Html email for Outlook

Mar 20, 2023 | Email marketing, Email production

Have you ever wanted to send an extra special email from Outlook but find that your beautiful layout breaks when it arrives in your recipient’s inbox? Formatting html for Outlook can be tricky - help is here.

Melaina Gross

Originally published April 2018, updated April 2021, latest update March 2023.

Many of Cantaloupe Digital’s corporate clients want to be able to send branded and styled email from Outlook. For instance,

  • a newsletter to a small group of colleagues,
  • a critical internal announcement about an IT system,
  • or an html email invitation that your relationship managers can send directly to their clients.

For various reasons they find it more convenient to use Outlook to send the mail than it is to use an Email Sending Platform (ESP). In these cases, an html email can do the trick. You want a combination of your company branding and some styling.

It is best to keep html emails that you want to send from Outlook quite simple in terms of their design and layout as there are loads of limitations. We can help by creating custom html templates and offer training on how to use them.

 Here are some points to keep in mind:

Outlook does not enable the sending of mobile friendly email

Providing good user experience of your html emails on a variety of screen sizes and email clients is as important as ever. Outlook strips out the media queries embedded in the html code of the email that make it mobile friendly. So even if your email team created a beautiful responsive email, that functionality is lost if you send the email from Outlook.


Outlook lacks bulk email support

All the benefits of using an email sending platform are missing from Outlook. Email Sending Programs (ESPs) report on campaign performance which includes open rate, click through rate, or other important marketing metrics. Outlook simply does not track this information.

Here is a workaround for tracking link clicks with Google Analytics – read how to track link clicks in Outlook.

Unsubscribe requests need to be handled manually.

If you’re sending out large volumes of email (thousands) there is a risk of blacklisting your company domain. Once an ISP blacklists your company’s domain no email can be sent by anyone in the company and business grinds to a halt.


Creating html email for Outlook

Here are some of the challenges experienced with Outlook:

  • Outlook tends to add padding to the layout of the email causing images and copy to shift in the recipient’s inbox.
  • Gaps sometimes appear between sliced images.
Spaces in image slices / white lines in html email in Outlook
  • Random white lines appear in the layout and are especially distracting on dark colour backgrounds.
  • Another Outlook anomaly that can affect email layout is if the Outlook email sender’s display setting is set to 125% or 150%, the Outlook email “sender” would send correctly sized images, but the Outlook email recipient of a message sent from them would receive enlarged images.
  • Fonts you choose to use in your email may not be installed on your recipient’s computer resulting in font swop which affects the look of your email.

It is important to remember that Outlook is not intended to send bulk email, and using an email sending platform such as MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Blazon to name a few will certainly help you provide a better user experience and your organisation to be compliant with data protection laws.

Help with html email for Outlook

Pop us a mail or give us a call if you’d like some help with html emails for Outlook. 


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