Change to CSS support (or lack) in Gmail

A short and esoteric update for those of you coding your own email templates: Gmail (and thus also Google Apps) has long frustrated email marketers with its lack of support for internal or external stylesheets, instead requiring inline CSS - e.g., <div style=”font-size:8pt;padding:2px;margin:2px;”>YOUR STYLED TEXT HERE</div>

Well, that hasn't changed. Sorry. However, during testing on a recent client campaign we noticed that an inline style in the form

<div style=”font: 11px lucida grande,arial,sans-serif; line-height: 15px; margin-left:30px; color:#000”>YOUR STYLED TEXT HERE</div>

...did not work. And it used to.

We found that for the style to be correctly applied in Gmail, the CSS had to be explicitly articulated as

<div style=”font-family: lucida grande,arial,sans-serif; font-size:11px; line-height: 15px; margin-left:30px; color:#000”></div>.

So, a word of warning: email styling for recipients reading in Gmail just got a little bit harder. Something to bear in mind!