every Web browser and email client can read them.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at basic HTML table construction. Even though most self-service marketers are probably using Concentri’s design view/WYSIWYG editor to build their emails, it’s still important to understand how the basic building blocks come together to form the bulk of the content. After all, sometimes a problem can only be fixed by working with the code.

An HTML table works and displays the same way as a table built in any word processing program. Tables are divided into rows with the tr tag, and each row is divided into data cells with the td tag. A td tag can contain any type of content – even other tables. The /td, /tr, /tbody and /table tags close each respective element.

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  • Profile:  Carolyn is Email Marketing Manager for USAData, providing businesses with consulting, data and technology solutions. Previously she was Marketing Manager for S&S Worldwide a direct marketer of arts & crafts and educational supplies for over five years. She is responsible for the planning and implementation of email marketing programs and has developed a wide variety of highly successful triggered and transactional email campaigns designed to engage customers, drive sales, improve service and overall customer satisfaction. In addition to email marketing, She is an occasional speaker and contributor at industry conferences, featured in trade articles and webinars. Carolyn holds a BS in Marketing from Umass Dartmouth and currently pursuing an MBA in E Commerce and Global Marketing from the University of New Haven.
  • Website:  http://www.usadata.com
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  1. Even though CSS has rendered tables useless in many of it’s applications, when a table is needed it should still be used!

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