You can use message encoding character sets in your emails. For each of the available character sets, all valid characters show correctly in an email in the subject line, from name, and email body.
Some special characters, such as hearts, spades, diamonds, and copyright symbols, display in emails, but only if these are within the defined character set for the email. If a character is not valid for the selected character set, the character is replaced by a question mark or other placeholder character such as a black square or diamond.
This works correctly if personalized from:
- Content scrape
- Dynamic content blocks
- Database field
- Relational table field
- To find a list of available character sets, open Message Encoding in the layout's Email Settings.
- Select a character set, such as Unicode: utf-8, to expand the list offerings.
- To verify that all characters display correctly, send a test for any emails where there might be unusual or non-regular characters.
Example for adding a trademark symbol:
- In the HTML body, you can either use Insert Special Character or add the code
™into the text where you want the trademark symbol to appear.
- In the text body, there is no way to get the symbol to display because the symbol is a high-order byte character. However, you can add the text
Troubleshooting special characters
Here are some tips to help you resolve issues and errors that can occur when you use special characters and symbols.
The non-English characters in my mailing template aren't displaying correctly.
The email that contains non-English characters displays incorrect characters.
Before you import the source code into , change the encoding to Unicode (UTF-8) by adding the following
meta tag to the header:
<meta http-equiv='Content-Type' content='text/html; charset=utf-8' />
Special characters appear in email
Make sure that you encode your template with UTF-8 so that special characters display correctly.
Make sure that the following sample encoding line is in the source code:
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
If you add this line to your template and it still doesn't work, add the line to your dynamic content in Source view.
Apostrophes appear as squares
Apostrophes can appear as squares in some email clients for several reasons. You can troubleshoot this issue in multiple ways.
This issue is frequently caused by copying and pasting content from another software product that is not text-based.
Your text might include curly quotation marks (also known as smart quotation marks) rather than regular (or straight) quotation marks. Smart quotation marks are a standard in most desktop programs, including Microsoft™ Word. By default, these programs automatically convert the regular quotation marks into smart quotation marks. These characters are referred to as high-bit characters that are not present in most base character sets.
Smart quotation marks are not supported by all browsers or email clients (including your Blackberry). If a program doesn't support these smart quotation marks, then when the code is rendered, the browser might display squares instead.
The best way to avoid with these issues is to type your content in a text editor such as Notepad so that these replacements are not made. You can also replace the special characters with their ordinary counterparts. For example, replace long dashes with a simple hyphen and smart quotation marks with straight quotation marks.
Alternatively, if you want to use smart quotation marks in your email, you can encode them in your HTML. They are coded as
’ (for apostrophes) and
” (for open and closed quotations).
Unicode characters in the text body
Be careful to not copy any type of encoding, like Unicode characters, into the text body of the email because it can cause the spam checker to stall. Here are a few examples:
The text version of emails doesn't have encoding. If you send any Unicode characters, recipients see those characters because the text body is not intended to be encoded.
Special characters in the subject line and From name
You can't add image files, such as bitmap images, to your subject line, but you can include symbols and special characters from the Unicode or UTF-8 character set. They must be encoded in a quotable printable encoder. The From name field in the email template can also be encoded in the same way by using subject line encoders.
Most email clients support symbols in the subject line, but not all symbols are universally supported.
- Use an existing template whose encoding was originally set to UTF-8 or create a new template and set it to UTF-8.
- When you create and save your email template, set the encoding to UTF-8. Do not change this option after the template is saved under a different encoding.
- Choose a symbol from the ones available in the character set and copy and paste it into your subject line.
- Testing is critical because these characters might not render in some situations or might appear distorted. In most cases, they should render correctly. For example, some symbols do not render in Outlook and display as squares, but they are rendered correctly on an iPhone.
While it is possible to encode subject lines and From name fields to render special characters, it is not officially endorsed or supported by Campaign. Use encoders at your own discretion and test the email in several client to see how the coding is handled.
- Find a list of special characters online by searching for "quotable printable encoder" and find an encoder application. Windows™ users can take the following steps can browse for symbols under the font.
- Copy/paste the symbol into the encoder.
- In your subject line, add =?utf-8?Q? followed by the code for the symbol and a question mark. This encodes the string that you want to add.
For example, when you encode for a star (★), it appears as =E2=98=85. In your subject line, add the following code:
The following HTML codes to generate symbols are safe for use in the subject line.