Cross-client HTML Email v2


As previously posted 6 months ago, I had been working on a solid design for HTML emails that would work in every client.  The design of that email worked pretty well.  However, since then, I kept getting asked to do the impossible.  Rounded corners, curved strokes and shadows.  As mentioned, Outlook 2007 doesn’t support positioning and doesn’t support background-images.  This combination makes it really really hard to create a decent design.

I just upgraded one email for Marketo.  I got the rounded corners to work in all clients, but it was really annoying.  Doing the curved corner stroke (not shown) was so difficult, I just skipped it. I used a great tool from ReturnPath called Campaign PreviewCheck out this output of all the different email clients.  That is awesome!  I don’t have to send all those email’s by hand anymore.

One question I have is about Lotus Notes.  They are on version 8.0.1, but the return path does 6.5.4.  Who uses Lotus Notes anyway?  I can’t believe they are still working on it.  And the 6.5.4 rendering engine is the worst I have ever seen.  Why don’t they just use Firefox to render?  Why do all of these different email clients feel they have to reinvent the wheel?

Anyway, feel free to look at the source for the template.  It’s pretty readable and works well.

9 replies on “Cross-client HTML Email v2”

Lotus Notes is still in heavy use in corporations. Two I know about are the german army (Bundeswehr) and Bayer (third largest pharmaceutical company) have thousands of workstations with Notes in use.

Thanks for the pointer at Campaign Preview, that looks very handy.

Lotus Notes v6 is indeed utter hell to build for. I work for Ogilvy Interactive. As IBM, who own Lotus are an international client of ours, the unwritten client loyalty contract dictates that we use Notes across the board in all Ogilvy agencies.

The rendering engine in versions less than 8 makes zero sense. Did you know that scrollbars used to be optional in Notes? Even when the content demanded them. So if you hadn’t turned on the scrollbars in your preferences, the part of your mail that required scrolling was not available. Utter lunacy.

The main question I have is: What are the usage stats of the different Notes email clients? Does everyone upgrade regularly? Is 8 dominant? What is the renderer in 8?

There should be online documentation, but I can’t find any.

I keep returning to this and your earlier post, and am eternally grateful to you every single time. By offering these templates so freely you’ve almost erased my irritation with repeat customer requests for fancy HTML emails rather than compelling text-only ones.


I have one question:
Is it possible to create HTML emails for outlook 2007 which have the scrollbar in it. I am trying to find a solution to this and i couldn’t find one.

Thanks in advance,

Whatya think?