Why rendering tests are important

What would you think if you received a message like this (click for larger image)? Bad code, one time issue, missed a table tag?  Probably – but this happens to be a weekly occurrence within the Gmail webmail client for EBGames 

Who do you blame? 
Gmail for their email rendering support (Email Standards Project: Gmail Report) or the marketer for failing to test their message in one of the most popular webmail clients?  I think it’s a little of column A and a little of column B.
This is a great example where content rendering tools, available from a number of different organizations (Return Path, Pivotal VeracityLitmus), would prove to be highly useful.  These solutions render your messages in dozens of different web email clients (Gmail, AOL, Yahoo, etc…), handheld email clients (Blackberry) and a number of desktop email clients (Outlook, Notes, more…).   All this usually in 30 minutes or less.  One email is all it takes and you can catch this problem before delivering to your subscribers.  
What’s the catch?
When viewed in Windows Live mail this message renders the properly.  There are no misaligned columns or broken borders.  I’m guessing that is the standard test for many mailers – does it render well in my Outlook?  Yup – we should send it now.  Reviewing your templates, and messages frequently in multiple web and desktop email clients as well as different web browsers is important and should be part of your standard testing program for your campaigns. Programs change and HTML support usually changes within each of these email clients (remember the stir around Outlook 2007?) and you need to adapt to these changes, or you’ll get left behind.
EBGames if you need help let me know – I’m here for you… Also now that I have your attention – I’d love to see a Canadian focused list with coupons that actually work in Canada 😉 

Author: Matt V - @emailkarma

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