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Mon, Jul 29, 2013 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Design, Email Marketing

Outlook 2013 has arrived and with it many email designers had hoped that Microsoft would reform some of their old layout breaking ways. The consensus is, unfortunately, that they have not moved in a particularly positive direction as far as rendering email is concerned. Microsoft is still using Word to render email and they continue to ignore many email rendering standards causing marketers and designers everywhere to pull out their hair.

We've been digging into the Outlook 2013 program and we're aware of quite a few issues that will affect email already. Below I'll list some of the major ones, but the hiccups probably aren't limited to what I've found. Our designers are working hard to find every issue, but testing, as usual, will be the only real way to know what your email will look like on the other end.

Lists are not allowed: If you've been designing email using lists, (html tags ul, ol) they will no longer appear correctly. You can achieve a similar effect now by using a "-" in front of a list item and then relying on traditional formatting to give each item their own line.

GIFs won't play: Outlook 2013 will only show the first frame of a GIF, it will not allow animation. If you want to use GIFs, make sure the first frame gets the point across without requiring the additional frames.

Links may be ugly: Outlook doesn't support text decoration styles and according to reports, links will ignore any attempts at formatting and appear in the standard bright blue and underlined style. This could be particularly annoying depending on the background colors you decide to use.

Problems viewing this email?: Outlook 2013 has included a "problems viewing this email" link to allow you to view messages in a web browser, probably because their own program does such a poor job of displaying HTML code. Curiously, it downloads the source HTML and displays it locally on your machine. still includes our own "problems viewing" link which provides an archived version hosted on our servers.

No background images: If you ever wondered why you can't use background images, you can mostly blame Outlook. On the one hand it prevents some really nice design options, on the other hand it prevents 1992 style tiled backgrounds from appearing in email, so we're kind of torn on this one.

Outlook will ignore images with a 1x1 dimension: Unlikely to be a problem for most users, but if you're using an image as a spacer, we've heard reports that a 1x1 image will be ignored completely.

Table cells with a height less than 15px will be bumped up to 15px in height: A curious and potentially layout breaking issue, this can lead to major problems if ignored. disables any 'mailto:' links: Mailto links, which are meant to be clicked on to conveniently compose a new email message, don't work in Outlook 2013. The program ignores the mailto code and won't take any action when a mailto link is clicked on.

Padding and margin issues: Padding in paragraph and div tags, as well as margin top and bottom styles, do not function.

Page breaks past 1600px: Email displayed in Outlook 2013 automatically inserts a page break at 1600px. This is apparently caused by being rendered in Word. If you plan to do a email that is taller than that, prepare yourself for an awkward break. At this time, there doesn't appear to be anything that can be done about it.

These are the standout issues we have come across in the 2013 iteration of Outlook so far. Our designers are probably finding more even as I write this. If you are worried about issues such as the ones listed above, please do testing of your email in multiple email clients before you send it out. It truly is the only way to know for sure. We will be keeping our eyes on the problems listed here, tracking down more, and looking for solutions so we can help you deal with them. Please contact us if you have any questions. We're here to help.

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Mon, Jul 22, 2013 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Best Practices, Design, Email Marketing, Sending Email, Tips

Sometimes being "digital marketing" makes email seem like a new and complicated way to market a business, but the truth is that email marketing is by no means a new territory. Marketers have been leveraging email as a marketing tool since the early days of the internet. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blog posts, white papers, books, and every other type of guide on how to send successful email marketing campaigns. Each inevitably gives a different flavor of advice tempered with their own experiences and biases. There are, despite the large quantity of informational sources, basic rules that nearly every advice giver can agree on. I've covered most of them before in this blog, but it can never hurt to reiterate some of the basics. Today I'll reveal some of the "secrets" of sending email marketing campaigns.

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Wed, May 29, 2013 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Design, Email Marketing, HTML

Designing email for a mobile market is among the most pressing issues in email marketing today.

This is an obvious truth for everyone in the email marketing business, but the question you are probably asking yourself is, "How do I deal with it?"

To have success with email marketing, your message must be attractive and functional on many platforms. The number of users reading email on their mobile devices is already at a substantial 40% (at least), a percentage that we believe will continue to increase.

