We have all been there. You create a beautiful email with interesting GIFs, accessible buttons, and eye-catching images. Then you test it, and it looks great… except in Outlook, where it's completely broken. People can't engage the way you want with a broken email. Outlook has been a bane of email marketers for a long time, but does it have to be? How can we work with it? Read on to find out how I learned to love Outlook, despite its many flaws. I will cover: Outlook releases Tips for Outlook quirks The code to make corrections The many versions of Microsoft Outlook The name "Outlook" covers several different email clients with a few different rendering engines and at least two different display settings. It can all be a giant headache if you let it.
Let's dive in and see if we can straighten it up a bit. Outlook 2007-2019 These are the Windows desktop versions of Outlook. These use Word as the rendering engine, which made sense in a time when email was like writing letters. Ah, simpler times. But, for email marketers, this is not enough for rendering HTML emails. 120 DPI (dots per inch) adds Image Masking Service complexity. Windows users can choose 120 DPI to increase their screen resolution. If they do, desktop email clients will respect that and update the images and text to be larger. Which can wreak havoc on your email.
Outlook for Mac This is the Mac desktop version of Outlook. It uses Webkit as rendering engine. Which means it's generally comparable to Apple Mail and iOS when it comes to email rendering. If it looks good in your browser, there's a good chance it will look good here. Outlook.com and Outlook mobile apps These clients use Webkit or Webkit-based rendering engines, so they provide good HTML rendering and generally don't break your emails. Outlook Office 365