Newsletter formatting removed

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  • Updated 4 months ago
Some newsletters forwarded into NewsBlur seems to have their formatting altered, to the point where they become un-readable. Quite common is images out of alignment so that a picture made of multiple separate images (a common trick to get clickable regions) don't fit together properly; or text colour lost so that the email appears empty (screenshots below, highlighting the content shows the 'hidden' text).

These emails appear fine in Gmail (Chrome, macOS) and Apple Mail, so it looks to be something that is changing within NewsBlur.

From the original announcement, you mention making sure that newsletters display well on desktop and mobile, so I wonder if there's something you're doing there. But to be fair, the better email marketers out there should be sending emails with responsive designs already!



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Chris Minett

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Posted 4 months ago

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Chris Minett

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I've found another example which I think goes partly to explain the issue. The third-party code (the newsletter) is not separated from the NewsBlur chrome, so styles are bleeding through (in both directions). This example shows a newsletter which is setting styles (using a stylesheet in `<style>` tags in their content) on the `body` including changing the Font-Family to Avenir.

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Samuel Clay, Official Rep

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Do me a favor, click through the permalink and post the screenshot from that url (and share the URL if you don't mind having it public). Alternatively, you can email it to me: samuel@newsblur.com.

The permalink is the newsletter as it is sent to NewsBlur but without any NewsBlur formatting. If it looks good there, I can attempt to fix it. But if it doesn't, then there's little I can do. 
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Chris Minett

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Hi Samuel, thanks for the quick reply!

OK, makes sense, that would avoid the collision of styles, so I've had a look at those in their own window.

I think that's helped narrow it down. It seems that certain attributes are being stripped from the HTML, which is causing the effects seen. For example, the email where the text is un-readable is because the `bgcolor` attribute is removed from the TD. And the email where the images are out of alignment is because the `cellpadding` and `cellspacing` attributes are removed.

Screenshots below compare the original email source (taken from Gmail's "view original source", which definitely doesn't have any of their style and image URL alterations applied), and HTML source of the NewsBlur permalink page. It's also possible to see where the following has been added to `a` tags, so there's definitely some further manipulation before it's displayed: rel="nofollow" class="external"

(I'll email the permalinks to you, as they contain personalised tracking links)