It’s a common occurrence, you have an amazing idea, you spend ages making the code perfect, and then it looks different in every email program you try.
Inconsistency, that’s why. It’s a bit like incontinuity in a film. One minute there is a huge scar on a characters face, the next scene it’s smaller, and then amazingly it’s bigger again. One email program has it perfect, the next doesn’t, and then the third is working fine! So what can be done about this, and why does it happen?
Let’s start with the why. Why do all the browsers, programs, and apps show the same email all looking different?
Firstly, sometimes this is on purpose. There are often mobile versions or fully responsive html emailers that are designed to look different between browsers and apps. This is how you can control your emailer layout on a smaller screen.
Sometimes however this is an issue with the rendering system. Programs such as Outlook 2007 onwards, render it’s emails based on how Microsoft Word renders html. Earlier Outlooks use Internet Explorer to render the html, which is why there are even difference between different Outlook versions. Other browsers, apps, and programs use CSS standards like webkit which allow a lot more control over how the email looks.
So how can you make sure your emailer will work across the board? Easy, give it a KIS, or Keep It Simple.
Start with knowing your audience and what content is likely going to appeal to them? Streamline your content to work with your audience and go from there.
When you’ve got what you want to say, think about how you want to display it. One of the biggest factors for a working email template is a good solid design. Digital understanding is a big key player in knowing whether your design will display smoothly across several email programs.
There are a few areas of the design that can help make sure that the template works. Minimum widths, sensible fallbacks and shorter emails are all less likely to have issues with Outlook, as it has a 23.7 inch limit in height (just under 1800px).
It seems like the most frustrating thing in the world, but a balance between the email renderers is possible if you have a solid design and streamlined content. You can even use animated GIFs! Though remember to have your key information in the first slide so Outlook can pretend to take part (you guessed it, it doesn’t work well with the animations).
So do emails have to be stuck in the 90’s? No, we don’t think so, and we have the digital understanding, design, and development experience to help you build an email campaign from scratch.