This presents many challenges for email design. It is the view of many in the industry including us here at pMailer.co.za
that Microsoft have taken email a step backward instead of forward. We now have to compromise on innovation and design if we want to ensure we get the widest reach going forward.
Whatever our feelings are on the move, Outlook is still the main tool used to read email globally (over 70% of users), so we now have to deal with it together as the email marketing industry. You can also imagine that changing the way Outlook reads email is not a simple thing for Microsoft to do, so no matter how much industry pressure the software giant receives, we're all going to have to work with the situation for a few years to come.
Here are the main restrictions you need to know about if you want your emails to be read by users already on the Office 2007 platform. While the user base is still relatively small, we can no doubt expect it to grow.
- no support for background images (using HTML or CSS, limiting design options).
- no support for forms (ie. no viral referals or email surveys, although we were never fans of this techqnique)
- no support for Flash (no flash adverts for publishers!)
- no support for CSS floats and positioning (no table-less layouts for CSS gurus!)
- no support for animated GIFs (This is the hardest to fathom! The entire online ad-industry can't delivery animated images in newsletters anymore!)
Ultimately, we all have to dumb-down our emails and keep formatting simple with the use of tables and images. You can however still achieve awesome looking emails even with these limitations, so don't despair entirely! Also note that the pMailer team will be looking at each of our free templates
and ensuring they are Outlook 2007 compliant.
Get more email marketing advice @ the pMailer customer service centre.