Is there a preview for html email as it appears in outlook mail? RRS feed

  • Question

  • An HTML newsletter I created looks different in IE than in Outlook 2010.

    Is there a way to preview it so I can see what it will look like in Outlook?


    Platini3 - EW 4.0.1303.0 (SP2) - EW4 FP Cleaner Ver 1.1 - Windows 7 Pro 64-bit (SP1) - .NET Framework v4.0.30319 - Lenovo Thinkpad W520 i7-2820QM - 16GB RAM - Solid State Drive - Graphics Drivers up-to-date - Windows Experience Index: 7.5-7.8-6.9-6.9-7.9
    Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:46 AM

All replies

  • It's a fools errand you have embarked upon. ;-)

    We in this forum always warn people about HTML e-mail limitations and difficulties. There's lots been written and available online about it.

    The HTML has to be VERY simple and the CSS embedded, of course. Don't forget, Outlook is only one of many e-mail clients, and--just like with browsers, they all display HTML e-mails differently. And, in the grand tradition of IE 6, 7, 8, and 9, Outlook 2007/2010 display differently than earlier versions. If your target market is business, many still use Lotus Notes (shudder), including where I work, and ours hasn't been updated in 7 years!

    Best bets:

    1. Use Constant Contact (or another such service) for HTML business e-mails. The designs are tested to work and e-mails originating from CC are white-listed by network spam filters.
    2. Use a commercially available e-mail template.
    3. Use an online preview service like E-mail on Acid, which previews in lots of clients.

    And don't forget--many people strip all HTML off their e-mails and see only plain text, as a security measure.

    Comic Sans walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out! We don't serve your type."
    Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:48 AM
  • Listen to Bill; he's given you the straight skinny. And be aware that your recipient may never even see the HTML in your email. Like a great many others, I have my email client set to "Read all mail as plain text" as a security measure. That way, web bugs can't report back that the email was opened, and malicious embedded javascript can't execute.

    Always be sure that you include a plaintext message in your email for those potential customers who don't care to expose themselves to email malware threats, or who may work where they have company policies which prohibit HTML email. For me, an email that says nothing more than "Your email client cannot display HTML mail" simply gets summarily deleted.


    Please remember to "Mark as Answer" the responses that resolved your issue. It is common courtesy to recognize those who have helped you, and it also makes it easier for visitors to find the resolution later.
    Thursday, February 2, 2012 4:28 AM
  • Ditto everything above.

    I use GroupMail for sending customer mailshots. (And have several customers who now use it too). It has an HTML editor that creates email client compatible HTML, automatically creates the plain text version, manages address groups, allows test previews etc. There are several versions from free upwards.


    Ian Haynes

    EW - V4 Add-Ins
    EW - Resources, hints and tips
    EW - Design for the Mobile Web
    Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:08 AM
  • This is my 9th year doing this as an MVP and for 9 years we've been telling folks, "Don't
    use html email".

    Create a page put it on a server and send a link.

    Expression Web MVP
    Thursday, February 2, 2012 2:18 PM
  • I get plenty of HTML emails from businesses, so I'm not going to say "dont' sent HTML emails".  But I will say, "don't send HTML-only emails - include that text-only part" and will chime in on the recommendation to use a service that handles the "what works in email clients" questions for you, such as Constant Contact.
    Thursday, February 2, 2012 3:26 PM