There were over 800 new discussions posted to the Litmus Community in 2017—you email geeks are a chatty lot! Discussions varied massively in topic, from email client issues to interactive email, and marketing best practices. But the theme that tied all of these discussions together was email geeks helping other email geeks. Freely sharing knowledge and experience so that we can all become better email marketers. It warms our envelope shaped hearts!
As we say goodbye to 2017, take a look back at some of your favorite discussions in the Community from the past 12 months:
In the first half of 2017, a bug was introduced in both Office 365 and Outlook.com where non-linked images were being wrapped in the <button> HTML element, creating a gap directly underneath the image. While this may not sound like a showstopping rendering bug, it was creating an unsightly gap which no one wanted in their emails.
Email developers quickly found several workarounds to remove the gap and restore order to emails everywhere.
Shortly after the bug was found, it was addressed by Microsoft’s Outlook team and fix was rolled out. So, you no longer have to worry about this specific issue but it is a reminder to always test your emails. They may render perfectly at one point in time, but the unpredictable nature of email clients means you never know when bugs or changes may d break your email designs.
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Windows 10 Mail is known for its struggles with background images. While email developers had several techniques—for example, the use of VML—to make background images work in older versions of Outlook, the same techniques didn’t work on Windows 10 Mail.
Earlier in 2017, Community member Marshall Gerz created a new technique and shared it with the Litmus Community. His method still uses VML to ensure background images appear in Outlook 2000-2016, but this tweaked version also enables background images to work in Windows 10 Mail! Huzzah!
As part of Litmus Live 2017’s Golden Ticket competition, we hosted a Community contest asking marketers how they get buy-in for specific tools, projects, approaches, or anything else to take their email marketing to the next level.
We were blown away with the sheer volume of responses—over 500 of them! And each of them was packed with some incredible advice. Community member Vicky Ge said:
Getting buy-in as one of the most important skills I have observed an email marketing manager (or many other roles) to develop. This is because, quite often, the person doing the research is not the decision maker or person with buying power.
Read the rest of Vicky’s reply →
With other replies including frameworks and Powerpoint presentation templates(!), it’s the best resource to use if you’re looking for real-world examples and guidance on how to get buy-in on a variety of email marketing topics.
The “view in browser” link has been a staple of the email template for years. Historically there were many reasons for including this link: Email clients blocking images, users not loading images by default, preferences of the user to view emails in a browser rather than an email client, and more.
Now that email clients are more sophisticated and support a wider range of HTML and CSS, Community member Ted Goas asks if this element is still necessary. The topic sparked a hot debate: Some Community members are still in favor of the link, while others have already stopped including it. Where do you stand on this issue?
It’s not just online retailers using email marketing but also industries such as healthcare. And it’s often hard to find examples, benchmarks, and advice for such industries when combined with event marketing. Which is where the experience of the Community members comes in handy. With over 30,000 members, there’s always someone who can help you with your questions.
Email accessibility was a hot topic in 2017. Email marketers are becoming more aware of the large audience they may be unknowingly ignoring by not making their emails accessible.
Earlier in 2017, we launched a Community Contest for Litmus Community members to submit their accessible emails and tell us what steps and tactics they put in place to make their emails more accessible.
The winning emails:
Not only were all the entries fantastic but there was plenty of conversation about the emails from the Community! Bookmark this topic and come back to it when you’re looking for a few email accessibility tips.
This discussion certainly raised some great points from Community members who were on either side of the debate. Using standardized HTML/CSS modularized templates can help speed up your email workflow.
There are hundreds of ways to create efficiencies in development–starting with having a style guide and reusable modular design system. With a library of components and/or snippets, any moderately savvy developer can dramatically reduce the time and effort for each version of each email.
Community member, Charles Hall.
However, knowledge of HTML and CSS is required. Using a drag & drop editor, anyone in the team can easily build an email. Where do you stand in this debate?
It’s not uncommon for email marketers to notice their emails breaking with every new OS release or email client update. As was the case when iOS 11 was released.
Many Community members were noticing that their emails were rendering half the width of the screen! Thankfully it didn’t take long for a fix to be found—check out this discussion if you’re noticing the same thing happening to your emails.
In September 2016, embedded CSS and media query support was rolled out to Gmail. Email marketers everywhere rejoiced! It was also a reminder for email developers to re-test their code to make sure everything still rendered perfectly.
Months after the update, email developers were still finding issues with their emails not rendering correctly in Gmail. One of the top issues was media queries not working. The solution was simple!
As part of the September 2016 update to Gmail, support for attribute selectors was dropped. Email developers have been using attribute selectors in their emails to bypass an old Yahoo! Mail bug, which, too, has since been fixed. Any CSS classes that are defined using attribute selectors are ignored and aren’t rendered.
So, don’t forget to keep re-testing your emails and to check your code regularly, especially when email clients are updated.
Sometimes there are bugs that you just can’t figure out on your own. If you’re in a team of one, or the sole email developer it can feel like you’ve got no one to turn to.
Community members rallied together to help Mark Reeves solve an issue he was having with Windows 10 Mail.
Join the Litmus Community today
Looking to connect with the best minds in email marketing and design? The Litmus Community is the best place to swap stories, share techniques, and troubleshoot email problems. It’s the perfect way to end 2017 and kick off the new year.
Jaina Mistry is the Director, Brand & Content Marketing at Litmus