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Email Development

Telstra Webmail Testing: What You Need to Know

Email On Acid

Telstra, previously referred to as BigPond, was founded in 1996. It's now one of Australia's largest ISPs, employing over 10,000 people and boasting over two million users.

If you send email to any Australian subscribers, Telstra will need to be on your radar. Email on Acid offers email testing in Telstra so that you can make sure your email looks perfect every time.

In this post we'll see how it copes with some of the most common email techniques. If you'd like to skip straight to the support, you can find a table at the bottom of the post.

The Good

I'm happy to report that there are a lot of things in the Telstra email client that render well. Here's a breakdown of what we found:

Spacing

We have a lot of control over the spacing in email. Cellpadding, padding and margin are all supported and work as expected. In terms of padding, the following methods of padding are all supported with your desired padding amount:

padding: 20px; 
padding-left: 20px; 
padding-right: 20px; 
padding-top:20px; 
padding-bottom: 20px; 
padding: 20px 0px 20px 0px;

Borders

More good news! Telstra also supports the border property when tested with the following code:

border: 5px solid #ff0000;

For a bit of fun, I tested the dashed border which also works.

Headers and Paragraphs

Telstra excels in accessible code, with paragraph and header tags both being supported:

<h1>Header</h1> 
<p>Paragraph</p>

Backgrounds

Backgrounds also render well across the Telstra webmail. In terms of adding colour you have the freedom to do it with either HTML attributes or inline CSS:

HTML: background="#ff0000"  
CSS: background-color: #ff0000;

When it comes to background images we are slightly more limited, but not by much. We've found that inline CSS backgrounds will work, however HTML backgrounds won't render. All that means is you must use;

background-image: url(images/image.jpg)

rather than

background="images/image.jpg"

Animated GIFs

Animated GIFs have long been a staple of email design and development and I'm happy to say that Telstra will render your lovingly crafted animated GIFs and they will loop accordingly.

Max-width

Good news for your hybrid layouts! Max-width, combined with percentage based widths, works as expected:

width:100%; max-width:600px !important;

Font and text styles

We have some good support for different text elements and styles we employ in email. The following styles are supported:

font-size: 14px; 
font-family: sans-serif; 
line-height: 16px;

Lists

A very basic element but we find that both ordered and unordered lists work:

<ul></ul> 
<ol></ol>

The Bad

Unfortunately, it's now time to go through the negative aspects of the Telstra email client and what it won't render.

Border-radius

A little fun element which sadly won't work in Telstra, border-radius will not render. No rounded corners for us, but it will fall back in the same way Outlook clients do.

<style> in the head and body

This is where it gets grim, guys. There are a few other small things but this is a huge one: as it currently stands the Telstra web mail client will completely strip the <head> section of your email. This has some ripple effects such as not supporting animated CSS, but the big thing is that we have no ability to use classes or IDs.

Unfortunately, that has some serious implications as you can see in the reference table below. It's not the end of the world for email in Telstra, just make sure to test and inline all your elements to ensure your email works on Telstra.

Telstra Support

Element/Style Support
<style> in head
<style> in body
CSS Selectors
classes
ids
padding
margin
<ol>
<ul>
border-radius
border
line-height
font-family
font-size
max-width
Animated GIFs
<h1>-<h7>
<p>
CSS inline background
HTML attribute background

Closing words

Overall the Telstra email client seems to be a rather robust email client, it's a shame that it won't render any content in the <head> of the email, but that's something we can forgive for the overall support for most of our commonly used email elements. Do you send to Telstra? Have you found some weird quirks? We'd love to hear what you find so we can keep this guide updated.

It's important to test emails constantly, we never know when an email client will change how it handles code. We've introduced Telstra to our suite of email clients to test on, so if you're sending email down under, we've got you covered!

About the Author

Alex Ilhan

Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism.

Join the Discussion

Hi Alex,

I am just curious which web mail Telstra uses? I am a customer at Telstra and when I login all my emails are sitting in outlook.com

I don't see any mention of outlook.com in your post so which client did you test on?

Cheers
Shameer

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