What is an HTML Email Editor?

Lee Prangnell

An HTML email editor is a computer software application that allows a user to develop multimedia rich emails by utilizing the HyperText Markup Language (HTML). In terms of the software's scope of application, a user could create a marketing based email — designed to be sent to a number of business customers, for example — in which there may exist a number of multimedia elements. Another use for this type of program is to develop feature rich emails to friends and family members.

An HTML email editor is a computer software application that allows a user to develop multimedia rich emails by utilizing the HyperText Markup Language (HTML).
An HTML email editor is a computer software application that allows a user to develop multimedia rich emails by utilizing the HyperText Markup Language (HTML).

Within the HTML email editor, there typically is a "what you see is what you get" (WYSIWYG) interface in which a user can implement a variety of multimedia elements. These multimedia elements might include visual items such as text, still graphics and animations. There is also the option to implement audio and video content by including audio or video files in the email.

The WYSIWYG interface is highly suited to computer users who are not familiar with HTML code and syntax. For example, a marketing employee who has been assigned the task of creating a corporate-based marketing email might have an aptitude for developing aesthetically pleasing marketing emails, but they might not have the technical expertise to develop such an email using core HTML syntax. Therefore, the WYSIWYG interface within the HTML email editor is very helpful in this type of scenario.

If a user has an advanced aptitude for creating HTML documents using pure HTML code, he or she might choose to create the email within the code designer of the HTML email editor program. Within the code designer, the user has a far greater level of control over the content that is produced, in comparison with the level of control when using the WYSIWYG interface. For instance, the user is able manipulate the layout of the e-mail with much more precision by utilizing cascading style sheet (CSS) functionality within the HTML file.

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Another feature of an HTML email editor is that all of the files can be saved as conventional HTML files with the ".html" file extension. Therefore, the user who is developing the HTML email is able to save the HTML file. This saved file can be executed by any contemporary web browser. Furthermore, it would be possible to edit the newly saved HTML email in a conventional HTML editor or even a text editor; the main stipulation is that both the conventional HTML editor and the HTML email editor must support the same version of HTML.

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Discussion Comments


@Vincenzo -- and that's another reason those services are so handy. They have to know regulations for sending out bulk email. If you were to try to figure that out on your own, you would spend some time researching and what happens when a new law or regulation goes into place?

If you don't comply with it, you could wind up in trouble.


@Logicfest -- you can add a ton of addresses or use an Internet link or something so people can subscribe to your mailing list through, say, your Internet site.

If you are adding people, keep in mind that most of those services make you affirm that you have permission to add each email address. That's one of the reasons those emails are not branded as spam and don't violate FTC and other restrictions. It's not spam if you have permission to add an email address to a bulk list.


There are a lot of great services out there -- many of them free -- that make it easy to produce HTML emails, maintain email databases, let the user know how many people open each email, etc. Those sites typically provide templates and very simple interfaces that allow for sophisticated, professional emails to be developed quickly and easily.

Another great feature is that they are set up to send out emails and avoid spam blockers. Let's say you want to send an electronic newsletter to 1,000 customers. If you were to do that with your HTML email editor, the chances are good that email would be blocked by your own server as bulk mailings are typically viewed as spam.

An HTML email service, however, effectively sends emails one at a time so as to avoid that problem. For that reason alone, one of those services might be your only option for sending bulk emails. Thank goodness there are a lot of those Web-based services out there and they are competing for customers.

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