Do iframes Work In Emails?

Intro

In a bid to standardize the email signatures for my day job I was posed an interesting question. Could we use an iframe to pull a custom layout from a website into the email signature? I have a feeling I knew the answer but I wanted to make sure to explore all the options.

Full Guide

Table of Contents

Can you use an iframe in emails?

The short answer is yes you can. You can insert the mark up without a problem just as you would when working on websites. Even though you can add the mark there are several other considerations to take into account.

Sould you use an iframe in your emails?

The short answer is no you shouldn’t. The unfortunate truth is that the bad apple has ruined it for the rest of us. Scammers and hackers would use embedded iframes in emails to phish information or to automatically load malicious code onto the victim’s computer. Of course, they have been doing this since the idea of using iframes are even possible back in 1997.

Due to these bad actors, almost every email provider will either sanitize, or in other words, stop the iframe from working at all, or to a lesser degree flag the email as spam. Either way, your recipients will most likely not see your iframe.

Email Providers

Below is a list of the major email providers and whether or not they will display iframes in their platform. The caveat being that if they do most of the emails will still be flagged as spam. 

Client iframe displays?
AOL Webmail No
Gmail No
Windows Live Hotmail No
MobileMe No
Yahoo! Mail No
AOL 9 No
Apple Mail 3 / 4 Yes
Entourage 2008 No
Lotus Notes 6 / 7 No
Lotus Notes 8 Yes
Outlook 2000 Yes
Outlook Express 6 Yes
Outlook XP / 2003 / 2007 / 2010 No
Thunderbird Yes
Windows Mail Yes
Blackberry No
iPhone / iPad Yes
Symbian S60 Yes
Windows Mobile 5 No
Windows Mobile 6 Yes
Android (default client) Yes
Android (Gmail client) No

Conclusion

With a majority and growing list of providers blocking iframes or flagging them as spam, there really is no reason to go down the path of using an iframe in an email.

Check out my YouTube channel for more useful tutorials or right here in my Blog

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