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Premail features

MJML: The email coding system

If you're here, you are probably already familiar with MJML, but if not you should read a little about it first. It's a component-based templating system that makes writing marketing or transactional emails vastly easier, more compatible, and mobile-responsive. If you're comfortable with HTML code, MJML will likely be much faster for you than any drag-and-drop visual editor provided by an email service provider like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc.

Using Premail, you can create different email designs in MJML, then use your library of designs to create individual emails. Premail will make creating and managing the code for these emails vastly simpler.

When you're done, you'll have an index.html file (and plain-text index.txt file, if you've chosen the text option) that is optimized to render correctly in the vast majority of email systems and clients. Then drop the code from the file into your email service provider's system.

Premail specialties

  • MJMLv4-standard bulletproof code that will look its best across all email clients, reduced to the smallest possible size. CSS is inlined and HTML is minified as with all MJML, but we also add some extra checks, for instance, to make sure emojis are properly escaped and the file size doesn't hit Gmail's clipping limit.

  • Component-based templates that allow you to separate out things that don't often change (navigation menus, social media links, unsubscribe text) and things that will usually change (a header or banner, preheader text, and the main body of the email).

  • Create multiple designs, and each time you create a new email you can choose from among your existing designs. This allows you to keep the structure of the design and the content of the email separate, and reduces errors.

  • As you're creating a design or crafting a new email, you can use a watch task to automatically recompile the result, which is loaded using Browsersync into your default browser as well as being accessible from other devices. (If you'd rather not use Browsersync, it's easy to disable.)

  • Within each design, the CSS (created in Sass files) is automatically inlined in the HTML, thanks to MJML. Additionally, stub files exist for including pseudo-CSS styles (such as hover states) for email clients that support them, as well as styles specifically targeting Gmail.

  • A plain-text version of your email is optionally created, and Premail does a much better job than most email services at rendering it. While only a small number of your recipients will see the plain-text version, they are important for email deliverability. Within the plain-text version options, you can control whether certain elements like navigation or header/banner areas are included.

  • Configuration files are written in YAML, making them easy to read, and comments -- with links to relevant resources -- are included throughout.

  • Perfectly structured for including in a git repo -- don't rely on your email service provider to keep an archive of your past emails! And Prettier is included to automatically clean up template formatting for easier file-diffing.

When it comes to the content of your emails, optional enhancements can be controlled per-email:

  • Transforming quotes, apostrophes, and dashes to their correct typographical versions; optical character alignment; and true small-caps formatting with Detergent and Typeset.
  • Enforcing proper image alt tags and making sure the supplied text doesn't break email code parsers.
  • Padding preview/preheader text to prevent things like navigation menu items from being visible in a recipient's inbox.

Feel free to make suggestions for more enhancements!