For 10 years of my career, I’ve supported clients with email marketing. No matter the message, there is always one factor that is critical to all email marketers: will the email present well in Outlook?
Recently, while working with a coworker to finalize an urgent client email alert, we experienced an issue with Outlook. The eAlert looked exactly as I had designed it in my Outlook, but it did not display the logo properly on my coworker’s screen. As soon as I saw a screenshot of her display, I knew what needed to be fixed.
If you’re an experienced email marketer, one screenshot usually will provide you with enough information to solve the issue. Outlook display issues can range from not displaying a background color or an unexpected border around an image with a link to fonts displaying improperly and images showing up with incorrect justifications. In fact, virtually thousands of things can go wrong when designing for email marketing.
I recently participated in an “Industry-Changing News” live stream by Litmus. Litmus is an email marketing service that provides access to view your email on various platforms including Mac, PC, Mail, all Outlook platforms and more. This service is invaluable to email marketers and developers because you can log in and view the email in all the platforms. I easily could have spotted the Outlook issue I described above if I had been able to test it in Litmus or other email testing and delivery tools.
Here is a list of some other email testing websites that evaluate email messages for design and content, including spam scores:
• Aurea, which acquired Lyris (http://www.aurea.com/products/email-marketing)
• Email on Acid (https://www.emailonacid.com/)
• Email Reach (http://www.emailreach.com/)
• Email Spam Test (http://www.emailspamtest.com/)
• Postmark (http://spamcheck.postmarkapp.com/)
• PutsMail (https://putsmail.com/)
In addition to hearing more about the Litmus platform, about 15 minutes through the live stream, a special speaker from Microsoft was introduced. Caitlin Hart announced that Litmus is partnering with Microsoft to #MakeEmailBetter, the details of which can be viewed online at https://litmus.com/microsoft-partnership. The announcement comes after 15 years of having to create specific work-arounds just to make sure an email displays properly in Outlook.
With a team of Microsoft engineers working with Litmus, I believe we will see some great things for email marketing in the future, things we were not capable of doing via email before.