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Designing Emails for Outlook 2007

Here is a topic troubling email marketers, template designers, and business owners since its pitiful release. Outlook 2007 is beyond frustrating for all of us, why? If you’re asking why, allow me to introduce you to the most unpredictable aspect of email marketing:

Email Rending Problems.

Outlook 2007 has essentially gone back in time to the year 2000, crippled with multiple email rendering issues and stripped of its credibility among email marketing professionals.

html email templates

When an upgrade is released for a software program, it is supposed to be a step up from the previous version…hence the word “upgrade”,…Right?! Many people claim Outlook 2007 is anything but an upgrade. Apart from it’s painstakingly slow loading time, and bulky user interface, Outlook ‘07 is destroying beautiful HTML emails worldwide! As a direct result, Outlook 2007 is rapidly driving up email template prices. I wouldn’t blame the template price increase on sheer frustration, but rather on of the extra time it takes an email designer/developer to get their email to render properly in Microsoft’s  Outlook 2007

As an email marketer/template designer you need to be constantly ‘digging’ for email compatibility issues and solutions.

3 Must Haves For All Email Marketers:

Outlook 2007 Email Validator

This goes out to Microsoft: Please release an HTML email rending PATCH for Outlook 2007!

Wishful thinking but hey, who knows? In the mean time, Microsoft has created this HTML and CSS validation tool which will “validate” your HTML email template for use in Outlook 2007.

Although it doesn’t correct all rendering issues this tool is great for email code validation.

Conditional Comments

What an awesome discovery. Sitepoint has hit the nail right on the head with this article on conditional comments. Conditional comments essentially tell Outlook 2007 “well, since you are completely unable to render my beautiful email template, follow this alternate set of instructions so you render properly”.

eCommerce Times

An introduction to the differences between Outlook 2003 and 2007. This detailed article boasts an excellent case study. It shows the same email in Outlook 2003, then in 2007 and explains the differences between the two.

If you know of any other tips or tricks that aren’t listed, feel free to add your comments.

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