Did the release of Outlook 2010 signify a step forward in the email marketing world? Probably not. In general, most email marketers have been frustrated with Microsoft since the release of Outlook 2007 when they began using Microsoft Word rather than Internet Explorer as their email-rendering engine. Certain HTML email attributes loved by email marketers–background images, animated gifs and some CSS properties —have been unsupported when emailing Outlook users. Most of these issues remain unchanged with the release of Outlook 2010
So What Has Changed?
With the release of Outlook 2010, something must have changed, right? Otherwise, what’s the point. Yes, some things have changed but we can’t necessarily say that it’s for the better.
For one thing, if you choose to use Outlook 2010 to send and receive your emails, you’re all set. Emails received by other Outlook users will be rendered properly. Of course, most of us don’t use Outlook, so we’re still stuck in a difficult position.
Another change that isn’t so good. Outlook 2010 now offers 100 less pixels in the initial rendering space. This means when 2010 users first open your email, more of your information is pushed out of sight. The recipient needs to scroll down to see that information. If your email doesn’t initially entice the user then scrolling down probably won’t happen. So in short, as a designer we have less space to grab the recipients attention.
What Should Email Marketers Do?
As long as you currently format your emails for Outlook 2007, you shouldn’t have to change much for the new version. Except for paying closer attention to what you put at the top of an email, just keep doing the same things. Avoid CSS floats entirely, background images and animated gifts. And keep in mind, unless your potential clients add you to an address book, your images won’t appear on his or her screen until they download them (so make sure not to send out emails that are made up of only images).
If you have questions or run into a snag let us know, we’re here to help!
Director of Business Development for eConnect Email, an email marketing software company. James enjoys spending time at the beach and traveling in his free time. Follow him on twitter @eConnectEmail