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Outlook 2007 Posing Old Challenges for Email Marketers

As technology and software advances, it is supposed to make our lives easier, right? In most cases, yes, but the latest version of Microsoft Outlook is an exception.  It could cause problems for email marketers unaware of the differences between the 2006 and 2007 editions.

The reasons behind the step backwards are not 100 percent clear, but it seems the problem resides in the lackluster rendering ability that will alter the way messages appear in recipients’ inboxes.

The 2007 version doesn’t support new design elements marketers have worked hard to incorporate into their messages including background images, forms, flash or other plugins or animated GIFs.  The consensus among experts is that Outlook will strip out images and restrict animation or “motion.”

The bottom line is not to panic and to start developing a plan now to deal with the change and potential problems. Many companies have not made the switch to Microsoft 2003 from 2000, so don’t expect an overwhelming migration to the 2007 version.  Instead, use the following recommendations to prepare:

  • Simplify the structure and composition of messages.  You can’t go wrong with a simple, elegant design.

  • Update your template.  If you haven’t updated your HTML template in the last 18 – 24 months, review it, identify and resolve potential problems.

  • Encourage in-house HTML and graphic designers to get the details of these changes and suggestions from Microsoft by clicking here.

  • Test your messages with multiple accounts including the top consumer email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail). 

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