Some email marketing services have adopted the idea that responsive design is the best way to prepare email for mobile devices. When an email is designed to be responsive, it will display differently depending on the display size of the device. In order to know the size of the device, a certain type of code called a media query must be used. Media queries are functional on most mobile platforms.


Media queries are successful on most devices, but only if your list members are using a relatively up-to-date version of their chosen platform. Responsive design and media queries can make even the most complicated templates look great on mobile. We use responsive design in our very own website, but the unfortunate truth is that design for email is much different than modern website design. supports responsive design through our upload HTML feature. We believe that if you're going to tackle this emerging technology, you should have someone on staff with the ability to write the code themselves. This is important with responsive design because complications can and will arise. Problems can occur when displaying responsive designs on non-mobile platforms and in third party mobile email applications. Media queries are often not supported in these cases and responsive design may appear in a way you may not expect.

That is why we have chosen not to take the leap to responsive design and why we are holding off on making our templates fully responsive. Our templates already display beautifully on mobile devices without using responsive design or media query. Customers can rest assured that we have a finger on the pulse of mobile email design and we're keeping a close eye on all of the changes. We're more than happy to support our customers who do want to dabble in responsive design, but we're sticking with what works consistently for now. We know that the mobile platform is growing and here to stay. It's a big part of our development plans moving forward.

In lieu of responsive design, there are traditional ways of making your email mobile friendly. A few simple methods are listed below:

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Tue, Dec 11, 2012 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Admail Services, Best Practices, Design, HTML

If you prefer writing your own HTML code rather than using our templates, completely supports those efforts. Writing HTML can be difficult however and this guide assumes that you are already moderately fluent in the language.

One of the big problems our clients run into when writing HTML for email is that they aren't intimately familiar with all the of the eccentricities of the email clients they are going to be dealing with. There are so many in use today, it's hard to know which rules to follow. This post focuses on avoiding problems in Outlook, but should be a good general guide for writing HTML for email.

Outlook is definitely not the favorite email client of marketers and it has many issues, but it remains popular and thus needs to addressed. This post will provide some tips for doing HTML right. Follow these tips and your email will appear correctly in almost all email clients.

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Tue, Aug 21, 2012 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Design, Email Marketing, News

Video is a great tool for online marketing. It grabs audience attention and can deliver information in dynamic and exciting ways while requiring a minimal amount of effort on the part of the consumer. These reasons make it easy to understand why email marketers have been searching for a way to implement video effectively in email for years. Unfortunately, though many attempts have been made, even the most valiant efforts produced results that were unreliable at best. The technology hasn't been there, and some have wondered if video will ever have a place in email.

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Fri, Jul 27, 2012 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Design, Tips

The holidays are among the most important time of year for many businesses. Retailers specifically must cash in on this time when spending trends dramatically increase. One of the best ways to get ahead of the pack during the holidays is to have a fantastic email marketing strategy. It's not uncommon for retailers to start working on holiday promotional strategy for email as early as July! So we're here to give you some simple tips to get you thinking about and help you prepare for important upcomming holiday email marketing opportunities.

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Fri, May 25, 2012 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Admail Services, Design, Email Marketing

If you prefer to watch the video version of this blog post, it is available here.

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Wed, Mar 28, 2012 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Admail Services, Design, Email Marketing

We recently worked with Subaru to recreate one of their print ads for email. We also integrated QR codes and personalization for individual customers so they could quickly and easily access their information. The results were awesome, with open rates as high as +30%! Here's a small example of what they ended up with! If you'd like to work on a project directly with us, just give us a call. Our number is 800-479-6233, we will help you strategize your campaign and put all the mechanics in place. Call today for a quote!

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Wed, Jul 20, 2011 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Admail Services, Best Practices, Design, Email Marketing, Sending Email, Tips

Choosing the method of creating your email is an important step it your campaign creation process. With Admail, it's easy to create a message with our templates, but if you have the HTML experience to create your own, you're welcome to do that as well.

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Thu, Jan 6, 2011 | Author: Dan Lukens | Categories: Best Practices, Design, Email Marketing, Tips

Social media has become an integral part of online marketing strategy. It’s a fantastic way to connect with your customers through the circles that they travel rather than through traditional advertising forums.

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