This may seem painfully obvious to some, especially the more seasoned old school table based web designers out there, but I’m still amazed at how many email newsletters don’t render properly in my inbox. Remember when it comes to email newsletters tables are king and web standards go out the window! It sucks, but that’s the way it is, so lets move on.
Cranking out email newsletters for Microsoft Outlook can be a pain, but if you are in the web business you may have to crank out the occasional email newsletter, and of course Outlook has a major market share. If you use Outlook you may know of the AutoPreview feature. This is a preview pane below the actual title that gives you the first few lines of content within the email. In many email newsletters you will get something like “View the online version of our newsletter”. This is probably not what you want to show up in the Outlook AutoPreview, and the way around it is quite simple. It’s also another chance to entice your audience into opening your email newsletter.
I wrote an article a few years ago on creating OFT files for Outlook. This was written for Outlook 2007, and since then, Outlook 2010 has been released and things have changed. The ability to view web pages within Outlook 2010 has been removed and the UI has also been redone, but fear not, the ability to make OFT files still exists, although it’s not as straight forward as it used to be.
Email clients are one of the pinnacle frustrations for web designers. The limitations are far greater than those of web browsers and you can always count on Microsoft’s Outlook 2007 being at the forefront of compatibility problems and bug issues. If you create emails that have to support Outlook 2007’s wonky Word rendering you may have noticed on occasion that your specified font-family disappears. There’s a few ways to fix this, but some are better than others.