Why Do My Emails Show Differently in Certain Email Clients?


Not all email clients support the same styles.

There’s only one way to create a beautiful email, and that’s with HTML and inline CSS.

A successful HTML email is carefully laid out with tables and cells. Each element inside of these are assigned a specific variable that creates the “look” and “feel” of that particular element. This technique is referred to as styling.

Sometimes, email clients will display your styling differently than others. Why? The simple answer is that not all email clients support the same styles embedded into your HTML.

Email clients are all programmed differently with a selective support of styling, with some supporting more styles than others. So, for example, if you use the CSS attribute for a background image in your email, it’s quite possible that your email will have issues because of the lack of support for background images in various email clients.

Another example of this would be text shadows. While this effect may look good and create more “pop” to your design, a lot of email clients do not support this CSS effect.

How can I prevent my emails from being inconsistent?

Use inline styles that are more widely supported by various email clients.

This might seem like an obvious answer, but it is, in fact, an important and often overlooked step in building an email. If the majority of your target audience is using a single email client that supports different styles such as Gmail, then it is probably okay to create an email that takes advantage of a variety of styles.

However, if you’re looking for a more universal email that will be displayed on the majority of mobile devices and computers, while also maintaining consistency throughout all email clients, then you probably should not use these types of styles. If you know only 10% of your audience will be able to display a select amount of styles, then don’t bother using them.

Make your emails as simple as possible; the simpler they are, the less likely they are to have inconsistencies.

Think about it. The less complex your design is, then the less styles you will need in your email. The less variables you have, the less of a chance there will be for discrepancies. Remember: sometimes less is more.

Know your targeted audience

If your goal is to reach out to a variety of business professionals, then there is a high probability that they will be using email clients that are more business driven, such as Outlook.

Make the decision to create an email that will be more universally friendly for that target audience.

Finding the right information

Even with all this information you’re probably still wondering, “How do I know what styles to use?” Our software allows the user to test emails by giving them a full diagnosis of what their emails will look like on major email clients, as well as showing styles and code that are not compatible with certain email clients.

What questions do you have about ConnectedView or email marketing in general? Ask them in the comments section below, and look for the answer in a future blog post! 

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