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Email Rendering in Outlook 2007: What a Pain!

Anyone that has Outlook 2007 on their PC has definitely caught themselves saying “Hmmm…something doesn’t look right here.” Why, you ask? Well, it’s simple.
The Internet Explorer-based rendering engine that has always been used for viewing email, has been replaced by Microsoft Word. While Microsoft Word was used for composing email messages in Outlook, the end result of this switch was a major discrepancy between how an email looks in creation and how they appear once received in the Outlook inbox.
As an email service provider, we feel it’s our responsibility to discuss the limitations imposed by Outlook 2007 since many of our clients are using that platform.
Here is a detailed list of commonly used elements that are NOT supported by Outlook/Word 2007:
    * Background Images (HTML or CSS)
    * Forms of any type
    * Flash or other plugins
    * CSS floats
    * Replacing bullets with images in unordered lists
    * CSS positioning
    * Animated GIFs
So what does all of this mean for you – the email marketer? It’s pretty much guaranteed that unless your emails are extremely simple, you will run into problems with Outlook 2007. One solution would be to reduce the complexity of your HTML design to accommodate Outlook’s limited display capabilities for the time being.

If all of this techie “mumbo-jumbo” is leaving you completely confused, keep these few things in mind.

  1. Do NOT panic! Your entire contact base is not going to switch to Outlook 2007 overnight. You have plenty of time to strategize and revisit your email designs.
  2. You will still be able to use your brand and “design” in your email design; you may just have to jump through a few hoops to get it right.
  3. If possible, try to get a trial of Outlook 2007 installed where you can do some testing.

Designing emails for effective rendering across all of the widely-used email programs may require more time, resources and strategy but it will prove to be worth the while in the long run. Most ESP’s (including Gold Lasso) offer cost effective solutions to assist in rendering optimization and testing. For more information about these solutions or rendering optimization, please contact the Gold Lasso client support team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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