I am sensitive to the fact that most of you would rather know what time it is than how to build a watch. But it’s painful to watch insurance email after insurance email launched into the abyss due to a lack of few minor optimization adjustments.
Web design and email design are similar in that they both use HTML and CSS. That is where the similarity ends. Web pages are designed for browsers, of which there are handfuls of. Though there are a few exceptions, most of them support both HTML and CSS extremely well.
On the other hand email clients; Outlook, Gmail, etc. (there are over 50 of them) don’t handle HTML and CSS the same way. Email clients use rendering engines to display the content of an email. A mobile email client will use a different rendering engine than a webmail or desktop client. Approximately 60% of these emails are opened in mobile, making flexible design imperative for correct mobile rendering.
The biggest culprit among all email clients are the desktop versions of Microsoft’s Outlook. This also happens to be the most prevalent email client used in the insurance industry.
Email designers can’t rely on the ease of CSS characteristics like margin, height, width, float and display. When these are added to HTML for web design they work because most browsers support them. However when you try to apply the same process to email it doesn’t work, particularly with Outlook.
The next time you design that great email, you know the one that’s going to going to have the message that resonates universally, have your designer use HTML tables. Tables are a little more time intensive and not as smooth as newer web design techniques but they are also supported by ALL of the major email clients. If you want to improve your click through rates and your conversions, take another look at design. At Neilson Marketing Services and Programbusiness.com we love marketing! Message me if we can help.