We’d like to signal our support loud and clear for this cause. Frequently we have had clients approach us looking to have a professional newsletter designed, and while we have our methods, it’s a bit of a minefield to ensure that you get perfect results across the board.
In designing a website, you have to consider a variety of web browsers for support, from various versions of Internet Explorer, to Firefox, Opera, Safari and others. There are also differences dependent on operating systems.
When designing a HTML newsletter, however, the testing required to ensure a consistent look across all mail clients is much higher.
What do we need to consider?
|Webmail||Windows PC||Mac||Linux PC|
|Live Mail||Outlook 2003||Entourage||Thunderbird|
|Horde||Lotus Notes||GNU Mail||Sylpheed|
|Countless Others!||AOL 9|
As you can see from the table above, there is a huge number of different mail clients to be considered and each one seems to have their own way of dealing with HTML in an email. This makes it incredibly difficult to get consistent, accessible results across the board.
To make matters worse, Outlook 2007 has actually taken a step backwards and is using Microsoft Word to render HTML in emails instead of Internet Explorer 7. Designing a consistent and professional newsletter has just become even more difficult. If you’re even thinking of using CSS and dropping tables for email newsletters you might have to think again.
Outlook 2007 will not support the following base CSS 1 properties:
It certainly seems clear that the only way that this issue can be rectified is by building on the good work already initiated by the World Wide Web Consortium and make standards support an achievable goal for mail clients.
Fortunately, the good people over at Campaign Monitor have already started to make noise about this and are working towards defining a standard and raising awareness. We recommend dropping over to the website to read what they have to say, and if you have any feedback or suggestions leave them a comment and help the process along.
Posts of interest by Campaign Monitor
- Why we need standards support in HTML email
Extremely well-written post that stands as the original clarion call for standards support in email clients.
- Help us form a baseline for standards support
Details of the planned baseline upon which a standards framework will be built.
- A Guide to CSS Support in Email: 2007 Edition
Incredibly detailed article to assist design and coding of HTML newsletters