Email Marketing Width and Formatting Issues in Outlook

[This post applies to Constant Contact eMail Templates]

In a community forum for Constant Contact users, a question about issues regarding the appearance of emails when opened in Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is a strange little animal that taunts and teases you with seemingly arbitrary changes in email appearance of text, blank spaces, and more. Here is the advice I gave and maybe it may help you no matter what email service provider you use.

In a nutshell, you can’t change how Outlook displays your emails, but you can change how you do your email to make it appear more like you want it in Outlook or any other email server.

What you should concern yourself with, first and foremost, is how does your email appear on mobile devices? The numbers are growing exponentially of email recipients using mobile devices (SmartPhones, Tablets, etc.) to open their emails. And, if you use a mobile-friendly template, you will also find many of your Outlook issues will minimize as well.

Image padding can also be an issue in creating blank spaces that didn’t appear on your preview. Rest on your image, click on the gear and choose padding/decrease. You may have to do this several times. Or you could resize the image to push the text where you prefer.

Another quick tip to eliminate blank spaces is to use more blocks. Place an image and text in separate blocks one over the other and you won’t have to worry where the text will land in reference to the image. You can use as many blocks as you wish and the recipient can’t tell the difference.

I guarantee you will begin to have a new perspective on your final outcome when you are vigilant in testing previews on your mobile devices. I can’t stress enough how importance mobile appearance is.

Also, with more and more emails read on mobile, not everyone is displaying their images, so your open rate may decline. Browsers do not register an opened email unless the recipient opts to display images.

I recognize that you cannot switch templates and expect the content to carry over. So in the interest of speed, you can stick to adjusting the padding, creating more blocks to separate content for more control (easy to do by copying the blocks and deleting text from one and image from the other), and checking the results. Tedious, but once you do it, you’ll learn what to avoid in the future.

On the text size issue, that is most likely you trying to change the size without changing the chosen font style. You can make a change stick by choosing “colors and fonts” (see image at top) instead of one of your preset font styles (like main text, title, etc).

It’s a battle no matter what since people use different browsers, have different size monitors,devices, etc… but you can get closer to uniformity with these tips.

Here’s a screenshot of how to find mobile friendly templates. The option does not appear unless you click show more.

Constant Contact Emails Template Selection.jpeg